Science Says: Get Used To Polar Vortex Outbreaks

[van id=”tv/2019/01/30/richard-alley-climate-extreme-weather-cold-america-amanpour.cnn” affiliate_id=”wccb” thumb=”” title=”Climate scientist explains Polar vortex hitting US”]

WASHINGTON (AP) – A sudden blast of warm air unleashed the dreaded polar vortex from its Arctic cage. Now, the Midwest is about to feel the effects of its icy grip.

Get used to it. The polar vortex has been wandering more often in recent years. This time, its Arctic chill is here for an extended visit.

Judah Cohen is a winter storm expert for Atmospheric Environmental Research. He says it all started with misplaced Moroccan heat.

Meteorologists watched last month when the normally super chilly air temperatures 20 miles above the North Pole rapidly rose thanks to that southern warm air.

Cohen says that split the polar vortex into pieces. Those pieces of cold air started to wander, bringing the chill.

He says the unusual cold could stick around for weeks.

The latest on the cold weather in the Midwest:

CHICAGO (AP) – The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze is expected to ease Thursday, though temperatures could still tumble to record lows in some places before the region begins to thaw out.

Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, too, including power outages and canceled flights and trains.

Before the worst of the cold begins to lift, the National Weather Service says Chicago could hit lows early Thursday that break the city’s record of minus 27 set on Jan. 20, 1985.

Temperatures should bounce back into the single digits later Thursday and into the comparative balmy 20s by Friday.

More people are expected to return to work in Chicago, which resembled a ghost town Wednesday after most offices told employees to stay home.