A Tale of Two Regions As a strange heat wave strikes the Arctic air and unleashes a barrage of storms across America
The weather in America is about to turn volatile as the jet stream turns into a ‘zone’ to cause a freak heat wave and a barrage of storms.
Southern states are bracing for temperatures to rise to 30 degrees Celsius this week as tropical air floods the region.
However, it will collide with a band of Arctic cold to unleash a particularly ferocious storm surge across Texas.
The culprit is the jet stream, which, after rapidly releasing and extending across the United States, has led to a so-called “zonal” weather shift.
“This simply means that the jet stream will flow in a flat manner from west to east across the country,” said Chris Dolce, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel.
“This is a change in which the jet stream has been amplified from north to south, allowing shivering temperatures to take over the central and eastern United States.
Heat to the south
“The result of this zonal flow pattern is that rain and snow will be limited to the northern tier of the country, and will help drive above-average temperatures in many cities east of the Rocky Mountains.”
Meteorologists say southern states including Louisiana, Texas and Florida could reach 30 degrees Celsius this week.
A north-south divide will keep the northern third of the country cold, with freezing winds and snow persisting.
Unstable weather conditions caused by colliding air masses will put parts of the United States under threat of violent storms.
Zonal plane sweeps America
Jim Dale, US weather correspondent and social commentator at the British Weather Service, said: “Southern regions will feel the heat this week, with temperatures returning to 30C or slightly higher.
“The jet stream will cause a three-way split, with the north remaining colder and the south becoming warmer.
“However, this will create a risk of storm surges across Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and other states that are in tornado alley.”
He warned that the storms will be charged by areas of “subtropical low pressure,” which will turn the atmosphere into a powder keg.
He added that Texas will feel the full force of the attack, which could see tornadoes hit the region.
He said: “There will be sufficient heat in the south to cause a great deal of atmospheric instability, in addition to the possibility of subtropical depressions emerging from the region, and with the warmth there will be high humidity.”
“There could be some big storms in Texas by the end of the week, and this state will bear the brunt of them.”
Meanwhile, northwestern states face more flood risk this week as storms roll in from the Gulf Coast.
“We have more rain in the Pacific Northwest and some snow in higher terrain,” said Ari Sarsalari, a weather channel meteorologist.
“On Thursday and into Friday, there is another batch of rain coming in and of course some snow in the higher terrain parts of the Cascades.
“The next batch of rain will be a smaller batch of rain along the front, so the risk of flooding will be low, but this is the rainy season, so we will see more of these storms coming in more often.”