Give Me A Break!

Winter 2013-2014
Photo Credit
Evelyn Browning Garriss
James J. Garriss

Having the weather woes?

If you are in the East, you are probably complaining about the cold and snow.

If you are in the West, that complaint probably sounds like bragging.

California is struggling with its worst drought on record and 55% of the lower 48 states have dry or drought weather.

It’s time for a break!

©Browning Newsletter

Here’s the good news. From East to West, a break is coming! Hooray!

It’s just a break, not the end of winter, nor the problems of winter. For a short period of time the US and parts of Canada, get a taste of normal weather before reverting to the schizophrenic winter of 2014.

For most of this year the jet stream, that fast flowing river of air that divides the cold Arctic air from the warmer subtropical air, has wiggled like a snake. It has entered North America through Alaska, flowed over the Rockies and then plunged south. This has allowed warmth to soar north in the West and freezing Arctic air to plunge south in the East. Then, when the cold air meets the warm, wet Atlantic air, it creates blizzards and ice storms. Just ask Atlanta, Georgia.

When cold Arctic air meets warm, wet Atlantic Ocean air – it can get messy! Just ask Atlanta, Georgia. Source:  NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center

However, for a while this month, the jet stream is expected to flatten. It will enter the West further south and exit the East further north. Cold winter rains can hit the Pacific Northwest and (maybe) parts of California. The Northeast and Midwest will still have some storms but the South will have a chance to get warmer. Storms will flow from west to east in a straightforward pattern, not flounder north and south.

On February 13, there was snow on every state but Florida! Source: NOAA

Remember: This is just a break. The Arctic air is extremely cold and both the North Pacific and North Atlantic have some unusually warmer than normal waters. This is the recipe for an extreme jet stream. Enjoy your rain California; it won’t end the drought. Enjoy the warmth, Dixie; you still have some cool winter weather before spring comes to the rescue.

The winter of 2014 isn’t over, so revel in the pause as long as it lasts.



Jason Starosta (not verified)

7 years 9 months ago

What is the end of feb.-march forecast for Saskatchewan look like, I do a lot of snow removal ??Hope there is more to come here!! I live in Saskatoon .

LoiS-sez (not verified)

7 years 9 months ago

There's a trick question folks in the Detroit metro area love to ask: What's the 1st foreign country south of Detroit? The answer is Canada.

All I know is it feels like Canada has made an invasion of the U.S. and WON! Last summer I was saying Michigan was going to become the Garden Spot of the U.S., but this winter leaves me dreaming of life in the Caribbean.

Heck, this winter has been cold enough to make people in Northern Texas dream of the Caribbean.

Dusty Mccarthy (not verified)

7 years 9 months ago

This may soon be the "norm" as global warming takes hold I have been reading article after article on the fact the jet stream has weakened which is why it's being so erratic, because of this weakened state the jet is going around instead of pushing through high and low pressure systems, causing them to stall or stack up and hit back to back. We are not the only country experiencing wild weather whoa's and changes take a look across the globe. Great Britain more rain then ever recorded. Sochi Having a heat wave during what should be winter. All the signs are there that this will continue. So I say get ready for the new "normal".

I have never understood why people that believe in the falsehood of global warming refuse to look to climate history or facts. First off, there have been 26 or so ice ages in history. Using COMMON SENSE, this should tell you that the earth has cooled and warmed 26 or so times, NATURALLY. Next, the sun activity plays a huge role, more sun activity (sun spots, etc.) equates warmer weather, lower activity equates cooler weather. A fact ignored by GW believers. Next, ocean temperatures play a role. Water temps can steer a weather system, or even kill it. Ever hear of El Niño or La Niña? It would do you good to look those up and how they have a tremendous impact on climate for most of the year. An argument by the believers is that temperatures have risen over the years. Once again, some research needs to be done here. Many official temperature measuring stations are located at airports. Airports were always built away from cities, but then the cities expanded near and around airports. Anyone with any climate knowledge knows about the heat island effect, basically concrete or other heat absorbing materials in cities that absorb heat during the day, making it much warmer than the surrounding countryside. This causes skewed temperature readings. One should study their state climate journals that have recorded temperatures outside the cities and it will show no increase in average temperatures, whereas city temperatures show an increase, which takes us back to the heat island effect. Also do some research on where the official temperature stations are suppose to be located according to the National Weather Service and where many are actually located. You will find stations located near roads, under exhaust vents, turned the wrong way. And, since GW believers think co2 is so bad, why is co2 so good for plants? Did you know plant nurseries use co2 diffusers because it helps the plants grow faster? If you think co2 is so bad, stop breathing. You are emitting loads of it every day. Don't drink carbonated beverages, the opening releases co2. Climate scientist know there is no such thing as global warming and have attempted to hide their data, but some of it has leaked out. They need to hide it because this is their living. Keep claiming they need more money to study and governments and nut cases send in the money. It's a great scam. It's also how Al Gore makes his money, but he does not live how he preaches others should live. In short, use common sense, think for yourself, do some research. If you are not capable of that, you will believe any scam