This holiday season, the weather will undoubtedly be dreadful over much of the United States.
Over the Christmas holiday, a storm that the National Weather Service (NWS) in Buffalo, New York, described as occurring just once in a generation is predicted to bring record low temperatures and potentially fatal conditions to most of the central and eastern United States.
Please heed the regional warnings, I implore everyone. So far, we’ve made contact with 26 governors in the impacted areas. Visit weather.gov for more details. According to The Independent, President Joe Biden stated this before the catastrophic weather incident. This is not like the snow days you remember as a child. This is important material.
According to the NWS, there are more than 30 states currently covered by advisories and watches, ranging from Florida in the southeast to Washington in the northwest. As of Thursday at lunchtime, almost 300 million Americans were under some kind of winter weather notice or advisory.
According to BBC News, the chilly and wintry weather is advancing eastward and may intensify into a bomb cyclone by Friday.
When a storm’s core air pressure falls by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, an indication of rapid intensification, it is referred to as a bomb cyclone. They frequently come with blizzards, torrential rain, or thunderstorms.
The NWS reported that a significant and unusual storm system is expected to spread heavy snowfall, high winds, and dangerously cold temperatures from the northern Great Basin to the Plains, Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and the northern/central Appalachians through early this weekend.
Travel schedules and power are already being affected by the storm. According to Flight Aware, there were 1,932 cancellations and 4,522 delays for flights into, into, and out of the United States as of 1:56 p.m. Eastern Time. According to PowerOutage.us, there were 17,364 people without power in Texas as of 1:48 p.m. Eastern Time, 14,504 in California, and 9,935 in Oregon.
A mass of Arctic air has been flowing south and east over the country in advance of the storm.
According to the NWS, temperatures behind the front had already dropped by 50 degrees F throughout the central High Plains in a matter of hours, with widespread readings of or below zero occurring across most of the central/northern Plains, the northern Rockies, and the Great Basin.
According to BBC News, the storm and cold spell may cause Florida to have its coldest Christmas in 30 years, while other U.S. regions may also see their coldest Christmas in decades. In some areas, the temperature may drop as low as -50 to -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Extreme cold snaps and winter storms like this weekend may still be climate signals even though winter is often the fastest warming season in the United States and the climate crisis is likely making the classic white Christmas ever more unusual.
According to Newsweek, this is due to the Arctic warming roughly four times faster than the global average over the past 40 years. One theory is that as the Arctic warms, the stratospheric polar vortex that usually confines the arctic air to a small ring becomes unstable.
According to MIT meteorologist Judah Cohen, “the frigid air generally limited to the Arctic can migrate southward to the mid-latitudes, including the U.S., Europe, and East Asia.” This can happen as the circulation around the polar vortex becomes less and less circular in shape.
The polar jet stream typically destabilizes along with the polar vortex as it becomes unstable, changing weather patterns. The contrast between cold, Arctic air and warmer, southerly air can foster the ideal environment for a bomb cyclone that is fast increasing.
According to Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, “the creation of any mid-latitude storm system involves a contrast of warm air from the lower latitudes and cold, polar air masses from the high latitudes.” “As a result, low-pressure areas at middle latitudes benefit from this temperature difference. The intensity will intensify more quickly the greater the temperature difference since there will be more energy available to lower the core pressure.
Although it’s not definite that climate change is to blame for the polar vortex’s instability, similar occurrences have been more often over the past 30 years.
They also affect a population that is generally accustomed to milder weather, even in the winter.
According to NWS Weather Prediction Center warning coordination meteorologist Alex Lamers, there will be a more drastic departure than what people and other living things have been experiencing lately, as The Guardian reported.
Since people are not acclimated to temperatures that might result in frostbite in less than five minutes, this change could overburden the electricity supply and put people in danger.
Animals could also experience a shock, particularly bird species whose ranges have grown or whose migration has been postponed due to climate change.
Brooke Bateman, director of climate science at the National Audobon Society, warned The Guardian that birds like bluebirds, which frequently time their migration based on weather and food availability, may find themselves unable to handle the cold spell while also attempting to flee from it.
Could the Climate Crisis Be to Blame for the Coldest Christmas in Decades in the United States?