The Northeast and Midwest are gearing up for a blast of arctic temperatures as another polar vortex returns this week.
"Record cold temperatures are possible for the High Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes later this week," the National Weather Service warned, according to USA Today.
According to AccuWeather, the vortex is linked to a brief burst in warmer weather that occurred between Feb. 6 and Feb. 7. The warm temperatures in the high atmosphere caused a return in arctic weather 14 to 30 days later.
"The polar vortex is essentially a mass of very cold air that usually hangs out above the Arctic Circle and is contained by strong winds," AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said, according to USA Today.
The vortex, the second to hit this year, will bring a drop in temperatures up to 40 degrees below average by Wednesday, according to AccuWeather's forecast . Some areas, including Minneapolis, Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago, will have temperatures in the teens and below.
The South will also get a taste of the vortex, causing below-than-normal temperatures. The vortex will begin in the northern Plains on Monday, and move to the east and then south as the week progresses, USA Today reported.
The frigid cold is expected to last until the beginning of March, according to Climate Prediction Center reports obtained by USA Today.
The Northeast may also see a snow storm on Wednesday, following this winter's familiar pattern of snow storms and sub-zero temperatures followed by more storms.
"For all practical purposes, the upcoming pattern this week will be a continuation of the weather that has occurred during much of the past winter concerning not only temperatures, but also storms," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
There may be a small piece of good news to come from the approaching vortex. Snow and rain is expected to hit California, which is currently experiencing a drought, USA Today reported.