Extreme Weather Tied To Unusual Jet Stream
By Seth Borenstein
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Washington — Lately, the jet stream isn’t playing by the rules. Scientists say that big river of air high above Earth that dictates much of the weather for the Northern Hemisphere has been unusually erratic the past few years.
They blame it for everything from snowstorms in May to the path of Superstorm Sandy.
And last week, it was responsible for downpours that led to historic floods in Alberta, Canada, as well as record-breaking heat in parts of Alaska, experts say. The town of McGrath, Alaska, hit 94. Just a few weeks earlier, the same spot was 15 degrees.
The current heat wave in the Northeast is also linked.
“While it’s not unusual to have a heat wave in the east in June, it is part of the anomalous jet stream pattern that was responsible for the flooding in Alberta,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis said yesterday in an email.