Our recent weather certainly is worthy of celebrating with a high five. To what do we attribute our beautiful autumn streak? High presure ridge. Say what?
High pressure ridges are basically elongated areas of high pressure both at the earth's surface and at higher altitudes. Depending on how big they are and how fast they move, they can be responsible for intense heat waves during the summer months or fair, mild weather in the Spring and Fall.
Upper level ridges certainly have an impact on weather at the earth's surface.. There is a general clockwise circulation to high pressure. To the east of the ridge the air sinks and compresses resulting in clear skies and warmer temperatures. To the west that circulation causes the air to rise producing clouds and the threat of storms.
We'll be discussing the ridge, that currently is parked right over the heart of America, tonight on News 5 at ten. You'll be able to identify it by the jet stream winds, that river of winds flowing from west to east at the height jet airplanes fly, arcing northward into central Canada followed by a dip into the southwest and southeast parts of the U.S. respectively. We call this an Omega block pattern, because the wind pattern looks like the Greek letter Omega. This type of atmospheric blocking is typically a stagnant airmass with the weather changing very little from day to day. Fortunately, Nebraska is right under the 'ridge' so look for our mild autumn weather to continue the rest of the week.