REGARDING EXCUSES FOR RECORD-SETTING ANTARCTIC ICE

Antarctic-sea-ice-British-Antarctic-Survey I have been lurking about the web, seeking to learn how in the world Alarmists can explain-away a million km2 increase in sea-ice around Antarctica. How can “Global Warming” cause so much more ice?

As I understand it, their explanation involves imagining that Global Warming is melting Antarctic ice that is made of fresh water. Because there is so much melting going on down there the ocean is less salty. Because it is less salty, it freezes more readily.

This idea may sound intelligent to the uninitiated, however to those who have bothered study sea-ice even a little, it is not a very thought-out idea.  In fact I would call it pablum for blithering idiots, but that would be rude.

While lurking about seeking data I chanced upon a website which has got to be the absolute antithesis of a pro-global-warming website. I found it delightful, for rather than seizing upon signs our world is warmer it seizes upon any scrap of evidence we are on the verge of the next ice age.  It is named, appropriately, “Ice Age Now.”

http://iceagenow.info/

I chanced upon the site because they talked about the record-setting antarctic sea ice here: http://iceagenow.info/2014/09/record-antarctic-sea-ice-size-contiguous-united-states/

I submitted this somewhat long-winded comment to them, which likely deserved to be here, as a post of my own:

I find it interesting to watch how this amazing increase in Antarctic sea-ice can be attributed to “warming.”

I suppose that, if you deeply believe in the idea of Global Warming, the creative side is activated. You are like a schoolboy making excuses for undone homework. It has nothing to do with science or truth; and everything to do with avoiding the punishment of being “kept after” by a teacher, when your soul longs to be outside in the springtime. In other words, it is bull. (I myself was very good at bull, as a schoolboy, so I recognize it in adults who never grew up.)

Their illogical thought-process seems conclude that the increase in sea-ice must be due to warming, and in the desperate effort to create a scenario where warming creates ice they hit upon the idea that there must be more fresh water, (which freezes at a higher temperature), and that the fresh water must have come from melting.

The problem is that the continent of Antarctica is too cold. Even in the warmest part of summer there is very little melting. There are no rivers pouring off the edge of the ice into the sea. In terms of rivers, I only know of a single stream on a desert-dry, ice-free area of the continent, and I think it is less than ten miles long, and sinks into the sand without ever reaching the sea. And that is during the warmest time of year, while the ice we now see being formed has been formed during the coldest time of year.

So the imagined increase in fresh water cannot be due to melting on the continent itself.

I have to give them credit for the next idea. (I give schoolboys credit for their most ingenious excuses for undone homework, as well.)

They decided the fresh water must come from the sea-ice itself, and the melting was occurring on the underside of the ice, due to the up-welling of warmer water.

This is unlikely, as temperatures are so low during their winter that the sea-ice is growing thicker, not thinner, but even if you humor them, their ideas fail.

There actually are up-wellings of warmer water. As the wind comes screaming off the continent at extremely low temperatures it pushes both the ice and surface water away from shore, and because that water must be replaced, the replacement comes from deeper down, where the water is a little warmer. This water nearly instantly freezes, but the new ice is also pushed away from shore. (You need to understand the winds can be over 100 mph at times.) Amazingly there are areas of open water along the shores of Antarctica, called “polynyas”, even when temperatures are minus fifty and the wind-chill is ridiculous.

The thing to remember is that this open water is not caused by warmth, but by cold. The colder the air gets, the more it sinks, and the more it sinks the faster the winds come screaming down from the highlands to the sea. The colder it gets the stronger the wind is, the more the ice is pushed away from land, and the more warm water up-wells.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if there was really warming occurring on Antarctica then there would be less open water. The winds would be less, less ice would be pushed off-shore, and there would be less up-welling of slightly warmer water. The polynyas would be smaller.

However you must ignore that, to understand their excuse, which is that the slightly warmer up-welled water travels under the sea-ice, melting it as it goes, and then, at the outer edge, the fresher water emerges and, because it is fresher, freezes more readily, resulting in more sea-ice than usual.

This idea has some serious problems. The main problem is that we are talking about sea-ice. We are not talking about those amazing Antarctic ice-burgs that are hundred of feet thick. We are talking sea-ice, which must be grown from scratch, and which at first is only a few inches thick. Then it is a foot thick. Then it is two feet thick. And so on. So where is the melting occurring?

How can any fresh water be created? In actual fact the water gets more salty, because brine is extruded from the ice as it freezes. (This brine can be so cold it forms a sort of icicle as it dribbles down through fresher water, and there is amazing film of such icicles reaching the bottom, and freezing passing starfish in their tracks.)

What is really fun to watch is, as these illogical excuses are concocted, the excuse-maker will often try to go all technical, apparently hoping to back you off by talking of up-welling and down-welling, assuming you are uneducated about such matters. (The old baffle-them-with-bullsh-t ploy.)

If you have neither the time nor patience to bring up the points I have just made, it is jarring to their illogic if you simply bring up what was stated back in 2007.

(An amazing number of Alarmists have only recently begun paying attention. They have no idea what was said in 2007.)

Back then the Antarctic ice had been decreasing a little, after the hugely warm El Nino of 1998, and we were assured it was “settled science” that Antarctic ice would continue to decrease.

This decrease was very important to the big picture of Global Warming. We were told there was a magic word, “albedo.” Basically the idea was that white ice reflected warm sunlight, while dark, open water absorbed warm sunlight, and therefore less ice would make for warmer oceans, further sea-ice melt, and a dangerously warmer world. We were assured that it was an established fact that the sea-ice was melting away.

Instead we are seeing “settled science” become unsettled. Rather than more dark, open water, there is less. For crying out loud! There are more than a million more square kilometers of white, sunlight-reflecting ice this year than at the same time last year! Surely that should lead to a colder world. It surely must derange all the carefully modeled results based on “albedo equations.”

I have the strange sense that using the word “albedo” will soon become politically incorrect.

ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE RECORD DESERVES HEADLINE?

antarctic_sea_ice_extent_2014_day_260_1981-2010 The amount of sea-ice around Antarctica hasn’t merely broken the recent record by a small amount. It has smashed it.  We are talking roughly a million square kilometers more ice than ever before.  Nor are we talking of ice up at 80 degrees latitude. Some of this ice is south of sixty degrees latitude, close to fifty-five degrees south of Africa.

Imagine the Atlantic frozen from Labrador across the Atlantic, south of the southern tip of Greenland, well south of Iceland, to the northern tip of Scotland and southern tip of Norway.  That is sea-ice at sixty degrees latitude.

Imagine the “albedo” equations involved in having all that ice, a million square kilometers, reflecting sunshine on the first day of spring. Nor is the sunlight low and slanting at that latitude.  It is higher and more direct.

Then consider the simple fact that back in 2007, when the Antarctic ice had been declining a little in recent years, we were told the decline would continue.  Global Warming would eat away at the edge of the ice for sure. These predictions went hand in hand with the predictions of a “Death Spiral” at the opposite Pole. We were assured that  all the “albedo” equations had been carried out by scientists who were much smarter than we were, and that the reduction of sea-ice was “settled science.”

The above graph demonstrates they were thunderously wrong.  It is a repudiation of their ideas, carried out by Mother Nature. It deserves headlines. Why is there deafening silence?

ARIZONA FLOODS—McKIBBEN ALERT

With the remains of Hurricane Odile rushing north from the Gulf of California, alarmists such as Bill McKibben are likely to suffer their usual anxiety attacks, and to describe the event as “unprecedented.” The flooding may be worsened because it was preceded by moisture brought north by “Norbert,” and likely will be followed by moisture swept north by “Polo”, (even if Polo veers out to sea.)  McKibben may then state that the number of storms coming up the west coast of Mexico is “unprecedented”, as well.

I’m not sure why McKibben can’t remember 1976. He was alive back then. Four tropical storms came up the west coast that year. I’d poke fun at his forgetfulness, but I suppose there is an off-hand chance he has suffered some sort of brain damage, and it resulted in amnesia. Because it would be unspeakably rude to poke fun at such a person, I will instead pat the back of his hand and say, “Now, niw. There, there. Calm down, Bill. Calm down.”

Because I was alive in 1976,  I recall the desert floods, the heat and drought further north in California, and the bitter cold that followed in the east.  I am always watching to see signs of a repeat of that nasty winter, when sea-ice formed in harbors as far south as Virginia.

I only have the memory of a lifetime to fall back on, but over at Weatherbell the meteorologists Joseph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi have supplemented their own life’s experience by studying maps from times long before they were born.  Therefore they have developed an ability to see things coming, which at times is downright uncanny. I think they first began to mention the possibility of floods in Arizona last April, (even as they stated the “super El Nino” that people were going wild about back then wasn’t going to happen.)

Perhaps they are merely lucky, like a gambler in Las Vegas on a “hot streak,” but I find it impressive when they post illustrations like this one of Kathleen back in 1976, and then Odile takes a similar route only a few weeks later.

Kathleen 1976 640px_Kathleen_1976_rainfall(1)

It is clear that Bastardi and D’Aleo have done their homework. Shouldn’t McKibben do his?  Amnesia is not a good excuse for undone homework, and I know. Back in school the one thing I studied hardest was excuses-for-undone-homework, and I know for a fact teachers frown at “amnesia” as an excuse. (Not that it can’t work, but you have to wear a bloody bandage around your head to make it successful, and even then it only works on the more tenderhearted teachers.)

Before McKibben calls any desert floods “unpresidented,” he should research, as Joseph D’Aleo did. I think this chart of tropical-storm floods in Arizona first appeared on his blog (this year) in  August:

Arizona wettest t.s. Screen_shot_2014_09_15_at_6_45_58_AM

Besides alarming floods in the desert, McKibben is fretful about drought further north, in the High Sierra.  Shouldn’t he do a bit of research, as D’Aleo did, before calling the current drought “unprecedented”?  A bit of research showed that, though the current drought is severe, it doesn’t rank in the top five.  (If McKibben is too lazy busy to do the research, he ought to subscribe to the Weatherbell site, and allow the research to be done for him.)

High Sieera drought Screen_shot_2014_09_15_at_6_39_52_AM

I notice that the year “1976” again appears, as number five in the five driest years (at this point) in the High Sierra.  This makes me a bit nervous, as during the winter of 1976-1977 that followed temperatures dropped to minus thirty, in my neighborhood in New Hampshire.

This situation actually gives McKibben an splendid opportunity to put his skill at fretting to good use.  He claims to be concerned about our grandchildren. I have four.

Largely due to the fretting of people like McKibben, coal-fired power plants are due to be closed down this January, when temperatures are at their lowest. With no  back-up power available,  this closure could overwhelm the grid, and result in power being shut off when people are in danger of freezing without power. In other words, shutting down the power plants could endanger grandchildren, and not endanger them 100 years from now, but this coming January.

Surely McKibben will be the first to see the reason to fret, and demand the logical thing be done. And what is the logical thing? To simply delay the closures until April.

As I await seeing McKibben demonstrate his deep levels of caring and concern, outside the last crickets of summer are somberly chirping.

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The minimum—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-thaws-end/

In this series of posts I have attempted to investigate things that so-called “investigative reporters” should have been investigating, but were failing to investigate.  Certain claims were being made which did not seem like the truth to me.  (If anyone is interested in my awakening, they can look at earlier introductions to earlier posts, and watch my convictions evolve.)

In a nutshell, the people of the world were being asked to make great sacrifices by the United Nations, due to an unintended consequence of civilization they dubbed “Global Warming,” which was portrayed as being a dire threat to humanity as a whole, and even to all life on earth.  It seemed to me a claim this fabulous and fantastic should be investigated, however what I noticed right away was a failure to investigate.  In fact, if you even asked a question you were immediately ostracized, and to some degree blackballed.

This aroused my suspicions, because one thing I’ve noticed in my time is that people who think they possess a truth don’t discourage questions.  They invite them, and not always for spiritual reasons; sometimes they simply want to show off how smart they are. It is only when something isn’t quite Kosher that questioning is discouraged.  (For example, when a little child asks an adult about sex, and experiences evasion, the child knows the topic involves some sort of failure to be forthright.)

Over the years I’ve run into all sorts of discouragements, when I desired truth, and I’ve made a sort of study of how some people face the truth, and others evade it.  In my younger day this curiosity led me off on sidetracks I now think I perhaps should have avoided, where I studied the world of outlaws. In that criminal world I learned a lot about how some evade answering honest questions, and learned to a degree where I mow sometimes sense dishonesty even before I know the specific question being asked. An alarm goes off in the back of my mind.

My immediate response is to back away and reconsider.  Then my secondary response is to start to ask careful questions. Even when the person I ask then acts hugely offended that I dare to question, and roars at me, the offence they take only backs me off temporarily, before I ask more questions, and follow-up questions, and follow-up-follow-up questions.

This is what investigative reporters should have done, when the UN asked all the people of the world to make huge sacrifices. Some questioned a little,  timidly, but when they saw they offended, they backed off, and dared ask no more.  Only the most courageous continued to ask questions, and I include myself in that crowd. Not that I am all that courageous. In fact I’m a coward, when it comes to thinking of someday standing before my Creator, and telling Him why I didn’t stand up for His Truth. In any case, I became a so-called “Skeptic”, and questioned Global Warming.

My conclusion is that the huge sacrifices the UN is asking humanity to make are not only unnecessary, but are harmful. They do not benefit humanity.  They lead to more hunger and poverty, and offer no return.  Even those in the UN who receive a hefty paycheck for promoting this mad policy are likely to eventually face a backlash that will make them rue the day they ever bought into the scam.  The entire “Global Warming” scare is a case of unmitigated and worldwide madness.

If you look back through these posts you only see the last year out of seven years of questioning. Also it only involved sea-ice. I have thought long and hard about other subjects as well. However those subjects must be a subject for another post on another night.  Tonight I’ll keep things simple.

The Climate Scientists assured us the arctic was in a “Death Spiral,”  and that by this summer the Pole would be ice-free.  Plainly that is poppycock.  It does not take seven years of study to see it, either.  Our current extent is shown by the red line in the graph below, and it is obvious this year’s extent is not less than last year’s, and certainly not as low as 2012’s, and no where near an “ice-free” state.

Extent 0802 Sea_Ice_Extent_v2_prev

That graph alone disproves the entire concept that builds up the idea of a “Death Spiral.”  It is a concept that bases much on a magic word, “albedo,” which measures the sunlight reflected back into space.  The idea was that white snow reflects a lot of sun, while dark blue sea-water absorbs sun.  Therefore, if the sea became ice free, it would absorb heat, and melt more ice.  This would lead to more open water, which would absorb even more heat, and melt even more ice.  It was a vicious cycle, in theory.  However when you look at the lowest, purple line on that graph, you see that in the summer of 2012 the Arctic Ocean had the least ice it’s had since 1979.  Rather than so little ice generating a warmer sea and less ice, we have seen two consecutive years where ice has increased in area and volume, (if not extent.)  That is simply impossible, according to the “albedo” theory. The theory has been proven false by Reality, irregardless of human politics or who gets funding from what source.

The Alarmists who refuse to face this Reality are ridiculous. There is no other way to describe their behavior. Their pet “albedo” theory is a Titanic that has hit an iceberg, but they refuse to admit their ship is sinking. At the very least they should state their theory needs to go back to the old drawing board, and undergo some serious tweaking, but they refuse to even say that. Instead they claim their theory is reality, and Reality should be ignored.

I really have no time for such buffoons.  They have caused serious harm, and some of their chickens are coming home to roost in my own neighborhood.  I honestly have no further time to spend pointing out Reality to people who call me a “Denier” for not denying what they deny.

Therefore I doubt I’ll continue these posts for long after the minimum.  I’d actually like to do so, for I find the arctic Reality a beautiful and refreshing subject to contemplate.  In fact, I so need beauty and refreshment that I think I will continue these posts, but they will be scaled down.  I will post maps and pictures, but comment less.

My comments will be found in a new series, which will describe a part of the USA about to suffer power shut-downs in the dead of winter’s most brutal cold, to “save the planet.”  Alarmists go on and on about how we should close coal-powered power plants for the sake of our grandchildren, and have succeeded in closing a crucial one in my neighborhood.  However I actually have four grandchildren, and they will actually freeze if the power is shut off this January. Therefore I have got to do stuff an old geezer like myself ought not do, such as chainsaw firewood, to make sure my grandchildren don’t freeze.

I think a description of that struggle will be far more interesting than what sea-ice is up to when you ccan’t even see it, after the sun has set in the frozen north.

As this series of posts winds down I’ll continue to post DMI arctic maps twice a day, and pictures from the cameras until they shut them down, but my comments will dwindle away.  If you happen to enjoy my brand of grouchy-old-man commenting, you’ll have to endure my cussing on a new series which will focus on a different local than the North Pole: A small town in New Hampshire. It used to be like a Norman Rockwell “Saturday Evening Post” cover, but I suspect it won’t be so quaint when the power goes off in January.

I’m not sure what to call the new series. “Grumpy For The Grandchildren” springs to mind. Any suggestions?

SEPTEMBER 2 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
DMI2 0902B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0902B temp_latest.big (1)
Fir the first time in a while we actually have a textbook map, with a high over the Pole and lows rotating around the edges. This situation will likely be short-lived, but while it lasts the cold should build at the Pole.
First time visitors will have to forgive me for naming the lows. It is an outlet for my creative sense of humor.
The low north of Iceland is “Tobal,” and is what is left of Hurricane Cristobal. It is bringing a southwest surge from Scandinavia, but that surge will likely be deflected east along Siberia’s arctic coast, and will not invade the Arctic Sea.
The low north of Alaska is “Steppenwolf,” who has had a long and interesting life, (see earlier posts), but who whill likely dive south towards Hudson Bay.
The low south of the Kara Sea is “Artless,” and is likely to move up through the Laptev Sea and displace the high pressure from the Pole by next weekend.
NEW CAMERAS  —The gathering gloom—
The northern camera shows light winds, and temperatures diving down towards minus five.
webcam
The southern camera shows breezes of 10-15 mph, and temperatures sinking after flirting with a thaw.
webcam
SEPTEMBER 3 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0903 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0903 temp_latest.big (1)
UPTICK IN ICE-EXTENT GRAPH
DMI2 0903 icecover_current_new
NEW CAMERAS  —Both Cameras Frosted—
The northern Camera frosted up as winds picked up to 15 mph and temperatures dropped down nearly to minus ten.
webcam
temperature-1week
Meanwhile our southern camera likely experienced north winds behind “Steppenwolf”, (pushing the sea-ice south towards Alaska), and temperatures in the minus 2-4 degree range, which is colder than it has been, as it frosted up.
But as they say, “We’ll see what we see.”
webcam

SEPTEMBER 3  —DMI Afternoon Maps-

DMI2 0903B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0903B temp_latest.big (1)

Cold is building over the Pole. There’s an interesting above-freezing patch north of the Laptev Sea.  That sea seems a sort of storm-magnet until it freezes over.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera is sending no new pictures, yet again. Temperatures are fairly steady around minus five. Winds recently dropped to nearly calm. Far to the south Buoy 2014E: reported temperatures of : -3.56 C at 1200z and -4.68 C at 0000z. (It is tomorrow there, already.)

Our southern camera has seen temperatures hover around minus three, with winds of 10 mph.webcam

SEPTEMBER 4 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0904 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0904 temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 4  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0904B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0904B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS

No picture from northern camera

temperature-1week

Southern camera hasn’t updated since the blue twilight.

webcam

temperature-1week

SEPTEMBER 5 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0905 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0905 temp_latest.big (1)

In the brief two-day period that high pressure dominated the Pole we have seen temperatures drop at least five degrees up there.  We have gone from seeing no areas bounded by the minus-five isotherm to seeing half the area bounded.  Now that high is fading towards the Pacific, as the low “Artless” squeezes north from the Laptev Sea, and in two days low will dominate the Pole, and swirl that cold around.

“Artless will be the boss,  and other lows fading. “Steppenwolf” is fading down into Canada, as “Tobal” has been squashed like a ripe tomato north of Norway bu a strong high pressure that built over northern Europe. A very weak low “Nosee” is southeast of Iceland and will drift into the North Sea, never growing strong but being a fly in the ointment in terms of nice weather for Scandinavia. Another low “Na” has appeared southwest of Greenland, and in some models is a player as it undergoes what I call “morphistication” transiting Greenland and heading to the Pole.

At this point you get to play “chose your model.”  They tend to agree “Artless” dominates the Pole, but the GFS sees a major reinforsement coming up from east Siberia, “Artlesszip,” while the Canadian GEM sees more reinforcements coming by way of the Atlantic, via “Tobal” and “Na”.  Here are Dr.  Ryan Maue’s maps from the Weatherbell site, (weeks free subscription available) of 0000z Monday.  (The GFS has the Pacific at the bottom, while the GEM has the Atlantic at the bottom.) (Click maps to enlarge, and click a second time to enlarge further.)

DMI2 0905 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_13DMI2 0905 gfs_mslp_uv10m_arctic_23

In either case the end result is a stormy Pole, and what will be our last chance to reduce the “extent” graph, although I suppose the winds might also spread out the ice and increase the “extent” graph.

DMI2 0905 icecover_current_new

SADLY, WE HAVE NO POLAR PICTURES THIS MORNING.  I’LL CHECK LATER.

It’s later, 10:23 EST, and still no updates.  Hmm.  I wonder if their funding’s cut.

WE DO HAVE PICTURES FROM O-BUOY  11 AND O-BUOY 12

webcam

webcam

They are just sitting there, as they have been sitting since June.  All that money invested into perfectly good equipment. Why aren’t they deployed?  It better not be because we can’t afford an icebreaker. We could raise that money real fast if we’d just fire Mark Serreze ( of “Death Spiral” fame) and a few others of his ilk. They  likely have a six-figure salary, but what good do they do, in terms gathering data and increasing our knowledge?  Maybe they once did some fund-raising, with all their doom and gloom, but now the opposite is likely true.

Politicians don’t take kindly to being made to look  like jackasses, and they do look like jackasses, after making speeches about how the Pole would be ice-free if they didn’t raise taxes. It would make them happy if Mark Serreze was made into a sort of scapegoat.  He’d get the blame, get the ax, and there would be an immediate quarter million in the budget to spend putting out real scientific, data-gathering buoys, and fixing the ones we already have.

THE NORMAL CRASH

Simply returning toi normal, temperatures must crash, for it is normal for temperatures to crash, at this time of year in the arctic.  Very soon we will be seeing the minus-ten isotherm in the DMI maps.

DMI2 0905 meanT_2014

YIPPEE!!!  NEW CAMERAS POSTING PICTURES!

Our northern camera is looking out over an increasingly cold world, now more than minus ten below zero Celsius, with light airs of 2 mph. 464.86 miles towards Svalbard, at Buoy 2014E: the temperature is -4.02 C. At these temperatures the sea between bergs starts to skim over, providing the wind is calm.

webcam

temperature-1week

At our southern camera the bleary view hints at freezing fog. Hopefully at these low temperatures the frost will sublimate off the lens and we can get a better look at the darkness on the horizon. Likely it is a wall of fog, but there is a slight chance it is the darkness of open water reflecting off low clouds.

At 1200z conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting  -4.67 C      461.51 miles to the west, north of Wrangle Island, Buoy 2014B: was reporting  -1.57 C.  To our south 161.41 miles, Buoy 2014C: is reporting -3.96 C, as to our east  168.4 miles at Buoy 2014F: the temperature is down to -7.54 C.

(I’m playing with Stephen Morse’s neat tool at http://stevemorse.org/nearest/distance.php )

webcam

temperature-1week

SEPTEMBER 5  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0905B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0905B temp_latest.big (1)

It is interesting how the high pressure has been squeezed right off the Pole, without much of a fight. You might even say it fled with its tail between its legs. But it sure did leave a pool of very cold air behind. (Please remember that as recently as  the morning of September 3 there was no air below minus five at the Pole, and the minus-five isotherm didn’t even appear.)

I have a hunch that the import of warm air to the Pole breeds cold, though I haven’t a clue how it works.  When I saw “Steppenwolf” bringing a blob of Siberian warmth north, and also saw the warmth being sucked north through the Canadian Archipelago, I simple said we should expect cold.  Now you see it, though it doesn’t make sense in some ways. It is bad arithmetic, (something like 1+1= -2,) for warmth+warmth= cold.

As “Steppenwolf” fills and fades into Canada, the next big boy on the block is “Artless,” now stepping out from the Laptev Sea to claim the top of the world. If you look at his isobars, you will see a point jutting towards east Siberia. I imagine that is some sort of warm front or occlusion, but some models see that innocuous feature brewing up a storm bigger than “Artless,” which I can;t really see but have already named “Artlesszip.”  As “Artless” fades and fills “Artlesszip” will bring reinforcements from the Pacific side. Meanwhile models also see reinforcements coming from the Atlantic side.

The Atlantic reinforcement is not due to the former hurricane “Tobal” that slammed into Iceland a couple of days ago. Let this be a lesson to you Scandinavians. You have a power to defect mighty storms. In terms of isobars, “Tobal” was mushed into a banana leaking over the top of Norway. In terms of moisture, most of Tobal rained-out or snowed-out over Greenland and Iceland, as Scandinavia wondered, “Former hurricane?  What former hurricane?”  Perhaps a little moisture leaked across and fed into the weak low “Nosee” east of Iceland, on its way to being a North Sea Low that never gets stronger than 1006 mb. It just acts a counterclockwise gear between the clockwise Azores high and the clockwise Scandinavian high.  It will be an annoying little storm, capable of messing up forecasts for fair weather in the Baltic, but for the most part high pressure is in command, and beat the once-mighty former-hurricane Tobal into submission. A huge surge of tropical air came north, and basically was blunted onto a curving stream north of Norway.

Even as the very noticeable Atlantic reinforcement “Tobal” comes to naught, “Na” crashes into the 10,000 foot tall icecap called Greenland, and appears to come to naught, but, through the mystery of “morphistication,”  will reappear as an entity on the other, eastern side of Greenland, and become the power Tobal failed to be.  It will charge the Pole from the Atlantic side, as an Atlantic reinforcement,  even as Artlesszip charges the Pole as a Pacific reinforcement.

This will make mincemeat of the nice, quiet and tidy situation created by having a textbook high pressure sitting atop the Pole. That pool of minus-five isotherms will be stretched out to ribbons, mixing with ribbons of warmer air. It will be a total mess, and I doubt very much there is any computer model that can guess the outcome, however that outcome, whatever it is, will effect the weather to the south, most obviously in sub-arctic regions, but to a lesser degree right down to the equator, and occasionally beyond.

This is what is so utterly cool about viewing the planet from the top, rather than the side, (as most weather maps do.)

REGARDING “MORPHISTICATION”

“Morphistication” is my word for what happens to the nice, neat spiral of a storm when it runs into the inconvenient truth of a mountain range.  Basically that storm is history, is ruined, is destroyed.  It is gonzo, baby.  The surface maps show this splendid circle of isobars vanish.  (Thank heavens beautiful women don’t change from smoothe, to ruined wrinkles, so swiftly, or the birth rate would drop to zero and humanity would perish.)

However the fact a mountain range wipes out a storm at the sea-level mentality of surface maps does not mean that those same mountains reached high enough to even touch the upper-air reflection of that storm, and that upper-air reflection transits the mountains. (I will not say it transits the mountains unscathed, for it has lost its bottom, which none of us wish to ever experience.) As it arrives on the other side of the mountain it of course effects the lower levels.

