THURSDAY, AUGUST 10 - WHY IS THE WEATHER SO VARIABLE AROUND HERE?


To explain why the weather is so changeable around here, we can take several points of view. One involves the jet stream - that channel of strong winds that generally blows west-to-east high over our heads. The jet stream's location determines, in large part, how warm or cold it gets. And the bigger the dips and bends in the jet stream, the greater the potential for storms.

Or we can take a much simpler perspective on our changeable weather. We live about halfway between the equator and the North Pole. These vast reservoirs of warm and cold air are always ready to do battle in the region that separates them - the mid-latitudes, where we live. Then consider that 3000 miles of land sits to our west - a huge source of relatively dry air, while 3000 miles of ocean lies not too far to the east.

So with all these ingredients available - warmth, chill, dryness, moisture - it's no surprise that great variability in our weather is exactly what we get.

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