A polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season. President Obama’s Science and Technology Advisor, Dr John Holdren, explains the polar vortex in 2 minutes in a video.
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Spectacular icy images as deep freeze stretches across North America
The 2014 North American cold wave was an extreme weather event believed to have originated from a distortion in the large cyclone near the Earth’s north pole, also known as the polar vortex, resulting in heavy snowfall. A deadly blast of arctic air shattered decades-old temperature records across the United States and Canada.