How Deep is the Freeze and Why

The headline in today’s San Diego Union Tribune reads U.S. Enters Deep Freeze.”

Borrowing an old phrase from TV’s legendary Johnny Carson show, “So how cold is it?” Well right now it is so cold, so very cold, in many parts of the country that temperature records that go back 30, 40, or 50 years or more are being set in places where sub-freezing weather rarely happens.

But this winter storm, that The Weather Channel folks have named Winter Storm Uri, is so rare, they are having trouble coming up with ways to describe it. Flashed across the Weather Channel screen are the words Historic Winter Invasion.

It is indeed that. This meteorological invasion stretches from Texas to New York and from the Deep South to the Midwest and the Northwest. Scientists call it the polar vortex, described as a gigantic upper air weather pattern in the Arctic circle that surrounds the North Pole. Sometimes it heads farther south but this year...way farther south.

And the storm has become dangerous, with a state of emergency in Texas with millions of people without power and without water and.. roads with so much ice and/or snow you don’t dare drive on them.

And at a time when we don’t want any more bad news about the pandemic, the winter storm is forcing delays in shipments of vaccines in many areas. If only these super cold temperatures could kill the coronavirus for us. At least that would take some of the chill, and the virus, away.

READ MORE about Winter Storm

(Photo Getty Images; Austin, Texas Feb 15, 2021)

Cliff Notes 2-16-21