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CNN10 2021-02-04

CNN 10

Artic Air Spills Over North America; Different Countries Implement Different Approaches To School; Virtual Field Trip To Banff National Park. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 4, 2021 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Time to bundle up ya'll. Artic cold is coming to North America and CNN 10 is explaining that as we get underway this February 4th. I'm Carl Azuz. There's this thing called the polar vortex we've told you about before.

According to meteorologists, it's not accurate to say the polar vortex is coming to get you but it can cause frigid air to invade the continent and that's exactly what it will be doing this weekend. Scientists describe the polar vortex as a low-pressure air mass that's located near the Earth's north and south poles.

It keeps the Artic air bottled up in these areas. But in the winter months, the polar vortex can become unstable and allow some of that frigid air to spill south and a single blast of this artic air is the main reason why every state in America, all 50 including Hawaii, will see below freezing temperatures on Monday morning.

Eighty-six percent of the country, 235 million people will be affected. Forecasters predict high temperatures in the mid-west to be 15 to 20 degrees below normal. Some parts of Wisconsin could see temperatures of 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

That's one of 16 states expected to see sub-zero temperatures on Monday. Meteorologists don't know how far south the cold air will reach but some forecasts say cities like Atlanta, Georgia seeing their lowest temperatures in years.

The dangers of all of this, especially up north, frostbite within 30 minutes if people are outside and not wearing the right kind of clothing.

Freezes and ice jams on rivers are possible. Snow that comes before the cold could ice up on roads causing traffic problems. Forecasters say unusually cold conditions are expected to remain in place for the next 10 days.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these U.S. school districts has the largest student enrollment? Miami-Dade County, Florida, Clarke County, Nevada,

Broward County, Florida or Houston, Texas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami-Dade County has the largest student enrollment on this list.

At some point last year, schools in all 50 states were closed to in-person learning because of concerns about the corona virus pandemic. Now according to edweek.org, partial closures have been ordered in five states.

In-person learning has been required in four states and the 41 other states allow in-person learning though many governments have districts decide whether they'll be open and what their restrictions are. Studies have shown that in communities were the virus isn't widespread or where masks are worn and regular testing is done, schools can be open without causing more problems.

But some researchers are concerned that where there is widespread transmission, there could be more exposure in schools and that kids and teachers who catch COVID there could spread it through their communities. There've been concerns raised by teachers about their risk of catching coronavirus.

There's a debate raging about whether virtual learning is as effective as in-person learning and experts have voiced concerns that school closures may be taking a toll on student's mental health. So there's no nationwide consensus on what the right approach is and that's a challenge being faced by other countries as well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The holidays are long over but many classrooms across Europe are still empty. In the UK, schools have been closed to the vast majority of students since the beginning of the year. A surge in coronavirus cases and new more transmissible variants have forced the government to backtrack on earlier promises to get children back into school for in-person learning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I must inform that house that for the reason's I've outlined, it will not be possible to reopen schools immediately after the February half-term.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But some education leaders say the government has been too slow in taking action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) saying to governments that really they should be looking at allowing schools to go to online teaching in the -- in the last few weeks before Christmas. I think if they done that, we wouldn't have had quite the -- the level of the peak that we've had in this (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a similar story for many of Britain's neighbors. Schools in Portugal remained open even during the country's strict national lockdown in early January. But a devastating increase in both cases and deaths has since pushed the government to enforce tougher rules, ordering schools and universities to close for at least two weeks with few exceptions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: The government says it's a necessary measure to stem the spread of the variants first found in the U.K. but some parents feel it's too little, too late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: This is a measure that should have been taken a long time ago, especially before Christmas when there were fewer positive cases. It would have fewer consequences for our children's learning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lack of consensus on whether school closures are necessary is evident across the continent. Along with the UK and Portugal,

German and Ireland have opted to keep school doors closed to students under most circumstances.

Italy and Sweden are taking a regional approach allowing some in-person teaching in combination with online classes depending on local infection rates. While the Netherlands will allow Kindergarten and elementary students to return next week.

And in France, Spain and Switzerland, schools are open but with precautionary measures in place such as mask wearing, social distancing and staggered attendance. One expert at a leading medical journal told CNN, that whilst it may not be consensus on the best approach, decisions on whether schools should remain open need to be considered on a local level.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Different countries have to make decisions based on their situation. All countries have the same level of infection and I think schools -- school closures should be considered within the local prevalent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And while some evidence suggests that schools may not be drivers of transmission, scientists in the UK say that remote learning can help restrict the spread of the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think (inaudible) have the role to play in restricting the threat of the virus so closing schools can contribute to a reduction in transmission of the virus but not entirely. Closing schools alone is not going to be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But with new variants on the rise in Europe and beyond, the issue of how soon government are able to lift restrictions on schools remains a divisive topic. From whether children need to wear masks to whether educators should be made to teach face to face. For now, there's little consensus and little clarity.


AZUZ: Over the years we've covered some of the more unusual winter sports like snow kiting in Norway. Participants can experience speeds of 70 miles per hour and jumps as long as 500 feet. There's also skijoring or skijoring in Switzerland which combines the dangers of both skiing and horse racing.

CNN 10 Contributor Chris James reports on a more traditional winter sport.


CHRIS JAMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hey Carl. I'm coming from you right now from Brooklyn, New York which has been transformed into a winter wonderland.

According to the National Weather Service, over 15 inches of snowfall was recorded here making it one of the heaviest snowfalls in New York City history.

And for today's virtual field trip, I'm taking you somewhere even snowier at a much higher altitude. A place that has become known as the most magical winter destination in the world. Welcome to the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. This little city is literally sandwiched in between the Rocky Mountains. The summit of Sulfur Mountain is known to be one of the most incredible spots to watch the sun rise.

The most popular winter activity, no surprise here is skiing and snowboarding. The terrain in Banff is known for being rugged and quite challenging. The black diamond trails here are not for novices. Banff is known for having some pretty steep hills so you better know what you're doing before testing your luck.

This is one of the most popular areas to visit. Mount Norquay which is a short ride from downtown Banff. It's ski resort dates back to 1926. It's loved by locals and families alike due to the powdery snow and these breathtaking views. This is the Lake Louise Ski Resort which is also located in Banff National Park.

It boasts over 4,200 acres and according to its owners not much has changed here at this cozy lodge since the 1970s'. This is where people can relax with a bite to eat and a warm drink after skiing down those ice-cold slopes. Yes, and speaking of cold, right now it's 30 degrees outside. And though Brooklyn is by no means Banff, I have to say there's something about snow that instantly makes me happy no matter where in the world I am. Back to you Carl.


AZUZ: Just like some folks turn to groundhogs to predict the weather, others turn to animals to predict the Super Bowl. And ahead of next Sunday's face-off between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, a wolverine in Montana picked Tampa Bay or at least he ate the cake with the Buccaneers logo. But in Kansas City, the goats, the animals are wearing Chiefs jerseys because when they're not eating hair. They're cheering on the defending Super Bowl champs.

The question is, who's quarterback will be the "GOAT". That's some people's "Chief" concern. Brady fans might be thinking the "buck" stops here.

They're hoping his team will "Tampa" down the competition, but even though they're not playing at "Mahome".

It may not matter to the Chiefs if they're not in "Kansas City" anymore. Neither QB wants to "pass" on the chance to go "running" back to another Super Bowl victory. Sheridan, Wyoming gets today's shout out on CNN 10. We're rooting for the Broncs of Sheridan High School. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Carl Azuz.