You may have heard us at weather.com and The Weather Channel mention the “polar vortex” during this outbreak. Let’s delve into the Meteorology 101 about this.
One of several semi-permanent weather systems over the Earth, the polar vortex is an area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere that, on average in the Northern Hemisphere, typically has centers in two main areas: near Canada’s Baffin Island, and over northeastSiberian.
The vortex is strongest in winter, thanks to an increased temperature contrast between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes, including the United States.
Occasionally, the polar vortex can either be forced well south of its typical position, or a significant piece of the larger spin can break off and plunge south into the U.S.
In the case of this outbreak, a large piece of the vortex broke off and was forced well to the south over Ontario and the northern Great Lake.
Which in shorter terms mean its cold outside!!