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Polar Vortex Next Month?



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) If you believe one weather forecasting service, a return of the polar vortex is coming. But others believe it's too soon to tell.

On Wednesday, AccuWeather predicted a polar vortex and a stormy fall.for the northeast, including Western New York. But count National Weather Service Meterologist Aaron Reynolds skeptical. "Right now, we have equal chances of above normal or below normal at this point," says Reynolds, who notes outlooks usually go only two weeks in advance. "We are looking at temperatures to be below normal in the 8 to 14 day outlook, but beyond that we'll have to see," he adds.

Dr. Steve Vermette of SUNY Buffalo State's meteorology department says the term "polar vortex" is being used too often to describe cold weather patterns. What he thinks is more likely is Western New York riding the trough of the jet stream. "As the jet stream moves across the country, we get ridges and troughs, and when we get troughs, we get cooler weather," explains Vermette.

Vermette says you can look for trends and patterns. "The easiest thing to say in any kind of forecast is the persistent forecast, and what AccuWeather might be doing is looking at last winter and say in the persistent forecast this winter will be cold too," notes Vermette.

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