Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

When Is Spring Coming?

PostedFebruary 26, 2006

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Randy Atkins:  If you tracked our last big snowstorm, you could see the so-called jet stream dragging the weather from west to east.

Robert Black:  During the wintertime it tends to be strong and further south, whereas during the summertime it's weaker and it's displaced toward the north.

Randy Atkins:  Rob Black, of Georgia Tech, says that helps keeps it cold here in the Winter.  While more sun certainly contributes to the onset of Spring, Black is exploring whether the real cue may be changing winds high up in the atmosphere that alter the jet stream.

Robert Black:  And what we've found is preliminary evidence to suggest that it is.

Randy Atkins:  He says when those high altitude winds actually reverse, it triggers Spring down here.  And don't despair…

Robert Black:  When it happens, it can happen pretty quick.

Randy Atkins:  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.