Record-Breaking Cold Front Sweeps Across U.S.

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Record-Breaking Cold Front Sweeps Across U.S.

Gunnar Strom, Contributor

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Unbeknownst to most of us here in the Valley of the Sun, the more northern states have recently been getting blown away by a massive Arctic cold sweep. The cold has been getting as low as -50℉ in some places.

“You’re talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center. Many low-temperature records have been broken in the past week, and many more are in danger of being broken, such as Chicago, Illinois’s -27℉ record set on Jan. 20, 1985, or Dubuque, Iowa’s -32℉ record set on Jan. 7, 1887. Even places that are not going to have their record overtaken are still in danger of very low temperatures, and in many places, the temperatures are just turning more and more deadly. The true nature of the beast is the fact that it doesn’t just stop there. Wind chill, the effect that the wind has on cold weather, can lower the temperature of the surrounding areas even further, sometimes 10-15 degrees. This means that temperatures that just sound cold can actually become deadly very quickly.

The National Weather Service has called this a national emergency and has warned that any activity outside should be kept to a minimum and people should only drive if they absolutely need to since the cold, snow, and ice make it incredibly difficult to see and drive. So far, at least 9 deaths have been confirmed that were related to the cold and snow. Two of them were in a car crash in Indiana after bad weather conditions made it hard to drive. There were also 3 deaths related to the storm in Iowa, and another man was fatally struck by a snowplow in Illinois. Two more were found dead outside their homes in Detroit and Milwaukee. According to the National Weather Service, a wind chill of -25℉ can freeze skin within 15 minutes, posing a huge national health risk.

Aside from the obvious dangers and public safety hazard that the storm has created, there is another big issue with the polar vortex that many don’t realize: its effect on travel and production. As of now, there have been 14,867 delays caused by the storm, with those numbers expected to rise. There have also been 3,601 flight cancellations. Flint, Michigan, one of the states with the coldest temperatures during the polar vortex, is the location of the main General Motors (GM) car assembly plant. The plant has suspended production for the next couple of days due to extreme temperatures.

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/weather/sns-bc-us–winter-weather-20190129-story.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2019-01-29/record-breaking-cold-coming-to-midwest-after-snowstorm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/01/29/polar-vortex-descends-midwest-with-life-threatening-wind-chills/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.01ac6b7e08c5

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/polar-vortex-2019-01-30-winter-storm-jayden-latest-snow-storm-weather-live-updates/

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Gunnar Strom, Contributor

Hey, my name is Gunnar Strom and I am a 14 year old freshman. I like to skateboard and play the drums in my spare time. I have a younger sister and no...

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Record-Breaking Cold Front Sweeps Across U.S.