The 'polar vortex' is associated with very cold air and often times snow. Are these in our forecast?

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BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) - The polar vortex is a semi-permanent area of cold air spinning over the north pole and northern Canada. While this feature is at the top of the atmosphere, it has effects at ground level as well. The two most important ones are cold air outbreaks and snow storms.

When the polar vortex moves south, so does the cold air connected to it. This is usually seen in a southward expansion of the jet stream. The river of air high up in the atmosphere is the dividing line between warmer and colder air.

There will be many times this fall and winter where this cold air moves south into the United States and of course, the Mountain State. The first occurrence is Friday, November 10th. This will bring high temperatures just above freezing on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning will have near-record lows in the teens (for most locations).

As we head toward Thanksgiving, another round of cold air should be coming our way. While it is possible snow could develop, at this time, that possibility is too far out to say with any great deal of accuracy.

In addition, smaller scale areas within the overall polar vortex are responsible for producing where any low-pressure system would form. This is where the snow would occur. We'll keep watching the forecast as the holiday approaches.

It does appear that more cold air will shoot south of the border before Thanksgiving. This could lead to a storm at some point. As to where that might occur? We'll keep watch.

You can always find your First Alert forecast at

If we start to see anything 'in the cards' for the Mountain State, we'll be sure to let you know!