Anthony Gray did what almost all of the 6,000 or so homeless people in Atlanta had to do Monday, as temperatures plunged to a record 6 degrees F.: He made a decision to possibly save his own life, or at least his fingers and toes, from the polar vortex.
A person who says he likes his own space, which means often sleeping by himself outdoors, Mr. Gray decided to seek shelter with the multitudes clustering around community hearths amid a dangerous, even deadly, Arcticcold wave that weather experts said had the potential of freezing bare skin with only 15 minutes of exposure.
“All the homeless people ran for their lives, and I did, too!” says Gray, who took sanctuary in county-run Grady Hospital, which cares for the city’s poor. “I’d never seen it so cold in the South.” he said.
As temperatures finally floated above freezing on Thursday, those who live in a part of the country unaccustomed to minus wind chills reflected on a dangerous few days that plunged Southern cities with vulnerable homeless people from Austin to Atlanta into a historic cold.
To be sure, the chill took its toll: Two people died in the Atlanta area from exposure, part of a cohort of some 21 people across the US who died for reasons connected in some way to the frigid weather.
Comparatively, however, only a few who perished could be considered chronically homeless, even though those folks are arguably the most cold-vulnerable group of Americans, with as many as 800,000 of them sleeping outside on any given night.
That suggests to some that many Americans showed particular, though perhaps not unexpected, concern for the less fortunate in a cold snap that exposed so many already-vulnerable citizens to weather that was, as Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth told NBC News, “[It is cold enough to take your breath away}”
State emergency officials said they were on high alert as the dense mass of polar cold air approached last weekend. Yet in the end, not a single Georgia municipality requested help from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), which mostly gave warnings and updates on the “weather event” as it proceeded into the midweek.
- Another polar vortex could be on its way(weather.aol.com)
- Homelessness in Winter Cold(indybay.org)
- Homeless seek sanctuary as ‘polar vortex’ freezes parts of US and Canada(euronews.com)
- #Homeless become tourists? in Waikiki, HI during winter #migration(vermonthomeless.wordpress.com)
- Image: Titan’s sunlit edge(phys.org)
#AceWeatherNews says “Polar Vortex Plunges Mid-West, Northeast into Record Deep Freeze” at -70 degrees below ZERO #climatechange
Record-low chilling temperatures are predicted to blast parts of the Great Plains, extending to the Eastern seaboard, while a second winter storm is expected later Saturday through Monday.
Factoring in wind chill, temperatures as low as 50 to 70 degrees below zero are forecasted in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest by Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. At least 16 deaths have been linked to weather across Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, USA TODAY reports. Emergency officials warn that such startling temperatures could lead to frostbite or even hypothermia in a matter of minutes. One man died outside his Milwaukee home, where temperatures surged below zero in Wisconsin.
Meteorologists attribute the “polar vortex” to freezing air from the North Pole being pushed down to as far as the Gulf Coast of the U.S., the Associated Press reports. In Atlanta, temperatures will be in the…
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#AceWeatherNews says as at 20 December 2013 – Met Office forecasters are expecting the current unsettled weather to continue in the run up to Christmas, with spells of heavy rain and strong winds affecting the UK at times.
Much of this weekend will be cool and showery before an area of low pressure develops over the Atlantic on Sunday, deepening rapidly to pass just to the north-west of the UK on Monday and into Tuesday. This is bringing very strong winds and heavy rain to much of the UK from Monday morning through to late Tuesday morning and Met Office National Severe Weather Warningshave been issued for wind and rain across the southwest and northern areas of the UK over the next few days.
The public should be aware of the potential for significant disruption to travel due to the very strong winds and also the risk of some flooding issues due to the heavy rain.
During this period of unsettled weather, people are advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and find out what to do in severe weatherso they can plan ahead for the weather in store and make the most of the festive season.
Chief Forecaster Eddy Carroll said: “We can expect stormy weather in many areas to start the Christmas week, but looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we are expecting it to turn colder, with a mix of wintry showers and sunny spells but for wind speeds to drop. So there is a chance that some places may see a White Christmas“.
Throughout this unsettled spell Met Office forecasters and advisors are working round the clock with our partners to keep everyone up to date with the latest forecast information so they can plan and prepare for the expected weather.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “People who are set to be away from home for the festive period are urged to check the flood situation and take precautionary steps to prepare, for example by moving valuable items to safety, before travelling. People are also urged to check the flood risk situation for their journey and at their destination.
“People are also being urged not to drive through dangerous flood water. The Environment Agency has teams on the ground checking flood defences and monitoring river levels and will have teams ready to respond throughout the Christmas period.”
John McTaggart Head of On-Road Services at the Highways Agency said: “We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of the weather being forecast for next week.
“Road users are urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on motorways and major trunk roads.
“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signposted diversion routes.”
Don’t forget you can “Tell a Forecaster” the impacts the weather is having in your area, uploading photos and information via your mobile phone.
In this video Met Office Chief Forecaster, Eddy Carroll, explains how we expect the weather to develop over the next few days, the potential for a stormy day on Monday and whether we’ll see a White Christmas.
Last updated: 20 December 2013
- Weather warnings for heavy rain across Dorset in run-up to Christmas (bournemouthecho.co.uk)
- The Met Office’s outlook for UK winter (norfolkwinter.com)
- Gale force winds forecast for Christmas Eve (northdevongazette.co.uk)
- HERE COMES THE SNOW: It really IS going to be a WHITE CHRISTMAS claim forecasters (express.co.uk)
- Flood warnings for Sussex as wind and heavy rain hits county (theargus.co.uk)
- Environment Agency and Met Office issue weather warnings for Southern England (getreading.co.uk)
- Severe weather warning for rain issued by Met Office for East Sussex (sussexexpress.co.uk)
#AceWeatherNews says ” Snow Falls in Saudi Arabia” #snow
Scientists’ vs. Public Understanding of Human-Caused Global Warming A New Report by Cook et al. (2013)
A new report by Cook et al. (2013) examined nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers in the climate science literature; the analysis found that 97% of the papers that stated a position on the reality of human-caused global warming said that global warming is happening and human-caused, at least in part. By contrast, only 41% of Americans say global warming is happening and human-caused. Assuming the scientific literature reflects climate scientists’ conclusions about global warming, Americans’ belief in human-caused global warming is about 56 percentage points lower than that of the climate science community.
Public Perceptions of the Degree of Scientific Agreement
Despite nearly unanimous agreement among climate scientists that the Earth’s climate is warming due to fossil fuel burning and other human causes, only 42% of Americans believe that most scientists think global warming is happening. One third (33%) of Americans believe that “There is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether global warming is happening” (Leiserowitz et al. 2013).
Further, in May 2011, we found that only 15% of Americans correctly understand that over 80% of climate scientists think global warming is human caused (Leiserowitz et al. 2011).
- Ninety Companies Responsible For Two-Thirds Of Human-Caused Global Warming Emissions (thinkprogress.org)
- Broad consensus on climate change across American states (skepticalscience.com)
- “Consensus” on man made global warming? (siftingreality.com)
- Broad consensus on climate change across American states (theconversation.com)
- The 97% consensus myth – busted by a real survey (wattsupwiththat.com)
- Poll: Global Warming’s Divide More Political than Scientific (hispanicbusiness.com)