Gov’t Says This Winter Is The 6th Warmest On Record — Great Lakes Still Freeze Over
The U.S. government’s climate office says so far this winter is the sixth warmest ever recorded for the United States — that is, unless you live in the Eastern U.S. where most of the Great Lakes are about to freeze over.
The National Climatic Data Center says the first two weeks of February have seen 4,074 record warm temperatures for this time of year while only seeing 236 record cold temperatures. While the East Coast is in a deep freeze, western states are seeing warm winter weather.
California, for example, is still in the midst of a severe drought that is being exacerbated by less than normal snowfall. Ski areas across the West Coast, from California to Oregon, are praying for snow, reports USA Today. NCDC said the U.S. experienced the 24th warmest January on record, mainly because of the warmth in the western part of the country.
But go eastward and it’s a whole other story. A rush of cold Siberia and Arctic air is causing the eastern U.S. to go into a deep freeze reminiscent of the polar vortex that wreaked havoc last winter.
How cold is it? Four of the five Great Lakes are on the verge of freezing over. Meteorologist Anthony Watts writes that the latest “graphics show Lake Erie totally covered with 9/10+ ice, Lakes Superior and Huron are nearly totally covered with 9/10+ and Ontario about 80% covered with 7/10+. It is likely Superior and Huron will join Erie with total coverage of 9/10+ in today or tomorrow’s report.”
“It is an unusual event for 3 of the lakes to freeze over, which only happens once every 6 to 8 years. Four or more freezing is a most unusual event,” notes Watts, who is the president of IntelliWeather, Inc.
Members of Congress are lucky to be on recess this week, as the temperatures in Washington, D.C. hit 19 degrees Fahrenheit Monday afternoon. With wind chill it felt more like 3 degrees Fahrenheit — This reporter is amazed he was even able to walk outside.
The Washington Post reports that record low temperatures are possible throughout the East Coast this Friday when temperatures are expected to plunge to 40 degrees below zero.
But there is hope for the millions of freezing Americans. The Post reports that even though “the cold is expected to linger in the Northeast over the weekend, temperatures will moderate across most of the eastern U.S. by Saturday.”
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