I keep hearing the experts saying that the bitter cold we are experiencing can be blamed on the polar vortex. So what is that, and when will it leave?

We are apparently experiences a "distorted polar vortex". A polar vortex is a swirling wind that usually surrounds the northern pole and keeps the incredibly cold weather in the Arctic region, and away from us. As a distorted polar vortex, it has dipped and allowed the brutal cold to spill down to our area of the Earth, according to cnn.com. Great.

So how long does it last? Experts say, it's not a storm so it doesn't come and go as quickly as a storm would. According to the cnn.com article, "a cold air outbreak caused by the polar vortex is much more widespread and lasts longer than a single storm". Again, great.

Now we know the distorted polar vortex up close and personal. You can feel it in every bone of your body the minute you step outside. Terrific.

 

Polar Vortex explained by the National Weather Service (NWS New York via Facebook)