Why Are We Talking About A Polar Vortex In July?

When I think of the term “Polar Vortex” I think of conditions we had back in January. Temperatures 10 below zero, ice EVERYWHERE and wind chills from 30 to 40 below! All we needed were some resident Polar Bears (Could ONU or Hardin Northern help us out?) and we would have been all set! So why am I hearing this buzz word being thrown around again, in JULY? The answer is simply that, because it’s a buzz word(s) that generates hype! Before I go on, here is a good explainer as to what the definition of a Polar Vortex is thanks to the NWS.

Viewer Photo 4

Here is a look at what is very likely headed our way next Tuesday/Wednesday.

300 mb

That right there is a BIG dip in the jet stream that will bring us temperatures WELL below average for this time of year! Here is a look at a chart from the NWS that shows the probability of BELOW AVERAGE temperatures for the next 6 to 10 days. REMEMBER, the average high for this time of year is in the mid 80’s!

610temp_new

So watch out West Central Ohio, the big bad “polar vortex” is going to bring us…..drumroll please….FRIGID temperatures in the upper 60’s and low 70’s! BRRRR!!!! Ok, I’ll admit, technically it is a piece of the polar vortex that will break off and give us some very cool temperatures. But on average this is also the warmest time of the year, so should the term polar vortex even be used? In my opinion, no!

Call me old school, but this is something that can only lead to unrealistic expectations. As I mentioned before, I don’t think I’m very far off when I say that when someone hears that term, at the very least, they might think of snow. Are we going to see snow? Heck no! This is nothing more than a big cool down in the middle of July thanks to a far southward traveling jet stream. So while you may hear the term Polar Vortex in the coming days, I can guarantee you that you won’t hear it from me! This is simply using buzz words for the sake of using buzz words and nothing more. End rant.

-Kyle

 

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2 thoughts on “Why Are We Talking About A Polar Vortex In July?

  1. Seems more accurate to call it a Polar Vortex, since the exact same process is occurring in both situations. I think this would help people understand weather and climate more accurately. It reenforces the Earth’s seasonal cycles. I find a similar problem with climate change deniers, that often point to the fact that its cold in winter as some kind of proof that the climate isn’t warming. If you’re going to use polar vortex then it should be applied universally or you should come up with a more accurate term.

  2. Good points! I would prefer just not use it at all though. I know what the technical definition is, I just feel like the term was brought back to life this past winter for the sake of finding a term to bring back to life that could be hyped up. Sure, what we are seeing technically can be coined as a polar vortex, but people just don’t see it that way! Certain words carry certain rhetoric with them, and because of the overuse of this term this past winter I believe it is very difficult to distinguish between it’s impacts. Also, why do we have to categorize everything? Why does it have to be extreme? Why can’t we just enjoy a nice cool week in July? Just my thoughts 🙂

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