Arctic air makes a comeback, sort of

Freeze will cover two-thirds of country, weather service says

UPDATED 8:35 AM PST Feb 25, 2014
Cold New Yorkers, cold weather

Chad Weisser/iReport

(CNN) —Don’t pack away those winter coats and hats yet!

We’re in for another blast of cold Arctic air, which is gearing up to roll across most of the country this week, but it won’t be as bad as the shocking freeze in January.

The National Weather Service says some places from the central U.S. to the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys could be having some frosty high temperatures, as low 20 to 30 degrees below normal.

If you call it Polar Vortex Part II (or III or IV), meteorologists say you’d be wrong — nor was the first big cold spell of 2014, strictly speaking, a strike of the Polar Vortex.

The Polar Vortex stays anchored over Baffin Bay, to the north of Canada, and doesn’t move, says CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. But its shifting pattern allows cold Arctic air to spill southward into the United States.

“When it weakens, this allows the cold Arctic air that is often mislabeled the “Polar Vortex” to spill southward across the U.S. border and bring us bone-chilling temperatures,” Morris explained.

So from a technical perspective, “if you’re looking to get ‘struck’ by the vortex, you’re out of luck,” he added.

Although this cold snap doesn’t have as menacing a name, the Arctic air blast will cause temperatures to plummet 25 to 35 degrees below average east of the Rocky Mountains, Morris said.

Temperatures will drop Tuesday to 10 to 30 degrees below normal for this time of year in places such as Minnesota and the Dakotas. Then the arctic blast will roll east.

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Brutal Winter Continues as Temps Plummet Again

File Photo
Photo: AP/Nati Harnik

Updated: 02/27/2014 4:50 PM

Created: 02/27/2014 6:10 AM
By: Jennie Olson

Now that the high winds of Wednesday are settling down, our temperatures have taken yet another dive.

After a brief warm up, the never-ending winter of 2013-14 has re-established its run at record territory, Morning Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow says.


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File: The climate-controlled skyway system in Minneapolis provides warmth for people moving from building to building as another polar blast brought sub-zero temperatures with wind chills in the minus-40’s, Monday, Jan. 27.
Photo: AP/Jim Mone, File



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