Ben’s Weather Blog
Blame it on the jet stream, well maybe. The wild fluctuations in the jet stream have led to extreme weather, from near zero at the start of last week to a record late-season high of 68 Saturday—and now back to more or less normal as we go through the week. The high winds of early Sunday represented not only a very dynamic system fueled by a strong temperature gradient, but also a spring-like environment that fostered tornadoes in Missouri and western Illinois Saturday, extremely unusual this far north in late December.
We haven’t had such a weird temperature swing (65 degrees to be exact) since the 1930s in late December. Yet, this may not bode anything in particular for the remainder of the winter. Weather if full of natural variability and forcing from sea-surface temperatures, northern ice and snow, internal energy perturbations, solar fluctuations, and host of other factors. Just weather being weather with many influences. Sometimes things phase just right, leading to a large storm like the one that traversed the nation this past weekend with heavy snow in the Rockies and severe weather and wind in the warm sector farther east.
So now we get a quieter west-northwesterly flow of chilly air that will turn colder by New Year’s Eve. And then, perhaps, a real touch of winter culminating in and end-of-the-week snowfall.