December 18, 2010 — An unusual bout of weather is sweeping over parts of northern Canada and Europe all thanks to the jet stream.
The jet stream is helping to generate record breaking temperatures across parts of Canada’s north and bringing cold conditions to countries in Europe.
“A huge ridge in the jet is bringing warm weather to places like Nunavut,” explains Patrick Cool a meteorologist from The Weather Network. On Friday, Coral Harbour Airport recorded a record high of 3.3°C. The last time the mercury came close to this was in 1963 when the thermometer climbed to 1.7°C.
Places like Kugaaruk Airport, Resolute Airport, Rowley Island and Shepherd Bay Island also climbed to new record highs.
Newfoundland and Labrador are also feeling the effects of the ridge. Rocky Harbour was the hot spot across the country on Friday when the daytime high soared to 10.1°C. Badger (8.5°C) and Carwright (6°C) were among several communities that shattered temperature records.
The warm conditions are expected to persist for Newfoundland throughout the weekend. “A retrograding low is bringing in a backdoor warm front. This helps usher in warm temperatures as it retrogrades south…” explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
“The trough in the jet is also responsible for the significant lake effect snow that has persisted for the last two weeks across southern Ontario,” notes Cool.
Meanwhile, the jet stream is having an opposite effect on parts of Europe. “The Greenland high is creating a deep trough in the jet. This is leaving an opening for Arctic air to flow across Europe resulting in colder weather and snow, ” says Cool.
Winter has tightened its grip on countries like the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy causing everything from flight cancellations to vehicle accidents due to icy roads.
“This pattern in the jet stream is expected to last over the next few days and then it will start to break down,” explains Vettese.