Just how cold was it on Monday as the temperature in Akron fell to 6 degrees below zero as sunset approached? Oh, and the wind chill registered 29 degrees below zero.
It is easy to grasp the difference between 70 degrees and 35 degrees, between an afternoon on the golf course and one navigating the hill at Boston Mills. Yet a similar differential came into play as that polar air mass roared across the Midwest and into our region, the distinction hard to miss between cold and much colder.
Those who experienced the frigid January days of 1994 and 1985 may scoff at so much made about this cold snap, set to break on Wednesday, temperatures back into double-digits and then climbing to the forties by the weekend. Weather experts have cited the weakening of something called the “polar vortex,” a large bank of icy air slipping down from the North Pole.
Some even see the possibility of climate change at work, the melting of Arctic sea ice altering patterns and opening the way to more severe weather. Too easy? Again, that may not be the case, scientists with much to study. Yet there is the factor of such an episode being just what climate change would look like.