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Why is autumn often wet and windy?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014, 18:09 GMT -

After a delayed start to autumn, October has seen much more typical weather for this time of year with spells of heavy rain and strong winds sweeping across the UK over the last few days.

We often see a change to much more unsettled conditions are we move through September, October and November as deep areas of low pressure begin to move off the Atlantic.

But why is autumn usually wet and windy here in the UK?

The jet stream is the key driver for the weather here in the UK. It is often blamed for prolonged spells of wet and windy weather, but credited if we have a period of fine and dry conditions.

This fast moving band of air high in the atmosphere sits between the cold, arctic air to the north and the warm, tropical air to the south.

The difference in temperature between the arctic and tropical air masses is one of the key drivers of the jet stream.

During the autumn, this temperature difference increases, as the days become shorter and the Arctic winter begins.

The bigger the temperature difference, the stronger the jet stream. If the jet then positions itself close to the UK, developing areas of low pressure get steered towards the UK.

Over the last few days, the jet stream as taken a dive to the south of the UK, allowing an area of low pressure to get stuck over the country, bringing a prolonged period of windy and showery conditions.

As we move through autumn and into winter, all eyes will be on the jet stream to determine whether we will get any more wet and stormy weather.

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