#PolarVortex2019 smashes records – 84 million people below 0°F

There has been almost a death watch going on for Chicago, looking for an all time new all-time low temperature record to beat the previous -27°F. For those wishing for a new datapoint, Chicago didn’t beat the all time record, but did set a new record for the day:

O’Hare Airport was even colder at -23°F

But, not far away, in Rockford, the temperature hit -31°F, exceeding even the NWS announcement a couple of hours ago:

A look at the nation shows the depth of the outbreak:

Here’s the map, full size, click to enlarge:

In the scheme of things, this cold outbreak ranks with the worst according to Wikipedia references:

The 1936 North American cold wave ranks among the most intense cold waves in the recorded history of North America. The Midwestern United States and the Canadian Prairies were hit the hardest. Only the Southwestern United States and California largely escaped its effects.

February 1936 was the coldest February on record in the contiguous U.S., narrowly eclipsing February 1899.[1] It also was the coldest month ever in NebraskaNorth Dakota, and South Dakota.

The meteorological winter (December through February) of 1935/36 was the coldest on record for Iowa,[2] Minnesota,[3] North Dakota,[4] and South Dakota.[5] This winter was much colder than the immediately preceding winters. 1930 through 1934 had very mild winters in the U.S. 1930/31 was warm in the western north central states; 1931/32 in the mid- and south-Atlantic states, the eastern north central states, and the eastern south central states; 1932/33 in New England; and, 1933/34 in the mountain and Pacific states.[6] In the northern plains, the Februaries of 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1931, and 1935 are among the 25 warmest Februaries between 1895 and 2017, although 1929 had the third-coldest February of all-time.[7]

The sea froze partially as far south as Chesapeake Bay.[citation needed] From January 25 to 28, the east had its coldest January temperatures in eighteen years, with Washington, D. C. averaging 14 °F (−10.0 °C)[18] High winds in some locations caused wind chills below −85 °F (−65.0 °C). In Ohio and the Centralia district of Illinois,[19] the cold destroyed the peach crop, whilst defective heaters caused numerous dangerous fires in Minnesota.[18]

The Cold wave of January 1977 produced the only known trace of snow in the greater Miami area of Florida ever reported, although the city itself did not report any snow (a trace of snow was documented in Lake Worth). It occurred following the passage of a strong cold front, in combination with a high-pressure area situated over the Mississippi River Valley. As a result, cold air moved far to the south across Florida, causing both snow flurries and record low temperatures. Most notably, the weather system brought snow flurries (seen in the air, but not on the ground) as far south as Homestead on January 19. No snow had ever been reported in southeastern Florida before or since.

January 1977 is the coldest month on record in the state of Ohio, with an average temperature of 11.9 degrees. Snowfall was above average throughout the month and the all-time record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was set in Cincinnati. The Ohio River froze solid for the first time since 1918, halting commercial shipping for weeks. Some parts of northern Ohio stayed below freezing for the entire month [10]. Temperatures did not rise above freezing the entire month in a swath from eastern Iowa to western Pennsylvania northward.

Added: A bit of humor –

Trapped by bitter cold? Here’s some relief with Deals of the Day

180 thoughts on “#PolarVortex2019 smashes records – 84 million people below 0°F

  1. Two all time records (that I know of) feel in my neck of the woods.

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa -30
    Moline, Illinois -33

    • It’s been below zero for
      about 36 consecutive hours so far
      in the Detroit metropolitan
      I stayed inside all day yesterday.
      Went outside today
      — but it hurts your lungs
      when you breath outside.

      I want my global warming !

      This is obviously all Trump’s fault
      — he doesn’t believe in
      global warming — you have
      to believe in it, and then it will come.

      I just saw a temperature forecast
      — might reach 50 degrees F.
      here on Sunday, proof of
      climate change!

      • Yes! Everyone clap your hands to save Globall Warmining!(people of a certain age hopefully get the joke)

    • The funny part about that claim is down the bottom with Western Australia which the area discussed is about 1/6 of Australia and has been a really moderate this year. So it’s a stupid article aimed at the stupid east coast greenie suburbs and new market. For Kym who I take it is an East coast Australian it’s a record but for anyone is South Western Australia it isn’t and we were rather cold.

      • The top half of the state was warm .. we are 1/3 of the Australian landmass and as I said 1/6th of the state being the bottom half.

        We actually also had record grain harvest as an illustration how wide the good conditions were.

        As usual Eastern States think that what happens to them means the whole of Australia yeah your back yard.

      • In case you need the numbers
        area of Australia 7.692 million square kilometers
        area of WA 2.646 million square kilometers

        That is 34% or near enough to a third
        So the bottom half of WA is 1/6th

      • If any place in the earth is warmer than average for that place, that’s proof that CO2 not only caused all the warming of the last 150 year, but that CO2 is going to kill us all within 12 years.

