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Sun, 28 Nov 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Airplane

JetBlue halts all flights to and from Boston, New York and New Jersey

jetblue flights
JetBlue has halted flights to and from Boston, New York City and Newark to allow them to get flights back on track.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, JetBlue reduced operations at Boston's Logan Airport, New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports and New Jersey's Newark Airport.

The shutdown affects 300 JetBlue flights at the four airports.

By 5 p.m., all flights were shut down and will remained stopped until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, flights will gradually ramp up again, the company said in a statement.

Igloo

Chicago is colder than the South Pole

Chicago 2014 snowstorm
© Flickr/CharlesB
Dozens of schools and institutions will be closed Monday in anticipation of subzero temperatures.
The wind chill hit 40 degrees below zero Monday morning at O'Hare Airport, and the extreme cold is expected to stick around for the next couple of days, meteorologists said.

At midnight, the temperature at O'Hare was 3 degrees below zero, which is the warmest temperature the city is likely to see throughout the entire day, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said.

A temperature of 16 degrees below zero was measured at O'Hare Airport later in the morning, breaking the record of 14 below zero set twice in 1884 and 1988 on Jan. 6, according to the National Weather Service.

That's colder than the South Pole in Antarctica, where the temperature was recorded at 11 degrees below zero at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station before 8 a.m. It was also colder than Novosibirsk, a city in southwest Siberia, which was 6 degrees below zero, according to the Weather Channel.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Chicago by the National Weather Service was 27 degrees below zero on Jan. 20, 1985.

Igloo

Shockingly cold 'polar vortex' moves into Midwest

Image
© Hunter Hohlfeld
Frozen Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Frigid, dense air swirled across much of the U.S. on Monday, forcing some cities and their residents into hibernation while others layered up and carried on despite a dangerous cold that broke decades-old records.

Wind chill warnings stretched from Montana to Alabama. For a big chunk of the Midwest, the subzero temperatures moved in behind another winter wallop: more than a foot of snow and high winds that made traveling treacherous. Officials closed schools in cities including Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee and warned residents to stay indoors and avoid the frigid cold altogether.

The forecast is extreme: Wind chills were expected to drop as low as negative 55 Monday night in International Falls, Minn., and rebound to minus 25 to minus 35 on Tuesday. Farther south, the wind chill is expected to hit negative 50 in Chicago and minus 35 in Detroit.

School systems and day cares shut down as a precaution from the Dakotas to Maryland. But whether residents chose to stay home or head outside appeared to have less to do with the mercury and more with conditioning.

Emeric Dwyer of St. Paul wore only a London Fog trenchcoat and light scarf to protect himself from morning temperatures that got down to minus 20 in the Twin Cities. The 30-year-old was just glad his car started.

"It made a grinding noise I never heard before. But it started and got us here. Not too much to complain about," said Dwyer, who is originally from Duluth in the northern part of the state.

2 + 2 = 4

Public schools close in Midwest due to record breaking temperatures

Image
© Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

More than 800,000 Minnesota students will not be going to school Monday after the governor decided to close public schools statewide due to a cold front with bone-chilling temperatures not seen in nearly a decade.

Gov. Mark Dayton made the decision to close all public schools from K through 12 on Friday afternoon, after temperatures were estimated to reach as low as minus 30 degrees and wind chills as low as minus 50 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The decision has influenced other state officials across the Midwest to consider similar measures, with some already taking action.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has cancelled school for Milwaukee students on Monday, and is now considering closing schools statewide. Education officials in West Michigan have agreed to close schools if wind chills reach anywhere from minus 15 to minus 30, according to MLive. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple's office said closures for the whole state aren't likely, and that further decisions will be left up to the superintendents of each county, according to Valley News Live.

Boat

USA to the rescue! U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker asked to assist Antarctic rescue vessels trapped in ice due to #spiritofmawson fiasco

Image
© World Maritime News
U.S. Coast Guard's Polar Star
US Coast Guard ice breaker to assist ships beset in ice in Antarctica


The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) has requested the US Coast Guard's Polar Star icebreaker to assist the vessels MV Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long which are beset by ice in Commonwealth Bay.

