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75% of the US will suffer below-freezing temps this week (cnn.io)
45 points by LinuxBender 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 62 comments

As someone from the midwest, below-freezing is no big deal(so suffer seems like a silly word). I'm curious how much will suffer below 0F(~-18C) this week. We certainly will, and the wind chill won't help.

Indeed, below freezing really isn't very bad. I'm sure it was just chosen for the statistic.

Also midwest, and below freezing is fine and below 0 is annoying. This potential -60F windchill through Minnesota on Wednesday is terrifying. The worst I've ever experienced is -40 and it was brutal.

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/national/weather-forecast-... (third map)

Once the windchill gets beyond -40C/F it doesn't really matter anymore. Any exposed skin is just as frozen. Your eyelashes are still sticking together.

It would probably be better to just report it as some sort of "scarf required" zone followed by "scarf required and it might be a bit uncomfortable" zone.

Funny I had the opposite reaction, I live in Minneapolis and if it gets that cold I'm going on a walk, I've been in -45 and wanted to beat my record. But I also do have a large amount of winter gear.

Right. MN here. Forecast is for -33, windchill -60. I've been here > 20 years, and can only remember twice when it got to -20s. I'm not sure my car will even start on Thursday morning.

What do they mean by "suffer"? Isn't this normal in winter?

In some places (southern US), freezing temperatures are abnormal and can cause damage to crops (livelihoods), property, cause significant physical discomfort and potentially death (homeless).

The US is a really big place. Some of us go for a jog in 35°c, and some of us wear shorts and a t-shirt in 5°c.

Where I live, I only own a single item of 'warm clothing' because it's unnecessary for 360+ days of the year. We also have no heating in the home other than a small space heater. These temperatures will be rather uncomfortable, and will likely kill half our garden and potentially cause damage property.

Not fun.

The usage in the headline is more akin to “the company suffered a blow to its bottom line,” that is, not to literally suffer, but to endure a difficulty.

That said, if you don’t live in a sub-arctic climate and don’t own the kind of outerwear rated for -15° F and below, suffering an actual injury is a very real possibility.

They wanted the 75% number, but if you look at e.g. the mid-west it's going to be insanely cold (I grew up there; it's expected to be cold right now, but this is something else.)

It's colder than it typically is almost everywhere, so for people who live in the north it's a big deal. For people who live in the south and don't plan for freezing temps... also a big-ish deal.

Fwiw, in South Dakota, where generally most winter days would be <0F, we've abnormally averaged well above that this winter. Our average is probably something closer to around 25-30.

Now, Wednesday, we'll be < -20F, which is cold, but nothing we haven't dealt with before and nothing entirely out of the normal. If anything, winter has been abnormally warmer for us.

Hi Berdon!

I grew up in Mitchell, but left about 30 years ago. As a youth, I had a paper route and vividly remember walking backwards on some cold days to keep the wind out of my face.

Good luck with this upcoming cold snap!

Indeed -20F to -40F is very cold. I think this would be the more impressive headline. Over here we do not go much below 0F, maybe -10F, so -40F is difficult to imagine.

About the south: I used to stay for a while in Austin, TX. During winter we had temperatures below freezing (just ice, no snow). The locals told us that this happens at least every other year. For this some were suprisingly unprepared though, in particular with regard to driving skills, water pipes and building insulation.

Hey, I'm in Austin now! Been here about three years and yep, occasional freezes, but everyone loses their minds. People in brand new houses open all of the cabinets and run the water to keep the pipes from freezing...

Last year it even snowed here. Twice. Nothing major, just a thin layer of snow for a day or two, but the schools shut down. When I lived in SD a light rain would lead to everyone driving 20mph below the speed limit on the freeway.

I'm not sure it's totally "normal". My own recollections of living in Michigan were cold in January, but... from what I can tell, they've only had perhaps 2 or 3 days above 32F this month; basically an entire month or sub-freezing. That doesn't jive with my own memories of living there (for ... 30+ years).

To some extent that "yes, much of the country is cold" in January, yeah, the headline might be slightly out of sync - maybe it's only 60% normally? I think the bigger issue is just how cold it is in so many places where it's not normally this cold.

Normal to the north; not normal to the south or west.

