While there are certainly places in the United States that are accustomed to harsh winter weather, and Canadians have had their fair share of frigid temps, the cold weather happening now is very much unheard of.
I live in Alabama and I can see my breath this morning. Not a common happening here any time of year. We are about 50/50 for years that we can wear shorts on Christmas. I don’t even own a coat! I guess I’m staying in for a while!
The weather in North America right now is the coldest it has been in a quarter century! There are window breaking under the harsh conditions in some areas, and it has been reported that sharks are passing away from the cold off of Cape Cod! Areas that have the popular polar plunges are canceling them because the cold is just too dangerous.
The latest news is that Niagara Falls is frozen! Niagara Falls is actually three separate waterfalls that sit just between the border of New York on the Americans side and Ontario on the Canadian side.
It is a popular destination for tourists year round, especially for honeymooners. The falls boast the biggest rate of flow for any waterfalls of their height in North America. The drop being more than 165 feet straight down.
It is also the largest source of electricity in New York. It produces 2-4 gigawatts a year of electricity for the state.
The arctic blast happening right now covers much of North America, spanning from Canada, to the American northwest all the way to the Northeast. There are reported freezing temperatures in the Deep South, in places where it’s virtually unheard of to have these temperatures.
The east coast is experiencing weather that is consistently in the teens and 20s, and Wednesday morning saw the poor souls in International Falls, Minnesota having to face
-36! I cannot even imagine! That’s so cold that it can freeze antifreeze! Brrr!
It’s only expected to get colder as the new year begins. The national average for the opening day of 2018 will be 10 degrees. 10! Some places, nearly a third, will remain well below zero.
Those who would use this cold snap as a way to discredit claims of global warming are sadly mistaken. Climate and weather are not the same, as much as some think they are. One meteorologist explained it well. Weather is like your moods from day to day, while climate is like your overall personality. Even a happy and upbeat person has bad days! A world map will show that while is much colder than usual in the United States of America, it is still warmer globally that it has been in the past. That’s the difference between weather and climate.
What makes this particular weather pattern unusual is the length of it. Cold snaps happen all the time, especially in the northern part of North America, but they usually span only a few days. This arctic blast is set to last well more than a week
Twenty four places, or more, had record breaking low temps on Thursday. Cities in places like New Jersey and Ohio reached single digits. In New York, Buffalo has had below zero temperatures, which haven’t been seen there for over 13 years. The cold isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, either.
If you are in a place not accustomed to these harsh temperatures, the NOAA stresses the importance of bundling up to protect yourself and your family from the danger of frostbite and hypothermia.
This pattern of cold is expected to last for several more days at least. Weather radar can only predict about two weeks out, so more will be know about the longevity of this cold blast as the days go on.
In contrast, some of the western areas of the continent are seasonally warmer than usual. Alaska is having is warmest December in some time, and Californians are basking in warmth and sunshine. There are records on both sides happening together.
North America has the “honor” of being the one place on earth experiencing atypical, colder than normal weather right now.
Today is New Year’s eve and Times Square, in New York City, is home to one of the largest celebrations on the world. The forecast is calling for what might be the coldest NYE on-record, which might mean some choose to stay home.
The weather is affecting so much that cities aren’t used to handling, such as tracks cracking from the cold, affecting the commuters of Boston and many car accidents in Michigan due to heavy snow and icy road conditions.
In Omaha, Nebraska, a wheelchair bound woman ended up in the street because the sidewalk was packed with so much snow. An 83 year old woman died of exposure after an accident in North Dakota.
Officials are asking that citizens be aware of any vulnerable persons, such as the elderly and the homeless who are very susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia in these harsh conditions.
Bundle up, most of America. 2018 is coming and it is cold for the foreseeable future! Take care of yourselves and others, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
H/T – Source