Areas from the deep South to the Northeast endured frigid weather Monday night and into Tuesday as temperatures plummeted to single digits. Parts of New York and Washington, D.C., saw temperatures dive as much as 45 degrees below Monday's marks.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed sections of highways as the state prepared for severe weather forecasted to reach 15 below with the wind chill, the BBC reports.
According to CNN, Atlanta and D.C. will stay frosty at about 6 degrees through Tuesday, while Pittsburgh will endure 4-degree temps.
The Midwest also continues to suffer, with record-low temperatures being set Tuesday morning in Cleveland (-11) and Detroit (-14), USA Today reports.
"This is some of the most extreme weather we have seen in the city of Chicago in decades," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
School was canceled for students in Chicago and St. Louis, as well as in parts of the D.C. area and New York.
"Today is a brutal day and there is no way around it," AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines told Bloomberg.com. "One of my colleagues pointed out to me that the South Pole this morning is 6 below. That means places like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, all those places are colder than the South Pole."
The weather also has generated a deadly climate, causing at least 16 weather-related deaths, the BBC reports.
Modes of transportation additionally have felt the effects of the storm. CNN reports 500 people on three Amtrak trains were stranded in Illinois after the trains appeared to have gotten stuck in snowdrifts. One group of travelers waited nine hours before they were able to reach their destination.
More than 1,800 U.S. flights also were canceled by Tuesday morning, according to FlightAware.com.
By the end of Tuesday, an estimated 187 million people will have felt the effects of the polar vortex, the BBC reports. After Tuesday, temperatures for all states affected by the vortex are expected to rise. And by Thursday, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller says that temperatures around the country should be back to normal.