Personally I prefer surface maps. (I have a bad habit of dreaming, and have had to discipline myself to be down to earth.)

What I see is a surface low vanish on one side of a mountain range, and then reappear on the other side. It is a mystery.  A marvel. A resurrection, if you are an optimist, and a zombie, if you are not.  And this one thing I always see:  No one is very sure where if it will be strong or weak, or north or south, or will reappear at all. I’ve learned to deeply distrust computer models in this situation, and to only slightly trust old-school forecasters, (who can beat a computer, and also know how to forecast even when the computers crash, and all you have to go on is maps.)

In the USA we see a double-morphistication of storms. A huge Pacific gale hits our Rocky Mountains, and is wiped out and vanishes from the map, but a vigorous “Alberta  Clipper” appears on the east slopes.  It becomes a blizzard on the Great Plains as it growls east, but it too gets wiped out and vanishes from the map when it hits the smaller Appalachian Mountains to the east of the USA, but a vigorous “Nor’easter” appears over the coastal waters and, if “bombogenesis” occurs, coastal cities to the north get slammed.

Surely those who live in the lofty realms of upper-air-maps could assure us that it was not three different storms, but a single storm, that crossed the USA, in the above example. However I have learned those fellows are useless, when it comes to the nuts and bolts details of the down-to-earth level.  When the Pacific storm approaches our west coast, they are no good at saying what to expect on the east coast. They live in an Ivory Tower, and have about as much practical use as a psychologist does, when you need heart surgery.

The real nuts and bolts “surgeon,” in terms of forecasting, is they guy who, like a surgeon, sees in three-dimensions. When a surgeon posed his knife over your body, he does not merely see the skin he is about to cut, but in his mind’s eye sees the various levels he is about to expose.  (He is careful not to cut too deep, when he knows a big vein lies beneath.)

In terms of forecasting you need to see the upper air, as it effects what is under, but you also know what is under effects what is above. You need to hold two views at once.

Before you state this is impossible with weather maps, I would like to point out that, unless you have been unfortunate and lost an eye, you have two eyes that have two views. Neither eye has depth perception, but together they do.

In terms of meteorology, I am a cyclops. I lack the depth perception of seeing both upper air weather and ground-level weather. However, if I was young, I would seek the older meteorologists who truly have the depth perception which requires two eyes, and I would steer clear of ever becoming lazy and dependent on computer models.

And if I was from Scandinavia, I would understand that my landscape is like Greenland with the icecap gone. Just as no low can transit Greenland unchanged, no storm can cross Scandinavia without undergoing such major alterations that it will not only effect Scandinavia, but places outside Scandinavia.  For Scandinavia is like USA, in that it has the high mountains of Norway to the west, and the lower mountains of Finland to the east.  For a Swedish meteorologist, in the basin between the mountains, nearly any weather must transit a mountain range.  His conclusion should be:

Seek to understand morphistication,  or have the depth perception of a Cyclops, (or a Caleb.)

SEPTEMBER 6   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0906 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0906 temp_latest.big (1)

As “Artless” moves north from the Laptev Sea, his east side’s south winds are bringing Siberian air north. It is afternoon in  that part of the map, and the air is relatively  mild.

This likely is one of the last times we’ll see Siberia be “warm” this year, as already the nights are getting frosty over the Taiga and Tundra. A single light snowfall will change that entire huge chunk of the northern hemisphere from an area that produces mosquitoes to an area that kills them dead.  In two weeks the nights will start to be longer than the days,  radiational cooling will occur over an area bigger than the USA, and a map like the above map will see south winds from Siberia bring north air that is colder than the cold the Pole can produce.  Therefore enjoy the present, while it lasts.  Right now the Pole is colder than the adjacent land, and able to create a cooling sea-breeze when the afternoons warm the land, but in a fortnight things will flip, and that same Arctic Sea will  be a warm sea, compared to the amazing cold of Siberia. In January you can see winds of minus-seventy move out over the Sea, and, even with the ice insulating the water to some degree, the water loses so much heat that the air warms thirty degrees, and is “only” minus-forty.

The times, they are a changing.

PRE-POLAR STORM EXTENT GRAPH

DMI2 0906 icecover_current_new

I figure the storm brewing over the Pole will  be the last chance to put a sizable dent in the extent-graph.  Of course, if it involves much snowfall, or much spreading-out-of-ice, there just as well could be an up-tick.  It will  be interesting to watch, over the next week.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera is seeing slowly warming temperatures, though they are still  below minus-five. The near-calm has been stirred by light breezes increasing towards 10 mph. The dark strip slanting up to the left along the horizon may be a relection of a lead of open water over the horizon. We’ll have to see if it is still there later.

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The southern camera shows a definite warming trend, likely due to a southerly flow  ahead of “Artless.” It also shows the closest thing to night we have seen in months.  I think snow is on the lens.

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SEPTEMBER 6  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0906B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0906B temp_latest.big (1)

“Artless” is bringing a slug of above freezing temperatures north.  Watch how fast that air cools.

Meanwhile “Na” approaches from the Atlantic side as “Artlesszip” forms on the Pacific side. Models suggest “Artless will fill and basically vanish, as the two approaching storms do a Fujiwhara dance around the Pole. When they fade after midweek, other storms come north. It looks like a very stormy Pole for a while.

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

UK Met Sept 6 17982797

The Azores high and Scandinavian high are blocking the cross-Atlantic, and the weak but very complex low “Nosee” spins its wheel in the North Sea, as another weak low sits stalled west of Spain.  “Nosee” will be a pest, for Scandinavian weather forecasters.

With this blocking in the way a storm track heads up the east coast of Greenland, with post-morphistcation pieces of “Na” like a string, (“Na” over Svalbard, “Nason” west of Iceland, and “Nathree” down by Cape Farewell.) About to join this parade is “Na2,” over Labrador, on its way to a crash with Greenland.

NEW CAMERAS  

The northern camera had the best views, especially as it was very hot here in New Hampshire today, until a thunderstorm cooled us in the afternoon. The heat made the sea-ice attractive, though the thunderstorm made me shut down the computer and go out onto the porch to watch.  My dog came along to watch with me.

In the middle of the storm I saw the lowest cloud-to-cloud bolt I think I’ve ever seen, right overhead. There was only a half second between the flash and then a wonderfully electric and crackly thunder, without the boom cloud-to-ground bolts make.  Up to then my dog had been calm about the flashing and noise, but after that bolt she looked at me, and then nonchalantly ambled off the porch and crawled under the steps.

Temperatures have warmed a little above minus-five at the northern buoy, with increasing clouds and now fog, and the breeze stiffening to over 15 mph.

The colder air seems to have swung south to Buoy 2014E:, which is reporting -8.96 C.

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Meanwhile the southern camera saw nothing but snow on the lens.  Temperatures have dipped a little below freezing, and wind that were up around 20 mph have dropped to 15 mph.

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SEPTEMBER 7  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0907 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0907 temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERA  —Cold and windy north—Possible thaw south—

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SEPTEMBER 7  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0907B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0907B temp_latest.big (1)

It is interesting to think back to last week, when the models could not decide if the Atlantic side storm or the Pacific side storm should be the focus.  The answer was, “both.”  Between those two clockwise gears the clockwise “Artless” is finding life a bit of a grind,  and ot will basically unravel and vanish.  Then the Pacific-side “Artlesson”, which was barely noticeable even a day ago, will take over and rule the roost, as the Atlantic-side “Na” dodges down into the Kara Sea.

“Na” is marking out a northern storm track that moves up the east coast of Greenland west of Iceland and then across south of Svalbard but north of Norway. This should put Britain and Scandinavia in a mild southwest flow, and build a nice, autumnal high pressure, but first they need to get rid of the annoying “Nosee,” which is at the very bottom of the map. It is lodged between the Scandinavian and Azores highs, and keeping those two highs from merging into a single sunniness.

In the above map you can still see a small island of above-freezing air “Artless” pulled north, just to the upper side of the Pole, but that will vanish, and “Artlessson” will be the next to draw warmth north.  By Wednesday it will be weakening at the northeast corner of Greenland, and in its wake high pressure will build (and likely cool) the Pacific side. The Atlantic side will be dominated by the northern storm track, with “Nathree” and then “Na2″ running north of Norway.  Models see “Na2″ as becoming the next big storm, in the Kara Sea at the end of the week.

QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

Below are the initial Sunday-night, Wednesday, and Friday maps.  Mostly I’m looking to see how that annoying, fly-in-the-ointment low pressure “Nosee” gets squeezed out of the Baltic and makes way for the Azores and Scandinavian highs to merge. The stalled low off Spain’s west coast, “Zoro” (from “Azores”) gets restrengthened by a cross-Atlantic cold front by Friday. “Na2″ and then “Na3″ (Na comes from “Northamerican”) crash into southern Greenland and then travel up the east coast in this sequence.  By the end “Nosee” is squeezed down towards Greece.

I suppose a purist would say that isn’t “Nosee,” but a secondary that formed on Nosee’s front.  However, despite the goodly influence of church and a refreshing cold front that ended our heat wave, I never feel that pure as a Monday approaches.

INITIAL           UK Met Sept 8A 18016588

WEDNESDAYUK Met Sept 8B 18020844

FRIDAY          UK Met Sept 8C 18027035

A SIGN OF A COLD WINTER FOR ME?

Norbert 1_nasaaddsuphe

This a picture of the east pacific hurricane “Norbert.” (No, they didn’t consult me when naming it.)  It is doing what such hurricanes rarely do. Rather than heading out to sea it is heading up the coast of Mexico and taking a run at Southern California and Arizona.  Likely it will weaken over colder water, but if it hugs the coast or moves up the Gulf of California it may even give them a breezy day.

When hurricanes take such a unusual path I’m reminded of when they did that in the autumn of 1976, and again in 1977. Both those autumns were followed by cold winters in New England, where I live.  Then I won’t need a camera to see the North Pole. I’ll just look out my window.

I’d best get cracking, in terms of getting a big supply of firewood.

SEPTEMBER 8  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0908 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0908 temp_latest.big (1)

“Artlesson” is a tight little storm, and ought churn the sea-ice up a bit. It is swirling some milder air over the Pacific side, which is experiencing noon at the top of the map.

Notice just above the “N” at the middle of the temperature map you can see the minus-ten isotherm for the first time this winter since June.

NEW CAMERAS  —Passing storms—

Our northern camera may be hinting at a bit of clearing, after “Artless” brought us a long spell of dull, gray weather.  We could get a quasi-high-pressure, as “Artless” fills in and we sit between two storms.  Temperatures and winds have dropped.

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Our southern camera shows a bleak scene, after winds howled over 30 mph yesterday, as “Artlesson” brewed up to the northwest.  That will flatten out the landscape and tend to erase familiar features.  I thought we might see the ice break up a bit, but there is no sign of it in this view.

Winds have slacked off to around 10 mph. We are attempting a thaw, although conjunct buoy Buoy 2013F: reported at 0000z that temperatures were stubbornly staying just below freezing at  -0.69 C.

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EXTENT GRAPH  –We haven’t bottomed out yet—

DMI2 0908 icecover_current_new

SEPTEMBER 8 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0908B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0908B temp_latest.big (1)

“Artless” has faded, seemingly creating some decently cold air at the Pole, as “Na” enters the Kara Sea and “Artlesson” is quite vigorous north of Canada. For the most part this set-up seems to be compressing ice rather than dispersing it, with the exception being east of Svalbard, where extents have been above-normal for some time.

Besides the small pool of minus-ten air near the Pole, another pool has appeared of the northeast corner of Greenland. Molder air is sweeping around “Artlesson” along the coast of Alaska towards Canada.

NOT WHAT I EXPECTED  —ICE COMPRESSING RATHER THAN DISPERSING—

The map below shows the textbook situation, which of course is a rule that has exceptions. Ordinarily one would expect ice to flow from the Beaufort Sea to the Chukchi Sea, then to the East Siberian Sea, then be caught in the Transpolar drift and cross the Pole and eventually exit polar waters via Fram Strait.  But not this year.

Beaufort Gyre BrnBld_ArcticCurrents.svg

Lets follow the drift of our southern camera, by looking at the drift map of its conjunct Buoy 2013F:

DMI2 0908B 2013F_track(click twice to fully enlarge)

We see our camera doubled back. It also moved north, away from shore.  To make sure this isn’t merely because it is away from shore, we can check the drift map of the buoy 160 miles south, Buoy 2014C:

DMI2 0908B 2014C_track

This ice also doubled back, and it too moved north and away from the Alaskan shore.  On other words, the ice didn’t melt away from the shore. It moved.

The only buoy moving the right direction was Buoy 2014B: , over on the other side of Being Strait, it it basically stalled.  However the fact it didn’t move back east means open water should form between it and the ice that did move east.  That open water doesn’t indicate the ice melted. It moved.

DMI2 0908B 2014B_track

On the other side of the Pole Buoy 2014E: does seem to be following the Transpolar drift and heading for Fram Strait

DMI2 0908B 2014E_track

However here we noticed, when the buoy attached to the North Pole Camera was functioning, that the ice seemed to veer east and look like it wanted to go to the wrong side of Svalbard.  I was annoyed our crunched camera stopped reporting, but found another buoy that was reporting. It is “971540” and is the green line on this drift map:

DMI2 0908B DriftMap(clock to enlarge)

Sure enough, it has gone to the “wrong” side of Svalbard.

In any case, the extent is above normal on the east side of Svalbard and below normal on the west side in Fram Strait, and also below normal off the coast of Alaska and in Being Strait. The ice has been very disobedient and made the textbooks look foolish.

And that is my lame excuse for botching the “minimum extent” forecast.

DMI2 0908B N_bm_extent

I am impressed by how solid the ice pack is, where it exists.  It is quite different from last year, when it had more open water between the bergs.

NEW CAMERAS  —BUILDING SNOWPACK—

I’ve noticed both these cameras are seeming to sink down into the ice.  The southern one used to show yellow around the base, and the northern one looks shorter. In fact it hasn’t thawed enough to sink them (as sometimes happens) and I am fairly sure we are seeing the winter snow-pack start to grow.

Our northern camera watches over temperatures steadily at minus seven, as winds pick up slightly to around 8 mph.

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Our southern camera looks out over a warmer and windier world. After a pause, with winds down to 4 mph last night, they came roaring back to a gale of 30 mph today, though they have since dropped to 20 mph.  We flirted with thaw, but only touched it, if we ever broke freezing at all, and conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported -1.09 C at 1200z, and it doesn’t look like we’ve warmed since then.

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SEPTEMBER 9 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0909 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0909 temp_latest.big (1)

It looks to me as if “Artlesson” is a “warm core” storm, as I see that little pocket of above freezing isotherms between Alaska and the Pole. Like a hurricane, once cut off from the warmth, it will rapidly weaken.

Watch to see if cold rapidly builds, especially behind the storm as high pressure builds north of Being Strait.

Parade of small storms up the east coast of Greenland and then on to Kara Sea. “Na” in Kara Sea, “Nathree” approaching Svalbard, and “Na2″ west of Iceland.

NEW CAMERAS  —building cold—

Our northern camera shows temperatures dropping back towards minus-ten, and winds light, 2-5 mph.  There seems to be more snow atop the buoy. I hope we get a bit of sun as “Artlesson” fills in.  465 miles south towards Svalbard Buoy 2014E: is also cold at 0000z at -4.99 C.

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temperature-1week

Darkness has descended at out southern camera. I should have grabbed a picture when I first got up. Before the dark fell the camera showed thick ice-fog, which is indicative of dropping temperatures. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: agrees, as despite the daylight temperatures dropped from  -1.09 C at 1200z yesterday to  -2.00 C at 0000z today. Winds have slacked off to 10-15 mph.

Perhaps the cold air was pulled south from the Pole by the passage of “Aerlesson”, but the winds haven’t really shifted that much. My hunch is that the cold is home-grown, as the source region still looks to be over towards the west. Unfortunately our Wrangle Island Buoy 2014B: stopped reporting temperatures for some reason.

I expect the cold to keep building, and the weather to clear. Hopefully our lens isn’t frosted over, or, if it is, the frost sublimates away swiftly. It would be nice to get a last, sunlit look around before winter closes in.

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CALGARY—Last Rose Of Summer—

snowy-rose(1) An early snow for those folks.

SEPTEMBER 9 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0909B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0909B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS  —BEAUTIFUL VIEW AND SNOWED-UP LENS—

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SEPTEMBER 10 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0910 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0910 temp_latest.big (1)

“Artlesson” is weakening in northern Canada and cold is building behind it. Cross-polar-flow from Laptev Sea to Canada, much like last winter’s, is occurring during a transitional September pattern and therefor likely nit THE winter pattern. I expect the winter pattern to have the cross-polar-flow displaced more towards Bering Strait, taking the short-cut across the Arctic Sea (with less time spent over the “warming water”) from east Siberia to Alaska’s North Slope, and then right down through the heart of Canada to my back yard.

“Nosee” is being squeezed south out of the Baltic as high pressure builds over Scandinavia. A parade of storms is marching up the east coast of Greenland to Svalbard and then east to the Siberian coast.

EXTENT GRAPH UPTICK

DMI2 0910 icecover_current_new(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Could this be the bottom?  Too early to tell.

NEW CAMERA  —BUILDING COLD—

Our northern camera shows sunset starting, as the long arctic night nears. Temperatures have crashed down to minus seventeen! Winds are nearly calm. Down towards Svalbard at Buoy 2014E: the cold isn’t as intense, at  -6.68 C.

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temperature-1week

Our southern camera is much further south, where nights have returned. They are still shorter than the days, but not for much longer. Winds have slackened to around 5 mph, and temperatures are steadily below zero. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting -1.61 C at 0000z.

I don’t expect the view to improve much when the sun rises, as I think our lens is obscured.webcam

temperature-1week

NICE PICTURE FROM NORTHERN CAMERA

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SECOND SNOW IN CALGARY

trees down

This second snow involved more damage than the first, as it was wet and sticky. In our comments Stewart Pid reported:

“…You wouldn’t believe it here … snowing like crazy and this is day 3 of the winter mess. Heavy wet snow that is taking down branches and whole trees, splitting others in two etc etc …. it sounded like a war zone starting about 4 AM as branches cracked and crashed to the ground. I had a beautiful green space out back and fear that I will lose the majority of the trees when the city cleans up the mess. Power is off all over town, traffic lights out etc etc although so far our power hasn’t failed. Truly unbelievable …. this would be a big storm by January standards and it is September! Truly back breaker stuff to shovel too. This must be how an ice age starts!”

Stewart has my sympathy. I hate storms that destroy trees. We had an ice storm here six years ago that left us without power for ten days, and I well remember the unearthly noise of many boughs snapping in the pitch dark of a neighborhood without electricity.

Early storms are unnerving. Three autumns ago we got two feet of snow on Halloween, and I thought my goose was cooked, as I had many pre-winter chores undone. (A lot of my firewood was still in the woods.) However it turned out that was the only big storm of that entire winter. The snow had all melted by Thanksgiving. So you can’t always take it as a “sign.”

This year I would.  There are plenty of anecdotal reports of birds heading south earlier, especially along the Rocky Mountains. The one that caught my attention was from a man who had a hummingbird feeder.  He said the hummingbirds had headed south two weeks early.

Another Calgary picture: Calgary 2014 09 10 Screen_shot_2014_09_10_at_11_18_03_AM

The Rocky Mountain snows may extend down to Denver.

SEPTEMBER 10  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0910B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0910B temp_latest.big (1)

“Artlesson” has weakened quite rapidly, and now is merely one of a bunch of lows around Greenland. I call this “A Greenland Daisy,” as there is high pressure over Greenland’s icecap, and the storms circle around like sharks,  or petals of a flower, depending on whether you are feeling romantic or not.  Also this is a “double-crosser” pattern. with one cross-polar flow from the eastern Laptev Sea to Canada, and a second flow more of a north-Atlantic-crossing-flow, past Iceland and northern Scandinavia to western Siberia. The two flows are joined by a nice, sweeping curve from Hudson Bay around the bottom of Greenland, but the  return-flow is more broken up in Eurasia.

A nice low was moving up from the steppes to the Laptev Sea, to challange the ownership of the Pole, but a tiny remenant of “Na” snuck in and stole the crown, so that storm will be called “Na.” This has so enraged the people over there that “Na” will flee at top speed across the top of the planet and down the west side of Greenland. After that most of the polar invasions will come up the east side of Greenland for a while.

I expect the cold to keep building on top of the earth, as “Artlesson” fills.

NEW CAMERAS  —A pause between storms—

The northern view is gray and a bit misty, though the horizon is visible, which may hint the mist is on the lens. It has warmed ten degrees and is still minus-nine, which gives you an idea how cold it has been. I think the warmth was swung all the way around from Siberia and aling the coast of Canada by the circulation of “Artlesson.”  Winds are light, around 5 mph.

Down at  Buoy 2014E , at 0000z tomorrow, it is -5.22 C.

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At our southern camera conditions have been very calm, after our recent gales. We still can’t see a darn thing through the snow-covered lens.   Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -3.62 C, so temperatures are slowly falling.

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They have got the thermometer on Buoy 2014B: running again, but I think it needs work, as it is reporting  -48.03 C.  I’d call Hansen to adjust the temperature, but he’s retired.

SEPTEMBER 11  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0911 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0911 temp_latest.big (1)

What I notice first on this morning’s maps is the islands made by the minus-ten isotherm north of Greenland. It cools very rapidly at the Pole, even before the sun sets for six solid months. Keep in mind that on September 3 there were no examples of even the minus-five isotherm on our map.

The isobars look much like they often did last winter, with a flood of mild air coming from the southwest over western Europe, and a colder cross-polar-flow from the Laptev  Sea to the Canadian Archipelago.  This is why, last spring, the ice was so thickly piled up, north of Canada, and was so thin in the Laptev Sea. All the Laptev Sea’s ice kept being exported, and it constantly had to grow new ice. However keep in mind this pattern we are now seeing is likely transitional, and likely isn’t the winter pattern.

NEW CAMERAS  —DRAT!  BOTH LENSES OBSCURED—

We are nearing the date when our cameras shut down for the winter. It simply gets too dark to see much, even if their batteries need no solar charging. Even before the sun goes down for good, it is harder to melt the frost and snow from lenses, as temperatures rarely get above freezing and the sunlight has less power when it shines onto the lenses.

Not that it isn’t possible to get a thaw even after the sun sets. Last winter there were a couple of occasions when the cross-polar-flow set up from Atlantic-to-Pacific, or from Pacific-to-Atlantic, and these flows brought spears of maritime air north. The air cooled very swiftly, and didn’t quite thaw the Pole itself, but would have thawed cameras south of the Pole, had they still been operating.  You could continue to follow these spears of milder air all the way across to Pole and to the far ocean,  though by the time they reached the far ocean they had cooled to a point they were well below zero.  What a person on the far side would have noticed was that the north wind was less cruel, minus-fifteen rather than minus-forty.

Our northern camera sees temperatures continue to creep upwards, and the lens is likely obscured by moisture swept all the way around from the Siberian side of Bering Strait. Winds remain light. The sun should swing around and strike our lens later today, and hopefully we’ll get a better view.

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Insomnia got me out of bed, and I grabbed a copy of the southern camera’s view before darkness fell. It gives me hope the lens may be sublimating the frost and snow away, and we might get a last look around, with this camera, as well.

Temperatures continue to fall, and winds remain light.

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SEPTEMBER 11 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0911B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0911B temp_latest.big (1)

Two way street. Storms heading east up the coast of Greenland and across north of Norway, and other traffic coming across the Pole from Laptev Sea to Canada.

I have to run to a meeting. Hope to comment later.

NEW CAMERAS

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THREE HOURS LATER

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INSOMNIA PICTURES

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(Fresh snow atop buoy in above picture.)

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SEPTEMBER 12  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0912 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0912 temp_latest.big (1)

The “two lane highway” persists, with cross-Atlantic-flow at the bottom and cross-polar-flow towards the top. The cross-polar-flow has drawn some milder air north from Siberia, but Siberia is running out of mild air. The cross-Atlantic flow has swung some cold aor down into central Siberia, especially southeast of the Kara Sea, and temperatures are below freezing inland.  If that cold air creates snow-cover, the south winds will cease to be warm.

At the moment the Pole is basically divided in two: The upper, Pacific side of these maps is a zero or slightly below, while the bottom, Atlantic side is very cold. There have been two exit regions, one into central Canada and one into central Siberia, and those inland regions are now gathering their wolves of winter.

“Na” fled across the Pole to join a disorginized area of low pressure west and northwest of Greenland, and a weak Nason is following out of the Laptev Sea as part of the cross-polar-flow.

Meanwhile “Na2″ has rode the cross-Atlantic-flow over the top of Europe, and is now diving towards the Kara Sea. “Na3″ is orginizing and coming up  Greenland’s east coast. These storms coming up Greenland’s coast mean business, and will be the bosses next week.

EARLIEST RECORDED SNOW—RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA

Rapid City Sept Snow snowfall

THE LONG WINTER—SOUTH DAKOTA—1880-1881

The Chicago and Northwestern Railway was being built across South Dakota, and the town of De Smet was established, but nearby farms had not been developed to a degree where the town was self reliant. It was totally dependent on the railway.  Because that winter was so hard,  with blizzards lasting 2-3 days, one after another, with only a day or two between each blizzard, the trains stopped running.  The cuttings the train tracks passed through were packed with snow up to their brims.  The people in town were without fuel for their stoves or food. They burned hay, subsisted on potatoes and coarse grain, and a few slaughtered their livestock, but the situation was very serious when two local youths rode 12 miles across the windswept waste to obtain sixty bushels of wheat from a distant farm, and made it back just as the next blizzard hit.

This historical reality is described in the book, “The Long Winter“, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It is a children’s book, but I can think of a few at the EPA who should read it, before insisting coal power plants be closed this January. This may very well be a very bad winter. If the EPA closes power plants, well aware people may die, and people do die, it is not a miscalculation; it is murder. The sane and humane thing to do is wait until April to close those power plants.

By the way, in 1880 the first blizzard hit in October.

SEPTEMBER 13 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0913B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0913B temp_latest.big (1) 

I’ve been out of town, and the situation changed as soon as I took my eyes off of it. Again wer have strong high pressure over Scandinavia and weaker high pressure over the Beaufort Gyre.  The cross-polar-flow is temporarily gone, at the surface, though it may exist aloft, as it looks like “Na2″ may swing up into the Laptev Sea and then attempt a polar crossing. Meanwhile “Na3″ has come up the East Greenland coast and looks impressive, but will flatten like a ripe tomato hitting a brick wall when it hits the cold air, and bleed east to the Kara Sea, even as “Na4″, now at Cape Farewell on the southern tip of Greenland, follows “Na3″ and becomes impressive. Eventually these Atlantic storms will push the high pressure off Scandinavia, but for the time being that Scandinavian high pressure is steering storms north and bringing milder air up to attempt entering the Barents Sea.

EXTENT GRAPH DOWN-TICK 

DMI2 0913B icecover_current_new

NEW CAMERAS 

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SEPTEMBER 14 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0914 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0914 temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 14 —DMI AFTERNOON  MAPS—

DMI2 0914B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0914B temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 15  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0915 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0915 temp_latest.big (1)

The above maps show “Na3″ flattening against the wall of cold at the Pole and being squeezed eastto the Kara Sea. It did manage to bring some mildness north, however the mildness is largely being shunted east along with the storm and then back south towards Siberia. However the storm did shove the sea-ice north, rather than spreading it out, and reduced the “extent” graph.

