Report: Polar Vortex Split May Mean Much Harsher Winter | Beaufort County Now | A new report warns that a weather phenomenon high up above the earth could cause severe winter weather in Europe and North America. | daily wire, polar vortex, vortex split, harsher winter, new reprt, weather phenomenon, january 6, 2020

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Report: Polar Vortex Split May Mean Much Harsher Winter

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Hank Berrien.

    A new report warns that a weather phenomenon high up above the earth could cause severe winter weather in Europe and North America.

    The polar vortex is splitting in two, a development which "may lead to weeks of wild winter weather," The Washington Post explained in a report published Tuesday.

    "A dramatic spike in temperatures is occurring at high altitudes above the North Pole, where the air is thin and typically frigid," said the Post. "Known as a sudden stratospheric warming event, experts say it's likely to have potentially significant repercussions for winter weather across the Northern Hemisphere for weeks to possibly months."

    "This unusually strong event may have profound influences on the weather in the United States and Europe, 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," the Post continued.

    Although the sudden stratospheric warming event occurs roughly 18 miles over the surface of the Earth, it can affect the polar vortex, possibly weakening it so that parts of it will sever from it and move south toward the United States.

    Judah Cohen of Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Massachusetts stated, "I do think polar vortex splits favor big snowstorms."

    Popular Science explained in mid-January 2019:

  • Every fall, as the Arctic loses light and becomes especially cold, the greater disparity in temperature between the North Pole and equator leads to the formation of the polar vortex. ...If left alone, the vortex hangs out through winter and dissipates in late spring. But, roughly every other year on average, waves of warm air intrude on the vortex in what's called sudden stratospheric warming. ... When this happens, the vortex either moves south or is split apart. Then, sometimes-but not always-this disruption of the vortex leads to cold weather in the midlatitudes, including the northeastern U.S., western Europe, and northern Asia.

    Roughly four weeks later, Stanford's School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences reported:

  • The polar vortex, a swirl of low-pressure air six miles up in the atmosphere, blasted much of the American Midwest and Northeast in late January 2019 with temperatures cold enough to bring on frostbite within minutes. By Friday, Feb. 1, the vortex and the Arctic air it funneled into cities from Fargo to Pittsburgh to Detroit had prompted days of school and business closures, thousands of flight cancellations, a halt to mail deliveries, and a smattering of power outages and pleas for reduced heating. At least 21 people died and dozens were injured in weather-related incidents. Officials warned residents to stay inside, even as meteorologists began to forecast spring-like weather and the likelihood of an 80-degree temperature swing within a few days.


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