Polar Vortex to Return

February 20, 2014

As I post, a steady rain outside is melting the deep snow. There’s rumble of thunder. Will children in the future believe that thunder was once something that did not occur in January and February, in this part of the world?

Jeff Masters at WeatherUnderground:

Fortunately (?) for the Midwest, this week’s thaw will be short-lived, preventing the kind of major flooding that would result if all of the snowpack were to melt in a week. This morning’s runs of the GFS and European models were better able to handle the evolving upper-air pattern over the Pacific Ocean, and it appears that their earlier runs seriously underestimated the strength of a ridge of high pressure forecast to build over the Western U.S. 6 – 10 days from now. This ridge will be accompanied by a return of the cold “Polar Vortex” over the Midwest and Northeast U.S., bringing bitter cold temperatures and strong winds. Temperatures 20°F below normal will likely invade the Upper Midwest on Sunday, and gradually spread southeastwards during the week. The peak cold is predicted to occur late next week, with temperatures 20 – 35° below normal covering much of the eastern 2/3 of the country. As a result of these new model runs, the natural gas market has been soaring ever since early this morning, and is now approaching a five-year high of $6.

15 Responses to “Polar Vortex to Return”


  1. Another warm air invasion of the Arctic, which appears to be spurring this event, may also push sea ice measures downward yet again…

    • MorinMoss Says:

      Exactly. John Q Public may complain about the ice & snow on his house & streets but the pernicious effects of ice loss and the concomitant effect on the Jet Stream will have a much greater year-round impact.

    • ClimateState Says:

      Will it also restart the parade of very rainy and windy storms targeting Britain?

  2. rayduray Says:

    NASA’s Earth Observatory has images of the frozen Great Lakes. Why it’s as if they had a real winter this year. 🙂

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83169

  3. redskylite Says:

    from Sky News on that crumbling coastline : Years of erosion in a few weeks in the U.K

    http://news.sky.com/story/1215005/storms-caused-years-of-erosion-in-a-few-weeks


  4. […] ………………………….. […]


  5. […] As I post, a steady rain outside is melting the deep snow. There's rumble of thunder. Will children in the future believe that thunder was once something that did not occur in January and February,…  […]

  6. rayduray Says:

    Re: Years of erosion in a few weeks in the U.K.”

    I came across this concept on a river trip on the Cataract Canyon stretch of the Colorado River a few years back. It is said that the Grand Canyon was formed over a period of five to seven million years. More accurately, the canyon was gouged out in an intermittent bout of 1,000 year floods with the river being largely static in between catastrophes.

    In the realm of evolutionary biology, the similar effect, i.e. rapid speciation, is called “punctuated equalibrium”. What a marvelous term, eh? 🙂


  7. […] As I post, a steady rain outside is melting the deep snow. There's rumble of thunder. Will children in the future believe that thunder was once something that did not occur in January and February,…  […]


  8. Peter – you have to be old enough to remember what the weather was like. I remember northern Wisconsin as a damp, cool, place with ubiquitous frogs. Now lake levels are lower, the ground is drier, and frogs are gone. I have seen frequent weird weather in the last fifteen years that did not exist years ago.


  9. I remember thunder in January (yes, in Michigan) back in the 90’s.  Thundersnow is a real phenomenon.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      We had it in northern VA back in the mid-80’s. Heavy mid-day snow accompanied by so much thunder that it sounded like you were in the middle of an artillery barrage. I had to drive in it, and it was quite an experience—-a bit scary, actually.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      90s yes.
      80s, 70s, 60s, no


  10. […] ………………………….. […]


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