The Frozen Times is the semi-regular newsletter of WikiProject Non-tropical storms. The newsletter aims to summarize recent developments and activities in the WikiProject, in addition to recent extratropical cyclone activity on a global scale. The Frozen Times has been running since its revival in March 2021, although the first issue was published in February 2008. If you wish to receive or discontinue subscription to this newsletter, please visit the mailing list. This issue of The Frozen Times covers all project-related events from February 2008–March 14, 2021. This edition's authors and editors are MarioJump83, HurricaneCovid, Shift674, and LightandDark2000. Past editions can be viewed here.
WikiProject Non-tropical storms: News and Developments
On the heels of the WikiProject Tropical cyclones revival from 2018–2020, MarioJump83 and LightandDark2000 took the initiative to formally revive this WikiProject on January 15, 2021. Not long afterward, on February 7, 2021, the WikiProject community came to the decision to revive the project newsletter as well. We decided to model the entire WikiProject after WPTC, following a similar format and creating similar project pages for use on WPNTS, since the two projects are closely tied. There was also general agreement among the active editors on WPNTS to coordinate work with WPTC, given the numerous overlaps between the two WikiProjects.
On February 4, 2021, the WPTC and WPNTS communities came together to include WPNTS articles in WPTC's annual competition, the Cyclone Cup, based on a suggestion from HurricaneCovid. The decision was made as a result of agreement between editors over how non-tropical storms (nor'easters, European windstorms, etc.) are cyclones too, and thus merit inclusion as well. WPNTS editors are now allowed and encouraged to participate in the Cyclone Cup, regardless of whether those editors are a part of WPTC or not. Currently, a number of WPNTS users are participating in the Cup, and we hope you will too!
On February 8, 2021, MarioJump83 introduced our project barnstar, which was accordingly named The Extra-Tropical Cyclone Barnstar. It was named based on a pun in which the "Tropical" word in The Tropical Cyclone Barnstar became more 'tropical', so much that it turned The Tropical Cyclone Barnstar to brown. (Hence the name "Extra-Tropical" and the brown cyclone icon). Since there were no barnstars that were shaped like a comma in the Meteorology barnstars category, we had to take one which is available.
On February 24, 2021, we came to the decision to model the project newsletter after the WPTC newsletter, The Hurricane Herald. The first step of that was to give our newsletter a name. Agreement was reached on February 24 to use LightandDark2000's suggested name, The Frozen Times, as the name of the WPNTS newsletter. HurricaneCovid assisted in the creation of the logo for the newsletter, and MarioJump83 aided the endeavor as well.
On March 9, 2021, HurricaneCovid first introduced the idea of modeling North American winter articles after tropical cyclone season articles. While a few editors rejected the idea at first, by the next day most users had shown their support for it and the plan was implemented. The improvements were done over a period of 3 days, mainly by HurricaneCovid and MarioProtIV, and involved the creation or modification of several templates, including a timeline, some new infoboxes, and a button template. The implementation of these new templates has only been completed in one season article, and is still unfinished in most.
New articles since the last newsletter
The number of new articles since the last issue are innumerable. Thus, we will not be able to list them all here.
MarioProtIV joined Wikipedia in 2014, although his activity really ramped up in late 2015. He formally joined this WikiProject in early February 2021, just after its revival. Since and before formally joining, he has been one of the most prolific editors in non-tropical storm articles, particularly being a major part of getting 2020–21 North American winter to greater quality and taking the initiative to constantly update the article, as well as other separate winter storm articles. He has also participated in and started several discussions within WPNTS, further influencing the quality of current event articles in the WikiProject. We would like to thank him for his outstanding work, and therefore jointly give him the Member of The Edition award.
HurricaneCovid joined Wikipedia in March 2020, though he began working with weather-related articles and joined WPTC in November. He joined WPNTS in January 2021, just before its revival, although he had begun actively editing extratropical cyclone articles in December 2020. He has been doing constant work on 2020–21 North American winter throughout the North American winter season so far. He has helped write much of the article, with aid from MarioProtIV, as well as numerous other articles for the most major storms. He was present throughout the barrage of winter storms and the Arctic air outbreak in North America, in mid-February, creating most of the articles for storms in that period. He also helped with the revival of the WikiProject, and it was partially his idea to model this newsletter after The Hurricane Herald. For his consistent work to WPNTS, we are jointly giving him the Member of The Edition award for this issue.
