By Nina Barry
This winter has been colder than average, mostly in the Southeast and Southwest region of the United States. The Northeast has been slightly warmer than normal and the Southeast has been slightly colder than normal. The North Central has been warmer than average and the South Central has been colder than average. The Northwest has been slightly colder, and the Southwest has been slightly warmer.
Temperature forecasts say that the temperatures are still supposed to drop. Right now the average temperature is 16 ° F. This is four degrees colder from last years average. What some reports and weather channels say is that the coldest part of winter is still to come. Maps and other weather sources say that this winter should be a typical La Niña. A La Niña is a type of weather pattern, “a cooling of the water in the equatorial Pacific that occurs at irregular intervals and is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns complementary to those of El Niño, but less extensive and damaging in their effects.” La Niña is up north, so it will not affect us as much as the states like Oregon, New York, and Missouri.
One question someone might ask is, what is behind this great chill? The freezing weather is due to a polar vortex. A polar vortex is a bunch of cold air swirling around in the Arctic. This winter it began push the cold air down into the United States. Bob Overac, a forecaster for the national weather service said, “They form at different times of the year, and they tend to go farther south during the winter.” Later in the year when it gets warmer, and if this weather pattern continues, there will be rain and thunderstorms.
In conclusion, don’t expect to be having warm weather for a while, once summer hits it will be hot. Right now we should enjoy what we get here in Arizona. Cold weather does not last too long, so soak it up and live with what you get. States like Alaska and North Dakota are swamped in snow, sleet, and ice. They have to wear snow clothes everyday to school, or they get snow days, which are just tagged on to the end of the school year.