Winter Storms Ravage The Midwest


During the week of January 28, an unusually cold polar vortex spread across numerous states in the midwest and northeast.

A polar vortex is an expansion of cold air that is stored in specific regions. During the cold seasons, the polar vortex located in the North Pole expands, sending most cold air southward. The result of this is below freezing temperatures in various areas of the US.

“I am not a fan of the most recent polar vortex,” junior Mitchell Chapic said. “These cold temperatures make it challenging to do ordinary everyday things such as getting in your car, or simply being outside for a short amount of time,” Chapic finished.

A polar vortex puts people in harm’s way, and can even result in death.

Throughout the week of January 28, when the vortex was present, it was reported that 22 people lost their lives due to these below freezing temperatures.

Biology and A.P. Environmental Science, Ms. Anderson has concerns over this recent polar vortex.

“A cold snap can be just as dangerous as a heat wave,” Anderson said. “This unfortunate consequence from the temperatures this past week illustrate the importance of heeding weather warnings, understanding how quickly frostbite and hypothermia can set in, and being prepared for emergencies, whether it is at home, or making sure your car has enough gas, blankets, air in the tires,” Anderson said.

Despite the risks these below freezing temperatures, some students, such as junior Tucker White, enjoyed their nice mid-week break from school.

“It was nice having a break mid-week,” White said. “During my time off, I didn’t do a whole lot. I mostly played video games and played ping pong, and watched a lot of ESPN,” White said.

Despite White having a good time during this cold spell, Chapic did not enjoy the below freezing temperatures lingering throughout Northeast Ohio.

“This cold spell really aggravated me and how I drove,” Chapic said. “The temperatures did not affect my actual driving, but my car always had a bit of a struggle trying to start when it was left outside for long periods of time. Also, the combination of my doors always being frozen and all the salt on the roads completely covering my car was not pleasant,” Chapic said.

As for Ms. Anderson, she believes there are serious environmental changes that come along with polar vortexes.

To put into perspective of how cold it was, the freezing temperatures in Chicago reached as low as fifty below freezing, and were expected to be colder than Mount Everest base camp caused three deaths. As for Northeast Ohio, in some areas it fell below -15 degrees.

Overall, the polar vortex affected many people. While some may be happy that school was off, there are growing concerns with how our environment is affected by these frequent cold spells.