The Polar Vortex – the swirl of super cold air that is normally around the North Pole – broke into three pieces, sending what can only be described as “stupid cold air” (I’m pretty sure that’s the scientific term for it) into the Midwest, and much of Canada this past week.
Though our president doesn’t seem to understand the difference between weather and climate, most rational people are aware that many extreme weather events like the Polar Vortex splitting happen, in part, due to climate change (as we explained a few weeks ago).
Glad you asked! The polar vortex is supposed to stay at the north pole but dwindling sea ice (from climate change) has caused the vortex to split in three places, and that’s why it’s cold down here. Polar vortex splits like this will become more common as climate change worsens.
— A Science Enthusiast 🚀 (@aSciEnthusiast) January 29, 2019
Presidential ignorance aside, those of us here in the Midwest saw temperatures as low as -40 C (which, conveniently, is also -40 in Fahrenheit), with wind chills as low as -51 C (-60 F) . It only got down to about -23 C (-10 F), with a wind chill of -40.
As quickly as it seemed to come, the Polar Vortex left us, and here in Indianapolis, we’re going to have a heat wave this weekend with temperatures possibly exceeding 4 C (40 F).
But despite the cold temps we had, some people still managed to make it outside and play around.
These are their stories:
1. Freezing Our Pants Off In Minnesota
2. How Cold Is It In The Midwest? Bubbles Are Freezing.
How cold is it in the Midwest? Bubbles are freezing.
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) January 30, 2019
3. Minnesota’s Officers
4. “Is Iowa really THAT cold?”
“Is Iowa really THAT cold?” pic.twitter.com/htxSZzy2QB
— Taylor Scallon (@taylor_scallon) January 31, 2019
5. Got So Cold Last Night That Our Vodka Froze! For Reference The Freezing Point For Vodka Is -16F (-27C)
6. Letting My Car Heat Up During The Polar Vortex
7. You Know It’s Cold When The Toilet Paper Is Frozen In The Outhouse
8. The Detroit River, Frozen All The Way To Canada
9. We Had A House Fire South Of Cameron Today. Our Chief Mitch Hansen Thought It Was A Splash Park
10. Frozen Chicken Eggs
11. Going To Daycare When It’s -30 Outside
12. When These Are The Inside Doors… You Know We Are Polar Vortexing
13. Eye Lashes On Fleek! Is That A Thing? Is This The New Winter Running Fashion Statement?
14. What Happens When You Blow Bubbles In A Freezing Weather
15. Current Level Of Snow In Madison: One Whole Mingo
16. One Cold Rowdy Dog On The Bulkhead. Still Looking For Leftover Canteen Snacks
17. It’s So Cold In Iowa That We Froze Antifreeze
18. Meanwhile In Wisconsin
19. It’s So Cold In Chicago They Set Commuter Train Tracks On Fire To Warm Them
20. My God. We’ve Reached The Day After Tomorrow
21. A Firefighter After Working In The -40° Polar Vortex
22. My Sister Opened Her Car Door In Chicago
23. Trying To Make The Most Of This -40 F Weather
24. Lunch In Chicago Today. I Like Mine Al Dente
25. Meanwhile In Minnesota. The Tank Exploded
26. My Brother Was On One Of The Few Flights Into Chicago This Morning. He Took This Photo Of Frozen Lake Michigan From The Plane
27. After Two Days Of Freezing Rain, This Mold Came Out
28. House Is Freezing From The Inside During The Coldest Day In A Decade
29. Letting My Car Heat Up During The Polar Vortex
30. The Beauty The Cold Brings To South Dakota
31. Polar Vortex (Temp. 16 F /-9 C)
32. A Sheet Of Ice Formed Between The Glass Panes Of This Door
33. Polar Vortex Lesson: Don’t Try To Hang Dry Your Clothes Outside
34. This Flash-Frozen Fire Hydrant
35. This Door At Work In Minnesota
36. I Just Wanted To See How Long It Would Take For An Egg To Freeze Outside And Also What Would Become Of My Egg
37. My Neighbor’s Furnace Exhaust Is Creating An Interesting Icicle
38. [Water] Is Freezing As Soon As It Comes Out Of Our Faucet Because It’s So Cold
39. My Beard Froze While Waiting Bus. I Wish It Would Be Summer Already
40. It Was So Cold In Chicago That The Paint Came Off My Car
h/t Bored Panda