Arctic cold has devastated large parts of the United States and led to serious disturbances of public life. The authorities in the Midwest warned that the extreme low temperatures are life threatening. They called on dozens of millions of citizens to stay warm if possible. However, gas prices are increasing enormously in many places. Over the past two days United States has silently frozen, demand has risen above 50 percent. Detroit and Minneapolis-based utility company Xcel asked its customers to turn off the thermostat to avoid supply bottlenecks.
The Arctic air mass of record size will remain in the next few days over the central and eastern parts of the country. said the National Weather Service. Adam Jordan, director of energy analysts Genscape, told Bloomberg that the gas pipelines could withstand the weather, the energy stores were being refilled. “The infrastructure can withstand two to three days of frozen pipelines.”
In Grand Forks, North Dakota, the thermometer dropped to minus 37 degrees, the perceived temperature was even minus 52 degrees. Numerous schools, authorities and shops remained closed. Thousands of flights were canceled, including more than 1,500 at Chicago’s two airports. Also, at Canadian airports many flights were canceled.
The American Post, which is known to deliver letters in all weather conditions, has ceased service in many areas of the Midwest. In addition, schools and some universities remained closed. In the states of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, the regional authorities put emergency measures into effect. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker called on all residents to protect themselves against extreme cold.
There is a “real risk” that people could freeze to death. For the homeless, additional accommodation was quickly created. In addition, buses have been set up in Chicago and Minneapolis as temporary warming refuges. A similar freezing cold of minus 17 degrees and below would reach as many as 83 million Americans or 25 percent of the population by Monday.
In the state of Iowa, the NWS Branch Office advised citizens to avoid “deep breaths” and speak as little as possible, “This is the coldest air many of us have ever experienced,” their Tuesday morning report.
The reason for the cold spell is Arctic air, which has separated from the so-called polar vortex, which normally revolves around the North Pole. According to a scientific thesis, global warming could be responsible for this spin-off. Nevertheless, US President Donald J. Trump mocked the scientific findings on climate change in the face of extreme cold. “What the hell is going on with global warming? Please come back quickly, we need you, “he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors the atmosphere and oceans, tweeted: “Winter storms are no proof that there is no global warming.” The agency linked its message with an explanatory article on why the oceans are being heated by polar cold spells and oceans Record snow is partly responsible.
The perceived temperatures – in the United States one speaks of “Windchill” values - are often much lower. Already on Tuesday morning, according to NWS in the state of Maine, values of up to minus 49 degrees Celsius were calculated. The “wind chill effect” describes the cooling of the skin with increased wind speed.