    • BOM has been caught out in the past using the new instantaneous temp measurements instead of the 5 min average used in the past. These one sec highs may be responsible for the higher than average mean.

      • “If you going to parrot that sort of misleading insinuation its argumentum ad hominem.”

        How is he arguing “to the man”?

      • “You refute their finding?”

        If their data are anything like their quote the other day on Nooma being the warmest night time minima on record when that record went all the way back to….2017!!!

        They are easily refuted.

        The BoM have probably removed more good data than they have ever retained, homogenised what they have kept, yet they expect to be taken seriously.

      • I don’t think you know what “refute” means either:

        The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, 23rd Jan 1896:

        “The condition of Brewarrina is hardly better than that of Bourke. Yesterday’s record was 117. On Wednesday night many of the residents walked the streets for hours, the thermometer at midnight registered 109, and the minimum reading was 103.”


        That’s 4c warmer than Noona over a century earlier.

      • You have no idea what was reliable data but we know the BoM threw out everything before a conveniently cool 1910 and rejects an audit.

        A lot of this was Stevenson screen data but even the old pre S/S data was tested to show on average of a 0.2c warmer reading.

        Why didn’t the BoM simply make this adjustment and keep all that valuable evidence?

        Very unscientific.

      • Like any rational person I dispute their records.
        When you’ve lived and worked in the stony deserts of Australia and seen temperatures correctly recorded in excess of 50c that the BoM has removed, checked current sea levels at king tides that are now lower than they were 70 years ago based on AHD 100 data that the BoM has homogenised into a sea level rise, you would not be so accepting of their claims.

      • Do you really believe that these “climate gatekeepers” should not be audited?

        That we should simply pour trillions into the non-solution of a possible non-problem?

        Based on their known-to-be-dubious data?

        Based on their belief in Global Warming?

        Didn’t you read the Climategate emails?

      • Kym tells us that because Australia is hot, it must be Global Warming.

        Meanwhile, record cold is settling into North America, which by that definition must be global cooling.

        So the average GLOBAL temperature is probably much unchanged.

        Funny how global events work.

        If you don’t like the heat in Australia, why not move to N. America?

        • Meanwhile, record cold is settling into North America, which by that definition must be global cooling.

          Polar vortex has nothing do to with global cooling. What are you talking about?

          Read and learn instead of making false statements: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/winter-cold-weather.html?module=inline

          In a nutshell:
          Some recent cold spells have been caused by a dreaded weather system called the polar vortex. There’s growing evidence to suggest that the polar vortex is appearing outside the Arctic more frequently, because of changes in the jet stream that are attributed to the warming atmosphere. These changes help frigid air escape from the Arctic and swoop southward.

          How and why is this happening?
          Scientists are still trying to figure out why these intense arctic chills are flooding southward more frequently.

          The term polar vortex refers to circular bands of winds near the poles that are strongest in wintertime and well above the jet stream in the stratosphere. The stratosphere is an atmospheric layer that extends roughly seven to 31 miles above the earth.

          Usually, those circular bands act as walls that keep the teeth-chattering cold air locked at the poles. But, every so often, the winds break down and allow the cold air to escape. That’s what happened at the beginning of January, when the polar vortex split into three separate bands.

          While climate change is warming the earth, not all parts of the earth are warming at the same rate; the Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the world average. That warming has led to historically low levels of sea ice in the region. The melting sea ice, particularly in an area near the Barents and Kara Seas off Siberia, may be linked to the changes in the polar vortex.

          “When we lose a lot of ice in that particular area in the summer, it absorbs a lot of extra heat from the sun,” Dr. Francis said. This is because the darker open ocean absorbs more heat than reflective ice. “And so we see a very persistent, hot spot there in terms of temperature differences from what they should be.”

          Research suggests that the hot spot, along with changes in the jet stream driven by climate change, cause the polar vortex to break down in mid- to late winter.

          As the Arctic gets warmer and warmer, the severe weather picks up.

      • ““When we lose a lot of ice in that particular area in the summer, it absorbs a lot of extra heat from the sun,” Dr. Francis said.”

        Dr.Francis is in fear sun can’t produce enough “extra heat?

      • Pointing out that BOM has been caught using invalid techniques is an ad hominem?
        Looks like your ability to do basic logic is as faulty as your 3rd grade science education.

    • and since they decided a piddling 3 days over 30 makes it a heatwave?????
      over 35a nd up to the high 30s to most of us is a semiheatwave
      days of near 40 n over at least 3 would be more like it.
      and with the millions of aircons and cars around now, of course cities overnights will be higher
      the fools in adelaide have just twigged removing street trees has made suburbia hotter
      who’d a thunk it???
      as for the claim of 1deg warmer?
      adjusted to be so…?

      • There is another issue which is how you determine an average for Australia the lower half of WA has been really cool. The BOM will create an average with whatever method they use but it really is just a guide and next to meaningless at a local level.

