Polar Vortex to return by end of month?


It's a couple weeks away, but another Polar Vortex may bring more double-digit below-zero temperatures to Minnesota later this month, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

"There are indications that after our balmy thaw early next week, another bitterly cold Polar Vortex may take a swipe at the Upper Midwest," MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner says.

Huttner says the Global Forecast System (GFS) has been consistent for a few runs, and because of that, "much colder air may invade by the weekend of Jan. 25-26."

If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's projections hold up, the high in parts of Minnesota Jan. 27 and 28 could only hit -26 degrees. Adding in the wind chill factor, the temperature on Jan. 27 could dip to -40 degrees.

If there's any consolation, the meteorologist says the projections aren't set in stone.

"It's still early, and the GFS has a way of backing off on longer range cold snaps," Huttner says.

AccuWeather says the next severe cold front will originate in the southern Canada Prairies and the northern Plains before it hits Midwest.

The Polar Vortex earlier this month brought the coldest temperatures to Minnesota in more than a decade, leading Gov. Mark Dayton to close schools statewide Jan. 2. Many districts called off classes the next day as well because of the dangerous cold.

According to USA Today the Polar Vortex is "a strong area of low pressure that usually wanders around the Arctic throughout the winter." The publication says counterclockwise winds around the vortex occasionally push waves of intensely cold air into the U.S.

Climate.gov describes the Polar Vortex in greater detail.

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