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Polar vortex facts for kids

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The Arctic polar vortex
Map of a compact blob over the Arctic
A strong polar vortex configuration in November 2013
Map of a blobs spreading from the Arcitc
A more typical weak polar vortex on January 5, 2014

The polar vortex (alternate names: Arctic cyclone or polar vortice) is a persistent large-scale cyclone located near geographical poles of a planet. On Earth, a polar vortex is usually in the middle and upper troposphere and stratosphere. The cyclone surrounds the polar highs. Polar storms lie in the wake of the polar front. They strengthen in the winter and weaken near summer. These vortexes span usually between 620 to 1,240 miles. They circulate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.

Similar to hurricanes, a Coriolis effect causes the rotation of a polar vortex. The Arctic vortex has two main centers: one is over the Baffin Island, the other is over northeastern Siberia.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Vórtice polar para niños

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