Cold is building north of Canada, and new sea-ice is forming in the Northwest Passage, and also the Chukchi Sea, countering the reduced “extent” on the Eurasian side.

“Na4″ is getting its act together off the southeast coast of Greenland, prior to coming up the coast to attempt to bash into the wall of cold. As long as the high pressure remains strong over Scandinavia the storms will come north towards Greenland, and their cold fronts will be weak and will not penetrate far down into Scandinavia.

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

The intial map shows the strong high over Scandinavia, “Na4″ growing between Greenland and Iceland, and “Zorro” still spinning its wheels to the west of Spain, where it has been stalled for a week.  The second map is the guess at conditions for 1200z Wednesday, with the high pressure barely being budged west in Scandinavia, “Zorro” still stalled, but “Na4″ now to the northeast of Greenland and stronger.  Of interest is Hurricane Edouard just appearing at the bottom left corner.

UK Met Sept 15A 18262638

UK Met Sept 15B 18268865

TUNDRA SNOW APPEARING

Snow 13-09-15 ims2014256_alaska

Even though it is officially still summer, this map shows the first snow cover appearing on the north slopes of Alaska, and also in central Siberia.  This requires a quick mental adjustment. Due to the sun getting low, and the nights swiftly growing longer and soon to be longer than the days, radiational cooling will make the air over the tundra colder than the air over the open, coastal waters of the Arctic Sea. The south winds go from being warm at the start of September to being cold at the end.

MINIMUM REACHED?

DMI2 0915 icecover_current_new

We still have to wait and see how much bashing and crashing “Na4″ does to the sea-ice, as it comes north in the middle of the week, however it will be hard for the storm to push the ice much further north, as the ice is quite tightly packed to begin with. Also a thin glaze of new ice is forming all around the edges of the arctic, where ever conditions are calm, because the cold is building very quickly. It becomes hard for storms to tear apart the ice faster than it is forming.

I should note that the remaining sea-ice is noticeably denser than it was last year.  It doesn’t show up in an “extent graph” which gives areas that are only 15% ice (and therefore 85% open water) the same weight as areas that are 90% ice.  It doesn’t even show up in the old DMI graph that only measures ice extents above 30%.  However if a graph existed that only measured ice extent above 60%, I think this year would be far ahead of last year.

As it is we are slightly ahead of last year, according to the above DMI graph. (Some other graphs have us slightly below last year.)  What is obvious is that the ice is not melting away; there is no “Death Spiral.”

Actually there should be a decrease in ice, considering both the AMO and PDO are currently in “warm” phases.  If the PDO doesn’t swing back to its “cold” phase by next summer (as it should) I would expect the extent to be less next summer. However this decrease, if it happened, would only show the ice responds to oceanic cycles. It has next to nothing to do with CO2.

ANOTHER BAJA HURRICANE

Baja hurricane rb0-lalo

The reason these west-coast hurricanes make me nervous is that the suggest the pattern we are in may be like the pattern that preceded the winter of 1976-1977, which was particularly cold, in New England.

SEPTEMBER 15  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0915B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0915B temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 16  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0916 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0916 temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 16  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0916B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0916B temp_latest.big (1)

A lot is going on in the above maps, and a change is in the air. Where “Na3″ got flattened like a tomato hitting a brick wall, and was shunted swiftly east to the area inland of the Laptev Sea,  “Na4″ looks far more solid. You can see a nice inflow of mild air bringing the plus-five isotherm up to Svalbard, and the freezing line well north of there. “Na4″ will feed off that mildness and also minus-five air, and behave as if he will take the Pole and shunt the entire Beaufort high pressure into North America. However that high pressure will recover and strengthen, pushing Na4 down towards Barents Sea, and dislodging the high pressure that is sitting over Scandinavia. As this high pressure, (call it “Lars”, for the “lar” in “polar”), grows to over 1030 mb over the Pole it will shift the Atlantic storm track south towards Scandinavia.

As “Lars” moves towards the Pole and beyond models are showing an unusual invasion of a Pacific storm, moving up from southeast Alaska, through Canada to the coast of the Canadian Archipelago. Hmm. That is so unusual one wonders if the models are short-circuiting.

If “Lars” develops as modeled, some very cold air could pool over the Pole. In fact today’s map, or early tomorrow’s map, could be the warmest map we see until next May. Temperatures crash every year at this time, (you can see the first tiny island of minus-fifteen isotherms northwest of the Canadian Archipelago), and they are libel to crash more swiftly under a polar high  pressure.  The attacks of “Na3″ and “Na4″ have them currently above normal:

DMI2 0916B meanT_2014

As “Lars” bumps “Na4″ south the nice mild winds over Svalbard will become cold north winds, pushing a front down towards Scandinavia.  At first the change will only effect northwest Norway on Friday, but even places like Copenhagen and Stockholm short have north winds and cold showers by Monday. (This may be followed by a swift-moving high pressure and south winds, but that is looking too far ahead. Models become unreliable.)

To the other side of “Lars” you can see a cross-polar flow I call “the short cut.” It crosses from Siberia to Alaska north of Bering Strait. It isn’t cold yet in eastern Siberia, but I fear this flow later in the winter.  It brings the coldest Siberian are over the least amount of sea-ice, and the air can remain very cold during the passage.  Last winter’s air was warmed thirty to forty degrees as it crossed from the Laptev Sea to the Canadian Archipelago, sometimes departing Asia at minus-seventy and arriving in Canada at minus-thirty. (It cooled the Arctic Sea a lot.)  The short cut cools the ocean less, but during the winter of 1976-1977 it brought minus-thirty as far south as Cincinnati, Ohio,  and there was sea-ice in the harbors of Virginia.  I was hot-blooded back then, but now I have no desire to see a winter that nasty.

NEW CAMERAS

The view from the northern camera has been dull, gray and uninteresting for days. Winds did get up to 20 mph on Saturday, which causes the crack just beyond the buoy to shift enough to disturb the fresh snow, but I doubt we’ll see the lead reopen like it did last August. It could happen, even in the dead of winter, but it is less likely when temperatures are below the freezing point of salt water, as they’ve been for over a week. They’ve had to struggle to even approach minus-five, and currently are diving back down. Winds are calm, and the ice itself is being compressed towards Canada rather than spreading out towards Eurasia.

I suppose “Na4″ might give us another blast of wind, especially if “Lars” builds against it. It got nearly up to freezing at Buoy 2014E: at 1200z today, +0.09 C at 1200z, (though it has slipped back to -0.77 C at 0000z, as it is tomorrow there already).  However I doubt we’ll see thawing or a lead, and if there is to be action in strong east winds, it might be the building up the pressure ridge we’ve watched slump and shrink all summer.

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Our southern view hasn’t been much better, as frost often has obstructed the lens. It hasn’t seen temperatures above the freezing point of salt water in three days, and at 1200z today conjunct  Buoy 2013F: was reporting a cold  -8.63 C. Also this ice has also been compressed north, rather than dispersing towards the open water to the south. Even down that way, towards the open water, Buoy 2014C: is reporting -2.09 C at 1200z, (and falling to -2.31 C ao 0000z “tomorrow”, despite the sun being up). To the east Buoy 2014F: -8.88 C (and  -6.67 C “tomorrow”), while further east the old, veteran Buoy 2012G: was reporting a bitter -12.35 C (and 8.11 C “tomorrow”). With cold like that around, you can understand why newly formed ice is reported on open water in the Northwest Passage, and even out in the Chukchi Sea.
webcam temperature-1week windspeed-1week

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SWOOPING HAT-TIP TO JOSEPH D’ALEO AND JOE BASTARDI

Even as the sun is sinking at the North Pole, it is rising at the South Pole, and as our minimum ice-extent is reached their maximum ice extent is achieved. Just as certain “scientists” predicted a “Death Spiral” for the North Pole, they were predicting much less Sea-ice for the South Pole. Just as there is more, rather than less, at the North Pole, there is more, rather than less, at the South Pole. In fact the South Pole recently set a record for the most ice seen, since they have been watching with Satellites. This was reported in a post at Watts Up With That, here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/13/new-all-time-satellite-era-record-for-antarctic-sea-ice-extent/

Since that post was published at around 11:00 AM on September 13, the ice has gone right on increasing in the stormy seas around the South Pole. I figured the post needed an update, but was frustrated when I tried to find an updated graph.

Later in the day, at Joseph D’Aleo’s blog at Weatherbell, I came across this excellent graph:

Antarctic Record Screen_shot_2014_09_16_at_9_12_54_PM (Click to enlarge and clarify.)

I can’t tell you how often this happens.  I am frustrated when I try to locate something that might illustrate a topic that is breaking news, and when I visit their site I discover they are way ahead of me.

For example, I’ve been talking about how worried I am the coming winter might be like 1976-1977, due to various signs. One is hurricanes coming up the west coast of Mexico. When I visit Joe Bastardi’s site I discover this graphic, illustrating the heavy rains of Kathleen in 1976.

Kathleen 1976 640px_Kathleen_1976_rainfall(1) (Click to enlarge)

On Joseph D’Aleo’s site I discovered this lovely graphic, listing the wettest tropical-storm-caused events in Arizona:

Arizona wettest t.s. Screen_shot_2014_09_15_at_6_45_58_AM

Despite the tropical deluges to the south, I also recall it was very hot and dry in California back in 1976. Where to look? How to find such old data? Even before I found time to start my search I spotted this neat information on Jospeph D’Aleo’s blog, involving the subject of droughts in the High Sierra:

High Sieera drought Screen_shot_2014_09_15_at_6_39_52_AM       This shows that the fifth driest year was 1976, a little drier than this dry year.

This is just another hint I may be going to suffer hardship this winter. It seems to me a description of how bumpkins in the country survive such hardship, when their idiotic government is shutting down coal-fired power plants when they are most needed, will be more interesting to read about than the North Pole, when it is too dark to see up there.

For this reason I may be cutting back on my posting about the Pole. I feel a little bad about it, as I have a small number of faithful readers who don’t want me to cut back.  I’ll try to post once a week about the Pole, out of gratitude for their kindness and attention, but it really does get a bit boring up there, between the time the sun sets and the time it rises.  Readers visit much less often, and my attempts to keep the faithful entertained last winter got a bit silly. Looking back at those posts, I can see the posts were not so much about me visiting the Pole, as they were about the Pole visiting me.  People who were interested in the Pole had to wade through a lot of chaff about New Hampshire to glean a grain about the Pole.

This year I’ll compartmentalize.  The Polar posts will be separate from the local yokel stuff. I imagine the local yokel ramblings of a bumpkin will be daily, while the Polar Posts will be weekly.

If anyone feels deprived, I urge them to subscribe to Weatherbell. On a daily basis Joseph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi publish more fascinating ideas than I can manage in a fortnight. Also Ryan Maui offers an amazing collection of thousands of maps and charts, on a daily basis.  You can get a week-long free trial, and see for yourself.

SEPTEMBER 17  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0917 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0917 temp_latest.big (1)

“Na4″ is whirling northwest of Svalbard as the high pressure “Lars” starts to strengthen over the Beaufort Gyre. Beyond that the models have done some amazing switching around since last night. No longer do they see “Na4″ shunted southeast, strengthening and becoming a gale in Barents Sea. Instead it stays strong, and when it is eventually shunted southeast is dwindles away, and a formerly unseen low, (a “Na5″ that weakly crosses the Atlantic on a much more southerly route,)  comes up from the south through the Baltic to a point east of Finland. Scandinavia still gets its change in the weather, but more from the northeast, rather than so much from the northwest.

I am watching to see if “Na3″, currently just south of the Laptev Sea, truly fills and vanishes as forecast.  Also I am keeping an eye out for crashing temperatures beneath “Lars.”

A weak low is running along the arctic coast of Alaska into Canada. The odd Pacific storm that last night’s models saw coming up from the southwest has mysteriously evaporated from the forecasts. Shucks. I thought that might be interesting to witness.

NEW CAMERAS  —Approaching storm to the north, building cold to the south—

I’m relishing the decent spell of picture-taking we are getting. The northern camera shows a calm and very cold scene, though not as gold as it got last night Our graph shows that it plunged to around -17, before bouncing back to around -7, and now sinking back to around -8. Surprisingly the wind is nearly dead calm, despite “Na4″ brewing up on one side and “Lars” strenthening on the other.  I hope the skies clear a bit more, and the low sun gives us enough light to study the pressure ridges in the distance. I think they may be rebuilding.

webcam temperature-1week The southern camera shows the ebbing light of summer, as the twilight never quite fades even as the nights lengthen. Though it doesn’t show on the DMI temperature map, temperatures have been steadily sinking, and are below minus ten. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting -11.44 C at 1200z. Any nearby open water will be skimming over with new ice. Nor is it the shallow cold of a calm, as winds have picked up to a light breeze of 8 mph.

webcam temperature-1week

NEW CAMERA UPDATES  (Pretty as a picture)

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SEPTEMBER 17  —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0917B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0917B temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 18  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0918 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0918 temp_latest.big (1)

It is interesting how the flow of mild air up from the Atlantic has been cut off by the cross-Atlantic high pressure north of Iceland. Only two days ago that flow was a major feature. Now “Na4″ is no longer being fed, and must subsist on the mild air it has brought north with it. It will “run out of gas” and weaken, even as the high pressure “Lars” strengthens across the Pole.  “Na4″ will drift down towards Barents Sea to join with the inland low seen at three o’clock on the above map, “Sha”, (from “Russia.”)

Due to the wall across the top of the Atlantic, “Na5″ will not run up the east coast of Greenland, but will move straight east across the Atlantic as a weak low, and drift across Scandinavia this weekend, as the high pressure over Scandinavia fades southeast. Some models show “Na5″ becoming strong over Finland early next week. Before that happens “Na5″ will merely be part of a long area of weak low pressure extending east along the Siberian coast, from “Na5″ through “Na4″ and “Sha” to the faint remains of “Na3″ in the East Diberian Sea.  North of this low pressure will be a long fetch of east winds between the lows and “Lars”, which will elongate and deliver cold air towards the North Atlantic and Scandinavia.  In essence we will have seen the flow completely reverse in five days.

It looks like this flow will be short-lived, as “Na6″ will cross the Atlantic and approach Scandinavia a week from now, even as “Lars” abandons the Pole and sinks south into central Siberia.  Nothing is very stable this time of year.  Everything is “transitional.”

NEW CAMERAS

webcam temperature-1week windspeed-1week webcam temperature-1week

windspeed-1week SEPTEMBER 18  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0918B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0918B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS  —Gray Day—

Note how fresh snow has hidden the crack in the ice behind the buoy.webcam webcam THE SUN ALSO RISES

Sorry I’ve commented so little today. I’ve been busy on the the far side of the planet, where Antarctic sea-ice is setting a modern record.  Even as the sun goes down in the lenses of our faithful cameras to the north, their long night is giving way to predawn twilight, and north of the South Pole at the American base, actually daylight startles the scene.

SP Oct 13 cmdlfullsize SEPTEMBER 19  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0919 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0919 temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 19  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0919B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0919B temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 20  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0920 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0920 temp_latest.big (1)

SEPTEMBER 20  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0920B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0920B temp_latest.big (1)

I apologize for commenting so little, though at times silence seems golden. I like looking at the sequence of maps above, without a bunch of words cluttering things up.  You can observe more if you conclude less.

The high pressure “Lars” has strengthened over the Pole as “Na4″ faded and weakened.  As long as Lars is in control, there wont be much export from the Pole,  and fall will not be as cold in many places.  However the Pole itself, which was greatly warmed by the slug of southern air “Na4″ brought north, is likely to see temperatures crash. Currently they are well above normal.

DMI2 0920B meanT_2014

The slug of warm air and winds brought north by Na3 and Na4 compressed and eroded ice on the Atlantic side, and this exceeded new ice growing on the Pacific side, and extended the time of decrease, on the ice-extent graph.  (I can’t have been more wrong than I was, when I thought we would see storms spread ice out and increase extent.)

DMI2 0920B icecover_current_new

The above graph should now spring upwards, however there is a final chance to reduce extent, depending on how things develop. As “Sha” absorbs “Na4″, it may bring a pulse of warmth north into the Kara Sea, and this pulse may become a surge if the meek and hardly noticable “Na5″, after creeping across the Atlantic and creeping across Scandinavia, explodes into a gale east of Finland.

However even if that happens it will barely bring us down to last year’s levels.  The Death Spiral has been debunked, and there is no way to un-debunk it

SEPTEMBER 21 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0921 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0921 temp_latest.big (1)

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SEPTEMBER 21  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0921B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0921B temp_latest.big (1)

“Lars” is now a high pressure king of the Pole, with a solid-seeming ridge of high pressure extending south down the spine of the North Atlantic. However don’t blink, for things change swiftly during this time of transition we call the “equinox.”  A couple days ago “Na4″ seemed in control of the Pole, and where is it now? Absorbed into “Sha”, which barely touches the south coast of the Laptev Sea. In the same manner “Lars” will be difficult to find in a few days, as is slides and slips down to central Siberia, and is well inland.

Models are not at their best, when things are altering so swiftly, but it still looks like a storm will brew up to the east of Finland. Now it looks like some part of “Na5″ will brew up in the Baltic and move northeast.

“Na6″ is now smashing into southern Greenland, and a peculiar thing models are showing is a small northern part sliding up Baffin Bay and right across the Pole, as the rest becomes an autumnal North Atlantic gale charging across the Atlantic to Scandinavia.

Much to see, this coming week.

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Thaw’s End—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at: ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Death Spiral’s Debunking—

When I began this series of posts I was vaguely aware that I had already investigated the arctic more than most so-called investigative reporters who wrote about the subject. My investigation was accidental, and a side-effect of my escapism.  As a boy I didn’t like math class, and dreamed out the window at clouds. While this meant I never learned the math necessary to become a meteorologist, it makes me something of an authority on clouds. In like manner, I have become something of an authority on sea-ice.

I never meant to involve myself in politics. I didn’t pursue politics, politics crashed my quiet party in a quiet place that, not so long ago, cool people and babes were not the slightest bit interested in. Weather and arctic sea-ice were safe and innocuous topics that avoided all trouble. Those days are gone.

I’ve had a hard time figuring out what hit me. If you look back through these posts you’ll see quite a variety of introductions, as I attempt to explain my reasons for writing. In actual fact the real reason is that I was minding my own business, enjoying a quiet bit of escapism, when Alarmist lunacy walked up and hit me across the side of  my head.

That will wake up the most peaceful and dreamy guy, and much of my investigating over the past year has been in response, and has been at times defensive, and at times offensive, and the conclusion of this episode is that I’ve whipped the tar out of Alarmist lunacy. (In a purely intellectual manner, of course.)

Now I’d like to conclude these posts by tying up a few loose ends, before I go back to dreaming. A guy of my advanced age should be quiet, and retiring.

I’ll try to post maps and information twice a day, until the sea-ice reaches its minimum.

ARCTIC TEMPERATURES   —THE THAW’S END—
DMI2 0818 meanT_2014  (click to enlarge)
 
The green line on this map shows we have passed the point where temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude average out above freezing. This is not to say that pockets of thaw can’t come north.  I’ve seen above-freezing temperatures take a run at the Pole from the Atlantic side even in the dead of winter, associated with huge North Atlantic storms. However that sort of warmth tends to swiftly lift above the ice and, while the uplift may generate a low pressure’s winds that rip and tear at the ice, it simply doesn’t have the thawing effect of summer sunshine. We are pretty much done the time of watching melt-water pools expand. In fact the 90 days when the sun it as its highest and beats down most strongly (if you can use such words to describe the low arctic sun) ended back on August 6.  The above graph shows the temperatures starting to respond to the sinking of the sun.  There can be a warm spell after the green line shows the average ordinarily sinks below normal.  For example, look what happened in 1979:
DMI2 0724 meanT_1979
 
You can see that in 1979 the thaw continued for a week longer than normal, despite the fact it was a very cold year, and the prior winter had some of the lowest temperatures ever seen at the Pole.
 
This trivia demonstrates how little air temperature and surface thawing (and the hubbub about “albedo”) actually has to do with the growth and shrinkage of arctic sea-ice. We will also see this demonstrated for the next thirty days, as the sea-ice continues to shrink despite temperatures that will drop well below the freezing point of the salt water the ice floats upon. (The ice itself has far less salt in it, as it extrudes the salt that was originally in it through several processes), (and of course any snow and rain that falls on the ice, and fog that condenses on the ice, is fresh water.)
 
What really determines the amount of sea-ice is how much ice is flushed south through Fram Strait, (not much, this year,) and how much warm water comes north through the Bering Strait, (associated with a “warm” PDO), and comes north as tendrils of the Gulf Stream (associated with the “warm” AMO.)
 
We have seen the ice respond very nicely to short term spikes of the PDO and AMO during the past year, which affirms the idea the sea-ice has not been responding to CO2 and is not in any sort of “Death Spiral,” but rather was responding, is responding, and will respond to natural cycles which take roughly  60-70 years to complete.
 
MY FORECASTING FLOP  —THE FAILURE TO FLAT-LINE—
 
The graph below shows the ice-extent plunging at the very time I expected it would level off.  My  idea was that the tightly packed ice would spread out, like a pat of butter on a wide piece of bread, but what has happened is that the ice has been compressed, both north of Alaska and north of the Laptev Sea.
 
It is important to make a forecast even if you are not an expert, because it is through seeing where your forecast went wrong that you learn about things you otherwise would fail to notice.
DMI2 0818 icecover_current_new
 
If you don’t dare make your own forecast, and instead rely on models, you can be amazingly wrong, but you will have no idea why you are wrong.  For example, last June the CFSv2 model was predicting a September ice minimum up around 7 million km2 with an anomaly of +0.6 million km2, and now it predicts 5.9 million km2 with an anomaly of -0.3.
Extent Graph June 18 sieMonExtent CFsv2 August 18 sieMon
 
Models flip-flop all the time, especially once you are looking more than ten days ahead, and when they are wrong they never blush, and instead simply change. It is the people who consider models to be authorities that wind up blushing, (or they should blush, but sometimes simply go from parroting the old to parroting the new.)
 
My own guess was for a minimum of 6.1 million km2, which is obviously too high. However rather than blushing I’m focused on trying to see what is keeping the ice from spreading out.
 
AUGUST 18 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0818 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0818 temp_latest.big (1)
 
NEW CAMERAS
Our northern camera is seeing temperatures dropping down to around minus 2.5 and winds slacking to around 5 mph.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
Our southern camera is failing to transmit updated pictures, but saw some thaw yesterday after a prolonged freeze, and winds grow brisker, up to the 15-20 mph range, as temperatures again dropped below freezing.
temperature-1week
 
 
 windspeed-1week
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT 
 
Our heap of tax-dollars continued to drift west and south, in winds that slacked off to the 5-10 mph range, winding us up at 83.051°N, 16.303°E at the end of our 24-hour-period, at 9:00 AM
 
For the third day temperatures failed to get above freezing, though we did just touch zero at noon yesterday. Our low was -1.5°C at 3:00 AM this morning, and it had risen back to -0.8°C by 9:00 AM. The chill is a little unusual, when you consider out wrecked “North Pole Camera” has now drifted roughly 425 miles south of the Pole towards the warm Atlantic, and it is still summer.
 
The pressure continues steady, though it has fallen ever so slightly over the past five days, arriving at 1009.9mb at the day’s end.
 
AUGUST 18  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0818B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0818B temp_latest.big (1)
A sort of fujiwhara effect is tugging “Steppenwolf” back east, as “Berzip” will be swung under and then whipped up north through the Laptev Sea.  (The open water of the Laptev Sea will be a magnet and generator of storms this fall,,,perhaps I should call it “an electromagnet”.)
 
“Art” is crashing into Norway, creating a pattern very different from the lovely summer Scandivaian High. The wind cannot get over Norway’s mountains, but the low is perfectly positioned to swing the wind down Norways west coast, swing them east ove Debnmark and into the Baltic, and then whip them up from the southwest into the south-facing coasts of Sweden, and even Finland.
 
The cold is building towards Canada, and we may soon see the minus-five isotherm appear for the first time since June.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
UK Met Aug 18 17375035
I just wanted to save this map of “Art” over Norway. “Art” is of decent size, for a summer storm, and completely unlike the pattern we saw all July.  I would call this a transitional pattern, and not a foretaste of winter’s pattern.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —
Our northern camera views a cold world gone gray, with temperatures below freezing and the light airs stiffening ever so slightly to a ling breeze of 5-10 mph.  My expectation is that we won’t see any more serious thawing this summer.  I’m even beginning to wonder if we’ll see the ice crack up at all.
webcam
Our southern camera isn’t working. Likely it wants higher pay. Temperatures are warmer than the past few days, and winds in the 10-15 mph range.
Conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported that at 0000z the “warmth” of the day had temperatures up to -0.49° C. To the west, north of Bering Strait,  Buoy 2014B (which may be in danger due to thinning and fracturing ice) reported -0.22 °C, while to the southeast Buoy 2014C: is reporting -0.04° C. Weak low pressure is attempting to form between this camera and the Alaskan coast.
temperature-1week
windspeed-1week
AUGUST 19  —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0819 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0819 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf”and “Berzip” are doing their Fujiwhara dance, and also drawing in some low pressure from Bering Strait. They will resolve to a storm in the Kara Sea, nudging towards the Pole and bumping the high pressure “Beauf” to the south into Canada, however for the time being the Pacific to Atlantic cross polar flow continues.
 
“Art” looks like he is giving Scandinavia a miserable Monday.
 
The storm in northern Hudson Bay came up through Winnepeg, so I’ll dub it “Peg.”
 
Notice how warm the arctic shorelines are. We are in the final days when the tundra is warm and the mosquitoes drive all living creatures wild. Soon tundra temperatures will plunge, mosquitoes will die, and the arctic shorelines will switch from warming the Arctic Sea to chilling it.
 
NEW CAMERAS
Our northern camera shows cold conditions, with temperatures down around minus five Celsius. The cold isn’t due to calm, as the winds are around 10 mph.  Notice how our frozen melt-water pools are now covered by a dust of snow.
 webcam
temperature-1week
 
They haven’t fixed the southern camera yet. I wish they would, as some changes are occurring as “Beauf” moves away and weak low pressure from the Bering Strait passes over.  Temperatures are milder and winds are dropping off. We may be missing our chance to see the last thaw of the season.
 
temperature-1weekwindspeed-1week
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our lone chocolate jimmy atop a vast expanse of vanilla continued south and west with a light breeze of 5-10 mph, crossing both 83 degrees latitude and 16 degrees longitude, to wind up at 82.991°N,15.955°E. (Last year we were either side of the meridian, and dawdled either side of 84 degrees north, until October.)
 
Another day passed with temperatures failing to break freezing. That makes four days. We reached our high temperature for the 24-hour period at noon yesterday, -0.4°C, and then readings fell, with a twelve hour period of temperatures below the freezing point of salt water, reaching our low of -3.2°C at 3:00 AM. Temperatures had recovered to -1.5°C by 9:00 AM.
 
Pressures remained fairly steady, ending at 1009.0 mb.
 
AUGUST 19  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0819B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0819B temp_latest.big (1)
 
AUGUST 20 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0820 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0820 temp_latest.big (1)
I like to put two sets of maps (or more) together like this because it allows part of my brain to animate the action, and to predict more in the manner of a boy predicting where to run to catch a ball, than in the manner of a math whiz figuring out where the ball will land with numbers on paper.
 
