Weather Whiplash

Feb. 7, 2017: Buckle up, folks!

Temperatures this week go from the 50’s to the 20’s then back up to the 40’s. Wow. Between Monday (the 6th) and Thursday (the 9th), highs will have dropped 30°+, then recover to be up 20°+ between Thursday and Friday. That is a very impressive temperature swing over the course of only 5 days.

The jet stream looks like a whip, or a roller coaster, both of which are good comparisons to our temperature changes. The polar jet stream is essentially the boundary between warmer air from near the equator and colder air from near the poles. As the jet stream moves north or south, temperatures respond accordingly. When we have a week like this one where the jet is moving back and forth from north to south, we get some interesting temperature changes.

On Monday, the jet stream was arching well to the north, drawing in the very warm air and nearly setting a record.

Then, a plunge south in the jet helps much colder air spill into the region. We’ll have chilly conditions through Thursday.

Back to the north goes the jet stream, allowing milder air from the south to advance north. In comes highs back in the 40’s for Friday and the weekend.

There aren’t many changes for precipitation during these wild temperature changes. Snow looks to miss us for Wednesday, then we likely won’t see any wet weather until Sunday, when temperatures are warm enough for rain instead of snow.

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on February 7, 2017

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