Intense temperature change melts effects of polar vortex

“By next week, we’ll be back in the 20s.” Kendall Linnenkugel 

“By next week, we’ll be back in the 20s.” Kendall Linnenkugel


Adam Gretsinger and Adam Gretsinger

BGSU was frozen solid for its first week of the spring semester; its second week will be at least 50 degrees warmer.

A polar vortex-origin winter storm that contained temperature lows of -10 degrees and wind chills of about -40 degrees which blew through the town last week will give way to a system with a high of 55 degrees on Sunday.

The cause of this change is a “shift in the jetstream,” Kendall Linnenkugel, a sophomore Broadcast Journalism major minoring in meteorology said. “Basically, the jetstream (is) going in an upswing,” that will bring up warm air from the Gulf of Mexico.

Though this air is technically being brought up by the same air movements in Canada that sent the intense cold (i.e. the polar vortex), the jetstream, the part of the system that distributes the different temperatures of air, is moving much lower than before.

While this swing in heat may allow more residents and students to go outside without full body coverage, it may also cause more issues for residents.

This next week will contain high possibilities of rain for most of the week days, with The Weather Channel predicting the presence of thunderstorms Monday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also warned the melting snow and ice can cause flooding on its website. Though Bowling Green did not see too much snow and is not located close to a major water source, melting snow and ice can still damage properties.

FEMA also said to watch out for bursting pipes due to heat fluctuations, a BBC article reported.

Temperature shifts can also be dangerous for the body if not approached carefully, Linnenkugel said. Despite the near 100-degree difference in temperature from Jan. 30, she said people should still dress for the season because the warmth now is only relatively warm – 50 degrees is still not a shorts-and-t-shirt-tier temperature and not properly dressing-up could help cause sickness in people.

However, the time to utilize these warmer conditions is quickly running out, as weather conditions may normalize soon.

“By next week, we’ll be back in the 20s,” Linnenkugel said. Additionally, this freezing combined with the previous days’ high probabilities of rain might hurt driving conditions.

She added, “The polar vortex was extremely abnormal. … (A) severe kind of dipping and wave pattern.”

While no other systems as radical as the polar vortex seem to be on the horizon, Linnenkugel said residents should watch out for volatile systems, remain up-to-date on weather forecasts and plan any travel before abnormal weather conditions arise.

The winter storm’s death toll rose to 21 in the U.S. according to a BBC report. The story also mentioned large amounts of frostbite treatments being given in the wake of the storm.