First of all, recall that the polar vortex is a real meteorological term that describes a cold pocket of air that typically stays locked over the poles. Occasionally, as we saw this winter, a piece of it can slip south bringing very cold conditions.
Early next week, a chilly pocket of air will settle over the Midwest. Some were quick to call this a return of the polar vortex- but not so fast.
Yes, highs on Monday and Tuesday will be 10-20 degrees below average (still in the 60s & 70s) in some Midwestern states, but the air associated with that cool pocket is basically coming from Canada as opposed to the polar region. The coldest air will stay locked in the high latitudes.
In fact, the bigger weather story this week will be the prolonged excessive heat on the West Coast. That warm air will surge northward in response to the cooler air plunging into the Central US from Canada.
The bottom line: the cooler than average air is unusual, but not unheard of. And frankly, not all that exciting.
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