So what is a Polar Vortex and when will it be affecting the Hudson Valley? In as few words as possible a Polar Vortex in the forecast means that it is going to be super duper cold. Like the coldest of the cold. Scarf, gloves, and hat kind of cold. 

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The polar part of the words comes from the North Pole and the South Pole, there is a pressure system that starts there, and brings with it (in the winter) cold weather. The vortex part, it pretty much swirls around our area and takes a little while for conditions to clear up. That is how I understand it, so is it 100% right? Probably not.

Here is the actually meteorological definition of Polar Vortex from the National Weather Service:

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term "vortex" refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles. Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream. This occurs fairly regularly during wintertime and is often associated with large outbreaks of Arctic air in the United States.

So should you be worried about the Polar Vortex hiding in your basement and attempting to attack you? No. Just know that when you hear those two words in relation to a weather forecast, that it is going to be super-duper cold.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

 

The 100 Best Places to Live on the East Coast