Today I will pray for those affected by the bitter cold…
Please keep warm and safe everyone
From Today's Windsor Star just a reminder to stay indoors.
The coldest Windsor weather in 20 years will freeze the area Tuesday — all thanks to something frightfully frigid called a polar vortex.
Also known as an Arctic cyclone or a circumpolar whirl, the polar vortex essentially means the North Pole is moving in.
“The polar vortex describes a massive pool of cold air that normally swirls around the North Pole but that from time to time comes down south,” Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network, said Monday. “That’s not unusual, but what is unusual this time is that it’s almost like the entire North Pole decided to head south and set up over the American Midwest and southern Ontario.”
Polar Vortex 101
A polar vortex is the large and persistent cyclone swirling counter-clockwise above the north and south poles. At the north pole, the Arctic vortex typically has two centres: near Baffin Island and in Siberia. Polar vortexes strengthen in winter and weaken in summer and are the cause of most of our cold snaps.
Scott said the good news is that the deep freeze won’t stay long — it will be 4 C by Saturday. The bad news is that while the polar vortex remains, threateningly cold temperatures will prevail.
“It’s very dangerous to be outside, especially if you have any exposed skin,” Scott said. “This is about as brutal as it gets.”
The normal high for this time of year is -1 and the normal low is -8. According to Environment Canada, the high Tuesday will be – 19, with a low overnight tonight of -27. That will come close to Windsor’s all-time coldest marks, both set Jan. 19, 1994, when the high was -20.9 and the low was -29.1.
The coldest highs and lows ever recorded in Windsor since Environment Canada started keeping records in 1940 came Jan. 19, 1994, when the high was -19 C and the low was -29.1.
“We haven’t seen these temperatures in 20 years,” said Dave Phillips, Environment Canada senior climatologist. “This is prairies cold. This will freeze flesh in five minutes. This is dangerous.”
With wind chill — a combination of temperature and wind, which will blow at 40 km/h, gusting up to 60 — Phillips said the air could feel like -42 at its worst.
“We don’t keep wind chill records but my sense is that -42 wind chill has never occurred before in Windsor,” Phillips said. “These are terrible wind chills.”
Besides the cold and the wind, Windsor has had uncommonly heavy snowfall.
Wind chill info
Wind chill is the perceived temperatures people feel. Though no universal standard exists to calculate it, wind chill is a combination of temperature and wind speed, which causes a loss of heat through convection. Wind can cause frostbite sooner on exposed skin.
Sunday’s snowstorm brought 15 centimetres, hiking the winter total so far to 103. Normally we see 42 centimetres at this point. Last year we had 33. The record through the end of January, set in 2008-09, is 147 centimetres.
“There really has been a lot of snow,” Phillips said. “You have a real winter going on in Windsor.”
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars." ~Henry Van Dyke
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back."