The Polar Vortex Is Probably Coming Back

Just when you thought it was safe to look forward to February

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Andrew Burton / Getty Images

A woman bundles up against the cold on the afternoon of Jan. 8, 2014 in New York City.

In the first two weeks of 2014, much of the United States weathered a cold snap of unprecedented proportions, as a weather phenomenon known as the “polar vortex” shattered temperature records across the country. Just when you thought it was safe to look forward to February, another vortex is on the way.

Meteorologist Wes Junker broke down weather models in the Washington Post on Thursday, predicting that from next Tuesday (Jan. 21) through the end of the month, temperatures in many parts of the U.S. will be well below normal. Based on weather models, Junker is predicting that the polar vortex–a swath of bitterly cold, dense air–will move well south of its normal position and blast the northeast with more frigid temperatures. Throughout much of the country, he’s predicting temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below average.

According to Junker’s models, the most extreme cold is expected to hit 11-15 days from now. One group that’s sure to be watching the weather are NFL executives. This year, the Meadowlands complex just outside New York is playing host to the first Super Bowl in history that will be played outside in a northern city, and if the weather models hold, bitterly cold temperatures should descend on the city the week before the big game.

PHOTOS: Polar Vortex Turns Niagara Falls Into Frozen Wonderland

[Washington Post]

77 comments
CoExist11
CoExist11

Dr. Gianluigi Zangari, a theoretical physicist at the Frascati National Laboratory (LNF) in Italy, has analysed satellite data-maps from May-June, 2010 which confirmed "for the first time direct evidence of the rapid breaking of the Loop Current, a warm ocean current, crucial part of the Gulf Stream", in an area adjacent to BP's Deepwater Horizon platform. Zangari concludes that it is "plausible to correlate the breaking of the Loop Current with the biochemical and physical action of the BP Oil Spill on the Gulf Stream", which may "generate a chain reaction of unpredictable critical phenomena and instabilities" in the global climate. Zangari said the Loop Current broke down around mid-May , generating "a clock wise eddy, the situation had deteriorated up to the point in which the eddy had detached itself completely from the main stream, therefore destroying completely the Loop Current....It is reasonable to foresee the threat that the breaking of a crucial warm stream (like) the Loop Current may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable critical phenomena and instabilities due to strong non- linearities which may have serious consequences on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream thermoregulation activity of the Global Climate."

He added that the Loop Current affects "all life on the planet. tabilities" in the global climate.

WaterFaster2012
WaterFaster2012

Polar Vortex? No. I think this is the early stages of a Polar Shift! 

archronical
archronical

The NFL made a mistake scheduling the Superbowl in an open stadium in a Northeastern city at the start of February, and their going to pay for it. This is a better plan: A week after playing the Probowl in Hawaii, play the Superbowl. Hawaiian weather, 2 weeks of incredible festivities, it would be great!   

Sciencefirst9
Sciencefirst9

GrantBurrows: No,you are not a expert. I am. "I guess" is not good enou wheNwe are dealing with the survival of the human race. " Who knows for certain." Climate scientists. " I think" isn't good enough. It's not an LOL kind is situation here. Over 97% of climate scientists agree that AGW will present a "catastrophic" threat to humanity in this century. This is according to the National Academy of Sciences. And 100% of the world's top climate scientists agree, the ones who publish in the world's best peer-reviewed journals, Nature and Science.

Of 13,590 peer-reviewed climate articles published from1991-2012, only 24 where deniers. And no deniers published after that because there isn't data to support their view. They now constitute 0.07% of climate scientists.( From The Desmog Blog website)

If anyone could provide scientifically credible data or prove that global warming was not correct, that person would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry and be hailed as a hero. But it's never going to happen any more than the Flat Earth Society is going to be vindicated one day. The boiling point of water is not going to change, nor is the speed of light, and the 37 billion tons of CO2 we're pumping into the atmosphere every year by burning fossil fuels isn't going anywhere. And it's going to have it's effect soon.n

GrantBurrows
GrantBurrows

I am not an expert, but read a book by one. He says that the Earth goes through periods of heating and cooling, and that most of the global warming we are experiencing is caused by nature. methane gas from cows, certain volcanoes. Who knows for certain I guess, but think of the ice age that wiped out everything,, and now here we are.. so i guess it makes some kind of sense.. I think a lot of people like to play worst case scenario with a lot of things to create drama.. probably a lot of "middle children" on here.. LOL..

pwncrn
pwncrn

Um, could Mr. Rawlings be a tad more specific on locations that will be hit, rather than  focusing on the Meadowlands and the Superbowl?  It would be nice for us folks in NC to expect what might happen. 

jimmyharpoon
jimmyharpoon

The climate change denial lobby in the United States is a billion dollar industry.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort

Cut and paste and learn how you are being duped in much the same way the tobacco industry duped consumers.


