A Visit from the Polar Vortex!

If you’re like me, when you hear the term “Polar Vortex”, you think of a mash-up between the Abominable Snowman (think of the Yeti-like character from the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” television cartoon) and a trigonometry equation. While somewhat less amusing to consider, an actual polar vortex is both simpler and more complicated than our typical winter weather. There were numerous references to the polar vortex during the winter of 2014, which many will recall as being particularly frigid.

How does it work? A strong high-pressure system in the Pacific ocean can push its way toward the north pole – where, naturally, the northern hemisphere’s coldest air resides - and that cold air then makes its way to Canada, the midwestern states, and our front doors here in the northeast. A polar vortex is not a new weather phenomenon. It has been a part of the climate knowledge base for decades, but the familiarity with the name has more recently made it part of our usual winter conversations. The National Weather Service and Accuweather are both predicting relatively mild temperatures for the Northeast in the early part of January and a downturn in the latter part of the month. The forecast for January, February and March shows a slightly below-average temperature trend with the possibility of missing the ‘Polar Vortex’.  

Even if we miss the full burden of the polar vortex, the weather volatility in New England coupled with average winter temperatures provide a high probability of third-party energy rates outperforming the utility default rates. Securing budget certainty is how Neighborhood Energy can help.

So, when you learn that we will have a visit from the polar vortex, don’t be alarmed – just bundle up with an extra layer of fleece and perhaps help yourself to another cup of hot cocoa.

-Your friendly Neighborhood Energy