It’s coming back.
The polar vortex that shocked the northeast with extremely cold days may bring more bitterly cold winters to North America, according to a new study.
The polar vortex is a massive system of swirling air that usually contains cold air around the North Pole. It has been shifting for decades, researchers found — but it has only recently become a household term, after it was blamed for causing record cold weather affecting some 200 million people in 2014.[....]
A weakened vortex means cold Arctic air moves to lower latitudes, as happened in early 2014 and 2015. Some experts are reporting the polar vortex is already acting up this year, and that may point for a troubling winter.
In 2014, the polar vortex cost the U.S. economy some $5 billion in cancelled flights and infrastructure repairs. It also meant higher energy bills — which not only hit to consumers’ pockets, they also mean more use of fossil fuels at a time when scientists say emissions have to be aggressively scaled back to keep climate change from worsening.