It’s officially time to break out the fuzzy socks and the warm coats, because an “arctic blast” of freezing cold air is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. by next Wednesday.
Y’all might remember a few years ago when the term “polar vortex” was sweeping the nation. In 2014, the internet was abuzz with words like “snowpocalypse” and “snowmageddon” because of a polar vortex. Well, now it’s back.
According to meteorologists at Accuweather, the temperature is expected to drop as much as 20 degrees below average for this time of year in the Eastern states. The cold air will chill temperatures from the Great Lakes region down through the Gulf Coast states. Even the northern parts of Florida are likely to see a drop.
Furthermore, the plains region may go as low as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit due to the polar vortex.
A polar vortex is not actually a weather event so much as it is a consistent part of the Arctic and Antarctic climate. It’s an area of low pressure over the earth’s poles. When the vortex is strong, it contains the cold air. When it weakens, however, it can send freezing air toward the equator, creating the “arctic blast.”
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Conversely, the western half of the country can expect warmer and drier weather than normal. The southwestern states from Texas over through California may have a relatively mild winter with temperatures in the 70’s.
The weakened polar vortex and the resulting change in temperature is part of the La Niña weather pattern we are currently experiencing.