A week ago, we were wrapping up a six-day stretch of above-average temperatures and some melting. But Wednesday brought a different story and a different season, after officially bottoming out at minus 9 degrees in the morning. And as cold as it is Wednesday, it’s not a record. February has been cold, with way more days below average than above — and Wednesday was the coldest.
Ahhh, the polar vortex — a term that garnered much more than its 15 minutes of fame last winter. I mean it sounds pretty awesome, like a mutant tornado composed of icicles and doom, and though that’d be something to see, the polar vortex is no polar-bear-nado, but a large scale weather system that has been in existence long before any of us.
With 2014 starting to wind down and a whole new set of Top 10 Weather Days just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to take a trip down memory lane. The past year was full of weather extremes. On the cusp of the change from fall to winter, Kylie Bearse sat down with the rest of the WCCO weather team to look back at all Minnesota has endured this past year.
The winter of 2013 was the coldest in 50 years. And before it was over, businesses and homeowners faced a fuel crisis like never before. That’s why the Gov. Mark Dayton called a “Propane Summit” with industry reps, railroads and farmers on Tuesday.
It’s been nine months since our bitter cold winter ended. Now, delivery rooms are bracing themselves for a Polar Vortex baby boom. All 39 maternity rooms and the NICU are full this weekend at a Des Moines hospital.
The folks at the Farmers’ Almanac can be forgiven for feeling smug: The 198-year-old publication correctly predicted the past nasty winter while federal forecasters blew it. Memories of the polar vortex and relentless snowstorms won’t soon be forgotten.
Isaac and Terri Savaryn looks at his losses while surveying row upon row of his Marquette variety of grapes, growing on a hillside overlooking Lake Waconia. Despite most of the vines appearing lush and green, they hold half the grape clusters that would be growing in a normal year.
Unseasonably cool temperatures will arrive next week in the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is not, however, the second coming of a polar vortex, something the National Weather Service says it regrets tweeting earlier this week.
Think this past cold and snowy winter contradicts global warming? Think again …A top-ten tally of 50 days with minus-zero lows in the Twin Cities, a record 60 days of minus-zero temps in Duluth, havoc-wreaking snow and ice in the South and nearly 40 inches of above-normal snowfall in major Northeast cities including Philadelphia, New York City and Boston …
Temperatures plunged well below zero for the first few days of March, but that didn’t stop throngs from lining up to buy their first ice cream of the season in Moorhead. The country’s oldest Dairy Queen, in Moorhead, has opened on the first day meteorological spring for decades.
Shannon Frauenholtz has had it with winter. Barely able to stomach the television news with its images of snowbound cars, she heads to the tanning salon, closes her eyes and imagines she’s back in Mexico, where she’s already vacationed once this winter.
Minnesota….Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty? Dave had some fun this morning getting listeners to chime in about what is actually good about this winter. Here’s a few examples…do you have more to share?
The death of a motorist whose car got stuck in the snow in McLeod County may be weather related. The sheriff’s department says it received a report Monday of a man who had been missing since Sunday night.
Another round of subzero temperatures, high winds and drifting snow forced most Minnesota schools to stay closed Monday, with Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools already canceling classes for Tuesday.
Another band of arctic air is descending into the northern U.S., bringing a wave of frigid temperatures expected to linger for most of the week. Temperatures plunged below zero in North Dakota and northern Minnesota on Monday morning.
The polar vortex that gripped much of the country has moved on, but don’t get too comfortable — another round of frigid air is expected to arrive next week across the northern U.S., from the Dakotas eastward to New England. It’ll be cold, but not the life-threatening cold of last week.
Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast has its price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.
The extreme cold has made driving a challenge for many across the metro area. From cars that didn’t start to fender benders along every stretch of highway, this polar blast translates into big bucks for repair shops. The majority of those shops have holding areas filled with dozens of banged up vehicles waiting to be repaired.
While the polar vortex brings a gut-punch of cold, it also brings with it something far less obvious: black ice. While seeing snow often cues drivers to slow down, what likely isn’t seen in extreme cold is ice, which can even form from condensation caused by car exhaust.
A whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a “polar vortex” descended Monday into much of the U.S., pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama.
Hundreds of school districts, businesses and government offices are closed as an arctic blast plunged temperatures to subzero lows not seen in nearly two decades in Minnesota. The National Weather Service posted a wind chill warning through Tuesday. Forecasters say wind chill temperatures are expected to drop as low as 65 below zero.
Monday’s polar vortex is plunging millions of homes into dangerously cold conditions. Water pipes can burst, furnaces can be overworked, and carbon monoxide can build up if you’re using a fireplace that’s not properly ventilated. The CDC has a list of precautions that can help keep you safe during the subzero snap.