Noon is at the bottom of the first set of above maps, and at the bottom of the second. This explains a lot, but not all,  of the warming on the Pacific side.
 
The one feature that leaps out at me is the breakdown of high pressure “Beauf” on the Canadian side, and the build-up of low pressure on the Eurasian side.  On the Eurasian side not only are “Steppenwolf” and Berzip” continuing their Fujiwhara dance, but that dance is sucking in unnamed low pressure from the Bering Strait, and also up from the Steppes of Russia.  This new multi-ingredient storm needs a name, but I think I’ll stick with the name “Steppenwolf.”  By using that name it makes my forecast (or hunch) of a week ago correct. I said Steppenwolf would be a certain place, and look, there is Steppenwolf, exactly where I said. This may be cheating, but I figure I should get  some benefits from running this blog, and one benefit is that I get to name storms in a way that makes me look smarter than I actually am.
 
In any case, this undulating blob of different pieces of low pressure will be interesting to watch, as several models have it moving to the Pole, and on to Canada, which may very well spread out the sea-ice and cause the “extent ” graph to flat-line next week.
 
“Art” continues to occlude over Scandinavia, giving Great Britain a northerly flow and likely freaking everyone out, as it feels like summer is over. (By the way, “Art” originally got his name as it was part of Hurricane Arthur. It demonstrates another reason I like to control the naming of storms. It is just plain fun to follow an impulse of low pressure from the Bahamas to Europe to the Kara Sea across the Pole into Canada and down around Greenland and across to Europe again. Purists may roll their eyes and point out “Art” actually includes .0001% of Hurricane Arthur, but they are no fun.)  “Art” will send a bulge through Finland and along the arctic coast to join “Steppenwolf”, eventually.
 
The third storm is “Peg” up at the top of Hudson Bay. It’s west side is sucking some cold from the core of “Beauf” and sending it down my way, which I don’t much like to see this early in the year.
 
“Beauf” is exporting  cold both into the North Atlantic and into central Canada. Likely temperatures will warm some, over the Pole, with the cold air exported. However, because all this cold is home-grown, it demonstrates the Arctic is a sourse of cold even in August, and also that the Pole, in some manner, loses heat even when the days are 24 hours long.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
UK Met Aug 20 17424900
 
This is here to record the big change over Scandinavia, as “Art” occludes over Norway. Rather than just filling and fading, part will move into the arctic through Finland, and part will be reinforced as that little low over Iceland moves to the North Sea. There is no sign of the nice, warm Scandinavian high returning.
 
NEW CAMERA  —Southern Camera Fixed—
Our northern camera continues to experience a bitter cold flow of air, even as winds slacken to the 2-5 mph range, and the high pressure “Beauf” weakens. Temperatures have been down around minus five for two days, and the power of this cold flow extends all the way down to our crushed camera 425 mikes south, which has gone four days without thaw, and to  Buoy 2014E: , which was reporting -2.92 C at 0000z.  The ice we view currently shows no sign of breaking up and spreading out, and the lead behind our yellow “cork” has in fact clamped tighter than a bear trap. Nothing will happen until we get some stronger winds.
 
If you look back through old posts you’ll notice our yellow “cork” was lying more on its side a couple weeks ago. While it was milder it melted its own, private pool of water to float in. Until these private pools that buoys make in the bright sun refreeze, it can mess up the ice-thickness readings. However this is something the scientists in charge are well aware of.
webcam
 
With all the cold air heading across the Pole to the North Atlantic, it is only natural for it to warm on the Pacific side, and we are seeing some of that. The ice is actually moving north, which makes me a little nervous as the edge of the ice is closer to our southern camera, and to our other buoys.  Our ice is still around 4 feet thick, but Buoy 2014C: to our east is reporting ice only 2 feet thick, and Buoy 2014B is floating in its own private pool, and its reports have been suspended until the water refreezes, however its ice was only 2 feet thick back on July 29.
 
Temperatures have been much warmer, even in the “night,” than they were when the high pressure “Beauf” was overhead. Conjunct  Buoy 2013F: had dipped to  -0.26 C at 0000z, but Buoy 2014C: was reporting +0.10 C and Buoy 2014B was reporting + 0.22 C. The fixed southern camera is showing a view that looks a little softer and more slushy than it looked just before the camera went off the air, though by no means is there signs of a major thaw.
 
I expect temperatures will remain near freezing until the winds change.
webcam
 
 CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our cigarette burn on the vast white bed-sheet of sea-ice continued south, but its westerly motion became more serpentine, arriving at 15.798°E at midnight, backing to 15.846°E at 6:00 AM, and then veering to end us, at the end of our period (27 hours for some reason,) at 82.888°N, 15.794°E at noon.
 
The north winds were cold. Only at the start of our period were temperatures above the freezing point of salt water, at -1.5°C at 9:00 AM yesterday. By noon they had fallen to -1.9°C and at 6:00 PM were at -3.6°C. After that temperatures fell more gradually to the day’s low of -3.8°C at 3:00 AM, and only recovered to -3.1°C by noon today. Ice can still melt at the bottoms of larger bergs at these temperatures, but any splashes at the edges freeze.
 
The pressure fell to 1005.0 mb at midnight and then rose to 1006.1 mb at noon.
 
The water at the northeast corner of Svalbard is now open.
 
AUGUST 20   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
DMI2 0820 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0820B temp_latest.big (1)
The Pacific to Atlantic flow continues, pulling cold air from Alaska to Svalbard.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —A tale of two buoys—
With winds slacking and temperatures down around minus five, the bright sun can do little thawing to the north. The cold flow extends all the way down to our crunched camera, but Buoy Buoy 2014E: was coldest, at -6.73 C.
webcam
Our southern camera sees a milder world, (despite some subfreezing cold as the midnight sun sunk low).  Our conjunct  Buoy 2013F was at -0.03 C, and not one other buoy over there towards Alaska showed less. Thaw is general towards the Pacific at this time.
 webcam
 
 
AUGUST 21 —DMI MORNING MAPS—BIG CHANGES—
 DMI2 0821 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0821 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” continues to evolve in the Laptev Sea, and will be the feature to watch the next week. It is complex and likely deserves to be divided into five storms with five names, but I am too busy to do it justice.
 
“Art” continues to wallow over Scandinavia, but is handing off a piece of energy to the east to the Steppenwolf complex.
 
Very interesting is “Peg” crashing north over the Canadian Archipelago, bringing a slug of warm air with it.  After initial warming, I imagine the home-grown-cooling process might kick in, and Peg, and also the rush of Pacific air in from Bering Strait, will get swirled into the Steppenwolf mix and result in post-storm cooling.
 
The warming is not showing up in the DMI temperature graph because it at this point is largely occurring south of 80 degrees latitude.  The graph reflects the stream of very cold (for the time of year) air the high pressure “Beauf” steered across the Pole and down towards Svalbard. What remains of Beauf is west of Iceland, its north winds adding to Art’s west side north winds, and inhibiting the surface flow of the Gulf Stream. The DMI graph, which has been crashing, will likely soon spike up.
DMI2 0821 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)
As the various parts and pieces of the Steppenwolf complex wheel about the Pole the general effect will be to reverse the recent compression of sea-ice, and to spread the ice out more.  This will be especially true if models are correct, and a low sits north of Bering Strait next Tuesday in the exact position where the high pressure “Beauf” sat a week ago.
 
In the long term some suggest this spread-out ice (from the East Siberian Sea into the Chukcha Sea, and from the Central Basin into the Laptev Sea), will melt “in a twinkling” due the ice moving to warmer waters. I myself don’t think the waters are deeply warmed, and doubt the melting will be that swift.
 
Two conflicting factors are in play, the first being a cooling factor, because the Bering Strait was late to freeze and the Laptev Sea was often open last winter, which exposed waters to winter cold and chilled the water (and also churned it), and the second warming factor being that the spoke in the PDO to a “warm” phase likely brought some Pacific water north, at the same time that,  in the Laptev Sea, the factors of water from the Lena River plus a summer’s worth of ice-free sunshine (when it wasn’t cloudy) has likely warmed the surface.
 
My guess is that warm surface waters aren’t enough; warmer waters from a greater depth are required to melt ice “in a twinkling,” and such waters don’t exist. Time will tell. The “in a twinkling” scenario would involve the “extent graph” only briefly showing an uptick, before plunging again, while the alternative would be more of a flat-lining of the graph.  In any case, it looks like the excitement has started:
DMI2 0821 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)
 
NEW CAMERAS
webcam
webcam
 
 CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
Our dot of an askance pupil in the great, white eyeball of the frozen north continued to gaze south, wandering southeast to 15.931°E at 9:00 AM, in light breezes of 5-10 mph, before a final lurch west left us at 82.805°N, 15.900°E at noon.
 
Temperatures fell steadily from -3.1°C at noon yesterday to the period’s low of -6.8°C at 3:00 AM today, before rebounding to the period’s high of -2.8°C at noon. In essence we had the arctic unload over us and down into the North Atlantic. While this export of cold may make the Pole warmer, it doesn’t warm the North Atlantic a bit, nor does a cold Atlantic bode well for Europe’s winter.
 
The pressure bottomed out when the temperature was lowest, at 999.8 mb at 3:00 AM, and then rose to 1005.5 mb by noon.  Some arctic low-pressure obviously passed over. It makes me wonder. Sometimes you see these tight little swirls in the satellite shots, but the models don’t see them at all.
 
AUGUST 21   —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0821B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0821B temp_latest.big (1)
 
“Steppenwolf” is complex,  with the original Steppenwolf out towards the Pole, a memory of “Berzip” coming up from a Fujiwhara swing underneath to the east, and a piece of “Art” just starting to dive down into the Fujiwhara dance to the west.  Joining this fracas is a chunk of “Peg”, coming across the Pole.  What a mishmash!
 
There is still a fairly strong Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar-flow, but it looks like the Pacific end of it is starting to get cut off, and East Siberia is the new source region for the flow. It is still fairly mild in that cold region, with daytime highs in the Kolmya River valley up in the mid 70’s. (24 Celsius) (The Kolmya River is only free of ice from early June until October.)  I’d expect air drawn from that region to be mild, but to swiftly lose heat as it moves over water, due to evaporation of the sea’s surface, and then melting of any ice it reaches. (Such phase-changes see available heat become latent heat.)
NEW CAMERAS
Northern camera — It looks like the core of the cold has passed, and fog indicates milder air is arriving. It looks like temperatures have risen from below minus five to above minus one. However it is colder to the south towards Svalbard. Buoy 2014E: reported -3.64
webcam
temperature-1week
 
Conjunct Buoy 2013F reports  -0.11 C at 0000z and -0.14 C at 1200z, which shows even the influx of Pacific air causing us fog hasn’t quite nudged our southern buoy above freezing.
webcam
temperature-1week
 
 AUGUST 22  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0822 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0822 temp_latest.big (1)
The “Fujiwhara Mishmash;”  a new dance craze at the Pole.  “Steppenwolf” is tugged east to Franz Josef Land as the piece of “Art” swings underneath and “Berzip” elongates towards the East Siberian Sea.  The center of this wobbling complex is still forecast to head for Bering Strait, and the flow will swing from Pacific-to-Atlantic around to Canada-to-Siberia.  Already the winds at Svalbard as starting to swing to the west.
 
“Art” continues to sit occluded over Scandinavia, now weak and above 1000 mb, but with additional energy coming into it
 via a small low moving through the North Sea. (Off this map.)
 
 Temperatures are much milder than they’ve been, especially on the Canadian side.
 
NEW SOURCE OF INFORMATION: THE GOOD SHIP POLARSTERN
In my thirst for additional information I came across this research vessel crunching its way towards the Pole.  It has a record of the arctic blast moving through the ice-pack north of Greenland, with temperatures dropping below -6.0 C.
 
 
I always wonder what it does to the icecap to have these icebreakers slicing through.
 
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET
UK Met Aug 22 17488655
 
“Art” is up in the Gulf of Bothnia east of Finland, with a whole series of troughs feeding up into it. I guess I’ll call the weak low south of Norway in the North Sea “Artless”. Also notice the isobars at the very top of the map hint at winds shifting to the west.
 
Here’s some interesting trivia:  So many rivers pour into the Gulf of Bothnia that, in its northern reaches, fresh water fish can swim in it. That is why it freezes so swiftly; its water is fresher. The Baltic gets more and more salty as you head southwest towards Denmark.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —the return of gray days—
 
I expect it will be a while before we see much turquoise and silver.  Blame Svenmark’s danged cosmic rays and the Quiet Sun.
 
Our northern camera has seen warming and is flirting with freezing. To the south it was still cold at Buoy 2014E: , which was reporting -3.34 C at 0000z. At our northern camera winds are in the 4-8 mph range.
webcam
 
Our southern camera also has been flirting with freezing in 5 mph winds. Currently it dips just below. Back at 0000z conjunct
 Buoy 2013F: reported we were exactly at freezing. To the west Buoy 2014B: was reporting -0.98 C.
 
Interestingly Buoy 2014C: has now drifted west to a point where it is nearly 200 miles due south of our camera.  The ice has thinned to 65 cm and the temperature is at +0.37 C.
 
A new buoy Buoy 2014F: has been planted on ice 151 cm thick 77.63 N, 146.01 W, which is nearly due east of our camera, (which is at 77.41 N, 156.57 W)  It was thawing to our east, with temperatures at 0000z at +0.17 C. Even further east Buoy 2012G: at 77.94 N, 125.00 W, was reporting +0.47 C. (Sadly, our buoy just off the north coast of Greenland apparently bit the dust.)
 
It will be interesting to watch this influx of milder and moister air, to see of it persists, or uplifts and turns into home-grown cold.
 
It looks like our frozen melt-water pool has a puddle on top of it. So our melt-water has melt-water. The fog looks like it is getting thicker.
webcam
 
 CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our miserly black ant rejoicing across the vast sugar bowl of arctic white continued though the winds slacked off to a complete calm the final twelve hours. Eastward movement ceased at 16.033°E at 6:00 AM, and we drifted back west despite the calm to finish at  82.646°N, 15.928°E at noon. The movement of the ice despite calm was interesting.
 
Temperatures rose steadily throughout the 12-hour-period, starting at -2.8°C at noon yesterday and finishing at -1.0°C at noon today.
 
The pressure remained flat, and finished at 1006.2 mb.
 
AUGUST 22 —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0822B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0822B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is still moving the wrong way, into Barents Sea, but it still looks like it will be yanked back to the Pacific side by the Fujiwhara effects of both Berzip and the Piece-of-Art. (I’ve danced with people who yank you like that, on Friday nights many moons before this one.)  Most of the moved ice is now entering the Barents Sea, as the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow has yet to switch to a Canada-to-Siberia flow. Will it ever?  Stay tuned!!!
 
NEW CAMERAS 
At our northern camera temperatures crept back up to freezing under dark and foggy skies. Winds remained light, at 5 mph.  No sign of the lead  behind the yellow “cork” reopening.  I think it may be safe to take a night off.
 
Milder down at Buoy 2014E: as well, with temperatures up to  -0.89 C.  It looks like the arctic has shot its wad, and the first aectic blast of the season was exported to annoy the people of London. Fortunately they have good beer down there.
webcam
 
 
It was dark and foggy at our southern camera as well, with temperatures at conjunct Buoy 2013F: only a hair below freezing at -0.02 C. All other buoys over there are just above freezing, except for a bit of a surprise north of Beringinbg Strait, where Buoy 2014B: is a chilly-1.14 C, though that may hint open water is near. Don’t forget the water the ice rides on is salt, and can be down around -1.5 C.
 webcam
 
Have a Great weekend, everyone!
 
AUGUST 23 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0823 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0823 temp_latest.big (1)
There is still no sign of “Steppenwolf” budging from Barents Sea, but models still insist it will be across Kara Sea by tomorrow and the Laptev Sea by Monday, and in Chukcha Sea by Tuesday.
 
A finger of high pressure will build east from northern Greenland, as a second builds northwest from Poland and Ukraine, and when these fingers meet over Svalbard the high pressure will wall off the Atlantic from the Arctic for a while.  It is hard to say whether Steppenwolf is pumping up this ridge, or whether the ridge is bumping Steppenwolf to the Pacific side, but in the long run the high pressure could center over Scandinavia and give them a break from the wallowing occlusions they’ve been living under.  First a final blob of “Art” will have to be squeezed east of Finland into the Steppenwolf Fujiwhara fracas, and the rest of the Baltic low pressure will have to be squashed south.  If all goes according to plan then, in a week, Scandinavia will have utterly different weather.
 
This new wall of high pressure across the north Atlantic will have Canada-to-Siberia winds on its side facing the Pole, which will mesh with Steppenwolf’s winds, and either spread out the ice towards open waters, or have me banging my head against the wall by refusing to do so. (How’s that for a forecast?)
 
NEW CAMERA  —Recharging the cold—
 
The Pole is much warmer than it has been, with most of the subfreezing air towards the European quadrant.  Our northern camera continues to see fog and temperatures close to freezing,  with winds slacking off to nearly calm. Humidity has pegged out at 100%, so there is little heat-loss due to evaporation, and likely heat-gain due to condensation. To the south Buoy 2014E: is reporting  -0.47 C, and is actually the only buoy reporting subfreezing temperatures. We exported all our cold air to western Europe, and it will take a while to build up some more.
 
Our camera shows no sign of thaw yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the two small melt-water pools reappear in the left middle-distance.  (By the way, they have updated the film they make by splicing all these pictures together.  The final 3 minutes is worth watching, to see how the ice in the background does shift left and right, even if it hasn’t done so for the past ten days.  This ice has the potential to spread out, even if it doesn’t do so in reality.) http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy9/movie
 
webcam
 
Our southern camera is scanning a scene of thaw, now that the thaw is suppose to be over. Conjunct  Buoy 2013F: is reporting + 0.24 C, and all the other buoys on this side of the Pole are reporting a quarter or half degree above freezing, during the “warmth” of afternoon. This far south the sun dips very low at midnight, and we are at the verge of seeing the midnight sun give way to the midnight twilight. Winds are light at our foggy camera.
 
(I need to find some Russian buoys on the Siberian side. Surely they exist, though perhaps they are not as public with their reporting. )
 
webcam
 
 
They’ve updated the movie at this camera as well. Watching it shows how it did try to thaw this summer, but the thaws kept suffering setbacks.  http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy10/movie
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our little blackbird amidst a huge flock of swans continued slowly south, wandering as far west as 15.718°E before turning back east to end the 24 hour period at 82.528°N,15.942°E. Winds were reported as calm throughout the period, which makes me suspect the anemometer is frozen up. (It happens, in freezing fog, when the wind is calm just long enough for rime to build up.) We need a spell of above freezing temperatures to be sure the calm is genuine.
 
It didn’t happen for yet another day, as temperatures were flat. The high was at the start of the period at noon yesterday,  -1.0°C, and the next reading was the low of -1.4°C which persisted until midnight, and then was followed by a nearly imperceptible rise to -1.2°C at noon today.
 
The barometer ended the period close to where it started, at  1006.4 mb.
 
AUGUST 23  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0823B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0823B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is now hurrying across the northern Kara Dea, apparently following s front or trough that “Berzip” plowed into the Pacific side. Things are proceeding as “planned,” so far.
 
A disconcerting low has appeared off the east coast of Greenland; you’ve got to watch those sneaky suckers.
 
Also some surprising home-grown cold has appeared off the Canadian arctic coast.
 
It looks like we are about to say “Good-bye” to the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow.
 
BARDARBUNGA VOLCANO IN ICELAND GRUMBLING
 
BARDARBUNGA AUG 23 barobunga_cam (1)
 
It sure looks like an eruption has started, but there is some dispute about whether this is merely dust from earthquakes or some other such thing. Perhaps the swarm of earthquakes under this part of Iceland is much ado about nothing, but it should be watched.  Rather than a single cone, this volcano has a history of splitting the skin of the Earth with a long crack, and producing a long line of fountaining lava which can be many miles long. This volcano also holds the record for the most lava produced by a single eruption, over the past 10,000 years.  (The eruption occurred over 6000 years ago, so I can’t supply photos.)
 
Currently it is topped by a thick icecap, but that could melt in a hurry.
 
It will provide me with a convenient excuse for botched forecasts.
 
MORE POWERFUL THAN VOLCANOES—AMO AND PDO
 
What really effects the amount of arctic sea-ice is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO.   To simplify greatly, when they are “warm” there is less ice.  I put the word “warm” in quotes because it is not that the entire ocean is warmer as a whole, but rather that the warm water is located in a position where it effects the arctic more.  In both oceans the “warm” phase is seen as a backwards letter “C” of warmth in the northern half of the ocean, with the curve of the “C” nudging California in the Pacific, and northwest Africa in the Atlantic.  (In actual fact each “warm” phase has attributes all its own, but I am speaking in generalities.)
 
The PDO has shifted to its “cold” phase, and right on cue there was an increase of ice around Bering Strait, on the Pacific side of the Pole. However there can be short-term spikes to “warm” in the “cold” phase, which we are now seeing, and which also occurred in the 1950’s during the last “cold” phase.  This warmth is largely focused in the waters southwest of Alaska, (which is a phenomenon that Joseph D’Aleo has noted gave the eastern USA a very cold winters in 1917-1918.) Again right on cue there was less ice in Bering Strait,especially in the first half of last winter.
PDO July 2014 pdo_short
 
Meanwhile the AMO has been in its “warm” phase, and has 5-10 more years before it switches to “cold,” however it too switched to a short-term spike, to “cold”, last winter.  Right on cue ice started to expand on the Atlantic side, but now that spike is ending and the AMO is moving back towards “warm.”
 
AMO July 2014 amo_short
 
5-10 years from now, if both the AMO and PDO are locked into “cold” phases, we might expect sea-ice to increase, however there may be a fly in the ointment.
 
The reason a chaotic system can produce orderly shapes such as the spiral of a hurricane (or a 60-70 year cycle) is partly a mystery that Chaos Theory seeks to better understand, and partly due to factors we do understand. For example, in the case of a hurricane we do understand things such as lapse rates and the Coriolis Force, and some meteorologists do a surprisingly good job of taking what we know and predicting what such temperamental storms will do.  However hurricanes still often surprise us, due to the more mysterious and wonderful side of chaos.  We are, after all, dealing with a nearly infinite number of variables.
 
In the case of the AMO and PDO we are only starting to understand the knowable side of the chaotic system. The very existence of these cycles wasn’t known by most meteorologists when I was a boy (though some had hunches such cycles existed.) Our best guesses about the knowable side in the year 2014 will likely look laughable in 2024, but at this point the 60-70 year cycle seems something like a heartbeat’s “flub-dub.”  The Pacific supplies the power-stroke and the Atlantic is a responsive follow-up stroke, primarily because the Pacific is so much bigger.
 
It takes order from outside to create a heartbeat, and the order is supplied by nerves supplying orderly micro-shocks.  In the case of the 60-70 year cycle the outside influence is likely regular patterns such as the yearly seasons, and the somewhat regular sunspot cycle, however our knowledge of such outside-influences is still in its infancy.
 
Now here is the fly in the ointment.  Just as the beautiful order (from afar) of a hurricane falls apart and turns back into chaos as the storm weakens and fills, the beautiful order of our own heartbeat can go into a state we don’t find the slightest bit fascinating, called fibrillation.  The timing of the micro-shocks gets out of whack, and the familiar “flub-dub” we take so for granted becomes a chaotic system.
 
Assuming the 60-70 year cycle is likely governed by the regularity of outside influences, one wonders what sort of irregularity could throw the cycle into a sort of fibrillation.  Dr. Tim Ball has suggested a huge volcanic eruption, such as Tambora in 1815, can cause extreme meridianal jet streams.  I myself am now wondering what effect the “Quiet Sun” might have.
 
Considering we don’t really understand the 60-70 year cycle to begin with, it might seem the last thing we need is for the cycle to start acting all weird on us.  However I prefer to look at it as a challenge.  After all, the Creator made us a universe with infinite variables and more types of chaos than there are grains of sand on a beach, yet creation seems to do a pretty good job of running itself even when we can’t fathom it.  We are stuck in the middle of swirlings of stars, and to attempt to fathom it all is simply a form of appreciation. Furthermore, it is in our attempts to fathom it all that we can awaken our sense of wonder, and even joy.
 
AUGUST 24  —DMI Morning Maps—
 
DMI2 0824 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0824 temp_latest.big (1)
 
AUGUST 24   —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0824B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0824B temp_latest.big (1)
AUGUST 25  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0825 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0825 temp_latest.big (1)
The above maps do a good job of showing the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow swinging around to become a Canada-to-Siberia flow.  This counterclockwise motion will continue until we arrive eventually at a Atlantic-to-Pacific flow, which demonstrates how fickle things are in the Arctic, especially as seasons change.
 
The above maps also show the two fingers of high pressure joining over Svalbard and effectively blocking the inflow of Atlantic air, and the outflow of Arctic air. With a similar situation developing on the Pacific side, my hunch is that the isolated air over the Pole will lose heat and a reservoir of cold will grow. The primary inflow seems to be from Siberia, and even though such air is still mild it is dry and a lot of radiational and evaporative cooling occurs when it gets over arctic waters.
 
The Svalbard high pressure will have a struggle pushing the wallowing low pressure from Scandinavia, especially as a reinforcing low looks like it will loop back from towards the Black Sea to southeast Finland and stall. It still looks like high pressure will work down over Scandinavia by next weekend, but rather than east winds from the still relatively-warm Steppes the winds look like they will be north from the arctic, especially over Norway, and the sunshine will be cool.
 
I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to pay as much attention as I’d like, so I have no idea where the low on the east coast of Greenland came from. I’ll call it “Owtada,” which is derived from “Out-of-the”,  because as far as I’m concerned it came out of the blue. It is kicking a zipper (off this map) across the Atlantic towards Britain, which I’ll call “Outadazip.”  As that extension goes south of the building high pressure Outada will squeeze north, and may advance on the Pole as “Steppenwolf” heads into Bering Strait or Alaska.
 
However for the next few days “Steppenwolf’s” polar passage will be the focus. If it doesn’t spread the ice out into the Kara and Laptev Seas I’m going to have to rethink my ideas. Of course, that isn’t the slightest bit unusual.
 
NEW CAMERAS
Our northern camera hasn’t updated since the 21st. It took me a while to catch on to the fact I was posting the same picture over and over. Temperatures took quite a plunge, to around minus five, but have since returned to flirting with freezing. Winds have picked up to the 10-15 mph range. We remain at around 88 degrees north, but have swung around and crossed 90 degrees longitude, so we are now officially on the Atlantic side of the Pole. I sure hope they can fix the camera.
 
The cold air has migrated south with the last push of the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow, and  Buoy 2014E  reported -4.45°C at 0000z this morning. Even further south our crunched camera reports a steady -1.30°C, which is close enough to the temperature of the sea-water down there to make me wonder if that buoy is afloat.
 
temperature-1week
windspeed-1week
 
Meanwhile our southern camera has also flirted with freezing, but recently has been on the cold side, and it looks the melt-water puddle atop the frozen melt-water pool has refrozen. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: has gone from -0.21 C at 1200z yesterday to -0.22 C at 0000z this morning, despite the fact the sun rises from the hozon to its highest in this time period, and all other buoys in the area are showing a drop in temperatures despite the daylight. Either they forgot to update the temperatures, or colder air is arriving ahead of the advance of “Steppenwolf.”
 
