The 2019 Polar Vortex

The Polar Vortex


With the rising global temperatures, one thing that has been on the fritz is the climate itself. From Polar Vortex’s to Rising Great Lakes, we are seeing the effects of climate change in action. So what happened with the recent cooling trend?

The Polar Vortex

Just last month, the temperatures in the Mid-west dropped to as low as -40 degrees, with a windchill of up to -75 degrees in some areas. To put this into perspective, even the Arctic isn’t this cold. So many people here in the US have been suffering from conditions so frigid, that at least 17 people died as a result.

Knowing this, how cold was this in relation to the historical weather data?  In Chicago, for instance, Thursday temperatures dropped to 21 degrees below zero. This is 9 degrees colder than the previous record low, which was 12 below in 1980.

However, the lowest temperatures were seen in Minnesota. The lowest recorded temperature there was 35 degrees below zero, but on Thursday morning, the temperatures dropped to a record-breaking 45 below.

What does this have to do with Climate Change?


Many laymen believe that if the temperatures are colder, that must mean that the Earth itself is cooling. Yet, that is not the case. In fact, the fact that the Polar Vortex happened is proof that the Earth is warming. One study done just last year showed that warmer temperatures in the arctic, mean that colder weather in the winter moves further south. Meaning that polar vortex’s like the one we just experienced, might become even more common.


So historic temperature trends in many states, such as North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and more were set to a new low last Thursday. And with the global average temperatures on the rise, these low winter temperatures may be more common, and last for longer.

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