Scientists Warn That a ‘Polar Vortex’ Could Bring the Harshest Winter We’ve Seen In Years

Not cold enough yet for those you living on the East Coast? The polar vortex could create huge surges of cold, snow, and again C-O-L-D this winter. You’re probably saying, “But that is what winter is, isn’t it?”

Yes and no. The polar vortex is not a new or rare phenomenon. One exists at each of the Earth’s poles and sits miles up in the stratosphere. The vortex describes a swath of low pressure and extremely cold air that moves counter-clockwise.

Generally, they get weaker during the summer in the US and Europe and stronger in the wintertime. When there’s a disruption in the vortex, winter conditions can get magnified. Although nothing is set in stone, meteorologists are predicting a drastic cold pattern this winter if the vortex continues to weaken in December.

Here’s what happens: a weakened polar vortex essentially has enough warmth in it to break down the “wall” that keeps the Arctic air out. When that happens, it opens the gate for the cold air to take over for weeks and ups the ante for frigid temps and snow.

While meteorologists are keeping an eye on things, they believe that January will bring tidings of bitter cold and snow for central and eastern parts of the US. But there are other factors that can impact the weather – such as El Niño – and increase (or decrease) the chances of a rift in the polar vortex.

Watch this video to hear more about what is predicted this winter season. Just remember to bundle up and keep supplies in your vehicle!

Are you already aware of polar vortexes and how they influence weather? How mild or harsh do you expect winter to be this year?