Most of us hadn’t heard of such a thing as a polar vortex before this week, and it didn’t make anyone smarter when CNN told us that the United States of America had been sucked into one. NBC’s Al Roker decided to drag out the 1959 edition of the American Meteorology Society Glossary of Meteorology to set everyone straight.

If the polar vertex has been around that long, maybe it’s a bit premature to link this one to global warming.