Polar Vortex: Another On The WayBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - February 25, 2014
Have you had enough of the cold and snow yet? If you thought the last Polar Vortex and cold spells were bad, get ready for round two. Although many areas of the country are experiencing warm weather with highs in the 60’s in some areas, a cold spell will start on Monday and last throughout the week.
The Polar Vortex that brought freezing temperatures and several feet of snow in January is back and it is bringing wind chills ranging from 0 to minus 40 degrees F. The vortex is usually confined to Arctic regions and kept in place by the polar jet stream. With the polar jet stream in a weakened state, the vortex has drifted south, bringing its cold temperatures into much of the North and Midwest.
“The fresh supply of Arctic air should keep temperatures below normal,” according to a forecast from the National Weather Service, “and portions of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest could see readings in excess of 20 or 30 degrees below normal.”
Although you may think you have had enough snow and cold, the vortex may not be as bad as it seems. There is still a lot of snow in many areas and as the weather warms up and the snow melts, it can lead to flash floods in some locations. The vortex will slow down this melting and allow the water that is already high in many areas to flow away before more snow and ice melts and causes flooding.
“This week’s thaw will be short-lived, preventing the kind of major flooding that would result if all of the snowpack were to melt in a week,” said meteorologist Jeff Masters at Weather Underground.
Hopefully the polar vortex will drift away from the United States by next week and make room for some warm weather.
Have you had enough of the cold or do you enjoy it?
Image via Wikimedia Commons