My friend Mordy wouldn’t walk the block from his Chicago apartment to his favorite Starbucks to feed his impressive caffeine addiction this morning. It’s that cold. His region, along with a huge and growing swath of the U.S., is not expected to top zero degrees today. The North Pole has sent a polar vortex across much of the Midwest where weather forecasters have been left to compare local temperatures to those on Mars. The weather pattern — which is creating some of the coldest weather in decades — is now moving east. If you’re in New York, you could see a sixty degree temperature drop in the next day.

+ How cold is it? Schools were closed in Minnesota due to weather for the first time in seventeen years.

+ The question of the day: How is wind chill calculated? In California, it’s measured by the number of people who find it necessary to change from regular shorts into Bermuda shorts.

+ Update: Mordy went to Starbucks and returned with this report: “My skin hurt. My eyes were tearing up. i coughed when I breathed in. And my body was saying ‘make it stop, make it stop.’ I dont think I’ve been in a situation before where my body was screaming this is wrong, get the hell out (a weather situation, I should say).”