Meteorologists released a warning according to which the weather may be getting even colder as a so-called Polar Vortex is expected to hit and affect several US regions.
No one expects the cold season to be anything less than its name. However, this December may be even colder than usual. The reason for this is the polar vortex passing over various regions.
A polar vortex, as suggested by its name, is a pole-related low-pressure, upper-level area formation. This type of weather formation usually lies at the Earth’s poles. The large-scale, persistent areas cover a large mass of dense and cold arctic air.
As they usually cover only the poles, their movement sometimes enlarges their coverage. As such, from time to time, a polar vortex may expand and affect the United States.
The phenomenon in itself is not new. Back in 2014, the U.S. registered record-breaking cold temperatures. They were reportedly caused by such an event as it hit the nation in January.
As the polar vortex is formed high in the atmosphere, it does not usually bring ice or snow. Whilst most weather phenomena are formed in the lower levels of the atmosphere, polar vortexes occur in the stratosphere.
Polar vortexes have long since been known to affect the global weather. Their effects usually vary in accordance with their intensity degrees.
It is as yet unsure if this will be the coldest year to happen in the last decade. However, citizens should be prepared. Weather authorities have stated that the phenomenon will most likely affect a number or regions.
These are the Midwest, the Northern Plains, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic United States regions. Temperatures are expected to drop or continue their decline.
Whilst meteorologists do not expect the polar vortex to last throughout the month, some areas will register longer periods of cold. By Christmas time, the natural phenomenon should reportedly be over.
In most areas, it will feature short-lived, periodic cold swipes that will probably spread eastward. A more sustained cold will probably be felt across the Pacific Northwest, West, and Midwest regions. These will most probably be affected by the said cold swipes.
The cold wind swipes will most likely bring period record-breaking weather temperatures. However, the snow that already settled in some areas is expected to accentuate the cold.
For example, Eastern states such as Nebraska and Iowa should be expecting even lower temperatures on Thursday and Friday. Besides the polar vortex, the areas are already covered by a snowpack.
This will enhance radiational cooling, which will keep both night and daytime temperatures at a lower than usual temperature.
For the following days, East Coast and Midwest daily temperatures are expected to be around 15 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below the usual period average.
Big cities in the East will be spared from record-breaking cold temperatures by their somewhat reduced snowpack levels. The coastal plain has not registered such extensive snow levels.
Most of the snow was registered to have fallen farther away, in the central and northern New England areas. It also fell harder in the Great Lakes zone, traditional for their lake effects zones downwind.
The polar vortex is expected to push a series of cold fronts that will nonetheless affect the Thursday and Friday daily temperatures.
As such, the low temperatures and high-powered wind gusts are still expected to cause the year’s as yet coldest night. The over 30 miles per hour winds are expected to set the scene for such a cold night in the big East Coast cities.
The East will reportedly warm up for the weekend. However, the Plains and Midwest states may see a renewed Arctic blast. Some Midwest cities may be affected by such colder than usual weather for almost 2 weeks.
It remains to be seen if the polar vortex will cause a second burst of Arctic air over the Eastern states.
Still, citizens should be prepared for the cold with warm clothes, scarves, hats, and gloves when going out.
Image Source: Flickr