|| Weatherwatch: traffic jams in the jet stream|
Added: 18.06.2018 1:58 | 13 views | 0 comments
A new mathematical model examines the reasons for atmospheric blocking, that can cause weather extremes lasting for weeks
Meanders, loops in the jet stream stretching hundreds of miles, can prevent weather systems from their natural progression eastwards. This effect, known as , can cause conditions to stay fixed for days or weeks, producing extreme weather. Blocking brought us the sweltering summer of 1976, the bitter , and contributed to the cold spell this March.
Such blocks are extremely hard to predict, but a published in this month’s Science magazine suggests that they can be treated, mathematically at least, as resembling traffic flow. The study, suggests that the jet stream has a limited capacity. When it gets close to this capacity the jet stream slows. Too many cars trying to get on to the motorway can bring the whole thing to a crawl. When the jet stream gets close to capacity it meanders, and blocking results.