An icy Lake Michigan with Chicago in the distance, 07 Jan 2014 (Twitter)
The good news is the polar vortex is starting to retreat northward which means January temperatures are returning to more seasonal values across much of Canada and the United States.
The coldest weather in two decades enveloped much of the continent this week.
Major cities such as Chicago set new record lows when the temperature overnight dropped to -27°C and the daytime high only reached -19°C.
The lowest reading in the mainland U.S. was reported at International Falls, Minnesota, where the thermometer fell to -42°C.