Lost in the Polar Vortex


“Baby, it’s cold outside!”  Like really cold.  Like POLAR VORTEX cold.  Kongo left 80-degree San Diego weather Monday and headed out for his first 2014 trip on Monday and somewhere between Atlanta and Philadelphia he got mysteriously sucked into something called the polar vortex.  Good thing Mrs. Kongo insisted he take his monkey gloves.  And what the heck is a polar vortex anyway and what’s it doing down here in the lower 48?  

Kongo has no idea what a polar vortex is and doubts that many other monkeys out there do either.  When it showed up in all the headlines he looked it up but after reading it he decided he didn’t know much more about this weather phenomena than he did before he went scrambling for his new Christmas scarf and old winter overcoat.  What the words POLAR VORTEX convey quite clearly, however, is that it’s really, really cold out there.

Polar vortex cold is the battery stopping, pipe bursting, free-falling wind chill factors kind of cold that just make you want to curl up under the covers in a fetal position.  It’s that kind of cold that makes the little hairs inside your nose freeze as soon as you walk outside and then makes your monkey nose run when you come back in and thaw out.  It’s the kind of cold that makes your eyes hurt.  Your rental car won’t have a chance of warming up as you travel from your hotel to the office.  Cars trail clouds of exhaust.  People trudge about like padded automatons focused only on getting to the door one careful step (watching for ice patches) at a time.

And it’s not just the cold.  The wind is howling in the vortex.  The kind of howling that makes the flags stand out straight and the rigging on the poles go TING,TING,TING in a rapid fire tattoo that invades your hotel room window.  The kind of wind that makes weird keening sounds as it sneaks in around the window sill.  The kind of wind that makes your rental car shake like it does when a big truck blows by and you get caught in the slip stream.  That kind of wind.  So when you put that kind of cold and that kind of wind together, well it’s just frickin cold and awful.

So Kongo should just put his monkey lips together, press firmly, and quit whining about this.  Plenty of furry simians must live, thrive, and have monkey babies in the polar vortex. Somewhere.  Somewhere near the poles like maybe in Canada.  Admittedly the monkey is spoiled living in San Diego and perhaps its about time he learned how the rest of the world lives.  Get over it.  Besides, CNN is now going on about a meteorological “one-two punch” (whatever that is) which will knock the polar vortex back to Canada later in the week!  Eh?  Take that polar vortex!  Go back to Canada where you belong.

Evidently the polar vortex is no match for good old American hot air coming up from the Gulf.  Who knew?

Kongo's milestone in the local polar vortex here in sunny Mt. Laurel, NJ
Kongo’s milestone in the local polar vortex here in sunny Mt. Laurel, NJ.  Even the water tower looks cold and Kong really hopes it doesn’t freeze!

On Friday the monkey makes it back to the coast for a weekend of perfect San Diego weather.  Sunny.  No clouds.  Temperatures in the 70s.  Next week he goes to Florida and Washington DC but the polar vortex will be long gone by then, right?  Right?  Right?

Travel safe.  Have fun.  Stay warm.


And note to the first picture.  It’s not 2010.  It’s a brand new 2014!  This picture is from Kongo’s rental car, a Chevrolet something and the monkey doesn’t know how to adjust the clock.  It’s too cold for that.

15 thoughts on “Lost in the Polar Vortex

  1. I have also been reading about this Polar Vortex thing…very interesting. And because Paris is on the right side (in both meaning – we are right of the Vortex and on the good side of it), we are experiencing milder than normal temperature in Paris though there has been a hell of a wind storm on the coastal areas (lots of huge waves destroying everything in its path). Crossing fingers that our Paris winter stays this mild for a while…Good luck with the frigid temperatures. (Suzanne)

  2. The monkey will enjoy Florida! Although we did have 40 degree temps one night (and we think that is brrrrrr cold), it is supposed to be sunny 80 again on Saturday, and 70 through next week. So glad my monkey didn’t have to travel to DC this week. Stay safe. Some of us just like being warm.

  3. Funnily enough I tried googling Polar Vortex and couldn’t really figure it out. But Kongo’s description of the cold really captures the reality of it for me and makes me freeze and empathize with others out there. You’re always welcome here in Singapore Kongo, where the tropics will make sure to keep the vortex at bay with its wonderful 80 degrees everyday of the year.

    1. Dear Glamourous: Thanks for that warm update! Today in NJ it’s all the way up to a toasty 28 so that polar vortex is obviously skulking back to Canada where it belongs. Having been to Singapore many times I very much appreciate the great weather and other amenities of your beautiful city. Many fond memories of the Long Bar at the Raffles. All the best in the New Year!

    1. Well, I just flew out of PHL this morning and am now somewhere over Montgomery, AL heading toward the warm coast It’s supposed to e a nice weekend on the East Coast. Cheers.

      1. Hey Kongo!

        Polar Vortex 2 (Son of Polar Vortex) has arrived in southern Ontario. And before last week I’d never heard of a polar vortex. Today it’s back to -26ºC (-15ºF), although there’s not much wind so it only feels like -33ºC (-27ºF), which is practically tropical compared to last week! That said, it is a wonderfully crisp, sunny day.

        Hope things are warmer where you are.


      2. Actually, Jaspa it is all the way up to 10 degrees here in sunny Mt. Laurel, NJ. It’s a cold, cold world.

Leave a Reply