The now disrupting polar vortex is set to release arctic blasts and extreme winter weather across the United States and Europe

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The polar vortex just split in two in January 2021 and that means extreme winter event for the rest of the season. Picture via Twitter

The blast of Arctic weather currently burying Europe and eastern Canada in meters of snow could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter.

There are indeed signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.

The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia.

The result for the United States and northern Europe?

A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.

The breaking up of the polar vortex could be the culprit for the coming extreme storms.

The weather models suggest that the disruptions would follow the pattern of polar vortex collapses seen during the northern winter last year, which resulted in freezing weather across the United States in December and January, and a severe cold snap in March over the United Kingdom.

This pattern looks much more active, [with] more winter type storms and Arctic outbreaks — I think I would attribute it to definitely being a polar vortex disruption, because it is very consistent with what we’ve seen in the past.”

Polar winds

The northern polar vortex is a fast-flowing stream of air that circles the North Pole in the upper parts of the atmosphere, known as the stratosphere, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) above the surface.

A similar polar vortex exists over the South Pole, but it is the northern polar vortex that can bring severe winter weather to the United States and Europe.

When the northern polar vortex is strong, it keeps most of the air cooled by the Arctic in the polar region, resulting in mild winter temperatures in the middle latitudes of the eastern United States, and in northern Europe and Asia.

But when the polar vortex weakens, the once-trapped cold air can meander throughout the top of the Northern Hemisphere, bringing polar temperatures and extreme winter weather to lower latitudes.

Think of the polar vortex as a spinning top, and where the polar vortex goes so goes the cold air. A strong polar vortex is a fast, tightly spinning top centered over the North Pole, keeping all the cold air with it close by over the Arctic. [But] a weak or perturbed polar vortex is a spinning top that has been banged or bumped into an object multiple times … the top slows down and wobbles and can meander from its location.

Winter weather

A dramatic spike in temperatures – sudden stratospheric warming event – is currently occurring at high altitudes above the North Pole, where the air is thin and typically frigid.

Experts say it’s likely to have potentially significant repercussions for winter weather across the Northern Hemisphere for weeks to possibly months, possibly increasing the potential for paralyzing snowstorms and punishing blasts of Arctic air, with the odds of the most severe cold outbreaks highest in Northern Europe.

Such extreme stratospheric warming events can affect the polar vortex, which is a circulation of air around low pressure that acts as a repository for some of the coldest air on the planet.

And that’s exactly what’s begun to happen. Due in large part to this stratospheric temperature spike, the polar vortex has started weakening and wobbling off the pole, splitting in two.

So be ready, winter 2021 will be terrible and may lead again to catastrophic flooding along the Missouri River Basin. You remember?

More devastating weather events on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [WP, Live Science]

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Oily diaphram on the Florida pan handle sea floor may prevent land ground water from flowing out. Caused by oil spill from sea floor drill rig.

  2. Global warming sure plays hell in the arctic. The crazy bastards with their “weather modification programs” aren’t smart enough to figure out that Everything around the planet is CONNECTED. You change one natural process in one place and it changes things all the way around the globe. The military calls it “weather warfare” and right now they are at war with the human race. It’s not the weather, it’s the government masterminds.

  3. Went to -9° below zero one year up here in the mountains. One thing, the weather did not predict this storm we had.

    If you live on a ranch, and have a well shack, here’s what I do to prevent well-pump and booster pump freeze.

    1.) Insulate pipes from well-booster pump to well mate tank. Use a 60 watt bulb in a heat lamp fixture as your heat source. Same fixture you use to keep baby animals warm. Throw a plastic tarp over the light fixture and well-booster pump, like a tent.
    2.) Insulate the side of the well shack nearest well-booster pump.
    3.) On the well head/ pump, I have a small plastic trashcan over it, and two more large plastc trashcans over the small trashcan. You can insulate inside the small trashcan. Plastic and leftover R-30 works.
    4.) As a precaution for inside pipes, you can turn on your faucet furthest away from well shack. Just a drip, drip, type of turning it on.

    This is what will save you in a deep freeze. Check light bulb every night before supper. Make sure it is still working. Incandescent bulbs are made like crap these days.

    • You say all your chopped wood is wet?

      Take those logs, open your oven, set on warm. Put logs in there and dry them out, so you can keep the wood burning stove operating for home heat.

      You can warm food on the wood burning stove top. Wrap it in tin foil, leave it there for a while. Works on steam pipes too. That way you conserve on gas and electric. Sometimes an area can have a power shortage. You can still cook using my suggestions.

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