I think by just about any measure, most would agree that winter for Missouri and Illinois has been generally mild so far. The big question is whether it will stay that way. One of the potential factors in whether this remains the status quo is the polar vortex. Will it eventually take aim at Missouri and Illinois? Let's find out.

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I began my polar vortex quest by reading something called the "Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts". It's a study that says "the predicted polar vortex (PV) disruption and its potential impacts on Northern Hemisphere (NH) surface temperatures". Let's look for the laymen's explanation now.

I found a good explanation on Weather Underground. Because the polar vortex has been weaker so far in 2023, the bitter cold has been mainly focused in the west. (Looking at you, North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming).

Could the polar vortex be about to exact revenge on the Midwest?

The Verisk study adds the following thing to watch for saying "A major disruption of the polar vortex is increasingly likely based on weather model forecasts referred to as sudden stratospheric warmings". That can translate into the Midwest getting hit with a late winter blast of polar vortex attention.

The key part of that to me is the next couple weeks being volatile and unpredictable in relation to the polar vortex strength. I saw the Weather Underground site show that April in both Missouri and Illinois could be (key two words) much cooler. That's "maybe" with a capital M.

For what it's worth, the Climate Prediction Center is saying April will be warmer than usual. I am now a big fan of the Climate Prediction Center.

Since this is the weather we're talking about, it could change on a dime. For now, the polar vortex is leaving us alone and only time will determine if it stays that way.

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