Beginning in late January, and running into the first couple of days of February, it was super-duper cold here. Schools closed for days and days. What with one thing and another, my children had eleven consecutive school days off in that period. There have been some school years have had shorter holiday breaks in December. Yikes.
And, in Michigan, the entire state was asked to conserve natural gas for two days. This came as a request for major industrial consumers of natural gas to shut down (which they did), and for residential consumers to turn their thermostats down to 67 degrees. Daytime temps were warming up to not negative degrees F during this period.
Holy cow. The cause? A polar vortex, which is a phenomenon I had not heard of before a couple of years ago, descended on the midwest. How? Global warming. Rising global temperatures, and shifting warm and cold patters affected the flow of the high-atmosphere jet streams. The arctic air warmed up, and in those couple of weeks the warm pushed the cold air south.