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When Will the Polar Vortex Return?

After mild weather through this weekend, there are signs of another arctic blast on the way, including a glancing blow from the polar vortex.

While the timing of the the next polar plunge is challenging, it is not expected to be as extreme as that of Jan. 5-8, 2014.

"Following the retreat of arctic air this weekend, waves of progressively colder will move southward over Canada next week," AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

The pattern will continue to evolve, bringing colder and colder air first to the southern Canada Prairies and the northern Plains, next to the Midwest then finally the East.

Ahead of the first push of cold air, temperatures will average above normal. The first push of cold air will sweep over the northern Plains Monday, the lower Mississippi Valley and Midwest Tuesday and Wednesday then the East Thursday.

The main thrust of the cold air will follow up a couple of days later. However, for people concerned about the severity of the cold there is good news.

"We will likely see a piece of the polar vortex break off and set up just north of the Great Lakes spanning Jan. 16 to 20," Pastelok stated.

"This next main arctic blast will not rival, nor will be as extensive as the event this past week," Pastelok said.

This time, it appears the temperature readings for most areas across the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians will remain above zero during the day and night. Daytime temperatures will also be above zero in most locations over the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

However, when combined with wind and other atmospheric conditions, AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will be near to below zero at times over much of the North Central states and interior Northeast toward the end of next week.

The movement of cold air past the Great Lakes will bring more rounds of lake-effect snow.

There is also the chance that as the main thrust of cold air moves in a storm could spin up and deposit more general snow in parts of the South and along the East coast this time, instead of the Midwest.

More information on the cold and potential snow will unfold into early next week.