Some models project that it could strike by the end of this month.
Judah Cohen, a climate researcher at Atmospheric and Environmental Research who monitors the polar vortex, the roaring river of air winding around the North Pole, is concerned about what some models (but not all) are projecting for the end of December or early January.
“Confidence is growing in a significant #PolarVortex disruption in the coming weeks. This could be the single most important determinant of the weather this #winteracross the Northern Hemisphere.” Cohen wrote on his blog and tweeted last week.
When the vortex, hovering some 60,000 feet (18 km) high in the atmosphere, is stable, winter conditions over the U.S. and Europe tend to be rather ordinary.
But when the vortex is disrupted, an ordinary winter can suddenly turn severe and memorable for an extended duration. “[It] can affect the entire winter,” Cohen said in an interview.
Remember February of last year when the vortex abruptly split? It unleashed a punishing blast of cold in Europe and Asia that the media dubbed the “beast from the east.”
Cohen worries that a similar blast of frigid Siberian air could flood the continent and the eastern United States by the end of this month.
Thanks to Laurel, Wokuma1 and Daniel Suggs for these links
via Ice Age Now
December 19, 2018 at 04:57PM