Source: The Corydon Democrat

FROZEN: Polar vortex grips area

by Alan Stewart

January 07, 2014

A rare polar vortex — air that has circulated around the Artic region and then brought south by the jet stream — in this region placed an icy grip here and elsewhere across the Midwest Sunday night into yesterday (Tuesday).

Monday’s low temperature in Corydon — after the cold front and with wind gusts reaching 25 mph blew through — was negative 5.2 degrees, with the high temperature being zero. Tuesday’s low was negative 4.4 degrees.

Though the mercury barely moved, few problems were reported on area roadways. Precipitation that fell through Sunday was expected to freeze; however, gusty winds did more to dry the moisture than to freeze it in many areas. Most of the snow landed north of here, with Indianapolis getting nearly a foot of the frozen precipitation.

Schools in Harrison County closed Monday and Tuesday — and most were on a two-hour delay Wednesday — due to the cold temperatures. Because of the extreme conditions, state Supt. of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz authorized schools to apply for a waiver from the required 180 days of instruction. Superintendents of Indiana schools were notified via e-mail or an automatic calling system that a waiver was available for Monday and Tuesday.

Historically, the last time the mercury dipped below zero was in January 2009, and, in January 2004, temperatures reached minus 5 degrees, and, in February 1996, the low temp was minus 7.

Area residents — and heaters — will get a bit of a break this weekend as a gradual warm-up should bring temperatures to the upper 40s and lower 50s.