Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bolaris: Milder for now but polar vortex to return

A polar bear rests with her cubs on the ice pack in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska. (AP file photo)
A polar bear rests with her cubs on the ice pack in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska. (AP file photo)

Today a frontal system will head this way and out ahead of it a slug of moisture will mean occasional rain and the possibility of a few scattered thunderstorms. Temperatures should get close to 60 degrees in the city and across southern New Jersey and Delaware.

Right now I'm not looking at any major flooding concerns as milder temperatures are allowing for a steady but not rapid snow melt. Today's rainfall total should not reach two inches, a level where flooding would be a concern.

For now, look for localized street and highway flooding but river rises should not reach flood stage.

The return of the Polar Vortex

The atmosphere is going through a reloading process meaning the Polar Vortex (the massive rotation of frigid air) has retreated to the frozen tundra of Northwest Canada.

All computer models, however, are projecting a southward move, and as it spins it will unleash some super cold air and re-energize the trough along the East Coast (a valley that enhances storm potential and triggers frigid outbreaks) by the middle of next week.

Time frame

Feb. 26 to March 3 should be the most volatile time frame, with the best chance of more snow and temperatures at least 15-20 degrees below normal. Daytime highs in the mid 20s and overnight lows in the coldest of locations near zero. This would be for a 2-3 day time period.

Exactly how cold it will get and whether we will see another major snow storm is still questionable, but bares some watching. You know I will keep you updated.

In the meantime, you have a GREAT WEEKEND to look forward to as Saturday should see temperatures in the low 50s with sunshine.

Sunday nice as well, just a bit cooler.

Let us all enjoy for now, but beware of the March lion.

John Bolaris

John Bolaris For Philly.com
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