    • 1) Based on how many thermometers? With what spacing?
      2) How badly are the majority of those thermometers contaminated by UHI?
      3) How badly are the majority of those thermometers contaminated by micro site issues?
      4) You do know that records go back only about 100 years, and prior to a decade or so ago, we only have the max and min for each day (recorded to the nearest degree) with which to create an average.

  2. Is there another method other than a polar vortex that could have brought about past intense cold spells such as Feb. 1936?

      • Even if this is caused by global warming, wouldn’t that mean that the climate system is self modulating, i.e., when it gets too warm, the climate creates a vortex disturbance to cool things off?

        • Maybe some experts (solar physicists, etc.) could educate us on other factors for the vortex disturbances. I’ve heard some say that it could be related to the solar minimum, which causes the upper atmosphere to collapse (allowing satellites to remain in orbit longer). The changed atmospheric depth could flatten the jet stream changing it’s pattern. Also, magnetic fields change as the solar cycle becomes quiet. This is out of my wheelhouse so may an expert please clarify.

    • “Is there another method other than a polar vortex that could have brought about past intense cold spells such as Feb. 1936?”

      Short answer: no.
      It’s all due to Arctic air meandering southward via planetary Rossby waves.

      Rossby waves are the fundamental low-frequency disturbances in the extratropical troposphere and stratosphere, and, roughly speaking, all large-scale perturbations of the polar vortex that might be of interest in discussions of the weather and climate state can be described in terms of Rossby waves.

      Those are the words of Darryn Waugh, a world-class expert in atmospheric and ocean transport at Johns Hopkins.

      Rossby waves are planetary phenomena, that explain a lot of climatology, e.g. ocean oscillations, in addition to causing the edge of the atmospheric polar votex to wobble and meander down into the mid latitudes and making winter climate more frigid (than mere solar incidence angle change can explain). This has been happening for a very long time, and has nothing to do with “CO2 destroying the Earth”.

      See my earlier post for more info:

      • The real “climate change” is that the Earth has been in an Interglacial Period since the last Coldhouse ended.

        The hottest was during the Holocene Temperature Optimum and over the past 10,000 years has fluctuations of about 1°C that have been increasingly becoming cooler. The current Modern Warming Period has been cooler than the previous Warming Periods incrementally prior to The Little Ice Age that was colder than the previous cold periods.

        The “Last Ice Age” was shorter than the previous Icehouse Periods. The Hothouse Periods have increasingly been lasting longer by millions of years.

        The further we go back into the history of Earth, the harder it is to find details of existing temperature fluctuations that are shorter lived. Meaning that evidence is not available to represent if during the previous Icehouse before “The Last Ice Age” there were shorter Interglacial Periods – like we live in now – with much accuracy. Because during those longer-term Hothouse Period era’s little if any Ice was left at our polar regions. Fossil Records and evidence on the ground that left markers of glacier movement is about all we can go by.

        What evidence we “know” is that every Icehouse Periods were caused by anomalies of volcanic activity and/or massive Meteors that plummeted our temperatures by blocking out the solar radiation. Those ended by the atmosphere clearing up that leaves evidence as layers on the surface of the ground.

        In every Icehouse Periods the scaring on the ground from glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere extended further South from the center of North America to Eastern Europe over the North Atlantic Ocean. How far that went South in the Atlantic Ocean is unknown because it left no visible evidence when the ice melted.

        It would be easy to hypothesize that Solar Minimum Events – like occurring now – are the precursor to conditions like “The Little Ice Age” and that anomalies could plunge the temperature lower to create Icehouse Periods.

      • “Rossby waves are planetary phenomena, that explain a lot of climatology, e.g. ocean oscillations, in addition to causing the edge of the atmospheric polar votex to wobble and meander down into the mid latitudes and making winter climate more frigid”

        wherever the weather gods want them to spread – some years more over Pacific and Atlantic some years more over the contiguous US.

    • It is not polar vortex itself that brings extreme cold weather. It is the polar jet stream that does it. When polar vortex is strong the USA and the NH in general have relatively mild/normal winter weather. When PV become wavy and breaks up than the cold snap occurs.
      See also
      With link to NASA’s animation of PV breaking-up

      • why do so many posters have such a problem with “then” and “thAn” ? Are these numerous errors merely due to ‘typos’, or did no one pay attention during English class? Annoying… particularly as so many of the posters seem to have scientific knowledge..

        • “Affect” vs. “effect” is another frequent error–not to mention forming plurals by adding ‘s, or the confusion of it’s (it is) with its (possessive). Probably some of these errors result from spellcheck, autocorrect, etc., however, the more frequently such errors are made, the more often they’re mistaken for proper usage. I do realize that scientific expertise trumps such minor errors, but when I encounter an error or misspelling, it stops my reading in its tracks and interrupts my flow of thought and comprehension.

