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“Polar Vortex” Threatens People, Playoff Games & Super Bowl

Polar Vortex hits the lower 48.

Polar Vortex hits the lower 48.

The polar vortex is an area of cold low pressure that typically circulates around the Arctic during the winter, spreading tentacles of cold southward into Europe, Asia, and North America at times. Except this time, it’s not a small section of the vortex, but what one forecaster, Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL Analytics, called “more like the whole enchilada” [that's visiting the eastern U.S.] [Capital Weather Gang]

"Polar Vortex" slamming U.S., bringing record cold.

“Polar Vortex” slamming U.S., bringing record cold.

THE WEATHER reports right now are frightening. What it means for America’s football finale and fans is, too. I’m updating and bumping this story, because it’s the biggest one in the country right now. Record cold in the form of what the geeks call the polar vortex will make the climate deniers scoff at “global warming,” which was the biggest marketing error ever conjured up.

From the AP:

The temperature predictions are startling: 25 below zero in Fargo, N.D., minus 31 in International Falls, Minn., and 15 below in Indianapolis and Chicago. At those temperatures, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in because wind chills could hit 50, 60 or even 70 below zero.

[...] Sunday’s playoff game in Green Bay could be among one of the coldest NFL games ever played. Temperatures at Lambeau Field are expected to be a frigid minus 2 degrees when the Packers and San Francisco 49ers kick off, and by the fourth quarter it’ll be a bone-chilling minus 7, with wind chills approaching minus 30, according to the National Weather Service. Officials are warning fans to take extra safety measures to stay warm including dressing in layers and sipping warm drinks.

[...] “It raises the chances for future cold,” he said, adding it could include next month’s Super Bowl in New York.

Virginia is a frozen tundra right now, which is very unusual.

Growing up, when I was an avid NFL fan, Cardinal football could get cold in the winter. I remember seeing games on TV from Green Bay with snow blanketing the field and the camera lens. I’ve never heard of playing in wind chills “approaching minus 30.” That’s no fun for anyone.

We prefer the best seat anywhere, which is in front of our big flat screen on our couch.

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4 Responses to “Polar Vortex” Threatens People, Playoff Games & Super Bowl

  1. Jane Austen January 5, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    For anyone out in the cold of Green Bay will certainly be “freezing their butts off.” I hope they understand what happens in this kind of cold and take measures to keep from getting frostbite and hypothermia. I was out with my husband, after the snowstorm the other day, clearing the snow away and it was below 0 degrees. We had to come in every ten minutes or so just to warm up and we were layered. Good luck to anyone out in Lambeau Field. Warm drinks, such as coffee, tea, hot cocoa are called for not alcoholic beverages. Of course, I’d opt for watching the game at home on my TV.

    • Taylor Marsh January 5, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      Hey JA. Amen! I was walking in VA on Friday, two blocks, and by the time I got into a shop my ears were numb! Green Bay is 10-times as cold, with the wind chill.

  2. secularhumanizinevoluter January 5, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I remember playing our last football game in high school(we kicked the Chatholic League “champs” butts) in 20 degree weather…the ground was so frozen our coach went up into the stands and traded our spikes for tennise shoes because the spikes just slid on the frozen ground. The sensation of hitting someone as hard as your whole body can propel you….when they are doing the same thing in the opposite direction is imposible to describe.
    With the temps they are talking about I wonder how the padding and such will hold up? Plastic and fiberglass get brittle in extreme cold…..glad I am an old man and not young and all testosteroned up anymore!!!

  3. AliceP January 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Yes, it is really cold, but unprecedented? :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freezer_Bowl

    1982. Cincinnati, air temp -9 wind chill something like -37.

    The air temperature in the Twin Cities usually goes down to the double digits below zero every few years when this polar air mass visits. In the mid-nineties there was a week of -30 lows. And yes, -10 can fee warm!

    Virginia is really 3 season country. This is a little taste of Real Winter!

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