« Western Michigan Weather News

Weather Outlook for 1/22/2014

by Tim Abramowski

IN THE MIDWEST AT TIMES HAVE BEEN COLDER THIS MONTH THAN ON EITHER THE NORTH OR SOUTH POLE. CALIFORNIA’S TOO DRY, TOO EARLY.  PERMAFROST IS VANISHING ALONG ALASKA’S ARCTIC COAST AND NOW SOME ARE CRYING – POLAR VORTEX – IT’S BAAAACK!!!  WELL, NOT ACTUALLY.  RIGHT NOW WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF AN OLD FASHIONED COLD WAVE THOUGH YOUR LIVESTOCK OR YOUR EXPOSED SKIN IS GOING TO BE HARD PRESSED TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE – OR MUCH CARE.  BUT ABOUT THAT POLAR VORTEX VISIT TO THE VINEYARDS OF MICHIGAN COMING IN A TIME OF MUCH DISCUSSED CLIMATE CHANGE – HOW TO EXPLAIN THAT?  WELL, JUST LIKE AN APP – THERE’S A STUDY FOR THAT.  ONE COMES FROM THE OCTOBER 2001 EDITION OF ‘SCIENCE.’  IT’S CALLED ‘STRATOSPHERIC HARBINGERS OF ANOMALOUS WEATHER REGIMES.’  IT SOUNDS OMINOUS ENOUGH NOT TO MENTION COMPLEX.  BASICALLY WHAT’S INVOLVED IS THE IDEA REDUCED SEA ICE AND SNOW COVER IN THE FAR NORTH CAUSES THE POLAR VORTEX TO WEAKEN, WARM AIR TO INVADE POLAR REGIONS AND POLAR AIR TO HEAD SOUTH WHERE IT ENCOUNTERS A MEANDERING JET STREAM BRINGING ICY AIR AND SNOW TO YOUR SOUTH FORTY, A BIGGER FIRE RISK IN CALIFORNIA AND A NEW COASTLINE IN BARROW.  ALMOST SOUNDS LIKE FODDER FOR ANOTHER BLOCKBUSTER HOLLYWOOD DISASTER MOVIE.  LET’S SEE WHAT ART BELL DOES WITH THIS ONE.