Published On: Sun, Feb 3rd, 2019

The USA Between Frost And Spring

Temperature fluctuations of 30 degrees within a few days: marmot Phil has announced the spring, but the cold comes back.

The US Frost

The marmot brings hope: While US meteorologists after a short breather in a few days again predict clashing frost, the marmot Phil has announced the spring. Phil could not see his shadow in the marmot day, traditionally celebrated on February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. That means a warm spring is coming. Although hope is dying recently, Phil’s prediction, carried over 133 years ago, has been accurate in less than 40 percent of cases – according to the ground- breaking “club” due to marmot language translation errors.

According to meteorologists, the spring announced by the marmot could only be short-lived. After arctic frost with temperatures well below minus 30 degrees Celsius, the thermometer jumped significantly up at the weekend. In Chicago, one of the centers of the cold temperatures of the past days, plus degrees were measured already on Saturday morning. But in the middle of next week, the next cold spell is approaching. By Friday, it should be freezing cold again, says the weather service ahead.

Unhappily threatens the West of the United States: In California, there should be some violent storms – with heavy rains on the coast and lots of snow in the mountains. In some areas precautionary streets were closed.

In many cities, the large temperature fluctuations are causing problems such as bursting supply lines, road potholes and unstable bridges. Areas affected by devastating forest fires in the summer are now threatened with flooding.

In Chicago it was colder on Thursday at minus 29 degrees Celsius than on any previous January days since records began in 1870. The metropolis of the million had temperatures of below 18 degrees Celsius for 52 hours. In fact, it was in Chicago, according to a report by the channel NBC temporarily colder than in Siberia, at the South Pole, on Mount Everest or in Alaska.

The New York Times reported that more than 20 deaths have been reported nationwide in the Arctic cold. Authorities blamed the extreme temperatures for the death of an 18-year-old student in Iowa. He was found unconscious on campus and later died in the hospital. Some of the fatalities were frozen, others died in weather-related accidents, it said.

The cold led in isolated cases to blackouts, but overall the comparatively fragile US power grid withstood the situation. Economists assume that the economic damage of the permanent frost will remain manageable – the restrictions on public life could be kept to a minimum.

Responsible for the biting cold was the so-called polar vortex. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), this air flow regularly occurs at the pole, when in winter no sun penetrates the Arctic permanent night, which could warm the cold air. The resulting so-called low altitude can generate strong western winds in the northern hemisphere. While the polar vortex usually remains stable with its center over the Arctic, it has spread unusually far south in recent days.