A polar vortex is headed for various parts of the country. Chicago and the midwest as a whole is experiencing colder temperatures than Arctic. On Tuesday, wind chills are expected to be between -15 to -30, with a high of 3 degrees and a low of -22, and it will only get colder from there. It is cold enough to freeze a pot of boiling water before it lands on the ground.This area is home to over 3 million people. There will be a huge chunk of the population out in the cold .
Polar Vortex Facts
A polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles.In Chicago, Lyft is offering free rides to warming centers using the code CHIJAYDEN19, up to $25 per ride, through Friday. In Chicago there are several warming centers for those stuck in the cold. Chicago Public School System has closed schools due to the cold. USPS is not interrupted . Extreme cold nor partial shutdowns can affect the mail service.This is for the record books on par with the blizzards of 1978-1970.
Ways to stay warm : Clothing
Clothing is your first line of defense against cold. Layers of clothing will prevent all cold temperature diseases like frost bite.Wear layers on layers of clothing.
- Long Underwear
- Insulated trousers
- Wool socks
- Heat tech T shirt
- Long sleeve shirt
- Double Layered Gloves
- Thermal Hoodie
- Winter coat
- Face mask
- Ear Muffs under Hoodies to prevent the frigid air from freezing your ears.
Ways to stay warm : Insulation
January historically is the coldest month for many places in the country.
- Make sure your home is well insulated.
- Keep thermostat above 55 F.
- Never use an extension with a space heater.
- Ovens are for warming up food not warming up your house.
- Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- In East Asia people use electric blankets and tables to stay warm.
- Electric blankets are inexpensive and energy efficient.
- If you want to get warm and pampered at the same time ,invest in a foot spa.
Ways to stay warm : Nutrition
Water is even more important in the Winter. Your body is over 70 percent water. Drinking adequate amounts of water is key to stay warm during the winter.
- More cases of dehydration occur in the winter than the summer.
- Dry air and lack of fluids are the key factors.
- Drink at least 1 1/2 liters of water.
- Hot Beverages like tea or hot chocolate are ok.
- Limit caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate you
- Avoid alcoholic beverages as it constricts blood vessels and dehydrates your body.
- Have a first aid kit on hand and learn the signs of Hypothermia.
- The tell tale symptoms are stiff muscles, shivering, cold skin ,and respiratory problems.
- Winter is the time when many infectious diseases spread.
- Keep your family healthy with hot soups and vitamin C.
- Sauerkraut historically has been a great source of Vitamin c during winter time.
- Soups replenish your vitamins and minerals
Ways to stay warm : Supplements
Buy some of those disposable hand and foot warmers from a pharmacy/ drug store or big box store. They may seem like a novelty. However they are great at keeping extremities warm. Shea Butter/ Moisturizers to prevent your skin from cracking. Antiperspirants are essential. Excess sweat will make you feel colder.
Ways to stay warm : Location
A quick summary of the lake effect for non meteorologists. The prevailing winds blow relatively warmer, moister air off the lakes, which then precipitates when it reaches the cold, dry air over land. So areas to the east of lakes tend to get tons on snow. This is the lake effect that can be observed in Buffalo,NY and any city near a great lake . The weather is always colder near Lake Michigan.
- You are better off in your house or in a car.
- If you plan to drive. Stock your car with road salt, a shovel, antifreeze, windshield and an extra pair of gloves.
- Avoid touching any metal surfaces if temperatures are below 20 F.