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Jet Stream and impact on subsidence

(July 20, 2023)

Can the movement of the Jet Stream impact the prevalence of subsidence surge in the UK?


The Jet Stream is a high-speed, narrow air current found in the upper atmosphere, typically at altitudes of around 9 to 16 kilometers (30,000 to 50,000 feet). In the UK, the Jet Stream has a significant impact on the weather patterns and plays a crucial role in determining the country’s weather conditions.

While the Jet Stream can influence the weather patterns in the UK, its impact on subsidence is indirect and related to the type of weather it brings. For instance, if the Jet Stream brings persistent dry conditions to an area, it can contribute to soil drying out, potentially exacerbating subsidence issues in already vulnerable areas.


Impact of the Jet Stream on Weather in the UK:


Temperature: The position of the Jet Stream can influence the temperature in the UK. When it lies to the north of the country, it allows warm air from the south to move in, leading to milder temperatures. Conversely, if the Jet Stream shifts southwards, it can bring colder air from the Arctic region, resulting in colder temperatures.


Rainfall: The Jet Stream can also affect the distribution of rainfall. When it flows over the UK, it acts as a pathway for weather systems, bringing with it bands of rain and storms. The northern part of the UK often receives more rainfall when the Jet Stream is positioned further south, while the southern areas may experience drier conditions.


Storms and Weather Events: The Jet Stream plays a significant role in the development and intensification of storms in the UK. When a strong Jet Stream interacts with other atmospheric factors, it can lead to the formation of deep low-pressure systems, which can result in powerful storms and heavy rainfall.


Jet Stream Blocking: Sometimes, the Jet Stream can become “blocked” or stationary in a particular position for an extended period. This blocking pattern can lead to prolonged periods of stable weather conditions, such as heatwaves or prolonged rainfall, depending on the position of the block.


Can the Jet Stream be Predicted?

Predicting the exact position and behavior of the Jet Stream is challenging due to its high variability and complex interactions with other atmospheric systems. However, meteorologists use advanced computer models and satellite data to make short to medium-term predictions of the Jet Stream’s position and strength.

Short-term predictions (up to a week ahead) tend to be more accurate, while longer-term forecasts may have more uncertainty. Meteorological agencies use numerical weather prediction models, which take into account various factors like temperature, pressure, and wind patterns to predict the Jet Stream’s behavior.

Although predictions have improved over the years, the Jet Stream’s behavior can still be influenced by chaotic factors that are difficult to model accurately over extended periods. As a result, while forecasting the general patterns and tendencies of the Jet Stream is possible, pinpointing its exact location and strength for long periods remains a challenge.


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