Extreme Cold Proves Deadly in Europe
While much of the U.S. has had a mild winter this year, record cold and snow are being blamed for dozens of deaths in Europe. According to the Associated Press, snow has fallen as far south as the Adriatic Sea, and the Black Sea has frozen along the Romanian coast. In Ukraine, temperatures dipped to the -20s°F, killing more than 40 people, many of them homeless, and hospitalizing hundreds more with hypothermia.
A southerly plunge in the jet stream is allowing Arctic air to flow into Europe and Asia, where snow cover is above average. During the past few winters, weather patterns in the Arctic played a key role in bringing cold and snowy conditions to the U.S. and Europe. This winter, however, weather patterns have set up differently, and the U.S. has been protected from harsh winter weather. In fact, the only the only state that has experienced a prolonged period of unusual cold and snow so far this winter is Alaska, where temperatures dipped all the way to -65°F at the end of January.