tmifan
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Can someone please explain to me:
What are jet streams?
What are Rossby waves?
And how do they affect the climate of the British Isles?

I really don't get it.

Thanks
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username2088165
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#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
(Original post by tmifan)
Can someone please explain to me:
What are jet streams?
What are Rossby waves?
And how do they affect the climate of the British Isles?

I really don't get it.

Thanks
Hi tmifan,

Jet streams are relatively narrow bands of fast moving air which follow the boundaries between air masses (large parcels of air which have consistent internal characteristics of temperature and humidity). Because of changing atmospheric conditions, jet streams move from higher to lower latitudes and vice versa. The polar front jet stream is one of two jet streams that sit above the UK. When it moves to the south of the UK, it brings in cold air from the Arctic, and when it moves to the north of the UK, it brings in warm air from the tropics.

Rossby waves form due to interactions between different air masses. An example of where Rossby waves form is between the polar easterlies (currents of cold, dry air from the poles flowing towards the equator), and the mid-latitude westerlies (warmer air flowing from the lower latitudes towards the poles). These wind systems meet at a boundary called the polar front. Because the two air masses are trying to flow in opposite directions and their relative strengths change, the boundary between them is not uniform but undulates in large waves (Rossby waves), which alternate between high and low latitudes.

Rossby waves cause the polar front jet stream to move north and south throughout the year, and therefore influence the type of weather we experience in the UK - when the jet stream is pulled south of the UK, we get cold Arctic air and cold weather, and when it is pulled north, we get warm air from the tropics and hot, humid weather.

I hope that helps
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