The world under abnormal weather conditionsUpdated: 2014-01-09 06:29:37 KST
Some cities like Milwaukee, St. Louis and Chicago experienced sensory temperatures that dipped to below minus 50 degrees.
Around 14 counties in the state of New York declared a state of emergency due to the frigid conditions, closing schools and airports.
More than 5-hundred passengers taking regular train services in Chicago were left stranded in their compartments for 14 hours when the trains they were traveling in got stuck in ice and snow.
Experts attribute the rush of cold air to something called a distorted polar vortex
which is a circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counter-clockwise direction.
Normally a polar low-pressure system keeps the bitter cold air locked in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, but this can become distorted and dip further south which is what much of the United States is experiencing right now.
But it's a different story on the southern part of the hemispherewhere high pressure is bringing in the heat from the Equator, which is leading to extremely hot weather conditions.
In the northern part of Argentina, the mercury level shot up to 50 degrees, the highest in the region in a century.
At least 10 people have died due to the extreme heat wave there.
Some researchers say the Arctic airmass that the U.S. is experiencing now could be related to global warming because it coincides with unusually high temperatures in other regions that are usually cold at this time of the year.
"Because we've got this very westerly jet stream blowing across the UK, it's tending to draw a lot of warm air up from the Mediterranean and also from further afield such as the tropical Atlantic, so lots of warm air moving up across Spain into Italy and parts of southeastern Europe."
The U.S. National Weather Service says it expects this Arctic airmass to continue until Friday.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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