Polar Vortex: What Is It? What Does It Mean For U.S.?
A polar vortex is affecting millions of Americans this week who live in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast with recording-breaking freezing cold temperatures.
What's A Polar Vortex?
What exactly is a polar vortex? It’s when winds from the North Pole – which typically has its circulation contained in the Arctic – slide farther south into the Northern Hemisphere. The result of the polar vortex distortion is unusually frigid weather across North American, Europe and Asia.
Unlike a single storm, such as a blizzard or hurricane, the cold snap brought on by a polar vortex has greater longevity and breadth. Furthermore, the arrival of a polar vortex distortion can actually cause storms. The distortion that’s occurred over the last several days is partially to blame for the nor’easter that hit late last week.
Global Warming & The Polar Vortex
Although it seems counterintuitive, the abnormal cold facing much of the U.S. on Tuesday could very likely be a result of global warming. The polar vortex, much like other extreme weather events, could be caused by Earth’s overall warming. When the jet stream is distorted, heat waves – and cold fronts – can result.
A shocking total of 26 states were under wind-chill warnings or watches today in the U.S. The Upper Midwest states were preparing for the worst, as temperatures were expected to reach around 36-below zero, with a wind chill temperature near 60-below. The temperature is gradually expected to rise over the course of the day and into Wednesday, reaching the 30s and 40s by Friday.
– Chelsea Regan
Most Popular News
- ‘NSYNC Reunites At 2013 MTV Video Music Awards With Justin Timberlake [VIDEO]
- Kendall And Kylie Jenner Wear Revealing Dresses On MMVA Red Carpet
- Lisa Kudrow Ordered To Pay Former Manager Scott Howard $1.6 Million In Lawsuit
- April Fool's Day Tweets: Best Celeb Pranksters Hit Twitter
- Why Sia Doesn't Show Her Face
Most Popular Videos
Derek Hough On 'Make Your Move,' BoA, 'Dancing With The Stars'
Brenton Thwaites & Odeya Rush On 'The Giver,' Taylor Swift, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges
Shawn Ashmore On 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past,' Ice Man, 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Billy Crudup On 'Blood Ties,' Clive Owen, Zoe Saldana
Jessica Chastain & Jess Weixler On 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby,' Being Best Friends