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Winter Is (Still) Coming47:26
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Winter is coming. The Polar Vortex, the Omega Block, and forecasting just how cold it will get.

Cole Baldock works to clear snow , Wednesday morning, Nov. 12, 2014, in Denver. A powerful storm made up of the remnants of Typhoon Nuri moved into the intermountain West on Monday and has settled across the central part of the country, plunging temperatures below zero in some locations and dropping a light snow that has snarled traffic. (AP)
Cole Baldock works to clear snow , Wednesday morning, Nov. 12, 2014, in Denver. A powerful storm made up of the remnants of Typhoon Nuri moved into the intermountain West on Monday and has settled across the central part of the country, plunging temperatures below zero in some locations and dropping a light snow that has snarled traffic. (AP)

We’re heading into winter. Winter is cold. But will it be polar vortex cold? Will a huge chunk of frigid arctic air give us one more seasonal weather extreme? Or is it media hype? And what is a polar vortex anyway?  It matters – not just to average people trying to figure out what to wear, but to businesses facing decision on stocking shelves in their stores. We’ll talk to two journalistic experts, a corporate consultant and a lifestyle columnist who says some people love when it’s freezing. This hour, On Point: is it time to put the parka on – and keep it on?
-- John Harwood

Guests

Eric Holthaus, meteorologist who writes about weather and climate at Slate's Future Tense blog. (@ericholthaus)

Jason Samenow, weather editor at the Washington Post, where he also blogs with the Capital Weather Gang. (@capitalweather)

Eric Symon, senior vice president at Planalytics.

Sue Shellenbarger, work and family columnist at The Wall Street Journal.

From The Reading List

Slate: Meet the “Omega Block,” Your Wintry Companion for (At Least) the Next Two Weeks — "The temperature extremes this particular pattern will produce are nothing short of breathtaking. In Great Falls, Montana, Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to top out at a balmy -1 degree Fahrenheit—nearly 50 degrees below normal. Meanwhile, Barrow, Alaska—the northernmost city in the United States—will spend most of the week some 20 degrees above normal, with highs of about 30."

Washington Post: The battle over the polar vortex, and how it should be settled -- "So who’s right? To be sure, the polar vortex is involved in this week’s cold snap – like it is in most cold snaps involving Arctic air. But this is not one of the more rare, high impact cases in which a huge chunk of the vortex breaks off and charges towards the U.S.-Canadian border bringing exceptional cold."

The Wall Street Journal: Summer-Haters Get Happy As Days Get Shorter — "A small, quiet minority of people actually cheer up and draw energy from the long, dark days of winter. These summer-haters, as one study calls them, are miserable and restless from May through September, when others are overjoyed to be getting outside. 'It’s a lonely world for people like us,' Mr. Hare says. Recent research is shedding light on the possible causes of the summer blues and ways to cope."

This program aired on November 14, 2014.

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