Since I moved to Alabama from D.C. for college, one thing I have adored about the south is the weather. Winter lasts like a month and it only gets below freezing a handful of times. As someone who hates cold weather, this has been a very pleasant change, but lately I have started to miss snow. Snow is such a pretty occasion and in my mind is the only worthwhile part of the winter months. Sadly, we don’t get it much down here. Well lucky for me, the messiah of Alabama, Nick Saban, has decided to bless us with a snow day tomorrow. This is not too uncommon as it will typically snow once every few years, but there is a troublesome reason for this snowfall tomorrow.

A sizeable chunk of the polar vortex, which is the zone of frigid air that circles the north pole, is making its way down to the good ole US of A to unleash a snowy hell on most of the country, particularly the midwest. It is going to bring about potentially life-threatening temperatures that may be the coldest we have seen in decades. The area that will be hit the hardest is the midwest, especially the area spanning from Minnesota and Iowa to Michigan. Temperatures may set record setting lows and it might get pretty dangerous.

On Wednesday the temperature in Chicago is expected to be colder than Mount Everest, Antarctica, and Siberia. There is a very legitimate chance that over the next week, the USA will be the coldest place on earth. On Sunday in International Falls, Minnesota the temperature reached -46℉, which was the fifth lowest temperature ever recorded there. That is absolutely insane. I freak out when I have to put a sweatshirt on these days, but people up North are preparing for a full blown winter emergency.  

It should be self-explanatory that these temperatures can be very dangerous. In temperatures that cold, it may only take a few minutes of exposure to get frostbite on the skin. I’m no weather expert, but I’m gonna recommend you stay inside as much as possible the next few days if you live in the midwest. This is gonna be absolutely hectic weather and can potentially be life threatening.

On the bright side, maybe this will be good preparation for the nuclear winter that will almost certainly be in our futures. Or perhaps climate change will perhaps one day make it so that every winter in our future is like that. Hopefully that never happens, but for now I’ll enjoy my snow day and day off from school. To my Midwestern friends: stay safe over the next few and don’t forget to layer up. It might get chilly.

– Jake Hornyak

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