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Polar Vortex to Once Again Grip Midwest, Northeast

Last week's thaw was a mere tease as frigid air makes a return this week

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, 5:36 p.m. ET
Deep Freeze
Morning commuters are seen bundled up Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Last week's thaw was a mere tease for the Midwest and Northeast with the polar vortex set to make an encore performance this week.

The stretch of mild weather across the Northeast came to an end with the weekend after temperatures rose into the 60s in Washington, D.C., and into the 50s in Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Waves of colder air will pour down from the depths of the Arctic to the northern Rockies, Midwest and Northeast as this week progresses and the polar vortex plunges southward.

Polar Vortex Returns

Each cold blast will dip into the southern Plains and South, leading to some cooling. However, the core of the polar vortex will have a firm grip on the northern tier of the U.S.

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"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," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Under the grip of the polar vortex, the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley will endure several days in the teens and single digits. This includes Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal and Buffalo, N.Y.

Polar Vortex Returns

Overnight lows well below zero, even approaching 30 below zero near the Canadian border, will dominate the Upper Midwest.

Temperatures will even be held below zero during the daylight hours on one or more days in Winnipeg, Canada, Fargo, N.D., and St. Cloud, Minn.

Polar Vortex Returns

Subfreezing highs in the 20s and lower 30s will be common throughout the Northeast. In late February, such highs are 10 to 20 degrees below normal.

Bouts of gusty winds ushering in the frigid air will create even lower AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures.

"One reason for the cold blast carrying more weight than you might expect is the fact that the Great Lakes are largely frozen over," Sosnowski continued.

"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 the snow on the ground has diminished, many areas north of I-70 have retained some sort of snow cover."

With fresh snow also re-entering the picture, some communities will have snow cover once again increase.

Initially, nuisance snow events with amounts generally on the order of a coating to an inch or two will streak across the Midwest and Northeast through Tuesday.

The greatest chance of snow in the Northeast--including the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston--will come on Wednesday as a low tracks off the East Coast.

Although accumulations are expected to be on the lighter side, they may still lead to some minor travel delays including flight delays and cancelations.

Polar Vortex Returns

Later in the week and through the start of March, with the cold air still in place and storms finallyreturning rain and mountain snow to California, the path could be laid for one or more disruptive snowstorms to travel from the Rockies to the Plains to the East Coast.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists will continue to monitor the potential for such snowstorms and will give more information as it becomes available.

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Fact: Al Gore is smart and filthy rich!
Fact: You are not, you are aol ranters and whiners.=losers

February 25 2014 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The colder the better! Makes for some great ice fishing!

February 25 2014 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Global Warming can contain both extremes, either very hot or very cold weather conditions.

February 25 2014 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No such thing as a Polar Vortex.

February 25 2014 at 8:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gobigorange5090's comment

From Wikipedia:

The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853.[5] The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) appears during the wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere and was discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km.[6]

The media likes to use the term now to try to explain why "global warming" is causing this "new" thing! That's simply not true!

February 25 2014 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We are literally experiencing global warming on a grand scale in North America this Winter season.

February 25 2014 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like it has been said, it is winter and we get cold air and snow in the winer. What is the big deal? If we are having global warming, why is our Northeast so cold? Get l Gore to explain that with more lies.

February 25 2014 at 8:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ralph Richardson

This polar vortex used to be called the jet stream. The weather guys had to rename it so we would think they discovered some new kind of weather pattern.

February 25 2014 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ralph Richardson's comment

so true

February 25 2014 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For goodness sake, its called winter!!

February 25 2014 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert C Miller

I`ve got a warm house, plenty of hot soup and a 4x4 in the driveway. I `ll make it thru this cold weather. Bring it on. Seems to be some sensationalizing of this winter weather. We`ll have winter spring summer and fall always. Here`s a shout out to Barbara HIll and Gloria Hill in Wichita, Kansas.

February 25 2014 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If your community does not have a polar vortex siren to warn of its coming do the following.Do not stare directly at the polar vortex and do not try to run from it.Try to appear friendly and slowly back away.Playing dead has worked for some people.If you are injured by a polar vortex seek medical attention immediately.

February 25 2014 at 7:07 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to xpphil12's comment

Word on the street is that if you have Christina Aguilera sing the national anthem, vortexes will be scared for life.

February 25 2014 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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