With Tess on the East Coast we’ve heard all the caterwauling that keeps getting broadcast by denizens of the right-coast every time a slow moving low pressure system pushes its way across the area. Here is the thing folks, they’re all “polar vortices”. That’s right every last low pressure system that has crossed any door step on the east coast in the last 250 years was, without question, a circumpolar whirl.
But here is the fun part, due to the long-term, transformative effects of lowered polar albedo, increased thermal mass, and a tossed salad of other contributing factors ranging from ash/dust build up on permanent ice sheets to increased freshwater run-off and subsequent mixing in the North Sea any low pressure system (or contra rotating high) headed your way will likely stick around longer and thus result in greater temperature extremes.
Arctic amplification of the long term, hemispheric weather pattern (sometimes known as the “jet stream”) has gradually resulted in this effect. Major media outlets seem content to tell you that this is unusual and “unexpected”. They’ve even repackaged each occurrence, somewhat un-creatively, with the sound bite-sized nom de plume “Polar Vortex”.
But you should know that “scientists have observed that the reduced temperature difference between the north pole and the tropics is associated with slower west to east ‘jet stream’ movement, and a greater north-south dip in its path.” In fact, not only have they noticed this, they predicted it, then modeled it, then verified those models, and then tried (usually repeatedly) to warn anyone who might listen that soon we’d be freezing our kumquats off, only to have them roast up like raisins as soon as the tropical warm air chases the ice down the storm drain. You can expect more of this, lots and lots more of this kind of weather.
I’m tempted to say “I told you so,” but this sort of seems a little snide and mean-spirited, especially when I’m on the threshold of joining you all on the east coast. Thus, I’ll leave you with this, buy some good, wool long-underwear and a thick, long coat and make certain your pipes are well insulated.