The American Midwest was filled with ice-cold arctic ice from the polar vortex. Even on Mars, in the Gale crater where the Curiosity rover is currently it is warmer.
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A giant threatening polar whirl is rotating above the North Pole and it is called the Polar Vortex. This is one hell of a complex climatic phenomenon that once it gets going it prevents cold weather from reaching lower latitudes. Usually, the Polar Vortex likes to stick to the Artics but once in a while, it branches out, changes shape and the ice cold air goes south. And stuff happens.
That is something people in the United States are currently very well aware of. The Polar Vortex just came back to their land and froze the northern part of the American Midwest. The icy hell has taken grasp most over North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana.
As you might have guessed, the Vortex brought some extremely cold temperatures. It seems that in some places in the USA it was actually colder than in the Arctics. To give you an idea, on the 28th of January it was actually colder in Canada and in the Midwest than on Mars!
So, why is it so cold. Let's hear an explanation by Tyler Hasenstein from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Minnesota. A low-pressure storm cleared a path through the Great Lakes area for a mass of ice cold air of the Polar Vortex. This results in extremely cold air sticking for a while above the American Midwest.
The current extreme cold is caused by the specific shape of a jet stream in the atmosphere that is actually bringing even more cold air into the area. Plus the high-pressure masses in the area are reacting and are creating strong wind making the already cold weather even worse. In South Dakota winds of up to -51° C (-60° F) have been detected.
If you live in the area don’t leave the safety of your home if you don’t have to and if you do be sure to wear appropriate clothing. You should also be wary of a chance that your car might not work, especially if you park your car outside.
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