Weather - Forecast

Jan 8, 2014 6:08 AM by John Dissauer

Talking Polar Vortex

A weak cold front moved through southern Colorado this morning.  The front will change shift winds around to the southeast helping keep our temperatures down today.  Under mostly cloudy skies expect to see temperatures topping out in the 30°s and 40°s. (Colorado Springs: 40° | Pueblo: 44°)

Temperatures will remain on the cool side through the remainder of the work week.  Generally speaking, highs will be in the 40°s under mostly cloudy skies.


It looks nice for the weekend, especially the first half.  Winds will turn out of the west and increase helping boost temperatures in to the 50°s and 60°s.

Another cold front is projected to move through southern Colorado Sunday afternoon/evening.  Before the front arrives, temperatures should soar in to the 50°s to possible 60°.  As a wave of energy passes in the upper-levels overnight Sunday/Monday there is a small chance (20%) we could see light snow develop.  Right now, it does not look like a big deal.  Stay tuned...


You might have heard the term "Polar Vortex" used with this past week's cold snap.  It is perhaps the most misused buzz word in mainstream media and the internet.

The Polar Vortex is not something new.  It is something that has been known, and tracked, for dozens of years.  In fact, it is something I've talked about on television for over 14 years.

One misconception is that you can see it with your eyes.  There are many pictures circulating around the internet and on television stating you are seeing the Polar Vortex.  In reality, you are seeing ice and/or snow.  It is not something you can see.

The Polar Vortex is a persistant, large-scale upper level cyclone located over both the north and south poles.  It always exists over the poles.  In the summer it weakens and in the winter strengthens.

Many times during the winter a "chunk" of the Polar Vortex will come down through Canada and in to the central/northeast United States.  It brings bitterly cold air with it.

The image above shows a computer forecast model's depiction of what it will be like Tuesday.  The white lines are looking at 500mb or approximately 18,000 feet.  The colors represent temperatures at the surface of the earth.  In this depiction, the Polar Vortex has moved back north over the Arctic.  - Meteorologist John Dissauer


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