And it could be even worse than last time.
Meteorologists are starting to see signs of an impending Polar Vortex sequel that could send the country plunging into a deep freeze.
If you miss the frigid weather from the beginning of January and the fun we had, with the peeing and the supersoakers and the injuries, then you're in luck. Because the Polar Vortex is back. According to the Washington Post's Wes Junker, starting around Tuesday, January 21, and continuing through the end of the month, the weather tea leaves point towards another shot of arctic air creeping down to the U.S. through Canada and engulfing the country in cold.
Currently a weakened Polar Vortex is sitting still over the Hudson Bay, just above Quebec, minding its own business and causing some mild snowstorms. But the Vortex will start moving south at the beginning of next week, and a combination of air systems will create the kind of cold air that bothered much of the U.S. at the beginning of January. Accuweather's Alex Sosnowski explains:
However, during the third and fourth weeks of January, some changes will take place. The high amplitude pattern is forecast to get more extreme. The polar vortex will move farther south and get stronger. The pattern will gradually change the current mixture of Pacific and Arctic air in the Canada Prairies and the North Central U.S. to all Arctic air. The air will get significantly colder over the Canada Prairies and the much of the eastern half of the nation as a result.
If the early forecasts are right the sequel will be even worse, just like at the movies. "Temperatures may get colder than they were during the initial polar vortex event," writes The Houston Chronicle's Alex Sosnowski. These frigid temperatures are not a sure thing just yet. Predicting the weather is not a perfect science, especially when guessing so far away. But we know that Tuesday will be very, very cold, and all of the patterns point towards another Polar Vortex-type deep freeze.
We still don't know how far south the Vortex will travel. For now, most expect the Vortex to affect the Midwest and Northeast.
What makes this Polar Vortex sequel even more
fun dangerous than the last one is the increased possibility of snowstorms. "This is the most favorable pattern for snow that we’ve had all winter and it’s occurring right at the beginning of the period when snowstorms are most frequent climatologically," says the Post. "But it still is not a perfect pattern." Someone get a pot of boiling water ready.
This post originally appeared on The Wire, an Atlantic partner site.