At least, temperatures that allow for snow to appear are not normal in the south or on the west coast. Spot temperatures below freezing are.

I'd believe it's normal for 75% of the land area.

temperatures that allow for snow to appear are not normal in the south or on the west coast

That's more of a stereotype than a fact.

It gets very cold in winter in the vast majority of nation, including the south and west. It snows in Las Vegas every year. Las Vegas even has a ski resort.† But people rely on an old cartoon-inspired vision of what a "desert" is, rather than the fact that "desert" means a place with little water, not necessarily high temperatures year-round.

Their vision of "American desert" is usually Monument Valley.†† But guess what, that's under snow right now, too. And it's not unusual.

https://www.leecanyonlv.com †† https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Valley


Vegas and Colorado are neither coastal nor southern. My vision of "American desert" is probably near Albuquerque where I lived for several years. It snowed every year. But you'll note that New Mexico isn't part of the south either, despite its location on the border.

Who mentioned Colorado? Monument Valley is Arizona.

My mistake; I saw "Colorado Plateau" in the wikipedia article.

It's on the border between Arizona and Utah.

Depends where you are. Along the California coast, snow is nearly unheard of, but of course it will snow in the Sierra Nevadas.

It's hyperbole, I actually enjoy winter weather.

It is, or was 20yr ago. We've become used to the more mild weather.

I'm from the midwest and it's been pretty darn cold the last few days. This week is supposed to have a low around -30. I live pretty far out in the country, so I've stocked up my truck with extra hats and coveralls (which I call my bunny suit), and an extra set of boots.

This morning I saw a few cars in the ditch after some ice last night, so stopped to see if anyone needed a ride or just to get out of the cold. In these temperatures, I try to be a little extra mindful of neighbors in need and helping people who are stranded.

Good news though, it's going to be much warmer this weekend, so something to look forward to!

Weather patterns the past week have been very all over the place. It looks like we'll be in an El Niño weather pattern this winter/spring which will make it feel a bit warmer. The polar vortex also is spilling out due to the higher temperatures, which will ironically lead to cooler temperatures in Canada/US like the article mentions.

I'm sure this was linked to HN because of larger climate change concerns. Average global temperatures are increasing, but short term periods of warming and cooling are pretty cyclical.

Yep, weather != climate, and it goes both ways. Glad the article didn't try to push any climate aspect.

It's supposed to be -18 in mid-Illinois, with a windchill of -48. This typically happens once or twice a year - not fun, three days later it's supposed to be mid-50's.

Gotta love the 70+ degree swings.

I just want consistent weather, i.e. minimize the distance between the weekly minimum / maximum. Is that too much to ask?

Central Illinois was my first time experiencing freezing rain. Leaving work, everyone had to spend 30+ minutes chiseling an inch of ice off their windshield with their car blasting heat, while being rained on and whipped with strong wind.

It's not too bad if you're patient and plan ahead: raise the wipers so they're not frozen to the windshield and let the car warm up. After about 5-10 minutes of warming, the ice on a windshield comes off very easy. Granted, the last storm wasn't an inch of ice, it was about a 1/4" of ice, some snow, then about another 1/4" of ice. Took me longer to shovel around the car than it did to clean the car itself off.

That sheet of ice over your whole car isn't too bad if you can figure out the right amount of force to crack the ice without also cracking your windshield. :D

One day last week I spent my time after work removing it off my car, then driving to where my friend works, and removing it off her car too.

Yeah... Gripping and flipping a sheet of ice off a windshield is surprisingly satisfying.

Same feeling here 4000 miles away from US, that's probably just an old almost forgotten reflex from the last ice age

This is what you agree to[1] when you live in Illinois. ;) Hello, fellow Illinoisan.

[1] Other things you agree includes a terrible budget, corrupt politicians, and the sad realization that the government here only works here at all when those corrupt politicians are in charge.

I live in Illinois, while I accept and can deal with the weather, I neither agree with, nor accept any of the corruption. I generally vote against every incumbent at every election.

My sad realization is that when we elected a governor who wasn't interrelated with the existing cronies, we ended up without a budget for over two years.

I'm not looking forward to the heat wave this weekend. Either this large accumulation of snow will cause flooding, or it will melt a bit and then turn solid when the temperature drops again.

