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Polar Vortex

(25 Posts)
MiserableJanuaryJerseySpud Sun 05-Jan-14 08:49:29

I think thats whats over the US at the moment.

I'm guessing there is no chance thats going to move accross to the uk is there?

Sparklingbrook Sun 05-Jan-14 10:14:07

I was wondering that Miserable. Don't we always get what the US have just had?

HesterShaw Sun 05-Jan-14 10:58:22

I don't think it works like that. From very simplistic observations, it seems that when ever they get a cold snowy winter, we get a wet, windy one, and when we get a cold, NE dominated winter like 2013, they're having mild ones. This current treat we're getting today was the system which dumped loads of snow on them a couple of days ago. It's warmed up as it headed over the Atlantic.

Happy to be corrected and refined grin

MiserableJanuaryJerseySpud Sun 05-Jan-14 11:06:15

Even a lighter version of what they have (ie not quite so cold) could be devastating now after all the storms

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 05-Jan-14 15:33:00

Hester is summarising it pretty well. We are sort of getting the remnants of their weather already - in the form of vigorous lows with huge amounts of precipitation. The atlantic is doing a lot of modifying.

If we go cold it will because of blocking high pressures stopping the jet stream from dumping all of its atlantic crap on us.

mathanxiety Mon 06-Jan-14 07:28:43

I thought British and Irish snow and freezing temps usually came from the north east (Baltic and further east/north).

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 06-Jan-14 07:57:03

Very much so mathanxiety.

GloriaSmud Tue 07-Jan-14 11:42:13

BBC report here. I think heard on Radio 4 last night, that in some areas a 'Code Red' warning has been issued which means that it's illegal to drive in those areas.
The Daily Mail has some amazing pictures here.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 07-Jan-14 14:32:00

That Chicago picture is just shock Very 'Day after tomorrow'

HesterShaw Tue 07-Jan-14 14:41:44

The thing that bugged me about that article is them not specifying Fahrenheit or centigrade for the low ones, and then using 84 for Florida. What are they comparing?

BadgersRetreat Tue 07-Jan-14 18:38:10

Hmm - that Chicago pic looks to me like steam from the lake rather than fog.

When it gets to about -18c water starts to steam as it's warmer than the air (like a cup of tea).

It looks very pretty and eerie when you see it in real life - we get it a lot on the river that goes through Calgary.

BadgersRetreat Tue 07-Jan-14 18:41:40

I think once it gets to about -40 degrees F or C is the same.

the US works solely in Farenheit i understand

HesterShaw Tue 07-Jan-14 18:47:03

But it's a British paper!

Oh well, I guess with temps that low, it doesn't really matter.

harrietfromharrow Tue 07-Jan-14 19:43:02

They have a massive US readership online though believe it or not. Maybe that explains it but still odd.

mathanxiety Wed 08-Jan-14 02:56:36

It is steam/vapour, and it freezes once up above the water, so it hits you as frozen crystals if you stand downwind. If it sticks to facial hair like eyelashes or moustaches or eyebrows you look like this.

Yes temps are all reported in fahrenheit.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 08-Jan-14 07:59:33

It is still hauntingly beautiful though. In a funny sort of way.

mankyscotslass Wed 08-Jan-14 10:14:08

I have been re reading Laura Ingalls Wilders books, and the Long Winter of 1880/1881 started with early snow storms for the USA in October, and carried on through to the April of 1881, with periods of intense cold.

Lots of pioneers in the Mid West starved, livestock died and communities shut off with no railroads or any other travel possible for months at a time. The weather was well documented in newspapers and memoirs of the time.

I wonder if it was an example of the weather pattern we are seeing in the USA this winter?

They had sudden early snow storms this time too, thousands of cattle died in the plains in October/November due to blizzards.

HesterShaw Wed 08-Jan-14 10:34:46

manly, how funny, I was telling DH all about that book last night. "Heap big snow come," the men were warned by the old Native American. He told them that every seven years there is a severe winter in South Dakota, and on the third seventh winter i.e every 21 years, the winter is exceptionally severe. I wonder if there was anything in that? I love the bit in the book near the end when Laura wakes in the night and hears the Chinook blowing and knows spring is finally coming.

I was also telling him about the book of her husband's childhood, Farmer Boy his eyes were glazing over by now when I saw footage of the Americans on the news throwing buckets of hot water and watching it freeze before it hit the ground. According to the book, they'd get winters like that in upstate New York regularly. Boys used to dare each other to lick pumps to see if they could do it without their tongues sticking to the metal. You can imagine the results.

mankyscotslass Wed 08-Jan-14 11:02:57


I can't imagine how they coped in the 1880s with a winter like that - look how bad it's been for modern day Americans/Canadians!

HesterShaw Wed 08-Jan-14 11:17:08

Manky. Manky. Manky. Not Manly. Manly, aptly enough apart from the conventional definition, was the affectionate diminutive of Almanzo Wilder.

Anyway, as you were....

mankyscotslass Wed 08-Jan-14 11:59:37


HesterShaw Wed 08-Jan-14 17:17:46

Here are some interesting links about the winter of 1880-1881 in the Dakotas

Well I think they're interesting anyway

Apparently Ingalls Wilder was remembering correctly all those years later and events were broadly as described in The Long Winter, when they nearly starved to death in De Smet, despite her tendency to embellish fact in her other "Little House" books. However, I find, the Wise Old Indian was made up, sadly grin

HesterShaw Wed 08-Jan-14 17:19:11

It was probably a combination of a strong negative North Atlantic Oscillation and an unusually active El Nino which caused the 8 month winter.

<is in no way quoting straight from a website>

oricella Wed 08-Jan-14 18:20:25

excellent links, thanks for those!

mankyscotslass Wed 08-Jan-14 18:36:42

Thanks for the links. smile

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