          • Hi I never intentionally make one of those, it’s my mobile device that often changes words. Above the touch keyboard is a line where it suggests in bold what it should be, if I continue typing it just replaces whatever I typed into what was earlier displayed in bold. Often it is great help but sometimes is a real nuisance. If I type in my native language I have to re-type every single word, since it doesn’t do it when I edit already typed text.

          • Hear! Hear! (not “Here! Here!”) to that! I am similarly annoyed by such errors. The credibility of the writer comes into question, even if he or she is a scientific expert. A few seconds of proofreading is worth it, even in an informal context like WUWT. Seeing your error seconds after posting, and having to post a correction, is lame.

          • Hey spelling guys & gals, some of us did better in science than English. We took the path of least resistance at the university where calculus, physics, etc. were easier than English and Psychology. I have problems with spelling but my college GRE (Graduate Record Exam) was good enough to be accepted in the best grad schools (including MIT & Stanford – chose Rice). Unfortunately, if a poster miss spells, their scientific competence is put in question. Likewise, if someone has perfect grammar and spelling, they can be convincing posting scientific garbage (does journalism come to mind?). Also, with age, our eyes are weaker and thumbs are bigger.

        • It’s my mobile phone that has mind of its own, it changes to what it thinks it fits the sentence. I tried to turn the thing off but every time I type anything it does it again, sometime I miss the error.
          Btw, I never attended to a class of English language; my English is a DIY job.

          • My MAC will also often underline “then” as being incorrect when it is the correct usage of the word.

          • However, I’m often guilty of using ‘the’ and ‘a’ in a wrong places or missing them altogether. Learned DIY English as an adult, fortunately most of the people commenting here show great deal of tolerance or can’t be bothered to keep correcting me for ever.

          • I don’t text, so I don’t have that particular problem, Vukcevic. I do concur that your self-taught English is pretty good.

          • Thanks for all kind and well meaning comments, it’s just such a pain to edit txt on small hand held device, at the desktop life is far more pleasant, btw. normally I would have done it today, but as it is I will update latest sunspot number SSN in about a week time when I get back to the snowbound London.

        • It is the same as Pedantic English majors, who know absolutely nothing about science, insisting that the problem at hand is Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming vs Natural Variability. Annoying.

      • @Vuk

        When polar vortex is strong the USA and the NH in general have relatively mild/normal winter weather. When PV become wavy and breaks up than the cold snap occurs.

        It appears that you are basing your judgment on ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ properties of the polar vertex from the skynews link you provided. That link claims that the ‘waviness’ of the jet stream is due to the ‘strength’ of the polar vortex.

        There is no solid evidence to support that claim. The ‘wavy’ edge of the jet stream surrounding the polar vertex is due entirely to Coriolis induced Rossby waves, not the strength of the PV.

        One exception is Cellitti et al. (2006), who showed that there is a weaker-than-average tropospheric polar vortex preceding cold-air events. However, in that study, the vortex was defined as a small, closed circulation centered just north of Baffin Island, which is quite different from the larger-scale hemispheric circumpolar tropospheric vortex considered in the abovementioned climatological studies. Because of this, it remains unclear at present [2017] if and to what degree the size and/or strength of the hemispheric-scale tropospheric vortex is actually connected with cold-air outbreaks

        … any individual extreme weather event is not the consequence of either the existence or gross properties of either polar vortex, whether tropospheric or stratospheric, as both vortices are normal climatological features of Earth’s atmospheric circulation. Rather, as in the case of 2014, the events of interest tend to be associated only with transient and localized displacements of the tropospheric vortex [Rossby wave] edge.

        Rossby waves are the fundamental low-frequency disturbances in the extratropical troposphere and stratosphere, and, roughly speaking, all large-scale perturbations of the polar vortex that might be of interest in discussions of the weather and climate state can be described in terms of Rossby waves.


  3. All the gunfire in the gunfree zones of Chicago kept the temperature from dropping. Good thing there is no such thing as urban heat island effect.

  4. According to the map it was in the 20s in western Colorado at 5am, but it was -1° at my house at 6600′.

  5. The worst in the past 150 years evidently was 1899. https://www.history.com/news/coldest-day-temperatures-in-us-history

    And of course the behind the scenes story on NBC Nightly News (Jan 30) was how it is climate change causing this. If it happened in the past, then why wasn’t that outbreak caused by climate change?

    About the only positive is most people just get weary of everything being caused by climate change and just tune it out.

  6. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to people who live there to quit voting for people who want to take away the fossil fuels that keep them alive in times like this.

    • icisil: “… quit voting for people who want to take away the fossil fuels”

      I’m curious how well wind/solar energy production works in extreme cold, i.e. times when people need heat to survive.

      I’m also curious how well Electric Vehicles work in extreme cold, I suspect keeping the vehicle cabin warm drains the system.

      • A solar panel works in space would you like to try a colder enviroment they have more issues with heat 🙂

        An electrical motor can be designed to run at any temperature the biggest issue will be the bearings.

        So a manufacturer of either will specify an operating temperature range which will be because of their particular design and materials they use.

