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A “Textbook” Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event Appears To Be Unfolding

A “Textbook” Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event Appears To Be Unfolding

Meteorologists on social media channel X are posting weather models about the increasing threat of a so-called sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) over the Arctic, which could unleash wintry weather across the eastern half of the US in the new year.

“A textbook sudden stratospheric warming event looks to be unfolding,” private weather forecaster BAM Weather (BAMWX).

Judah Cohen, Ph.D. and an atmospheric and environmental scientist who studies the polar vortex, told FOX Weather an SSW event takes “about two weeks for the effects of the sudden stratospheric warming to impact our weather.”

Cohen expects that cold air will pour into the Lower 48 in the new year, although the specifics of the event remain uncertain.

Yale Climate Connections wrote in a recent note, “The odds of a snow-favoring East Coast cold wave will be boosted if a sudden stratospheric warming happens to develop in January.”

“Sudden stratospheric warmings involve a rapid and dramatic rise in temperature — as much as 80 degrees Fahrenheit — within the polar stratosphere, together with a disruption in the stratospheric polar vortex. That disruption typically either splits the vortex or pushes it southward, along with associated Arctic air masses,” the weather service ran by Yale Center for Environmental Communication. And it’s the splitting of the polar vortex that delivers the blast of Arctic air to the Lower 48 region.

Cohen posted, “All models now agree on a Polar Vortex stretch. Major warming still possible.”

Meteorologist Mark Margavage said, “The 12z EPS Control run is showing the granddaddy of all Polar Vortex disruptions with a major Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event and split of the PV. This would be the most impactful scenario of the 4 presented today.”


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