Polar vortex plunges area into deep freeze
According to Kansan.com partner Accuweather, at 6:30 a.m. Friday in Newton, the temperature felt like minus 23 degrees.
It was cold. Cold enough to cause frostbite in 30 minutes.
The arctic temperatures are the result of a polar vortex, which is a large mass of cold air that can settle in over Canda and the upper-midwestern states of the U.S. when pushed out of the arctic.
"The polar vortex is not a recently discovered phenomenon; in fact, it has been talked about in the meteorological world for decades," AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
According to Accuweather, the frigid air can find its way into the United States when the polar vortex is pushed farther south, occasionally reaching southern Canada and the northern Plains, Midwest and northeastern portions of the United States. The vortex is capable of delivering subzero temperatures to the United States and Canada for several days at a time.
Forecast for the Newton area is continued temps in the single digits, with subzero wind chills, through Wednesday. The first day forecasted to get above freezing is Feb. 20, when the high is predicted to be 41 degrees with snow flurries during the day.