Jet stream moved northwards 270 miles in 22 years; climate change to blame?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:11 PM GMT on June 05, 2008

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Climate change is forcing the jet stream higher and closer to the pole in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, according research published this April in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. In their paper, "Historical trends in the jet streams", researchers Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira of Stanford's Carnegie Institution of Washington analyzed data from 1979-2001, and found that the Northern Hemisphere jet stream moved northward at approximately 125 miles per decade (270 miles during the 22-year period of the study). The jet moved higher by 5-23 meters during this period, and the wind speeds decreased by about 1 mph. Archer and Caldeira's study confirms other research showing a poleward movement of the jet stream in recent decades (Fu et al., 2006; Hu and Fu, 2007). All of these changes are consistent with the behavior of the jet stream predicted by global warming theory. For example, Lorenz and DeWeaver (2007) found poleward shifts of the jet stream by 2100 in the forecasts of 15 climate models used to formulate the "official" word on climate, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report. However, the authors were careful not to say how much of this shift in the jet stream was due to natural causes versus human-caused climate change. It is unknown if the jet stream has natural decades-long changes in its path that could account for the observed poleward shift.


Figure 1. The jet stream is located where the strongest winds at the top of the troposphere are found (35,000-45,000 feet high, 200-300 mb in pressure).

Archer and Caldeira note that "These changes in jet stream latitude, altitude, and strength have likely affected, and perhaps will continue to affect, the formation and evolution of storms in the mid-latitudes and of hurricanes in the sub-tropical regions." They don't specify what these changes might be. There is very little research that has been done suggesting how changes in the jet stream might affect hurricane formation and strength. One effect we may begin to see in coming decades is a reduction and/or delay in the number of hurricanes that recurve northward out to sea. Recurvature occurs when a hurricane begins to "feel" the westerly winds of the jet stream. As the jet stream continues to move northward and weaken as the globe warms, we can expect that hurricanes moving though the Caribbean will be less likely to recurve, resulting in more hurricane strikes in Mexico and Central America. Unfortunately, the quality of the Atlantic hurricane database for non-U.S. landfalls is not very good, and it will be several decades before we will be able to tell if the number of hurricane landfalls in Mexico and Central America is increasing due to a poleward shift in the jet stream.

References
Fu, Q., C. M. Johanson, J. M. Wallace, and T. Reichler (2006), Enhanced mid-latitude tropospheric warming in satellite measurements, Science, 312, 1179, doi:10.1126/science.1125566.

Hu, Y., and Q. Fu (2007), Observed poleward expansion of the Hadley circulation since 1979, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Disc., 7, 9367.9384.

Lorenz, D. J., and E. T. DeWeaver (2007), Tropopause height and zonal wind response to global warming in the IPCC scenario integrations, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D10119, doi:10.1029/2006JD008087.

Jeff Masters

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914. severstorm
9:51 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
all4, i hear your going to sizzle up that way today welcome to the club all ready 84 here in z-hills florida
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913. all4hurricanes
1:47 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Anyway were supposed to get 94 degrees today summer really is here
( too bad hurricane season really isn't )
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912. all4hurricanes
1:42 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
whats GW?
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911. chessrascal
9:39 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
all4hurricanes

It doesn't matter if you don't believe in GW ;)
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910. all4hurricanes
1:34 PM GMT on June 07, 2008
Here is a hypothetical question if USA, China, and India don't increase standards to prevent global warming just so the businesses can run more efficiently, who will be the winner in 100 years?

I,ll give you a hint it's not the environment.
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909. chessrascal
9:37 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Cool little spin in the NE part of this pic:

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908. BahaHurican
9:21 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Ooooh, mango chutney!!!

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21899
907. weathermanwannabe
9:21 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Same Here Folks......Gotta do some Saturday "chores" around the house....Have a Great Day and I'll BBL.......
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9047
906. BahaHurican
9:19 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Anyway, I gotta go. I'll be back sometime this afternoon. I noticed the increased formation possibility out in the EPac, which may give us our next area to watch. Hope u guys have a good Saturday . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21899
905. pottery
9:14 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Hi 77.

