Why is it so cold? Debunking the polar vortex

2 years 3 months 3 days ago November 18, 2014 Nov 18, 2014 Tuesday, November 18 2014 Tuesday, November 18, 2014 8:28:00 PM CST in News
By: Spencer Wilson, KOMU 8 News
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Winds are blowing, and the thermometer is dropping like a box of rocks. Is this just winter taking its first steps, or is it something more serious?

Is it the return of the polar vortex?

Meteorologist Eric Aldrich said while the polar vortex has the potential to change the temperatures in the United states, it's pretty unlikely. 

"Last year, during all the fuss about the vortex, the weather people never really explained that it's a chain of events that moves the temperatures lower," Aldrich said. "So is the polar vortex making you cold in Missouri? No."

People in Columbia were a little shaky about just what the polar vortex does.

"Well since I just heard of it last year. It's either a new thing or not that common," Amy Jester said.

While it's true the public hadn't heard a lot about the large pocket of cold air in the polar region until last year, that wasn't because it didn't exist.

"I think the hype surrounding the polar vortex and just big weather events in general, I think it is something that the national media outlets tend to hype," Aldrich said. "Why they do that, I don't know, but I think weather is a very easy target."

Saturation of coverage is not unheard of. Since September, dozens of stories have come out of national news outlets claiming any sharp change in temperature was caused by the catchphrase "polar vortex."

"It tends to always be end of the world situation. They're praying on the sensibilities of little old ladies that don't want to come out of their homes," said Patrick Connors, a resident of Columbia.

The National Weather Service said in an article Tuesday not every cold snap should be blamed on the polar vortex.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY – Gender accessibility has become a controversial topic on a national level, and a bill presented at a... More >>
37 minutes ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri System is looking for a chancellor with "a collaborative and transparent leadership style" who is... More >>
49 minutes ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:38:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Promoting residents to interact closely with the police is the main step for city staff to build a... More >>
56 minutes ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:31:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man has been charged in federal court on accusations that he played a role in... More >>
1 hour ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - MU Alert reported a gas leak in the area near College Avenue in between Rollins and University Avenue... More >>
2 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 12:51:00 PM CST in News
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A Joplin man alleged that police used excessive force in his 2015 arrest. The Joplin... More >>
5 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:53:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two teenage cousins have died in a Kansas City crash. The Kansas City... More >>
6 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:43:52 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 14-year-old boy is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries after being hit by a train in suburban... More >>
7 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 7:33:09 AM CST in News
UNIVERSITY CITY (AP) — Authorities in Missouri are investigating after dozens of headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery near... More >>
10 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:39:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - As the warm weather approaches, the number of unwanted litters increases, putting a burden on local shelters. ... More >>
12 hours ago February 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017 Tuesday, February 21 2017 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:30:00 AM CST in Top Stories
HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minnesota - A Missouri construction worker, David Earl Hyde, 38, of Fulton died while on the job in... More >>
17 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 9:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is about to get the renovation its been hoping for. The small airport currently flies... More >>
19 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:37:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are joining the investigation into... More >>
20 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 7:06:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City City Council approved the Truman Hotel Urban Renewal Plan on Monday evening. The... More >>
20 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri's new first lady, Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, said she is committed to keeping politics separate from her... More >>
20 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 6:30:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In the past two decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses has skyrocketed, and the medical community has... More >>
23 hours ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – As unusually warm weather brings a feeling of early spring across Missouri, it also speeds up the lawn... More >>
1 day ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 3:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The mayor's medical tourism task force has finalized its recommendations on how to make Columbia a medical hub... More >>
1 day ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
4pm 69°
5pm 67°
6pm 63°
7pm 61°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld