These Photos & Videos Of The Polar Vortex Show What Sub-Zero Temps Look Like IRL

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Big swaths of the country are trying to stay warm while on polar vortex watch this week. Temperatures have plunged way below zero across the Midwest, with cities such as Chicago seeing lows in the negative 20s and wind chills dipping even lower. If you're lucky enough to live anywhere else, these polar vortex photos and videos can give you a glimpse of what people are going through.

Simply breathing outside can hurt, and any exposed skin can sting in these frigid temperatures, The New York Times reports. School was cancelled in many districts, the U.S. Postal Service wasn't delivering mail, and workers in many offices were told to stay home. There have been at least six deaths connected to the weather, including two people who died in a car crash and one person who was hit by a snow plow.

If you're in one of the areas experiencing extreme cold, be sure to take precautions. "If you can't stay cozy inside, be sure to cover any exposed skin!" the National Weather Service tweeted earlier this week. "There's cold, and then there's COLD! Extreme and dangerous COLD! is forecast this week from the Northern Plains through the Great Lakes." These pictures show what that looks like IRL.

Thankful For Those Heat Lamps

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People who have ventured out on public transportation have had to wait for trains and buses in the freezing weather.

A Freezing Chicago River...

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The steam that's rising shows how cold the air on the surface is.

That Reflects The Sub-Zero Temps

This video from the city offers a better look at the Chicago River.

Pets Kept Outside Could Be In Danger

As this video shows, their water bowls can freeze.

Dressing For The Weather

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People walking with anything short of a ski mask were likely feeling it.

A Quite Cold Skyline

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In past polar vortexes, the L trains stopped due to cracked tracks. This year, there were just delays.

Boiling Water Challenges Are Back

Don't try it at home, but it does show how cold it is out there.

Face Mask Realness

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This Chicago pedestrian was not messing around.

Pictures Of How To Help

Homeless shelters will be at capacity in affected cities, and you can donate to help.

A Rare Polar Vortex Sunrise

If you can watch from home, it is pretty.

Screenshots From The Airports Mean Business

This isn't your bestie's Facebook. This is the official O'Hare Airport Twitter account warning about temperatures and cancelled flights.

Scenes From Above

This is another angle of the city from above, showing the ice that has accumulated due to the cold.

If you're seeing this from somewhere warm, check on your friends who live in colder climates. If you're somewhere cold, take precautions and don't spend time outside until Mother Nature comes back to her senses.