        • But there isn’t snow in space which would cover the solar panels.

          Nor are there clouds in space which would occlude the solar panels.

          Those are two big reasons solar panels don’t work at the exact time people need them.

          And that’s not to mention the problem of solar panels setting people’s roofs on fire… and fire departments letting the structure burn to the ground rather than risk electrocuting their firemen unless the solar panels are specifically designed to cut off power at each panel (which most aren’t).

          Not to mention that the additional weight of solar panels on a roof which is then also loaded with snow can exceed the weight carrying capacity of the roof trusses for a home which isn’t specifically designed to take both loads into account, leading to a collapse.

          Putting solar panels on your roof is a dumb idea.

          • I am not disputing any of that I simply said they don’t care about cold. They don’t work on warm nights or if you stick a blanket over them either but that is not what was being said.

        • @LdB

          ….A solar panel works in space would you like to try a colder enviroment they have more issues with heat

          The sun never sets in space, …..except in something’s shadow.

          • Which funny enough is the same for a panel facing the sun here on earth assuming no cloud cover when it couldn’t work anyhow 🙂

  7. Interesting here in west MD, temp was around 0F last night, clear skies, wind had died down & about 50% snow cover (more coverage above me on the mountainsides). I’m in a frost hollow & expected it it drop like a rock by morning, but it really didn’t — overnite low was a mere -3F.

  8. According to the above temperature map, O’Hare (really Joliet, IL) and Chicago’s (really Gary, IN) boxed location are incorrect. O’Hare should be at -21F and Midway Chicago at -19F.

    • Due to the Urban Heat Island effect, it is going to be very hard for ORD and MDY to ever set an all time record low now and in the future. Just too much concrete, jet, car and furnace exhausts hanging over the area. You will need to go farther out of the city to get readings that compare to ORD readings in the mid-80’s, which appear to be in the -30F area.

      • Agreed. The fact that some records are being set even AFTER over three decades of increasing UHI effects is more remarkable than people think.

    • O’Hare is not near Joliet, that’s southwest, O’Hare is northwest (think Bensenville-Schiller Park-Rosemont).

      • If you really want to pinpoint O’Hare, just ask the Russians, I’m sure they’ve got the coordinates 🙂

  9. Anyone remember the “We’ll never leave” Dakota pipeline protesters fleeing their camp to get warm in the Standing Rock casino, or flying home to mommy, when weather like this hit?

  10. Michigan residents are being asked to turn down temperatures to 65 degrees to conserve natural gas. Our newly elected governor (Democrat) ran on a platform to shut down Line 5, which brings gas to Michigan from Canada. She believes that renewable energy, conservation, and global warming will reduce the demand for natural gas in the state.

    • Well, I sure she’d be happy to know that my house in downtown Fort Wayne IN has its thermostat set to 65… just like it’s been all winter. The actual temp on that same thermostat is pegged at the bottom at 40, so the furnace is pretty much running continuously. I’m pretty sure it isn’t MUCH bellow that, because the pipes haven’t frozen.

      I just went by there to make sure the disabled vet who lives in the back apt. has a working elec heater for his bedroom. This is the kind of weather people go to sleep in and never wake up.


        • people and pets, i reckon theres going to be massive losses in pets and also livestock and wild animals ;-(
          and i guess there will be a huge story on the monarchs dying of cold again also?

          we can leave water /food out in Aus for wild critters on hot days
          but leaving food isnt useful when the creatures will die of cold trying to get to it to eat, and lose body heat on the trip
          and too many wont have suffient shelter.
          all the media focus is on humans that Ive seen so far

      • I am living in Ontario and have the same problem, furnace running continuously house temp at 55. I am now supplementing the furnace with the gas stove. I always wondered why the builders of may house installed two gas fireplaces on the main floor when my house was renovated back in 1935. Haven’t needed them for the last few years, now I wish they were not so outdated that they cannot be used. 😒

        • Too bad, 1930’s gas fireplaces were usually pretty well designed for actual heating. A lot of the ones put in through the 60’s to the 90’s were more about looking pretty then heating anything.

          If you do decide after this to update them for the next cold winter, make sure it’s with one that’s designed for heating. The best ones even have small, quite fans to circulate the rooms air through them for extra efficiency.


          • True, and they still operate when power goes out, just no fan. I already have several people on list to put in ventless gas heaters for them. Seems they think winter weather will be back at some point in the future!

          • Salute Schitz!

            Our “Superior” brand ( not geographic, but brand name) fireplace box in Colorado mountains works just fine without electricity if we ever have more than at temporary outage.
            It is a steel firebox inside a large fireplace opening with air vents on each side and a grill above that is just below the mantel. So air comes in around the box and comes out the grill.
            The fireplace grill gets so hot after 20 minutes that you cannot touch it. At 20 deg F outside, it heats a 400 ft^2 living area to almost 80 friggin’ degrees if you put too many logs in there. Of course, we have great insulated walls and ceiling, but good old wood stoves and fireplace inserts can help, especially in emergency situations.

