9 Infographics to Help You Battle the Polar Vortex

As anyone who lives in most of North America knows, it’s cold outside right now. The US has experienced record breaking low temperatures this week, with frigid air coming farther south than it has in a very long time. The polar vortex, normally constrained to the arctic has been forced southward due to high pressure. Perhaps the best way to show you the result is a side-by-side comparison of maps showing the polar vortex a few days vs a couple of months ago:

Maps by NOAA Climate.gov, based on NCEP Reanalysis data from NOAA ESRL Physical Sciences Division. Source: Climate.gov.
All of this translates to really cold weather in places where people aren’t prepared for really cold weather, as Earth by Cameron Beccario shows.

Earth   While they won’t warm you up on their own, infographics can help provide some good tips for how to stay warm and safe in this extreme weather.

1. The Science of Staying Warm by Jones Oil

This infographic has some great tips about staying warm, along with explaining the science behind why they work. (Though the feasibility of slathering yourself in butter to stay warm is somewhat questionable.) The Science of Staying Warm  

2. 5 Steps to the Optimal Glove by greatwhiteark

One of the most important things in cold weather is keeping your body warm, especially your hands. Hands are vulnerable since we need them to be nimble, but still stay warm. Gloves are the perfect solution, and the infographic below does an excellent job of taking you through the details of selecting and maintaining gloves. 5 Steps To The Optimal Glove  

3. DIY Heated Mittens by yourfleece

If you have some rice in your pantry and miscellaneous sewing supplies, the graphic below suggests an interesting solution — and proves that a DIY process can be illustrated to make the instructions clear and simple. DIY Heated Mittens  

4. 11 Ways to Tie a Scarf by pslifestyle

Bundling up outside is obviously a requirement in these extreme temperatures, and some may not care how they look as long as they are warm. In case you do still want to look your sharpest, though, the infographic below will definitely come in handy. 11 Simple Ways to Tie a Scarf  

5. Snow Daze by graphica.

Once you’re all bundled up, it might be time to go shovel your driveway. You probably aren’t looking forward to the task, so doing it efficiently is important. Illustrating the best shovel pattern for your snow moving tool is a perfect use of infographics, as the piece below demonstrates. Snow Daze  

6. Preventing Winter Shoveling Injuries by Able Orthopedic

Be careful while you’re shoveling, though. It’s a common time for back injuries or bone breaking falls, as this infographic shows. Preventing Winter Shoveling Injuries  

7. What Firewood Should I Buy? by owenschimney

When you’re done shoveling, it’s time to come back inside and warm up! Wood Burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient, but they have a romance that can help warm your spirit, as well as your body. This infographic is a helpful guide to what wood is the most efficient if you are using a fireplace. What type of firewood should I buy?  

8. The Best Hot Drinks to Warm Your Toes by SparkEvolution

A good fire wouldn’t be complete without a hot drink to warm you from the inside. The graphic below visualizes five such drinks, just perfect for the cold weather outside. The Best 5 Hot Drinks to Warm Your Toes  

9. Easy DIY No Sew Fleece Blanket by YourFleece

And if you still aren’t warm enough and you have some fleece left over from your mittens, here’s another interesting how-to infographic to teach you how to make your own fleece blanket! Easy DIY No Sew Fleece Blanket   Although infographics might not directly keep you warm, they certainly can help you keep yourself safe, warm, and cozy.   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visual.ly and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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