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Fri, 17 Sep 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Airplane

Brutal Winter is causing 'desperation' sez travel agent

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© Scott Olson/Getty Images
Snow and ice covers the shoreline of Lake Michigan on Feb. 18, 2014 near Chicago, Ill.
Shannon Frauenholtz has had it with winter. Barely able to stomach the television news with its images of snowbound cars, she heads to the tanning salon, closes her eyes and imagines she's back in Mexico, where she's already vacationed once this winter.

She's toyed with the idea of joining her mother in Hawaii or just driving to an indoor water park, figuring that while the palm trees might be plastic and the "beach" smells of chlorine, at least it's warm.

"I don't need a vacation. I don't need the relaxation," said Frauenholtz, of New Ulm, Minn. "I just need the heat."

All over the Midwest and the East Coast, travel agents are being inundated with a simple request: Get me out of here. And travelers fortunate enough to have escaped are begging hotels to let them stay a little longer.

2 + 2 = 4

Record-low temperatures set in Michigan; schools close

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© Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press
Anne Cucchiara of Washington Township shields her face from the freezing temperatures and high winds while walking on Washington Blvd. in downtown Detroit on Friday, January 24, 2014.
Some Michigan schools are closed as record-breaking subzero temperatures plunge much of the state into a deeper freeze.

Detroit reached zero degrees, a smidge from the record of -1 degrees set Feb. 28, 1994. Flint, Saginaw and White Lake all broke records also set that year, according to the National Weather Service. White Lake got coldest overnight, at -18 degrees.

It's the most frigid winter in recent memory, and it isn't going anywhere yet.

"We're kind of locked and loaded in this pattern where we get these storms coming through, at least for the next week," weather-service meteorologist Deb Elliott said. "None of the data I'm looking at shows us warming up to normal, average temperatures this time of year."

The average temperature in Detroit this time of year is about 35 degrees, she said.

Wind chill advisories are in effect, and Detroit Public Schools are among those affected by closings. The high in Detroit today is expected to be in the teens.

Igloo

Kansas to Massachusetts: Up to a foot of snow to fall across 1,300 miles

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March may not come in like a lion everywhere across the nation, but winter will roar during the first several days of the month and impact more than 100 million people.

Snow will expand from the northern Rockies and central Plains to portions of the Midwest this weekend, reaching the Northeast early next week.

The adverse winter conditions will develop Friday into Saturday over the Plains and is forecast to shift slowly eastward Sunday and Monday.

People traveling by road or airways should expect major long-lasting delays as this area of snow expands eastward and crawls along.

Bizarro Earth

Northern Lights illuminate the UK

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© Brian Doyle
The display, which is caused by electrically charged particles from the Sun entering the Earth's atmosphere, led to scenes such as this one at the Stonehaven war memorial, Aberdeenshire.
The Aurora Borealis - better known as the Northern Lights - has been giving rare and spectacular displays over parts of the UK, from the north of Scotland to as far south as Essex and Gloucestershire.

The lights have also been clearly visible in places such as Orkney, Norfolk and south Wales.

Snowflake Cold

Near-record breaking subzero temperatures in Midwest U.S.

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70 Days With Subzero Temperatures


The number of days with subzero temperatures has reached record or near-record levels for many Midwest cities this winter. We have the rankings for several of these cities, starting with two locations that will log day 70 of subzero temperatures on Friday.

Note: A subzero day is one where the temperature fell below zero at any one point during a particular calendar day.

International Falls, Minn.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 69 through Feb. 27
  • Friday will mark day number 70, tying the all-time record for the period of Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 set in 1977-1978.

Camera

NASA image shows Polar Vortex plunging southward into U.S.

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© NASA
NASA today released this image of the polar vortex, the weird atmospheric twitch that flooded into the United States last month. The purple wavy line above that wanders down from the Arctic shows the below-average temperatures that set cold records in many states.

From NASA's Facebook page:

"The Big Chill - Blistering cold air from the Arctic plunged southward this winter, breaking U.S. temperature records. A persistent pattern of winds spins high above the Arctic in winter. The winds, known as the polar vortex, typically blow in a fairly tight circular formation. But in late December 2013 and early January 2014, the winds loosened and frigid Arctic air spilled farther south than usual, deep into the continental United States. On Jan. 6, 2014, alone, approximately 50 daily record low temperatures were set, from Colorado to Alabama to New York, according to the National Weather Service. In some places temperatures were 40 degrees Fahrenheit colder than average."

