In the next breath,

The polar vortex is making big changes for the new year. Around January 1, this whirling blob of cold air, which sits 10 to 30 miles above the surface of the North Pole, broke apart into at least two “sister” vortices. Disruptions like this can cause a ripple effect leading to chilly weather further south, and meteorologists say there’s potential for a spell of wintry weather to hit the northeastern U.S. and western Europe toward the end of the month.