Why a typhoon in Japan a while back is making it cold here

Two hours of snow is about all I need for a while

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

AI was reminded recently that I hate cold weather. I don’t hate much of anything, not even broccoli, but I hate the cold. I dislike broccoli.

The reminder was from the fact that it was cold last week. Very cold. To someone visiting from a state where it stays below freezing for months, this may have been shorts and short-sleeve weather. To the rest of us, it was just too cold.

Don’t worry about it too much, said the local weather forecaster, trying to be nice. “We’ll be back in the 70s this weekend.”

It’s only November. We’re not supposed to get this cold along the Texas Gulf Coast until January, and even then, just for a few days.

I moved here many years ago partly because of the weather, after getting tired of the harsh winters. One of my buddies who just reconnected with me on Facebook lives in Atlanta. I thought he would be living in the Big Apple.

I like the weather. It doesn’t get too cold, comparatively, anyway, he said.

Florida was O.K., but he didn’t like the hurricanes. When he lived there, the storms in the Atlantic were all lining up to embark on their trip toward Florida.

Now they are turning farther east, which is the way it should remain, so that we don’t have to worry about them here.

Why is all this happening, all these cold temperatures this early? I turned to the Internet machine to find out and came up with some reasons.

Our most recent cold spell was started far away by Typhoon Nuri, which struck an unpopulated part of Japan. It was a big one, with top winds of 180 mph. That set off a ripple effect in the jet stream, sending it further south than normal, hence, the polar vortex and lower than normal temperatures.

Meteorologists quoted in the Popular Science article agree on the cause, but not on how often these things happen and whether we’re in for these cold spells on a regular basis.

At least that is my understanding of the PS story, which concludes by advising us to best get ready and shiver. That’s reassuring.

To make things even worse, they ran a weather map showing how winter is going to shape up for the United States, purple being cold and yellow being in the 70s.

The purple lines come pretty close to the Gulf Coast, while the yellow lines are in the Gulf of Mexico, which doesn’t help us on land. The map shows 40s and 50s around us.

Now, that is not what I really want, but I’ll take it for now, hoping that it’s an average, and that a lot of days we’ll be above it.

This new-found old buddy of mine and I drove to Buffalo, N.Y. one Thanksgiving while we were still in college, and we had a great time. But, a winter storm was moving into the area, and I was getting concerned about the possibility of getting snowed in and not being able to get back to classes.

We decided to drive back one day early. That night, they shut down for about a week the state highway we needed to make our return trip, as a record-setting blizzard hit the area.

The white stuff is not all that new to me, but I want to keep my distance. A white Christmas in 2004 along the Gulf Coast and two hours enjoying the snow on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado a few years later is all the snow that I need to see for a while.

So, all you meteorologists out there, get your act together and start talking how nice and pleasant our winter will be. I’m getting tired of all this doom and gloom. I want sunshine and in the 70s – now get to work.