US Postal Service to Suspend Delivery in More Than 100 Zip Codes Due to Polar Vortex

In a rare move, the United States Postal Service is suspending delivery to more than 100 zip codes in multiple states on Wednesday, Jan. 30 due to dangerously cold temperatures.

"Weather forecasters are warning of dangerously cold conditions in parts of the nation," the service said in a press release on Tuesday. "Some places could see wind chill readings as low as 60 below zero."

Because of the arctic outbreak and concerns for the safety of USPS employees, the statement goes on to read that the Postal Service is suspending delivery Jan. 30 in the following 3-digit ZIP Code locations:

Michigan: 486-491, 493-499
Indiana: 460-469, 472-475, 478, 479
Chicago: 606-608
Lakeland: 530-532, 534, 535, 537-539, 541-545, 549, 600, 602, 601, 611
Detroit: 480-485, 492
Central Illinois: 601, 603 - 605, 609, 613, 614, 616, 617
Northern Ohio (Cleveland and Lima areas): 441, 458
Ohio Valley (Cincinnati and Columbus areas): 452, 430-432
Northland: 540, 546-548, 550, 551, 553-564, 566
Hawkeye: 500-514, 520-528, 612
Dakotas: 580-588, 570-577
Eastern Nebraska: 680-689

It is unclear when deliveries will resume, though the frigid temperatures brought on by the polar vortex currently sweeping the country are expected to extend into the rest of the week. Multiple wind chill warnings and advisories have been issued across the Midwest, interior Northeast and the southern Appalachians by the National Weather Service, with the freezing temperatures combined with wind could lead to frostbite on exposed skin within minutes.

In addition to a halt on mail deliveries, over 2,000 flights have been canceled on Wednesday to and from various locations in the United States. More than 1,000 of those flights involve Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

The Weather Channel reports that temperatures have reached the negatives in many parts of the country, with parts of the Midwest expected to experience their lowest levels in over two decades. Wind chills are expected to exacerbate the problem and will fall to the negative 40s, 50s and even 60s.

Along with the Midwest, the Northeast will also see decidedly colder temperatures, while much of the rest of the country will also experience a chillier week than normal.

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According to a wunderground.com blog entry by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, the reason for these freezing temperatures is a lobe of the stratospheric polar vortex, which has taken up residence much further South than normal, residing over the Great Lakes.

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