A Polar Vortex Could Bring Extreme Weather Conditions To NYC This Month

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A polar vortex could be bringing arctic-like temperatures to New York City this January.

Get ready New York, meteorologists are sounding the alarm about the possibility of a very harsh winter this year. Judah Cohen, a climate researcher at Atmospheric and Environmental Research tweeted out this week about his growing confidence surrounding the disruption of the vortex.

 

When the vortex (think of it as an airstream that sits above Earth’s atmosphere) is stable, weather conditions are rather normal provoking only the typical winter snowfall here and there. However, when the stream is “split” or disturbed, it can drive frigid cold air towards the Earth’s surface causing major weather disruptions throughout the winter months. This means a higher quantity of winter storms as well as an increase in the intensity of those storms and the extension of winter into months as late in the season as April and May.

Over the past few years- specifically in 2009 and 2013- the polar vortex has split causing some of the snowiest winters in recorded history on parts of the East Coast. While Cohen and other meteorologists admit that weather patterns and the polar vortex behavior can be hard to predict, the likelihood of an intense winter with snappy cold air and snow is quite high.

Featured image: @craigsbeds via Instagram