Does the Polar Vortex Have Idaho in its Sights?
Maybe. The polar vortex, a common occurrence in winter is undergoing a shift of sorts. It could result in a pattern of wild swings in the air troughs overhead. It doesn’t necessarily mean a finger of cold air will suddenly descend over the mountain west. It could happen here, but I don’t see it in the local long-range forecast. Back in the winter of 2014-2015, a similar phenomenon happened. It put the northeast into a bitterly cold stretch of weather in late winter. Here, I was out walking the streets in shorts.
You may remember news media playing up the vortex as something exotic and sinister. Mostly television news, which is encouraged by consultants to focus on weather and especially harsh weather.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen an easing in the severe drought that was plaguing southern Idaho. Though, that improvement has leveled off over the last couple of weeks as we haven’t seen much new snow or rain. As for spring runoff, at the moment we look to be in great shape. The snowpack in the mountains and the south hills is well above average. Barring a really quick spring warm-up, we should see a gradual meltdown.
I’m looking forward to the first day when the temperature reaches the mid-60s. I’ll be rolling down all four windows and going out for a drive on Route 93. Just to air out the car and bask in the comfortable heat.
My cat will also appreciate the change. He doesn’t like going outside in winter. In summer, he likes to spend hours sleeping on the deck or in the shrubs. By the way, he’s no threat to birds. He’s old and stays just outside the sliding glass door.