This week, temperatures in Chicago dipped to -16 degree Fahrenheit (-26.7 degree Celsius) on the heals of the frigid, dense air known as a polar vortex, which has swept across the Midwest and through huge portion of the United States.

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The freezewave brought dangerously cold temperatures, colder than any seen for 20 years, and transformed the Chicago shoreline along the Lake Michigan into what would be an icy fairy kingdom‚ÄĒif it weren't so deadly cold. Here's our photo collection, straight from the heart of the ice.

Mist rises from Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Chicago firefighters transport a woman to an ambulance following a minor commuter train accident in the Loop.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


This is not how you should protect your smartphone in cold weather.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Commuter makes a sub-zero trek to office in the Loop.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Ice builds up along Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


A sign reads -24.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Swimming is definitely not recommended.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


A Chicago flag with snowflakes instead of stars is displayed on the back of a newspaper vending box.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Hit by a polar air mass.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Commuters arrive at the La Salle Street commuter rail station.

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Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP


Wind chills are expected to reach 40 to 50 below.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Commuters make their way across the Chicago River.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Big chunks of ice along Lake Michigan.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


Miniature ice skyscrapers.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


A person runs along Lake Michigan in temperatures well below zero.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


The frozen skyline.

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images


The bitter weather comes after a heavy snowstorm hit much of the region last week.

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Photo: Teresa Crawford/AP


A blanket of fog covers Lake Michigan.

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Photo: Teresa Crawford/AP


A Delta plane is de-iced at Chicago Midway International Airport. More than 400 flights were cancelled at Chicago's airports on Monday.

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Photo: Kiichiro Sato/AP


This satellite image shows the entry of a large area of low pressure, from the Polar Vortex, into the Northern U.S. January 6, 2014. The weather system is expected to move northward back over Canada toward the end of the week.

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Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Getty Images

Have your own icy photos? Drop them in the comments below!