Meteorologists blame freak Arctic weather phenomenon for US snowstorms

Meteorologists say a freak weather phenomenon over the Arctic is responsible for the storms which have dumped record amounts of snow on the United States East Coast this winter.

New York – Getty image

Telegraph

The phenomenon, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation, is pushing frigid winds from the North Pole across the Atlantic, where they are colliding with the warm, moisture-laden air over the southern US. Jet streams, a belt of winds aloft at about 18,000 feet, are then carrying the cold air north-west, where the moisture is falling as snow.

In normal winters, the air mass above the Arctic is surrounded by a circular vortex of wind currents – a kind of fence that keeps in the frigid polar air. This condition, which meteorologists call the North Atlantic Oscillation’s Positive Phase, ensures both sides of the Atlantic have relatively mild winters.

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