Bill Patzert says that while La Niña was strong in December, it pulled a “disappearing act” in January “and left us with nothing — La Nada — to constrain the jet stream. Like an unruly teenager, the jet stream took advantage of the newfound freedom, and the results were disastrous,” Patzert said.
The first effects of the wayward jet were polar outbreaks across the U.S. and parts of Europe.
Then, when warmth and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico later streamed northward and confronted the cold, they triggered intense storms and violent tornadoes, according to the NASA scientist.
“The jet stream on steroids acted as an atmospheric mix master, causing tornadoes to explode across Dixie and Tornado Alley, and even into Massachusetts,” Patzert said.
Photo: NASA JPL