Science: Waves on the Job

After basking during late December in springlike warmth, with lawns still green and rosebushes foolishly budding, the Mississippi Valley and the U.S. East Coast last week got gales and snow and cold waves, and the spell of bad weather swept east as far as Russia. The reason for the turnaround, according to Meteorologist Jerome Namias of the U.S. Weather Bureau: the planetary wind was on holiday during the holidays. Now it is back on its job and trying to make amends.

The planetary wind is the broad river of air that circles around the earth at high altitude in the North Temperate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!