Baby It's Cold Outside

Yes, the world realizes that it is January and that correlates to it being the dead of winter and the coldest month of the season. What people did not expect was the deathly cold that settled on January 30th and 31st, the worst of it occurring early Thursday morning.

A polar vortex circling around the United States dropped the temperature drastically in a matter of two days leaving many states in a bitter chill. Chicago became colder than both Antarctica and Siberia and many states were hit with warnings of snow squalls. Believe me, I had never heard of squalls before the 30th but seeing it first-hand really let me understand its true meaning. A snow squall is a sudden, heavy snow storm, with strong winds. On campus here in South Orange, it lasted only for about twenty minutes with visibility only about ten feet in front of you.

The polar vortex originated from the Arctic Circles bringing winds with temperatures as low as about forty degrees below zero to many states across the Midwest. Schools and businesses in the area had to close down for the two days for safety reasons. Chicago train tracks were literally set on fire as a way to melt the snow and ice that had settled on the tracks.

The record low temperatures were said to be extremely dangerous and people were advised to stay indoors. Ten minutes in such low temperatures could cause frostbite, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing. Sadly, over the two days, at least eight deaths have been related to the harsh weather conditions.

Our hearts go out to those affected by this harsh climate. Our only hope is that this is the worst this winter has to bring as we sit by the fire and slowly wait for Spring to arrive.