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Polar Vortex: Take Two?

posted Jan 7, 2015, 10:50 AM by Carlee Schmelzer

Carlee Schmelzer

At the start of the 2014/2015 winter season, it was largely predicted by meteorologists that this winter would produce more snow and colder temperatures than the previous year. Remembering back to the record setting cold temperatures and snowfall that last winter brought, this feat seems almost impossible. According to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center,”the period from December 2013 through February 2014 was the 34th coldest such period for the contiguous 48 states as a whole since modern records began in 1895.” In addition to last winter being one of the coldest winters in recent memory, Ohio also recorded upwards of 53 inches of snow. A weather system known as the ‘polar vortex’ had swept the country, leaving many to wonder what would happen the following year.

So far this winter, Ohio and the surrounding Midwest states have witnessed the opposite. With no significant snow accumulation the entire month of December, Ohio experienced a very green Christmas. In addition to the lack of snow during the holiday season, temperatures sometimes reached the low 50s, leaving some to doubt that this winter will really pack a bigger punch than the preceding winter. However, you may not want to pack your snow gear up yet.

Though the winter season officially began on Dec. 21, it brought green grass and unseasonably warm temperatures. Despite the spring-like weather, meteorologists are still reporting that winter weather may be ready to strike. It is predicted that the coldest temperatures of the season are on the way for the Midwest. In the coming weeks “Two rounds of Arctic cold will move through much of the U.S. The first blast moves in behind Winter Storm Image courtesy of: fair use Frona and begins in the Plains on Sunday and into the Midwest on Monday. High temperatures will be up to 25 degrees below average.” This has been determined by the professionals at The Weather Channel on Jan. 4, 2014, who also predicted that “ the second round will be even colder and will push farther south and east. A ridge of high pressure will build in the West with a deep trough in eastern Canada which will allow air from the Arctic to move southward across the eastern half of the U.S.”

The coming weeks will bring extremely chilly temperatures, possible snowfall, and hopefully school cancellations. So hope for the best but prepare for the worst as it’s starting to look like the ‘polar vortex’ may strike again.