Much of the nation is in a deep freeze thanks to a distorted polar vortex.
The polar vortex is a circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the North pole.
When the vortex becomes distorted, it sends frigid air farther south than normal.
On rare occasions it shifts south into Canada and in even rarer moments, it travels thousands more miles south into the United States.
This occurs usually around one time every 10 to 15 years.
The results are blizzard conditions in places like Indiana, Michigan and New York, record lows and dangerous wind chills in Chicago and an ice covered Lake Michigan.