The Polar Vortex Is Coming Back, But Here Are 14 Photos to Remind You That Winter Is Not Literally the Worst

Pour one out for your winter wallowing, folks. According to reports, the polar vortex could be back again as early next week, contrary to our earlier reports that its return would be unlikely. Despite a relatively mild fall, experts say a brutal winter may be on the horizon. “Arctic air associated with the polar vortex will lunge into the North Central United States early next week and will expand southward and eastward to affect about 200 million people as the week progresses,” says meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Looks like we’ll all be unpacking our thermal underwear a little sooner than expected.

In case your body can’t remember what it was like to ice skate to work last winter, the kind folks at AccuWeather remind us what constitutes a polar vortex: “The polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region. Occasionally, this pocket of very cold air can get dislodged farther south than normal, leading to cold outbreaks in Canada and the U.S.”

The brunt of this polar pain-in-the-ass will be felt throughout central US states, “from Fargo, North Dakota, and Minneapolis to Chicago and St. Louis.” AccuWeather’s Paul Pastelok estimated that temperatures will drop between 20 and 30 degrees below what’s typical. In New York, we may be facing temperature in the 30s for more than one day next week.

In light of this news, and to console our tears while we face the impending Worst Winter Ever, I’ve included a slideshow below of the ghosts of winters past, if you will — of Better Times for us to remind ourselves that there can still be beauty in freezing our collective butts off.

Simpler times, indeed.

Images: Instagram (14)