2018 Brings Dangerously Cold Weather to the United States

Julianna Tague, Student Editor

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According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm is defined as a “significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet, [and/or] blowing snow’. Michiganders such as ourselves are somewhat accustomed to these conditions, as we’re located close enough to the Arctic Circle that we experience frigid temperatures and blizzard-type storms at least once a January or February. Citizens in South Carolina, and Georgia, however, are not.

In the past several days, a brutal cold spell has swept the United States, tormenting not only northern states such as Minnesota and North Dakota that are used to subzero temperatures but also mild states located comfortably near the Tropic of Cancer, including California, Texas, and Florida. Yesterday, at least one city in forty-nine states (excluding Hawaii) reported subfreezing temperatures. Residents in San Francisco are waking up to record-breaking temperatures in the low fifties. Dallas has not reported above-freezing temperatures in over a week. A water fountain in Pensacola froze over after the Polar Express chugged through northern Florida. And what’s more, a multivehicle car accident occurred just outside Buffalo, killing one person and adding to the increasing number of fatalities attributed to these glacial temperatures (the death toll is currently around twelve lives).

The damage, however, is still not done. A winter storm is slated to decimate cities all along the nation’s southeast coast, covering palm trees in Savannah and Charleston with snow and ice. Hypothermic citizens received announcements on school and government closings late yesterday. Shocked SCDOT officials gave advice on Twitter, encouraging residents to stay indoors and to exercise extreme caution if forced to drive on streets.

Hard freeze warnings will remain in effect in typically mild southern states such as Texas and Florida, and highly dangerous wind chills will ravage most of the northern United States. Meteorologists warn of the continual freeze. The cold temperatures recorded have proven treacherous already, and they will most certainly be wreaking more havoc across the country for the rest of this week at least. Regardless of whether you’ll be suffering through 15 below temperatures in Detroit or you’re a Californian in shock at 52 degrees, meteorologists and government officials plead that you wear heavy, full-body protection when outdoors, exercise extreme caution if you must drive, and try your best to stay in a heated building and out of harm’s way.

 

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2018 Brings Dangerously Cold Weather to the United States