British Floods, California Drought: A Connection?
A wavy jet stream—and perhaps climate change—underlie recent weather extremes.
This winter, weather reports have been full of extremes. California, for instance, has had the driest year in 119 years of recordkeeping, with the Sierra snowpack less than a third of normal.
The January cold snap across the eastern two-thirds of the United States sent temperatures plummeting 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 22 degrees Celsius) below average. Across the Atlantic, England and Wales experienced one of the wettest periods in at least 248 years.
Drought. Frigid cold. Devastating rain and floods. On the surface, they don't seem to have much in common beyond the unpleasantness of bad weather. But some researchers argue that these recent events can be tied to a single weather pattern—one that may be caused by