The farmer’s almanac can not include new astronomic and global events like the polar vortex to try to predict or consider when making the weather forecast for the upcoming season. A polar vortex is an inversion of a temperature system, buffeted between two low pressure systems or two high pressure systems, on either side of this very cold air. It is a weird occurrence, that normally should not happen in the winter season, either in the northern or southern areas of the globe. Sometimes called a arctic cyclone, or a an arctic oscillation, this can occur when the jet stream is pushed up into the arctic polar winds, and then the two buffeting pressure systems converge to push this very cold weather down into mid latitude areas of the country.
Polar Vortex of January 2014
The most eventful temperature change in a decade, this polar vortex produced 20 degrees below zero temperatures along with increased winds from the north. With windchill warnings occurring, this frigid temperature mass will cause mass disruption throughout the United States. The good thing we can count on this unusual event to end, as a cold center mass is often times built to remain near the poles, not over the mid latitudes of the globe.
Temperatures recorded during this event:
-25 below zero Lakeville Minnesota
-22 below zero Minneapolis, Minnesota
-18 below zero Green Bay, Wisconsin
-23 below zero Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Polar Vortex Last Occurred During February, 1996
This event recorded the coldest temperature in Minnesota, during this polar vortex, of -60 degrees below zero, at Tower Minnesota. The amazing thing about this temperature, is that it stuck around for a long part of the day, and did not depart until the end of that week. With the long appearance of that temperature pattern, we used up many resources in Upper Minnesota, with many pipes freezing, and homes losing power. The dangerous temperatures departed, and a very mild pattern ensued until spring. With that, the cold weather moved over to Siberia, and parts of Russia. They had a very mild season until then, and then ended up with a very cold end of winter pattern. This pattern can occur in 2014, with the mild weather being reported on the other side of the globe in the Eastern Parts of Europe, Russia, and China.
End is in sight for the Polar Vortex
With the Farmer’s Almanac forecasting a very snowy and mild start to the mid western parts of the United States, and a warmer than usual end of the winter and spring, the polar vortex has completely misrepresented this forecast. Between the dates of January 6 and January 9th, for the mid west, The Old Farmer’s Almanac- 222nd Anniversary Edition has a forecast as “Rain and snow east, snow west, quite mild.” The polar vortex has invalidated this prediction, with great enthusiasm.