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The Polar Vortex: What’s Causing This Extreme Cold?

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UNITED STATES - JANUARY 6:  In this satellite handout image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the entry of a large area of low pressure of the Polar Vortex into the Northern U.S. January 6, 2014. The weather system is bringing dangerously cold temperatures not seen in half of the continental United States in about 20 years. It is expected to move northward back over Canada toward the end of the week. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 6: In this satellite handout image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the entry of a large area of low pressure of the Polar Vortex into the Northern U.S. January 6, 2014. The weather system is bringing dangerously cold temperatures not seen in half of the continental United States in about 20 years. It is expected to move northward back over Canada toward the end of the week. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

karlson mckenzie 123 x 83 Karlson and McKenzie
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listenlive listicle The Polar Vortex: Whats Causing This Extreme Cold?

What is the polar vortex? Even after Pete attempts to describe how it works, it’s still pretty unclear to us non-scientists. Between wicked cold air and distortion in the wind, it gets kind of hard to follow.

He actually gives a pretty brilliant simile for it though – it’s like the arctic circle cracked an egg on the globe. A wicked cold egg. But it’s just easier to say that it’s FREEZING out!

Luckily, Mass. didn’t get the worst of it – it only has to deal with wind chills around -5, as opposed to, say, -60. It’s still weather that makes you just want to stay inside and never, ever go out.

And at least people can make cool experiments with it like throwing boiling water into the air and watching it instantly turn to snow.

SEE ALSO: Drunk Guy Gets Frostbite On His Junk After Trying to Have Sex With a Snowman

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