Polar Vortex: Old Enemy of the British Army?

I’m no real fan of hot weather, but boy has it been cold out.  I’ve seriously considered wearing my regimental when I go places because I’m pretty sure it’s the warmest coat I have.  But if you’re like me, you’re getting sick and tired of this “polar vortex” phrase thrown around by the media.  Evidence has been coming to light the past few weeks that not only is “polar vortex” really just another way of saying “duh…winter”, but they’ve been around before.

Earlier this week a Doodle friend of mine unearthed an article with this interesting tidbit:

Like any fluid system at “high Reynolds number,”  the jet stream is highly unstable, and from time to time it develops meanders to low latitudes, like the one we have had the past few days.  About this time  of year in 1777, just before the Battle of Princeton, there was a similar sequence.  On January 2, Cornwallis’s men marched south from New York City through cold rain and muddy roads to try to trap George Washington and his little Continental Army in Trenton . On the night of January 2-3, a polar vortex swept across New Jersey,  with snow and a very hard freeze. Aided by the extremely cold weather, Washington was able to evacuate his troops and artillery over newly frozen roads  and to avoid Cornwallis’s encirclement.  Reaching Princeton on the viciously cold morning of January 3,  Washington won another battle against the British and escaped to winter quarters in Morristown.

Don’t get hung up on the “is climate change real?” point of the article.  I’m not here to discuss politics.  The point I’m trying show here is that extreme cold weather had a direct relation on an important American victory in the Revolution.

Even the cold weather in North America doesn’t serve the Crown.  I am aghast, I tell you.


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