Polar vortex 2021: Arctic blast puts Europe in deep freeze, no local effects forecast yet

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) and WANE Staff Reports — The polar vortex, a rotating bubble of cold air around the North Pole, has put parts of Europe into a deep freeze.

The polar vortex gets its name from a counter-clockwise spin around the North Pole. The constant air mass is protected by the polar jet stream. It weakens in the summer and strengthens in the winter.

Occasionally, the air mass splits and sends cold air southward into the middle latitudes.

At this time, however, the Live Doppler 15 Fury Storm Team’s exclusive 10 Day Forecast through January 22, show our lowest high temperatures only in the upper 20s and our lowest low temps in the upper teens.

So, while the bitter cold present in Europe is not currently in our forecast over the next week and a half, it may eventually rotate around to us in the Midwest after that point, but there is no firm guarantee of this at this time. Continue to check in with the Live Doppler 15 Fury Storm team in the days ahead to be alerted to any changes. You can always check the latest video forecast here.

In recent years, the polar vortex caught on as a buzzword and became one of the most recognizable “new” terms in meteorology, even though the polar vortex itself has been known about and studied within the weather community for decades.

When the polar vortex is strong, it remains solidly in place over the poles. When it starts to weaken as warmer air “injects” into the poles, the stronghold can erode away and cooler air can be forced southward, where more people live and will be impacted by an arctic blast. While the polar vortex is always around, we only feel its cold a few times a year, if at all.

WHERE THE POLAR VORTEX IS HEADED

Note the United States at the bottom of this image. See where the purple colors are over Alaska, Russia and northern Canada. That is the polar vortex. Image as of Tuesday, January 12.

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