When meteorologists talk about vortices, it is never because weather is pleasant.
In the spring and summer months on the plains, we hear about the formation of a vortex within a thunderstorm and we know that potentially tornadic weather is on the way.
But usually, we escape the discussion of vortices over the winter.
But with a polar vortex affecting much of the northeastern United States, we are getting a look at less common, but equally uncomfortable vortex in weather forecasts.
One national weather service meteorologist said, “It is just a dangerous cold.”
I hate sensational weather forecasters as much as the next rational human being, but I think this particular system is a little more than that.
In the Wichita area Monday morning, kids walk through the snow in temperatures that were below zero and wind chills dipping to around negative twenty.
Wind chill warnings were issued in 27 states as record cold and wind affect more than half of the country.
The Associated Press got it right when writer Tammy Webber said, “A whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a "polar vortex" descended Monday into much of the U.S., pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama.”
That sounds about right.
I hate the winter months.
So many people complain about being hot in the summer, but heat never stopped you from driving somewhere. Heat doesn’t pile up on rooftops.
I never have to come to the office on a Sunday and shovel sunshine.
Of course I love a good 78-degree windless afternoon. But I don’t even mind a 100-degreee day. I can handle the heat.
But when the thermometer is below zero and driving is hazardous, I just can’t be a fan.
I know we will see 50 and 60 degree days soon. But until then, I will keep the heater turned up and be thankful that most of my work is inside.
If you have to work outside delivering newspapers, mail or packages, keeping streets clear and safe, arresting bad guys or putting out fires, be safe out there.
This is a good time to show a little appreciation for the people who have to deal with extreme temperatures as part of their daily lives.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org