The Nationwide Big Chill – There’s a Reason for it…

Baby it’s cold outside –even in the SF Bay Area where a persistent fog (er haze) has blocked the sun from showing its face for weeks in many regions (i.e. East Bay).


In an article in The New York Times by Kenneth Chang offers an explanation for what’s going on:

… A mass of high pressure is sitting over Greenland like a rock in a river, deflecting the cold air of the jet stream farther to the south than usual.

This situation is caused by Arctic oscillation, in which opposing atmospheric pressure patterns at the top of the planet occasionally shift back and forth, affecting weather across much of the Northern Hemisphere.”

What we’re used to is the jet stream moving unimpeded from west to east, keeping the cold Arctic air largely north of the United States.

The good news, apparently, is that this situation is NOT due to global warming. So states the article, though the argument seems a bit weak.

It goes on to quote John M. Wallace, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, who stated he thinks of this weather patten as a random thing.

“I don’t think we understand any reasons why it goes one way one year and the other way another year.”

Humm… I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss global warming/global cooling and other man-made issues triggered by what we’re spewing into the environment.


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