‘Polar Vortex’ Plunges Midwest, Northeast into Record Deep Freeze

Temperatures drop to as low as 70 degrees below zero when wind chill is factored in

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Michael Dwyer / AP

Waves crash against the sea wall near high tide in Scituate, Mass., Jan. 3, 2014.

Record-low chilling temperatures are predicted to blast parts of the Great Plains, extending to the Eastern seaboard, while a second winter storm is expected later Saturday through Monday.

Factoring in wind chill, temperatures as low as 50 to 70 degrees below zero are forecasted in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest by Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. At least 16 deaths have been linked to weather across Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, USA TODAY reports. Emergency officials warn that such startling temperatures could lead to frostbite or even hypothermia in a matter of minutes. One man died outside his Milwaukee home, where temperatures surged below zero in Wisconsin.

Meteorologists attribute the “polar vortex” to freezing air from the North Pole being pushed down to as far as the Gulf Coast of the U.S., the Associated Press reports. In Atlanta, temperatures will be in the mid-20s by Tuesday while a wintry mix of rain and snow are expected in parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, northern Arkansas, southern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania late into Sunday.  The cold front will likely freeze large bodies of water, like the Great Lakes, meaning freezing temperatures could last through winter.

While still digging out from current snowfall, another winter storm will drop more snow and ice onto the the central Plains to the Great Lakes states this weekend. The biggest hit areas will include St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton canceled school statewide Monday, due to the frigid weather, for the first time in 17 years, while schools also closed as far south as Washington, D.C.

At least 2,200 flights were canceled across the country Friday, adding to the already 2,300 canceled Thursday. Airlines are bracing for more cancellations Saturday, which included 765 more canceled flights as of 7 a.m., according to FlightStats.com.

[AP]

44 comments
DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

The scientist's consensus of belief is just "could be" so what exactly is it that I'm supposed to be believing in when I tell my kids to "believe"? Only science can have certainty,  not the news editors at Time.

*Not one IPCC warning agrees beyond "could be". Prove me wrong.

plazma.am
plazma.am

In Buenos Aires, Argentina there was a heat-weave that lasted almost a week. Some folks died and people are still struggling with power outage, etc. The eastern part of the US is in freezing cold temperatures but that doesn't meant "global warming" is a hoax. This is just a climatic variability event. Climate change is being study on long term data. Does an ice storm be a weather event caused by climate change? We don't know that (or at least I don't have the information with me) but climate change is happening; drastic weather events are happening and instead of arguing about it we should all prepare to adapt and mitigate the effects of the change of climate. It is not ONLY the IPCC report that says climate change is influencing the environment. etc., Most of scientists agree with those reports (and those reports are made by hundreds of different scientists around the world). We need to put aside the thoughts of "Is it a liberal agenda? Are Republicans against science? We need to be constructive and move forward with tangible actions. Regardless of who and what causes Hurricane Sandy, Ice storms, Heat Weaves, etc., we need a risk management strategy to be prepare and save lives.



RudyHaugeneder
RudyHaugeneder

Thank God for the continental deep freeze.  It is an overdue natural savior.  It has basically wiped out the the deadly pine beetle that has destroyed British Columbia pine forests and was spreading like the plague to the east and south.  Now it is dead in its tracks, saving millions upon millions of acres of pine forests across North America.

Also, hopefully, the deep freeze has done the same to the Asian Carp that threatened to spread into the Great Lakes and further across the continent, destroying marine life like nothing else has ever crippled it. 

As well, other invasive plant, marine, reptiles and  other introduced species that were wrecking the environment have probably been destroyed, or at least weaken severely, by the icy weather, further protecting what is left of America's natural environment.

Thank God for environment saving the Arctic vortex that people are stupidly complaining about.  It is saving me/you/us.

mb123
mb123

This cold snap shows me that climate change is occurring. It isn't ongoing. I looked at historical data online and saw that 20 years ago a cold snap would last for weeks on end. Now it lasts for days. Look at the winter of 1976/77. Although there were similar occurrences I have haven't seen or heard of one in the historical data since say 1984 or so.

TenaciousJim
TenaciousJim

It started out as Global warming with all kinds of stats that its getting warmer but when facts get in the way it changed to Global climate change.


When a ship full of climate change theorists gets stuck in the ice that the theorists claim is melting theorists have a much bigger issue than insulting anyone that may disagree with their 'facts'.

jimmyharpoon
jimmyharpoon

The deniers on this page are just wasting space in this forum:   a) Because they don't supply any facts that I can discern 

b) They are obviously poorly educated and that is unfortunate c) In the absense of any fact, they desperately hope that insult will carry the day. This bully type behaviour is just childish.


DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

And, of course, the brain-dead mouth breathers out there have to start up on climate change whenever winter comes or whenever summer comes or whenever there's a heat wave, or whenever there's a cold spell (as if those are ever going to actually stop).