            Gums sends…

        • You could replace them with ventless gas heaters. I used two of them to heat our house, along with wood burner for deep cold periods, for quite a few years. Closing the damper in the flue would keep from losing heat, or put a “cement board” over actual chimney opening. A bit of research and you are in business.

          • Funny you should mention ventless heaters. The dining room fireplaces is a 1930 ventless design. When the gas company disconnected the two heaters they removed the pipe from the one but the ventless had the complete regulator removed. I guess they didn’t want anyone using it again. From looking at it it seems like a gigantic coleman lantern on the inside. I think I will replace it with a more modern unit. 👍

    • And in other news, Madison, WI mayor urges residents to keep their thermostats up to at least 65 F to prevent pipes from freezing.

  11. The Big Lake still has a lot of open water, so we’ve stayed at a tropical -1 for the last 12 hours. But with that heat came 27 inches of Lake Effect in the last 8 days, so I guess it’s just a wash.

    Oh! the sun just came out, it’s up to 2F

  12. And at Penn State, home institution of the great Michael Mann, classes are canceled for remainder of day on Jan 30, 2019 and all day Jan 31.

    I don’t recall Penn State closing for cold weather in the past. It is not uncommon for Penn State to shut down for snow or ice. And more so in recent years. The local news says that the students petitioned administration to close.

    How will the “Mann” spin this? Maybe a warmer earth results in colder temperatures? Yeah, right.

    From Penn State website:
    “1/30/19 3:08 PMDue to extreme cold: Jan. 30, students dismissed at 4:30 p.m., faculty and staff and 5 p.m.; Jan. 31, classes and activities are cancelled. On Jan. 31, faculty and staff should not report unless previously identified as performing essential services.”

    I agree that weather is not a indicator of climate but the “cause” uses weather as such during heat waves all the time.

    • $100 says the cold won’t keep the students from hitting the pubs and diners in Happy Valley. I predict a big run on Grilled Stickies, or whatever those things are called.

      • The ‘Ye Olde College Diner” has closed but the grilled stickies are available at various outlets around town. They closed recently. Our daughter waited tables there some years ago as a freshman.

      • Beer distributors and liquor store are probably about emptied out about now! They will be calling for emergency loads for Stupor Bowl weekend.

    • Are these molly-coddled wimps good for anything other than complaining? It seems Snow Flakes don’t like the cold either.
      …perhaps its our fault for making their lives far too comfortable.

  13. I remember ’77 snow in south Mississippi, we had just got back from spending Christmas at my stepdad’s home in Fond Du Lac Wisconsin, the cold chased us all the way home. Mom was pissed because the cold damaged her azaleas.

    • On Dec. 30, 1993, at 7 AM in SW Connecticut the temp. was 10 below F. I drove that day to S. Royalton, VT, where the sun seemed to be setting at 2 in the afternoon and they told me that morning there it had been minus 20. No one seemed to think that was anything terribly noteworthy. I remember nothing about media screaming about “dangerous” or “unprecedented” or “record-breaking.” (Not that a “record” from 1880, max, proves a damn thing anyway). We just went about our business, with gloves. Just like today. Meh.

    • I read 3 separate incident reports of people being robbed of their winter coats in Chicagoland area. Crime, it just chuggs right along, babee!

  14. …. and we are just entering a solar minimum that might be the deepest in last two hundred years.
    Stockpile on renewable energy particularly solar and wind.

  15. I hope this cold makes the warmunists get down off their high white horses, but they are in denial. All the ice was supposed to be gone by now.

    • As it’s cold because it’s warm, so they wont get down off their hig white horses, but they don’t realise that they are riding a dead horse.

      • They won’t get down off their high horses because the horses are frozen solid in the upright position and the warmunists are not smart enough to realize they have stopped in their tracks and are going nowhere.

    • Warmunistas are doubling down on all this being caused by humans, just listen to them on any TV/cable news broadcast.

    • They will just keep changing the story to suit them. When the world doesn’t end in 2030 they will pick a new date till DOOM.

  16. Got down to -33 F at my house and 4 hours later it has warmed up to -9 F. Supposed to be +41 F this weekend. Got to love the weather in the Midwest.

  17. “I don’t recall Penn State closing for cold weather in the past.”

    In Kentucky schools closed last couple of days for the cold as well although it’s in the 20’s Fahrenheit. Nobody recalls this happening before either. Schools now send you an email of things to do at home that day with your children. Apparently this means the school does not have to make up the days as they did in the past. Administrators and teachers get a free day off to read up on AGW. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

    My girlfriend college professor said “they are worried about the students being in the wind chill” I replied that only counts if you are naked.

    • Bison are a bit more suited for the open prairie climate as they have evolved with thicker coats. Modern breeding has created cattle who put on body mass quickly but have not necessarily been bred for cold prairie conditions.

