Cancellations are coming in again for concerts, so readers are admonished to trust our calendar but verify in this season of multiple storms. What’s up from the heavens? Is it the result of permanent climate change? Should we cancel all concerts this month and in all Februarys to come?
Mike Rocha, a valued BMInt critic, who happens to have an MS in meteorology from MIT, responded thus:
Needless to say, my meteorological antennae have been all aquiver, and I’m enjoying every flake of our unprecedented winter! But to give a succinct answer: the long-wave jet stream pattern is amplified, with a pronounced ridge in the west and trough in the east. This pattern has been persistent for months. In December, the trough axis was a bit farther west, with an associated storm track that brought in mild air. For the first three weeks of January, the axis shifted to the east, bringing cold air and storms that tended to stay offshore. Now the storm track is quite close to us, bringing this potent winter combo of cold air and storminess.
Among other things, it’s related to a climatological surface-pressure pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation. Very hard to say whether something like this is exacerbated by climate change.