I was watching the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams last night and he turned to the weather; unfortunately the weather seems to be included in the nightly news much more often these days. Brian said, “I want you to take a look at this: a giant vortex over the mid-west, this is a supersize swirling low pressure system enveloping the entire middle of the country, and kicking off a ton rain and severe storms from the south all the way to the northern Canadian border through the Ohio Valley…” Oh boy, even he looked concerned!
Do you remember the crippling snow storms that hit New York City last winter? Do you remember they hit about every two and a half weeks? Did you realize it was the same storm, spinning around and around? If you saw the satellite view (interestingly enough, I did see it once, but then all satellite views disappeared from the internet) you’d say it looks like a hurricane with a well defined “eye”, but hurricanes don’t form over land. This giant vortex has the same bones…
These types of winter storms, I say winter because I’ve never seen one before November
(yikes, it’s only late September), have become increasingly frequent in the last couple of years.
Most “cold” fronts move across the country in a bow shaped line from Washington State through Florida, but these new storms spin around a well defined “cold” low pressure or “eye” area and do resemble a hurricane in structure.
For those of you who saw the movie The Day After Tomorrow (and I’m sure we all did because Dennis Quaid is so hot,) I’m not suggesting we’re in a situation where super cooled air will be drawn down from the stratosphere (in the movie they say troposphere, but that probably wouldn’t kill us if we were outfitted properly) and instantly freeze anything in its path, however we should be prepared for what any winter storm will bring. The storms in the movie have the same bones as these storms. And hey, the tornadoes in the movie which were depicted as the biggest, strongest, worst image Hollywood thought they could get away with, weren’t even close to as massive as what hit Joplin, Missouri!
Batten down the hatches – hopefully, the rain won’t turn into flooding, and the giant vortex will
disappear into the sea. It’s not cold enough yet for a snow storm, but it is time to make sure your snow shoes are ready for winter, you have plenty of wood for the fireplace and can hunker down for two weeks at any moment. Ken and I are ready!