polar vortex

SNN: Minimizing Polar Vortex affect

Feb 11, 2019
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Two weeks ago school administrators made it to work every day while snow-clogged roads and sub-zero temps forced them to call a week-long snow day event for students. Last week, ice is hampered efforts to dig out of a learning-time deficit.

Of Kent ISD’s 20 districts, only East Grand Rapids held classes at all last week during the polar vortex, and East was only open on Tuesday. It was the longest period of time school has been called consecutively, according to Rockford’s Mike Shibler, West Michigan’s longest-serving superintendent.

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National Weather Service

The Polar Vortex is retreating northward ushering in warmer temperatures from the southwest. The abrupt weekend warm-up is a dramatic swing of as much as 80 degrees in some parts of the Great Lakes region. WGVU spoke with a National Weather Service meteorologist about what’s behind the abrupt temperature shift.

The National Weather Service at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport tells us the arctic air mass begins moving out of Michigan late Saturday morning. Daytime temperatures will rise above freezing.

National Weather Service logo
National Weather Service

Life-threatening cold and a Winter Storm Warning are gripping West Michigan. For the latest on the cold and snow

WGVU spokes with National Weather Service meteorologist William Marino. With more than 40 years of forecasting how does he characterize the winter storm and the arctic cold associated with it? 

“This is extremely unusual. We have several of us, me being a climate person especially, have researched this issue. The last time we had something even remotely like this was in 1994.”

What took place back in 1994?