    • Saw a photo a long time ago showing cattle horns and backs pocking through a snow field in Montana, believe it was from the year you are speaking of.

    • Bison knew how to survive.

      Sure they did. “Grow a much thicker coat in winter”.

      It’s a hard skill to learn. 😉

    • There is a herd of Bison living in the White River valley south of Snag in western Yukon paralleling the Kluane Range, Canada where the coldest temperature in North America was recorded. It was, at the time, an Airforce base, I believe so I think it’s official.

      climate dataEdit

      On February 3, 1947, the record-low temperature for continental North America was recorded in Snag: −63.0 °C(−81.4 °F).[1] That same winter, two previous records had already been set: one in December noted various phenomena, particularly sound such as voices being heard clearly miles from their source. There was a clear sky (except for some ice fog), and mild to little wind. There were 38.1 centimetres (15.0 in) of snow on the ground, but it was decreasing. Another town 180 km (112 mi) northeast of Snag, Fort Selkirk, claimed an even lower temperature of −65 °C (−85 °F), but the claim could not be confirmed.[2]


      “On February 3, 1947, the record-low temperature for continental North America was recorded in Snag: −63.0 °C(−81.4 °F).[1] That same winter, two previous records had already been set: one in December noted various phenomena, particularly sound such as voices being heard clearly miles from their source. There was a clear sky (except for some ice fog), and mild to little wind. There were 38.1 centimetres (15.0 in) of snow on the ground, but it was decreasing. Another town 180 km (112 mi) northeast of Snag, Fort Selkirk, claimed an even lower temperature of −65 °C (−85 °F), but the claim could not be confirmed.[2]”

      I was sent up near there in February 1970 to look at and sample a molybdenum showing brought to the company by the claim owner. They informed me it was free of snow (shadow of the high Kluane Range). In a small aircraft on skis we landed on White River it was minus 55C on the river, but about 300m up on a flat-topped hill it was about 25degrees warmer, not much but appreciated. The rock broke like glass when struck with a hammer.

  18. In 1894 there was a major hurricane that made landfall in the Florida panhandle (at Appilachicola). That following winter brought an extended cold snap with the orange crop freezing in Florida.
    Climate changes but I guess weather repeats itself.

  19. And my son was taught in school that this is a result of the Arctic ice melting- GRRR, so mad I can barely speak.

    • It is in the NE, Boston for example is 54ºF, ~20ºF above average for the day and likely warmer tomorrow.

  20. Was on the far western edge, was supposed to be 3F this morning. Only got to 19F, which is normal for this time of the year. 50s this afternoon.

  21. Just don’t mention solar minimum, PDO, or AMO and they will let you pass. Otherwise the periodicity police will stop you.

  22. Can’t say how many times in the past two days I’ve heard people saying that it is colder in Chicago or wherever than it is in Antarctica. Not to say that Antarctica isn’t cold this time of year but it is almost in the middle of summer there!

  23. It’s time to slide this scare over to the UK and Paris where they need real weather to shake up the entrenched dogma.

  24. As a Finn I must addmit that there is some cold there.
    The extreme weather prediction is nice because it is correct what ever happens.
    But has any climate scientist predict this sort phenomen say ten years ago?

    • Hey, we Finns are a tough bunch! After all, who else would think of going from a nice hot sauna into a freezing lake and back again? (My mother is a Wuorinen from Vaasa.)

      It was -8F here in central New Hampshire this morning, not bad at all. The eerie thing was that there was absolutely no wind when I left for work at 6:30 this morning, something unusual for weather like this. The only indication I had that it was really cold was that my truck struggled a little to start the engine, but that was it.

  25. Hopefully UAH TLT data will be out in a day or two and we can gauge what impact this recent cold weather outbreak in the US has had on global lower troposphere temperatures in January.

  26. Earlier today there was an outrageous piece of misinformation on the BBC, “conclusively” attributing the mid-west cold snap to climate change/global warming. It’s all to do with the disruption of the jetstream apparently. The piece has since disappeared from their site, which is a pity in a way as it was a classic

  27. 1977 was my senior year in high school, southwestern Michigan. One day it got to -27 F, with a high wind, and wind chills were reported as -80. We had 200 inches of snow that year, and I shoveled every inch of it off our 40- yard driveway. Front Street was plowed 11 feet high on both sides of the street.

    Good times.

  28. Looking at the NOAA view of surface temperatures it shows air that is below 0C stretching from the Himalayas to Texas, which is 30N on one side of the planet to 30N on the other. The UK’s southern shore just reaches 50N. It looks like the ALL of Russia (largest country in the world) is below 0C and just about all of Canada (2nd largest country in the world) is below 0C


  29. President Trump should ride this cold wave for all it’s worth.
    Tweet about each and every person (scientist, researcher, journalist, pundit, lazy MSM organizations, etc.) who forecast ‘warmer and wetter winters’. Name names, reply their quotes, allow people to see how badly they’ve been duped by all this cAGW (Climate Change™) nonsense.

