Weather Tidbits: Arctic Oscillation

This Weather Tidbits explains the Arctic Oscillation and its role with the United States. The Arctic Oscillation or AO is a shifting of atmospheric pressure over the Arctic that creates changes in the upper-level westerly winds over the northern latitudes; which influence winter weather patterns in the northern Hemisphere. The AO has two phases: positive & negative. The Arctic Oscillation in a positive phase will have stronger westerly winds and a not so wavy jet stream; which means storms are steered northward with cold air staying north and warm air staying south. This results in a milder winter for the United States with less cold outbreaks; while colder winters are produced for Newfoundland & Greenland. A negative AO is will have  a weaker westerly winds and a wavier jet stream;  thus allowing cold air to flow south. This allows the United States to have colder winters; while warm air flows north bringing warm winters for Newfoundland & Greenland.

Categories: Weather Tidbits