It’s not just your imagination.
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This winter’s weather has been quite unpredictable.
Northeastern cities were buried in snow while dangerous whiteout conditions swept the Midwest.
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On January 4, at least seven U.S. cities saw their highest temperatures ever recorded for that day, according to the Washington Post.
The rapid temperature change seemed to happen at breakneck speed.
You can thank the polar vortex — a powerful ball of swirling, cold winds in the stratosphere that forms above the North Pole every winter.
Sometimes the polar vortex will weaken and stretch for short periods of time — about a week or so.
Generally, the phenomenon happens about once every two years. But scientists are wondering if stretches are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
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A 2021 report found that climate-change-induced sea ice melt in the Arctic appears to be linked to disruptions in the polar vortex.