You know, I'm fine with the deniers.  I know they'll die first like frogs in a frying pan.  It's a metaphor. (Look that one up - google how to boil a frog.)

I call them brain dead not because of a complete lack of an IQ number, but because of what I call "willful ignorance".  Rather than bothering to educate themselves, they'll rely on what people they trust say - you know, people who don't have a damn clue, either, or are out to screw them over, only the person doing the asking doesn't see that.  Worse, they will often violently react to suggestions that they're wrong - much like people who believe in invisible sky friends cling to their mythologies.  They'll even kill for it.  And not ONCE will they bother to investigate the true nature of their world or even question their opinions about it.

It's not because they CAN'T.  Even a drooling idiot with an IQ of 1 can learn SOMETHING new if they want to.  No, it's because they WON'T, and that puts them on par with an artichoke - brain dead and just moving through life wile the fat cats pluck them, steam them, peel off their green, dip it in butter and eats it, then throws them in the trash when there isn't any more to glean from them - telling them that they're no longer "responsible people".

IQ doesn't matter in this.  It's the will to learn and grow or the lack of it resulting in stagnation and the inability to use one's brain anymore.  It happens on both sides of the political spectrum, but based on posts here, I'd say it happens about 50:1 cons to libs.  And everyone in the tea party, from what I can tell, is just as brain dead as a potato dreaming of becoming an artichoke.  The difference being, of course, that potatoes have their heads buried in the ground.

romerjt
romerjt

First of all the earth is not like a roast in an oven that is heating uniformly, climate is complicated.And even if green house gases are warming the planet not every weather event is caused by this phenomenon.I have used the NOAA weather site and Climate at a Glance http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/to do my own little climate inquiries and can make some general statements.

The increases in average annual temperatures near where I live are not so much from record highs but that it doesn’t get as cold overnight so the lows for the day aren’t as low as they used to be.

The closer you live the Atlantic coast the more the temps have increased but not as much south of Virginia.I think it’s pretty well established that the climate is changing most at the poles and people who live above the about the 40th parallel are more likely the experience the changes.The lobsters left Long Island, the cod are gone to colder waters, the shrimp are wiped out and tropical fish are showing up.If you work in or with the weather you are dealing with the changed climate.

MattWest1
MattWest1

Nanosecond - noun - the length of time between the publication of a news article about cold weather and the point when a tea-bagger makes a statement of climate-change denial in the comments section.

nellmc.98
nellmc.98

No mention that the arctic sea ice melting causes the jet stream to meander and loop. The fact is that if we continue the way we have we're toast.

BernieMadeoff
BernieMadeoff

But what about global warming, you left wing asswipes? Huh? Huh?

CowCos
CowCos

OMG!  Its "The Day After Tomorrow" coming true!


Remember to take refuge in your local library so you can burn all the books to keep warm!



AlGreen
AlGreen

wats ole al gore gonna do for money now wit global frezzing not global warming,maybe wes needs to burn more oils

AlGreen
AlGreen

wow dat global warming is really gettin bad

Denesius
Denesius

@mb123 Nice theory, only issue is the fact that you didn't cover the proper time period. In 1970's global warming was well under way. To see the real picture, you need to look at weather pattern in the 1700-early 1800 time period, or earlier.

breindrein
breindrein

@TenaciousJim im in south africa and we are cooking. Hot like hell. I heard Australia has the same now.

jimmyharpoon
jimmyharpoon

@DeweySayenoff  "the brain dead mouth breathers,,,," Please allow me to be the first to tell you that       the dead don't breathe. Surprise!

"die first like frogs in a frying pan..;....It's a metaphor. how to boil a frog."  

A metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things not using the word “like” or “as” to make the comparison. Your use of the word, "metaphor" just further outlines your basic ignorance.

Listen, I don't want to get picky here it's spelled while not wile.

While we're at it, could you post a source, ie newspaper, web site, something to support  your absolutely stupid claim that "they will often violently react to suggestions that they're wrong". You don't have a single fact to support your outrageous idiocy. Go back to school, learn something, at least read something once in a WHILE.

ps - "IQ doesn't matter in this." You speak a lot about IQ and the lack of by others. Feeling a bit "low" about it are you?




breindrein
breindrein

@romerjt i remember going to Johannesburg from Durban for winter holidays 25 years back. Water in hosepipes would be frozen in early morning. I now live in jhb and i dont see that happening much in winter. Climate is complicated. Not sure what is changing but it is.

mb123
mb123

@nellmc.98 You are right. It finally shifted from Europe to North America.

Tonkaman
Tonkaman

@BernieMadeoff If you knew anything about global warming, you would know this fits in perfectly with it.  Weather and climate are two different things.  As the climate warms, the weather gets more extreme. i.e. The summers get hotter, as they have been the past few years, and the winters get colder.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@BernieMadeoffBurn'ee, some say we are about to enter another "little ice age". seems about right, but who can really say? only the sun and he ain't saying much lately.