I'm out for the morning mostly. I have been given the job to peel and cut-up 100 mangos, for the ladies here to turn into chutney. Its an annual tradition.
You have to drink several beers while you are doing that.......
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
904. BahaHurican
9:17 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Anybody seriously see this ULL working its way to the surface? It's moving kinda fast for that . . . isn't it?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21899
903. TampaSpin
9:15 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Hopefully that ULL keeps coming toward Florida to help enhance some rain.
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902. BahaHurican
9:10 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
894. pottery 9:05 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Wow. Looking at the Sat. Loops , central atlantic infrared. There is an area at 25n 70w near Bahamas, looks like a washing machine circulation.
You seeing that Baha?



Yeah, I was just looking at that. At the rate that's going, it should make a direct strike on Nassau sometime tomorrow . . . which means we may get some rain. That's pretty nice.

These ULLs do have a role to play in the Bahamas' summer weather.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21899
901. weathermanwannabe
9:15 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
899. pottery 9:14 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Yeah, Wannabe. Looks to be spinning at a rate, on the loops........


Hey Pottery...Lot of "spin" but no substance..........Lol
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900. TampaSpin
9:10 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
894. pottery 9:05 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Wow. Looking at the Sat. Loops , central atlantic infrared. There is an area at 25n 70w near Bahamas, looks like a washing machine circulation.
You seeing that Baha?


Its a Mid to ULL....although its possible to get the surface with time.
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899. pottery
9:12 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Yeah, Wannabe. Looks to be spinning at a rate, on the loops........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
898. stormdude77
9:10 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Morning all

I only got 3.9 mm of rain overnight. It's overcast now, though (and some convection is ''building'' south of me)...
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897. moonlightcowboy
8:07 AM CDT on June 07, 2008
Good morning, all!

884. Nice report, StormW, thanks!
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896. weathermanwannabe
9:06 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
894. pottery 9:05 AM EDT on June 07, 2008The "naked swirl"?.............
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9047
895. Weather456
9:02 AM AST on June 07, 2008
892. pottery 8:58 AM AST on June 07, 2008

Yep, rain is good after the long dry season. Just hope we dont get too much this season. It's overcast here in SK, no signs of rain yet.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
894. pottery
8:58 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Wow. Looking at the Sat. Loops , central atlantic infrared. There is an area at 25n 70w near Bahamas, looks like a washing machine circulation.
You seeing that Baha?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
893. weathermanwannabe
8:58 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Not much to look at on the loops except that "naked swirl" ULL slowly moving towards the Bahamas/Florida....Pretty to look at and it does not look like a much needed "rainmaker" for Florida right now....Guess we will be watching the long-terms models for next hints at possible development?.........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9047
892. pottery
8:55 AM AST on June 07, 2008
LOL Baha..
We were not only gleeful, we were extatic !
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
891. BahaHurican
8:44 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Morning all.

886. They seemed quite gleeful about it, too. LOL

Good to see that wave held together that much. I'm going now to look at things and see how the Twave is holding up. The central CAR certainly doesn't look overly encouraging . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21899
890. pottery
8:50 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Looks like Mexico and regions around had some nasty weather last night as well.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
889. pottery
8:48 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Morning, 456. It was real nice, but I am a little surprised how the whole thing seems to have fallen apart so quickly.
Bright, sunny morning.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
888. weathermanwannabe
8:47 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Good Morning......Yup, just finished watering my thirsty patch of new grass in North Florida this early am (and just waiting for the sun to go down to repeat the process again later today).....High Pressue dominates in the SE and we need some rain.........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9047
887. pottery
8:38 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Good morning, StormW, Tampa, Randy.
Was up late last night, enjoying the thunder, flashes, and 23mm ( 7/8") of delightful rain. Fist real rain since Feb.
The wave has now run into some dry air around 64W I think, but I have not checked the stats yet this am.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24246
886. Weather456
8:38 AM AST on June 07, 2008
Good Morning, looks like our frends down at Trinidad, Barbados and St. Vincent got their needed rain from the passage of the tropical wave. A report posted last night showed steady downpour in Trinidad.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
885. Randyman
6:59 AM CDT on June 07, 2008
FLASH FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN
619 AM EDT SAT JUN 7 2008


BROWN-CLAY-GREENE-JOHNSON-MONROE-MORGAN-OWEN-PUTNAM-SULLIVAN-VIGO-

...A FLASH FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 AM EDT/900 AM
CDT/ FOR GREENE...SULLIVAN...MONROE...BROWN...OWEN...CLAY...VIGO...
MORGAN...JOHNSON AND SOUTHERN PUTNAM COUNTIES...

