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article imageFedEx worker found dead in Illinois as temperatures plummet

By Tim Sandle     Feb 2, 2019 in Environment
A FedEx worker has reportedly been found dead outside a delivery hub in Illinois. This was under conditions where the temperatures dipped below -30 degrees, part the icy blast sweeping across parts of the U.S.
According to Business Insider, a 69-year-old FedEx worker was found dead outside a delivery hub located in East Moline, Illinois. Local authorities told ABC News that the severe weather contributed to the worker's death, although no official cause of death has been announced.
In the Chicago area, temperatures averaged minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit) and reached a low of -minus 36 degrees Celsius (minus 33 degrees Fahrenheit). The extreme weather has brought temperatures lower than those recorded in Antarctica.
The Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington is frozen as the region experiences frigid co...
The Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington is frozen as the region experiences frigid cold temperatures from a "polar vortex"
SAUL LOEB, AFP
The cause of the ultra-cold weather is a polar vortex, which is an upper level low-pressure area lying near the Earth's poles. The term "vortex" refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles. Sometimes that vortex destabilizes, sending surges of Arctic air south and in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex can sometimes send cold air southward with the jet stream, as as happened to parts of the U.S. and Canada. The last major polar vortex leading to the kinds of low temperatures seen in the U.S., prior to the 2019 event, was 1989.
The Chicago skyline; Polar Vortex Grips U.S. where a blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of ...
The Chicago skyline; Polar Vortex Grips U.S. where a blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the country with the coldest temperatures in two decades. 06 Jan 2014
With permission by Reuters / Jim Young
The polar vortex has brought life-threatening cold and conditions that can give people frostbite in as little as five minutes. Although the the polar vortex that brought deadly cold to the U.S. is coming to an end, there have been at least 21 people killed due to the extreme weather or accidents related to it, according to Reuters. Some of the people were killed by the cold outside their homes, while others were involved in road accidents.
The BBC recounts some of the deaths, such as a Michigan man who froze to death in his neighborhood and who was apparently "inadequately dressed for the weather." There was also a reported effect of wind chill on an 18-year-old student, who was found unresponsive a short walk from his dorm and who later died in hospital.
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