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Weather Term of 2014? "Polar Vortex"

We've used it - (and overused it) - for a whole year now.

Polar Vortex.

The cyclonic flow of frigid Arctic air that's normally trapped around the North Pole was pulled southward across the Great Lakes about New Year's Day and into our collective weather lexicon.

It gripped the eastern half of the United States at the start of the year and helped launch our first of two blizzards of 2014 on Jan. 6.

Since then, the term has been used in selling everything from winter clothing to natural gas, not to mention often in some form of conversational hyperbole explaining why winter's so cold.

In reality, the Polar Vortex was anything but new in 2014.

"The polar vortex is not a recently discovered phenomenon; in fact, it has been talked about in the meteorological world for decades," Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said in AccuWeather's November article "What is a Polar Vortex?"

Here's how NASA scientists described "The Big Chill" of the first days of 2014:

New phenomenon or not, we couldn't get enough of the Polar Vortex this year.

If you're appetite is still whet, take a peek at AccuWeather and the National Weather Service here:




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