I'm not terribly concerned, and I live right on the banks of the Salt Creek in the western Chicago 'burbs. The creek level is pretty low currently and has plenty of capacity for run-off. I'm sure there are areas that might experience flooding, but I wouldn't expect any more than a heavy summer storm.

A thaw/freeze cycle also isn't that bad if you've already shoveled what you need to. If you haven't, yeah, it's going to suck when to get around to it.

Places with more favorable weather usually cost a premium :(. Seattle is pretty mild though if you're in the market.

Does Seattle have favorable weather? My in-laws live there (Redmond) and every time we go there it is raining. We live in Portland and I can't tell you how many times we've left Portland with sunny weather and it has been steadily raining in Seattle, even in August! I think somewhere like San Diego has what would be considered more favorable weather.

Depends on what you consider favorable. Winters don't normally ever drop below freezing, and Summers don't normally stick above the 70Fs. It's pretty moderate thanks to the mountain ranges.

That's the new normal friend. AGW means more unpredictable weather from now on.

That's the old normal, too.

The actual headline is "75% of the US population" - something really rather different indeed.

75% of the US Land Area would be kind of a snoozer headline since that would include Alaska.

Below freezing is nothing, but the people who understand this will see temperatures FAR below that.

Living in Ohio, we're well equipped to handle this. Will be thinking about everyone else who may not be use to these types of conditions. Stay smart, safe, and somehow warm everyone!

Meanwhile, in Oz, we are having one of the hottest Summer on record.

Its a great week to live in the Bay Area.

Tomorrow's forecast is 2-3 inches of auto window glass in most parking lots.

and if you're wondering, that's probably 100% for us canadians lol

How many homeless people in the US are dying per day under such conditions?

This may be a good place to start: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5739436/

Conclusion: Our results indicate excessive mortality among the homeless as well as the weak and rather typical influence of atmospheric conditions on mortality rates in this subpopulation, except for a greater risk of cold related deaths than in the general population... Deaths caused by hypothermia were thirteen-fold more frequently recorded among the homeless than for the general population. A relative risk of death for a homeless person even in moderate cold stress conditions is higher (RR = 1.84) than in thermoneutral conditions.

Averaged? 1.9 per day, 700 yearly. https://nationalhomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Wint...

Throughout the US from 1999 to 2011, an average of about 1,301 per year (but not exclusive to homeless). https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6151a6.htm https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr076.pdf

Also there was an average of 658 deaths per year due to heat or humidity (again, not exclusively homeless). https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/prolonged-exposu...

These deaths are mostly preventable by just giving people a room to sit in that's warmer/colder than the outside air, for a very small number of nights/days. An outreach program during these periods of extreme temperatures could have a big impact.

Some for sure, I've heard plenty of news about incidences. Sub-freezing isn't too bad though, especially with layers and a good sleeping bag. The worst happens if you get wet or are exposed to wind.

In the past, I notice cold snaps affect southern homeless more. Those up north know how to prepare for -20, some down south might not survive an overnight freeze.

Big thank you for that lite.cnn.io URL variant.

Very apropos to HN. The home page is beautiful: http://lite.cnn.io/en

I disagree, the lite edition significantly deteriorated my user experience.

On a wide 4K monitor, the text is not centred, stretching from the far left to the far right, making it very difficult to continuously read a sentence from left to right. Limits like 80 characters per line exist for a reason.

The text is formatted in a very annoying manner, line by line, sentence by sentence, like it was spit out by a debugger in a terminal. I'm trying to compare this to the experience of reading a column in a newspaper with proper typography and visual layout.

The page already loads a css stylesheet which is mostly empty, for whatever reason, and also tries to load an analytics plugin with javascript, so I don't see the reason to omit basic stylesheets to at least make it readable.

Compared to the "full" version with an adblocker, even with JS disabled, in my eyes it's still a significant step down.

It was not meant for a 4k desktop. It was meant for mobile devices.

Agreed! Wish there was a way to give active feedback to the team that made this a thing. I guess just usage metrics do more than anything else.

Our CTO whipped it up as a pet project.

Thank you. It even has https. Specific story: https://lite.cnn.io/en/article/h_396c1cebaabf10f1f4e74fdae10...

Ditto! I didn't even know that existed.

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