Is this unusual or just a bad winter? One study suggests that climate change has altered the jet stream creating a situation where weather patterns are stagnating over the U.S.
- The east coast still is recovering from a Nor'easter that dumped heavy amounts of snow across the region (click here for a photo gallery from New Jersey Patches).
- January 2014, for example, was the third snowiest month in Chicago's history, with 33.7 inches falling.
- Atlanta was hit with a severe winter storm this week which came on the heels of a January storm that paralyzed much of the Atlanta metro area.
- The ice coverage of the Great Lakes has been rising rapidly, leading to spectacular photos. Lake Michigan is 80 percent ice covered and could challenge the record of 93.1 percent set in 1977.
The BBC reported that as the jet stream slows, it has begun taking a longer, more meandering path. Consequently, weather patterns tend to become "stuck over areas" and cold weather is driven further south while warm weather is driven further north.
However, other scientists have disputed the notion that climate change is to blame for shifting the jet stream.
The Daily Mail quoted climate professor Mat Collins as saying "There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge."
What do you think? Let us know your views in comments.