Just when Pittsburgh residents thought the 2013 polar vortex was behind them, it is hitting again. Albeit this time, the polar vortex that hit Pittsburgh last winter may leave remnants in the disguise of a baby boom. Physicians at West Penn and Forbes Regional hospitals are dubbing the expected baby boom as the “polar vortex babies.” They are predicting an influx of births with an increase of up to 27.8 percent of births.
The month of August is normally a busy time in hospital delivery rooms as there are usually more babies born compared to the other months of the year. It is assumed the winter days with less sunlight encourages couples to stay indoors. Add the frigid, cold temperature to the ‘less sunny days’ mixture and it creates an atmosphere which entices couples to cuddle with each other to keep warm; even quarreling couples are tempted to cuddle when they are cold. Little trivial matters seem to disappear when couples want to keep warm by cuddling during a polar vortex.
Therefore, the high birth rates in August and September are not an anomaly given the circumstances of winter weather. The difference this year is the higher percentage of August/September births expected from the polar vortex.
The polar vortex is a weather term for a persistent cyclone that circles the Earth’s poles. Last winter, Pittsburgh struggled with record-low temperatures and tons of snow, complements of a polar vortex. The extreme weather came in two episodes starting on Dec. 6 through Dec. 10. The second episode broke a record in Pittsburgh on Jan. 6 and 7 which bottomed out at -9 degrees Fahrenheit. The first episode is the one being blamed for the current polar vortex babies.
So while the polar vortex brings frigid weather, it appears to lessen the frigidity in relationships as evident with the influx of the 'burgh babies.'