The giant snowballs that mean a cold winter is on its way

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Weather watchers say huge snowballs which have appeared along the Siberian coastline are a warning of things to come in America.
Each measuring three feet across, the frozen balls sit across 11 miles of shoreline above the Arctic Circle.
The snowballs have been there since the end of October when the Gulf of Ob, an Arctic Ocean bay in Northern Russia, rose up and covered the beach with ice.
They make for a bizarre sight on the coastline as row after row of the giant snowballs can be seen stretching as far as the eye can see. Residents and visitors have been posting snaps on social media of themselves sitting atop the snowballs.
They have been formed as the retreating water rolled ice chunks over, creating snowballs which grew until giant sized. The water carried out the process many families do in their garden when making a snowman and rolling snow until they have balls big enough for its body and head.
Siberia is at almost record cold temperatures for the time of year and it has not seen snow cover this high for nearly two decades.
And, the weather there may have knock on effects in America, according to experts.
Many meteorologists tend to look at the snow levels in Siberia during October to try to determine the weather likely to hit America. The theory is that heavy early snow in Siberia may mean that there will be heavy snow in North America and Western Europe.
Many forecasters say they are now expecting a tough winter for much of the US. They are warning residents that there could be a return of the polar vortex, which channels cold air from the Arctic into America.
The areas due to be hit hardest with freezing winter conditions are the Great Lakes near the northern plains, but the south of the US is expected to have a reasonably warm winter, especially the south central states.
The dreaded polar vortex led to a huge bill for the US economy when it last reared its head two years ago, with infrastructure repairs necessary due to damage caused by the freezing weather.
Thankfully, this year’s polar vortex is not expected to be as severe as that which hit in 2014.
The polar vortex also leaves many families and elderly people struggling to heat their home so they can stay warm as the mercury plummets.

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