I’m glad this camera is working, for the storm could break up the ice.
 
webcam
temperature-1week
windspeed-1week
 
 
 AUGUST 25  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
 
DMI2 0825B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0825B temp_latest.big (1)
NEW CAMERAS  —Northern Camera is fixed—
 
webcam
 
 webcam
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
Our crunched camera may now be sitting at the bottom of the deep blue sea, as the weather-buoy it looked upon floats freely a mile above, bobbing midst bergs and lapping slush.  I base this on the fact we’ve had no wind reported for two days, which sometimes is a sign the anemometer is encrusted with frozen spray. Also the temperature has stayed very flat and is close to the subzero temperature of the seawater down there.
 
For the past 46 hours our movement (if not straight down), has been slowly but steadily south, in a serpentine manner, east to  15.970°E at 3:00 PM Saturday, west to 15.877°E at midnight, east to 16.009°E at 6:00 PM Sunday, west to 15.956°E at 9:00 PM, and then east to 16.196°E at noon today (Monday.)  This sort of slow motion is indicative if calm conditions, especially if we are freely floating.
 
The barometer also suggests calm, very steady, starting at 1006.4 mb and only sinking to 1004.7 mb in 48 hours.
 
As I said the temperatures have been flat, never varying between -1.2°C and -1.4°C until the final reading, when we rose a whole tenth of a degree to -1.1°C.  If we can get above freezing for a while our anemometer may start working again.
 
 AUGUST 26  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0826 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0826 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” has moved north of the Laptev Sea, and its west-side north winds should start to dump sea-ice southwards. Also the notch of open water extending north of the Laptev Sea may get filled in. (It is an interesting feature, likely due to the fact the Laptev Sea had so little ice to begin with this year, and also likely to freeze over swiftly and early, as it reaches further north than usual, and temperatures begin to plunge at the Pole at this time.) I think the trough of low pressure being swung around towards the Pole may be a remnant of “Berzip.”  I’m watching to see if it generates cold air as it fills.
 
The Atlantic is still blocked by high pressure, but “Owtada” lurks off the east coast of Greenland. The low looped back from the Steppes to southeast Finland;  I’ll call it a reincarnation of “Artless.” An off-the-map  low has crossed the Atlantic, “Owtadason,” and it will swing under and tug “Artless” away to the east, allowing high pressure to move in from the west over Scandinavia.  As that high pressure centers on the east side of the North Atlantic it will allow “Owtada” to squeeze north along the east coast of Greenland and head for the Pole next weekend.
 
The low pressure over the Pole is fueled by rising air, and that means milder-than-normal temperatures for the first time in a long time on the DMI graph. However storms seem to lose heat up there, and as they fill it gets colder, so I’m expecting to see a sharp downturn in the graph.
 
DMI2 0826 meanT_2014 (Click to enlarge)
 
 For very selfish reasons, involving the fact I made a forecast that is going down in flames, I am disappointed in the DMI “extent” graph. I was expecting more of an up-tick in the graph than this piddly little one.
DMI2 0826 icecover_current_new (Click to enlarge)
 
NEW CAMERAS  —A Time of Storms—
 
Our northern camera either is in the middle of very thick fog, or freezing fog has messed up our lens. If it is the latter we will have to wait for bright sun or thaw to see anything. (If they have a lens-heater, I doubt they will use the battery, as it is harder to recharge with the sun low, especially as it is cloudy.) There is a swirl of thaw towards Canada that might come our way. I assume the clouds are the remnants of “Berzip” being swirled around over the Pole by “Steppenwolf.”  Temperatures are steadily at a degree or two below freezing, with winds in the 8-12 mph range.
 
Down at Buoy 2014E: temperatures were down to -4.45 C at 1200z yesterday, but rose to -0.78 C at 0000z.
 
webcam
 
 
Our southern camera sees a bleak and gray scene with subfreezing winds of 15-20 mph as they await the arrival of “Steppenwolf.”  Conjunct Buoy 2013F: has seen temperatures fall from  -0.22 C at 1200z yesterday to  -2.47 C at 0000z today, despite the sun rising up to its daytime high, beyond the clouds.  I assume this cold has swirled in from the west, for Buoy 2014B: over in that direction saw a more normal rise during the same period, from -1.79 C to  -0.48 C. To our east Buoy 2014F: also saw a normal rise, from  -0.89 C to  -0.15 C, however to our south Buoy 2014C: was apparently hit by the same pocket of cold that hit our camera, as temperatures fell from  -0.68 C to  -2.18 C. That camera won’t withstand much punishment from “Steppenwolf”, as the ice down there is only 52 cm thick; at our camera it is a more hefty 136 cm.
 
I wonder if that pocket of cold was a creation of “Berzip,” and is being swung around in the lee if it.
 
webcam
 
AUGUST 26  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0826B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0826B temp_latest.big (1)
 
Things are pretty much proceeding “according to plan”, with “Steppenwolf” moving towards Bering Strait,  high pressure blocking the Atlantic, the low “Artless” stalled over southeast Finland, and “Owtada” lurking east of Greenland.
 
What isn’t obvious, but is interesting, is that blob of cold we saw passing our southern camera. It is swinging around the Pole towards our northern camera. Both the GFS and JEM models now see it, and have it be briefly a large pool of cold right over the Pole, before squashing it out into a long thin noodle of cold as “Owtada” comes north and an Atlantic-to-Pacific flow gets going.
 
Temperatures drop very swiftly as September starts, at the Pole.  Models see temperatures in the single digits (Fahrenheit) (below -13 Celsius) in 144 hours.
 
“Steppenwolf’s” winds should be pushing ice south into both the Kara and Laptev Seas for the next 26 hours.  If it doesn’t happen I’ll have to rethink my ideas about how ice moves.  (Please notice how I rethink my personal theory, rather than “adjusting” the data to make my theory correct.)
 
 NEW CAMERAS —CLEARING NORTH; STORMY SOUTH—
The frost is likely sublimating off the lens of the northern camera, as it hasn’t been sunny enough or warm enough to reduce it, yet it is reduced. It hints at clearing skies, which will breed cold, as the sun is too low to warm like it did in July. What is more, that blob of cold we noticed passing by buoys near our southern cameras is heading our way.
 
Wind have slacked off to the 5-10 mph range, and temperatures are around minus two.  Further south they were at  -1.45 C at 0000z at  Buoy 2014E:, and at our crunched camera they were at -1.3°C.
webcam
 
SOUTHERN CAMERA HAS WINDS 18-23 MPH. DUST OF SNOW ON MELT-WATER POOL.
 
The blob of cold has moved east of our camera, as conjunct Buoy 2013F: is at  -0.44 C, further east the new Buoy 2014F: is at  -0.96 C, and even further east the old veteran Buoy 2012G:, at 77.88 N, 124.29 W, is down to  -2.11 C.
 
webcam
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
I checked out the view from the satellite, and the sea still looks packed with ice by our weather buoy. Even if our crunched camera is sunk, the weather bouy can’t float very far from where the camera would have been, had the ice not been crunched.
 
In this 24-hour period our southward progress came to a halt at midnight, at 82.362°N, even as our eastward progress, which had halted at 16.255°E at 6:00 PM yesterday, again resumed, after a regress to 16.255°E. As we continued east or northward regression only made it to  82.374°N, before we started creeping south to wind up at 82.369°N, 16.569°E.
 
Our anemometer is still reporting no wind. Either it is frozen up, or perhaps out buoy is tipped on its side. Temperatures remain close to that of seawater, so perhaps the buoy is upside down. Temperatures remain between -1.1°C (noon yesterday) and -1.1°C (noon today.)
 
Pressures fell slightly, from 1004.7 mb at noon yesterday to 1001.
4mb at noon today. This surprised me, as I was expecting the blocking high pressure over Svalbard to show a rise. Instead we may be seeing the first signs of the advance of “Owtada.” If that low does come north we may spend time in a windy and relatively warm flow from the south, which will bring thaw and remove doubts about the state of out anemometer.  Also it will push us away from Svalbard, which is a pity, as I was looking forward to a visit.
 
LOCAL VIEW  —School Is Starting—
It has been a while since I’ve added one of these “Local Views.” That is because I get quite enough of reality as it is, and turn to Sea-ice as an escape, and a journey into wonder and joy. I am still like I was as a boy in Algebra class, where the chalked reality was a strange poison, and the the antidote was the clouds out the window. School stunted me, and summer vacation was a wonderful time of healing. Teachers were always telling me I needed to face reality, and shouldn’t withdraw, but it sure didn’t look like reality had done them much good.  It seemed to me the farrther I could withdraw, the better, which likely explains how I wound up on the North Pole.
 
However reality does rear its ugly head, and I do work a real job to earn real money. (Please notice this site has no “tip jar” to wheedle your hard earned loose change from your pockets.) I am a “child care professional”, which means I am basically a baby-sitter for parents half my age. They too work real jobs for real money, and need decent people to watch their children as they do so.
 
It would be so much easier if there wasn’t people in the other-world called “school” who seem to see parents as being in the way, and only useful as overnight babysitters, and producers of tax-dollars. They do things such as start school before Labor Day, and institute Half-day Kindergartens, which disregard reality a whole lot more than I do, even though I am a confirmed dreamer.
 
First, to start school before Labor Day means you intrude upon the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with stuff like Algebra, and if it is difficult to teach Algebra on a gray day of pouring rain, it is much harder in a heatwave, such as this map shows the start of school will know:
LV 0826 Map satsfc (3)(Click to enlarge)
 
Looking at that map, any decent dreamer would notice the hurricane south of me. That is a danger and should be a focus, but it likely will go out to sea, and be starting to concern our sea-ice considerations as it charges Iceland next Sunday. However if you are a parent you need to consider getting your kids to school in a heatwave.
 
To help parents out our local schools decided to institute half-day kindergarten. Talk about a foolish idea!  Working parents don’t work half-day jobs. Who the heck is to get off work, and drive to the school, and drive their the “child care professional” for the afternoon?  To help parents out, my wife and I said we could do the driving. So many parents jumped at our offer we had to sell our old vehicle, that could  carry three children, and buy a van that could carry six.  After that we had to turn other parents away.  We can only do so much, with our limited resources.
 
To make sure we had things covered, we bought a van that had tires you can drive a hundred miles, even when they are punctured. We also invested in a “roadside assistance” plan.  So things were looking good.
 
However our roads are in sorry shape, as our government invests billions into Global Warming but less into our roads.  A truck slamming over potholes shed a sharp shard of metal, my wife drove over it, and we discovered those newfangled tires can very swiftly get as flat as old-fashioned tires. We also discovered roadside assistance can’t always assist before noon the next day.
 
So that is my predicament. Tomorrow is the first day of school, and we have six small children to transport to Kindergarten, and no van until noon, when we should have already picked them up.
 
Hopefully you will understand if, in tomorrow’s 90 degree heat, I post less than usual.
 
AUGUST 27 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0827 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0827 temp_latest.big (1)
 
The minus-five isotherm has appeared for the first time close to the Pole.  Everything else is about the same, but there is more of a weakness northeast of Greenland to allow “Owtada” north.
 
NEW CAMERAS
Wow! Temperatures crashed at our northern Camera! Down nearly to minus ten. Winds are down to 5-10 mph. Humidity has dropped to 80%, which is low for the Arctic Ocean in the summer. If Owtada brings Atlantic moisture north, there could be quite a clash with this bitter cold air. Enjoy the sunshine, while it lasts.
 
 Notice our melt-water pools have been hidden by windblown snow. The ice is showing no signs of cracking up.
 
webcamtemperature-1week
 
 
Our southern camera has seen winds drop off to 4-8 mph, with temperatures just a hair below freezing.
 
webcam
 
AUGUST 27  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
DMI2 0827B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0827B temp_latest.big (1)
 
 
NEW CAMERAS
 
Our northern camera has stopped transmitting postures, once again. However temperatures only made it up to minus five before dripping all the way to minus ten, and the humidity is only back up to 90%, so I imagine the view is still stark and sunny.  Winds are at 5 mph.
 
temperature-1week
 
humidity-1week
 
Our southern camera continues to flirt with freezing, but remain just below. Winds have slacked off to a light air of 4 mph. Conjunct  Buoy 2013F came in at  -0.27 C, and all other buoys came in below freezing but above minus one.
webcam
 
 
AUGUST 28 —DMI Morning Maps—
 
DMI2 0828 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0828 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is starting to fade, as a weak “Owtada” makes its move toward the Pole from Greenland.  Between them and high pressure towards Eurasia an Atlantic-to-Pacific flow is completely reversing the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow we saw a few days ago. However as “Owrada” is largely from northern source-regions, it will not bring any real Atlantic juice north, and south of it strong west winds look likely to slam the door on Atlantic invasions, in the short term. For the time being what happens in the arctic stays in the arctic.
 
“Artless” is getting pushed east of Scandinavia as high pressure builds erst of Scandinavia.
 
There is very cold air over the Pole itself, shown by the island of minus-five isotherms. It is actually beliw minus ten at our northern camera.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Snow to south, cold to north—
Our northern camera is still failing to transmit pictures, but the weather station informs us winds remain light, at 4 mph, and humidities remain low (for the arctic) at 89%, and temperatures raise an eyebrow, remaining below minus ten. Further south towards Svalbard it is not so cold, as Buoy 2014E: reports  -1.64 C.
 
temperature-1week
 
Our southern camera shows Steppenwolf brought enough of a dusting of snow to nearly hide out melt-water pools, which are largely frozen over.  Winds are nearly calm, and temperatures are dipping a little further below freezing.
webcam
 
 
NORTHERN CAMERA SENDING PICTURES AGAIN
Temperature -7.0 and rising; Relative humidity still relatively low.
webcam
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
It may appear our weather buoy is moping about the sinking of the camera, for once again the anemometer behaved encrusted, and reported no wind, and again temperatures did not vary much over 48 hours, as if the thermometer is tilted just above sea-water, (our low was -1.4°C at midnight yesterday and out high was -0.9°C at noon today), and what’s more the GPS didn’t show us getting anywhere.  Over 48 hours the barometer described as slow, boring and fitful rise, to 1008.9 mb.
 
The GPS showed us taking 12 hours to drift .008 degrees south to 82.361°N, and all that work undone by the next report, and then we continued north to 82.383°N at 6:00 PM yesterday, then south to 82.375°N at 9:00 PM, and then north to 82.418°N at noon today.  Meanwhile we drifted east to 16.681°E, west to 16.599°E, east to 16.740°E, west to 16.731°E, east to 16.745°E, west to 16.611°E, and finally east to end the 48 hour period at 82.418°N, 16.739°E. That’s a heck of a lot of work to wind up basically five miles from where you started.
 
Though it appears that our buoy is sulking, I have the benefits of a lively imagination which in this case is freed from the constraints of having an actual image from an actual camera to keep me grounded, and therefore I can tell you what the evidence is actually pointing to.  It is incredibly exciting.
 
What actually happened was that, as our camera sunk, it became entangled in the tusk of a narwhal, which began leaping about in the open water between bergs, desperately attempting to free itself from the encumbrance. At this point Climate Scientists, seeing there was a chance to save the camera if only they could maneuver a berg beneath the narwhal as it leaped, began releasing CO2 at various locals, demonstrating once again their ability to control the climate and even arctic sea-ice. Unfortunately the narwhal is slippery, and they haven’t quite caught it yet, but the motions of the sea-ice shows how hard they are trying.
 
AUGUST 28  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
 DMI2 0828B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0828B temp_latest.big (1)
 
NEW CAMERAS
webcam
 
webcam
 
 
AUGUST 29 —DMI Morning Maps—
 
DMI2 0829 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0829 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is starting to fill north of Alaska as “Owrada” brings a pocket of milder air up towards the Pole. As “Owtada” becomes the larger low the Atlantic-to-Pacific flow will continue to swing counter clockwise and start to become Siberia-to-Alaska.  Less spreading-out of ice occurred than I foresaw, and the “extent” graph only slowed its decent, and did not “flat-line.”
 
DMI2 0829 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)
 
There is more ice than last year, and we are definitely not in a “Death Spiral,” but the ice didn’t recover to the degree I thought mostly because the AMO didn’t remain “cold” as long as I thought it would, and the packed ice didn’t spread out.
 
The gale that blew up by Greenland’s southern tip, (“Tip”), is a sign of things to come. As autumn shortens the days we see little waves turn into gales with amazing speed in the North Atlantic. (“Bombogenesis.”)
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Warmer north; Colder south—Light winds—
webcam
 
temperature-1week
 
webcam
 
temperature-1week
 
 
TAVURCUR VOLCANO ERUPTS IN NEW BRITAIN, NORTH OF AUSTRALIA
 
Volcano Tavurcur 022194-23d3862c-2f0f-11e4-aafa-2c4cfd90ea1d
 
Volcano Tavurcur2 083176-d6cff046-2f12-11e4-a639-0fb2d2d716a3
 
While watching Iceland carefully for an eruption, this goes off behind my back.  Ash is up to 50,000 feet, which isn’t high enough to be a major weather-changer so far, though it may disrupt air travel.
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
Our anemometer continues to report no wind. I hope it is merely encrusted in rime, like a spruce atop a cloud shrouded hill when temperatures are below freezing.  (The alternative is that we may soon issue a “Crunched Weather Buoy Report”.) We need a spell of above freezing temperatures to melt it free. Perhaps Hurricane Cristobal will bring some such warmth our way next week.
 
Temperatures continue to suggest open water is near, remaining fairly flat and near the temperature of the surface salt water up there. Temperatures did slightly perk my interest by soaring to an unprecedented (in the past week) high of -0.8°C at 6:00 PM yesterday, but then slumped back to a boring, old -1.3°C by noon today.
 
Judging from satellite shots, we remain in waters packed with ice, and open water remains to our south by the northwest coast of Svalbard. We are moving the wrong way, if we want some clear sailing down there, for the GPS informs us we slowly drifted north to 82.435°N, before starting south again. However we also need to head back west to avoid crashing into Svalbard, and we only managed a single westward jolt, back to 16.806°E at 9:00 PM yesterday after reaching 16.847°E at 6:00 PM, before continuing east to end our travels at 82.420°N, 17.107°E. The slowness of our drift suggest winds are light.
 
The barometer has been falling as “Owtada” passes to our west, down from 1008.9 mb at noon yesterday to 1005.7 mb at noon today.
 
AUGUST 29  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
 
DMI2 0829B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0829B temp_latest.big (1)
Noon is at the bottom of these maps, at six o’clock, while midnight is at the top. The coldest dark-before-dawn is over at ten o’clock, near the Canada-Alaska border, and you can see a pool of colder isotherms there. The warmth of the afternoon is at five o’clock, over Franz Josef Land, and you can see a pool of warmer isotherm there.  That being said, you start to notice things that don’t fit diurnal variation. It should not be so cold in the east of the Kara Sea and west of the Laptev Sea.  It should not be so warm north of the Canadian Archipelago, nor so cold just north of Greenland.
 
“Steppenwolf” is starting to fill, north of Alaska, so I am watching to see if cold builds there. “Owtada” is bringing a glob of warmth to the Pole, (any temperatures above freezing start to be unusual up there, around now.) I am watching to see if that warm air uplifts, vanishing from the surface temperature map but feeding Owtada, and allowing air to circle around the Pole rather than exiting or entering. High Pressure is building and walling off the Atlantic, (and giving Scandinavia a break,) and the Atlantic is where we are watching the waters south of Iceland for the appearance of Hurricane Cristobal, which I will call “Tobal,” (for it is the end of Cristobal.)
 
NEW CAMERA REPORT
 
The northern camera still looks across a gray world, with temperatures still cold, though they did rise up to around -2.5 briefly, and winds still light, around 4-8 mph. However the closest pressure ridge shows signs of activity.
 
Likely this is due to the fact “Steppenwolf” and “Owtada” are like two counter-clockwise gears, and with no clockwise high pressure between them they are gears that grind. Sea-ice pushed Canada-to-Siberia by Steppenwolf is ice that is pushed Siberia-to-Canada by Owtada. Something has to give, so, even when winds are light, the various fault-zones between plates of ice become active. With strange squealing and moaning sounds, the ice starts to move.
webcam
 
Our southern camera sees skies starting to clear and cold starting to build, as Steppenwolf weakens and fades. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: was coming in at -3.74 C.
webcam
 
 
AUGUST 31  —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0830 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0830 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” continues to fill, as “Owtada” retains its identity, as things briefly go as I expected, before utterly baffling me by doing stuff I didn’t expect. Right now the filling of Steppenwolf does seem to be creating cold, as our conjunct Buoy 2013F: reports -4.06 C, Buoy 2014B: to the west, now north of Wrangle Island, reports -2.03 C, Buoy 2014C to the south of our southern camera reports  -2.12 C, and new Buoy 2014F: to the east reports -1.02 C. However when you travel further east, to old Buoy 2012G: north of westernmost Canadian Archipelago (where temperatures are often coldest this time of year) we see a surprisingly mild +1.11 C. This represents “fuel” for Steppenwolf, which should lead to it restrengthening, even as “Owtada” which I thought would take over as the boss, runs out of gas and fades and is absorbed south into a low south of the Kara Sea.  Hmm. What is the name of that low?  Is it “Artless? With “Owtadazip” added in? I think so. And that would make the little low kicked ahead into the Laptev sea “Artlesszip.” Artlesszip will bring another bit of fuel up into “Steppenwolf”,  which also might be supplied bu a third inflow from the pacific. In any case “Steppenwolf” will swirl around north of Bering Strait longer than I thought it would.
 
Meanwhile I’m awaiting the attack of “Tobal” (the remnants of Hurricane Cristobal) from the bottom of this map.
 
A sneak peek at UK Met Maps—Watching what “Tobal” is forecast to do—
These four maps represent the initial Saturday maps, and then the forecast maps for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We begin with the North Atlantic blocked, and what I guess I’ll call “Owtadason” and A”Outadathree” bogged down and going no where, as “Tobal” (the extratropical Hurricane Cristobal) charges north. As Tobal crashes into Iceland and gets stuck it creates a southwest surge up the west coast of Norway. This represents a major invasion of the arctic. Will it charge the Pole?  Or will it (as often happens) take a right turn and go surging east along the arctic coast of Eurasia?  Stay Tuned!!!
 
SATUK Met Aug 30A 17747599
SUNUK Met Aug 30B 17752204
MONUK Met Aug 30C 17753260
TUEUK Met Aug 30D 17753310
 
Notice the high pressure protecting Scandinavia (except Denmark) getting nudged east.
 
Some like to scrutinize such maps for hints of the “winter pattern.”  While this southwest surge does look a bit like last winter’s pattern, it is important to remember that the patterns of September are “transitional,” and often the transitional pattern is the opposite of the following winter’s, in many ways.  In fact, in North America, you often get a better idea of winter’s pattern by looking at July than at September. I’m not so sure this applies to Europe.  (The problem being that the AMO has changed from “cold” to “warm,” and a change that dramatic can overrule other “general rules.”)
 
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Northern Storm and Southern Sunset—
Our northern camera remains cold, with winds picking up to 10-15 mph. To the south towards Fram Strait, Buoy 2014E: had chilled to  -3.56 C.
 
webcamtemperature-1week
 
 
The southern camera shows us twilight, and then a free bonus picture of sunrise, as the days of 24-hour-sunshine have ended down at 77 degrees latitude. Now begins a long, long sunset. Temperatures have gotten colder as “Steppenwolf” has weakened.  Winds have picked up slightly from a dead calm to the 5-10 mph range.
 
Notice that all the familiar features of our melt-water pool have been obliterated.
 
 
webcam
webcam
temperature-1week
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
Our calamitous collection of compromised equipment continued east-southeast throughout the 24-hour-period, and wound up at noon today at 82.259°N, 17.829°E.  This places us some 125 miles north of Svalbatd, roughly halfway across the top. Further eastward progress will be difficult, as the ice northeast of Svalbard is densely packed, and extends down Svalbard’s east coast, giving Barents Sea 50,000 km2 more ice than is usual for this late in the summer.
 
The barometer was very steady, at 1005.7 mb at noon yesterday and at 1005.6 mb at noon today. Temperatures constantly read -1.3°C, which suggests we may be reading the temperature of the seawater and not the air. The anemometer remained stuck, reporting no wind, Hopefully it isn’t bent, after colliding with another iceberg.
 
AUGUST 30 —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0830B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0830B temp_latest.big (1)
 
NEW CAMERAS
Our northern camera has seen temperatures moderate up towards freezing as “Owtada” brings moisture and mildnness north, and it clashes with the cold air it is displacing and gives us a gray scene. Winds have slackened from around 15 mph to around 10.  Down to the south at Buoy 2014E: it is colder, at -2.42 C, which suggests cold air has been swirled around and Owtada is now in effect a warm-core storm. I expect that warmth to uplift and soon vanish from ground-level maps.
webcam
 
Our southern camera has seen winds increase to the 10-15 mph range, as temperatures have recovered from sunrise lows down around minus-seven to around minus-two. At 0000z the sun is high at our southern camera, and conjunct
 Buoy 2013F: was reporting  -2.27 C, and temperatures will likely now go down as the sun goes down, because the sky appears fairly clear. (Some low clouds did move through today.)
webcam
 
 
AUGUST 31  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0831 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0831 temp_latest.big (1)
It is noon at the top of the maps, with the sun at its highest, so the “warmth” of the arctic day should be at its height. “Steppenwolf” is swinging a wave of cold east along the arctic coast of Canada, but also slurping up some milder air from the normally-cold Canadian Archipelago. The old veteran Buoy 2012G: continues to stand alone with above-freezing temperatures, up at +1.98 C at 0000z (which is the same time as these maps.) This warmth will revitalize Steppenwolf.
 
Steppenwolf will likely absorb the little Laptev low “Artlesszip”, (but it is those little lows that most mess up the computer models, so keep an eye on it.) Meanwhile Owtada will fade and fill and be absorbed south from the Pole into the low  “Artless” inland, south of the Kara Sea.  As Steppenwolf and Artless consolidate to separate centers the converging winds around their perifery will build a high pressure over the Pole. (It makes better sense to have a clockwise gear between two counterclockwise gears.) This high will likely be cold, and will likely deflect east the warmth rushing north with “Tobal”, now appearing at the bottom of the map.
 
The above-freezing isotherm-pockets brought north to the Pole by “Owtada” have vanished from the map.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Snow at Pole—
 
The northern camera shows the yellow “cork” is wearing a cap of fresh snow. The mild above-freezing air brought north by “Owtada” rose, released latent heat as it condensed and then froze, and obviously left that latent heat aloft as it came back down as subfreezing stuff called “snow.”  (How much of that latent heat is lost to outer space is a matter of debate.)
 
Winds have slacked off from 10-15 mph to light airs of 2 mph, as temperatures continue just below freezing.
 
webcam
 
 
Our southern camera shows a cold scene of blue twilight with no thawing. The cold we saw yesterday has likely been swirled east, as temperatures haven’t fallen as much with this twilight, only down to -2.5 C rather than -7.0 C. Winds are light, in the 2-5 mph range.
 
webcam
 
 
ICE EXTENT GRAPH SHOWS UPTICK
DMI2 0831 icecover_current_new
 
 
I’ve noticed these upticks are often associated with snowfall in the arctic. I suspect the Satellite may see slushy water as “open” water, but as soon as the slush is coated with a dust of snow the same area is seen as “sea-ice.”  (The snow doesn’t melt when it hits, as it is fresh water with a melting point of zero, and the slushy water holds salt and is at a temperature -1.3 to -1.9, depending how brackish or briny it is.)  It should be noted that when the salt in the sea-water melts the fresh-water snow, it gets colder, just as ice-water gets colder when you add salt to an ice-cream-maker. Not only does available heat become latent heat in the phase change, but a little more heat is lost as fresh water becomes salty.
 
