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Features November 2018 Issue

Winter Forecasts

The baroclinic leaf (green) is a pattern often seen on infrared satellite imagery. It is strongly associated with winter storms and icing.

Winter Forecasts

With Old Man Winter looming as the next fix on our approach, now is a good time to go over how to stay safe in the air during the colder months.

Letís start with the basics. In the cool season the North Pole is pointed away from the sun. As the polar regions lose solar heating and the days shorten, the atmosphere cools significantly, and we see a huge semi-permanent polar air mass covering much of Canada and northern Russia. Parts of it break off regularly as frontal systems and polar highs. The large expansion of the cold air mass boots the jet stream out of Canada, pushing it down into the United States.

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