As temperatures plummeted to record-breaking lows Tuesday morning for more than 240 million people across the United States and southern Canada, the Twittersphere exploded with opinions on its cause: the Polar Vortex.
The meteorological term has garnered significant attention over the past few days as AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures as low as 70 F below zero stretched across major population centers in the Midwest.
In reality, the term refers to nothing more than a pocket of cold air from the North Pole that's been pushed farther south than usual.
On Tuesday morning, every state in the U.S., except Hawaii, had plunged to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, giving the masses an excuse to use the term.
And they did. Beginning Monday night, #polarvortex was a national trend.
Wish I had a digital thermometer on my dashboard so I could upload pics of this polar vortex but I guess I'll just do my normal selfie snaps— Kevin Macan (@kevinmacan) January 7, 2014
Guys, what if the "polar vortex" is a #CES2014 stunt by some next-gen refrigerator company with a bloated marketing budget?— Caroline McCarthy (@caro) January 6, 2014
PLEASE NOTE: We have nothing to do with the "Polar Vortex."— vortex midtown (@VortexMidtown) January 6, 2014
A polar vortex picked me up and dropped me into a frost quake. 2014 can only get better.— Christine Myrden (@cmyrden) January 7, 2014
What polar vortex? pic.twitter.com/DwbD9ytjWS— Elemento (@PesciTheElement) January 7, 2014
So a priest and rabbi walk into a polar vortex...— David Armano (@armano) January 7, 2014
Polar vortex, go home you're drunk.— Sara Noonan (@Sara_C_Nooniee) January 7, 2014
I'd lke a polar vortex, on the rocks, don't spare the gin. #schoolsclosed— Douglas Hunter (@DWHauthor) January 7, 2014
When I lived in Chicago we didn't call it a "Polar Vortex", we called it winter.— Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) January 7, 2014
Did i miss something? Polar vortex? Does this call for my Zenon costume?— kaitlin (@kaitfly) January 7, 2014
Polar vortex u r literally being so rude rn— Fiona Hannafin (@_princess_FIONA) January 7, 2014