June 25, 2013
Weather Extremes Tied to Jet Stream
. Over the course of the past few years the jet stream that drives weather systems over the Northern Hemisphere has been acting in increasingly unexpected ways leading to volatile and seemingly paradoxical weather events, according to Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Jennifer Francis
. This past June the town of McGrath, Alaska recorded an all-time high of 94 degrees Fahrenheit when just a few weeks earlier temperatures were as low as 15 degrees which was an all-time low for so late in the year. Francis argues that changing conditions in the arctic are causing the jet stream to slow down and become wavier
, dipping further North and South than is typical. The theory is drawing increasing attention from scientists who say it could help explain recent trends of unusual weather which include flooding in Alberta
, Canada and early season wildfires in California.