First Alert Weather In-Depth: The heat is all Greek to me

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It seems like we have had a season of extremes. During the heart of summer we expect mostly dry weather, but it was unusually wet for July and August. Now we should be getting cooler temperatures, but just the opposite is happening.

It seems like summer has made a return for the month of October. The last time Rochester had four days in a row with temperatures warmer than 80 degrees was 76 years ago. That dates back to the year 1947. And if we take the temperature up to 85 degrees for any single day in October, that benchmark has only happened on three occasions since the year 2000. In the coming days, we expect the mercury will reach into the middle 80s. This will not be far from record territory with the greatest likelihood of a single day record happening on Wednesday. On that day, 89 degrees is the record set back in 1926.

To see why this is happening we look at jet stream and the upper level winds. Specifically the weather pattern that is producing this heat is called an Omega blocking pattern. In this scenario the jet stream is in the shape of the Greek letter in Omega. Meteorologically this just means there is very little movement, west to east, in the atmosphere.

So until there is a break-down in this pattern it will be time for a little bit of air-conditioning.