Helena Klonis, ‘17
Recently, the weather has been out of control all over the country and particularly in New York, making it extremely difficult for BHSEC students to commute safely, efficiently, comfortably, and on time. Trains have been delayed, buses have been nearly crippled, and walking has become an arduous struggle through wind, cold, ice, puddles, snow, and slush.
Public transportation has become an enormous issue for students in this weather. Delilah Kutler ’17 says, “Trains are delayed, so I have to wake up and leave ten to fifteen minutes earlier now. Also, I have to bring two pairs of shoes because one of them gets ruined on the walk to school.” For many students taking public buses, the weather has been posing a huge issue. Holly Hutchinson ’17 says, “The bus is late when there’s snow and I use the bus to get to school.”
According to AccuWeather.com, temperatures have dropped as low as 4°F during January and February of 2014: at the same time last year, the lowest temperature was 11°F. This nearly sub-zero temperature was reached on Tuesday, January 7th, the first day of the “polar vortex.” This was a day of extreme cold that all students had to face in order to get to school. Everyone was advised to dress as warmly as possible, and students came into school wearing layers upon layers of clothing. So what exactly caused this polar vortex? According to cnn.com, this drastic weather was the result of a break in the flow of cold air (the polar vortex) around the North Pole. The break allowed the air to sweep down to areas in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing with it incredibly low temperatures. This occurrence is referred to as “Arctic Oscillation.” This is possibly a result of global warming, as excess heat has the potential to cause irregular weather by altering the downward sweeping air.
This weather has proved to be very dangerous, mostly because of the inordinate amount of ice it produces. It is vital to wear proper footwear to prevent the risk of injury from slipping and falling. Heart issues have also increased as a result of this weather. The American Heart Association says that the cold weather leads to hypothermia, especially in the elderly, which increases the risk of heart problems. Shoveling is also a danger to the heart, because of the strain it puts on it. According to The New York Times, 2-3 times the amount of regular patients come into hospitals following a storm, due to heart issues. Hospitals prepare for snowstorms by circulating extra ambulances, and medical workers sleep at their workplaces in order to be prepared to treat patients who have fallen or received any other weather-related injuries.
It is important for students to be aware of the weather and take proper precautions in order to be prepared for any weather, so that getting to school safely and on time is less of a challenge. Yet the end of this intense winter season is approaching soon, and the entire country will soon be relieved of this burden.