GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Sven has talked about the extreme jet stream patterns we’ve been seeing and how, yes, our cold, snowy April was a symptom of climate change rather than refuting it.
Recently, Dr. Jennifer Francis, a professor at Rutgers University, was in Minnesota to discuss that topic. She specializes in researching the connection between arctic warming and weather patterns in mid-latitudes.
Sven sat down with her to talk about how changes in the arctic are affecting our Minnesota weather.
"In the last 40 years, we’ve seen half of the cover of the floating ice in the arctic ocean disappear in the summer time," Dr. Francis said.
Minnesota is actually coming off a normal winter after getting used to some warmer winter months over the last few years. Believe it or not, all of this is connected to the warming arctic, according to Dr. Francis.
"Because the arctic is warming so fast it’s changing the north-south temperature difference," she explained.
When we see a weaker jet stream, it tends to take these bigger north-south swings. For people here in Minnesota, when we get those big north-south swings jet streams we tend to see a lot of cold, arctic air able to plunge much further south when we get those big dips in the jet stream.