Polar Vortex Arctic Blast to HIT America Next Week – Arctic cold will return to the nation’s northern tier starting late this week, and that could help fuel another widespread snow threat from the Rockies into parts of the Midwest and East.
Strong arctic high pressure will bring much colder air southward from Canada into the Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes late this week into next weekend.
A storm system entering the West Coast Thursday will tap into that cold air once it moves through the central and eastern states Friday through next weekend, potentially allowing the storm to deliver a widespread area of snow.
Meteorologists don’t know the exact track of the storm system Friday through next weekend is still uncertain as it pivots through the central and eastern states.
There could be accumulating snow and/or ice from parts of the Plains and Midwest into the Northeast Friday into next weekend, but it’s far too early to pinpoint any further details such as snow totals and potential locations affected.
This icy cold blast is brought on by a polar vortex.
A polar vortex is a whirling cone of low pressure over the poles that’s strongest in the winter months due to the increased temperature contrast between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes, such as the United States and Europe….but this isn’t like a storm you might think of in the lower atmosphere, with cold and warm fronts producing rain or snow.
Instead, the polar vortex occurs primarily in the stratosphere, a layer of the atmosphere about 6 to 30 miles above the ground – above the troposphere, where most of the weather occurs.
In early January, that vortex weakened dramatically, but a weaker polar vortex allows the cold air typically trapped in the Arctic to spill out into parts of Canada, the U.S., Asia and Europe.
This weakening was caused by a sudden stratospheric warming over the North Pole, seen as the rapid spike in temperatures below.
Then this polar vortex took a twist, literally. It split into 3 whirling cones of cold.
Meteorologists found it hard to say exactly what would happen but then did predict a high chance of extreme cold polar blasts to hit in up to 3 different directions.
Producing extreme cold temperatures, high winds, heavy snow and ice.
The polar vortex’s are typically strong and it could send weather to blanket much of the United States with a polar blast next week.