Nearly 90% of the United States is frozen as severe and deadly temperatures hit the country on Tuesday. The average temperature on Tuesday is barely over 14 degrees. In New York, temperatures reached a 118-year low. In Philadelphia, dangerous wind chills are expected to make temperatures feel like 15 to 20 degrees below zero throughout the day. The good news is that the country is expected to start thawing on Wednesday. Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates.
UPDATE: The Hurricanes were shut down by a blizzard in Buffalo when the NHL postponed the hockey game between Carolina and Buffalo.
UPDATE: As Breitbart News has been reporting, there will be below-freezing temperatures in all 50 states again on Tuesday.
What happens to the body in extreme cold?
Our bodies are built to protect their most precious machinery–vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs. When faced with bone-chilling cold, we shunt all available blood to these organs to keep them warm and functioning. That means that “extremities take the hit for the rest of the body,” said Lanigan, which is why your fingertips, toes, nose, and earlobes get so cold: They lose their blood.
It’s also why you may feel like urinating when you’re in very cold weather: Your kidneys get a lot of blood flow. (Though “the last thing you think about doing [in the cold] is peeing outside,” quipped McGinnis.)
Reduced blood flow to the extremities makes your legs and arms more sluggish. If you’re out long enough and your body temperature starts to drop, your metabolism–how your body processes energy–also slows, causing mental confusion.
There’s a saying that “cold makes you dumb,” McGinnis said–meaning it’s particularly dangerous if you have to make a crucial decision in the cold, like choosing a path on a hiking trail.
UPDATE: Water Main Breaks at Reagan National Airport
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) January 7, 2014
UPDATE: Some Florida Farmers Are Welcoming Cold Temperatures:
Now have you ever heard of a “cold boom”? Technically known as a cryoseismic boom, this phenomenon is reserved only for the coldest of temperatures, and considered pretty rare for the lower latitudes of the continental United States. The boom sound is created by a cryoseism, which is a mini explosion within the ground caused by the rapid expansion of frozen water.
This cool phenomenon shocked the Upper Midwest last weekend, and more recently parts of Canada including Toronto over the weekend, when temperatures crashed with the arrival of arctic cold fronts rapidly freezing any water and moisture underground. A quick search for “strange booms” on Twitter revealed these cryoseisms have been heard from Green Bay, to Chicago, to Toronto in the past week.
While considered harmless, these cryoseismic booms certainly caused a stir waking several people from their slumber.
UPDATE: A picture of Lake Michigan
— Google Earth Pics (@GoogleEarthPics) January 7, 2014
UPDATE: Here’s another way to look at the freezing temperatures:
— wusa9 (@wusa9) January 7, 2014
Wind chills Tuesday and Tuesday night may plunge as cold as the -30s. This could make travel life-threatening if you become stranded on a drifted road.
Blizzard warnings have been posted for Genesee, Erie and Wyoming Counties in western New York, including the Buffalo metro area. Snow will fall at the rate of at least 1-2 inches per hour. Over a foot of snow is likely within the 10-20 mile wide snowband. Local amounts over three feet are possible, particularly over the “Southtowns” of Buffalo.
UPDATE: Ice on Potomac
— Will Handsfield (@WHands80) January 7, 2014
Snowfall was forecast in southern states, including Oklahoma and Arkansas, on Wednesday. Hard freeze warnings extended from Texas to Florida.
Energy demand soared across many parts of the country, with US natural gas rising on Tuesday on expectations of a storage drawdown. That followed a record surge on Monday, when the price for natural gas for next-day delivery on the Transco pipeline into New York rose to $90 per million British thermal units, up 660 per cent from last week’s close and 20 times more than benchmark futures prices, according to the ICE Futures US exchange.
UPDATE: K-Mart Roof Collapses in Michigan
UPDATE: Cars at Standstill in Buffalo
Brutal in Buffalo: 4 degrees, heavy blowing snow, zero visibility, wind chill 20 below. Current weather at 1:15pm EST. Cars at a standstill.
