Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Student David Wright in The Buffalo News

Posted: December 1, 2014

Student David Wright in The Buffalo News

Doctoral Student David Wright was quoted in The Buffalo News for his research on lake effect snow.

According to the article, which discussed the heavy snow in Buffalo, meteorologists and geographers say that lake-effect snows have increased as temperatures have warmed in recent decades.

The article references NASA, which stated on its website: “While the Bering Sea Superstorm did not directly cause the snow event in New York, it did set the stage for it by nudging the jet stream into an unusual shape that sent a pulse of cool Arctic air south over the central United States.”

The jet stream is driven by the temperature difference from the equator to the north pole, Wright told the Buffalo News.

That temperature difference is narrowing as the planet warms, which means there is less energy available to change the course of the jet stream, Wright said. So when some extreme event like Nuri pushes the jet stream out of whack, it remains out of whack for what can seem like forever.

“This then allows for cold air (like what’s over the eastern United States) or warm air (like what’s over the western United States) to sit there for longer periods of time,” said Wright, the lead author of an American Meteorological Society Journal article called “Sensitivity of Lake-Effect Snowfall to Lake Ice Cover and Temperature in the Great Lakes Region.”

To read the full story, please visit The Buffalo News.

To read the journal article, please visit AMS.

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