Blistering cold air from the Arctic plunged southward this winter, breaking U.S. temperature records.
Blistering cold air from the Arctic plunged southward this winter, breaking U.S. temperature records.
A persistent pattern of winds spins high above the Arctic in winter. The winds, known as the polar vortex, typically blow in a fairly tight circular formation. But in late December 2013 and early January 2014, the winds loosened and frigid Arctic air spilled farther south than usual, deep into the continental United States. On Jan. 6, 2014, alone, approximately 50 daily record low temperatures were set, from Colorado to Alabama to New York, according to the National Weather Service. In some places temperatures were 40 degrees Fahrenheit colder than average. Now, an animation created from NASA satellite data shows just how the Arctic air brought a deep chill to the U.S this winter. Watch the video for a guided tour of the event.


Tag:

Short URL to This Page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11451
Animation Number:
11451
Released:
2014-02-18
Completed:
2014-02-17
Scientist:
Eric Fetzer (NASA/JPL)
Writer:
Patrick Lynch (Wyle Information Systems)
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Video and images courtesy of NASA/JPL


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NASA scientist Eric Fetzer describes the behavior of the polar vortex in Dec. 2013 and early Jan. 2014 in this video.
NASA scientist Eric Fetzer describes the behavior of the polar vortex in Dec. 2013 and early Jan. 2014 in this video.
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The northern hemisphere's jet stream (white line) usually pins Arctic air north of the continental U.S.
The northern hemisphere's jet stream (white line) usually pins Arctic air north of the continental U.S.
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In late Dec. 2013, Arctic air started to move southward due to a low-pressure system that formed over Canada.
In late Dec. 2013, Arctic air started to move southward due to a low-pressure system that formed over Canada.
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On Jan. 6, 2014, temperatures reached record lows in many parts of the eastern U.S.
On Jan. 6, 2014, temperatures reached record lows in many parts of the eastern U.S.
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