Cold Rain Won’t Continue, But It Might Be a Trend
If you’ve been outside over the past month, you should have noticed a trend. Rain has been the name of the game around here, and I’m here to tell you why.
The early months of winter were not bad, just a tad bit cold and wet, but the trend has continued as Spring has begun. The high temperatures of January have almost perfectly matched up with March’s highs.
In simple weather terms, this is because of the jet stream. The jet stream is the atmospheric flow of air that moves from west to east, across the world. A 2015 Rutgers University study found that global climate change has made the jet stream wavier than normal. For weather, the jet stream moves weather systems across the country, and divides cold air from warm. Thus, if the jet stream is lower than normal, the weather is colder than normal, and if the jet stream is higher than normal, the weather is warmer than normal. Climate change has caused larger heat waves, and thus longer cool spells over the globe. With the rest of the US having record high temperatures for the year, the jet stream has been in a frustrating spot for the west coast. The jet stream has been exiting the Pacific Ocean around the Oregon coast, then scraping across the Northwest coast, bringing vast amounts of rain to us, and cooler than normal temperatures to the Pacific Northwest.
Washington’s infamous rain has been coming down hard for the past weeks. Photo courtesy of seattletimes.com.
The Seattle rainfall record for the month of February was almost surpassed, as we had 8.85 inches of rain, just short of 1961’s 9.11 inches.
For the upcoming month, the NOAA’s preliminary forecast is showing this trend to continue, but after April, the average highs are projected to be above 60 degrees, and we should be in the clear, though the possibility for 50-something degree weather could still be in the cards.