The beginning of the year has been excruciatingly cold for many residents living in the Midwest and Northeast. Subzero temperatures and over a foot of snow has been moving across Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Many of the other states in the Midwest have experienced colder than normal temperatures, even the Deep South has been penetrated by this intense jet stream of cold air that traveled from the North Pole. This inclement weather has made it difficult for travel on roadways and has caused hundreds of flight delays all over the country. There have also been a number of deaths due to the bone-chilling temperatures that have moved from the central states into the Midwest and northeast.
This storm cell had the perfect ingredients to break records, and it definitely did in many states. In January, Georgia is typically in the mid 50’s. As of this year, Georgia is experiencing temperatures in the mid 20’s. This cold weather did not come unaccompanied though; it brought winds of 35 mph or more in some states. These gusts can make -10 degrees feel like -30 degrees if you are not dressed accordingly. In these types of conditions, frostbite can occur within five minutes on exposed skin. That is why it is important to stay prepared for the cold conditions. The National Weather Service’s lead Meteorologist urged residents in the highly-impacted states to stay inside if they could, because the weather was THAT cold.
The snow stopped on Monday for many of the Midwestern states, but that does technically not mean that these states are out of the clear. New York even enacted its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure to protect the homeless on Saturday. A meteorologist with the Weather Channel said that this may be the coldest air of the season, and it definitely included life threatening winds and heavy accumulations.
The snow fell through the Midwest and Northeast on Sunday, and almost every state received even a small amount of accumulation. Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana all received over a foot in some parts of the states. Snow also blanketed Chicago on late Saturday, according to weather.com. They endured lows of 15 below zero and negative double digits on Monday, and a large part of the state was under a winter weather warning.
The snow even reached as far as parts Tennessee and Alabama and made ground in Indianapolis by Sunday night. Indiana declared a state of emergency on Monday, and the Governor also declared a code red. That means that the only vehicles allowed on roads were emergency vehicles. The conditions were so cold that anyone not dressed properly and out in the weather for too long could easily get frostbite or hypothermia if out in the brutal cold for too long. Many states took action to prevent people from sustaining these problems. Most schools, businesses, and government buildings were closed on Monday and Tuesday because of record breaking cold temperatures.