Last year’s polar vortex brought record-low temperatures to an area ranging from “the Deep South near the Gulf Coast to the US-Canadian border, all the way up to Maine and Minnesota,” as NPR reported.
Brace yourself and stock up on blankets, because the polar vortex is expected to show up once, if not twice, again this winter.
“Though parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic had a gradual introduction to fall, winter will arrive without delay. Cold air and high snow amounts will define the season,” wrote Jill MacMath of Accuweather. “Farther south, ice storms and snow events will threaten the Tennessee Valley and parts of the southern Plains. Much of the South can prepare for a wet winter, with some severe weather encroaching on Florida.”
“Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January or February,” MacMath wrote. “The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into the region from time to time, delivering blasts of arctic air.”
Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said he was “very concerned about the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast as far as extremes go this year.”
Pastelok predicts that areas from eastern Texas to eastern Kentucky should expect severe ice events this winter, while the northern and central Plains will endure roller-coaster temperatures.
On a more positive note, Pastelok predicts that a wetter-than-average winter could help keep the California drought from getting any more severe.
“California, the northern Sierra and Sierra Nevada are going to be below normal ]in precipitation levels], although I do think that they are going to get enough snow to hold back the drought just a little bit from getting any worse than it already is,” Pastelok said.
Southern California, especially areas farther away from the coast, should experience slightly above-normal precipitation this winter, which is so desperately needed by the region.
Read Accuweather’s full winter forecast here.