The denial effort is being funded by big energy. There is not a CEO in the world, who heads a multi billion dollar industry like Esso or General Motors, who will stand before the shareholders at the Annual and say, "Ladies and Gentlemen. The truth is that in 20 years the world will have suffered many disasters caused by climate change. And we believe that legislation will be enacted that crushes the use of hydrocarbons. When the market opens tomorrow the value of your shares will be wallpaper and some small change."

KevinSpengler
KevinSpengler

This global warming has to stop.  We must allow the glaciers the right of return.  Like in my home state of Illinois.  Then the whole Midwest and other bread baskests of the world will not be able to produce any food.  Then we will all starve to death. 

thangavelu-girardey
thangavelu-girardey

As much of the US is still reeling from the effects of the polar vortex(what a term – fit for a villain in Bond movies, methinks !), a much lesser published phenomenon may have a role to play in this dastardly weather phenomenon.


Though gravity is the principal factor in keeping our precious atmosphere intact, it is well known that the Earth’s magnetic field also protects our atmosphere from leaking away via the solar wind and coronal mass ejections(CMEs) and  other related solar hiccups.


Until recently, we had no idea that the Sun flips its magnetic poles periodically. Now we know that solar polar magnetic flips happen at regular, frequent intervals, in step with the eleven year sunspot cycle.


Now, given the timing of the latest solar magnetic polar flip, that happened just a few weeks ago, one wonders if the polar vortex shift southwards, stabbing right into the heart of the US  is related.


As you know, experts believe that the Sun is a culprit in many changes, including our climate, and perhaps this polar vortex shift too ?


Now that we have observatories in space, we can expect to draw connections and  co-relations to earthly phenomena via direct observations of CMEs and other solar happenings in our cosmic neighborhood, all in real time.


I am sure solar and climate experts are looking into this.


Such is progress !

tealover
tealover

You'd think it was Winter, with all that cold and snow. *rolls eyes*


I think a lot of people just got used to the generally milder winters of the past 20 years.  But it's been like this before, folks.  Some of you probably don't recall the late 70s, when it was actually colder than this in the winters of '77 and '78.  If you don't like the cold and snow, there are these places called Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, and Texas where I'm sure you'll find the winter weather to be a bit more accomodating to your tastes.


P.S.  If the football fans get upset about a brutally cold superbowl, blame the NFL for scheduling it to be held in an open-air stadium in a cold-weather city of the northeast that is known for getting massive snows when Nor'easters hit.

ziconater
ziconater

Global Warming? Yea right! It's freggin cold around here. Oh wait, just a sec... the Australian Open was cancelled due to extreme heat waves. Is Australia part of our Globe? You know, like part of our Earth? 

As a proud American, I'm not sure.

Opee18
Opee18

I live in San Diego and its 80 degrees. How come no one is talking about the Tropical Vortex?

jefnvk
jefnvk

While the NFL is worrying about cold weather for the Super Bowl, the NHL is busy building an outdoor rink in the 80F temps of LA, for a game to be held on a day the high is predicted to be about 75F.  Crazy world....

texasglobalservices
texasglobalservices

Some years we are warm and some years we are cold. Only our God can dictate this..  

oaklejd
oaklejd

Dadgum global warming.

DanBeck
DanBeck

WOW its called WINTER people!! Get over it or move south.

BrianMcNoldy
BrianMcNoldy

Are you serious??  The polar vortex exists all year long, over both poles, always has, and always will.  Please learn some science before using terms you don't understand.  The polar vortex is in the stratosphere, and is not "coming back" (it never left).  You're referring to an Arctic air mass ushered in by an Arctic cold front.  The polar jet stream will take a dip south over the US, but not the polar vortex!  Also, this cold weather is hardly unprecedented; it's called winter.  As a disclaimer, I am an atmospheric scientist and feel that I'm fairly qualified to make these remarks.


lagarto
lagarto

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Will someone please tell me when climate has not been changing in the earth's history. In the Eemian, the previous interglacial period, 125 million years ago, an instant in geological time, the earth warmed to the extent that there were forest growing north of the arctic circle and hippopotamuses were roaming to and fro over the island of Britain. Who is to say that the earth's climate could not warm as much in this present interglacial period.


Perhaps we as humans are contributing to the earth's present warming, but anything that we do here in the U.S. and Europe is tokenism to make us feel good as long as the Chinese and Indians do not curtail their appetite for coal. No one wants to address the real problem, which is that the earth has exceeded its carrying capacity in regards to human population.

oneslydragon
oneslydragon

"In the first two weeks of 2014, much of the United States weathered a cold snap of unprecedented proportions"

Are these guys on drugs or just trying to increase the hype?

These kind of cold snaps occurred regularly when I was growing up in Jersey. The Shrewsbury and Navasink rivers would freeze sufficiently year after year to skate on and have a pick up hockey game, every few years, it was warm enough to prevent our fun, but for most part that was our winter sporting events outside BB in the gym.

Though it was funny, the one winter the Russian's Ice Boaters came to challenge us was the odd year the river never froze thick enough. There were a few really cold years where at the beach the water was 'slushy' where the waves hit for many yards out into the ocean and the jetties were covered with thick ice, those winters were far worse than what we saw this year.

BoodrowMalone
BoodrowMalone

"unprecedented proportions"  Global warming alarmist propaganda as usual.  It was a cold spell just like many others in the previous decades, some records were set and it is after all winter.


Will someone please explain how paying billions in so called carbon taxes will make any measurable difference one way or the other?  There is no magic earth thermostat and we can't buy it with our borrowed and printed money. 

WayneYeager
WayneYeager

@Sciencefirst9 @Sciencefirst9Yeah, global warming is just an agenda, period!  climate change has been happening for billions of years here on earth.  Billions of years and you are saying there is proof to call this a global warming caused by fossil fuels? LMAO. the data they are studying is 10 millionth of 1% of the actual time climate has existed on earth, and I only did this saying the earth is 1,000,000,000 years old, but we all know its up to 4 billion years old.  Ask the climate change experts taht went to study about global warming and being stuck in the ice for days and days!  What an embarassing joke that was for them!!  You can call people names and spout off crap all day long with your so called proof.  You have no proof, I just proved to you that a study/average cannot be done in 100 years of recording weather!  This would be like taking 2 books out of millions and averaging the number of words in the books and saying the average length of all books is THIS number when in reality its not even close.   Theres data from many years ago when scientists/meteroligists have proof earth was much warmer than it is now, Well before fossil fuels and your so called earth destroying chemicals!   Get over it, its an agenda just like all policiticans use.  the earth will be around for millions of more years unless we are destroyed by an asteroid, or our own nulcear weapons, or even by aliens(which I might add is a much higher risk than us being destroyed by Global Warming).     So lighten up, others may put their opinions, but you have no right to tell them to show proof when your proof is about as solid as  melted cake sitting outside in this global warming extreme HOT!  Where I sit way down south its been much much colder the last few years in the winter (Yes, thats what global warming does right?), no, its hotter in pakistan this year (thats global warming too, right), oh, its much drier this year in california (must be global warming), its flooding in south america (duh, its global warming),  The Superbowl may get snow (gotta be caused by global warming).  I could go on and on, but this is too boring..

Sciencefirst9
Sciencefirst9

That's the thing about climate change events.You never know who will get hit when. You should have thought about this about 20 years ago when scientists told us we should get off fossil fuels

parkhurst72
parkhurst72

@KevinSpengler 

Global warming has caused the fluctuation of the get stream and the polar vortex and the drought in California. Why don't you turn off your heat then you'll feel the cold air that's is being pushed out of the poles. to put it in terms you'll get, walk into McDonald's or Walmart and that burst of air that keeps the heat in or out during summer. Your attitude is lets set California on fire and all is better. 

Sciencefirst9
Sciencefirst9

Nope. You'll be a dust bowl again, but it won't go away this time. Good luck to your kids out there in aboutj 30 years. They can blame you and your zany sense of humor while they starve to death.

Heisenblergh
Heisenblergh

@JamieO just clicked. the first post on that thread misspelled the word "scary." so...nope. Also, you came to a comments section/discussion board to post about another comments section/discussion board about the discussion of the article? gah. my head asplode.

Sciencefirst9
Sciencefirst9

Yes, they are and climate change has nothing to do with what you've written. It's simply CO2, humans burning fossil fuels. There is scientific consensus about that The jury is in.

It's easy to measure the CO2 in the atmosphere. We know that we in the past few decades, we have increased the carbon emissions from less than 350 ppm to over 420 ppm. The safe level for humans is below 350. So why do things still feel OK? Because it takes at least 30 years for the CO2 emissions to heat up and start effecting us--- right about now. Then we'll start to feel the effects of the CO2 we put in the atmosphere for the next 30 years, added on to what's already there (this stuff does not go away for centuries) assuming we are stupid enough to keep burning fossil fuels. It's simple physics.

Global temps will be 4C higher by 2100 which is a temp most species can't survive, including humans. This is the latest prediction from Nature, the world's top peer-reviewed science journal.

Scientists don't exaggerate. If they do, their reputations suffer, so they are very cautious about what they put in print.

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@thangavelu-girardey  Probably not.  The past few winters have been rather warm in the US and quite cold in Eurasia.  Nothing unusual is happening globally, it's just our turn to be cold and their turn to be warm.  Cold air in the US certainly isn't on an 11-year cycle.