AT 615 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUED TO MARCH ACROSS CENTRAL INDIANA
NEAR A CORRIDOR FROM AROUND TERRE HAUTE TO MARTINSVILLE. 1 TO 2
INCHES OF RAINFALL AN HOUR ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH MID MORNING.
SATELLITE WAS ESTIMATING UP TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN SINCE
LAST EVENING OVER NORTHERN SULLIVAN COUNTY. LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED
NUMEROUS ROADS CLOSED AND SOME EVACUATIONS ACROSS THE WARNED AREA.

LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
WHITELAND...WEST TERRE
HAUTE...TRAFALGAR...STINESVILLE...STAUNTON...SEELYVILLE...RILEY...PRI
NCES LAKES...PARAGON...NORTH TERRE HAUTE...NEW
WHITELAND...MORGANTOWN...LAKE
HART...KNIGHTSVILLE...HARMONY...GOSPORT...FARMERSBURG...ELLETTSVILLE.
..CLOVERDALE...CLAY CITY...CENTER POINT...BROOKLYN...BETHANY AND
BARGERSVILLE.

THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION...AND MOTORISTS ARE URGED NOT TO
DRIVE OVER FLOODED ROADWAYS.

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO
AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY
DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL
ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED
ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DON/T DROWN.

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883. TampaSpin
7:59 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Storm the GFS long range is back to its long range forecasting......lol
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882. TampaSpin
7:57 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Hey Storm......looks like another hot, and probably dry day...we need this high to move East big time....lol
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880. TampaSpin
7:49 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
Nothing looking real strong......have a good day!
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879. SpaceThrilla1207
11:49 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Although the GFS is a very reliable model, it loses most of its trust past 5 days...
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878. TampaSpin
7:31 AM EDT on June 07, 2008
GFS Long range has a very strong system in the GOM on the 21st thats 2 weeks out....?????
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877. all4hurricanes
11:31 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
You all implied that
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876. kingy
11:28 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
who said that ?
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875. all4hurricanes
11:26 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
I hate all these blog holes after I post It's like you are all trying to ignore me
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874. all4hurricanes
11:10 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Wow Finland
Its sunny here in Fairfax VA as well but its humid with 90 degree F temperature its miserable in any vehicle or even just out side good pool weather though.
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873. howihitthefloor
1:59 PM EEST on June 07, 2008
good afternoon from jyväskylä, finland! :) clear skies here, around 63°F, sunny! the last days have been awesome.

and to 862., hello there! this is my first post, too. but i'm a newbie. ^^ *waves*
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872. IpswichWeatherCenter
10:07 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
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871. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9:04 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Wellington Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Marine Warning
06:00 AM UTC June 7 2008
=========================================

Low
32.0S 163.0E - 1006 hPa

located near 32.0S 163.0E moving east-northeast at 15 knots

Satellite Services Division
==============

Dvorak Intensity

98P - Subtropical T3.0
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870. Randyman
2:57 AM CDT on June 07, 2008
EXCESSIVE RAINFALL DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
326 AM EDT SAT JUN 07 2008

...VALID 06Z SAT JUN 07 2008 - 12Z SUN JUN 08 2008...
...REFERENCE AWIPS GRAPHIC UNDER...DAY 1 EXCESSIVE RAINFALL...


E/W LLVL CNVGNC ZONE REINFORCED BY MESOSCALE FORCING IS CURRENTLY
LYING ACROSS THE OH VLY AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE FOCUS FOR VERY
HVY RAINS OVR THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS. A STG NWD MSTR FLUX
CONTINUES TO IMPINGE ON THIS FEATURE WHILE FVBL DIV ALOFT
CONTINUES TO AID THE SYNOPTIC SCALE LIFT. COULD SEE QUICK 1.00 TO
1.50 INCH RNFL AMTS AS CELLS REPEAT OVR LOCALIZED AREAS.


