What is the Polar Vortex?

Author MecihanOlcay
Collection Weather
What is the Polar Vortex?

       Every several years, the United States suffers a sudden, unpredictable blast of arctic air that can turn some locations in the Midwestern US into some of the coldest places on Earth. Weather phenomenon like Polar vortexes causes such problems. But did we ever stopped and think what is Polar Vortex actually. These are some information that i gathered, so i hope these information's will help  us to understand this phenomenon more clearly.

If we’re being technical, its "what is a polar vortex", since there are actually two polar vortexes, one for each pole. Since the polar vortex over Antarctica does not usually create weather events that we experience, the polar vortex over the Arctic is always the one people are concerned with. This vortex exists year-round, with a second one forming as the pole enters its winter season.

The cold air at the north pole creates sustained, high winds as it interacts with warmer air from the south. In the winter months, the temperature at the north pole gets seriously cold, dropping close to -110 degrees Fahrenheit (-79 degrees Celsius) and the temperature difference with the southern latitudes grows, creating stronger winds. It’s this frigid air that the polar vortex helps keep locked in place.

About 7 miles above the Earth, the counterclockwise movement of air driven by the temperature differences between the Arctic and southern latitudes creates what's known as the jet stream, which is a more or less circular current of westerly wind that surrounds the Arctic. You might recognize this from weather reports if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, since the jet stream is what creates and drives the high and low-pressure systems that give the more southern latitudes their weather, both clear blue skies and snowstorms, and its what brings warmer, more tropical air into northern Europe, allowing the United Kingdom, whose latitude is about the same as Nova Scotia, Canada, to have a relatively temperate. 

Further up, there is another vortex known as the stratospheric polar vortex, which forms during the winter months when the North Pole is plunged into its months-long night. According to NASA, it is a “large-scale region of air that is contained by a strong west-to-east jet stream that circles the polar region. This jet stream is usually referred to as the polar night jet.” This second vortex is smaller than the lower vortex creating.

This upper vortex of extremely cold air is kept locked in place by the force of the lower jet stream, which is driven by the temperature difference between the arctic and southern latitudes. What this essentially creates is a gigantic eddy at the north pole that keeps arctic air twisting in a tight spiral above the pole.

These were some information's that i have gathered from different sources to help me out to understand what is The Polar Vortex. As we can see it is in a way a part of a nature but also it creates catastrophe. It kills people and freeze the cities. Well after researching about this i will never watch the day after tomorrow movie the same again.

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