FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Remember when the polar vortex was leading your favorite newscasts?
The polar vortex is not new. The phrase was first used in 1853 and the vortex as been around way longer than that.
The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure around the poles.
Vortex refers to the counterclockwise rotation of air keeping the cold near the poles.
When the vortex heads toward us, it feels frigid. About everything freezes and record cold is widespread.
This caused by sudden stratospheric warming.
Warm air warms further, descending over the pole, disrupting things.
Westerly winds turn easterly, the jet stream buckles and parts of the country get blasted with polar air.
The outbreak that occurred in January 2014 was similar to other cold outbreaks. Many will remember 1977, 82, 85 and 89.
The polar vortex. Always there. That large area of cold air aloft usually stays put, spinning around the poles. It’s those infrequent times when a weak jet stream becomes wobblier, that allows the frigid air to plunge toward the Wabash Valley.

Polar Vortex: