December 8, 2021

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Wandering polar vortex may cause a wild, snowy winter

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High above the North Pole, the polar vortex, a fast-spinning whirl of frigid air, is doing a weird shimmy that may soon bring cold and snowy weather to the Eastern U.S., Northern Europe and East Asia for weeks on end, meteorologists say.

While it’s not unusual for the polar vortex to act up, this particular reconfiguration — wandering around and possibly splitting in two — may be tied to climate change in the rapidly warming Arctic, said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Massachusetts, part of Verisk Analytics, a risk-assessment company.

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