The uptick puts our extent above last years, and that much farther from the “ice-free-Pole” we were promised by the proponents of the “Death Spiral.”
 
 A discussion of this news is occurring at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/30/the-arctic-sea-ice-spiral-of-death-seems-to-have-reversed/
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 
Alas!  There is no report today!  Has our battered buoy met its match?
 
AUGUST 31  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0831B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0831B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” retaining strength north of Bering Stait, as “Owtada” weakens, while small bubble of above-freezing isotherms shows “Owtada” is still a “warm-core” storm.  “Tobal” is a gale, approaching Iceland. Formerly “warm” inflow from Canadian Archipelago now confused, with cold mixing in. “Artlesszip” shrinking to insignificance over Laptev Sea.  “Artless” is fairly large, inland south of Kara Sea.
 
NEW CAMERAS  
 
Our northern camera witnesses light airs of 2 mph, falling temperatures of minus five, and a gloomy, gray world of ice-fog. The light winds are keeping the motion of the the ice at a minimum.  Down towards Svalbard,  Buoy 2014E: at  83.56 N, 6.12 E was also cold, reporting -2.97 C.
 
webcam
temperature-1week
 
 
Our southern Buoy is seeing nothing, as it has stopped transmitting pictures, however as “Steppenwolf” nears winds have picked back up to the 14-18 mph range, and temperatures have risen nearly to freezing. Back at 1200z Conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting -1.98 C, but I suspect the 0000z report will be higher. (It was -0.42 C.)
temperature-1week
 
 
SEPTEMBER 1   —DMI Morning Maps—
 
DMI2 0901 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0901 temp_latest.big (1)
 
 NEW CAMERAS 
Northern camera continues to gaze over a cold (-3.0) and calm landscape. Perhaps it is trying to clear up,  as “Owtada” fades away towards the Kara Sea.  Cold to the south at  Buoy 2014E , where it was -3.90 C at 0000z and -4.91 C at 1200z.
 
webcam
 
 
The southern camera still isn’t transmitting pictures, which is a pity as winds are up near 25 mph,  as “Steppenwolf” redevelops. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is slightly colder at -0.96 C at 1200z. All nearby mass-balance buoys are below freezing, with the exception of the old veteran Buoy 2012G: far to the east, which at +0.49 C continues to show the inflow of mild air that refired “Steppenwolf”.
 
SEPTEMBER 1 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
 
DMI2 0901B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0901B temp_latest.big (1)
 
As “Owtada” is absorbed south through the Kara Sea into “Artless,” and high pressure replaces it over the Pole, we’ll briefly have a trio of storms rotating around the Pole, before things return to chaos.  “Steppenwolf” head east through northern Canada towards the top Of Hudson Bay, “Tobal” will get flattened north of Iceland and squirt energy north of Norway, and “Artless will move northeat through the Laptev Sea and be the next storm to charge the Pole, late Friday.
 
It will be interesting to watch how much mild air these three storms are able to inject north.
 
NO REPORT FROM CRUNCHED CAMERA
 
NO NEW PICTURES FROM EITHER SOUTHERN OR NORTHERN CAMERAS.
 
THE LAPTEV NOTCH —(What I wonder about when cameras don’t work)
 
Without pictures to ponder, my wandering mind went to Siberia, to think about what ruined my ice-extent forecast. Usually winds blow south over the Laptev Sea in the summer, and ice would be spread out at least as far south as 80 degrees latitude, but that didn’t happen this year:
:Extent 0831 arcticicennowcast (1)
 
 
I decided I need to study the Laptev Sea, which is well worth the trip, as it is a fascinating place.  To the south its water is quite shallow:
Laptev Sea page1-605px-BrnBld_LaptevTopo.pdf
 
And it is fed by the worlds tenth largest river, the Lena River
:
Lena_watershed
 
 
The Lena flows through a landscape which can be as cold as Antarctica during the winter. For example,  Yakutsk in the above map has a record low of -83.9 (-64.4 Celsius.)  However, utterly unlike Antarctica, during the summer it can get quite hot, and the record high at Yakutsk is +101.1  (+38.4 Celsius.)  That means temperatures can vary 185 degrees between winter and summer.  Ponder that.  What does that mean, in terms of the Lena River?
 
 
[hide]Climate data for Yakutsk, 1971-2000
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) −5.8
(21.6)
−2.2
(28)
8.3
(46.9)
21.1
(70)
31.1
(88)
35.1
(95.2)
38.4
(101.1)
35.4
(95.7)
27.0
(80.6)
18.6
(65.5)
3.1
(37.6)
−3.9
(25)
38.4
(101.1)
Average high °C (°F) −35.1
(−31.2)
−28.6
(−19.5)
−12.3
(9.9)
1.7
(35.1)
13.2
(55.8)
22.4
(72.3)
25.5
(77.9)
21.5
(70.7)
11.5
(52.7)
−3.6
(25.5)
−23.1
(−9.6)
−34.3
(−29.7)
−3.4
(25.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −38.6
(−37.5)
−33.6
(−28.5)
−20.1
(−4.2)
−4.8
(23.4)
7.5
(45.5)
16.4
(61.5)
19.5
(67.1)
15.2
(59.4)
6.1
(43)
−7.8
(18)
−27
(−17)
−37.6
(−35.7)
−8.8
(16.2)
Average low °C (°F) −41.5
(−42.7)
−38.2
(−36.8)
−27.4
(−17.3)
−11.8
(10.8)
1.0
(33.8)
9.3
(48.7)
12.7
(54.9)
8.9
(48)
1.2
(34.2)
−12.2
(10)
−31
(−24)
−40.4
(−40.7)
−14.1
(6.6)
Record low °C (°F) −63
(−81)
−64.4
(−83.9)
−54.9
(−66.8)
−41
(−42)
−18.1
(−0.6)
−5.4
(22.3)
−1.5
(29.3)
−7.8
(18)
−14.2
(6.4)
−40.9
(−41.6)
−54.5
(−66.1)
−59.8
(−75.6)
−64.4
(−83.9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 9
(0.35)
8
(0.31)
7
(0.28)
8
(0.31)
20
(0.79)
35
(1.38)
38
(1.5)
37
(1.46)
31
(1.22)
18
(0.71)
16
(0.63)
10
(0.39)
237
(9.33)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 2.1 2.0 1.9 2.9 3.8 7.3 6.5 6.0 5.3 6.1 5.7 4.1 53.7
 % humidity 76 76 70 60 54 57 62 67 72 78 78 76 68.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 18.6 98.0 232.5 273.0 303.8 333.0 347.2 272.8 174.0 105.4 60.0 9.3 2,227.6
Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net[18]
 
 
 What it means is that the flow of the Lena River is greatly reduced during the winter, for nothing melts to feed the tributaries. At times the river can even freeze to its bottom in shallower places, which would create a dam and a flood, if the the water wasn’t running so slowly to begin with.  Only 3% if the yearly flow occurs in January, and February and March aren’t much different.
 
During this time the Laptev Sea produces and exports a lot of ice.  It exports due to its own private gyre, formed by a current that comes down from the north on its west side,  then east along the coast, and then  north up its east side.  Also there is a fairly constant land breeze, all winter, because the air inland is so much colder than the air out to sea.  The export of ice can vary a lot; (Wikipedia states:  “the annual outflow fluctuated between 251,000 km2 in 1984–85 and 732,000 km2 in 1988–89.”) and we don’t have records for the onset of a “cold” AMO, but the export is often great enough to produce open water, or a “polynya” (Wikipedea says these are formed by “warm” southern winds, but in January the winds can leave the coastline at minus-seventy.) Here is a picture of ” Great Siberian Polynya” from outer space. It is to the left of the picture.  The New Siberian Islands, which separate the Laptev Sea from the East Siberian Sea, are at the center.
Great Siberian Polynya 800px-Siberia.A2001184.0235.250m
 
As the ice forms prior to export it exudes salt, so the water gets saltier during the winter, but then things change.
 
Although it is fairly arid upstream, the snow that does fall can never melt.  Some does sublimate, but much is left behind.  If five inches of water fall during the dry winter, that translates to  50 inches of snow, and even if half of it sublimates, you are still left with two  feet sitting around, and then the days get very long and the temperatures soar and it all melts at once.  The floods on the Lena River are legendary.  The water can rise sixty feet.  (Think a six story tall  building.) As much as 40% of the yearly run-off can occur in August.
 
That is a huge surge of fresh  water, warmed by passage through a summer landscape, pouring into the eastern Laptev Sea.  Because it is warm, and also because it is less salty, it forms a “lens” on top of the colder water, (which sometimes is Atlantic water, and also is warmer than the water it sits upon.)  
 
Personally I have doubts about how much Atlantic water penetrates this far east along the Siberian coast.  I think it must vary greatly, depending on how open and how stormy the waters of the Barents and Kara Seas are. I think very few measurements exist from the last time the AMO was shifting from “warm” to “cold”  So there is plenty of room for theory.
 
When Atlantic water does slide in you have a cake of three layers.  Deep arctic water around minus one, Atlantic water that is saltier but make buoyant by warmth at around plus one, and then a top layer of river water made buoyant by both freshness and heat.  A month from now it will have lost the heat-buoyancy, and only be bouyant due to freshness.  As it moves north it mixes with salt water and at some point becomes less buoyant than the layer beneath, and then it sinks.  To the south it is so fresh it can freeze before ocean water ordinarily would freeze.
 
Hmm.  See what I mean?  A lot to ponder about.
 
SEPTEMEBER 2 —DMI Morning Maps—
 
DMI2 0902 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0902 temp_latest.big (1)
 
Don’t have time to comment. Notice high pressure building over the Pole. Temperatures are warmer than normal.
 
LAST YEAR COMPARED TO THIS YEAR
 
 
Bill Illis posted these two pictures as a comment over at What’s Up With That. I think they do a good job showing how the ice didn’t “spread out” this year, which is my best excuse for utterly blowing the ice-extent-minimum forecast.

The ice pack is far more solid in 2014 than last year’s “recovery” ice.

2014.

versus 2013.

NEW CAMERAS ARE TRANSMITTING PICTURES AGAIN
 
webcam
 
temperature-1week
 
webcam
 
temperature-1week
 
windspeed-1week
 
 
SEPTEMBER 2 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
 
DMI2 0902B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0902B temp_latest.big (1)
 
 
NEW CAMERAS  —The gathering gloom—
webcam
 
 
As this post is threatening to melt down my computer, as it has gotten too long, I will start a new post, to be found at:  http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-minimum/
 
 
 

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Death Spiral’s Debunking—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —Flat-lining Death Spiral—

I’m going to skip my usual introduction. Those interested in seeing my evolving views can research earlier posts, and their introductions, which include a certain amount of contradictions. (For example, I may state I’m fed up with politics and am going to exclude it from my observations, and then some event will trigger a rave.)

Instead I am simply going to state it has become all too clear there is no “Death Spiral” occurring at the Pole.  All the hoop-la and press about a Doomsday scenario was much ado about nothing. Not only is the Pole failing to melt away, the Pole isn’t even managing its ordinary amount of melting.

I’ve been following this issue carefully since the low-ice summer of 2007,  and I would like to remind people what we were told. We were told that the lack of ice would involve a scientific-sounding word (which my spell-check still doesn’t believe exists), called “albedo,” and rather than the arctic reflecting incoming sunlight, the darker water would absorb it, and the Arctic Sea would become warmer until there was no ice. Rather than a benign situation, giving the east coast of Greenland a more maritime climate such as the Vikings experienced in the year 1000, an ice-free Arctic Ocean was portrayed as a “tipping point” that would trigger other warming events, leading to “runaway warming” that would threaten the very survival of humanity.  We were told immediate actions must be taken. We were informed that already the situation was so dire that the Arctic Sea was likely to be ice-free as early as 2012 or 2013.

So here we are, at the height of the melt season, when temperatures are at their warmest at the Pole. Let us travel up there and see what we see: webcam What we see is a surprisingly solid ice-pack, without even the ordinary melt-water pools, blanketed by a light, fresh fall of snow.

Remember that scientific-sounding word “albedo”?  If you check your charts, you will see nothing on earth reflects away sunlight as well as a fresh fall of snow. In other words, even if you accept the Alarmist’s theory that open water will absorb more sunlight and lead to runaway warming, there is no open water to see. There are no melt-water pools to see. There is only freshly fallen snow, with the highest albedo nature can produce.  Only covering the pole with shiny foil could possibly reflect more sunlight than what you are seeing with your lying eyes.

Last year, though the ice was solid, at least we had some fine examples of melt-water pools. In fact a large pool roughly the size of a football field appeared right in front of our camera, and looked like this: NP July 26 npeo_cam2_20130726072121 Certain media outlets thought this pool of July 26 was a great excuse for screaming headlines, “North Pole Melting!”  The problem is, such melt-water tends to find fissures in the ice and drain away, and no sooner had the media attracted attention than the picture looked like this on July 28: NP July 28 npeo_cam2_20130728131212 and a few days later (July 31) snow fell and it looked like this: NP July 30 npeo_cam2_20130730191253.jpg 2 The same media outlets that made such a big deal about a melt-water pool became absolutely silent when the scene changed in a matter of days, and have remained absolutely silent this summer. Perhaps they can’t sell as many papers by saying, ” The world isn’t going to end, after all.”

This is not to say that there still isn’t time for a sensationalist headline, this summer. Just as it snows in July at the Pole, it can rain, and we may get a pool. What is more, there is a crack in the ice just behind the yellow cork-like object on the ice in the first picture, and a second crack in the middle of the nearest pressure ridge crossing the scene. Either or both could open into what is called a “lead,” as we saw in front of the North Pole Camera 2 this year before it was demolished by a growing pressure ridge.  (See earlier posts.) The media missed a golden opportunity for hysteria there. Any sign of water at the Pole can generate headlines.

However open water isn’t that unusual. If you look through my earlier posts you will see old pictures of submarines surfacing at the Pole in open water a half century ago, and a lead opening up right in the middle of a scientific base (where cargo planes were landing 60 days earlier) in the 1970’s. The only reason open water is deemed newsworthy now is because it is attached to the end-of-the-world “Death Spiral.”

Sorry, but it ain’t goin’ t’happen, this year. First, the ice is refusing to melt in a speedy fashion, and in September may even show an increase from recent years: DMI2 0727 icecover_current_new

This refusal of ice to melt suggests the Arctic Ocean is very swift to respond to the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) becoming “cold.”  The AMO is not due to turn permanently “cold” for another five years, but currently is going through a sort of spike away from the “warm” phase. Of course, it may be turning to its “cold” phase five years early, which would be newsworthy, (but they’d ignore it), however I expect it to switch back to “warm,” and for arctic sea-ice to decrease again next year. But, if the media starts to scream about a “Death Spiral” all over again, they will look a little foolish, because it will be so obvious the ice actually is responding to the AMO.

Second, for the second straight summer it has been colder than normal over the Pole. DMI2 0726 meanT_2014

This chart is especially interesting when you notice how much colder this summer is than the summer of 1979, when Alarmists say it was colder and the ice was more “healthy,” (but much more slush and melt-water was evident at the surface.) DMI2 0727 meanT_1979

There are interesting arctic dynamics being revealed by Mother Nature in these two graphs, but a “Death Spiral” isn’t one of them. In fact the entire business of a “Death Spiral” increasingly seems like a a sort of fraud created by people who lack a real purpose, and don’t truly understand the meaning of the word, “death.”

This was driven home to me by the simple fact I faced two funerals this past week, and had to think about death, which I ordinarily avoid thinking about. In the sadder example a young father was out enjoying relief from the summer heat on his motorcycle,  and his life ended instantly when another driver simply didn’t see him. A mother instantaneously became a widow with two sons to raise. She now has to find a way but cannot see a way.

That is the sort of real problem real people deal with. Their plans and hopes and entire world really does end, yet they must go on. The last thing such real people need is some untrue theory about a “Death Spiral” that doesn’t exist, and about some end-of-the-world that isn’t going to happen, justifying extra taxes that accomplish nothing and help no one, except for the leeches sucking those taxes up.

In any case, this summer has debunked the “Death Spiral.” I’ll continue my observations until the melt season is officially over, but as far as I’m concerned the argument is over.

*******

Sorry if that came across as overly grumpy. It’s just that sometimes those so-called “experts” get to me.  How they can pat their own backs and think they are saviors of humanity is incredible, considering they haven’t a clue what humanity entails.

Now I am swearing off politics, and am planning to return to the arctic sea ice seeking what I originally sought: Truth and Beauty. For there is a peace found in merely watching clouds form, or watching ice melt, that is unlike any gains gleaned by human pursuits.

*******

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

(This report, first time visitors will be interested to know, likely describes the weather surrounding the crushed ice-floe where the ruins of our North Pole Camera lie, for the attached weather station is still reporting. There is a slight chance the weather station fell into the sea and now bobs as an independent buoy, unattached to any ice.  (This was the fate of last year’s weather station, which eventually grounded on the north coast of Iceland.)  However the satellite view shows little open water between the many floes and bergs, and I think it is unlikely our weather station is in the water yet.)

Our crunched conglomeration of high tech concepts drifted on light, predominately west winds of 5-10 mph, easing south to  84.714°N at 3:00 PM, bumping back north to 84.719°N, before ending the 24-hour period at 9:00 PM at 84.712°N, 17.122°E. This is the furthest east we’ve reached at any time this summer.

Temperatures reached a high of +0.2°C yesterday afternoon, and then sank to a surprisingly low -2.1°C at 6:00 AM, before rebounding to -0.9°C at 9:00 AM.

Pressures rose slowly to 1009.1 mb

JULY 27   —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0727B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0727B temp_latest.big (1)

Midnight is at the top of these maps and noon at the bottom, which heightens the Scandinavian warmth and deepens the chill towards the Bering Straits. “Art” and “Stepper” are joining forces over the Pole, creating a warm flow north through the Laptev Sea and a cold flow down into the Kara Sea. “Gus” is just appearing on the map, southeast of Greenland, as the high pressure “Scanty” reluctantly bids adieu and eases southeast off Scandinavia.

NEW CAMERAS   —Cold continues—

These pictures are the O-buoy cameras 9 and 10, which I turned to when our old and faithful North Pole Camera lost its showdown with a pressure ridge.

Camera 9 has drifted quite close to the Pole, around a hundred miles to the Canadian side, and much closer than the North Pole Camera would be, as it drifted 300 miles south before getting crushed. O-buoy 9  sits on roughly four feet of multiyear ice.  On clear days the satellite view shows this ice may have been fractured last summer, but was refrozen into a fairly solid sheet last winter, and hasn’t been broken up by the series of Polar storms. The ice 300 miles south at the NorthPole Camera was, on the other hand, very shattered.

There is an obvious crack visible in the picture, however no sideways motion associated with it. A less visible fault is in the pressure ridge that crosses the view in the near background. Around three weeks ago the entire background shifted roughly six feet left, and then, after several days, shifted six feet to the right, back to its original position. In a sense this ice is solid like California is solid.  It has its own San Andreas Fault.

This view demonstrates a sort of white-out different from the ones caused by blowing snow. This one is caused by fresh snow and cloudiness causing a complete lack of shadows. Adventurers complain they stumble as they walk, for they can’t see the unevenness of the ground.

Temperatures did thaw briefly, earlier, but have fallen below freezing again.

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temperature-1week

Our southern view is roughly 800 miles south of the Pole, at 77 degrees north latitude, north of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea. With the sun higher and stronger at noon, and never quite setting at midnight because it is north of the Arctic Circle, the melting is more intense and melt-water pools more common. In fact here is a picture from somewhere around five to ten years ago, showing just how many melt-water pools there were on the ice floes.

.Ice-melt ponds SIZRS July melt ponds

Some Alarmists said that there were more of these melt-water pools than there formerly were, and that their increase was a proof of Global Warming and the “Death Spiral” and the eventuality of an Ice-Free-Pole. This year those pools started to form, but recently have refrozen. They are not suppose to do that, if you believe in the “Death Spiral.”  However they don’t seem to care a hoot for political correctness, and the current picture shows they are continuing to stay frozen, and that temperatures remain below normal. (By the way, all pictures and graphs in this post can be clicked, to give you a larger and clearer image.) webcam temperature-1week JULY 28  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0728 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0728 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” continues to retain its identity over the Pole, which is something of a surprise because, last week, models suggested it would have faded by now. Perhaps it is being fed by a plume of mild moisture “Stepper” is bringing up through the Laptev sea. As “Stepper” moves up to join “Art” and they wobble off towards Canada the part of Stepper left behind in central Siberia, “Stepperson,”  will gather strength and be the next low to gain king-of-the-world status atop the Pole, by Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile “Gus”, now approaching Iceland from the west, will attempt to be the first storm in a long while to successfully cross the Atlantic and cross northern Scandinavia on Thursday, and likely be sitting where Stepperson now sits  south of the Kara Sea by next weekend.  However that far out models are not to be trusted.

If Gus actually does plow through northern Scandinavia the Baltic will see the warm east winds give way to west winds off the Atlantic for a while, though high pressure and east winds are likely to return after Gus passes.

Remember it is noon to the top of the above maps and midnight to the bottom. It is surprising to see so many blobs of subfreezing temperature isotherms up that way, during the warmest part of the day. The subfreezing air north of Svalbard and in the Kara Sea demonstrates that the warmth over Scandinavia is denied access to the north, though perhaps the passage of “Gus” will change that.

NEW CAMERAS  —The gray chill continues—

Our northern camera sees a bleak, cold view, with a lack of thawing. The recent snow was quite light, only an inch or two, and ordinarily would swiftly sag into gray slush. The fact it is still white demonstrates how cold it has been. Most of the melting comes from below. Remember that nine-tenths of an iceberg is under water, and though that pressure ridge in the background may only be three feet tall, it has a keel sticking 27 feet downwards.  Because the water it sticks into tends to be just above the freezing point of salt water, and the ice is fresher water, the melting is slow, but it does melt away gradually. As the keel gets smaller below the pressure ridge slumps down above, and I think those ridges do look smaller than they were in April. I wish they’d fix the Army site, which is still reporting data from July 22. I imagine the guy in charge took a well-earned vacation, and his replacement is like me, and all he needed to do was touch the computer to screw everything up. However, when the regular guy gets back, we can see if the ice is getting thinner, at certain buoys that measure such things. webcam Our southern camera shows some fog, which ordinarily indicates thawing, especially as fog releases latent heat when it condenses on snow, (or on the outside of your cold drink’s glass on a muggy summer day). However the thermometer continues to show subfreezing temperatures.  Likely the warmth is aloft, perhaps only a hundred feet up, and an inversion keeps the cold clamped onto the ice. In any case, the thaw is still on hold. webcam

I would like to predict an Alarmist response to the lack of thawing, before it happens. They will state, “Oh, it is just a weather pattern, which has increased the cloudiness and prevented the albedo from being high.” I will remind them I was never allowed to suggest it was “just a pattern”, back when the melting was occurring. Even if I merely asked, “Could it not be just a pattern?” I was scorned and called a “denier,” among other things. I’ll try not to call them any names, (beyond the quite correct term “Alarmist,” for they are alarmed and that is the dictionary definition.) However I will ask, “How is it you allow yourself what you would not allow me?”

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

After a brief westward wobble at noon yesterday, our heap of junk moved steadily east In a light breeze if 4-9 mph, at first veering a little south to 84.671°N at midnight, and then backing a hair north to 84.681°N at 6:00 AM, before a final lurch south to finish at at 84.679°N, 17.513°E at 9:00 AM. The temperatures remained below freezing throughout the 24-hour-period, which is no way to run a thaw. It included a twelve-hour-period below the freezing point of the slightly brackish seawater,  dropping from -0.9°C at 9:00 AM yesterday past -1.7°C at 3:00 PM to the low of -2.5°C at 9:00 PM remaining there past midnight and only nudging up to -2.2°C at 3:00 AM, only passing the freezing point of saltwater before 6:00 AM and arriving at the days high of -0.7°C at 9:00 AM. There’s some darn cold air circulating around the Pole this summer. The pressure slowly rose to 1011.7 mb.

JULY 28   —-DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0728B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0728B temp_latest.big (1)

Even as “Art” slides off the Pole towards Canada “Stepperson” is moving north through the western Kara Sea to take its place as the top-of-the-world Low. “Gus” is moving over Iceland on his way to Norway. Though the high pressure “Scanty” has faded down into Ukraine the warmth lingers over Scandinavia.  The cold persists towards Being Strait, despite a finger of warmth poking north through the Laptev Sea.

NEW CAMERAS  —Hints of sun and thaw?—

In wan sunshine, with temperatures just touching freezing, I see a few signs the thin snow cover may be thinning to a slight degree. Partly this may be due to sublimation, though humidity is high. webcam  Our southern buoy also shows signs of wan sunshine, and temperatures have also risen and touch freezing. Of you look at the largest melt-water pool to the lower right, the surface appears more like slush than smooth ice. Also a sort of island to the pool’s left side is reappearing, after being hidden by snow for a while. webcam THE RARITY OF WHAT WE ARE SEEING

I just went through 50 years of DMI polar temperature graphs, and only 1969, 1972, and 2010 have the graph dip as low as it now dips, right when it should be at its highest. Here is the 2010 graph, followed by the 2014 graph. DMI2 0728 meanT_2010 DMI2 0728B meanT_2014 JULY 29  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0729 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0729 temp_latest.big (1)

I tend to sip my coffee in the morning, and blearily regard these maps, looking for what I didn’t expect. Noon is to the top, and midnight at the bottom.

“Art” drifts towards Canada as expected, but is drawing up more warmth on its east side than I expected, and is retaining more strength than I foresaw.

The sub-freezing pockets of cold north of Alaska, despite the warmth of the day, have been there so long I’ve come to expect them, though I can’t explain them. How is that home-grown cold created?

“Stepperson” is moving up towards the Pole, but I expected it to pull more warmth up its east side than I see. The Laptev Sea seems bounded by subfreezing pockets of cold.

“Gus” is proceeding from Iceland towards Norway as expected, but I’m leery of that meek bit of high pressure standing in its way, northwest of Norway. Scandinavia has rebuffed so many storms this summer that I half-expect the same to happen to Gus, though the models still forecast Gus to plow right through Northern Scandinavia.

NEW CAMERAS  —The land of the midnight cloudy—

Once again there is no turquoise and silver to see, as we gaze north. The northern camera shows less snow on the ice. I never expected that light snow-cover to last the way it has, however temperatures are hovering right around freezing and perhaps the thaw can now resume. webcam The southern view suggests to me some snow flakes are sticking to the camera lens. That would be surprising, considering the map shows high pressure. I am going to adopt a wait and see attitude. The camera produces a new picture every fifteen minutes or so. webcam CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT Our forlorn camera, its tripod legs sticking tragically skywards like a dead cow’s, drifted in aimless circles in light airs of 5 mph, and as little as 2 mph,  moving north, south, west and east, and winding up slightly further west, at 84.666°N, 17.686°E. The big news is we finally made it above freezing, but not before spending most of the 24-hour-period as a complete failure, when it comes to thaw. We hit the period’s low of -2.1°C at 9:00 PM last night,  were still at -0.4°C at 3:00 AM, but had achieved +0.4°C at 6:00 AM and had climbed to the giddy heights of +0.6°C as the 24-hour-period ended at 9:00 AM. However at least it is thawing somewhere. This year has been terribly disappointing, if you happen to get your thrills from watching ice melt. The pressure continued to rise, to 1015.4 mb.

