A Polar Vortex is now emerging in the Stratosphere over the North Pole. It began forming as seasonal cooling intensified and will continue to strengthen well into the Winter of 2022/2023. The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter.

Why Does the Polar Vortex Happen?

The waxing and waning of the polar vortex is driven by the movement of mass and the transfer of heat in the polar region. In the autumn, the circumpolar winds increase in speed and the polar vortex rises into the stratosphere. The result is that the polar air forms a coherent rotating air mass: the polar vortex.

How Does the Polar Vortex Affect Us?

The jet stream is a band of reliably strong wind that plays a key role in keeping colder air north and warmer air south. But when the vortex weakens, part of the weakened low-pressure system can break off. This breaking-off process is what can cause colder temperatures in the US.

What happens if the polar vortex collapse?

Conversely, a weaker polar vortex allows northerly or easterly winds to develop more frequently, bringing us cold air from Europe. It can even break down completely — known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event. This can lead to bitterly cold episodes, such as the famous Beast from the East in 2018.

Is a Polar Vortex Coming In 2022?

The forecast is from the 00Z 19 December 2022 GFS ensemble. Troughing and/or cold temperatures will support new snowfall across Scandinavia, Western Siberia and East Asia while mild temperatures will support snowmelt in Central and Eastern Europe (Figure 4).

Why is it colder this year 2022?

A polar vortex is when cold air is vortexing or hovering above the North Pole, keeping the severe cold up there with it. However, in the winter of 2021 to 2022, North America experienced a weakened vortex which brought colder temperatures down as far as Texas.

When Was the Last Polar Vortex?

The one that occurred January 2014 is similar to many other cold outbreaks that have occurred in the past, including several notable colder outbreaks in 1977, 1982, 1985 and 1989.

Does Global Warming Cause Polar Vortex?

The change is warming higher latitudes and reducing the temperature difference between the warmer mid-latitude and polar regions. This weakens and destabilizes the polar jet stream, causing it to dip into lower latitudes, bringing polar air farther south.

How Cold Did It Get During the Polar Vortex?

They blow from west to east with sustained speeds easily exceeding 100 mph (160 kph). In the darkness of the winter polar night, temperatures within the polar vortex can easily get lower than minus 110 F (minus 79 C).

How Often Do Polar Vortex Occur?

Every winter

The Arctic polar vortex is a band of strong westerly winds that forms in the stratosphere between about 10 and 30 miles above the North Pole every winter.

Is Polar Vortex Permanent?

The strength of the polar vortex relies on the temperature difference between the Earth’s poles and the Equator: i.e. the colder the poles, the stronger the polar vortex. So, although the polar vortex is technically happening year-round, it’s during these winter months that the vortex is at its strongest (and coldest).

Does Polar Vortex Cause Snow?

Looking at snowfall, we can see above-average snowfall over much of the eastern United States and Europe after a Polar Vortex collapse event. Again, this is an expected response, as typically, after major stratospheric warming, the colder air has an easier path towards the south and into these regions.


Featured Photo By ResearchGate

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