Igloo

Next freeze will cover two-thirds of country, weather service says

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© Chad Weisser/iReport
Don't pack away those winter coats and hats yet!

We're in for another blast of cold Arctic air, which is gearing up to roll across most of the country this week, but it won't be as bad as the shocking freeze in January.

The National Weather Service says some places from the central U.S. to the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys could be having some frosty high temperatures, as low 20 to 30 degrees below normal.

If you call it Polar Vortex Part II (or III or IV), meteorologists say you'd be wrong -- nor was the first big cold spell of 2014, strictly speaking, a strike of the Polar Vortex.

The Polar Vortex stays anchored over Baffin Bay, to the north of Canada, and doesn't move, says CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. But its shifting pattern allows cold Arctic air to spill southward into the United States.

"When it weakens, this allows the cold Arctic air that is often mislabeled the "Polar Vortex" to spill southward across the U.S. border and bring us bone-chilling temperatures," Morris explained.

Snowflake

U.S. Polar Vortex returns after short period of Spring weather

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© Independent
The US is experiencing a repeat of January's icy weather, which saw the Niagara Falls freeze over.
After a brief taste of spring weather, parts of the US are being plagued once again by the polar vortex.

The worst of the icy weather will centre on the upper Midwest, the Climate Prediction Centre predicts.

"Record cold temperatures are possible for the High Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes later this week," the US National Weather Service said in an online forecast.

There are reports that Minneapolis has been hit by temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below normal, with current reports stating that it is -16 C.

Cities including Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, are also expected to experience unusually low temperatures, with the mercury in some areas dropping by as much as 40 degrees to below 0 C by midweek, according to AccuWeather.

"The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds," AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told USA Today.

Snowflake Cold

Confirmed: Winter misery index

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© CBS
A new winter misery index confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones: This has been one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes.

And nowhere has been hit harder, relatively, than Detroit.

Sure Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia and Moline, Ill., are in the midst of their third most extreme winters in more than 60 years. But Detroit, a city that is trying to crawl out of bankruptcy, is also slogging through what so far is the most extreme winter it has had since Harry Truman was president, at least, according to a winter extremity index created by a National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Mayes Boustead.

The index is based on cold temperatures and snowfall. And so far Detroit has had more than 6 1/2 feet of snow and 100 days when the thermometer plunged below the freezing mark. Of two dozen cities studied, Detroit alone is in the middle of its harshest winter since 1950.

In better weather, downtown Detroit's riverfront walk bustles with bicyclists, runners, walkers and people watchers. Lunchtime on Tuesday wasn't better weather. With temperatures in the low 20s and a biting wind, Paul Welch was practically alone on his 2-mile trek. He was mostly dressed for the weather, with a fleece pullover, ski jacket and gloves - but no hat. Consequently, his face was pink.

Igloo

Greenpeace co-founder tells US Senate Earth's geologic history fundamentally contradicts CO2 climate fears

Patrick Moore
© Tory Aardvark.com
Dr Patrick Moore was one of the co-founders of Green NGO, Greenpeace, for several years Moore was chairman of Greenpeace in Canada, until he became concerned at the political direction Greenpeace was taking, and left the NGO.

Moore is far from popular with his former NGO and other Greens, in January 2012 he spoke about the Green folly of wind power describing it as "a destroyer of wealth and negative to the economy."

Then in July 2012 Moore caused more Green outrage and upset when he attacked the warming alarmists for their attempts to cover up the lack of warming for what was then 15 years.

"These people are either completely naive about the relationship between CO2 and plants or they are making this up as a way of deflecting attention from the lack of warming for the past 15 years", said Moore.

In August that year Moore gave an interview to the Washington Times:
Ideology is negative in so far as it tends to divide people into warring camps with no possible resolution. My late Greenpeace friend Bob Hunter suggested early on that in order for environmentalism to become a mass movement, it would have to be based on ideology, or as he called it "popular mythology," because "not everybody can be a Ph.D. ecologist."
On February 25th 2014 Moore appeared before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, his former NGO really will not like what he had to say: