Weather Blog

Polar Vortex Returning?

Polar Vortex May Make a Comeback

January 2020 the polar vortex was absent from most of the U.S. January had really mild temperatures around the nation. But things can change for a lot of areas around the country. February normally is a very cold month even though the days are starting to get longer. The rays of the sun are not strong enough yet to really start warming temperatures in typical areas of the country that are cold.

polar vortex
Photo Courtesy of accuweather.com

Average Daytime High Temperatures

polar vortex
Photo Courtesy of The Weather Channel

Average Nighttime Temperatures

polar vortex
Photo Courtesy of The Weather Channel

February 2020 has started off mild across the plains, midwest and northeast. The patterns is about to change. During the first part next week, cold air is expected to invade the central states. This could be a sign that artic air is going make a appearance during the second half of February. According to accuweather.com, the second and third week of February is when arctic air could settle in. Right now during the first full week of February, the polar vortex is weakening which means that the polar vortex is about to break and move south.

One of the factors for the eastern states and southeast is there is area of high pressure that has been very persistence in the southwestern Atlantic during most of the winter. The high pressure has been helping to move mild air up the eastern seaboard. Right now if this pattern continues and the polar vortex moves south, the interior west and northern plains will feel the most affects during February. Arctic outbreaks in the past have reached a big portion of the U.S. Though it is rare for the entire U.S. to be cold at the same time. Normally one-third or two-thirds will be affected and the rest of the country will remain warmer than average. If the artic air does go in the west and central states and the high pressure in the Atlantic stays strong, the East and Southeast would actually remain warmer.

This would not be true for the entire Northeast and New England areas though. This will all depend on which side of the temperature contrast zone places ends up. This will set up an active storm track  for the Northeast and New England states. Whether it will be heavy rain, ice or snow all depends on the contrast zones. Time will tell how this all plays out. The polar vortex is breaking and it will move south, that is a for sure going to happen.

Snowfall has been close to average over the midwest and plains. The northern central states so far have above average snowfall. The northern tier of the Northeast has been near to above average snowfall. The central Appalachians, mid Atlantic and southern New England have seen a snow drought this winter. Very few cities have received average or above average snowfall except in Northern New England.

For example, Philadelphia averages 9 inches of snowfall during January. Philadelphia has only received 0.3 inches of snowfall. Pittsburgh normally receives 10 inches of snow during January. Pittsburgh has only seen 3.9 inches of snow. In Pittsburgh, 11.5 inches of snow has fallen during this winter. Normal snowfall from October 1st to January 31th is 21 inches of snow in Pittsburgh. Both these cities are good examples of how little snowfall has been for the Northeast and Atlantic corridor. The Great Lakes are typically 28% ice covered by January 31. As of January 31, the latest data shows only 10.7% of the Great Lakes have ice. That just shows how mild temperatures have been this winter so far for these typically cold areas.

I will keep all my readers up to date as I receive more information of how this latest polar vortex plays out. This is going to be very interesting to see what areas see the is arctic air and how these upcoming storms plays out with rain or snow.

Thoughts By Fiddler http://www.facebook.com/fiddler001 #thoughtsbyfiddler

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