Return of the polar vortex: Icy blast brings 'the coldest air in five years' causing temperatures to plummet to MINUS 45F as US gears up for bitterly cold weekend and forecasters warn there is worse to come

  • Forecasters say bad weather is a replay of the 'polar vortex' that hit in 2014 
  • Polar vortex split above Arctic Circle with one part heading to Michigan 
  • Some forecasters have dubbed the weather system 'Barney' because computer forecast models show the cold air as chubby purple blobs 
  • They warn wind chills will send temperatures plunging to -45F in Chicago
  • It will be 'the coldest air in five years' by midweek as warming centers open
  • The arctic blast spread painful cold across the Midwest Friday, closing schools
  • Polar vortex rarely plunges as far south as the US and last big plunge was in 2014

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