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'Polar vortex' causes historical record lows in Ohio

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'Polar vortex' was a word not commonly used in Ohio or much of the 50 states but in two long days of sub-zero temperatures it has become increasingly popular and something one would imagine in a Sy-Fy show. But the polar vortex can affect Ohio's weather, although the vortex itself isn't over Ohio, it attaches to a trough of air and creates this kind of winter which is very real and very dangerous in the winter months.

What is a polar vortex?

According to Wikipedia, a polar vortex is a cyclone produce at the poles. It is one big blog of circulation over the poles. They can be mignogno cyclones, polar vortices, Arctic cyclones, sub-polar cyclones or even a circumpolar whirl, which is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet's geographical poles.

The Weather Channel explains a polar vortex and answers whether it is to blame for the sub-zero double digit negative weather over the past few days. As we all know, Ohio recorded its lowest temperatures in decades.

"Schmidlin, a co-author of Thunder in the Heartland, a look at Ohio’s weather history, said the extreme cold temperature benchmark in Ohio is Jan. 19, 1994.

The temperature in Akron dropped to 25 degrees below zero. The Cleveland temperature was 20 degrees below zero. It was 15 degrees below zero in Mansfield and 22 degrees below zero in Youngstown. In Millersburg in Holmes County, the temperature was 35 degrees below zero.

The coldest cold wave in Ohio was in 1899, but new all-time records were set and this remains “the greatest cold wave in Ohio history,” Schmidlin said."

Ohio was not the only state to suffer extreme cold temperatures, all 50 states hit records over the past two days. As the deadly cold gripped much of the country many things began to happen that put life on hold for over half of the nations population.

Weather channel described that hold best, fountains froze over, a 200-foot Ferris wheel in Atlanta shut down, and Southerners had to dig out winter coats, hats and gloves they almost never have to use. Many cities in Ohio had schools and local government affected by closings. The thaw is on the way.

Polar vortex making a retreat



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