A SHRTWV TROF PRESSING EWD INTO THE N CNTRL U.S. AND ITS ASOCTD
WEAK CDFNT IN COMBINATION WITH THE DVLPMNT OF A SFC LOW IN THE LEE
OF THE CNTRL ROCKIES ARE SETTING THE STAGE FOR A HVY RNFL EVENT
FROM THE UPPER MIDWEST NEWD INTO THE UPPER MS VLY. MODEL QPFS ARE
NOT IN VERY GOOD AGREEMENT ON PLACEMENT SPECIFICS BUT IN GNRL DO
SUPPORT THE DVLPMNT OF SGFNT CNVCTV RAINS. IMPRESSIVE PWS AND THE
CONTG NWD FLUX OF MSTR INTO THIS REGION WILL AID CNVCTV DVLPMNT
BOTH ALONG THE AFOREMENTIONED WEAK CDFNT AND ALONG AN E/W AXIS OF
LLVL CNVGNC EXPECTED TO EXTEND TO THE ENE OF THE SFC LOW. COULD
SEE QUICK 2.00 INCH AMTS WITHIN THE FCST AREA WITH TOTALS APCHG
3.00 TO 4.00 INCHES ALSO BEING POSSIBLE.

KORTY
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869. Randyman
2:53 AM CDT on June 07, 2008


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1259
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0231 AM CDT SAT JUN 07 2008

AREAS AFFECTED...EAST CENTRAL IL INTO CENTRAL IND

CONCERNING...HEAVY RAINFALL

VALID 070731Z - 070930Z

NEW TSTM/BACK-BUILDING DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED THROUGH THE EARLY
MORNING TIME PERIOD /TO AT LEAST 12Z/ ACROSS CENTRAL/EAST CENTRAL
IL...WITH ACTIVITY TRAINING EWD INTO CENTRAL IND. PRECIPITABLE
WATER VALUES AROUND 2 INCHES SUGGEST EXCESSIVE HOURLY RAINFALL RATES
WILL BE LIKELY. GREATEST THREAT AREA IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN
QUASISTATIONARY...25-30 MILES EITHER SIDE OF A LINE EXTENDING FROM
SHELBY COUNTY IL TO JOHNSON COUNTY IND.

07Z SURFACE ANALYSIS INDICATED AN OUTFLOW BOUNDARY EXTENDING
GENERALLY E-W ALONG SRN EXTENT OF ONGOING TSTM CLUSTER FROM SRN IND
TO CENTRAL IL. 00Z GFS/21Z NAM-KF/06Z RUC AGREE THAT CONDITIONS
/MOIST INFLUX ALONG 40 KT SWLY LLJ AND DIFFLUENT FLOW ALOFT/ WILL
REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR NEW TSTM GENERATION ALONG WRN EXTENT OF MCS IN
CENTRAL IL. REGIONAL RADAR TRENDS SHOWING NEW TSTM DEVELOPMENT OVER
CENTRAL IL AND COOLING CLOUD TOPS PER SATELLITE IMAGERY OVER THIS
REGION SUPPORT THIS HEAVY RAIN THREAT TO PERSIST INTO THE EARLY
MORNING HOURS. 06Z RUC DEEP MOISTURE FLUX CONVERGENCE IS MAXIMIZED
THROUGH AT LEAST 10Z FROM CENTRAL IL TO CENTRAL IND SUGGESTING
ADDITIONAL TSTM DEVELOPMENT IS LIKELY ALONG THIS AXIS.

..PETERS.. 06/07/2008


ATTN...WFO...IND...ILX...LSX...
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868. SpaceThrilla1207
7:40 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
shear
The shear isn't THAT favorable in the gulf...20-25 knots is borderline hostile.
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867. pablolopez26
6:35 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
TampaSpin i clicked on your link and i noticed a little wave moving over the GOM and then moving northeast on the 16th and 17th... Correct me if im wrong...
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866. katbelle77
6:30 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
I am in SC right outside of Charlotte, hot and hazy. Trying to figure out why afternoon t-storms aren't firing. Do you have any tech. answer for that? 98 dgr 66 dwpt low hmd. Thx 4 input. kb77
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865. StormJunkie
5:32 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Thanks kat :~)

So what's up in your neck of the woods?
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864. katbelle77
5:29 AM GMT on June 07, 2008
Storm I love your site, been going to it for past year. The model page is a great tool.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.