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Hot NYTimes map of US cold storm

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young
2021-02-19

Most of the middle of the United States got to re-enact The Day After Tomorrow as a polar vortex stormed through the country, probably sparked by climate change. (This is literally the script of said disaster movie, one of my wife’s favourites.) As a South African who just survived a week of sub-zero temperatures, snow and extremely treacherous ice*, I can empathise with Texans’ shock and struggle. (Fortunately the Dutch have experience with keeping the lights on, the water flowing and the windmills churning through European winters.)

Disaster breeds opportunity however, especially if you’re a team of elite mapmakers from the New York Times. Once again employing a beautiful colour palette, it knocked out an instantly-iconic map of the freezing centre of the US. My only criticism is that it’s in Fahrenheit, so I’ve done some conversions to save you the trouble. 32ºF is freezing point, 0º Celsius. Zero Fahrenheit, the large swath in the middle, is a stunning -17.7ºC. The scale goes all the way down to -10ºF, which translates to -23.3ºC.

See this map, plus power outage maps and a deviation map on the New York Times here.

* My son fell through the ice on a canal, and I saw a poor lady fall so badly that emergency services had to be called, and my own ass is still sore from hitting the deck.

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery.

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