East Coasters just warming up from freezing temperatures should prepare to bundle up again – Meteorologists say the Polar Vortex is coming back with a vengeance to throw the country into another deep freeze. Weather experts prediect that a blast of arctic air will bring chills to the US and Canada starting on January 21st and continuing through the end of the month.
The weakened Polar Vortex is currently sitting over the Hudson Bay, but a combination of air systems appear to be moving it southward again. Meteorologists expect the air will become significantly colder over the Canadian Prairies as well as the eastern half of the Untied States. The polar vortex is expected to bring an increased possibility of snowstorms and temperatures of zero degrees and below. The shift in jet streams will also block storms from reaching the west coast, where San Francisco is already experiencing a drought.
The last Polar Vortex visited the Midwest and the East Coast, bringing with it the coldest temperatures in over 20 years. Some states experienced temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below average. On top of this, the extreme icy conditions hamstrung airplane traffic and preemptively closed schools across the country.
It’s strange to see such cold air make its way down to southern latitudes, and now it’s happening for the second time in the year. Scientists (including the White House’s Science Advisor John Holdren) agree that this dipping Polar Vortex is a result of global warming. Just as we’ve seen higher temperatures melt the ice caps and hurricanes move off their projected paths, shifting polar vortexes could be another result of climate change making our weather more extreme and unpredictable.