The Polar Vortex Could Bring Snow to the Northeast This Weekend

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

It's not summer just yet, but one side of the country can lounge on pool floats and soak up the sun this Mother's Day weekend. On the West Coast, unusually warm temperatures are expected throughout the weekend, starting today. Meanwhile, a late-season polar vortex is headed to the Northeast, bringing record-low temperatures.

The polar vortex, which the National Weather Service defines as "a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles," typically expands in the winter, sending extremely cold air and snow to the Canada and the U.S. This year, however, it stayed in the Arctic, so the East had a fairly mild winter. Now the vortex is weakening and spilling frigid air southward. A low pressure storm system is pulling the cold air from Canada toward the East. According to NPR, it'll reach the Mid-Atlantic by Friday and Maine by Saturday.

As the polar vortex hits New England today, it'll bring winter-like temperatures and gusty winds. Below average temperatures are expected for most of the East Coast. The NWS has issued numerous freeze watches and warnings throughout the Midwest and the Northeast.

Record-low temperatures will most likely occur on Saturday. According to the NWS, "parts of the Great Lakes, Appalachians, and Northeast will witness wintry precipitation Friday evening and into Saturday as a surface low pressure system rapidly intensifies off the New England coast Saturday morning." There might even be heavy snowfall in the northern and central Appalachians.

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