Wild Weather: The Craziest Temperature Extremes Ever Recorded in the US

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If you thought the bomb cyclone of 2022 was cold, think again. Unexpected things blew out of proportion as the western part of the nation started having what should have been its usual winter season. No one was prepared to see their roads and homes completely blanketed in thick, dense snow and ice; find animals paralyzed or sprawled on the streets given that their faces and limbs were covered in thick frost; or the fact that even Americans, who are more than used to the cold, are barely holding on as they clench their teeth and shiver due to freezing temperature extremes. 

What’s even worse is that deaths have been occurring left and right due to this alarming weather condition. Some cases are so extreme that people get trapped inside their cars and pass away inside. As residents find themselves in life-threatening situations like this, they’re confused as to why this is happening in the first place. 

What are some of the most extreme temperatures ever recorded in the US?

HOTTEST: 134 °F, Death Valley, California in 1913

COLDEST: −79.8 °F, Prospect Creek, Alaska in 1971

BIGGEST TEMP CHANGE IN 24 HOURS: −54 to 49 °F, Loma, Montana, January 15, 1972

BIGGEST TEMP CHANGE IN 2 MINUTES: 49 °F, from −4 to 45 °F, Spearfish, South Dakota, due to Chinook winds

What can cause temperature extremes in the US?

Scientists believe that climate change is one of the direct causes of the temperature extremes that have been going on lately. Due to this global phenomenon, the Arctic is warming three times faster than normal compared to other parts of the world. 

This would spell disaster for humans because when global temperatures rise, it would cause the polar vortex to be disrupted. So what exactly is a polar vortex, you may ask? Well, a polar vortex is a weather phenomenon that gradually loses its stability and becomes weaker due to rising global temperatures, making way for extreme cold weather from the Arctic to move to countries like the US. 

How bad are the extreme weather conditions in the US now?

The US is currently experiencing a large number of fatalities due to the extreme cold. Unfortunately, a lot of these casualties were individuals who were doing their usual, daily routines and never made it back to their homes. According to The Guardian, a man went to get some groceries and never came back to his home. 

Another case involves a woman who got trapped inside her car and eventually passed away in the vehicle itself. As of January 1, 2023, the death toll has reached at least 60, the total number amassed across eight states in the US, according to CNN. 

How long would this kind of weather condition last?

According to a post by the NWS Weather Prediction Center on December 31, 2022, US citizens will still felt the consequences of winter storms. From January 1st to the 3rd, there was a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain for the Plains and the Upper Midwest. 

To stay updated on the latest weather report in the US, you may visit the NSW’s official website

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