What Are the Odds Minnesota Experiences a Polar Vortex This Winter?
We might already have over 40 inches of snow, but winter is just starting. We had some brutally cold temperatures already in December of 2022, and luckily January is off to a mild start (at least temperature-wise.) In years past mid-late January has brought us long stretches of bitter cold, below-zero temperatures. And February hasn't been much better.
The 10-day forecast is currently showing highs in the upper 20s and low 30s for the middle part of the month:
I'm definitely not mad about that. But as a Minnesotan, I am cautiously optimistic about this. At some point, the other shoe will drop and winter will become totally unbearable.
So what are the odds of another polar vortex showing up?
In the polar stratosphere, sunlight basically gets cut off during the late fall and early winter – and that makes it really cold, while the equator remains quite warm. A jet forms to balance this temperature difference. This jet is what we call the polar vortex or the polar night jet.
They tend to show up in January/February in our neck of the woods, so I wouldn't rule one out based on the temperatures in the middle of the month.
The best thing we can do is just enjoy the nice weather while we have it, and if a deep freeze does happen, layer up.
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