Polar Vortex to Hit Cleveland Second Week in February


Lucy McIntire

This week of February 7th to the 13th is expecting temperatures well below freezing and wind chills below 0°. These cold conditions are what is known as a Polar Vortex, which is what happens when the cold air and low pressure around Earth’s poles are kept in the area surrounding the poles because of the counterclockwise flow of air (which is what a vortex is). During the winter the vortex often expands, sending cold air south.

Polar vortexes send this chilling air south, and now, one is hitting Cleveland. Due to the freezing temperatures, there are a number of precautions to take, especially when going outside. The number one thing to do is dress warmly and cover ALL exposed skin. If it is too cold for you to go outside, the same is likely true for your pet, so limit their trips outside. Also, make sure to check on family and friends who could be at greater risk due to age, illness, or another condition.

There are several other things to watch for as well: look for symptoms of frostbite, which can include red, white, or blue looking skin, tingling sensations, or loss of feeling. If you experience these symptoms, get inside as soon as possible, and depending on the degree, you may need to see a doctor. Finally, watch for signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia symptoms can include excessive shivering, drowsiness, slurred speech, and disorientation. If you find anyone suffering from hypothermia, get them to a warm location and get medical help immediately. If the victim is conscious, provide a warm beverage.