When a Storm Hits!
Polar vortexes, or polar cyclones as they are sometimes called, are climatological features that hover near the poles year-round. These cold-core low-pressure areas strengthen in the winter and weaken in the summer. Strengthening storm systems within the troposphere (the lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere) can act to intensify the polar vortex by significantly cooling the poles. A portion of the polar vortex can be fragmented and plunge over Canada, the Midwestern, Central, Southern and Northeastern United States. This alteration in the polar vortex can occur due to the displacement of the polar jet stream.
An example of this alteration would be the significant northwestern push of the polar jet stream over the Western part of the United States this past winter. This is different than the El Nino and La Nina weather occurrences, which are based on the water temperatures and air pressure in the Pacific Ocean that we have seen in the past. So, will the polar vortex have an effect?
Get your sweaters out, stock up on hot cocoa and prepare your home. Have the chimney inspected, check to see that your pipes are insulated, remember to turn your faucets to a slow, constant drip if the temperatures will be below 20, disconnect the garden hoses, check all of the weather stripping around your windows and doors, and replace your HVAC filters. All of these things will help keep you and your home safe and minimize any possible damages that could be caused by the sudden drops in temperature.