The coldest air this winter is set to hit most of the country this week, leading to brutal cold and possible cold rain, sleet, or snow throughout various regions in various regions of the United States. This cold air is set to plummet temperatures to -25°F as the Arctic air surges throughout the nation. This winter weather pattern comes shortly after many in the Midwest and Northeast are recovering from record snow in their regions, potentially leading to more weeks of damaging winter weather.
What Is A Polar Vortex?
A polar vortex is a large area of low pressure that is found in the Northern and Southern polar regions. This polar vortex circles the globe year round, encompassing cold air in the North and South poles. The counterclockwise flow of cold air is contained by a jet stream of air that works as a barrier between the cold air and the warmer air down south.
What Causes A Polar Vortex?
A polar vortex expansion happens when the low-pressure system is disrupted by a weather event. The jet stream of wind that normally keeps cold air north does not have enough force to maintain the same path, causing the high-pressure systems to push the cold air south. The lobes that are formed because of this movement then stretch and move south, causing Arctic air to spill and cause lower temperatures in the areas affected.
It’s worth noting that polar vortexes happen around every other year, and are not new. It’s always present, weakening in summer and strengthening in winter. Polar vortexes commonly happen once every other year.
How Long Will The 2021 Polar Vortex Last?
The strength of the polar vortex varies depending on a variety of factors, with abnormal cold temperatures potentially lasting a week, or more than a month. For example, the most recent polar vortex event before 2021 happened in January 2019, forming in late January and dissipating in early February. These lasting impacts on the winter weather patterns can continue to affect weather for several weeks.
Where Will The Polar Vortex Hit?
The polar vortex in 2021 is set to impact the Midwest, causing the blast of Arctic air to drop temperatures below zero. Minnesota is set to see lows of around -25 F, making it the epicenter of the extreme weather event. Temperatures this low may cause antifreeze to solidify. However, it’s not only areas in the north that may see drastic cold temperature drops, since southern states, including Hawaii, could see temperature drops as a result of the colder air.
In addition to the lower temperatures caused by the flash freeze, strong winds, blowing snow, and rapidly falling temperatures are expected with 35 million people being affected by these winter weather alerts.
How Can The Polar Vortex Affect My Home or Business?
These damaging winds caused by the Arctic weather are strong enough to potentially cause severe damage to your home. Your roof may suffer winter weather damage as a result of the strong, cold winds, providing an easy entrance for snow or water to enter and cause water damage to your home or business. Your water pipes may also freeze, leading to your pipes to burst and extensive water damage to affect your property.
While the immediate damages of the cold weather are worth noting, there are also long-term damages that could happen. Snow or ice forming in your roof could lead to ice dams that can lead to damage to your roof that can then lead to water leaks in your home. Water damage that goes unaddressed in your attic or walls could lead to mold, which may require mold removal to address.
ServiceMaster Restore Is Here To Help
If you’ve been impacted by the polar vortex and need restoration help for home or business damage caused by the winter weather, such as broken pipes or other winter weather damage to your property, contact the restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Restore. Fill out the contact form to get help from our network of local restoration professionals who are here to ensure your home is safe during these abnormally cold temperatures.