Friday, January 10, 2014

Weather Whiplash: As Polar Vortex Brings Deep Freeze, Is Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change?

Record cold temperatures are being recorded across the Midwest and Eastern United States again today as a so-called polar vortex of dense, frigid air has descended as far south as Texas and Florida. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below average in parts of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska. In Brimson, Minnesota, the temperature fell to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Fargo, North Dakota, recorded temperatures as low as 32 degrees below zero. In Illinois, motorists are being urged to stay off the roads for a second day, and schools remain closed in Chicago and other cities. In New York, the temperature dropped by nearly 50 degrees over a few hours on Monday. We are joined by Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: In Brimson, Minnesota, the temperature fell to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Fargo, North Dakota, recorded temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. In Illinois, motorists are being urged to stay off the roads for a second day. Schools remain closed in Chicago and other cities. Here in New York, the temperature dropped nearly 50 degrees over a few hours on Monday. Central Park has just hit an all-time low for January 7th at 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record was set back in 1896.
The cause? Well, it’s called a polar vortex, a dense frigid air that’s descended as far south as Texas and Florida. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below average in parts of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska. Read More