The US Coast Guard has accepted this request and will make Polar Star available to assist.

The Polar Star has been en route to Antarctica since 3 December, 2013 - weeks prior to the MV Akademik Shokalskiy being beset by ice in Commonwealth Bay. The intended mission of the Polar Star is to clear a navigable shipping channel in McMurdo Sound to the National Science Foundation's Scientific Research Station. Resupply ships use the channel to bring food, fuel and other goods to the station. The Polar Star will go on to undertake its mission once the search and rescue incident is resolved.

RCC Australia identified the Polar Star as a vessel capable of assisting the beset vessels following MV Akademik Shokalskiy being beset by ice overnight on 24 December, 2013. RCC Australia has been in discussion with the US Coast Guard this week to ascertain if the Polar Star was able to assist once it reaches Antarctica.

The request for the Polar Star to assist the beset vessels was made by RCC Australia to the US Coast Guard on 3 January, 2014. The US Coast Guard officially accepted this request and released the Polar Star to RCC Australia for search and rescue tasking at 8.30am on 4 January, 2014.

The Polar Star will leave Sydney today after taking on supplies prior to its voyage to Antarctica.

Ice Cube

Frozen in time: Michigan lighthouses transformed into stunning giant icicles after being frozen solid by storm

These frozen lighthouses in Michigan could easily be mistaken for a scene from the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Standing in temperatures well below freezing, the 30ft structures have been transformed into giant icicles.

These stunning photographs were captured by American photographer Thomas Zakowski, 56, on a trip to two cities in Michigan after a storm battered the state.

Image

Entombed by the weather: This lighthouse in Michigan resembles a giant icicle after crashing waves were frozen around it by a severe winter storm
Mr Zakowski, from South Bend, Indiana, said: 'The lighthouses were frozen solid by the waves that came crashing down against the pier.

'What made the photograph of one of them so interesting was the fact that the storm was so intense it uplifted the anchors of the scaffolding which had been left there after painting.

Magic Hat

Turney Backpedals! Now Says Getting Stuck In Sea Ice "NOT Due To Climate Change"!

Image
© RocketNews
Professor Chris Turney
It appears that now even Professor Chris Turney admits blaming his expedition mishap on global warming was an astronomical stretch after all.

Yesterday I reported here, quoting flagship Swiss Daily (NZZ), that his communication director Alvin Stone blamed global warming for the vessel getting trapped in ice. The whole world laughed.

I couldn't believe it myself so I wrote an e-mail to Stone asking if they really believed this.

Stone answered circa 9 hours later:
Dear Pierre,

That is not quite the quote that I gave.

This is my understanding from talking to Chris and other glaciologists.
  • The 120km long ice berg B09B that is grounded in Commonwealth Bay broke away from the continent three years ago, very likely as a result of climate change.
  • B09B collided with the Mertz Glacier, smashing a large ice tongue that released the ice into that area.
  • It was a mix of this ice that was blown across the path of the Shokalskiy, which led to it being trapped and explains why much of the ice surrounding the ship is old ice.
Chris discusses the situation in a blog entry, here.

I believe you are probably aware of a number of papers this year that show land ice on Antarctica is in decline and that only seasonal sea ice has been expanding, likely due to the increase in westerly winds and potentially because of the decrease in salinity.

Thanks for your interest.

Ice Cube

The coldest winter in America in 20 years: Al Gore's stupidest global warming quotes

Snowed in truck
© unknown
America could actually use some global warming right about now. It is being projected that low temperatures across the Midwest could be 30 to 50 degrees below average on Monday morning. On Sunday, fans that attempted to tailgate before the playoff game between the 49ers and the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin were discovering that their beers were actually turning to ice before they could drink them. That is cold. But things are going to get really chilly when nightfall arrives. In fact, it is being projected that much of the nation will experience wind chill temperatures of more than 40 degrees below zero, and wind chill temperatures of more than 50 degrees below zero are expected in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota.