LightandDark2000 joined Wikipedia as an IP editor in May 2009, although he didn't register an user account until 3 years later, in May 2012. He became active on WPTC and WPNTS in 2013, formally joining the projects in 2014 and 2016, respectively. He is one of the most-senior active members on WPNTS, as most of the active participants joined in 2020 or 2021. Soon after formally joining, he largely stopped editing Wikipedia on storm-related articles, turning his attention to MILHIST from 2014–2017, and later took numerous WikiBreaks in 2016 and in 2019–2020, due to real-life activities and college. However, he began making a return to Wikipedia in July 2020, and since then, he has made a full return. In December 2020, he returned to WPNTS, with the start of the climatological winter in North America. He became a main part of the revival and resurrection of WPNTS from January–February 2021, assisting in efforts to revamp the project and helping to coordinate it. During this time, he continued his work on WPNTS articles, including during a historic outbreak of cold temperatures and a barrage of back-to-back winter storms in North America, in February. For his aid in the revival of this WikiProject, and his work on WPNTS articles, we are jointly giving him a modification of the MoTE award.
MarioJump83 first joined Wikipedia in 2013 as SMB99thx, although they first began working with storm-related articles in August 2020. They joined WPNTS in November 2020, quickly becoming the main coordinator and most active user in terms of getting the project restarted. They did outstanding work in terms of modeling the project after WPTC, with the aid of LightandDark2000, and got the project's act together. They took the initiative to formally restart the project in January 2021, and continued work restoring, improving, and creating project pages, including this newsletter. LightandDark2000 was along every step of the way, and helped out MarioJump83 create and improve project pages, modeling after WPTC. We would like to thank their outstanding work in getting the WikiProject together, and are thus jointly giving them a version of the MoTE award.
For the time being, there will be no user nominations, as this WikiProject is currently relatively small; however, once we gain enough participants, we will begin nominating members for MoTE.
Storms of The Edition over the last five newsletters
The February 13–17, 2021 North American winter storm, also referred to as Winter Storm Uri, was a strong and destructive winter storm that affected areas from the West Coast of the United States, through the Deep South and Northern Mexico, to the Northeast and Eastern Canada. The second of three major winter storms to affect the continent within the month, the system originated as a powerful low-pressure area in the Pacific and came ashore as a frontal system on February 13. The system then dived southward along a trough in the polar jet stream, while also strengthening, and began producing snowfall in the Deep South. The storm system then began expanding in terms of size, and the main low spawned a secondary low in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida on February 15. As the storm grew more organized, it spawned another low pressure center to the north on February 16, which quickly became the main low-pressure center. When the system exited the continent early on February 17, almost 75% of the continental U.S. was covered in snow, which almost broke a record. The newest low moved up the coast of Nova Scotia, beginning to strengthen faster along the way. It then began to quickly intensify, while approaching landfall on Newfoundland, reaching a central pressure of 985 millibars (29.1 inHg) by 12:00 UTC on that day. The system then began meandering across the Atlantic, while proceeding to strengthen further, reaching a peak intensity of 960 millibars (28 inHg) on February 19. Afterward, the storm then began weakening rapidly, dissipating southwest of Greenland on February 24.
The storm system resulted in over 170 million Americans being placed under winter weather alerts, reaching as far south as Galveston, Texas. The swath of snow and ice it produced stretched from Washington to Maine. It ranked as a Category 3 winter storm on the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) scale, and it became the second of three Category 3+ winter storms to affect North America in February 2021. The system caused over 9.9 million power outages, with 5.2 million in the U.S. and 4.7 million in Mexico, making it the worst blackout event recorded in North America since the Northeast blackout of 2003. The hardest hit area by both the severe winter weather and long-term power outages was Texas, with the 2021 Texas power crisis taking place due to the storm. Some long-term power outages in areas of the Deep South lasted over one week long. It also brought destructive severe weather to parts of the Southeastern U.S., spawning five tornadoes, including an EF2 and a high-end EF3 tornado. In total, the storm resulted in at least 136 fatalities, with 124 in the U.S. and 12 in Mexico, making it the deadliest winter storm in decades. Damage from this system is estimated to cost at least $195 billion (2021 USD), making it the costliest winter storm on record, as well as one of the costliest natural disasters in the modern era.
Other significant storms
Post-Tropical Cyclone Zeta – The post-tropical remnants of Hurricane Zeta began interacting with another storm system on October 29, 2020, as rain overspread the Eastern U.S. However, as a cold front came through overnight allowing a blast of colder air, precipitation began switching over to snow in parts of New England. By the next day, the remnants of Zeta passed south of New England and moved out into the Atlantic, strengthening on the way. Zeta became the first tropical cyclone to produce accumulating snowfall as an extratropical storm since Hurricane Sandy, resulting in several thousand power outages in New England and up to 6.5 in (17 cm) of snow.
