Brrr! It’s cold here in Vermont! Is it cold where you are? Many parts of the United States have experienced record-breaking low temperatures this winter. This is great news for people who love to ice skate on frozen ponds, but not such great news for farmers trying to keep their livestock warm, or truckers who have to fix a broken engine on the side of the road, or school children who want to go out for recess.
You may have heard weather forecasters mention the polar vortex as part of the problem. What’s the polar vortex? It’s a wind pattern that usually keeps really cold air in the arctic where it belongs. When the polar vortex gets weak, as it does when the Arctic Ocean warms up, lots of that cold Arctic air spills out across Canada, the United States, and northern Europe.