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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1314. STORMTTOP
11:16 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
DTH = Day Time Heating
1313. pianomahnn
11:11 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
Is the radar out of Amarillo on the fritz? These storms look...extraordinarily powerful.

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?ID=AMA
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1312. surfmom
11:08 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
booming thunder - no rain in background
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1311. surfmom
11:07 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
sorry, what's DTH?
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1310. STORMTTOP
10:52 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
The ULL activity will die out shortly as DTH subsides.
1309. Weather456
6:48 PM AST on June 08, 2008
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1308. GeoffreyWPB
6:39 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Levi is right....rain activity is diminishing as the ull approaches...perhaps when it reaches the gulf, it can pull up some much heavier precip. for so. florida from the backside.
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1307. surfmom
10:39 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
hmmmmmm any other opinions?
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1306. Levi32
2:36 PM AKDT on June 08, 2008
1302. cchsweatherman 2:30 PM AKDT on June 08, 2008

Unfortunately the ULL is only pulling on the cirrus tops of the thunderstorms. Those storms over Cuba are land-based and cannot be pulled off over water for very long before dying off. Also as I already said the ULL is only pulling the cirrus tops, not the whole thunderstorm, so the whole thing can't be pulled off of Cuba anyway.
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1305. weathers4me
10:35 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
Just got an inch of the wet stuff here in Terra Ceia.
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1304. surfmom
10:31 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
I'd agree with that cchs,If it did, looks like it would be a channel swell maker for me.

Although I am careful for what I wish for....the white rabbit taught me that
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1303. surfmom
10:29 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
hear lots of lovely thunder in the distance. seems like it's passing above and below me, but passing sarasota grrr
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1302. cchsweatherman
6:25 PM EDT on June 08, 2008


Just looking at the latest satellite imagery for the ULL, it appears that the Cuba thunderstorms have been moving towards the circulation over the past couple hours. Yet to be seen if this activity does indeed get wrapped around the ULL, but if it does, that would be terrific.
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1301. surfmom
10:25 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
think I read it in science news a few years back --who'd expect a lake to take you out
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1300. surfmom
10:21 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
I remember reading that a fault lies under Lake Tahoe and if it went it could cause a Tsunami --all this rumbling would make me nervous if I was out there.
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1299. extreme236
10:20 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
Just stopping in briefly, the SOI numbers have been positive for the past 4 days ranging from +10 to +20 and the average SOI number is gradually heading back in the positive direction.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1298. STORMTTOP
10:15 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
HAARP
1297. BahaHurican
6:12 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
1294.

I am convinced something's coming out of the earth there . . .

Who knows what!
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1296. moonlightcowboy
5:11 PM CDT on June 08, 2008
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1294. presslord
6:10 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Earthquake swarm picks up again in northern Nevada

Jun 8, 4:18 PM (ET)

By MARTIN GRIFFITH

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A months-long swarm of earthquakes picked up again Sunday as a string of minor temblors rattled Reno, causing downtown high-rises to sway and knocking items off walls and shelves.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major property damage after about 20 minor quakes reported on the western edge of Reno over 12 hours ending about noon.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10485
1293. surfmom
10:05 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
The last time I followed a white rabbit I got in trouble
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1292. cchsweatherman
6:00 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
1289. StormW 5:55 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
1274. jphurricane2006 5:20 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
hey stormw, is there an area of low pressure trying to form with that wave at 40W?

Looks like it jp. I definitely see what appears to be a low trying to form...at least in the mid levels. Doesn't show up on water vapor...so it's not an upper level feature. At about 6N;43W. Shows up good on RGB loop.


Been so focused on the ULL coming towards Florida that I hadn't even noticed that. It does indeed appear that a circulation is forming there, but no development is expected as it will enter higher wind shear over the next few days.
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1291. GeoffreyWPB
5:56 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Thank you for the info. surfmom. Very informative.
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1290. HIEXPRESS
5:49 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
The matrix has [your horse]. Follow the white rabbit.
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1288. LowerCal
2:49 PM PDT on June 08, 2008
1263. nash28 2:01 PM PDT on June 08, 2008
I told my wife that it is pretty sad when you watch it rain as if it is an event:-)


You don't want to move to SoCal, nash.
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1287. surfmom
9:45 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
True confessions of rain starved bloggers
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1286. surfmom
9:38 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
Yes you can chip horses - it is an expense and horses are very often moved from owner to owner 9every two years for example) (means replacing chip) (if people want to steal a horse or even your Pedigree dog, they pass a wand over the body and bingo they remove the chip) The other problem in the animal industry is that the government is trying to ENFORCE chipping on all livestock for tracking purposes. many feel it is their personal freedom to have what animals they want and not have to account to the Agriculture dept. I refuse to chip my animals because I feel that humans will be next if we get comfortable w/our pets.

If you are responsible you tag your horse, etc when the situation dictates and remove the ID when it's not necessary.
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1285. BahaHurican
5:24 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
That ULL seems to be dominating weather in the Eastern Gulf, NW Car, and W Atl.

