Temperature anomalies for Jan. 19–26 from the GFS model. Adapted from the Climate Re-Analyzer, U. Maine.

The polar vortex, which typically keeps the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere effectively locked up in the Arctic, has split into three pieces. Now, Arctic air is poised to blast across the Canadian border and into the Midwest and East Coast, along with a major winter storm.

Why it matters: A coast-to-coast storm during the next several days could deposit feet of snow in parts of the West and Northeast, while ushering in the coldest air of the season. This will yield travel headaches and economic impacts — and the storm won't be the last of this event.

The big picture: Computer model projections show repeat rounds of below-average temperatures surging into the eastern half of the U.S. from late January through much of February.

  • In fact, some projections show the colder-than-average pattern, which will favor the development of significant East Coast winter storms along with potent weather systems in Western Europe, could last off and on through early March.

The bottom line: Residents of some cities — like Boston, where people have been asking, "Where's winter?" — may soon regret having uttered that question.

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Supreme Court expands religious freedoms in schools, employment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court ended its term with a series of rulings on religion's role in schools, the workplace and access to health care.

Why it matters: The decisions elevated protections for people and employers of faith, while curtailing those of religion teachers, the nonreligious taxpayer and women who rely on their workplaces' health care plans for contraception.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,573,041 — Total deaths: 561,865 — Total recoveries — 6,915,740Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,213,902 — Total deaths: 134,420 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.