Lake Michigan is freezing over as extreme cold weather hits parts of the U.S. this week.
The Midwest, from the Dakotas to Western New York, is experiencing some of the coldest temperatures to hit the region in more than two decades, according to The Weather Channel — and the lake is feeling the effects.
As wind chill temperatures in Chicago dropped as low as -51 degrees Farenheit on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, parts of Lake Michigan turned to ice.
Residents across Michigan, Chicago and Wisconsin braved the cold to share their photos of the icy lake to social media.
“My brother was on one of the few flights into Chicago this morning,” one tweeter captioned a shot of the lake from the air. “He took this photo of frozen Lake Michigan from the plane.”
My brother was on one of the few flights into Chicago this morning. He took this photo of frozen Lake Michigan from the plane. pic.twitter.com/cS8XRCTPQV
— David Funk (@DavidPFunk) January 30, 2019
Another poster wrote, “Anyone want to go to the beach?” over a shot of Lake Michigan as seen from downtown Chicago.
— Tina Jensen (@TinaRJensen) January 29, 2019
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel posted a video of the lake freezing over on Thursday morning. “Morning views from Chicago’s beautiful, frosty Lake Michigan,” he wrote.
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel (@ChicagosMayor) January 31, 2019
On Wednesday morning, it was -23 degrees Farenheit in Chicago, and the National Weather Service recorded -30 in Wisconsin. The negative temps extend as far south as Kentucky, and according to The Weather Channel, things won’t get milder until the weekend.
On Instagram, users posted photos from Grand Haven, Michigan, and Holland, Michigan.
Braving frost bite and the polar vortex was worth it! #nature #naturephotography #landscapephotography #landscape #travel #travelphotography #keepitwild #wildernessculture #getoutside #optoutside #neverstopexploring #liveadventurously #ventureout #adventure #explore #agameoftones #visualsoflife #puremichigan #michiganders #naturelover #photooftheday #instagood #teamcanon #canonusa #sunset #lighthouse #lakemichigan #grandhaven #greatlakes #winter
A post shared by Justin Ilbrink (@justinilbrink) on Jan 30, 2019 at 6:26pm PST
The pier is gradually succumbing to the encroaching ice. Negative degrees Fahrenheit will do that. #polarvortex #michigan #grandhaven #visitgrandhaven #grandhavenmichigan #grandhavenbeach #puremichigan #visitmichigan #bringaparka #nikon #nikond750 #nikonphotography #telephoto #pier #lighthouse #thegreatlakestate #awesomemitten
A post shared by Brian Ertl (@eyespybriguy) on Jan 30, 2019 at 7:42pm PST
A post shared by Fox Mülder (@foxmulder99) on Jan 30, 2019 at 7:29pm PST
As the area freezes, it’s important to keep safe.
According to the National Weather Service, frost bite can set in with a wind chill of -20 degrees in just 30 minutes. The colder it is outside, the faster the condition — which causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose — will set in.
For example, winds blowing at 50 miles per hour when it’s -50 degrees outside can cause frost bite in 2 minutes.
If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may have developed frost bite, seek medical help immediately.
These temperatures can also cause hypothermia, when a person’s internal temperature drops below 95 degrees. Seek help immediately if you or someone you know may have developed hypothermia.