Polar Vortex Explained

Letter from the Executive Director

Computer model projection for January 6, showing a large area of much below average temperatures (in blue and purple) across the lower 48 states. Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics/Climate Central.
Computer model projection for January 6, showing a large area of much below average temperatures (in blue and purple) across the lower 48 states. Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics/Climate Central.

Scientists say the deep freeze gripping the U.S. this winter does not indicate a halt in climate change trends, but is actually an example of climate change in action. The weather pattern driving the extreme cold into the U.S. — with a weaker polar vortex moving around the Arctic like a slowing spinning top, eventually falling over and blowing open the door to the Arctic freezer — fits with other recently observed jet stream configurations.

The cause of the Arctic outbreak can be traced to northeastern Canada and Greenland, where an area of high pressure and relatively mild temperatures is set to block the eastward progression of weather systems. The atmospheric blocking is forcing a section of the polar vortex to break off and move south, into the U.S. The polar vortex is an area of cold low pressure that typically circulates around the Arctic during the winter, spreading tentacles of cold southward into Europe, Asia, and North America at times. 

The estimated cost for the January extreme weather event that affected so much of the nation is estimated at $5 billion dollars in lost productivity, lack of consumer spending and higher energy bills. Climate change impacts us all – in many ways – and we are all paying for inaction.

Join meteorologist Paul Douglas presenting “Weird Weather: Minnesota’s New Normal? Our Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It”

When: Tuesday, February 18, 7-8:30 pm. Doors open at 6pm with informational exhibits from local organizations, including the Will Steger Foundation!
Where: Eden Prairie High School, 17185 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Our new Climate and Energy Literacy Webinar series allows you to stay in the comfort of your own home and still learn and engage in climate education. Watch for more on our youth lobby day March 31st. Our 2012-2013 Annual Report is now available! We are making great strides in our work – thanks to your incredibly generous support! 

Stay warm!

Sincerely,

 

Nicole Rom, Executive Director

 


Education

The Will Steger Foundation has joined up with GreenSchoolsConnect for a year of networking and resource sharing with schools and districts in the Twin Cities.  Read more here.

Keynotes and Special Guests Announced for the 2014 Summer Institute

Dr. Abraham, Summer Institute Keynote Speaker
Dr. Abraham, Summer Institute Keynote Speaker

Professor of thermal sciences, Dr. John Abraham will grace our stage as the keynote for our upcoming Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education. He will be preceded by Daniel Crawford, a student at the University of Minnesota who interpreted scientific data into a musical score. The two-night event will also include guest facilitators Mary Spivey of the University of Minnesota, author and naturalist Larry Weber, Asia Ward of KidWind, Paul Thompson of Cool Planet and more! 

Join us for “Hands On Energy Literacy” a live webinar event with former Einstein Fellow Josh Sneidemen and Michael Arquin, Director of KidWind. It’s the next installment of our Climate and Energy Literacy Webinar Series. The webinar will be live on March 12th, 6:30 PM CDT and archived following the event.

We’re looking for a Summer Education Intern!  Read more here.


Emerging Leaders

Annual Youth Lobby Day for Clean Energy YEA! MN Co-Chair Bryn Shank

St. Paul Central High School student Bryn Shank will be presenting on ClimateChangeLIVE. Bryn is one of our YEA! MN Co-Chairs and will be sharing stories of sustainability leadership in schools. ClimateChangeLIVE is a webinar series with partners and presenters from all around the country. The webinar will be live 12:00 Noon CDT (1:00 PM EDT) on March 12th. Learn more on the ClimateChangeLIVE website.

Annual Youth Lobby Day for Clean Energy 

YEA! MN
Youth Lobby Day, 2013

Calling all high school students! Join YEA! MN for a Youth Lobby Day in support of a stronger solar energy standard in Minnesota. Across the state high schools are home to solar panels, engaging students in tangible low carbon solutions and energy literacy. We’ve come a long way, and there is a long way yet to go! Join us at the Capitol on March 31st. Lobby trainings available on site the day of, and at individual high schools prior to the event. Contact YEA! MN Coordinator, Natalie Cook, for information: natalie@willstegerfoundation.org. Register here.

 


Photo of the Month

2012-13annualreport

Our 2012-2013 Annual Report is now available! We are making great strides in our work – thanks to your incredibly generous support!

 

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