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Polar Vortex to Make Encore Performance in Midwest, East

Much of the country bracing for still more bitter cold
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014

Consider the weather this week a mere pause in a tough winter that will resume next week with cold air and the potential for snowstorms.

Signs are pointing toward another southward dip from the polar vortex. The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds.

According to Long Range Expert Mark Paquette, "We noticed a minor Sudden Stratospheric Warming event taking place back on Feb. 6-7, 2014."

When sudden warming takes place high in the atmosphere, it initiates a chain of events that tends to displace the polar vortex between 14 and 30 days later.

"In addition to the exact timing of the cold outbreak is you never know for sure initially which continent the cold air will be directed," Paquette said, "This time it appears it will take aim at the eastern part of North America."

As the magnitude of the cold air fully is gauged in the short term, most likely temperature forecasts will be adjusted downward for multiple days.

One reason for the cold blast carrying more weight than you might expect is the fact that the Great Lakes are largely frozen over. The air will not moderate to the extent as if most of the lakes were not frozen. In addition, while the amount and extent of snow on the ground will diminish this week, many areas will retain some sort of snow cover.

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There is the potential for high temperatures to be in the single digits and teens during a several-day stretch from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y. Farther south, from St. Louis to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City, highs may wind up in the teens and lower 20s, if the cold air drives forcefully to the south and east.

Further updates on the cold air will follow through this weekend.

According to Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, "For all practical purposes, the upcoming pattern next week will be a continuation of the weather that has occurred during much of the past winter concerning not only temperatures, but also storms."

At times, clipper storms will roll in from western Canada to the Midwest and Northeast. On other occasions, storms will move up from the Gulf coast or develop along the Atlantic Seaboard.

The setup next week may present one to several such Atlantic Coast storms next week in the Sunday to Thursday period.

How quickly and forcefully the cold air moves toward the coast will determine whether one main storm forms or multiple significant storms develop. The degree to which the cold air moves toward the coast will also determine which areas get snow versus rain or a wintry mix.

People along the middle and upper Atlantic coast and the Appalachians to the west should anticipate at least a couple of days of travel delays and disruptions to daily activities.

Like Rayno said, "It will be business as usual for this difficult winter as the familiar pattern resumes."

AccuWeather's long-range meteorologists expect the pattern of lower-than-average temperatures and rather frequent storms to continue over the Upper Midwest to the Northeast next week into the first part of March.

However, there may be a few mild days in between the cold outbreaks. In other words the cold will not likely be as persistent as it was much of the winter, but the colder weather will take its toll on averages.

RELATED ON SKYE: The 10 Snowiest Places on Earth

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Stephen H.Jones

"Polar Vortex" my a**! Just another bit of propganda to push the Zeitgeist toward believing there really is something we should be doing about global warming, as if we puny humans can make a global difference! Call it what it really is- Canadian revenge for us having such mild weather here in the continental USA! Actually, as mentioned above, it really is just "winter". Just accept it already and stop sensationalizing this c rap!

February 23 2014 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
neoxphile

Richard Nicoletti, I recall a winter when we got 121 inches of snow. It was all the way back in... 2008.

February 23 2014 at 12:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ellen

I love it..... Polar Vortex....another word for Arctic Blast. . I think a weatherman made that word up to make it sound more exciting lol

February 22 2014 at 11:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gothicgargoyle68

Global warming? BS, BS, BS! Whatever liberals touch turns into crap! (Democrap)

February 22 2014 at 11:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jojoden

Has anyone checked out the mad scientists working on HAARP? They and Chem Trails are controlling our Polar Vortex.

February 22 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sechandler6

Beware the polar vortex, it creeps in on tiny feet
It leaves its frost and snow skat
That lasts for more than a week.
Beware the polar vortex The weatherman's delight
For the weather tv ratings have gone out of sight.
He talks of temps and snow by the feet
And now it comes again there will be no retreat.

February 22 2014 at 10:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Seektruth50

last I checked I do believe it's called winter, enjoy it while it last

February 22 2014 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
penrosecottage

Its winter so make the best of it, I like winters in New England, with out the snow and cold it would be just like Fl. Boring

February 22 2014 at 9:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pa4gbodine60race

This just SUCKS Im am sooo tired of this crap -if it never snowed again I would be the happiest person on earth (PA) I'll take the hot weather over the cold anyday you can cool off easier than warming up.....

February 22 2014 at 8:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
myenta9345

HI IM JEWISH JUST LIKE''HE WAS''

February 22 2014 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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