Polar Vortex is the buzz phrase of the moment here in America. (So this is what the Ice Age felt like.) All- time low temperature records are being broken left and right, and unless you are an Eskimo you are feeling quite uncomfortable these days.
Of course the "flat earth" crowd sees this as a moment to chirp: "Global warming. What global warming? Do you people see how cold it is outside?"
Some of them are even saying the media is hyping this Polar Vortex phenomenon to push a global warming agenda.
Well actually it is global warming that is causing us to be this cold. Apparently because of the warm weather in the Arctic regions, this Polar Vortex is not being held in by the cold weather but is breaking up and spreading South because it has been weakened.
I am no scientist, and I cannot explain this phenomenon in a way that would make it understandable to the layman, therefore, I will lift some lines from someone else.
"Paradoxically, the event may be a harbinger of winter outbreaks to come in the northern hemisphere as Earth's climate warms, some researchers say – a result of shrinking Arctic Ocean summer sea ice and the projected changes in wind and snowfall patterns triggered by the ocean's warmth and moisture.
It's been dubbed the warm-Arctic, cold-continent effect – one that doesn't show up well in seasonal forecast models but does appear in the real world, says Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a weather-risk management company based in Lexington, Mass. Climate models operating on longer time scales may be missing the effect as well, he adds.
At the heart of the issue is the polar vortex, a mass of cold air in the stratosphere that circulates counterclockwise over the Arctic and has a clockwise counterpart over Antarctica.
Deprived of sunlight during the winter, these vortices spin up, drawing energy from the temperature difference between the warmer air at mid-latitudes and polar air. The winds along the boundary form the polar jet stream. The sharper the temperature contrast, the stronger the jet stream and the better job it does keeping the cold air largely corralled at high latitudes.
But the jet stream doesn't flow in a nice, tight circle around the Arctic. Its interaction with different air masses and topography as it travels over oceans and continents forces the stream to meander north and south, as well as up and down by elevation."
Bottom line, you are feeling this cold in America because of global warming and extreme climate changes.
Your wingnut friends will say otherwise, but remember, they are the same ones who believe that the world is just six thousand years old.
Finally, congratulations to the University of Texas for having the guts to give Charlie Strong a shot to coach one of the best college football programs in the country. (Maybe they were jealous of their in-state rivals.)
Time will tell if he can haven similar success there as he did at Louisville, and if he can get along with the good ole boy boosters who hang around the football program.
One thing we do know is that he better win fast.
"Hook em horns"