54 hours of negative temperatures possible for Detroit area

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Did you miss the Polar Vortex? Us either - but it's back!

Extremely cold temperatures return to Michigan Tuesday night and continue through Friday morning. Wind Chills will be so low, in fact, that discussion of hypothermia and frost bite are legitimate topics. Let's break it all down.

The Polar Vortex is an area of extremely cold air that circulates over the North Pole. Occasionally parts of that air will "break off" and move south, impacting us! This is precisely what happened back in 2014 when we fell to minus 14 degrees and the same thing is happening again this week. 

Tuesday evening, temperatures will start to fall and the winds will pick up. By midnight it's going to feel like negative 20 degrees. That's only the beginning.

Around 2:30 Tuesday, the Detroit Public Schools announced there would be no school on Wednesday because of the temperatures. The Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Conservancy soon followed suit. Check the latest school closings list here. The Universiy of Michigan also cancelled classes for Wednesday and Thursday and redulced operations on campus until Friday.

When we wake up Wednesday morning, our wind chill range will be between negative 40 and negative 35 degrees! At these numbers it will only take frost bite 10 minutes to set in to exposed skin. We aren't kidding when we say, "stay indoors!" Mail delivery has even been suspended in several zip codes.

You can keep an eye on weather conditions, school closings, and more with the FOX 2 Weather AppYou can also get the FOX 2 News app for immediate traffic conditions and more news. 

It gets worse.

Wednesday afternoon we will NOT GET OUT OF NEGATIVE NUMBERS. The daily high is forecast to be negative 2 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 20. That is the coldest day we've seen around here in 5 years.  

Wednesday night lows again fall to negative 11 degrees with a wind chill between negative 35 and 40. 

Again, limit your time outside, don't leave the pets outside for more than a couple minutes and watch those pipes in the house (leave a trickle of water running and open your cupboards to allow heat to better circulate).

Thursday's high will be about 4 degrees with a wind chill near minus 18. There is a chance we may not top 0 degrees in some spots Thursday, which means we are looking at a total of about 54 hours in a row below zero.  

Thursday night into Friday morning the lows continue to fall to negative 7 degrees but the wind will drop a bit, meaning the wind chill may be *only* minus 20 to minus 25 degrees.

Then finally on Friday we get to the teens. By early next week, it will actually feel warm by comparison with highs in the 40s and rain. 

Remember Detroit offers several warming and respite centers throughout the city, click here

Be safe folks. Don't be outside any longer than you have to be. Check on your neighbors and the elderly. Keep a close eye on the pets.