Polar Vortex-Type Front May Make (Welcome) Return Next Week

"Polar Vortex" type outlook for the week of July 14/Credit: NOAA

Northern Virginia residents who are sweating through a typical D.C.-area summer are about to get a visit from an old friend.

The Capital Weather Gang reports that the Polar Vortex, last winter’s frigid weather pattern that gripped much of the country with record cold temperatures, may be returning.

Says the Capital Weather Gang, who calls the pattern “A poor man’s Polar Vortex:

Call it the ghost of the polar vortex, the polar vortex sequel, or the polar vortex’s revenge. Meteorological purists may tell you it’s not a polar vortex at all. However you choose to refer to the looming weather pattern, unseasonably chilly air is headed for parts of the northern and northeastern U.S at the height of summer early next week.

Bearing a haunting resemblance to January’s brutally cold weather pattern, a deep pool of cool air from the Gulf of Alaska will plunge into the Great Lakes early next week and then ooze towards the East Coast.

Of course, this is July, not January, so temperatures forecast to be roughly 10 to as much as 30 degrees below average won’t have quite the same effect.

While the Midwest, particularly the upper Midwest, will see some fall-like weather, here in Reston it may just actually be really pleasant. The Capital Weather Gang says temperatures here are likely to be about 10 degrees below normal.  Highs may struggle to reach 80 in D.C. on Tuesday and Wednesday, with widespread lows in the 50s (even 40s in the mountains).

Meteorologists have been commenting on the rarity of a weather pattern that looks so similar hitting a region in both summer and winter: Low pressure over the Aleutians near Alaska, a large hit ridge over the Western U.S., and a huge cold low or vortex over the Great Lakes.

In any case, 80 in July sounds much more pleasant than 99. Or 5 below.

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