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Don’t say the “P” word

by Samantha Vercellino

The weather is about to change–and not in a good way.

Painful memories of last winter will resurface this week as the Midwest welcomes back the “polar vortex” which was triggered by Super Typhoon Nuri, the National Weather Service says.

The Artic outbreak will bring below-average temperatures for more than two-thirds of the U.S., while the Midwest may see highs near or slightly below freezing, according to the Weather Channel.  In fact, the coldest temperatures will extend from the northern Plains to the Midwest, causing some places like Chicago to hit record-cold temperatures.

Along with dropping temperatures, Midwesterners should prepare for wind chills that could hit the single digits. Last but not least, snow is expected to fall by midweek, as the cold air locks across the Great Lakes.

Even though mid-winter came early, Midwesterners shouldn’t worry just yet. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service point out that the polar vortex (basically, a large pocket of very cold air) happens every year, and its early arrival does not indicate another harsh winter. There’s still a 50-50 chance for above-and below-normal temperatures. (There’s hope after all!)

Before the Arctic air starts spilling into the region, take some simple steps to winterize your home. Oh, and don’t forget to have your coat and mittens ready; you’re going to need them!