An angry climate’s consequences

Global warming leads to current record breaking winter storm


Caden Rainwater

On Feb. 15, residents of Texarkana looked out their windows to see endless amounts of snow. School has already been canceled on Feb. 17 due to predicted snow fall.

Story by Doug Kyles, news editor

Look out your nearest icy, frozen window and gaze on a snowscape worthy of Alaska. Then, remember you are actually, in fact, in East Texas. It’s obvious the current weather conditions in our area (and state as a whole) are not normal. 

Currently, our (roughly) 8 inch snowfall rivals NOAA observation stations in part of the Arctic. And compared to our area historically, we’re currently beating the lowest temperature on record.

But why? And How? Aren’t we in the age of global warming?

The phenomenon of global warming is actually what has temperatures and it will most definitely lead to patterns of even extreme weather

It is Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) that leads to mid range latitudes experiencing the extremely cold weather they currently are. This warming weakens the winds that hold the Polar Vortex in place over the Arctic, allowing for the frigid Arctic air to make its way down to us. In this way, increasing levels of warming leads to the opposite effect.

The consequences of this are great. According to CNN, more than 4.3 million households and businesses were without power as a result of a winter storm and freezing temperatures that swept into the state Monday. The entire state was below freezing early Tuesday.

These outages have reached areas surrounding Texarkana. This leaves residents worrying about basic necessities such as heating their homes and getting water. Many of the outages were intentional, as electric companies created rolling blackouts (in which companies turn off power to one area to divert it to another for a period of time) to combat the unprecedented strain of millions of Texas homes needing extra power all at once. 

“Our power was out for two hours; the line to the electric company was too busy to get a call through,” senior MaryGrace McAfee said. “My family and I had to crowd around the fireplace for heat, and we were worried that we’d have to put all our groceries outside to keep them cold.” 

The effect winter storms like this one can have on millions of families is great; our state had now been at a standstill for two days, and it’s likely to be many more. It’s crucial to recognize global warming’s role in these deadly storms, so that we might actively address the problem in the ways we can.