During the dark days of winter, there is a strong tendency for radiational cooling over the continental landmasses, which produces cool air and high pressure. Most of the time, there is very little weather, and this is in fact the driest time of the year at all locations in North America except for the West Coast. However the temperature contrasts between land and sea are much stronger, which means a more powerful jet stream, more uncertainty in the day-to-day forecast, and the occasional development of powerful weather systems. We'll take a look at one such example in this issue.
TIM VASQUEZ is a former Air Force forecaster and author of Digital Atmosphere, a weather forecasting software program. He lives near Norman, Oklahoma, where he keeps busy as a weather consultant and software developer.