Weather What You Need To Know About The Polar Vortex What is it? And when is it going away? By TIME Video Jan. 06, 20140 Share Read Later Send to Kindle With wind chills dropping into -60 territory in some parts of the country, you’ve probably heard that the polar vortex is to blame. But what is it? And when is it going away? TIME explains what you need to know about this weather phenomenon.