A bright cold winter day in Minnesota looks great, if you're looking at it from inside a warm, toasty home. However, go out into the cold and it's a totally different story. The same thing can apply to our recent bouts with POVO, my nickname for the Polar Vortex. This brutal outbreak of cold arctic air wreaked havoc on a large portion of the nation. Looking at in on a computer screen, its actually kind of cool and mesmerizing. First of all let's revisit how the cold air is made.
As the picture above illustrates, cold air is the result of the absence of a heat source. In the winter months, the North Pole is pointing away from the sun, resulting in parts of the arctic seeing no sunlight for months at a time. This air constantly loses heat to space, and with no energy form the sun to reheat it, it grows colder and colder.
The wickedly cold air mass sits on top of the world and rotates around in place. A whacked out jet stream is all it takes to knock a chunk of this off and send south, into our neck of the woods. Also, on the other end, with the jet stream coming way south in the east, the jet rise far north in the west, resulting in above freezing temperatures in Alaska.
Now, want to see the Polar Vortex in action?
CLICK ON THE BELOW PIC TO SEE AMAZING COMPUTER ANIMATION OF #POVO
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