Get ready to bundle up again: the polar vortex is expected to return next week. Credit: Getty Images
The brief reprieve from harsh winter weather this weekend will end when the polar vortex and a chance of snow return to New York City next week, forecasters said.
The National Weather Service expects temperatures to drop early next week after reaching nearly 50 degrees Saturday and Sunday.
"We're forecasting temperatures to stay above normal through the weekend," weather service meteorologist Tim Morrin explained. "Starting on Monday and lasting through most — if not all of— next week, we're expecting temperatures to drop below normal."
Early forecasts show temperatures will reach 35 degrees Monday before plummeting to 21 degrees that night.
The freezing temperatures are expected as the polar vortex returns to the tristate area amid a weather pattern change.
"The pattern will take on a configuration very similar to what we had much of this winter, where we have a trough of low pressure in the eastern portions of the United States and that would allow cold, arctic air to plunge into our area," Morrin said.
In addition to freezing temperatures, the pattern change will support a chance of snow next week.
"The most support for a snow event will be somewhere around the Tuesday and Wednesday range," Morrin said. "It's hard to say how big of an impact it will have."
The polar vortex is partially the cause of next week's cold snap, Morrin said, adding that frigid city temperatures are sometimes supported by a migration of the North Pole's semipermanent feature.
"Depending on the weather pattern, sometimes that polar core, or that core of cold air, will be allowed to break off and migrate south into portions of Canada and even the United States," Morrin explained. "That has occurred this year a few times, and it's expected to occur again this coming week."
The polar vortex phenomenon is not new, he added.
"It's a very common wintertime occurrence," Morrin said. "There are winters where we don't get that. … But this being a colder than normal winter, it's a common occurrence that's partially the cause."