How a freak diversion of the jet stream is paralysing the globe with freezing conditions

It’s snowing in Australia and California yet ‘warm’ in Greenland

Daily Mail

The freezing conditions that have blasted Britain are being blamed on a series of weather patterns that are bringing Arctic temperatures to much of western Europe, California and even Australia.

One of the main factors is a change in the position of the jet stream – the fast-moving current of air that moves from west to east, high in the atmosphere.

Changes in the jet stream’s path can cause massive changes in weather conditions across the globe and may be why Australians are now shivering their way through summer and the current freezing conditions in California.

In a normal British winter – when conditions are mild and soggy – the jet stream lies over northern Europe, at an altitude of between 35,000 to 50,000 feet.

During these grey winters, Britain’s prevailing winds come from the west and south west, and bring with them warm and moist air from the sub-tropical Atlantic.

This year a high-pressure weather system over the Atlantic is blocking the jet stream’s normal path and forcing it to the north and south of Europe.

The areas of high pressure act like stones in a stream – blocking the normal flow of milder air from the west and instead forcing colder air from the north down across the UK.

In California more than 12 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the Santa Monica Mountains in the south and 13 feet of snow has accumulated at Mammoth Mountain ski resort.

And Australians expecting to bask in early summer sun this Christmas are instead shivering as icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean have blanketed parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria with up to four inches of snow.

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