North-eastern parts of the US were hit by blizzards earlier this week, with huge drifts of snow paralysing parts of New York City and the surrounding area.
You may have heard the popularly-held belief that cold weather seen in the USA tends to head towards the UK a few days later, but is there any truth in this? The short and simple answer to this is no, not really.
Weather systems that end up creating havoc across the pond rarely hold together in their long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to bring about similar disruption here. In many situations in which the UK does experience weather conditions seen several days earlier in the States, it’s often down to pure chance. However, the USA is often “upstream” of the UK in terms of our prevailing weather conditions.
In other words, variations in weather across the US and the north Atlantic do have knock-on effects which can, ultimately, bring us interesting or violent weather. The winter of 2013/14 is a very good case in point. It is now widely believed that staggeringly cold weather across North America during last winter directly influenced the north-Atlantic jet-stream, the ribbon of fast-moving wind that directs weather systems across the Atlantic. The unusual cold in America acted to strengthen the jet-stream which, in turn, fired up ever-more potent storms which brought relentless wind and rain to the UK last winter so abnormally cold and snowy weather in the USA last year brought the UK abnormally mild and wet weather.
Having said all of the above, the rest of this week is going to be cold here in the Aylesbury Vale and, potentially, with some snowfall too. Comparison to the weather in the USA is therefore not wide of the mark in this instance.
We’re not going to see anywhere near the levels of snowfall suffered in New York, however, with any snow during Thursday, Friday and the weekend coming from scattered showers. Daytime temperatures will struggle to reach 3 or 4C during the daytimes whilst the night-times will see frosty conditions with lows of -2 or -3C possible.