What if the Polar Vortex stayed in place for a couple months? How would US be effected?

Inspired by this image of a frozen Chicago.

And these frozen images

Let’s consider if the Polar Vortex stayed where it is for a couple months. Naturally people would be grumpy. But how badly would the US be effected?

A few talking points. Add more if you want.

  1. Energy supplies
  2. Essential interstate shipping
  3. Deaths
  4. Economy
  5. Political ramifications

It has already been effected; that happened around 1776-1778.

How it might be affected by weather is another question.

Yes, Mother WAS an English teacher.

Outerwear sales would boom.

Not to mention was it 1819, the “Year without a summer”? Sorry, 1816. Interestingly enough that was also the era of the writing of Frankenstein :stuck_out_tongue:

On the good side, there should be less starvation, if the assholes who use political blackmail in food and supply delivery would all fucking drop dead and actually let the supplies get passed out to the people intended to get them. On the other hand, it could make taking out the Al Qaida easier if all the regular peasants they hid in die off because of the whole political supply blackmail that terrorists encourage …:dubious:

Well, that escalated quickly.

I predict there’d be a mini baby boom from October '14 to March '15.

I also predict that the stink bugs infestation would diminish. Woot!

The suicide rate would increase.

Suicide is actually most common in the Spring and Summer months, not the winter months, so perhaps the rate would go down.

Are you sure you’re in the right thread here? The subject is the cold snap in the United States and Canada, places not known for Al Qaida cells or mass corruption in food distribution.

[snipped irrelevancies]

That was caused by the Tambora eruption from the previous year, which sent tons of ash into the sky which eventually spread all across the globe. That is the most likely way for such a scenario to occur, in point of fact.

If it continues too long and expands, it could suck super-cooled air from the troposphere and flash-freeze all of North America. With wolves in Manhatten. I saw a documentary about this once.

It would possibly put a strain on electricity/energy portion of things.

Even in the 2 days in the territory I work in (I work for a power company) there was such a huge pull of electricity from people cranking their heat up and simply just staying in as opposed to going out, it caused a few outages and some minor flickering which was able to be resolved quickly but over time would be a bigger issue.

I imagine that many of next year’s crops would be harmed. OTOH, my tulips would probably turn out gorgeous.

Real Estate boom in California.

Nitpick: how would WE be affected

A sudden shift in cold weather has happened before. The Little Ice Age is one of the History channel’s best documentaries. Europe has warmed up some in the past 200 years. But Britain’s weather is still much colder today than it was before the LIA. It’s scary to realize this happened only 500 hundred years ago and lasted about three hundred years.

I have often wondered how much the North American continent was affected. We’ve gotten just a tiny taste this week of what our ancestor’s lived through.

The best defense is to hunker down, cuddle up with a hottie, and wait for your dad to save you.

On the bright side, it was suggested that this little slightly extended cold snap may kill off a good part of the Emerald Ash Borers.

How did people survive the 78 and 79 blizzards, that could be used as a starting point. Granted technology was not the same then as now, both for good and bad. I’m assuming back then you had more rail lines (in case semis failed) but you also didn’t have cell service, which should be more reliable than landlines.

For most (not all) people, as long as they have heat, the pipes don’t freeze and they have a few months of prepared/canned food they should survive fine.

No however areas like Afghanistan where the people depend upon local foodstocks get frozen out, they need to import food from elsewhere - the US is very active in shipping disaster relief food which certain governments hold hostage or refuse to distribute to groups that are resisting the government for one reason or another [typically they are the ‘wrong’ religion or ‘wrong’ tribe]. Hence my statement that food distibution would get fucked up by corrupt officials, or groups refusing to distribute the food to the ‘wrong’ people.

So? An eruption caused a volcanic winter, we have an Evil Cold Vortex from the arctic. Chicken, raven, what is the difference - if it is snowing in July, it is snowing in July whether it was caused by a freak weather condition or a volcanic eruption. Doesn’t matter the source, the result is what matters.

Exactly - if the wheat, barley and other subsistence crops are killed off, then there is starvation.

Well, I know that in one of the blizzards my mom and dad hosted 5 or 6 secretaries from the company offices at their house as they could not safely drive home. They had added a wood stove in the room they had added to the back of the house to turn the dining room and kitchen into a great room and had added some ventillation stuff so that the heat from the stove would get moved through the rest of the house. The house ended up being heated with the stove and mom did a lot of cooking for the next week or so that they were all snowed in on the wood stove. With town water and sewer, as long as the house was warm they had water and toilets, and like moms everywhere she had a ton of freaking candles so they lit with candles and played a lot of cards and board games, and listened to the radio until the batteries all died.

We have a lovely wood stove designed to cook upon and bake in [it has an oven area in it, great fun!] and our pipes are very well insulated. We have a well, but we also have a generator to run it. We have developed a way of dealing with power outages - first thing in the morning we top off the water tank [80 gallons] and that works for cooking and flushing water and filling my 100 qt stock pot which goes on the stove. The water on the stove is used for showers and washing up. We can fill my zodiand use it as a pressurized shower without using the little propane heater. When mrAru gets home, he pops on the gen set again and we refill the water tank for any overnight flushing of the toilet, or getting water for cooking. We have a second 110v gen set that we can use for running regular stuff like lights, the router, modem and one desktop for entertainment and communication, charging cells and whatnot. [the water pump is 220 v and we don’t need to keep that powered all day.] If I had the spare $5k for a generac and the $2 or 3K to install it, we wouldn’t bother with the little generators. When we move to either Florida or Fresno we are going to change over to solar and battery for backup power. Insolation in Connecticut is not efficient enough to be able to add solar and battery backup cheaper than a generator and installation.