Weather: The stalling of the polar vortex leads to fears of freezing cold in February

Orange with Media Services, published Friday, January 20, 2023 at 18:00

As a seasonal phenomenon, the southward movement of the polar vortex, as in the United States or Canada, could result in a particularly intense cold spell in the context of an energy crisis.

Houses turned into ice temples, severed connections and temperatures as low as -48°C. Remember it was late December in the United States. And it’s not crazy to think that such a scenario will affect France, to an extent yet to be defined, from February.

The guilty ? The polar vortex, a very large depression that forms at high altitude and orbits around a core of cold air. While this vortex, as its name suggests, is normally present over the North Pole, the Arctic, rising temperatures over Siberia could cause it to move south.

Well known to meteorologists, this phenomenon is seasonal.. The meteorologists then say that the vortex “stalls”, as the editors of Futura-Sciences explain, towards the south and possibly towards Europe.

Thus, in February 2012 and 2018, the continent was hit by intense cold spells.Although it is not yet confirmed as the deadline is still far away in terms of weather forecasts, this scenario is feared by the government given the strong energy tensions caused by the war in of Ukraine and the overhaul of many nuclear power plants.