Polar Vortex Acting Up, Are You Prepared?

Yesterday it was a very nice day. It was snowing but it was also warm enough to keep a small layer of snow on the ground. Between comfortable cold and warm, approximately two cm snow blanket stayed on the ground throughout the day. Then something happened later in the evening. I didn't notice, but I did hear some winds blowing outside. I didn't pay attention until this morning. When I came out this morning my car was totally iced. Immediately I thought of polar vortex because such a nice weather turned into a nasty one in a short period of time. Later in the morning I walked across the soccer field and out of sudden gust of wind was blowing snow everywhere. Just like that. It happened suddenly with the temperatures plunging as well.

I thought of last year's ice storm that lasted us for couple of weeks in Ontario Canada. Many residents were out of power from few days to couple of weeks and it lasted through Christmas. Perhaps, we should all re-think our gift ideas and everyone should consider having or giving out the winter emergency and survival kit for home. Perhaps, this could be more functional and thoughtful gift for Christmas.

Then if the polar vortex breaks up or starting to act up like we may be again for a long extremely cold and long winter. Is ice age coming? Makes you think when you hear on the news that nearly half of the U.S. is covered with the snow.

Here are some more information about the polar vortex, apparently now a new phenomena.

"CNN International senior meteorologist Brandon Miller answers a few pressing questions about this phenomenon.

What is a polar vortex? What distinguishes it?

The polar vortex, as it sounds, is circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counterclockwise direction -- a polar low-pressure system. These winds tend to keep the bitter cold air locked in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not a single storm. On occasion, this vortex can become distorted and dip much farther south than you would normally find it, allowing cold air to spill southward.

How frequently does this polar vortex distortion occur?

The upper-level winds that make up the polar vortex change in intensity from time to time. When those winds decrease significantly, it can allow the vortex to become distorted, and the result is a jet stream that plunges deep into southern latitudes, bringing the cold, dense Arctic air spilling down with it. This oscillation is known as the Arctic Oscillation and it can switch from a positive phase to negative phase a few times per year. This oscillation -- namely the negative phase where the polar winds are weaker -- tends to lead to major cold air outbreaks in one or more regions of the planet."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/06/us/polar-vortex-explained/index.html