  30. All that area of North America below 0°F used to be below a mile thick ice-sheet just 18,000 years ago, so it is still an improvement. Beringian hunters made their way to North America shortly after and aren’t known for complaining about the cold.

  31. Today is quite similar to the 1930’s then. Fairly hot, record highs, mild winters and then BAM, extremely cold winter(s).

  32. By extension of course the global temperature will now need to be adjust up to offset the extremely low temperatures recorded recently that we know were caused by global warming aka climate change™.

  33. No problem given this ‘head you lose , tail I win’ science current events are of course due to AGW, as are rains of frogs, and two-headed calfs being born in Hereford. For magical properties of CO2 means there is nothing it cannot do .
    The almost zero ability for renewable to offer supply at this time , is nothing to worry about as we should still seek to go 100 % renewable .

  34. I love the comments here at WUWT. Quite educating and entertaining. Really funny comedians here too, like the Penn State shower comment. Good one!


  35. Funny how folks have such short memories… Last year in NE MN, we had something like 12-14 consecutive days where the temps never got above zero F. This included several lows in the -30 to -40 range. While it is certainly uncommon in other parts of the country, it happens more often than folks would like to admit up here.
    And yet they still breathlessly report it like it is the first time it has ever happened in the history of time. Every . Single. Year.

  36. Party time on the old continent. Bumpy rides on all floors, icing a gogo, 500 or so flights canceled, 5’000 delayed, usual winter mayhem at Heathrow. More fun promised for tomorrow.

    Where exactly is the global region of that warming ? I mean, over the time, we would have been the first ones to know about atmosphere warming, it’ our office after all.

    If it is that serious and entirely dangerous, urgent, devastating and so on, then we should get specific training to cope with it.

    All we get is junk talk on saving every drop of fuel, environmental regulations and public image. Sorry to say, nothing even remotely related to safety improvement, quite to the opposite indeed.

  37. Everyone click your heels together three times and repeat:”There’s no place like warm, there’s no place like warm, there’s no place like warm”.

  38. Hey, all you good people over there on the other side of The Pond, please do your bit this winter to tackle man-made global warming: Check in on all of your elderly neighbours, and be sure to turn their heating down for them.


  39. History repeats. Typical solar minimum blues.

    The cold temperatures are from gradually lower solar activity since the end of SC24 TSI peak in 2015, since March 2016 when daily TSI fell below my solar ocean warming threshold, leading to a current deficit in incoming solar energy, and since Feb 2017, when 2017-2018 Greenland ice growth commenced in earnest as my long-term F10.7cm running average fell below my warming/cooling 120 sfu/day threshold. The cold is spreading fast as the low TSI sun quiets even more.

    The bluer this image gets, the lower the TSI goes, and the colder it gets:


    TSI has down-trended during the last few solar rotations. The current bright sunspot, with F10.7cm of 70, bumped up TSI very slightly but not much. It, with the photospheric plasma in the sun’s RH quadrant, will roll out of sight early next week leaving a much bluer dimmer sun in this image, taking TSI down with it, and along with that more spreading and deepening cold, snow and ice.

    TSI has downtrended in January and will go lower from this deep blue sun, while F10.7cm today is 72 sfu.


    It’s a good thing I’ve got that nice oak and elm to burn for the next two months.

    The saddest thing is watching the other side miss the boat so badly, so publicly, so wrong.

      • Yes. Good question. Lower tropical evaporation from low TSI yields higher summer insolation over land, higher UV index, and hotter drier land under clearer skies. In Sept 2017 I predicted SW US drought to increase through the solar minimum for the exact same reason. Last year I predicted blazing hot summer US temperatures for May-Oct for the same reason, and it came to pass. The same principle applies for either SH & NH summer, as does solar cooling for the SH & NH winters. Expect another blazing hot US summer for the same reason this year while the SH freezes like we are now.

  40. The wizard-in-chief of the US sceptic community – one Donald J. Trump – is completely clueless about the connection between extreme cold, as currently being experienced by the US, and climate change. If he got off his arse from watching Fox News all day and attempted to read something for a change e.g The New York Times, he might find out a bit more about this phenomenon: https://mankindsdegradationofplanetearth.com/2019/01/31/how-cold-weather-and-climate-change-are-connected-the-new-york-times/

  41. February 1936 was the coldest February on record in the contiguous U.S., narrowly eclipsing February 1899

    And Feb 2015 was the 4th coldest, at least in my area, since records began in 1897. 1905 was the coldest, and 1936 was 5th coldest.

  42. “temperatures bottomed out across the Lower 48 with 84 million people at/below 0°F” I wonder what the record number of people in below 0 temperatures is? That would be an interesting and slightly scary stat….

  43. Even a cursory at climate history easily reveals that our climate does indeed cycle. This is nothing but noise.

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