What is Polar Vortex and why is it happening?

Since the time I saw newspapers and the social media websites flooded with pictures of America getting gripped under the chilling cold wave I realized that there is another word that leaves behind terms like ICY COLD, FREEZING or BONE CRACKING COLD and it is POLAR VORTEX.

This is the first time in the entire history of human civilization when we are witnessing temperatures dipping down as low as -52 degree Celsius thus making the Americans fall prey under the clutches of extreme winter. But what is Polar Vortex and how is it formed? These were the two most important questions that struck my mind the moment I heard the news.

Polar Vortex remains over both the North and South Poles throughout the year. It begins to expand itself mainly in the winter season but disappear near the Arctic and the Antarctic Circle. As the cold winds approach towards the Arctic Circle they begin to slow down by settling near the Northern parts of United States, Europe and the few Asian countries. Currently, the cold winds are settling down by bringing a rapid drop in the temperatures of United States there by bringing a high altitude wind known as Jet Stream. Polar Vertex is therefore a difference between Arctic and mid latitudes.

Scientists say that this abnormal change in temperature is due to the rapid rise in the temperature of Arctic region. The warmer the Arctic ice is, the more severe will be the impact of Polar Vortex.

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin were the areas that experienced the lowest temperatures.Image


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