Tags: polar vortex | winter | prediction | weather

Polar Vortex Part 2? Possible, but Unlikely to Strike Again

Image: Polar Vortex Part 2? Possible, but Unlikely to Strike Again
In this March 26, 2014 photo, a cyclist walks his bicycle in white out conditions in Hyannis, Massachusetts. (Cj Gunther/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 17 Oct 2014 11:07 AM

The polar vortex, which contributed to sub-zero temperatures and record amounts of snow across the country last year, is unlikely to reoccur this winter, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast released this week.

Without the return of the polar vortex, cities like Chicago and Detroit — which bore the brunt of last year's nasty winter — could see temperatures a bit warmer than usual this season, according to USA Today.

Last year the polar vortex brought freezing air from the North Pole into the United States for extended periods of time during the winter, socking much of the country with record low temperatures and snowfall, while freezing much of the Great Lakes at levels not seen since 1979.

"The polar vortex is always there," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said. "When it breaks, it spills cold air into the U.S. It's pretty unlikely that it would happen two years in a row."

AccuWeather is predicting that the Northeast could get slammed with stronger cold and snow, particularly in January and February, while the South will not be able to escape a wintry mix this winter from time to time. A return of the extreme polar vortex is not completely out of the question, though, the weather service noted.

"Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January and February," AccuWeather predicted. "The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into the region from time to time, delivering blasts of arctic air."

While the NOAA report predicts that much of California will continue to suffer through its record-breaking drought in the winter, most of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida are expected to have wetter than average winters, according to USA Today.

The Weather Channel reported that a weak El Nino could be a wildcard this winter, because U.S. temperatures will depend on what occurs elsewhere in the atmosphere. Forecasters say if the jet stream gets stuck in patterns for long periods of time and loop wildly north to south, it could make the winter unpredictable.

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The polar vortex, which contributed to sub-zero temperatures and record amounts of snow across the country last year, is unlikely to reoccur this winter, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast released this week.
polar vortex, winter, prediction, weather
358
2014-07-17
Friday, 17 Oct 2014 11:07 AM
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