Baby, it’s COLD outside! A mass of Arctic air is causing extreme weather conditions throughout the United States. The 10 day weather forecast indicate that the there will be weather travel delays as wind, snow, ice and frigid temperatures take hold. Even places like Florida are experiencing a cold snap. Reports that manatees are taking refuge near nuclear power plants for some warm water confirm this trend. Is the Northern Hemisphere headed for a mini-Ice Age?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 12: Larry Myer of Minneapolis shovels out his driveway after a snow storm December 12, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow in parts of the Midwest forcing the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings to be postponed till Monday and will be played in Detroit's Ford Field. There were no injuries reported from the collapse of the dome. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

We all like to talk about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. Or do they? If you are among those who complain about climate change being man-made, then you might be inclined to complain a little louder. Some blame this latest round of cold weather on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The leaked oil, they say, is causing the Atlantic Ocean to cool as the salinity is changed.

But for those of us who were born and raised in northern climates, like me, there is a simpler answer. It’s DECEMBER! Winter is upon us. You know, that season where temperatures drop and we get several months of nasty weather. Here in the once great city of Detroit, we typically get snow as early as late October. But, in fact, we’ve only had any measurable snowfall just this past weekend. Maybe an inch, if that.

The temperatures have dropped suddenly. A blast of Arctic air, known around here as the ‘Alberta Clipper’, has swept down across the northern tier states into the heart of the Midwest. Cities along the Great Lakes, like Cleveland and Buffalo, are getting hammered by ‘lake-effect-snow’. In Detroit, we had our first day of sub-zero windchill factors, with the ambient temperature around 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit and a steady 20 MPH wind out of the Northwest, gusty often well above 35 MPH.

The United States is not alone in this wave of extreme weather conditions. Europe, too, is experiencing some frigid weather. One must keep in mind that we are just coming off the low-end of the solar cycle. Sunspot activity is starting to pick up and will peak in the next three years. Even then, this last cycle saw an unusually low amount of solar storms and sunspots. The 10 day weather forecast indicate that the there will be weather travel delays as wind, snow, ice and frigid temperatures take hold. So bundle up and get ready. It’s December! Ho-Ho-Ho!

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 12: This photo composite shows Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Mall of America Stadium before (above) and after it's inflatable roof collapsed under the weight of snow and during a storm Sunday morning December 12, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow in parts of the Midwest forcing the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings to be postponed till Monday and will be played in Detroit's Ford Field. There were no injuries reported from the collapse of the dome. (Photos by Doug Pensinger (above) and Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

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