Polar vortex in September’s forecast - The Buffalo News
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Polar vortex in September’s forecast

If you’re not ready to read about early winterlike weather, turn the page.

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You’ve been warned.

The polar vortex – that extremely cold air that swirls above the North Pole – may make a brief visit to the Northeast next month, AccuWeather.com reported Wednesday.

“There could be a significant shot of chilly air that comes across the Great Lakes region and into the interior Northeast sometime in mid to late September,” said Paul Pastelok, the lead long-range forecaster for the State College, Pa.-based weather forecasting service.

The polar vortex, you may remember, led many local school districts to exceed their annual allotment of snow days last winter because temperatures and the wind chill were considered too dangerously cold for children to be outside. It also was blamed for copious amounts of lake-effect snow.

AccuWeather has even more bad news for fair weather fans: El Niño, the flow of unusually warm surface waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that changes rain and temperature patterns, will debut early this winter, fueling early snow across the Northeast.

“December could get kind of wild due to the very active southern jet stream that is going to provide the moisture for bigger snowstorms. The Northeast could have a couple of big storms in December and early January,” Pastelok said.

AccuWeather was the first out of the gate with 2015 winter forecasts. The latest issues of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which was founded in 1792, and the Farmers’ Almanac, founded in 1818, will be out within a month or so. But a news release from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which is due out Sept. 9, somewhat echoes AccuWeather’s forecast.

“Another teeth-chatteringly cold winter is on its way!” the release states. “With its traditionally 80 percent-accurate weather forecasts, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this winter will be another arctic blast with above-normal snowfall throughout much of the nation.”

The folks at the Farmers’ Almanac aren’t saying a word until their Aug. 25 release date.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service in Buffalo is sticking pretty much with the here and now.

“Here, we only forecast out to seven days,” meteorologist John Rozbicki said Wednesday, declining to comment on the AccuWeather forecast.

Rozbicki said their climate prediction center issues three-month outlooks. The latest, which covers August, September and October, doesn’t suggest any extremes.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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