Now What? The US is Hit with an Arctic Blast. . .

This week’s cold snap across the U.S. will be one of “the most impressive Arctic outbreaks of this century,” one climate scientist says. This is “global weirding rather than global warming. . . .”

Per Axios, “An Arctic outbreak tied to a piece of polar vortex was bringing subfreezing temperatures across the U.S., leaving over 110 million people under wind chill warnings and advisories Sunday evening.
The big picture: The National Weather Service warned parts of the Midwest would again experience “near-record, dangerously low temperatures and wind chills,” with wind chills below negative 30 degrees below zero from the Northern Rockies to northern Kansas and into Iowa, as the state prepared for Monday’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The National Weather Service states,

This means one more day of frigid wind chills dipping below minus 30 across the Plains states, and minus 50 in Montana and the Dakotas. As we approach mid-week (Wednesday), the initial Arctic airmass will moderate, leading to below average (but still cold) temperatures east of the Continental Divide. Unfortunately, another surge of frigid Arctic air is expected to plunge southward out of Canada later this week, which could lead to more of the same dangerous cold weather across the Midwest and Deep South by the end of the work week. Stay tuned for details as the forecast evolves.
In the more immediate term, the frigid airmass in place is also supporting hazardous winter weather across much of the Southern U.S and Great Lakes. Widespread moderate to locally major potential winter storm impacts today are expected across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley as a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain fall before spreading into the Appalachians. Impacts from this storm today may be prolonged even after the wintry precipitation subsides, owing to the Arctic air in place.
By later today into tomorrow, snowfall is expected to reach the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic, including Washington D.C, Philadelphia, and New York. Regardless of how much falls, prepare for slippery road conditions beginning later today into tomorrow. Meanwhile, periods of heavy lake effect snowfall will continue downwind of the Great Lakes through Wednesday, with heavy accumulations focused across northern Michigan, western and Upstate New York including Buffalo. In these areas, moderate to major winter weather impacts can be expected, where localized Winter Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect.

Although science is still working to hone an explanation for polar vortex disruptions and accompanying Arctic blasts, Dahl says that she sees the irony of this incident coinciding with the U.S. government confirming that 2023 was the hottest year on record. “To me, this is indicative of a climate changed world with greater extremes,” she says.

“I like to think of these polar jet stream outbreaks as ‘global weirding,’” Dahl adds. “Climate change is causing all sorts of different impacts, and some of them are counterintuitive.” Scientific American

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