News / USA

Polar Vortex Triggers Record Cold in Much of US

  • A pedestrian covers up against single digit temperatures in New York, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Traffic backs up along I-75 due to icy conditions on pavement in Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Ice in the Mississippi River flows past the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Isabella and Zadok Graff check on their family's beef cattle during freezing temperatures in Middletown, Illinois, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • A man is silhouetted against the arctic sea smoke rising off Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Matt Frame brushes off a Buick at Ray Laethem Buick-GMC in Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Commuters gather under warming lamps on one of Chicago's famous "El" lines as they experience wind chills expected to reach far below zero, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Two pedestrians go down a street in Chicago's South Loop with temperatures well below zero, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Time and temperature signs in Lawrence, Kansas, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Daryl Daugherty clears the sidewalk in front of his home in Carmel, Indiana, Jan. 6, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Relief is on the way to the United States, which has seen days of life-threatening cold due to record low temperatures.
 
Temperatures are expected to rise to near normal in the Midwest by Thursday, and spring-like weather is expected in the east by the end of the week.
 
Temperatures in all or parts of each of the 50 states were below freezing at some point Tuesday, even in Hawaii, where it was minus six degrees Celsius on top of the state's highest mountain.
 
The cold that froze over midwestern cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis spread to the eastern part of the country Tuesday. It was minus 10 degrees Celsius in Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Boston, with the wind chill making it feel much colder.
 
Temperatures also reached record lows in the normally temperate south.

Watch related video by VOA's Arash Arabasadi

Polar Vortex Hits Northeast USi
X
January 07, 2014
A cold, low-pressure system is freezing much of the United States. It’s called a Polar Vortex, and as the name suggests, it usually hangs out around the North and South Poles. But this rotating mass of cold dense air is being pushed south from its usual place in northern Canada, sending temperatures plummeting. The Midwest bears most of the brunt, but as Arash Arabasadi reports, almost no one is being spared.

The bitter cold shut down schools, disrupted train service, and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights. At least five deaths have been reported nationwide.
 
The frigid weather was caused by what meteorologists call a polar vortex -- a rotating mass of cold dense air that usually stays in place in northern Canada, but was pushed south by the jet stream.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Al Gore from: D.C.
January 07, 2014 9:42 AM
It is definitely the global warming that is causing this cold.

In Response

by: Markt from: Virginia
January 09, 2014 11:43 AM
while I live in VA now, I grew up outside of Buffalo, NY...the weather there is a contrast of extremes, being right off Lake Erie. Summers are brutally hot and humid and last for 4-5 months, winters are bone chilling cold with lots of snow (lake effect) and wind chills in the low teens as a matter of cause, and that also lasts 4-5 months...Spring and Fall are squeezed in there somewhere. I left that area when I joined the military in 1981 (and never looked back, lol). This has been going on for far longer than my time living there, and longer than all this nonsense talk of Global Warming. While I do think climate change, pollution and all that contribute, this has been going on for centuries. Not a 'new' phenomenon, by any stretch of the imagination.

In Response

by: Barrie from: Calgary, AB Canada
January 08, 2014 7:47 PM
For certain. Anyone with any knowledge of weather systems should realise this. The Fox "News" people are falling all over themselves to try to reopen the so-called debate over Global warming. Do they really think that New York, Washington or Chicago constitute the entire globe's climate and weather?
If anyone thinks it has never been this cold wherever they live should look up newspaper archives or weather records from the 1700s (you know, around when the U.S. was a new nation) or early 1800s. They didn't have a weather service like we have today, but there are plenty of pictures and written accounts of winter conditions then. Horses were well-bundled to withstand the chill while hitched to carriages, and in the latter, there were no automatic climate control systems to keep the occupants cozy.
Meanwhile, while North America is colder than usual, the Indian sub-continent is suffering through an unusually hot period, even for their summer. Temperatures in the mid-50s (Celsius) have been common for several days, causing zoos to treat their charges with frozen fish and steaks and other treats (suitable for the species) to help them cope with the heat. I suppose that area is not part of the globe that is being considered by the sensationalist media.


by: Markt from: Virginia
January 07, 2014 8:43 AM
Here in Virginia it is 11 degrees outside, wind chill is -8 and the temperature inside my house is a balmy 59 degrees thanks to a transformer on the power pole outside our house going sour last night. Took the folks at REC an hour to fix it in the frigid night air (kudos to them, I salute you) and restore power to my house and the last two houses on our lane. It is not only cold outside, but cold inside as well, lol...hoping that it warms up into the 60s in the house my tonight....

In Response

by: Barrie from: Calgary, AB
January 08, 2014 7:56 PM
Our next-door neighbour's son and family live in the National Capital Area, so they (the parents, anyway) have seen this before, but the high humidity along the coast creates cold like we don't experience inland where the winter humidity is much lower. We hope they and their neighbours - heck, all affected by the weather - are doing well and keeping as warm as possible.
And don't forget the utility workers, plus all emergency personnel, including EMT s and tow truck operators, who have to work in the nasty conditions. They are real live heroes, many of whom don't get enough credit for their work.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid