Friday, February 28, 2014

Will You and I Weather the Weather?

Again, it is cold here in my little corner of New York State. By cold, I mean the temperatures are barely above zero Fahrenheit, or -17 C, with wind chills well below zero, on either scale. And by my little corner of New York State, I mean the western portion of the state, which is part of that vast area that is not New York City.

This very cold weather has caused the Great Lakes to almost completely freeze over. By almost, I mean that all of the lakes are frozen, except for Ontario, which is closest to my house. This means that any cold air that flows over the relatively warm waters of Lake Ontario picks up moisture. The cold air can’t hold onto the moisture, so it dumps the accumulated moisture; all of it, on my drive way, in the form of snow.

The meteorologists on television and the Internet are blaming this cold weather on the Polar Vortex. It seems that at the North pole, cold air simply swirls around and around in a circle, trapped in a spinning vortex. Occasionally,  a bunch of this cold air makes its escape from the polar region. This year the Canadians, on at least two occasions, have let the guard around their borders down and allowed this air mass to stream, unchecked, into their country. Unfortunately, the Canadians didn’t like this air mass, so they escorted it right on out and into the United States, which, as you may know, is trying to be more accommodating, welcoming, and supporting of illegal immigrants, who cross the border without proper documentation. It seems that this includes not only the “huddled masses”, but the Polar Mass as well.

As soon as the Mass entered the US, the government went into action, offering food stamps, an Obama phone*, and college tuition to this unwelcome guest. To the delight of most tax-payers, the Polar Mass’ response was frosty, giving the government a cold shoulder (amongst other cold body parts).

Of course, this cold weather has renewed the debate about Global Warming. The Anti-Global Warming camp thinks that Global Warming is just a bunch of hot air. These people point to this polar cold snap and say things like, “Where is Global Warming when you need it?” and “Global Warming or Ice Age? Make up your mind.”

To these criticisms, the Global Warming camp responds, “This Polar Vortex condition is a once in a lifetime anomaly, the last time it happened was twenty years ago.”

It appears that the life expectancy with Global Warming is quite low.

Coming Next Week: What Happens when Technology and Weather Collide?

*An Obama phone is a cell phone given to people on low income assistance, who cannot afford a cell phone on their own.

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