Polar Vortex Proves Problematic


Temperatures in Westport have recently dropped dangerously close to zero degrees, in what scientists are calling the “Polar Vortex.” While the cold weather alone isn’t usually as threatening as ice and snow, many Staples students say the current climate conditions are inconvenient and uncomfortable.

The chilly weather is especially bothersome for students who drive to school, who compare walking to and from Wakeman to trekking through the tundra.

“The other day I stayed after school, and walking to Wakeman it was probably five degrees out,” said Rachel Beck ‘15. “I probably got frostbite.”

Some students say they even have trouble just making the short walk inside.

“Yesterday I had to wear my cheerleading skirt to school in six degree weather,” said Lindsey Giannitti ‘15. “Walking to my car was not fun.”

For others, the commute itself poses a problem. Art teacher Camille Eskell says her car is considerably old, so she has to take extra precautions.

“When it’s cold out, I have to heat my car up and make sure the engine’s okay before I leave,” said Eskell. “I normally don’t have to do that.”

For the most part, students say the cold hasn’t really impacted their plans or affected their midterm studying. However, on Monday afternoon, a girls’ varsity basketball game was cancelled.

According to Abby Lustig ‘15, the game was rescheduled for this Thursday because Norwalk had cancelled all after school activities.

“I assume they did that because of the weather,” said Lustig.

While the cold air by itself isn’t particularly dangerous, the combination of ice, snow, and freezing air can be irritating at best and unsafe at worst.

“We have to shovel a path for my dog so he can go to the bathroom in the snow,” said Giannitti.

Taking extra care of pets is only mildly inconvenient, but some snow-related incidents have been more serious. Frozen rain has made roads icy, which is dangerous for students traveling on foot or by car. Numerous students have slipped on the ice.

“I slipped and fell getting out of my car at Starbucks,” said Amanda Zager ‘17.

The present weather conditions are especially unfortunate considering the area was

just hit with a severe snowstorm.

“When we had the blizzard earlier, I parked my car in the covered municipal lot near my house so I wouldn’t have to clean off the snow,” said Eskell. “It was worth paying for.”

Fortunately, the polar vortex is proving to be more bothersome than hazardous. Weather forecasts for this weekend predict that temperatures will rise considerably – just in time for students to lock themselves inside to study for midterms.