What is the polar vortex?

What is the polar vortex?

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The recent drop in temperatures has been a big topic of conversation over the last few weeks. I've been stopped on the street countless times by folks wanting to talk about this frigid winter. And I've noticed that there seems to be a bit of confusion about the latest buzz term.

Polar vortex is the hot new phrase of 2014. The term seems to just roll off people's frozen tongues, but do they really know what it means? Most people we asked did not.

One person said: "The polar vortex is a wind shift that comes down from the Arctic, through Canada, and circles whatever portion of the country is in its path and brings in some frigid temperatures with it. Is that about right?"

Bingo!

Even if people don't know exactly what the polar vortex is, they know they don't like it.

This is not a new phenomenon. Meteorologists have studied the polar vortex for decades.

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