• NOAA

Remember the Polar Vortex? How big do you think it was? Turns out if was freakishly big, more of a Continental Polar Obliteration than a mere vortex. This chart shows the extent of its freakish bigness, courtesy of the good satellites and glowing supercomputers of NOAA's Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS). The data are from the 7th, when the temps even in places as far as Texas were well south of freezing. Each color coded area shows the freezing level in hundreds of feet of altitude. That means every place shown in white on this map was at or below freezing. For once, Seattle was one of the hot spots. Okay, warmish.