ATLANTIC...
THE LARGE MID/UPPER LEVEL LOW OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS IS
GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS OVER THOSE
ISLANDS. THIS UPPER-LEVEL FEATURE WILL MOVE TOWARD THE NW
BAHAMAS AND EVENTUALLY OVER SOUTH CENTRAL FLORIDA TONIGHT AND
MONDAY BRINGING AN INCREASE IN MOISTURE AND A BETTER CHANCE OF
RAIN IN SOUTH FLORIDA. A 1021 MB HIGH IS CENTERED OVER THE NE
COAST OF FLORIDA NEAR 30N81W.
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1284. mermaidlaw
9:37 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
MOM I did it! It was great. Yet I had to run back in when the T&L started.
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1283. surfmom
9:35 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
nash28 - I thought I was the only one nutty enough to go out and walk in the rain --LOL
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1282. GeoffreyWPB
5:32 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Hi Surfmom...if I remember correctly, you said if a storm would approach your area, you would have to write on your horses for i.d. purposes. It got me to think, can't you also i.d, chip a horse like you do a dog?
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1281. mermaidlaw
9:24 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
WOW we just had about 10 or 15 minutes of RAIN! It was heavy rain, with T&L. I can't believe it! It is already moving into the gulf now. I am thankful for that few minutes of wet stuff, as we have been bone dry here for so long. I hope this means that the rain season is trying to start here.
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1280. surfmom
9:26 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
hiexpress, terrific showers, gave the ground a nice soaking, nice walk in the rain w/the dog
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1279. moonlightcowboy
4:23 PM CDT on June 08, 2008
1271. Actually, the 1009 slp is closer to 8n, and just east of 40w.
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1278. Patrap
4:23 PM CDT on June 08, 2008
GOES-12 IR Loop GOM Link
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1277. BahaHurican
5:21 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 41W S OF 13W MOVING W 10-15 KT.
INVERTED-V LOW LEVEL SIGNATURE IS OBSERVED IN SAT IMAGERY...
WHILE THE MIMIC-TPW ANIMATION REVEALS THE WAVE IS THE LEADING
EDGE OF A LARGE MOISTURE SURGE. VIS SAT IMAGERY INDICATES THAT
CONVECTION IS ON THE INCREASE PARTICULARLY ON THE EAST SIDE.
SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION IS E OF THE
WAVE AXIS FROM 6N-9N BETWEEN 38W-41W. SCATTRED MODERATE
CONVECTION IS ALSO AHEAD OF THE WAVE AXIS AND WITHIN THE ITCZ
FROM 5N-7N BETWEEN 43W-46W. THIS WAVE IS FORECAST BY THE
COMPUTER MODELS TO REACH THE LESSER ANTILLES EARLY THU.

Interesting latest wave. It looks like it's pulling the ITCZ north with it . . . or is the ITCZ pushing it north?

Either way, if it holds together the Windwards should get some rain towards the end of the week.
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1276. nrtiwlnvragn
5:23 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
510 PM EDT SUN JUN 8 2008

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN LEE COUNTY IN FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 545 PM EDT

* AT 510 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
TORNADO OVER NORTHERN LEE COUNTY...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 7 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
NORTH FORT MYERS.

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1275. BahaHurican
5:19 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Looks like the ULL is pulling the daytime clouds away from Cuba and wrapping them around to the N and NW . . .
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1273. BahaHurican
5:15 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
CatW,

I agree on that. U remind me I need to get some myself. I have only the rechargeable AA ones for my cameras.
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1271. moonlightcowboy
4:14 PM CDT on June 08, 2008
One report has slp down less than 1009mb near 8n,40w where the blob of itcz convection is firing. Elsewhere pressures are higher.
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1270. BahaHurican
5:08 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Nice to see the local met page is up and running again. It's been down for months!

Link
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1269. catwomen
5:10 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Looks like the Meteorologists at the NHC are calling for an active season. I have already went out to stock up on batteries. I've learned not to wait till the last minute.
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1268. GeoffreyWPB
5:09 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Afternoon all...hope we get some rain from the ull moving this way! Question..what conditions are needed for an ull to reach the surface?
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1267. moonlightcowboy
4:08 PM CDT on June 08, 2008


Water temp reports from ships.
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1266. mermaidlaw
9:03 PM GMT on June 08, 2008
Ok Nash, you have me, JP, and Storm, all hoping you push a drop our way!

I hope that ULL brings better chances for rain to all of us.
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1265. BahaHurican
4:55 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Afternoon, everybody.

The rain was so great here this afternoon, I just took a warm blanket and a good book (Alistair McLain's Golden Rendevous, which appropriately enough features a hurricane)and enjoyed my midday.

1239. Buhdog 3:32 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
How muck of that rainfall is making it to the surface with that ULL? I know the seabreeze clollisions will be plentifull...but how bout the stuff associated with the ULL?


Quite a fair amount of that moisture did make it to the surface. We got some torrential downpours early this afternoon, with some lightning / thunder, and steady rain until about 3:30 or so.

Here are current conditions at Nassau Airport.

Nassau Airport, Bahamas, The (Airport)
Updated: 6 min 51 sec ago
86 °F / 30 °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 62%
Dew Point: 75 °F / 24 °C
Wind: 13 mph / 20 km/h / from the NE
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 30.05 in / 1017 hPa
Visibility: 9.0 miles / 15.0 kilometers
Clouds: Few 1575 ft / 480 m
Scattered Clouds 1772 ft / 540 m
Mostly Cloudy 21654 ft / 6600 m
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 10 ft / 3 m


I expect the ULL will be impacting SFL during most of the evening hours.

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1264. cchsweatherman
4:59 PM EDT on June 08, 2008
Looks like there may be some consolidating convection with a thunderstorm over Grand Bahama Island. Thus far the most solid convection I have seen with this ULL after breaking apart from the TUTT. Broward County may get some decent rainfall if this can hold.
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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.

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