Frozen trees near a road. (Credit: Larisa Koshkina)
As winter approaches, scientists are looking up to the stratosphere for predicting extreme weather events like the monstrous polar vortex that have hit the U.S. in the past few years.
A new study from the University of Reading has determined that forecasts could be twice as accurate by looking at wind patterns in the stratosphere. They can also forecast extreme winter events up to a month before they are expected to occur, which will help cities all across the U.S. prepare for the worst.
The polar night jet stream, about 25 miles above the Earth, blows winds west at up to 90 mph or can drastically shift and send winds east. The scientists looked at weather events matched with the wind patterns over a 30-year time period. They found that weather is influenced when the strength of the winds settles or gets stronger.
Top image: Frozen trees near a road. (Credit: Larisa Koshkina)