Brace for the Polar Vortex; It May Be Visiting More Often – By Kendra Pierre-Louis – The New York Times


David Lindsay: It was minus 5 Farenheight here in Connecticut Sunday night. It was 40 degrees on Friday. We are experiencing the polar vortex.

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
Jan. 18, 2019

“Find your long johns, break out the thick socks and raid the supermarket. After a month of relatively mild winter weather, the Midwest and the East Coast are bracing for what is becoming a seasonal rite of passage: the polar vortex.

The phrase has become synonymous with frigid temperatures that make snowstorms more likely. A blast of arctic air heralded the vortex’s arrival on Monday.

If it seems as if these polar freezes are happening more often, you’re right. “They are definitely becoming more common,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. “There have been a couple of studies that have documented that.”

The cold snap may feel especially shocking after an unusually warm few weeks. Colder temperatures have been arriving later in winter over the past few years, according to Judah Cohen, a climatologist at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a weather risk assessment firm. But because of changes to the polar vortex, when wintry weather does arrive, it’s often more intense — witness the four back-to-back nor’easters last year.”

via Brace for the Polar Vortex; It May Be Visiting More Often – The New York Times