The polar vortex strikes again, but only a little

Posted at 6:21 AM, Feb 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-25 08:21:58-05

By Ben Brumfield

(CNN) — Just like in the movies, the sequel just never lives up to the original.

Polar Vortex, Part II (or is it III or IV?) is drawing some gasps and shrieks, as it gears up to roll across most of the country this week, dropping lows in the north-central United States to more than 10-below.

But there’s no need for too much excitement — although it will be unpleasant enough.

Temperatures will drop Tuesday to 10 to 30 degrees below normal for this time of year in places like Minnesota and the Dakotas. Then the arctic blast will roll east.

By the middle of the week, the freeze zone will sweep the Midwest and the East Coast, plunging lows into the single digits in places like Indiana and Massachusetts.

It will cover two thirds of the country; even parts of the Deep South will drop down below freezing — but just for a night or two, the NWS said.

There will probably be some snow here and there, but the good news is that things should stay pretty dry, the NWS said.

Many of us will shiver. That’s about it.

This snap won’t live up to the weather thriller, Polar Vortex — The Original.

It debuted in early January, when a large frigid air mass broke free from the arctic, and flopped down over North America for days, littering the country with record lows and freezing pipes all the way down to Alabama.

So, is this week’s cold snap really a polar vortex?

“It’s not the same sort of setup,” Javaheri said. “It’s a lot shorter lived.”

In fact, weather officials are getting tired of arctic snaps like the one coming this week being stamped with the same “polar vortex” moniker that January’s storm so deservedly got, he said.

This week’s cold air does have the same origins as January’s monster freeze, but it may be better described as a slice of polar vortex.

The National Weather Service refers to it as “a cold mass of arctic air.”

“Pieces of it will settle in the Upper Midwest and in Canada,” Javaheri said.

So, it may remain cold there for a few days, but over the weekend things should lighten up.

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