Where Will The Polar Vortex Hit? This Weekend Will Be A Cold One

Winter is well and truly upon us, with especially cold temperatures coming in the next week for certain areas of the United States, thanks to a weather system known as the polar vortex. Where will the polar vortex hit? Let’s just say that if you’re in the northern half of the country, you may want to stock up on frozen pizzas and ingredients for warm beverages, because you’ll probably want to spend much of next week sipping hot toddies, wearing your Snuggie in front of a (real or fake) fire, and not leaving the house.

You may remember (or, rather, your dreams may be haunted by) the intense cold weather caused by the polar vortex in January of 2014. In The Washington Post, weather editor Jason Samenow says that this cold bout won’t be as bad as the one in 2014 because it’s earlier in the season. There is less snow on the ground, so the ground will have less of an icebox effect than it did then. Nevertheless, many of you can expect temperatures this weekend and into next week that are far below average for this time of year.

Meteorologists are predicting that the cold weather will come in two waves. The first is already upon us: Early Thursday morning, areas of Montana, Colorado, the Dakotas, and Wyoming experienced a steep drop in temperature, with some parts reaching as low as 14 degrees F below zero, according to NBC News. The cold will continue to spread east in the next few days. AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson says that the Great Lakes region will be hit by a blast of cold air on Thursday and Friday, adding, “Chicago will be lucky to reach 25 F on Friday and Saturday.” AccuWeather reports that in the next couple of days, people from Little Rock, AR, to Chicago can expect temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below average for this time of year. Arctic temperatures will then extend to the Northeast over the weekend. According to Adamson, “Boston will struggle to reach freezing for a high this weekend, while New York City may not reach 40 F.”

Some meteorologists are predicting a second wave of cold at the end of next week. If their predictions come to pass, Mashable reports, folks in the Midwest, East, and Southeast may be in for temperatures as much as 30 degrees F below average. According to NBC News, the second bout of cold may mean that next Friday, the Midwest will have temperatures below zero, the Northeast will be in the teens, and the South will go down to the 20s. At the same time, areas in the West may be subject to rain and snow.

However, it’s not at all certain that this second wave of extreme cold will occur. As Samenow points out, weather predictions for more than a week into the future are unreliable. At this point, don’t worry too much about next week — just keep any eye on the forecast and do your best to stay toasty this weekend.

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Stay warm, kids!

Image: Giphy