|MadSci Network: Earth Sciences|
Weather patterns do in fact travel around the globe. The circulation of the atmosphere follows a series of waves around the globe. The number and amplitude of these waves is determined by the position and strength of the jet stream, which in turn is a thermally driven feature dependent on the temperature gradients that exist both above and below the level of the jet. These waves may intensify (deepen), or dampen out (becoming more zonal) as they move around the globe depending on a nearly infinite combination of things that make our weather. Check out USA TODAY's weather pages for more information on ridges and troughs, and zonal and meridional flow.
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