A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense Arctic air.

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  • A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense Arctic air. The interface between the cold dry air mass of the pole and the warm moist air mass farther south defines the location of the polar front. The polar front is centered, roughly at 60° latitude. A polar vortex strengthens in the winter and weakens in the summer because of its dependence on the temperature difference between the equator and the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. When the vortex of the Arctic is strong, it is well defined, there is a single vortex, and the Arctic air is well contained; when weaker, which it generally is, it will break into two or more vortices; when very weak, the flow of Arctic air becomes more disorganized, and masses of cold Arctic air can push equatorward, bringing with them a rapid and sharp temperature drop. When the polar vortex is strong, there is a large single vortex with a jet stream that is "well constrained" near the polar front. When the northern vortex weakens, it separates into two or more smaller vortices, the strongest of which are near Baffin Island, Canada, and the other over northeast Siberia. The Antarctic vortex of the Southern Hemisphere is a single low-pressure zone that is found near the edge of the Ross ice shelf, near 160 west longitude. When the polar vortex is strong, the mid-latitude Westerlies (winds at the surface level between 30° and 60° latitude from the west) increase in strength and are persistent. When the polar vortex is weak, high-pressure zones of the mid-latitudes may push poleward, moving the polar vortex, jet stream, and polar front equatorward. The jet stream is seen to "buckle" and deviate south. This rapidly brings cold dry air into contact with the warm, moist air of the mid-latitudes, resulting in a rapid and dramatic change of weather known as a "cold snap". Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense Arctic air. The interface between the cold dry air mass of the pole and the warm moist air mass farther south defines the location of the polar front. The polar front is centered, roughly at 60° latitude. A polar vortex strengthens in the winter and weakens in the summer because of its dependence on the temperature difference between the equator and the poles. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere and was discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere and was discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. Polar vortices are weakest during summer and strongest during winter. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (in both cases, called a cyclone), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with any cyclonic storm, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during winter, and was discovered, in 1952, in the Northern Hemisphere with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. Polar vortices are weakest during summer and strongest during winter. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (and in both cases, called a cyclone), i.e., each polar vortex rotates eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken or strengthen from year to year, and — as with any cyclonic storm — their respective rotations are driven by the same Coriolis effect. The northern polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during winter, and was discovered, in 1952 in the Northern Hemisphere (with radiosonde observations) at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. Polar vortices are weakest during summer and strongest during winter. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere and was discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere me gusta la mota – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. Polar vortices are weakest during summer and strongest during winter. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The phenomenon's sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) develops during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere and was discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The phenomenon was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. The phenomenon increased in public visibility in 2021 as a result of extreme frigid temperatures in the central United States, with some sources linking its effects to climate change. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. Polar vortices are weakest during summer and strongest during winter. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a region of cold, rotating air that encircles either of the Earth's poles. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomenon; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structure, seasonal cycle, and impacts on weather. The stratospheric polar vortex is an area of high-speed, cyclonically rotating winds around 15 km to 50 km high, poleward of 50°, and is strongest in winter. It forms in Autumn when Arctic or Antarctic temperatures cool rapidly as the polar night begins. The increased temperature difference between the pole and the tropics causes strong winds and the Coriolis effect causes the vortex to spin up. The stratospheric polar vortex breaks down in Spring as the polar night ends. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event that occurs when the stratospheric vortex breaks down during winter, and can have significant impacts on surface weather. The tropospheric polar vortex is often defined as the area poleward of the tropospheric jet stream. The equatorward edge is around 40° to 50°, and it extends from the surface up to around 10 km to 15 km. It's yearly cycle differs from the stratospheric vortex because the tropospheric vortex exists all year, but is similar to the stratospheric vortex since it is also strongest in winter when the polar regions are coldest. The tropospheric polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The stratospheric vortex's SSWs were discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The tropospheric polar vortex was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. The tropospheric vortex increased in public visibility in 2021 as a result of extreme frigid temperatures in the central United States, with some sources linking its effects to climate change. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a region of cold, rotating air that encircles either of the Earth's poles. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structure, seasonal cycle, and impacts on weather. The stratospheric polar vortex is an area of high-speed, cyclonically rotating winds around 15 km to 50 km high, poleward of 50°, and is strongest in winter. It forms in Autumn when Arctic or Antarctic temperatures cool rapidly as the polar night begins. The increased temperature difference between the pole and the tropics causes strong winds and the Coriolis effect causes the vortex to spin up. The stratospheric polar vortex breaks down in Spring as the polar night ends. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event that occurs when the stratospheric vortex breaks down during winter, and can have significant impacts on surface weather. The tropospheric polar vortex is often defined as the area poleward of the tropospheric jet stream. The equatorward edge is around 40° to 50°, and it extends from the surface up to around 10 km to 15 km. It's yearly cycle differs from the stratospheric vortex because the tropospheric vortex exists all year, but is similar to the stratospheric vortex since it is also strongest in winter when the polar regions are coldest. The tropospheric polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The stratospheric vortex's SSWs were discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The tropospheric polar vortex was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. The tropospheric vortex increased in public visibility in 2021 as a result of extreme frigid temperatures in the central United States, with some sources linking its effects to climate change. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A circumpolar vortex, or simply polar vortex, is a large region of cold, rotating air that encircles both of Earth's polar regions. Polar vortices also exist on other rotating, low-obliquity planetary bodies . The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but they are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structures, seasonal cycles, and impacts on weather. The stratospheric polar vortex is an area of high-speed, cyclonically rotating winds around 15 km to 50 km high, poleward of 50°, and is strongest in winter. It forms in Autumn when Arctic or Antarctic temperatures cool rapidly as the polar night begins. The increased temperature difference between the pole and the tropics causes strong winds and the Coriolis effect causes the vortex to spin up. The stratospheric polar vortex breaks down in Spring as the polar night ends. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event that occurs when the stratospheric vortex breaks down during winter, and can have significant impacts on surface weather. The tropospheric polar vortex is often defined as the area poleward of the tropospheric jet stream. The equatorward edge is around 40° to 50°, and it extends from the surface up to around 10 km to 15 km. Its yearly cycle differs from the stratospheric vortex because the tropospheric vortex exists all year, but is similar to the stratospheric vortex since it is also strongest in winter when the polar regions are coldest. The tropospheric polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The stratospheric vortex's SSWs were discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The tropospheric polar vortex was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. The tropospheric vortex increased in public visibility in 2021 as a result of extreme frigid temperatures in the central United States, with some sources linking its effects to climate change, although this connection is disputed. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A circumpolar vortex, or simply polar vortex, is a large region of cold, rotating air that encircles both of Earth's polar regions. Polar vortices also exist on other rotating, low-obliquity planetary bodies. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but they are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structures, seasonal cycles, and impacts on weather. The stratospheric polar vortex is an area of high-speed, cyclonically rotating winds around 15 km to 50 km high, poleward of 50°, and is strongest in winter. It forms in Autumn when Arctic or Antarctic temperatures cool rapidly as the polar night begins. The increased temperature difference between the pole and the tropics causes strong winds and the Coriolis effect causes the vortex to spin up. The stratospheric polar vortex breaks down in Spring as the polar night ends. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event that occurs when the stratospheric vortex breaks down during winter, and can have significant impacts on surface weather. The tropospheric polar vortex is often defined as the area poleward of the tropospheric jet stream. The equatorward edge is around 40° to 50°, and it extends from the surface up to around 10 km to 15 km. Its yearly cycle differs from the stratospheric vortex because the tropospheric vortex exists all year, but is similar to the stratospheric vortex since it is also strongest in winter when the polar regions are coldest. The tropospheric polar vortex was first described as early as 1853. The stratospheric vortex's SSWs were discovered in 1952 with radiosonde observations at altitudes higher than 20 km. The tropospheric polar vortex was mentioned frequently in the news and weather media in the cold North American winter of 2013–2014, popularizing the term as an explanation of very cold temperatures. The tropospheric vortex increased in public visibility in 2021 as a result of extreme frigid temperatures in the central United States, with some sources linking its effects to climate change, although this connection is disputed. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
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  • A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense Arctic air. (en)
  • A polar vortex is an upper-level low-pressure area lying near one of the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (called a cyclone in both cases), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with other cyclones, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (in both cases, called a cyclone), i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken and strengthen from year to year. As with any cyclonic storm, their rotation is driven by the Coriolis effect. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, upper-level low-pressure area, less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) in diameter, that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole (and in both cases, called a cyclone), i.e., each polar vortex rotates eastward around the poles. The vortices weaken or strengthen from year to year, and — as with any cyclonic storm — their respective rotations are driven by the same Coriolis effect. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a region of cold, rotating air that encircles either of the Earth's poles. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomenon; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structure, seasonal cycle, and impacts on weather. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A polar vortex is a region of cold, rotating air that encircles either of the Earth's poles. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structure, seasonal cycle, and impacts on weather. Ozone depletion occurs within the polar vortices – particularly over the Southern Hemisphere – reaching a maximum depletion in the spring. (en)
  • A circumpolar vortex, or simply polar vortex, is a large region of cold, rotating air that encircles both of Earth's polar regions. Polar vortices also exist on other rotating, low-obliquity planetary bodies . The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but they are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structures, seasonal cycles, and impacts on weather. (en)
  • A circumpolar vortex, or simply polar vortex, is a large region of cold, rotating air that encircles both of Earth's polar regions. Polar vortices also exist on other rotating, low-obliquity planetary bodies. The term polar vortex can be used to describe two distinct phenomena; the stratospheric polar vortex, and the tropospheric polar vortex. The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices both rotate in the direction of the Earth's spin, but they are distinct phenomena that have different sizes, structures, seasonal cycles, and impacts on weather. (en)
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  • Polar vortex (en)
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