' I know one thing for certain: We are at this instant in time observing something which is extraordinary! At the time of writing, something truly special is happening in the Southern Hemisphere: The air high above the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, anywhere between 20–40 kilometres (12–25 miles) above the surface, is warming a lot in just a few weeks.In that region, the sun doesn’t rise all winter, resulting in very cold temperatures accompanied by very strong winds. This is called the polar vortex.Those strong winds are about to slow down completely, and might even revert direction. We call it a “vortex breakdown” or “Stratospheric Sudden Warning”, and in the Southern Hemisphere it only happens for the second time that we know of, and certainly since the era of satellite measurements began in the late 1970s. The first time was in 2002.