Don't Be Fooled... The Polar Vortex is Nothing New - KMSP-TV

Don't Be Fooled... The Polar Vortex is Nothing New

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Meteorologist Cody Matz Meteorologist Cody Matz

By now, we have all likely heard someone carry on about the polar vortex… in most cases probably too many times to count, but don't let the media hype lead you to believe that this is a new concept. The Polar Vortex has been a well-known feature on our planet for decades and has likely been around since the great continent of Pangaea broke apart. The Polar Vortex is a weather feature at the poles that is a result of the Coriolis Effect, or the earths spin. Because of this spin, there are certain wave patterns in the atmosphere and this vortex as it's called is one of them. A large spinning air masses sits on the top and bottom of the earth rotating in roughly the same spot and harboring the coldest air on the planet. But every winter (and summer for that matter) other forces in the atmosphere act upon it to dislodge this icy airmass and send it southward toward the equator. There are years where it only gets dislodged a little and will sit in Canada, Russia, or Greenland. But other years it hits the U.S., or impacts large parts of Europe, Asia, Alaska, or the oceans… but it inevitably gets dislodged southward every single year. In fact, this has hit the U.S. many times before: 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2009, just to name a few. Just like every other thing on this planet, it fluctuates from year to year bringing a variable degree of cold that swings through the U.S. This one of the mechanisms the planet uses to cool itself. It has happened before and it will happen again. Here is what this Polar Vortex looks like… you can see it retreating back to Canada on Friday…

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