The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The term “polar vortex” has crept back into the news as a mass of cooler air threatens to descend on the Great Lakes and farther south. But experts are dismissing that talk as so much, uh, hot air.
If the long-range forecasts hold true — and they often don’t — it’ll be a bit cooler than normal and you won’t have to run the air conditioner. That’s about it.
“I would shy away from using the term polar vortex,” said Tim Axford, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Pittsburgh. “Over the past six months that term has been used a lot and gotten a lot of media buzz for something that happens quite often.”
What may happen is a dip in the air currents that will send cooler air from Canada, giving us a few days of high and low temperatures about 10 degrees below normal, Mr. Axford said.
This time last year, online retailer Amazon.com had ambulances parked outside its Breinigsville warehouse complex on hot days, with emergency medical personnel ready to take workers suffering from heat injuries to nearby hospitals.
Today, Amazon warehouse workers say the facility is refreshingly cool when it’s hot and muggy outside. The company recently installed 40 roof-top air conditioners in its 615,000-square-foot warehouse, part of a $52 million investment in cooling its warehouses around the country.
“I didn’t even break a sweat today,” one worker said at the end of his shift Tuesday, when Lehigh Valley temperatures topped 90 degrees. “It was really nice. I noticed the difference as soon as I walked in the door.”