Extreme Winter Weather

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Katie Udell

Editor in Chief

2019 was marked as an extreme winter extravidy. With  below freezing temperatures of minus 66 to weekly blizzards in the midwest, it has truly been a record breaking winter.

The end of January the Minnesota Governor started the new year with a gift to students as ALL Minnesota schools were shut completely for two days, due to the polar vortex that swept across the midwest. With record breaking low temperatures of minus 30 without windchill and minus 66 with windchill, the midwest was colder than Antarctica, according to The Weather Channel.

To turn the midwest into a greater winter wonderland, Minnesota was faced not only with one blizzard, or two blizzards, or three blizzards, but four blizzards in February alone this winter. Late February brought winter storms Quiana, Petra, Maya, and Lucian. Winter snow storm Jayden and Harper took place in January, along with the latest snow storm occurring March 10th, according to Winter Storm Central.  

Other winter storms have been reported around the nation, the ones listed above have only taken place in the midwestern region.

Due to the bitter cold of the polar vortex that took place in January, it has been concluded that 17 people lost their lives due to the extremely cold temperatures, according to The Weather Channel. Although deaths have not been reported in Minnesota due to the polar vortex. The majority of those who have passed were over the age of 60, besides two college students from Iowa State and University of Vermont.

144 frostbite injuries were recorded in Illinois alone, according to Dr. Stathis Poulakidas, who heads Chicago’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital burn and wound care services.

“Frostbite can set in as quickly as three to 10 minutes with conditions as extreme as Chicago has seen lately. Factors like age, alcohol consumption and apparel — like wet socks and gloves — can affect how quickly it can set in,” said Poulakidas.

Top stories due to the polar vortex in Minnesota:

Pipes froze at a water tower in White Bear Township, causing water to overflow from the water tower, spill onto roadways. The water quickly turned the roads to sheet of ice according to the White Bear Township Facebook.

The extreme cold cracked rails along the Minneapolis light-rail system, forcing trains onto a single track.

The extreme cold halted snow plow operations in 11 southeastern counties. The cold was causing mechanical issues with the snowplows, according to MDot officials.

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