posted on: Thursday November 14, 2019
by Kyle Burgess ’21
The weather outside is looking rather frightful for many east coast residents as they brace for an Arctic blast set to shatter nearly 300 cold temperature records, providing a winter wonderland atmosphere two weeks before Thanksgiving arrives.
The coldest winds of the season are to blame for this dramatic drop in temperature, rolling across the Great Plains and towards the Atlantic Ocean. These winds are causing sub-zero readings in Minnesota and temperatures barely reaching the teens in Texas before moving on to bombard New England, the Deep South, and everywhere in-between.
In anticipation of the freeze, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward warned that some places in the East could experience temperatures on Wednesday afternoon up to 30 degrees below average. The National Weather Service echoed such sentiments, claiming that there was “potential for widespread record cold morning low temperatures and record low afternoon high temperatures” across the central and eastern United States.
Wintry conditions have already begun to take their toll in several states, like a fatal car crash in Osage County, KS that was the result of a driver losing control of their vehicle due to the icy highway and colliding head-on with an SUV, killing an infant and injuring three others. Missouri has also experienced its fair share of slip and slide conditions, leading to dozens of crashes.
Meanwhile, air traffic has been hit just as hard, with NBC reporting that around 2,000 flights at O’Hare International Airport had been delayed or canceled as of Monday afternoon with one plane sliding off a runway. Incoming flights experienced an average of six hours delayed with passengers for outgoing flights having to wait as long as 16 hours.
It just so happens that PC found itself in the bullseye of the storm’s path, with the heaviest snowfall expected in New England and the Great Lakes region as of Monday evening. Some locations were told to prepare for more than a foot of snow, although this was not entirely unexpected. Enhanced lake-effect snow was set to produce higher snow totals as freezing and windy conditions form over a not-so-cold lake, providing the perfect source for snowfall.