Second Wave of the Polar Vortex May be Worse Than the First

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Thanks to another unwelcome visit from the Polar Vortex, dangerous, life-threatening cold temperatures and fierce winds will spread across much of the Midwest and Northeast over the next several days.

A snowstorm will also add to the wintry misery for parts of the northern U.S. with blizzard conditions possible in some areas.

The cold will come in two waves, the first Wednesday and Thursday and the second — which could be even more brutal — over the weekend.

Some locations could experience their coldest December temperatures in several years, the Weather Channel said, and a few record lows may be threatened.

The beleaguered northern Plains and Upper Midwest will again bear the brunt of the icy onslaught: “Dangerous to life-threatening” wind chill temperatures to 45 below zero are forecast Friday night through Sunday morning in parts of the Dakotas, the National Weather Service said.

Wind chills this cold can cause frostbite in less than 10 minutes, the weather service said.

The fierce cold is thanks to the Polar Vortex, which is seeping down from its rightful place in the Arctic. Though the vortex has been around for a few billion years and understood by scientists for several decades, it only entered the popular lexicon as a synonym for miserably cold weather a few years ago.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice