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What is extreme weather?

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UK AIR MASSES…read more

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AIR FRONTS…read more

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What's behind the UK weather?
Traditional · Westerly airstreams bring our weather to us from Atlantic
· This maritime air is often unstable and when it meets colder air, dense air rises and cools
bringing depressions with wet and windy weather
· Other times, continental air produces stable conditions which air is subsiding reducing
chances of rainfall which brings us anticyclones
· Anticyclones bring clear skies which leades to heat waves in the summer and freezing
conditions in the winter
Modern · As Earth spins, changing flows of air move towards us from West
(Jet Stream) · 10km above polar front, the waves drive the fast moving current of air called the Polar
· Jet-stream determines surface patterns of high-low pressure systems
Blocked Phase · Westerly flows are blocked by anti-cyclone systems over Europe
(Normal Summer) · Jet-stream directs storms North of UK bringing settled stable conditions
· Leads to heat waves and dry conditions (Summer `06)
Progressive · Jet-stream flows south of UK allowing deep Atlantic depressions
Phase · Increases risk of storms, floods (Spring/Summer `07)
*Jet-streams ­ a meandering ribbon of air in upper atmosphere above the polar front which flows eastwards at
hurricane speeds, determining the pattern of high-low pressure areas below…read more

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