Tags: polar vortex | cold | snow | northeast | midwest | winter | weather

Arctic Blast Locks Northeast, Midwest in Deep Freeze

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 06:38 AM

The very cold weather affecting a large swath of the U.S. from Ohio to Virginia and up to New England has generated talk that the polar vortex is back.

The most frigid temperatures in years have settled over Northeastern cities, including New York, which experienced its frostiest February on Monday morning in 28 years, ABC News reported.

New York City can expect heavy snow and ice through early Tuesday. Snow is likely in Boston as well, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast for Virginia Beach is a mix of snow and sleet, the service said.

Meteorologists say that the freezing temperatures are the result of an ordinary Arctic air blast typical of some winters. The very cold weather over the U.S. now is the result of the jet stream that has been locked in a pattern and sending blasts of Arctic air down from Canada.

The polar vortex remains circulating in close proximity to the North Pole, where it should be. Weather experts say that talk of the polar vortex is exaggerated because it is neither new nor an unusual phenomena.

Once in a while — the last time was January 2014 — a section of the polar vortex slides further south pushing cold air down. The vortex itself is situated more or less permanently way up above the poles, according to ABC News.

Not every push of cold air is connected to the vortex. The vortex itself is not located at the surface and isn't a storm system, say experts.

The icy weather is forecast to continue through the weekend across much of the East of the country. Friday should see temperatures below zero for a good chunk of the Midwest, and temperatures in Atlanta hovering in the teens.

Philadelphia, New York and Boston can look forward — briefly — to above freezing temperatures around the end of the weekend. On Sunday, temperatures could reach into the balmy mid- to upper 30s.

The cold pattern will pick up again as more Arctic air is expected to head south later in the month and remain into March, according to ABC News.

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The very cold weather affecting a large swath of the U.S. from Ohio to Virginia and up to New England has generated talk that the polar vortex is back.
polar vortex, cold, snow, northeast, midwest, winter, weather
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2015-38-17
Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 06:38 AM
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