Same old story: Another arctic blast on way

Bitter cold to return to large part of country

This is the winter that just won’t quit. It has been cold. It has been snowy.

And it’s been this way since late November.

Meteorologists are running out of ways to describe the bitter, brutal, harsh, cold weather. So much so, the term polar vortex was even dusted off and used again not long ago.

On social media, countdowns to Spring have been popping up more and more and threats were made to a certain groundhog at the beginning of the month.

Just when it seemed all hope was lost and we thought we’d be stuck with arctic temperatures forever, something magical happened this past week -- most of the country was able to enjoy at least a few days of warmer weather. Temperatures across most of the U.S. were at least 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal.

People and pets started venturing outside again, and a lot of snow was melting.

This is where the bad news begins. The current warm-up is brief, so those who are tired of hearing about the cold should stop reading now. (You’ve been warned.)

During the break in the bitter cold air, the jet stream lifted to the north a little, giving some relief from the cold. By Feb. 26, the pattern reverts to where it’s been most of winter.

The last few days of February will have temperatures at about 10 to 20 degrees below average in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west coast, meanwhile, will dodge the bitter cold air like it has most of the year.

It has also dodged all the rain and snow, leaving a crippling drought instead.

Follow Scripps Digital Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on your smart phone and on twitter, @StormShieldApp. iPhone: Android device:

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