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Author Topic: Why is winter weather so cold in the NE US/Canada compared to the west?  (Read 2942 times)

Offline annie123

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The question says most of this post but a couple of things went through my mind. Do the rockies have an influence in blocking Arctic temps?         But I thought the water on the east coast was a bit warmer because of the Gulf stream and this would make the seaboard places like those in west.
These are some of the things going through my mind but I don't know the real answer.


 

Offline Don_1

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I think you'll find the northern mainland limit of the Gulf Stream's influence is around Massachusetts. But the bulge created by North Carolina rather shelters the coastal waters of Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey.

The west coast, on the other hand, benefits from the warmer North Pacific Drift current.
 

Offline annie123

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Thanks. SOmeone here also told me that the arctic winds turn east from the pole because of the motion of the earth and that's the direction of the jetstream too. not sure if this is a reason - we do get arctic air coming south sometimes but perhaps the mountains help to block some of it.
 

Offline Don_1

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The jet stream will certainly have an effect on temperatures, but it can go either way.

Travelling west to east it will form a wavy line and may turn quite suddenly to form a U or inverted U shape. When it forms a U shape it will draw cold air down from the artic, conversely an inverted U shape will draw warmer air up from the south. Which side of the jet stream you are on will determine its effect and just because you are south of the jet stream today does not mean you will be south of it next week. The jet stream is in a constant state of fluctuation.

Go to this site and click on the "ANIMATE" button above the map to see how the jet stream moves.

Right now, I am rather wishing for a sudden and dramatic change in the weather in NE USA. I'm off to NY in a couple of weeks for few days break. Last night's live broadcast from Boston on the BBC was far from inviting!!!
 

Offline evan_au

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Do the rockies have an influence in blocking Arctic temps?

The Rockies play a role in tornado formation, creating a flow of cold air from the west at high altitudes. This meets a flow of warm, moist air at lower altitudes from the Gulf of Mexico in the east.

 

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