Temperatures could dip below 2014's Polar Vortex record in Toronto this week

Jan 28 2019, 6:23 pm

Toronto is ever-so-familiar with the term “Polar Vortex.”

Polar Vortex was used repeatedly during the winter of 2014, when it became one of the coldest winters on record for most of eastern North America.

And now, The Weather Network says that 2019 “might rival 2014” in terms of the cold, and “perhaps even colder.”

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According to The Weather Network, the polar vortex is an upper-level low pressure area lying near the Earth’s poles, and it’s not a new phenomenon.

“There are two polar vortices in the Earth’s atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles,” states the Weather Network. “Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low pressure zone that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense arctic air that sometimes flows south into North America.”

The Weather Network

And in 2014, a southward shift of the Polar Vortex began later in the winter months of the 2013-2014 season, bringing “unusually frigid air” to parts of Canada. The weather pattern continued until March.

The coldest parts of Canada were the eastern Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories where numerous records were set.

Environment Canada said that during the winter of 2014, Canada’s reputation as the second coldest country next to Russia was reaffirmed. At the time, it was said to be the coldest winter in 18 years, and the third coldest in 35 years.

“For millions of Canadians from Windsor to Quebec City, the ‘normal’ winter period from December to February was the eighth coldest ever recorded,” it said. “Even more revealing, the five months between November and March inclusive were the coldest since the start of national record-keeping in 1948.”

The Weather Network said that Toronto’s temperature dropped below -19°C for the first time in nine years, with a temperature of -22°C. As the Arctic air continued to spread, Ontario saw widespread temperatures in the -30s and -40s range.

And this week in Ontario, a piece of the Polar Vortex will be moving further south into the Great Lakes region on Monday. Major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Buffalo will tap into this air mass as well.

While later this week, a second shot of Arctic air will dive into the region as forecasted by the Weather Network, and dangerous wind chills in the -30s and -40s are expected for much of the week. Toronto is forecasted to feel like -29°C on Wednesday and -27°C on Thursday.

To clarify, that means skin could freeze within minutes.

The Weather Network

Layer up, Toronto. You’ll need it this week.