January Could See a Second Big Chill

The sub-zero temperatures that hit the country early in January and came to be called the "polar vortex" wass blamed for at least 21 deaths, but now meteorologists are warning that we may get a second polar vortex before January is through.

At the beginning of January, all 50 states in the union experienced freezing temperatures--something that is unusual but not unprecedented--including Hawaii whose Mauna Kea volcano reached 18 degrees at its peak on January 7.

Authorities reported that during the week of freezing temps, upwards of 21 people were killed due to the weather; some in car accidents caused by snowy and icy conditions, some due to over exertion trying to shovel snow, and other just because of the cold. Now, the projected forecast says it's coming again.

Several forecasting models are pointing to a repeat performance of the polar vortex, according to the Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger.

Berger writes, "The bottom line is that, beginning by about Monday, Jan. 20 the upper Midwest is going to see a very significant blast of Arctic air, and for those areas the cold is unlikely to relent for at least 10 days or so. Temperatures may get colder than they were during the initial polar vortex event."

AccuWeather.com's Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok, however, thinks that the next polar vortex will not be as bad as the first one. "This next main arctic blast will not rival, nor will it be as extensive as the event last week," he said.

"We will likely see a piece of the polar vortex break off and set up just north of the Great Lakes spanning Jan. 16 to 20," Pastelok said.

However, Weather Bell's Joe Bastardi has also been warning of another polar vortex on his Twitter account and he seems to think it will be at least as bad.

On January 16, for instance, Bastardi worried about the coming weeks, saying, "Models getting colder on each run for last week of month (and coming week too) Its the sum of my worst fears."


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