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"Normally the cold air is bottled up in the Arctic," said Jim Overland of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. But last December and February, winds that normally blow west to east across the Arctic were instead bringing the colder air south to the Mid-Atlantic, he said.
"As we lose more sea ice it's a paradox that warming in the atmosphere can create more of these winter storms," Overland said at a news briefing.