The record low temperatures seen in the 2013-2014 winter taught many livestock producers some hard, cold lessons.
According to Steve Hilberg, senior climatologist with the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC), the severity of last year was reminiscent of winters several decades ago.
“Last year compared in many areas to those winters in the ‘70s and early ‘80s,” Hilberg said. “More recently we haven’t had that — winters haven’t been that bad. Last year is what we would categorize as a severe winter in many areas including Ohio. Severe winters are categorized as being in the top 20% of severity.”
When looking at the reason for the temperature drop, Hilberg cautions the overuse of the term “polar vertex.”
“It’s not quite as simple as polar vortex makes it sound, but there is a change in the jet stream that generates that kind of cold weather,” he said. “Last winter, and if you look back at the upper air patterns of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s when we had those bad winters, what was very common was an area of strong low pressure aloft over Canada and the Hudson Bay area.… Continue readingRead More »