A polar what?

Isaac from Robinson Township asked, "I keep hearing on TV and reading about this polar vortex. What is it?"
Alex Doty
Jan 8, 2014


Isaac, while we’re all bundled up in our homes and waiting for this cold snap to end, the forecasters at AccuWeather have whipped up an explanation.

According to AccuWeather, a polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season.

This freezing air mass found its way into our neck of the woods when the vortex was pushed south, reaching southern Canada and the northern Plains, Midwest and northeastern portions of the U.S.

According to forecasters, powerful high pressure system that originated in the Eastern Pacific shoved the vortex farther south than is typical, allowing it to settle in Canada and the U.S.

Forecasters point out that when the air from the Eastern Pacific weakens and falls apart, vortex will retreat and go back toward the North Pole.

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Michael Johnson

And to pre-empt other comments, the term is fully defined in the 1959 American Meteorological Society Glossary of Meteorology. Just in case someone lied to you and told you it was a term invented by the liberal media to promote belief in climate change.


Now that's being proactive. Thank you for the info!

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