Colorful jet stream visualization over Earth's Western Hemisphere.

What is the Jet Stream?

The jet stream is a narrow band of strong winds in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere, and it blows from west to east and provides a corridor for storms to follow as they circumnavigate the globe. Jet streams form along the boundaries of warm and cold air, and the wiggles of the jet stream play a large part in the weather you experience.

Graphic showing el nino in terms of departures from the average sea surface temperature of the Pacific.

What is El Niño?

El Niño is returning this year, with significant effects expected for our weather in 2023. El Niño’s return comes after three straight years of La … Read more

Satellite view of cloud formations over the Earth.

What is an Atmospheric River?

Our atmosphere is constantly in motion. Weather systems are transported around the globe by this motion, with a narrow band of stronger winds called the ‘jet stream‘ providing much of this motion, which lies between cold and warm air masses.

what is a snow squall

What are Snow Squalls?

It happens every winter. Drivers are caught off guard by icy roads and a sudden wind gust, the arrival of cold air, and a burst of snow so heavy you can’t see the car in front of you. It’s called a snow squall and is more common than people think.

polar vortex diagram

What is a Polar Vortex?

Winter 2020-21 didn’t turn out as many thought. Most long-range forecasters thought La Niña would lead to a mild and uneventful winter. My weather station read 62 on Christmas Day in Pennsylvania! Well, the polar vortex had other plans.