Monday, January 27, 2014

Polar Vortex, Max

To show you just how far-reaching our recent Polar Vortex was, I've included a detailed meteorological diagram to illustrate this rare phenomenon. As you can see, Max (the name I've given to this particular PV for Maximum coldness) took his icy paw and flung a bunch of stuff in a counter-clockwise fashion (if you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere). So if you have trouble recalling whether Polar Bears live in the Arctic or Antarctica, it doesn't matter anymore. They are making the rounds of this planet, so to speak. In the North today, in the South tomorrow.

What exactly is a Polar Vortex? First of all, it's the polar opposite of your happy place. Unless your happy place involves actual temperatures of -30 degrees F. Scientifically speaking, Old Man Winter is blowing colder than he has for the past 20 years. Kanela was able to get an exclusive interview with Old Man Winter.

Kanela: How do you explain your extreme variables of temperature, air pressure and water vapor?

Old Man Winter: I'm old.

Kanela: And there you have it readers. Old age is often the reason (excuse?) for extreme behavior. Just observe your favorite old person.

In conclusion, the most bizarre characteristic of a Polar Vortex (besides being called "a weather pattern on steroids," author unknown) is something called a Circumpolar Whirl. This occurs when the chief meteorologists from the 3 major Pittsburgh television networks rotate in a counter-clockwise direction each evening. ABC's Mike Harvey circles to CBS, bumping Dennis Bowman into Stephen Cropper's NBC weather map. It's kind of like a weatherman game of musical chairs, especially when the wind spins into Chicago and picks up Demetrius Ivory, bringing him back to Pittsburgh. The centrifugal force has been known to spin him into a viewer's home for a one on one weather report. My door is always open for you, Demetrius!

Severe weather alert: Prepare now for the next Polar Vortex. There have been reports (sightings) that Elphaba is participating in PV Round 2. According to aspiring weatherman/author, Gregory Maguire, "A mile above Oz, the Witch balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air."

This is Chief Meteorologist Kanela for KDKA, putting my spin on the Polar Vortex, being a little bit wicked and taking the yellow brick road out of Oz. See you back home.

Email comments and severe weather survival tips to The Weather Wizard @

Lil ole Hawaiian Kanela almost got frostbitten fingers while on location shooting the above diagram!
Be sure to click on the picture to zoom in on all the intricate details.


1 comment:

  1. Old Man Winter sounds a lot like someone else we know and love :-)


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Sandra Warholic Seeley is the creator and author of The Sandra Seeley Column. She is a lifelong educator who has taught in Hawaii, Bethel Park, PA and in the inner city schools of Pittsburgh Public where her passion for the underprivileged began. Her humorous writing is often 95% fiction and 5% fact, leaving the reader to do the math. She has often written as Kanela, which is her Pen Name and means Sandra in Hawaiian. Her serious writing is genuine and written from her heart. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and Zeus, her 119 pound German Shepherd, who is her constant companion and writing assistant. They have ongoing discussions about which one is Alpha in their pack.

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