Sunday, December 3, 2023
Homeweather and natural disastersWhat is a polar vortex? (And when is it going away?)

What is a polar vortex? (And when is it going away?)

Move over, haboob.

There's a new weather phenomenon in town, and it's largely responsible for the record-breaking cold that left most of the U.S. quite miserable Monday.

Twenty-six states were under wind-chill warnings or watches, with actual temperatures as low as 36-below zero reported in the Upper Midwest and wind chills as low as 60-below.

CHI-BERIA…. And other front pages documenting wicked cold that's dominating US.

Meteorologists said a "polar vortex" was to blame.

Say what?

Think of a polar vortex as a "polar cyclone," a great, swirling pool of extremely cold air located tens of thousands of feet in the atmosphere.

Here's what it looks like when the polar vortex expands to the US

Though normally confined to the Arctic, this polar vortex is catching everyone's attention because it has dipped so low into North America — plunging millions of Americans and Canadians into a deep freeze.

NOAA scientists have suggested that climate change may be responsible for a weakening of the polar vortex.


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