DaveHinckley
DaveHinckley

Yes, you right-wing, non-thinking, moronic teabaggers, what about it? Huh? Huh?
Morons.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@CowCos 

I'd've started with the Gutenberg Bible, myself.  In a world of climate change, the last thing people need are BS myths to screw them up like they have today.

SRM
SRM

Yes, it is getting bad. Global warming means more energy in the atmosphere, so summers get warmer AND winters get colder.

donniemcbee
donniemcbee

@Tonkaman @BernieMadeoff In the physics community, when has more CO2 led to a colder earth?

Sure small episodes of colder weather can occur...........but look around???????  Does these cold bouts look localized??????Look at what is happening in the US, and in Europe lately.......................If people like you cannot observe the cooling of the earth with your own eyes.........(roll eyes)

breindrein
breindrein

@DaveHinckley come to southern hemisphere. It is nice and toasty here. Father in law measured 44 celsius in his house a week ago.

Tonkaman
Tonkaman

@SRM I'd liken it more to an insulated cooler.  If you put something hot in the cooler, the cooler gets much warmer.  If you put something cold in the cooler, it gets much colder.  Greenhouse gases basically act as insulation for the earth.  As we add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the insulation of the cooler gets thicker.  As the insulation gets thicker, less heat or cold can escape so the temperatures in the cooler get more extreme, whether hotter or colder.

DrJKH
DrJKH

@SRMHeat is the lowest form of energy. It makes things LESS turbulent.

BrianKnott
BrianKnott

Wow, you liberals have an answer for everything

mark_e_brown
mark_e_brown

@SRM So when winters are mild it is global warming and when winters are cold it is global warming?  When is it not global warming?

MayaKali
MayaKali

@breindreinHIHI, at the moment we have fog and it is 17C with max prediction today of a 20C in the Western Cape. Yesterday lots of rain. I'm working with winter clothes on... One country, lots of different local weather apparently. Good luck with the heat.

breindrein
breindrein

@MayaKaliIm in JHB and it was 33-35 in last couple of days. Today it is cloudy again. My mother stays in Pinetown and she said it was friggin hot there. Father-in-law close to Hermanus measured 44C in his house about a week ago. It goes from super hot on cloudless days to overcloud is drizzly. December was super clouded in JHB. I was sleeping with aircon and fan on for last 4 evenings.

Tonkaman
Tonkaman

@DrJKH @SRM Wow you people are ignorant of even basic physics. Can't say I'm surprised...

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@DrJKH@SRM That's why a boiling pot of water is less turbulent than a cold pot of water? huh?

DrJKH
DrJKH

@DaveHinckleyYes, Dave, facts are finite. But you liberals can make stuff up on the spot out of thin air... or crap.

DaveHinckley
DaveHinckley

@BrianKnott Yes, and you Rush-lovers have the same answer for everything.

mark_e_brown
mark_e_brown

@Tonkaman @mark_e_brown @SRM  

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/01/ipcc-silently-slashes-its-global-warming-predictions-in-the-ar5-final-draft/


Unnoticed, the IPCC has slashed its global-warming predictions, implicitly rejecting the models on which it once so heavily and imprudently relied. In the second draft of the Fifth Assessment Report it had broadly agreed with the models that the world will warm by 0.4 to 1.0 Cº from 2016-2035 against 1986-2005. But in the final draft it quietly cut the 30-year projection to 0.3-0.7 Cº, saying the warming is more likely to be at the lower end of the range [equivalent to about 0.4 Cº over 30 years]. If that rate continued till 2100, global warming this century could be as little as 1.3 Cº.


While the CO2 insulation illustration works well to explain why your car is much hotter than the outside in the summer, it is far too simple for something as complex as climate.  


You can independently verify this lower estimate in the IPCC report.  If sample size matters and decades are good, then why ignore the historical peaks and troughs of CO2 over a much larger times from (thousands to millions of years)?


It is easy to say that people who are skeptical RE global warming are dumb, but until you educate yourself on both sides of the argument, you are really only seeing one half of the picture.  


In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines  - Proverbs 18:17


bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@Tonkaman@mark_e_brown@SRM And on the news, every tornado, hurricane, drought and sunburn is indicative of global warming.  May I assume you post on all those stories that a big tornado is not indicative of a longer-term trend.


U.S emissions have declined over the last 10 years.  If you want to demonize someone, go after those selfish people in developing countries asking for trivial conveniences like transportation and heating/cooling.

Tonkaman
Tonkaman

@mark_e_brown @SRM One winter does not a pattern make.  Sample size matters, which is why scientists use decades of data while you people cherry pick the outliers that don't fit the trend.


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