Polar Vortex

Essential Pittsburgh
3:14 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

The Polar Vortex Returns Later This Week

The frozen Ohio River from this past winter's extreme cold conditions.
Credit Matt Niemi / Flickr

The Polar Vortex is back and it's ready to blast 200 million people with arctic air, lunging into the North Central U.S. this week and expanding southward and eastward.

The outbreak of unusually cold air is expected to linger well past the middle of the month.

We'll talk with John Radzilowicz, Director of Professional Development at ASSET STEM Education.

Energy
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Lawmaker Wants to Protect Customers' Electric Bills From Spikes

When the temperatures dropped across North America this winter, many Pennsylvanian’s saw their electricity bill skyrocket because they had contracts with their electric supplier that allowed for variable rates. Now a state senator hopes her legislation will help to protect consumers from unexpected spikes in the future.

Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton County) introduced legislation Wednesday that would among other things shorten the time it takes to switch from one rate plan to another. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

With the Great Lakes Frozen, A Rare Flock of Seagulls Roosts in Pittsburgh

A rare sight: Gulls take flight against a backdrop of downtown Pittsburgh.
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

Thousands of birds, commonly called seagulls, have made a rare migration south to roost at Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary said the gulls ("seagull" is actually a colloquial term, he explained), normally roost at the Great Lakes this time of year, but the extreme cold from the polar vortex has frozen the surfaces.

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Public Safety
4:27 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Pittsburgh Emergency Rooms Get More Visits Thanks to Polar Vortex

Even though Pittsburgh didn’t have the most extreme temperatures in the polar vortex, the mercury did go below zero. And as a result, hospital emergency departments saw an uptick in visits, including UPMC, which saw 12 cases following the worst of the cold.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:48 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Why the Wacky Weather? The Polar Vortex Explained

Tuesday caused Pittsburgh to hit a record low of -9 degrees, but science expert, John Radzilowicz, may have the answer to why it happened.
Credit artnoose / Flickr

From mild, rainy, and in the 40's Sunday, to an all-time record low of -9 Tuesday to 50 degree temperatures by end of the week. Pittsburgh is experiencing unprecedented temperature fluctuations and weather patterns. The question is what’s going on with this wacky weather. John Radzilowicz, science expert and director of professional development at ASSET-STEM, believes he has the answer.

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Winter Weather
7:59 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Sub-Zero Temps Cause Disruptions, But No Major Problems in Pittsburgh Region

As the cold descended on the region overnight Monday, the number of warming centers open throughout Allegheny County grew.

Centers in Carnegie, Clairton, Munhall, Oakdale, Shaler, West Deer, and West Mifflin were open all night.  Several other location in the county and five in the City of Pittsburgh were to open Tuesday morning.

Temperatures dipped as low as nine degrees below zero over night and are expected to clime to just seven above throughout the day.

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