December 15–17, 2020 nor'easter (Winter Storm Gail) – The December 15–17, 2020 nor'easter, also unofficially referred to as Winter Storm Gail, the only Category 2 winter storm on the RSI scale in December, formed from a disorganized low pressure in the Southern Plains on December 14. The low pressure began organizing the next day, meandering east before it came offshore of the East Coast on December 16. It then rapidly intensified, reaching a peak intensity of 985 millibars (29.1 inHg) off the New England coast on December 17. The system then moved into the Atlantic, weakening slowly until dissipation on December 19. The nor'easter produced significant snowfall up to 15 in (38 cm) along the I-95 corridor, with over 3 ft (36 in) in parts of the interior Northeast. In total, it caused 7 fatalities and over 56,000 power outages. The nor'easter is estimated to have caused at least $125 million (2021 USD) in damages.
Storm Filomena – Storm Filomena, the eighth named storm of the 2020–21 European windstorm season, formed over the Atlantic near the Canary Islands on January 7, 2021. It then slowly meandered northeastward, crossing the Iberian Peninsula over the next few days, producing heavy snowfall on the way. The storm then accelerated east, reaching a peak intensity of 995 millibars (29.4 inHg) and crossing Italy and Greece from January 11–13. Filomena then began rapidly weakening, and dissipated in interior Europe on January 15. It was significant because of unusually heavy snow up to 24 in (61 cm) in the Iberian Peninsula, which caused a total of 5 fatalities. Filomena is estimated to have caused at least $2.2 billion (2021 USD) in damage.
January 31 – February 3, 2021 nor'easter (Winter Storm Orlena) – The January 31 – February 3, 2021 nor'easter, also unofficially referred to as Winter Storm Orlena, the first of three Category 3+ winter storms in February 2021, formed as a powerful low pressure off the Pacific coast on January 25. The slow-moving low pressure meandered off the U.S. West Coast for several days, causing an atmospheric river event and producing heavy rain and snow. On January 30, the weakening low pressure crossed the Rockies and moved into the Midwest, producing a second low pressure off the North Carolina coast on January 31. The second low slowly meandered up the East Coast from February 1–4, reaching a peak intensity of 985 millibars (29.1 inHg) on February 3. The system then accelerated into the Atlantic, weakening and dissipating on February 5. The system caused up to 100 in (250 cm) of snow in the Sierra Nevada and 18–24 in (46–61 cm) in both the Boston and New York City metro areas. In total, it caused 7 fatalities and resulted in over 575,000 power outages. The system is estimated to have caused at least $100 million (2021 USD) in damages.
February 15–20, 2021 North American winter storm (Winter Storm Viola) – The February 15–20, 2021 North American winter storm, also unofficially referred to as Winter Storm Viola, the last of three Category 3+ winter storms in February 2021, formed on February 14 as a strong low pressure in the Pacific. The next day, the weakening low came ashore in the West Coast and the main low spawned several other low pressures on February 15, connected by a series of fronts. One of the low pressures to the south quickly took over, moving east over the next few days. It then spawned another low pressure to the east, which moved up the East Coast from February 18–19, becoming a nor'easter. The low reached an initial peak of 990 mb (29 inHg) as it exited the coast on February 19. The system then bombed out, reaching a peak intensity of 952 millibars (28.1 inHg) on February 22. It then slowly began to weaken, while moving northeastward, and dissipating on February 26. The storm brought a second round of snow and ice to the Deep South just days after another destructive storm came through the same areas. In total, the storm resulted in at least 29 fatalities and caused over 4 million power outages. The system is likely to have caused approximately $1 billion (2021 USD) in damage.
New WikiProject members
More information can be found here. The following list lists members who have joined/rejoined the WikiProject since the last issue.
To our new members: welcome to the project, and happy editing! Feel free to check the tasks or to-do lists towards the bottom of the newsletter for tasks that you might want to work on. To our veteran members: thank you for your edits and your tireless contributions!
Note that most of the members listed here are inactive now, with the majority of them moved having been moved into the inactive list.
Featured Content Update
New featured articles (February 2008–March 14, 2021)
Assessments are valid as of this printing. Depending on when you may be viewing this newsletter, the table may be outdated. See here for the latest, most up to date statistics.
