Baby it’s cold outside.  Cold is relative.  Here is Arizona anything under 60 has the natives looking for their parkas.  If you watch the weather you may have noticed a pattern over the years pertaining to Arizona and winter. The reason for a warm or cold winter has a lot to do with the Jet Stream.

The Jet Stream is a river of high speed air that circulates around the globe.  It keeps the frigid arctic air in Canada and the northern tier states.  A normal winter this is exactly what happens.  Arizona is usually warm and dry when the jet stream stay in the north.  Years when the Jet Stream drops into the southwest we enjoy a cold winter.

The last time the jet stream dipped this far south parts of central and southern Arizona experienced hard freezes. This freeze killed my 25 year old Ficus tree.  Many other people in my neighborhood also lost plants and trees to the hard freeze.  One benefit of a hard freeze is it kills insects including disease carrying insects that thrive in Arizona.

Arizona is not the only state to suffer when the jet stream drops to the south.  Many of the severe winter storms in the midwest and the east coast happen because of the change in the jet stream.  On the bright side it may be cold for Arizona but at least there is no black ice, freezing rain or feet of snow.    So that some solace that your friends and family back east can see the abundant sunshine Arizona is know for even in our cold winters.Baby it’s cold outside.

Written by James Simons