JULY 29 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0729B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0729B temp_latest.big (1)

There is some really interesting stuff going on in these maps, but duty calls elsewhere. I hope to get back to it later, but the short version is that there will be two polar storms in the next 96 hours. First “Stepperson” will be a modest 990 mb low between the Pole and Svalbard, and then part of “Gus” will be a second 983 mb low over the Pole. Lots of wind, lots of shifting ice, lots of action.

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Here are a sequence of maps from the Jem model showing the solution that may happen (or may not). Basically, when “Gus” crashes into Norway, it splits, with half hanging back as an occluded North Atlantic low, but the other half, “Guszip,” kicked ahead along the arctic coast.  This forms a string of lows, with “Stepperthree” forming in the Laptev Sea, however they then all combine into  a single low over the Pole.

Jem 2 July 29 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_6Jem 2 July 29 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_10Jem 2 July 29 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_14Jem 2 July 29 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_18 (Click maps twice to fully enlarge)

Once this low achieves top-of-the-world status it just sits there all next week, according to models. If it happens I’ll watch how ice is shifted, during the set up, and then watch to see how much home-grown cold is created by the storm. Last summer the weakening of a storm over the arctic seemingly created temperatures down to minus seven, even though it was still officially “melt season.”

NEW CAMERAS  —Cold comfort—

At least we are getting a little sunshine, though temperatures at both cameras remain just below freezing.

The northern camera looks a lot like April. The main difference is the yellow “cork” fell over, and the pressure ridges have lost their impressive shark-teeth points, and are rounded and shorter.

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 The southern camera shows just enough wan sunshine to give us a hint of a snow-bow.  I reckon it is around 3:00 AM local time, with the midnight sun near its lowest highest point, (correction: 3:00 PMand temperatures low as well. The melt-water pool to the lower right looked like it was thinking of thawing earlier, but decided against it.

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THE GOVERNMENT AGREES WITH ME

The latest re-re-re-re-readjusted CFS V2 forecast for ice extent is out, and has completely backed off its forecast for above-average ice extent, at the September minimum. (Formerly it forecast a minimum 0.7 million km2 above average.) In fact it agrees with me, that the minimum will be 6.1 million km2. The government agrees with me? This must be a first.

Extent CFS V2  July 29 sieMon (click twice to fully enlarge)

JULY 30  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0730 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0730 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is fading into Canada, “Stepperson” making its move towards the Pole, and “Gus” approaching Norway.

NEW CAMERAS  —Some sunshine but no thawing yet—

 The wind has picked up at our northern camera to over 15 mph. I thought the cold was due to an inversion, and wind would stir the air and warm the temperatures as “Stepperson” approaches. However so far the temperature remains just below freezing. The GPS shows the ice is starting to move, but so far the camera shows no signs of stressed ice.

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Hey. That is the same picture as last night’s!  Hmmm.  I wonder what is up with our northern camera.

The southern camera is updated, and shows the snow has slumped over a melt-water rivulet, which forms a sort of crack in the snow at the top of the larger pool to the lower right of the picture. Winds have died down from over 25 mph two days ago to calm. The temperature is right at freezing. The conjunct army buoy Buoy 2013F: is up and running, and last reported a temperature of -1.27° C.

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TEMPERATURES AT 85.91 N, 1.95 E

This is a graph of temperatures from Buoy 2014E: which is located roughly 80 miles north-northeast of our crunched camera. It shows the recent cold nicely.

  2014E_July 30 temp

NEW CAMERA  —Midnight sun—

The northern camera is still refusing to update.  The southern camera shows calm conditions and a drop of temperatures to around -4.0°.  This is a picture a few hours after midnight, with the sun about as low as it gets.  The camera is now just south of 77° latitude, and every midnight sees the sun closer to the horizon as the days get shorter further south.

webcamtemperature-1week

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Winds have picked up slowly over our roving junkyard, from nearly calm yesterday to 25 mph at the end of our 24-hour-period, driving our camera steadily south as Stepperson approached from Siberia, but shifting from northeast to northwest to northeast to northwest, so our path was serpentine, achieving  17.557°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, 17.663°E at 9:00 PM, 17.587°E at 3:00 AM, and wound us up at 84.527°N, 17.711°E at the end of the period. The still puts us further east than we’ve ever been before, and keeps us in line to be the first North Pole Camera to ever head south on the east side of Svalbard.

Temperatures did not linger long above freezing, only managing it between 6:00 AM and some point after noon yesterday. The periods’s high was +0.6°C at the very start, and it dipped to zero by 3:00 AM and continued down to  -1.0°C at midnight, then rose to -0.3°C at 6:00 AM, and then dipped to -0.5°C at 9:00 AM. With winds at 25 mph I couldn’t entertain the idea the air wasn’t mixed, and the milder air was overhead above an inversion. The wind is cold, and this is no way to run a thaw.

The barometer crested at 1015.4 mb at noon yesterday, and since then has fallen, at first slowly but now fairly rapidly, to 1004.0 mb.

JULY 30  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0730B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0730B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is fading away into Canada as “Stepperson” is a small, vigorous low being deflected to the Svalbard side of the Pole. “Gus” is bumping into Norway as forecast. Weak “Stepperthird” forming in Laptev Sea.  Cold air remains wrapped around the Pole.

NEW CAMERAS   —Important view missing—

O-buoy 9 is continuing to fail to update its pictures.  It seems to be updating other weather information and GPS information, so I doubt Obama sent a drone over and blew it up for making him look like a fool. Hopefully it is some transmission glitch they can overcome. These cameras are designed to survive falling into open water and bobbing around like corks, as O-buoy 7 did last summer.

Winds are steady at 15 mph and the temperature is right at freezing. Buoy 2014E: at 85.68 N, 1.94 E (very roughly 300 miles towards Fram Strait), is coming in at -0.03° C.

Our southern camera has seen winds pick up to 10 mph and temperatures creep back up towards freezing, but there is no sign of thawing yet.

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DMI EXTENT GRAPH   —Before the storm—

DMI2 0730 icecover_current_new

HEY! WHAT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT? 

DMI2 0731 icecover_current_new

I did not expect that uptick. I assume “Stepperson’s” wind is spreading ice south into the northern reaches of Greenland and Barents Sea.

JULY 31 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0731 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0731 temp_latest.big (1)

“Stepperson” curving towards Svalbard as “Stepperthird” builds in Laptev Sea and “Gus” smushes against Norway like a ripe tomato.

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

UK Met July 31 16759042

I just wanted to see what “Gus” is up to. Like all storms this summer he is stalled and occluding, but sending energy over the top of Norway as “Guszip,” and developing a secondary south of Iceland, “Gusson.”  A cold front is actually managing to press through the Baltic, but likely will turn around and start back as a warm front from Russia, once Gus weakens.

NEW CAMERAS  –Still no thaw—

Our northern camera still isn’t transmitting pictures. Buoy 2014E: is reporting temperatures a hair below freezing at -0.03° C, however our camera’s graph looks like it has dipped down around -0.10°, with 15 mph winds.

temperature-1week

Our southern camera continues cold, with its conjunct Buoy 2013F: reporting earlier a temperature of -0.51° C, but the camera itself showing dropping temperatures below 0.10° C as winds are around 12 mph. Still no signs of thaw, though some warm air has pushed north of Bering Strait, and Buoy 2014B: north of Being Strait 74.28 N, 171.41 W reports thaw at +1.41° C.

webcamtemperature-1week

NORTHERN NEW CAMERA BACK IN BUSINESS.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

I apparently hexed the wreckage of our camera, when I suggested it might pass east of Svalbard, for that was as far east as it got. It promptly turned around and headed west all day, and south except for a single .001 degree northward blip at 6:00 AM, in winds that peaked in the range of 27 mph, before slacking to half that speed, and our junk heap wound up at 84.351°N, 16.661°E..

Our time period today was 27 hours, as we went back to getting our last report at noon. Once again we only managed to get above freezing for a brief 3-4 hour period, with a high temperature Of +0.2°C at 9:00 PM last night, before sinking to a low of -1.0°C at 9:00 AM, and then rebounding slightly to -0.6°C at noon. Heck of a way to run a thaw.

Our pressure bottomed out at 9:00 PM last night at 995.3mb, and since then has slowly risen to 1000.5mb.

JULY 31   —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0731B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0731B temp_latest.big (1)

I don’t claim to understand the elongation of the lows into a sort of string of beads. Gus has devided into Gus and Guszip, as Stepperson and Stepperthree form another duo, and a new low in the East Siberian Sea, “Isib,” ends the string. Subfreezing temperatures are focused on opposing sides, north of Canada and in the Kara Sea, while areas of thaw concentrate in the other two opposing quarters,

NEW CAMERAS

Temperatures at our northern camera are right around freezing, and likely a little above, for some slight expansion of melt-water pools is apparent. The winds have stressed the ice enough to slightly widen the crack behind the yellow “Cork.”

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Our southern camera has also seen temperatures rise to right around the freezing point, though likely here they are a hair below freezing, for no melting is obvious.

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AUGUST 1  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0801 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0801 temp_latest.big (1)

A long string of lows crosses the Pole now, from Norway to the Bering Stait, with the center forecast to become a polar low by tomorrow, incorperating “Stepperson”, “Stepperthird,” and “Guszip”, as the ends fly off and are absorbed south.

There is something fascinating and contrary about these polar lows. Everywhere else on Earth warm air rises and moves towards the Pole, as part of what is technically either a Hadley, Ferrel or Polar Cell.  Once the air is risen, the Hadley cell recirculates it north and drops it as high pressure, such as the Azores High, while the Ferrel Cell recirculates it south (in theory) as the high pressures that follow storms, and the Polar Cell supposedly recirculates it north and drops it smack dab on the Pole as a polar high, which we have almost never seen this summer. Instead we have polar lows, with warm air rising right at the Pole, where it is impossible to flow north because you are as far north as you can get.

What goes up has to come down, but trying to get my mind around the dynamic has me a bit cross-eyed. The dynamic seems a sort of Polar anti-cell, but there’s a problem engineering an anti-cell. Having a high pressure on the Pole with a string of lows running around the cold-front periphery is more or less stable, but having a low on the Pole with a string of high pressures around the edge is unstable. Someone needs to inform Mother Nature it can’t be done, so She’ll stop messing with my brain.

One concept passing through my skull involves how a summer thundershower can cool a summer day twenty degrees, simply by bringing air up, condencing the moisture, and bringing it back down. (Why this doesn’t heat the air, like a Chinook coming down from a mountain range, is an interesting topic.) I’m watching to see if the current polar low cools the air like a summer shower.

Having so much low pressure strung out over the Pole seems like a sign some milder air has managed to get north, and we should see a little thawing. Let’s take a look.

NEW CAMERAS  —Hints of a thaw?—

We are running out of time in the melt-season, but the northern camera shows temperatures around freezing, with the snow looking softened and the melt-water pools to the left back in a thawed state, though the pool to the lower right hasn’t reappeared yet. Further south, Buoy 2014E: is reporting + 0.15° C, which is a thaw, albeit not much of a thaw.

The crack behind the “cork” has closed, at least to the left.

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Our southern Buoy is also right at freezing, with conjunct  Buoy 2013F: reporting +0.13° C, which is warm enough to make the surface of our larger, frozen melt-water puddle look damp.  At some point there must have been some light snow blowing about, for the melt-water rivulet at the top of that larger puddle has filled in again. That is a place I watch, to see activity.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Apparently our mobile scrap heap decided it wanted to be like all the other buoys, and is heading west and south in a desperate attempt to be conventional, unaware it is too weird to ever fit in with the norm. It wound up at 84.255°N, 16.138°E.  Winds slacked off below 10 mph for the middle of the period, but rose back to above 15 mph at the end.

Temperatures rose above freezing sometime between six and nine PM yesterday, and continued to slowly rise. The 24 hour period’s low was -0.6°C at noon yesterday, and the high was +0.5°C at noon today.

Pressures rose to 1001.1 mb at 6:00 PM yesterday before sliding back to 998.3 mb at noon.

AUGUST 1  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0801B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0801B temp_latest.big (1)

I’m watching with interest, as the next polar storm develops. The winds don’t look too bad, at this point, but the antics of temperatures will be worth taking notes about.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera shows the cloudy thaw is creeping along. The lower right corner shows hints of our meld melt-water puddle reappearing.  However temperatures are less than a half degree above freezing

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Our southern camera also has temperatures just a hair above freezing. Signs of thaw are very slight. Nearby buoys also are above freezing, but just barely.

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AUGUST 2 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0802 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0802 temp_latest.big (1)

At this point models suggest that, despite ingesting “Stepperthird” and “Guszip,”, “Stepperson” will not get all that intense, (only down around 995 mb), and will wobble away towards Severnaya Zemlya  (the islands separating Kara Sea from Laptev Sea) around midweek.  My main focus will be whether it has a cooling effect or not. It may spread some sea-ice south into the Kara Sea.

ICE EXTENT UPTICK

DMI2 0802 icecover_current_new

NEW CAMERAS  —Slight freeze and a crack widens—

Our northern view shows signs of slight surface thawing, and or melt-water pool in the lower right corner has reappeared as the slightest spot. However don’t forget melting is occurring on the underside of the ice, and will continue until air temperatures drop at least to the freezing point of salt water (roughly -1.5° at this time of year) and likely until it gets below -5.  The surface of the ice can be at -5° while only a few inches down the ice “remembers” the summer, and is at -1°.

The crack behind the yellow “cork” has reopened slightly.  It appears to continue behind the pressure ridge to the central left margin of the picture.

Buoy 2014E: last reported a temperature right at zero, as the graph with this camera shows temperatures have dipped a hair below.

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temperature-1week

Our southern view also is witnessing signs of slight thawing, however it too has seen temperatures dip just below freezing. The conjunct  Buoy 2013F: is still reporting +0.41° C, but the Army mass balance buoys are only updated twice a day.  Likely having the winds drop to nearly calm and bits of blue sky appear above as the sun sinks towards its low-point at midnight is allowing some radiational cooling.

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temperature-1week

LEAD OPENING IN FRONT OF O-BUOY 9

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When the ice starts to crack up and spread out like this, it actually increases the “extent.”  The “extent” would only drop if the ice became so spread out that it created a situation where there was more than 85% water and less than 15% ice.  Therefore “extent” graphs can create the illusion that ice is increasing when in fact it is simply more spread-out.  So far this summer the ice has been less spread-out and more compacted than prior summers, but perhaps that is about to end.

Just as a rough guess I’d estimate 3-6 inches of ice is above water (not including the thicker pressure ridge). Assuming it is 4 inches, and remembering that 9/10th of an iceberg is under water, 36 inches of ice is submerged.

This is the sort of ice a gale can bash and smash and break into smaller pieces.  It doesn’t look at this point as if “Stepperson” is going to be such a summer gale. In the summer of 2012 such a gale led to a lot of bergs melting, but last summer a similar gale led to ice being stirred about but not melting. This suggested to me that the water wasn’t as warm. It would be good to get a gale this August so we could be scientific and do a proper comparison, but Mother Nature doesn’t always give a fig about scientific procedure. The Creator created science, and she is it.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Winds of 10-15 mph blew our dilapidated dump steadily south and west to 84.151°N, 15.798°E.

Temperatures remained just above freezing throughout the 21-hour-period, with the high +0.6°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, and the low +0.2°C at 9:00 AM today.

The barometer bottomed out at 997.7 mb at 6:00 PM yesterday and then rose to 1001.3 mb at 9:00 AM today.

AUGUST 2  —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0802B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0802B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS

The lead has closed up, for the time being, at our northern camera. Temperatures have dipped below freezing.

webcam

At our southern camera temperatures remain a hair above freezing, and the slow thaw continues.

webcam

AUGUST 3 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0803 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0803 temp_latest.big (1)

I confess to being a little disappointed by how weak “Stepperson” has turned out to be. I was hoping for a gale, so we could better compare this summer to last summer and the summer of 2012.  However there does seem to be the swirl of subfreezing temperatures I was looking for. By midweek, however, it looks like the low pressure will sag to the Siberian side, and will work with high pressure to the Canadian side to create a Pacific to Atlantic flow, basically from Alaska to the Kara Sea. (That low over northern Canada, which I will call “Art” for the sake of continuity, is expected to wobble south to northern Hudson Bay.)

I am already looking for the next polar storm. Models did have one interesting solution, involving a small Baltic low moving up the west coast of Norway to the Pole, but that has vanished.  Currently the future looks fairly wishy-washy up there.

POLAR TEMPERATURES AT LONG LAST ACHIEVE NORMALCY

DMI2 0803 meanT_2014

Before I get too excited about seeing a thaw, I need to remember we saw this last year, and it was immediately followed by the graph dipping below freezing.

NEW CAMERAS  —Thaw on hold—

As “Stepperson” drifts away we are seeing a dip in temperatures below freezing, despite the sun reappearing. The lead has closed, but we know it is lurking there. To the south Buoy 2014E: is reporting  -0.43° C.

webcamtemperature-1week

Our southern camera seemed to show better prospects of a thaw, as conjunct  Buoy 2013F: reports + 0.02° C, however the graph attached to the camera shows a recent dip below freezing as well.  (Perhaps the sun is just low at midnight.) The melt-water rivulet has yet to reappear at the top of the closest, biggest pool.

webcam

temperature-1week

NEW CAMERAS  —Thaw in hold of gripping chill—

I was a bit surprised to see the extent of the post-storm-chill at our northern camera today, despite the bright sunshine. Judging from the graph, we struggled from roughly -4.0° to -1.5°. Buoy 2014E: reported in at -1.93°C, and even down at our crunched camera temperatures got as low as -0.8°C. This no way to run a thaw, and I don’t expect to see any signs, and sure enough; the melt-water looks frozen over. (though the lead is cracking open again).

webcam temperature-1week

I assumed our southern camera was a safe distance from the polar low and would escape post-storm effects, but even it’s melt-water shows a skim of ice forming. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported in at  -1.43° C. To the west-southwest Buoy 2014B: was reporting a slight thaw north of Bering Strait, at +0.15° C, but to the east-southeast Buoy 2014C: had dipped below freezing to  -0.49° C.

webcamtemperature-1week

The only decent thaw reported is on the north coast of Greenland, where Buoy 2014D: is reporting a toasty +3.00°C.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our shattered dream continued south and west until the very end of the period, where it reached 15.552°E at 6:00 AM and then started back east, ending at 84.103°N, 15.584°E. Winds were in the 5-10 mph range.

Temperatures were the surprise, for though we began and ended the 9:00-to-9:00 24-hour-period at +0.2°C, most of the time between was at zero or below, with reports of -0.8°C at both 9:00 PM and midnight.

I jump to the conclusion that this jolt of cold is a post-storm effect, (and not merely diurnal), however when I try to figure out the mechanism for such cold I wind up baffled. (At the Pole storms can’t draw cold from “up north” because there is no place further north than the Pole.) I’ve brought the topic into other discussions at other sites, trying to educate myself further, and have learned interesting things. However all in all I remain baffled, and merely observe without being able to explain.

 AUGUST 3  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0803B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0803B temp_latest.big (1)
AUGUST 4 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0804 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0804 temp_latest.big (1)
This morning’s maps have noon at the top, and can be contrasted with the maps just above, which have noon at the bottom. You can see the subfreezing temperatures vanish north of Canada as the sun gets higher. It may only be a degree or two of difference, but that is the difference between water and ice. Also, if you look back to August 1’s morning map, you’ll notice much more sub-freezing air now swirls around the Pole after the passage of “Stepperson,” which still  sits north of Kara Sea in a weakened state.
 
The new players are high pressure areas which some call semi-permanent features, the Scandinavian High and the Beaufort High. I’ll dub these two manifestations “Scantoo” and “Beauf”. They are going to try to link up over the Pole, pushing “Art” down into Canada and “Stepperson” down into Siberia, though Stepperson may get reinforcements and fight back.
 
The fading memory of “Gus” has managed to bring fairly mild air up to Svalbard, but the west winds he pushed into Scandinavia have been met by the east winds and push-back of Scantoo.  “Gusson” is down towards the Brutish Isles, “Gusthree” is over to the south east of Iceland,  and the low after Guthree may well be Hurricane Bertha.  All this Atlantic energy may well challenge Scantoo for ownership of Scandinavia, but not until next week.
 
 QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
UK Met Aug 3 16894321
This map shows we are back to having lows blocked in the Atlantic, as Scantoo rules Scandinavia. Over Scotland Gusson is attempting to kick a front into the Baltic, and it may get as far as southern Sweden before retreating.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —The cold still holds—
The northern camera shows a frozen view with the lead cracked a little open, with nearly calm winds and temperatures down around -2.0° C. To the south towards Fram Strait Buoy 2014E: is checking in at  -1.87° C. No thaw to see here, folks; please move along.
webcam
Away towards our other south, our buoy towards Alaska is also cold and it appears to be snowing. Winds are around 10 mph, and conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported in at -0.80 C. No thaw to see here either, folks. Everyone go home.
webcam
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT  
Our under-insured multi-million dollar scrapheap went back to its conformist aim southwest towards Fram Strait, drifting along in 10-15 mph winds and winding up at 84.005°N, 15.342°E.
 
Once again the real news were the temperatures, which had struggled back to + 0.2°C at the very end of yesterday’s 24 hour period, at 9:00 AM. That was the high for today’s period as temperatures promptly dropped below freezing and remained there. They reached the low of -2.0°C only six hours later at 3:00 PM, struggled back to -0.6°C in the midnight sun, but the relapsed to -1.6°C at 9:00 AM today.  Roughly 75 miles further northwest Buoy 2014E: reported -1.27° C, and around 325 miles further north our northern camera was around -2.0° C.  So basically the entire Atlantic side of the Pole was cold and not thawing. The warmth around Svalbard hadn’t made it north.
 
The pressure dipped slowly to 1004.6 mb yesterday evening, then rose slowly all day until the final report, when it jumped up to 1012.5 mb.
 
NEW CAMERAS  
Our northern camera endured a cold day, with temperatures stuck below freezing. I checked in from time to time, and the sky alternated between a drab grey and a beautiful mackerel sky.  The light winds began to pick up to 10 mph recently, and the ice may be shifting a bit. Besides the crack right behind our yellow cork, there may be another crack in the far distance, beyond the pressure ridge, and the crack in the pressure ridge itself may be becoming active.
webcamtemperature-1week
The southern camera also saw some cold temperatures, especially towards midnight. There were some lovely views of the midnight sun as I peeked, each time I passed the computer. It is getting lower, down at 77 degrees latitude, as the days get shorter.  The conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting a chilly -2.98° C at that time, but as the sun has climbed towards noon north of Alaska the temperature graph attached to the carmera has shown temperatures fighting their way back to freezing. So we may still see some thawing. (Back in 1979 the thawing continued two weeks beyond the usual end.)
webcamtemperature-1week
 
AUGUST 4  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0804B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0804B temp_latest.big (1)
AUGUST 5 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0805 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0805 temp_latest.big (1)
 The evening and morning maps above show the diurnal swing of temperatures around the Pole like the hands of a clock. Sub-freezing temperatures continue to be associated with the filling remains of “Stepperson,” while across the Pole the filling remains of “Art” don’t yet show such chill, and seemed to draw mild air north through Baffin Bay to the Pole. At the very bottom of the maps the occluded remains of “Gusson” and “Gusthree” remain stalled and blocked in the Atlantic. The only building low pressure is east of the Laptev Sea, and may reinforse “Stepperson.”
 
The more interesting features are the high pressure systems. Besides “Scantoo” over the Baltic and “Beauf” towards Alaska, “Gren” is building between Greenland and Svalbard.  The will form an area of ridging across the Pole.
 
“Scantoo” is interesting, for the same situation that makes Scandinavia lovely in the summer bring bone-chilling blasts in the winter.  Siberia has the greatest swings of temperature in the northern hemisphere, between -50 and +40 Celsius, (-60 and +100 Fahrenheit,) and the same east winds that allow Scandinavian beauties to wear next to nothing in the summer makes them hide in muffling layers in the winter. Therefore, if one wants to spoil beautiful weather with worry, one can worry this summer’s pattern is hinting at next winter’s pattern.  A winter of east winds would be very unlike last winter’s southwest flow.
 
When summer patterns hint at winter patterns there is usually a period of transition, which gives one the sense the pattern has changed when it hasn’t.  In the USA a cold summer often has a delightful, warm autumn before the cold returns with winter’s teeth. I’m not sure the same thing happens in northeast Europe, but I’m keeping an eye out for it.
 
One thing I’m watching for is hinted at by the weak low pressure separating “Scantoo” from “Gren.”  When lows can’t get through the blocking Scandinavian High they tend to be squeezed south through Spain, and also to come leaking over the top. It is the northern track that hints at a transitional storm track that appears along the Siberian coast in the fall. The air gets cold over the ice to the north, and the mainland to the south, and the area of open water along the Siberian coast becomes a strip of warmth and moisture storms like to run along.
 
In any case these are things I’m watching for.
 
ARCTIC TEMPERATURES DIP
I was expecting this as an after-effect of “Stepperson”, though I am still unsure how it comes about. Now, with high pressure replacing the low, there will likely be a bounce back. However we are rapidly approaching our final chance to see decent thawing, and nearing the period when all the melting comes from beneath the ice.
DMI2 0805 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)
 
ICE EXTENT TAKES A DIVE
DMI2 0805 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)
The current dip in the graph demonstrates how little the graph responds to air temperatures. Largely it responds to winds and the melt of ice from below. “Stepperson” failed to blow ice into the Laptev Sea, and ice also has been shifted away from the coast of Alaska. The uptick in the PDO does seem to be allowing warmer water in through Bering Strait, however the down-tick of the AMO allows ice on the the north coast of Svalbard, where there wasn’t ice during the depths of the past winter.
 
I’m expecting this graph to soon level off. We’ll see.
 
NEW CAMERAS   —cold relenting—
 
Temperatures have eased up towards freezing at our northern Camera. Winds have picked up to 18 mph and the ice is showing signs of movement at the pressure ridge. Towards Fram Strait, Buoy 2014E: reported a rise to -0.30° C.
webcam
Our southern camera is also showing signs of thaw. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported +0.32 C. However southwest towards Being Strait Buoy 2014B: showed a surprising cold -1.04 C, and to the east Buoy 2014C: came in at a chilly -2.44 C. So some cold air is still around.
webcam
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our former provider of vistas crossed 84 degrees latitude (which it had such a hard time staying across last year) and continued steadily south, but its westward progress stopped at 3:00 yesterday afternoon at 15.318°E, and we headed southeast to end at 83.929°N, 15.827°E at 9:00 AM today. It is a pity the camera doesn’t work, for if it did we might see the mountains of Svalbard at some point before the winter darkness falls.
 
Temperatures, which had spent most of two days below freezing, rose from a low of -1.6°C at the start of our 24-hour-period, edged above freezing at midnight, and reached the high of +0.5°C at 6:00 AM, before slumping back slightly to +0.2°C at 9:00 AM.
 
