From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
A weather system known as a polar vortex brought dangerously cold weather to large parts of the United States this week. A polar vortex is a cold, thick low pressure system. The air turns counter-clockwise when on the move.
The polar vortex started up in Canada. After crossing the border, it moved deep into the southeastern United States. The polar vortex brought the coldest temperatures in more than 20 years to many areas. Anise Jenkins lives in Washington, DC.
"I have a coat on. I have three sweaters. I have two blouses. I have a thermal on and I don't feel like I have anything on."
Another woman, named Amanda, lives nearby in Maryland.
"It's DC. It's not supposed to be this cold."
The weather was also a shock to visitors from overseas. Deepak from India was visiting his sister in New York.
"Tears just come out from my eyes and my head inside like a freezer. Oh, my God. Oh, my God."
The extreme weather started with a low-pressure system near the North Pole. The Arctic air was pushed as far south as Alabama on wind currents known as the jet stream. The bitter cold covered much of the central United States, forcing schools,government offices and businesses to close.
Camden Walker is a reporter for the Washington Post. He is part of the newspaper's Capital Weather Gang, which limits its reporting to the weather.
"When the jet stream came south, the floodgates opened from the north and we had a direct flow from the Arctic."
But the polar vortex did not have the same effect everywhere.
"Interestingly enough, it is warmer in Alaska and also somewhat warmer over Greenland because when you deplete the North Pole and the Arctic region of its cold air, when it's forced southward, it can't all stay there. Basically it's a bubble that is draining toward us. It is rushing towards us in the United States."
Camden Walker says the weather system moved away quickly from places like Washington. But the cold air and high winds were staying longer in the middle of the country.
At least 20 deaths were blamed on the cold weather nationwide. Health experts said people should go outside buildings for only 10 to 20 minutes at a time. They warned that being outside in such cold can cause frostbite. This condition may cause exposed parts of the body to freeze.
Temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius or lower were reported in Washington, New York, Boston and Philadelphia. In fact, temperatures in all or parts of the 50 states were below freezing at some point on Tuesday. Even in Hawaii, it was minus six degrees at the top of the state's highest mountain.
The effect of the polar vortex was extensive. Airline companies cancelled more than 11,000 flights over a four day period.
The cold weather also interfered with train service. In the south, the Tennessee Valley Authority said it set a single day record for electricity as homeowners struggled to stay warm. The TVA provides power to seven states.
And it was not just North America that experienced extreme cold. Over in the Pacific Ocean, a Russian research ship was stuck in ice for over a week. The Shokalskiy left New Zealand on November 28. The ship was carrying 52 passengers when it became stuck. They were rescued January 2, when a helicopter flew them to an Australian icebreaker.
And that's In The News from VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
该极地涡旋从加拿大开始。穿越边境后进一步深入美国东南部 。这次极地涡旋给许多地区造成20多年来最寒冷的天气 。Anise Jenkins居住在华盛顿特区 。
这次极端天气起始于北极附近一个低气压系统。极寒的空气随着急流南下至阿拉巴马州 。酷寒弥漫着美国中部大部分地区，迫使学校，政府办公室和公司关闭 。
Camden Walker是华盛顿邮报一名记者。他是该报首都天气小组的一员，仅报道天气状况 。
“非常有趣，阿拉斯加比较暖和，格陵兰岛甚至更暖和一点。因为北极和北极圈范围的冷空气被耗尽，在向南移动的过程中不可能全部停留 。基本上它是一股向我们移动的气流，直接扑向美国人民 。”
Camden Walker表示，这种天气系统迅速从华盛顿等地区离开。但是冷空气和强风在中部地区停留的时间较长 。
全国范围内至少有20人死于极寒天气。卫生专家表示，人们每次暴露在室外的时间不应超过10至20分钟 。他们警告称，暴露在如此严寒的天气中会导致冻疮 。这种情况会导致暴露在空气中的身体部位冻伤 。
这次极地涡旋造成了很大的影响。四天之内，航空公司取消了超过11,000个航班 。寒冷天气也影响了铁路运输 。在南方，田纳西河谷管理局表示，由于居民们需要保暖，他们创下了单日用电量最高记录 。田纳西河谷管理局为七个州供应电力 。
遭遇极端寒冷天气的不仅仅是美国。在太平洋上，俄罗斯一艘科考船只被困在冰雪中超过一周的时间 。绍卡利斯基院士号科考船于11月28日离开新西兰 。被困时船上共有52名乘客 。1月2日，一架直升机将他们载往澳大利亚一艘破冰船，乘客获救 。
以上就是今天的美国之音慢速学英语新闻报道。我是Steve Ember 。
1.bitter adj. 严寒的
Outside, a bitter east wind was accompanied by flurries of snow.
2.somewhat adv. 稍微；有点
He has a somewhat donnish air about him.
3.frostbite n. 冻伤； 冻疮； 霜寒
If the frostbite is only superficial, new skin will form.
4.extensive adj. 广阔的，广大的；范围广泛的
He made extensive alterations on two of the pages.
5.interfere vi. 干预，干涉
If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.
1.The polar vortex started up in Canada.
start up 开始
They have decided to start up a nursery in the factory.
2.It's not supposed to be this cold.
Journalists are supposed to be politically neutral.
3.Interestingly enough, it is warmer in Alaska and also somewhat warmer over Greenland because when you deplete the North Pole and the Arctic region of its cold air.
I have had to deplete of my money to pay for the house furnishings.
4.At least 20 deaths were blamed on the cold weather nationwide.
They blamed the failure on John.