As of this issue, there are 8 featured articles and 1 featured list. There are 21 good articles, but only 1 A-class article, perhaps because most articles of that quality already passed an FA review. There are 53 B-class articles, 110 C-class articles, 172 start-class articles, and 52 stub-class articles, with 14 lists. These figures mean that roughly one-fifth of the project is rated B-class or better. Tropical Storm Rolf was the 20th GA in the project.
Since this is the first issue of The Frozen Times since the revival of WPNTS, I thought we should have an opinion piece detailing the reasons based on which the revival took place. And the project member who would know these reasons the best would be none other than the main resurrector of the WikiProject, MarioJump83! HurricaneCovid(contribs)
Hello, WikiProject Non-tropical storms! I am the one who first took the initiative of this WikiProject's revival. While most of my work here is mostly related to maintenance work and some coordinating before resigning after the revival of this newsletter (I would like to say that LightandDark2000 is the coordinator of the project now given he is the only active member to join before 2020), there are reasons why I took the initiative to revive the project.
Firstly, WPTC members, for some reason that was unclear to me, began joining the project in droves beginning in late 2020 and continuing into 2021. This surprised me since normally, people don't join defunct WikiProjects in large numbers. Secondly, many WPTC members, many of them based in either the United States or Europe, continue to edit extratropical cyclone articles, even when climatological winter ends in the Northern Hemisphere. This suggests that there is a space for WPNTS to spring up once again. Third and lastly, WPNTS-covered articles are quite active for a defunct WikiProject. I honestly think that this WikiProject shouldn't have been considered defunct in the first place.
Ultimately, these reasons drove me to revive the WikiProject on the heels of Wikipedia's 20th anniversary on January 15, 2021. It's short, but it's what I can say for the reasons why I came to the decision to revive this WikiProject. I hope this WikiProject lasts for a long time, even when I'm not present as part of it. MarioJump83!
(Non-admin closure) Newsletter given the name The Frozen Times as most users agreed with that name. HurricaneCovid(contribs) 00:14, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
@MarioJump83, Shift674, and LightandDark2000: I think that, like the WPTC newsletter, which is named "The Hurricane Herald", we should have a name for the WPNTS newsletter that is more catchy than "the WPNTS newsletter" (which is pretty boring). Does anyone have any ideas for a name? Thanks! HurricaneCovid(contribs) 18:35, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I’m thinking of something along the lines of ‘The Frostbitten Text’, but I’m coming up with blanks here. -Shift674-🌀contribs 18:42, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
@Shift674: L&D2000 suggested "The Frozen Times" off-wiki, which is very similar to that, so I think something along the lines of that would be good. Thanks for the idea! HurricaneCovid(contribs) 19:09, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
HurricaneCovid, that seems like a good name. I like the name, and I think it could be a candidate for the newsletter title. -Shift674-🌀contribs 19:49, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
@Shift674: Yeah; since some people have showed their support for that, I think we will be using that as the name. HurricaneCovid(contribs) 19:53, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Annual Frozen Times schedule
(Non-admin closure) Discussion has been rendered inactive for a week. Overall support of schedule and no major oppositions; this schedule, at least for the time being, has been adopted for The Frozen Times. HurricaneCovid(contribs) 14:35, 4 March 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
@MarioProtIV, MarioJump83, LightandDark2000, and Shift674: I think, that since during summer in the Northern Hemisphere we don't have much coverage of winter storms in the Southern Hemisphere, we should, instead of following an interval schedule for running the newsletter, set a tentative schedule for specific times of the year when we publish a new issue. Here is my suggested plan:
1st issue of the year: January 15
2nd ... : March 15
3rd ... : June 1
4th ... : August 15
5th ... : November 1
We probably shouldn't follow those exact dates, but something along the lines of that every year. Let me know what you think of these ideas. Thanks! HurricaneCovid(contribs) 23:54, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I strongly agree, however these issues should be published in the middle of the month, not start of the month. MarioJump83! 23:56, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
@MarioJump83: The Hurricane Herald newsletter isn't always posted in the middle of the month, and I don't think we need to do that either. It's fine to have a mix of middle of the month issues and start of the month issues. HurricaneCovid(contribs) 23:58, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I think this will be my only OP for The Frozen Times. MarioJump83! 22:14, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
That's fine, I know you're stressed with college and such and have already written in total 5 OPs for WP newsletters in total. The other editors and me can step in for that job instead. HurricaneCovid(contribs) 23:47, 3 March 2021 (UTC)