94 in Alaska? Weather extremes tied to jet stream

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists say the jet stream, that river of air high above Earth that generally dictates the weather, hasn't been playing by the usual rules.

And you can blame it for everything from Alaska's recent heat wave to the direction of Superstorm Sandy last fall. The jet stream normally moves in a fairly straight line from west to east. But recently its pattern has been more erratic.

Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private service Weather Underground, says the jet stream's activity in the past three years has been unlike anything he's seen. Some research ties it to a warmer Arctic from climate change, but scientists are divided on whether that's the cause.

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