The weather is expected to be so cold that the governor of Minnesota has actually decided to close public schools statewide on Monday. The last time that happened was back in 1997. The reason why the governor of Minnesota did this is because when temperatures get this low they can literally be life threatening. When wind chill temperatures get down to about 50 below zero, if your skin is exposed you can literally develop frostbite in about five minutes. This is being called the coldest day in America in 20 years, and these cold temperatures have many Americans wondering what ever happened to all of that "global warming" that Al Gore and other "climate scientists" have been warning us about for so many years.

If the planet really is getting significantly warmer, our winters should not be like this. Back in the year 2000, one prominent "climate scientist" boldly declared that future generations of children "just aren't going to know what snow is."

Oh really?

Books

Rescue efforts for trapped Antarctic voyage disrupt serious science

Image
© Andrew Peacock/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An image from one of the passengers of the Akademik Shokalskiy shows the Russian research ship icebound off Antarctica.
Early this morning, I received an e-mail message from one of many polar scientists whose important and costly field research in Antarctica has been seriously disrupted by the diversion of icebreakers to try to evacuate the journalists, tourists, crew and scientists on an unessential "expedition" aboard a chartered Russian ship.

You can read the note - from Joe McConnell, an American ice-sheet researcher I met in 2004 in Greenland - after a summary of the situation.

Of course the evacuation of the trapped ship, which will require helicopters given the impassible nature of the thick sea ice in the area, is vital. But when you consider the cost and risk attending the operation, and the impact on other science, this raises questions about the advisability of this voyage in the first place.

If you follow the discussion around #SpiritOfMawson - the Twitter hashtag for the project - you'll also note how this misadventure has energized climate change contrarians, offering a distraction from serious research on the impact of climate change on Antarctica.

The Spirit of Mawson expedition - a mashup of adventure travel, media event and science - was billed this way by organizers:
The Australasian Antarctic Expedition will truly meld science and adventure, repeating century old measurements to discover and communicate the changes taking place in this remote and pristine environment.
On the website, the planners included a long justification of the trip on the basis of the science that would be undertaken. The prime goal was a fresh assessment of ice, ocean and ecological conditions on the stretch of Antarctic coast south of Australia and New Zealand a century after an arduous expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson did the same. In 2012, Smithsonian ran a great piece on that effort, "The Most Terrible Polar Exploration Ever: Douglas Mawson's Antarctic Journey."

Igloo

'Life-threatening' cold bites US Midwest, heads east

South Bronx
© Reuters/Mike Segar
A woman and her son make their way up a snow covered sidewalk in the South Bronx section of New York City, January 3, 2014.

As the Midwestern United States shivered through the region's lowest temperatures in two decades and forecasters warned that life-threatening cold was heading eastward, officials in Chicago and other districts said schools would be closed on Monday.

Icy conditions snarled travel across the Midwest and thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, days after the Northeast was hammered by the first winter storm of the season.

"The coldest temperatures in almost two decades will spread into the northern and central U.S. today behind an arctic cold front," the National Weather Service said on Sunday. "Combined with gusty winds, these temperatures will result in life-threatening wind chill values as low as 60 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit/minus 51 degrees Celsius)."

In weather that cold, frostbite can set in on uncovered skin in a matter of minutes, experts warned. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton ordered all public schools in the state closed on Monday to protect children from dangerously cold weather. Chicago public schools followed suit - reversing an earlier decision - saying in a statement on its website that it would be dangerous for children to commute to school amid sub-zero temperatures and high winds.

The NWS said the widespread chill was a result of a relatively infrequent alignment of weather conditions, allowing the Arctic polar vortex to be displaced unusually far south.

"The weather pattern across North America right now is set up to be very favorable for the southward transport of Arctic air," said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

"It's not going to be long-lived," he added. "By the end of the week the temperatures definitely start to moderate across the whole of the country."