Between Tuesday and Thursday, temperatures will plunge to 20-40 degrees below zero in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, Hennen said.
"These are VERY DANGEROUS conditions and can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as five minutes where wind chill values are below -50", the National Weather Service office near Minneapolis and St. Paul tweeted.
Temperatures will remain in the negative double digits in most locations for the entire day, with record all-time cold lows and highs possible.
Extreme weather events have become increasingly common in recent months as the effects of worsening global warming continue to manifest-from record cold temperatures this week to a torrid heat wave last year-even though there remains some scientific debate on how global warming affects a shifting polar vortex.
Frigid weather has already started to hit the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and IL.
Blizzard conditions were predicted across parts of the western Ohio Valley and snow was expected through Wednesday from the Great Lakes region into New England.
Snow will likely extend all the way down to MS and Alabama.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency because of snow and impending dangerously cold temperatures.
The cold front was expected to hit parts of the U.S Northeast as well.
Air traffic in the region is affected, with more than 1,200 flights canceled and as many delayed, the flight tracking site FlightAware.com reported early Tuesday.
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The coldest weather in years will put millions of people and animals throughout the midwestern United States at risk for hypothermia and frostbite to occur in minutes during the final days of January.
The cold also prompted officials to close some schools in eastern Iowa, while Chicago Public Schools officials said that Wednesday's classes have been canceled due to the anticipated cold snap. Zoo officials say they expect to reopen the zoo on February 1.
Forecasters say the temperature in northern IL could dip to negative 27 degrees (negative 33 Celsius) with wind-chill values as low as negative 55 degrees (negative 48 Celsius).
The weather service issued a statement about the "very risky and life-threatening Arctic blast" heading toward the upper Midwest and eastern two-thirds of the country.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said city agencies are making sure homeless people are in shelters or offered space in warming buses.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged residents to check on their neighbors and take safety precautions.
In December 2018, warm air moving in from the region, heated the usually chilly air 20 miles above the North Pole by about 125 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in what is called "sudden stratospheric warming".
The culprit was a lobe of arctic air that has broken away from the polar vortex that usually encircles the North Pole.
The sub-zero cold can be blamed on the polar vortex - a circulation of low-pressure winds that hover over the Arctic moving from west to east, or in a counterclockwise direction.