Remember January of 2014 when you first heard the phrase 'Polar Vortex' and suddenly that was all anyone was talking about? We could be in for another one at the tail end of this month or in early January.

A Polar Vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold that surrounds both of the Earth's poles, moving air in a counterclockwise flow. According to, the Polar Vortex always exists, but its presence is weakened during the summer months. As it expands during the winter, it sends bitter cold air southward and results in arctic cold conditions for roughly the northern half of the United States.

Judah Cohen, a climate researcher at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, is keeping an eye the Polar Vortex every day. He tells the Washington Post that he has some concerns about what some computer models are indicating could be in store over the next ten days or so.

“Confidence is growing in a significant PolarVortex disruption in the coming weeks. This could be the single most important determinant of the weather this winter across the Northern Hemisphere,” Cohen tweeted last week.

Not all computer models are in agreement and some experts have doubts as to how much of an effect the vortex will have.

Scientists say the later in the season a Polar Vortex occurs, the less severe its effects will be.


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