— Nick Walker (@wxdude) January 7, 2014
Assuming the D.C. low this morning of 6 degrees holds, any high temperature at or below 26 degrees (guaranteed) will put today on the list. A high of 16 degrees or lower would make this the coldest day since the almost untouchable Jan. 19, 1994.
When it comes to wind chills, still running near and below zero at noon, D.C’s peak of -11 degrees earlier this morning is more or less in line with other big cold days. On Jan. 19, 1994, Washington reached -24 degrees for a wind chill.
UPDATE: Here’s a map of the dangerously cold temperatures across much of the east coast:
— NWS (@NWS) January 7, 2014
JetBlue said on its’ blog that it will consider reimbursement requests on a case-by-case basis. JetBlue is telling customers to submit a request for their extra costs while stranded and the airline will consider them.
Southwest started to resume some flights on Monday evening.
UPDATE: Check the status of your flights here:
UPDATE: 187 MILLION PEOPLE IMPACTED
Forecasters said some 187 million people in all could feel the effects of the “polar vortex” by the time it spreads across the country. Tennessee utility officials braced for near-record power demand, while Ohio prepared for its coldest temperatures in decades. Wind chill warnings stretched as far south as Florida.
With temperatures dropping into the single digits Tuesday, some record lows will be challenged or broken. Here are some record lows for Tuesday:
Allentown: -4 (1942)
Atlantic City: 4 (1884)
Mt. Pocono: -5 (1988)
Philadelphia: 7 (1988)
Reading: 6 (1998)
Trenton: 6 (1912)
Wilmington: 10 (1988)
This won’t be a long lasting polar outbreak since the weather pattern remains progressive. Temperatures will be back in the 20s on Wednesday, 30s on Thursday and around 50 by the weekend.
The Department of Homeless Services has issued a code blue alert, ramping up efforts to get people off the streets and into shelters
UPDATE: 118-Year Lows in NYC
Temperatures dipped so low in Manhattan the city froze itself a spot in history.
Jan. 7 is the coldest day in 118 years as Central Park fell to just 5 degrees, according to NBC 4 News, breaking a record set in 1896 when the temps hit 6 degrees.
Orange juice futures rose Monday as traders anticipated that cold weather might affect Florida’s citrus crop.
The actively traded March contract for frozen orange juice concentrate rose 3.85 cents, or 3 percent, to $1.436 a pound.
Florida is expecting temperatures to fall into the 30s in part of the state Tuesday, but a Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman said temperatures must be at 28 degrees or lower four hours straight for fruit to freeze badly.
More than 500 Amtrak passengers who spent the night onboard three trains stranded in snow in northern Illinois are finally heading to Chicago.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says Tuesday that buses are transporting about 300 passengers from two trains near Mendota, about 80 miles from Chicago.
A third train loaded with 217 people spent the night at a rail yard in Galesburg, about 150 miles from Chicago. Magliari says Amtrak is still deciding whether to let the train travel along a different route or whether passengers should be placed on buses as well.
The trains that got stuck in blowing and drifting snow were heading to Chicago from Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area and Quincy, Ill.
It is unclear exactly why many climate change organizations are installing new executives, but it appears they are following the professional sports paradigm: When a team loses more than it wins, you can’t fire all the players, but you can fire the coach.
The “polar vortex” that froze the U.S. Midwest caused a Northeast weather whiplash Tuesday as temperatures fell 50 degrees overnight as the brutal cold arrived.
Buffalo, N.Y., the state’s second-most-populous city, braced for up to 3 feet of snow and wind chills of at least 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit
New York counties west of the Catskill Mountains along the northern border of Pennsylvania expected wind chills of at least 40 below, the National Weather Service said.
A Chinese icebreaker that became trapped last week after coming to the rescue of a Russian research ship stuck in heavy sea ice in Antarctica broke free on Tuesday, state media reported.
Just how cold is it in Kentucky? Apparently cold enough for an escaped prisoner to decide to turn himself in.
Authorities say the inmate escaped from a minimum security facility in Lexington on Sunday. As temperatures dropped into the low single digits Monday, they say he walked into a motel and asked the clerk to call police.
Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts says 42-year-old Robert Vick of Hartford told the clerk he wanted to turn himself in and escape the arctic air.