Cold Snap Shakes Up Winter Weather Outlook : NPR
FLATOW: We're seeing freezing temperatures stretching from Midwest to the Northeast, snowstorms across the pond in England...Well, one last question about this because there is speculation that this weather may be due to the loss of ice during the summertime at the polar region. Is there any evidence for that being the trigger?
WEBER: No, that has a lot of other dramatic effects on our climate, but for stratospheric warming events, what we're looking at are very large systems, such as the one that was off of the northeast coast of Japan. Also it's been correlated to sunspot activity. So that's kind of a factor that doesn't affect the troposphere so much, but it does involve some (unintelligible) content action in the stratosphere. So we're seeing a correlation between a solar activity and then these big, very unstable systems late in the season like we saw off the northeast coast of Japan.
FLATOW: All right, well, people always blame stuff on sunspots, so...
WEBER: That's right, it's hard to prove them wrong.