Breakdown: Why weather patterns are stalling

Breakdown: Why weather patterns are stalling

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The weather definitely changes often and when we get days of the same weather pattern, it can really stand out. For instance, when there is several days of rain in a row or when the pattern is just hot and dry for long stretches. Research suggest that these stalling weather patterns are happening more often and may become more of the normal in the future.

Research meteorologist found that when the water of the North Atlantic Ocean (NAO) are warmer than normal, then stalled out patterns or blocking patterns can happen. Recent research found that even when this wasn’t the case, these blocking patterns continue to happen and climate change may be to blame.

These stalled or blocking patterns occur because of a change in the jet stream. The jet stream is fast-moving air that flows around the Earth in the upper part of the troposphere. The jet stream moves weather systems and circulates air-masses around the earth driven by the rotation of the earth. However, if there is a big change in temperatures at the poles, the jet stream could be more unbalanced according to research. This warming can cause waves to stretch and the flow to become weaker. Another theory is that the stalling pattern may be because of the increased temperature difference in land and ocean.

These stalled patterns can be dangerous and deadly and can have global affects. In 2010 a stalled out low pressure system caused flooding in Pakistan and killed 2,000 people. When high-pressure systems in the summer stalls that can be bad news. Heat and drought can remain stuck in a place for long periods. One such example was the heat wave in Europe that killed 35,000 people, in 2003. In 2011 a heat wave and drought struck Oklahoma and Texas. A few years later in 2015, wildfires in California caused significant damage. These events were all due to stalled out weather patterns.

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