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Severe winter weather could be on its way to the U.S. and Europe.

Stacey Leasca
Updated January 03, 2019

You may want to go outside and enjoy the “warm” winter weather now. Because things are about to get nasty.

According to a new report in Axios, the polar vortex may be splitting into three different pieces soon, bringing severe winter weather to parts of the United States and Europe. And this, Axios reported, is thanks to global warming.

"In general, we see colder than normal temperatures over much of the U.S. and Europe/Northern Asia, and warmer than normal temperatures over Greenland and subtropical Africa/Asia,” Amy Butler, a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, told Axios.

Previous splits in the polar vortex have brought on major winter storms like last year’s “beast from the east.” Those storms not only wreak havoc on travel plans, but they could also drive up the cost of natural gas and other energy sources as humans put a strain on the grids, Axios reported.

And those major storms are coming. Soon.

“January is looking like a colder than average month overall, and we could see some of the lowest temperatures of winter so far during the next three weeks or so,” Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden told The Express. “There is also going to be a risk of widespread snowfall through the month, this is something we are keeping our eyes on.”

Madden added that February may be slightly warming, but people can expect temperatures to remain below average throughout Europe, while the risk of heavy snowfall will remain until spring.

“Arctic change has increased the frequency of these polar vortex disruption events and following these polar vortex disruption events you get more severe winter weather," Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at AER, a Verisk company, told Axios.

This year, be prepared and learn how to stay safe in the cold weather, or escape it instead with one of these 15 warm-weather getaways.

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