What's with the wacky weather?

From temperatures below 20 degrees to highs in the 70s, this week’s weather has been nothing short of insane. One day everyone is bundled up in their dorms and then the next day everyone is outside enjoying the warm weather. Wednesday, Jan. 23, the high temperature was 26 degrees. Just a week later, the high temperature on Wednesday was 72 degrees. So why is the weather so wacky right now? Before I can explain why the weather is acting up, a definition of the jet stream is needed. A jet stream is band of strong winds, normally around 100 mph, in the upper atmosphere. This stream divides the cold north and the warm south as seasons change. Picture a map of the US and put a horizontal line right in the middle. Now add some ups and downs to the line. This is what has been happening this past week. The line had a major uphill stretch causing much of the US to warm up. As cold air tried to push through the heat, the two temperatures collided and caused a major storm system. This storm system was certainly abnormal for January considering it caused a tornado outbreak, sadly shattering the 220-day streak of tornado deaths. There are always dips in the jet stream, but this year they have been very tall. This could be an effect of climate change, but don’t be too quick to point fingers. Remember that weather is what you get and climate is what you expect. (Photo courtesy of fotopedia.com).

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