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Who invented this ‘polar vortex?’

By Staff | Nov 16, 2014

Good news! Last Tuesday, Veterans Day, the groundhog came out of his burrow and saw his shadow.

That means there will only be six more months of winter

Yes, winter has arrived. And it sure looks like it is here to stay.

On Sunday I was hauling some final loads of leaves to the Blue Earth brush site. A neighbor was mowing the lawn, or at least the leaves on his lawn. I saw a farmer doing some tillage work.

It was still fall.

The next day, Monday, winter arrived. No matter that the calendar says winter starts on Dec. 22; this year it began on Nov. 10. And it came with a vengeance.

While the Faribault County area only had an inch or two of snow, just a little farther north in Minnesota, folks were putting up with a foot or more.

And then there is the cold.

Temperatures plummeted and the weatherman says we may not see the 30s for two weeks and we could have overnight lows in single digits.


But, we are not alone.

Some new phenomenom named the ‘polar vortex’ has descended across almost all of the U.S. We Minnesotans got it early, when it crossed over the Canadian border at International Falls without stopping for customs. But over the course of a day or two it continued south all the way to Florida and Texas.

Some folks there saw temperatures in the 70s one day, the 40s the next. Sometimes it was the same day.

Did it really drop 30 degrees in six minutes in Colorado? They say it did. And now it is below zero in Denver.

I don’t recall this ‘polar vortex’ term being used until just a year or so ago. But, it seems the jet stream changes its direction and that brings all of the North Pole air down to us. Can we blame Santa for this gift?

And here I thought we were all supposed to be worried about global warming. I could use a little warming right now.

The cold and snow in the Twin Cities area has officials from the Minnesota State High School League scrambling to figure out if the local football fields are in good enough shape to host the games of the State Football Tournament. Many high school stadiums were buried in snow, and the temperatures on Saturday were expected to be brutally cold.

The games will all be played outdoors because, remember, there isn’t any good old Metrodome to go play football inside. Even the championship games will be played outside at TCF Bank Stadium.

Unfortunately, the Blue Earth Area Buccaneer football team and their fans don’t have to worry about facing the cold and snow on Saturday. The Bucs season came to an end the Saturday before, with a heartbreaking loss to Glencoe-Silver Lake.

The game featured one of the most nerve-wracking fourth quarters and exciting last minute finishes ever. Like many Buccaneer fans, I thought the team was destined to pull it out and win at the very last second of the game.

But, that didn’t happen.

Still, the team has nothing to hang their heads about. They played a terrific game against a very tough opponent. The Bucs gave it their all.

And, beyond that, they had an incredible season.

As a fan, I can just say, they were a whole lot of fun to watch, both on offense and on defense.

So, congratulations to the team. And, a special note of recognition to the excellent Buccaneer football coaching staff. They know just what to do to get the most out of their players, each and every year.

I am sure the Buccaneer team and coaches would have liked another game or two this year, freezing cold temps and snow or not.

The fans would have been happy to brave that cold as well.

And, while we are at it, a hearty congrats to all the other fall sport athletes who went on to the State Tournament.

That includes the Buccaneer girls tennis team and individual players from both BEA and United South Central and a Buc and Rebel cross country runner also made it to state.

Getting to state is always an ultimate goal of every high school athlete. It is not the easiest thing to accomplish, so those who do deserve recognition and a note of congratulations.

So, kudos to all of them.