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@tealover Frankly you could probably blame the NFL for the fact that it's cold in the first place, because when they scheduled this they were basically asking for it, taunting God to strike them like Lieutenant Dan atop his fishing boat during a hurricane in Forrest Gump.

Yoshi
Yoshi

@ziconaterGoing back, NSW hit 129 at the end of January, 1896.January 10th, 1939, is the record hottest day for southeast Australia. 120 outside Melbourne. January 16th, 1889 was the hottest day in their history (highest ever recorded) at 128 in Queensland. They have some hot Summer weather in worlds largest inhabited desert, huh?

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@ziconater Like most people (let's not pretend it's just Americans) I still get terrified when I play peek-a-boo.

RDS
RDS

@oaklejd Global temperatures have been slowly rising for years. Sorry you can't wrap your head around localized temperature fluctuations... but then many people don't have the mental capacity... and that's OK.

snowdog
snowdog

@BrianMcNoldy 


Yep the media frenzy over this PV is laughable. It was always referred to as "The Siberian Express" to the lower 48. Pretty sure it's been happening for thousands of years. 

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@lagarto  You're right about China and India though, it is a lost cause short of nuking China to save the planet.

ChrisRapier
ChrisRapier

@lagartoOf course the climate has always been changing. That's simply part of the natural process of axial precession that we have to deal with. What is *important* is that in this case the climate is changing very rapidly. Almost always the climate changes on a pretty slow scale allowing species and environments to slowly adapt to the shifts. When the climate changes rapidly (as it has in the past) you've often seen massive ecological disruption which will, this time, directly impact us. Look at it this way, if you slow down from 60 to 0 over 20 seconds it's pretty smooth. No problems. If you slow down from 60 to 0 in less than a second you may end up splattered on the inside of your car. The amount of change is exactly the same - the difference is in the rate of change.

You are right in that any attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions have to happen over the world as a whole for it to be sufficiently effective. However, I don't see much value in saying "Well, the Indians aren't on board so we might as well give up!" That's kind of an odd attitude.

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@oneslydragon  To answer your question, of course it's just a bunch of BS hype.  The only news outlet we have that doesn't report whatever version of the truth it thinks will get it the most eyeballs and pageclicks is public-funded NPR/PBS, which of course has its' own innate biases.

dave2941
dave2941

yes, 1996 was much colder (-60 degrees F in Minn.) and so was 1985 when even Miami got below freezing and most of the citrus trees in central Florida were killed. 

R.s.Rosenquist
R.s.Rosenquist

@BoodrowMalone  


Please understand that when you see scientists debunking the idea that the polar vortex is a symptom of climate change, that what you are seeing is a debunking of ignorant sensationalist media, but you are in no way at all seeing a debunking of proper, overwhelming climate research data. 

keeperofthefacts
keeperofthefacts

@BoodrowMaloneI agree, its a good idea to challenge the facts and scientific proofs if you feel they are wrong.  That is what science is all about, right?  You are not very convincing when you call facts you disagree "alarmist propaganda".

JamieO
JamieO

@Heisenblergh@JamieOTypos happen and sorry, a single misspelling doesn't change the point...that's never a good argument. The point here is once again, media misrepresents what a forecaster actually said. 


And anyway, if I really did make your head explode, my work is done here. I obviously made the world a better place.

lazyfan
lazyfan

@Sciencefirst9 I don't buy it. Global temperatures were far higher 900 years ago before the little ice age and none of this stuff occurred, there were still polar bears and such. One could probably get the idea that the farther we get from the end of the little ice age the warmer global temperatures will be period. You must remember that things such as coal turbines are mostly paid for and can keep people on fixed incomes and low incomes warm at an affordable cost. one other thing is that the fact that China and India don't really care what you say and the jobs that have been lost by the US to these economies that can have much higher footprints renders your argument null to most people in this country. Oh by the way, the dust bowl was probably caused more by overproduction to supply the world markets with grain as a result of the destruction of the Ukraine by stalins policies.

thangavelu-girardey
thangavelu-girardey

@R.s.Rosenquist @thangavelu-girardey  


Cold air in the US certainly isn't on an 11-year cycle.


Perhaps 22, 33, 44 year recurrence ? We need to go back  and check meteorological records, I suppose ? Climate is a complex, dynamic phenomenon with many nonlinear parameters causing stochastic behavior, and several internal and external factors play a role to create "perfect storm"conditions, from time to time.

Read more: Polar Vortex Weather Is Probably Coming Back, Maybe for Super Bowl | TIME.com http://nation.time.com/2014/01/17/the-polar-vortex-is-probably-coming-back/#ixzz2qgW2RcRz

Heisenblergh
Heisenblergh

@JamieO Sorry. Didn't know the pious police were in town. Thanks for the context and for eliminating me from this planet.


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