6 Jan 2012

Northbound jet stream means quieter weather next week

The weather during the first week of 2012 has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride across the UK. A succession of deep areas of low pressure has brought two bouts of stormy weather, with some places recording gusts of wind in excess of 100mph.

So why has the past week been stormy?

At the moment, the jet stream is very active, with winds high up in the atmosphere at around 30,000ft in excess of 200mph. The jet stream acts as a conveyor belt for the storms and the faster it moves, the more intense and frequent storms tend to be.

Tuesday’s storm hit the Central Lowlands of Scotland particularly hard, with wind gusts of 91mph for Glasgow and 102mph for Edinburgh.

36 hours later, the next storm moved in off the Atlantic with more very strong gusts – Great Dun Fell recording 112mph, and 93mph at High Bradfield in South Yorkshire.

Many other parts of the UK had gusts of 50-70mph, with two people killed, damage to trees and buildings, as well as significant disruption to transport and power supplies.

Is there more to come?

No – thankfully, next week is looking much quieter in comparison to the week just gone.

The reason for this is that the jet stream is slowing down to around 140mph and it’s also heading north. This means that the stormy weather will be steered towards Scandinavia, rather than the UK.

It’ll still be a little windy at times across the north of the UK, but nowhere near the scale of what’s happened in recent days.

High pressure will also build, which means there’ll be a trend to drier weather, although there’ll be quite a bit of cloud. Some rain will also affect north western areas at times as weather fronts graze by.

Changing the subject slightly, I’ve also had a lot of tweets over the past week asking if there are any signs of cold weather and snow.

At the moment nothing is on the horizon, but some of the weather computer models are hinting at things trying to turn colder for the second half of the month.

As ever, I’ll keep you updated and feel free to join me for weather chatter on Twitter – @liamdutton

Tweets by @liamdutton

One reader comment

  1. Y.S. says:

    For some reason weather forcasters dont mention jet streams. Its one of the things we dont need to know in Britain. Dry or wet weathers are effected by it and its a simple explination.
    A refreshing change.

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