Weathering the Polar Vortex

WInd chill temperatures in the U.S.If you live in the lower 48, you’re feeling the freeze today. For the second time in this brand new year, the polar vortex has stretched its frigid fingers southward and clutched the country in its icy grip.  But what is a polar vortex and why does it keep assaulting us this way?

A polar vortex is actually a large-scale cyclone that generally rages around one of the earth’s poles. Recently, however, a large, powerful high pressure system moved north, pushing the vortex much farther south than typical, allowing it to move into Canada and the U.S. Jeff Weber, an atmospheric scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, recently gave a rather insightful explanation of this phenomenon on Talk of the Nation Science Friday.

You can, as always, learn more about this meteorological oddity by consulting the resources in eLibrary. Check out our Research Topics on the polar vortex and it’s recent visits south, or just peruse the insightful newspaper and journal articles on the subject.

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