Could Unusual Jet Stream Be To Blame For Long, Harsh Winter?

The BBC reports the jet stream is dipping lower this year, meaning the weather has stayed essentially stuck for weeks.
Posted at 8:35 AM, Feb 16, 2014

Are you getting tired of winter? Well, you're probably not alone. But if you're wondering why it been so cold and so snowy for so long this year, the BBC reports you can take your frustration out on the jet stream. 

"This year, it's dipped down lower than usual which has meant weather has stayed the same for weeks on end, keeping the cold weather in North America and the storm's over Britain."

Wired points out the Arctic has been warmer this winter, meaning the jet stream has been weakened. When the jet stream is weakened, it takes on a much wavier shape and can essentially keep weather stuck.

And it could be a sign of things to come. A Rutgers professor told the BBC it could mean the weather pattern is changing, adding: "We can expect more of the same and we can expect it to happen more frequently."

Parts of the U.S. have already experienced plenty of winter weather — even with more than a month to go before winter is over.

The Northeast's latest winter storm is being blamed for this massive 100-car pileup in Pennsylvania. KYW-TV reports snowfall on Saturday has already tied the record for third snowiest winter in Philadelphia history.

WCAU notes this comes just one week after an ice storm ravaged the area — causing more than 700,000 to lose power. Some lost it for four days or more.

And parts of the Midwest have been dealing with bitterly cold temperatures for weeks. WBBM reports Chicago has seen 20 days of subzero temperatures. The all-time record for the Windy City was set during the winter of 1884-1885 with 25 days below zero.

But this winter that seems like it'll never end hasn't been that bad for others.

Time reports residents in the West got to enjoy above average temperatures for January while those in the Midwest and East froze. Alaska had its warmest January in almost 30 years. It also blames this unusual weather on the jet stream.

It might not seem like it, but this winter will eventually end. The first day of spring is March 20.