Kaddy Lee-Preston's official blog

Jet stream = Wet stream?

It may have been a washout this weekend but at least some people were enjoying it!

Folkestone West Beach (Mermaids) 17/07/11 1.30pm

Our June/July has been so poor in relation to April/May because of the unseasonally low position of the jet stream.  Ordinarily at this time of year it should be further north, but instead it is closer to the British Isles.  This band of intensely strong winds at high level can bring us unsettled weather when it lies close to us, but deflects the bad weather when it lies to the north of us.  In fact when it’s closer to Iceland we can enjoy long periods of the Azores High – which means beautiful sunny and dry summer months.  You might recall that the last 3 summers have been, well, fairly ‘disappointing’ and that’s because we were plagued by a shifty jet stream.    The jet being in the ‘wrong’ place is one of meteorology’s little mysteries – so far we aren’t entirely sure what causes it to change position so dramatically.   There are likely to be many factors, but I think the main one is the global sea temperature.  The top ten feet of our oceans contains more heat than our entire atmosphere.  This heat, or energy, affects the position of the jet stream and therefore affects our weather – all year round.  You may have heard of El Niño and La Niña warming and cooling patterns in the Southern Pacific Ocean – and I think these have played a huge part in how our summers have been a little gooey over the last few years.  And predicting what happens next…well, that’s all part of the fun folks. 

Saturday 16 July 2011.  Birling Gap

David Burr says, “Went rushing down to Birling Gap tonight to get some cloud shots. It was blowing a gale atop the cliffs so I had to use a very high asa setting as the tripod was vibrating, however I am pleased with the grainy result processed via HDR software. Hope you like it.”

Yes we do David!  At least this wild weather creates some stunning photo opportunities.

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