The winds picked up from around 9 mph to 15 mph, as the pressure crested at 1014.4 mb at 6:00 PM yesterday and then slid down to 1010.6 mb at 9:00 AM. As with a mid-latitude high pressure cell, as pressures started to fall temperatures started rise.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Contrasting views—
Our northern camera has the sort of turquoise and silver view I originally turned to the North Pole camera to see, back before politics spoiled the formerly safe topic of weather.  There is a fog bow  to the left, which indicates we have slipped below freezing after a period of thaw. The landscape beyond the pressure ridge has shifted to the left, as winds stiffened to 18 mph for a while, but now they are dropping off towards nearly calm conditions, and with clear skies temperatures may dip as radiational cooling occurs, with the sun so low. The shadows are getting longer, because, alas, summer doesn’t last forever.
 
I think that, despite the thaw, some wet snow fell when I wasn’t watching. Also the yellow “cork” is standing up straighter, though don’t ask me why.  Judging from the shadows, my best guess is that we are looking northeast,  towards the North Pole, which is only 120 miles away, slightly right of the center horizon.
 
Also judging from the shadows, a small robot stands atop our camera with a hammer in one hand and a snow stake in the other. It is good to see our tax dollars working so hard.
webcam
Our southern camera has no turquoise and no silver. It is just the gray grayness we’ve seen far too much of this summer. Thawing is underway, and though the temperatures are just above freezing at two meters above the ice, they are likely warmer five meters up. A snow-eater fog is adding to the melt. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting +0.21 C, but the fog releases latent heat when it condenses on the ice, and you get more thawing than you’d imagine was possible from two-tenths of a degree.
 
Earlier, when I peeked in passing, I noticed the melt-water rivulet had reappeared between the large pool in the right foreground and the smaller pool in the central distance to the right of the yellow robot. Now that rivulet has vanished, but this time it is not due to cold. I think the water of our pool has found a new exit, and the level of the pool in the right foreground has lowered.
webcam AUGUST 5  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0805B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0805B temp_latest.big (1)
AUGUST 6  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0806 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0806 temp_latest.big (1)
No time to write.
 NEW CAMERAS 
Northern camera cold again. Buoy 2014E: at  -1.63 C
webcamtemperature-1week
 
 Southern Buoy thaw ending?. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: at +0.21 C but may not have updated. Graph attached to camera shows dip below freezing. Wet lens. Can’t tell if it is snow or rain.
webcam
temperature-1week
LUNCHTIME PEEK AT SOUTHERN CAMERA
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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
The ice our lost opportunity floats with continued resolutely south towards Svalbard, but the longitudinal motion again switched, achieving 16.050°E at 9:00 PM yesterday and then heading back west, winding up at 83.812°N, 15.878°E at the end of our 24-hour-period, at 9:00 AM today.
 
With winds from the north our latest attempt to thaw again was short lived. Our high temperature of +0.2°C was once again at the very start of our period, and once again we spent most of the entire period below freezing, bottoming out at -1.3°C at midnight, bouncing back to -0.4°C at 6:00 AM, and then sagging slightly to -0.6°C at 9:00 AM. Need I say it?  (“Heck of a way to run a thaw.”)
 
Winds were brisk much of the period, a little over 15 mph, but slowed to under 7 mph at the end.  The pressure steadily rose to 1017.6 mb.
 
AUGUST 6  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0806B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0806B temp_latest.big (1)
The low “Stepperson” has been repressed into the Kara Sea as briefly the high “Beauf” has conquered the Pole. Briefly we have a textbook polar cell.  However the low in the east of the Laptev Sea (“Stepperfour”) is likely to be slung right across the pole to Greenland, so “Beauf’s” victory is likely to be short lived.
 
Over Scandinavia “Scantoo” is not hanging as tough as high pressure did earlier in the summer, and low pressure looks likely to make inroads both along the northern, arctic coast of Scandinavia, and in the Baltic Sea.
 
While the isobars suggest a flow from Bering Strait to the Pole, little warmth seems to be coming north on it.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET 
UK Met Aug 6 16978032
 
 The map looks a lot like the summer’s blocks, with the occluded remains of Gusson and Gusthree blocked by Scantoo, however the Atlantic front has pushed further east into the Baltic than it could manage in the summer. An interesting feature to watch is that little ripple of low pressure crossing under the block to the lower left of the map. Some models are showing this ripple heading east nearly to Spain, and then taking a sharp left up the English Channel into the North Sea, not as an autumn gale, but as a hint summer can’t last forever.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Gray and cold—
The outlook for thaw is rather bleak at the northern camera. Fresh snow seems to have dusted the few signs of melt we had, and the attached temperature graph is down near -5.0°C .  To the south Buoy 2014E: reported  -4.31° C (I think at 1200z). Winds have slacked off and the ice in the closest pressure ridge looks less active.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
Our southern view at least has some water rippling in the increasing 13 mph wind, though it looks suspiciously like it is freezing around the edges.  But perhaps the outlet will freeze and the pool can get deeper again. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: last reported  -0.17° C, and the graph attached to the camera looks a hair below freezing as well, (and a hair makes all the difference between melting and freezing.)
 webcamtemperature-1week
 
SHOCKING NORMALCY
DMI2 0807 icecover_current_new
This latest uptick in the extent graph brings us close to normal. (The gray line.) What is the big deal about being normal?
 
AUGUST 7   —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0807 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0807 temp_latest.big (1)
The high pressure “Beauf”, and the Pacific-to-Atlantic flow between Beauf and the retreating “Stepperson” and advancing “Stepperfour” on the Siberian coast, is the main feature of these maps. You can see some milder air being drawn towards the Pole from Bering Strait, and even a little pocket of +5° air moving north. The clash between that milder air and colder air will fuel “Stepperfour’s” growth and advance.  As Stepperfour pushes Beauf back towards Alaska, Beauf’s clockwise flow likely will drag the cold air from the Atlantic side of the Pole along the coasts of Greenland and Canada, and back to Alaska.
 
“Scantoo” looks weak over Scandinavia, and will not defend them from Atlantic influences. Warm air has made it into Barents Sea, but looks likely to retreat.  There is warm air in the east and west of Eurasia, but cold air in the middle, as this Dr. Ryan Maue map from Weatherbell shows:
DMI2 0807 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (click twice to fully enlarge)
 
The concentration of cold around the Pole has led to another down-tick in the DMI temperature graph. The current invasion of milder air from the Pacific may represent our last chance for a decent thaw. It will be interesting to watch Stepperfour, and see if it uplifts that mild air and turns it into post-storm cooling.
DMI2 0807 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)
 
 NEW CAMERAS   —Last chance for thaw?—
The northern view is most definitely bone-chilling. The temperature graph is even colder than last night, down near -6.0 .  It is interesting to note this cold is entirely home grown, and it grew despite the fact the sun never sets. Winds remain light, around 5 mph, and in the past half hour clear skies have faded. I think rather than high clouds a sort of ice-fog is forming.
webcamtemperature-1week
Our southern view is spoiled by what I think is frost on the lens. (The old North Pole Camera had a fish-eye lens that was better at allowing you to figure out what was spoiling the view.) The camera seems to be in a small pocket of sub-freezing temperatures, and the milder air moving up from the Pacific hasn’t reached it yet. (The Army buoys still seem to have yesterday’s temperatures, but they show this buoy as the only buoy in the area below freezing.)
webcamtemperature-1week
 NEW CAMERAS  —Now this is more like it—
I’m busy today, but when I saw these views as I passed my computer I figured I just had to share them.  The northern view shows the ice-fog moving off, and dazzling sunshine.  Temperatures are still cold.
webcam
The southern view also shows sunshine, as the lens melts clean of what apparently was snow, as a fresh snow-cover blankets the scene.  Under the clear sky, with the sun near its midnight low, temperatures have dropped to around one below zero. As the sun gets higher the snow could make some nice melt-water for some decent pools.  However, for people who stress “albedo,” the fresh snow is reflecting away a lot of heat.
webcam
 
Average ice thickness highest in five years
 
Neven PIOMAS Volume over Area 6a0133f03a1e37970b01a511f1118d970c
I lifted the above graph from Neven’s “Arctic Sea Ice Blog”, which seems a fairly good site, as long as you can overlook an Alarmist bias. I don’t mind bias, being biased myself, as long as one doesn’t “adjust” facts. And so far the site hasn’t struck me as one that ignores reality. It is at neven1.typepad.com/blog/
 
The graph shows the ice is returning to the levels it was at before the “death spiral” got so much press. I think it is largely due to a blip in the AMO towards the “cold” phase. If we blip back towards the “warm” phase maybe we can get back to watching ice melt, for a few more years, before it shifts to the “cold” phase for a longer 20-30 year stay.
 
Interestingly the PSO shifted to its “cold” phase a few years ago, and ice started increasing in the Bering Straits, however it is going through a “warm” blip as the Atlantic blips cold, and there is more melt on the Pacific side. It likely will shift  back to cold soon, as the “warm pool” southeast of Alaska shows signs of wearing thin.
 
When both the AMO and PDO are in their “cold” phases we’ll see some major growth in sea-ice, or so I think. And what does all this have to do with CO2?  Absolutely nothing. And that is the joke being played on humanity.
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
 Our litterbug’s dream continued south and west to 83.808°N, 15.354°E on a light northerly breeze of around 10 mph, as temperatures plunged to levels that freeze salt water. Because the melting ice is close to being fresh water, the water at the surface freezes at a higher temperature than most ocean water (unless you include the northeastern parts of the Baltic Sea, that are practically fresh,) so sea ice can start to form when temperatures are as high as -1.5°C. During this 24-hour-period we began at -0.6°C at 9:00 AM yesterday, but had sunk to -1.6°C by 3:00 PM and -2.4°C at 6:00 PM, and remained below the freezing point of salt water to the end of our period at 9:00 AM, when temperatures were at the day’s low of -3.4°C. This is no way to run a thaw.
 
AUGUST 7  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
 
DMI2 0807B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0807B temp_latest.big (1)
The high pressure “Beauf” has been backed off the Pole as “Stepperfour” advances from the Laptev Sea. It looks like he (or she?) is bringing a glob of warm air along, to dent the surprising area of subfreezing air that has grown over the Pole. Such warm air is like the gasoline that fuels these polar lows, and when it runs out they weaken.
 
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how these lows might create the post-storm cold spells that seem to follow a storms demise.  So far I have no answer.
 
It still looks nice and warm in Scandinavia, but the blocking high “Scantoo” has backed off, and left the area more open to Atlantic invasions than it has been all summer. Judging from afar, they have had a nice one, unless it was too hot for them.  Perhaps someone from that area can inform me what its been like.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Last chance for thaw?—
Both our cameras have shown a recovery from the startling chill of earlier today. Our northern camera has likely had the cold shunted south towards Svalbard, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago (its amazing how many directions are “south” up there) as “Stepperfour” brings warmer air.  The wind has picked up from nearly calm to around 10 mph, and it looks like the lead behind the yellow “cork” is opening up again.
webcamtemperature-1week
Our southern camera shows the fresh snow already looking slushy and the largest melt-water pool refilled, with the melt-water rivulet at its top again apparent. The water level may drop abruptly, as it did a couple days ago, as it had some sort of unseen outlet, (perhaps off-camera), which may have filled with slush and frozen,  When that plug melts the draining may resume.
 
On the other hand, because the winds have slacked off and are a light air of 5 mph, if the skies stay this clear we could see radiational cooling when the sun sinks down near the horizon at midnight. Even though the sun doesn’t actually set, it can get cold enough to see some refreezing.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
 
AUGUST 8 MORNING DMI MAPS
DMI2 0808 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0808 temp_latest.big (1)
 
 
 
 RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-READJUSTED CVS V2 FORECAST 
Extent CFS V2 Aug 8 sieMon
This model is now predicting a September minimum of 6 million km2, down from an earlier prediction of over 7 million, and sees that minimum as being 0.3 km2 below “normal,” where before it was saying the minimum would be more than 0.6 above “normal.”  This is a clear demonstration of how badly models do predicting things more than ten days away, in the future. (I’ll take the brains of Joseph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi at WeatherBELL over a computer any day.)  (The CFS V2 model was also predicting we’d have a super El Nino by now, last spring, as I recall.)
 
I’m sticking with my prediction of a minimum extent of 6.1 million km2, though that may be too high. I am counting on the packed up ice being spread out, which hasn’t been happening.
 
NEW CAMERAS 
Our northern camera is seeing our best thawing in a while, with temperatures nudging above freezing, a steady wind of 10-15 mph, and the ice in the background becoming active again. It is likely colder at our crunched camera than up here near the Pole, and Buoy 2014E: at 84.79 N,1.70 E is coming in at + 0.05° C, which is colder than the vista our camera  is looking across.
 
Of especial interest to me is the movement of bergs along the the more distant pressure ridges, along the horizon.  If this solid sheet of ice breaks into separate floes it could increase “extent” (though not “area”) and make my prediction of 6.1 million km2 at the minimum look less dunderheaded. (And looking less dunderheaded has always been a goal of mine.)
webcam Our southern view has gotten cold again, as the sun sinks towards the horizon at midnight, without ever setting. When the sun gets very low a glassy patch of open water actually reflects more incoming radiation than the ice and snow, because the ice and snow has all sorts of bumps and nooks that catch light like the faces of mini-cliffs. However our conjunct Buoy 2013F: was reporting -2.22 C, Buoy 2014B: north of the Bering Straits was reporting  -1.69 C,  and Buoy 2014C: to our east-southeast was reporting  -1.24 C.
 
Even before the midnight sun sets you start to get a skim of ice on your water bucket, during the “night,” and I recall a commentator who was stationed up there describing how the sight of that skim of ice made you hurry to finish your summertime jobs.
 
webcam
 
Melt-water reflecting incoming radiation (and being beautiful about it)
webcam
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT 
Our seeing-eye-dog weather station, dragging our poor, blinded camera face-first across northern wastes, yelped joyfully southward as north winds brought milder air right over the top of the Earth. As a sort of warm front passed and winds freshened to 20 mph, our westward motion ceased at 15.275°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, and we finished at 83.682°N, 15.580°E.
 
Temperatures rose steadily from -3.4°C at 9:00 AM yesterday, getting above freezing after midnight and ending the 24-hour-period at +0.4°C,  at 9:00 AM today.
 
Pressures, which had crested at a high 1025.4 mb at 6:00 AM yesterday, sank steadily to 1015.8 mb at 6:00 AM today, before rebounding slightly to 1016.8 mb.
 
 
AUGUST 9  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0809 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0809 temp_latest.big (1)
(Sorry about missing last night’s maps, but sometimes you have to put family before ice.)
“Stepperfour” is weakening as it swings across the Pole towards a revived “Art” in northernmost Hudson Bay. (Yes, I understand it is a stretch to call that feature “Art,” but there is a faint connection, and it is fun to trace the connections all the way back to “Art’s” origins as Hurricane Arthur whacking Cape Hatteras weeks ago.) With Steppenfour moving across the Pole so swiftly I’m wondering if the post-storm cooling might move across as well; there is little doubt it did bring warming across the Pole.
 
Now my eyes turn to the evolution of “Steppenwolf” from the remains of Stepperson down in Siberia south of the Kara Sea. If you can animate some models there is a sort of Tarzan swinging over Scandinavia that is fun to watch, even if it is merely a figment of model-imagination.
 
The models see two lows moving up the English Channel into the North Sea,  the second of which holds memories of Hurricane Bertha. Although they both get sucked back into the North Atlantic occlusion, that is like Tarzan’s right arm holding the last tree, and Tarzan’s left arm is represented by low pressure getting up and over Norway, and then swooping down into Barents Sea.  Then that low occludes and gets stuck, but the process repeats, as yet another low  Tarzans ahead, and swoops down and then up into the Kara Sea.  It is that low swinging up into the Kara Sea that gives Steppenwolf the power to push up towards the Pole, next weekend. (Unless, as I suggested, this is all a figment of a model’s imagination.)
 
The high pressure “Beauf” dominates the Pacific side of the Pole, but on its other side a Pacific low is crashing into Alaska,  and should be watched. (Call that low “Ska.”)
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Thawing—
The temperature graph attached to our northern camera shows temperatures flirting with freezing, bouncing to either side, as Buoy 2014E: last reported +0.03° C and our crunched camera reported +0.40°C. Briefly, at least, we are seeing a thaw, although I expect to see refreezing in the wake of “Stepperfour”.  Winds remain brisk, between 13 and 18 mph, and while this is not a gale it can shift the ice around.  Unfortunately light fog is obscuring our view of the more distant pressure ridges. There is currently no movement of the near pressure ridge and lead. (What I like to do is save pictures from close intervals on separate tabs, and then click back and forth between the tabs, which allows any changes to appear as slight jumps in an otherwise frozen scene. You do have to be careful not to be fooled by moving shadows when the sun is out.)
webcam
Our southern camera shows very little change from yesterday. There is a slight change in the skim of ice around the edges of the big pool; either it melted a little or the water rose a half inch.
 
The view we witness has been going through diurnal swings of temperature under beautiful blue skies.  The days show warming, and the last report from conjunct Buoy 2013F: had temperatures up at +0.80 C. I think that is a 0000z update, which is early afternoon over our southern camera.  All nearby buoys are also above freezing, with Buoy 2014B: at +0.23 C and Buoy 2014C: at +0.35 C. Again, I think these are 0000z updates, and represent the “heat of the day”. Our picture shows a later time, with the chill of the midnight sun growing, and indeed the temperature graph shows a dip towards frost.
webcam
temperature-1week
It looks like the midnight-sun-chill will not be as strong today, though the winds remain light, and perhaps we will see more thawing as the sun rises higher. We are on the south side of the high pressure “Beauf” in our southern view, and there is a chance warmth may work north from Alaska, though also a chance Beauf will circulate cold air around from the Pole. I don’t expect the sunshine to last, especially as the Pacific storm “Ska” nudges into Beauf from the south.
 
HUDSON BAY STILL HAS ICE
hudson-bay-ice-age-chart_2014-aug-5_south-and-north
I din’t much like this, because a warm Hudson Bay protects my corner of the Planet from arctic blasts, early in the winter. If it stays cold it is likely to freeze over faster, and that makes it more possible for the cruelest arctic invasions, (straight down from the north and evading the warming of the Great Lakes), to hit us earlier in the winter. (In New Hampshire the old-timers called such blasts, “The Montreal Express.”)
 
By the way, I lifted this nice overlay of two Canadian Ice Service maps from an interesting site, focusing on polar bears and their habitat, you can see here: polarbearscience.com
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our dismantled technology, solar array still collecting, and dispensing occasional jolts, causing passing puffins to leap into the air with loud squawks of consternation,  drifted steadily south and east in winds that ranged between ten and twenty mph, winding up at 83.546°N, 16.299°E.
 
Temperatures stayed stable and just above freezing, sinking to a low of +0.2°C at 6:00 PM yesterday, and rising to a high of +0.6°C at 9:00 AM today.
 
Pressures sank to 1009.1 mb at 3:00 AM and then rose back to 1010.3 mb at 9:00 AM.
 
AUGUST 9  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
 
DMI2 0809B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0809B temp_latest.big (2)
Stepperfour much weaker. High pressure building over Svalbard. Tomorrow will tell, in terms of post-storm home-grown cold.
 
NEW CAMERAS —Changing weather—
 
Our northern camera shows mild temperatures as Stepperfour passes, with winds remaining around 15 mph and temperatures apparently mild, roughly +1.00° judging from the graph, while south of Stepperfour Buoy 2014E: reported  -0.32° C even as our crunched camera reported +0.60°C. Winds are likely swirling about.  There is less movement of the ice in our picture than I expected.
webcam
Our southern camera experienced a cold night, with conjunct Buoy 2013F: reporting  -1.59° C. The diurnal swing also appeared in Buoy 2014B: to the west, at -0.58° C,  and in Buoy 2014C: to the east, at  -1.72° C. All three were above freezing when I looked this morning.
 
Since these Army mass balance buoy reports it looks like winds at our southern camera have risen swiftly from near calm to 15 mph, the temperature of the stirred air has risen to near freezing, and our lying eyes can see the turquoise and silver is gone, and gray skies are back. The weather; it is a-changing.
webcam
 
 AUGUST 10  —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0810 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0810 temp_latest.big (1)
“Stepperfour” has faded across the Pole into “Art” at the top of Baffin Bay, and together they will head down the bay towards the south tip of Greenland. On the wake of Stepperfour is subfreezing air, and I suspect the next map will show a colder Pole. Back on the other side of the Pole the remains of “Stepperson” lurk south of the Kara Sea and are beginning the genesis of “Steppenwolf,” which will move towards the Pole because the high pressure systems on the Pacific and Atlantic sides are too gutless to stand atop the earth and obey the textbooks, and be a proper Polar Cell. (If Steppenwolf does develop, it will be positioned to blow a lot of ice into the Kara and Barents Sea, and eventually into Fram Strait, which could lead to an uptick in the “extent” graphs, however I must confess I don’t trust the models. They are not all that good when it comes to handling unusual stuff.)
 
The big event is in the north Atlantic, where the dullard “Gusthree” is being replaced by a North Sea low, (“Preberth”,) which then will be replaced by “Bertha,” who looks to become rather vigorous for August (975 mb) and furthermore able to occlude right off Norway, creating an underneath-storm-track able to shoot lows into the Baltic Sea, and transform Scandinavia’s weather.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET
The purpose of these maps is to show the remains of hurricane Bertha swinging up over England as a North Atlantic low, becoming a North Sea low and developing some gale force winds, and then occluding off Norway.  The top map shows the current situation, the middle map shows the situation in 24 hours, and the bottom map shows the situation in 48 hours. Notice the surge into the Baltic, and also the remains of “Preberth” Tarzaning over the top of Norway.
UK Met Aug 10 A 17094735
UK Met Aug 10 B 17096947
UK Met Aug 10 C 17098030 (Click these maps to enlarge them)
 
NEW CAMERAS  
 
Our northern camera shows little happened during our period of thawing. The melt-water pools are no bigger, and the bit of a melt-water pool we saw earlier in the summer in the right foreground never reappeared. Temperatures dipped below freezing around 0000z but have recovered to around zero. Buoy 2014E: reported in at -1.31 C at 0000z.  I confess I didn’t expect the temperatures to recover, and still expect them to show a post-storm decline. Winds have slacked off to 5-10 mph. Though the near pressure ridge looks reletively unchanged, the jumble of ice towards the horizon looks different, now that the fog is gone.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
Our southern camera has been through a very cold night I wasn’t expecting. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: came in at  -3.37 C, and to the east Buoy 2014C: also came in at a chilly -3.91 C, however to the west Buoy 2014B: north of Bering Strait was coming in at more modest -0.19 C.  I suppose that is where the milder air I was expecting is hiding.
 
The temperature graph attached to the camera doesn’t yet show any daytime rise and, though winds are down around 5 mph, I think the reason our melt-water pool looks so glassy is because it has frozen over.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
NEW CAMERA —A NORTHERN CAMERA PICTURE TO COMPARE WITH—
webcam
By opening this picture and the above picture (from 20 minutes earlier) onto new tabs, and then switching back and forth between the two tabs, I am able to discern changes, and see if the more distant ice is moving. Currently it isn’t, though the most distant bergs are appearing out of a haze.
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our lost vision of beauty and wonder drifted on, primarily to the east with southward progress slowing, in winds diminishing from 15 to 10 mph, winding up at 83.523°N, 17.305°E.
 
Thaw continued, with temperatures fairly stable, dropping from +0.6°C at 9:00 AM yesterday, briefly touching zero at 9:00 PM, and then rising to +0.5°C at 9:00 AM today.
 
Pressures also remained fairly flat, dropping to 1010.0 mb at 9:00 PM yesterday before rising to 1010.8 mb at 9:00 AM today.
 
The satellite shows the ice remains pulverized but packed around our hulk. Svalbard lies to our south, with its north cape at roughly latitude 80 and its west coast at roughly longitude 11.
 
AUGUST 11  —DMI MORNING MAPS—
 
I didn’t get around to posting last night, as I was fishing on a lake with my grandson as the sun went down. We have a family reunion at a campground at this time every summer, and I sneak in these posts when I hustle home to feed goats, pigs, chickens and a rabbit. (One of these days I’ll be rich and a farm hand will do all that stuff.)
 
DMI2 0811 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0811 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is not waiting for a piece of “Bertha” to come Tarzaning over the top of Norway, and instead is pushing towards the Pole without reinforcements. Judging from its isobars, it could spread ice out a bit in the north of Barents and Kara Seas.
 
As I expected there is some cold air in the wake of Stepperfour’s cross-polar jaunt. I think there would be more cold air if it stalled on the Pole and filled there. It now has been absorbed into “Art” and they in turn are being absorbed into another storm down in northern Hudson Bay.
 
The warmest air of the summer has moved into Bering Strait, but seems unlikely to invade northward.  Subfreezing air has been swung down to Alaska’s coast by the high pressure “Beauf,” even as milder air has been swung around north of there.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Awaiting developments—
Although temperatures at our crunched camera last came in at  +0.50°C, and Buoy 2014E: came in at +0.39° C three hours later, this camera views a world 400 miles further north, only two degrees from the Pole on the Canadian side, and temperatures are graphed below freezing for the past 12 hours, and currently look to be at -2.00°.
 
It is getting late. Summer is slipping away, and I’m staring to think we won’t see a decent melt-water pool this year. The best chance for action will kikely be a big storm, which could crack up the ice. It has looked like it has been trying to crack up, but simply has no room to spread out.
 
webcam
Our southern camera has more hope of seeing thawing, especially as some fairly mild air lies not far away, down in Bering Strait. We did rebound from yesterday’s unexpected cold, and  conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported we made it to +0.23 C°, though since then the graph shows we recently dipped swiftly down to roughly -1.00°. Our larger melt-water pool looks like the skim of ice melted, and hasn’t yet refrozen. Winds are light and variable.
 
Our conjunct buoy was the lone thawing report. West towards Bering Strait Buoy 2014B: reported  -1.06 C ° at the same time, while to the east Buoy 2014C: reported -0.08 C°.
 
Models show the high pressure “Beauf” that is over this camera eventually shifts east along the Canadian arctic coast. I suppose the question then becomes, can it draw milder Pacific air north in its wake. We are running out of time for thawing at this camera as well.
webcam
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
In winds that continued to slacken, and that at times were calm, our hunk of mayhem and carnage continued slowly east, leaving a serpentine wake,  moving south, north, south, north and south again, and ending .003° further north than it began, at 83.529°N, 17.796°E.
 
Temperatures bounced about, beginning at +0.5°C at 9:00 AM yesterday, but immediately sinking to -0.7°C at noon, and reaching the days low at  -1.2°C at 6:00 PM. Then, making a mockery of diurnal variation, temperatures rose and snuck above freezing briefly at +0.2°C at midnight, before sinking to a second low of -0.9°C at 6:00 AM, before bouncing back to  -0.2°C as the 24-hour-period ended at 9:00 AM.
 
When considering this sort of yo-yo-ing temperature antics, it helps to remember the sea-water is below freezing, often lower than -1.0°. When winds get slight pools of air form, some water-cooled, and some sun-warmed, and they waft about contending for space. Often the cool air wins simply because it is colder and sinks.  The air may be milder only fifty feet up.
 
Pressures continued steady, bottoming out at 6:00 PM yesterday at 1009.3 mb, but ending the period only 0.3 mb higher than we began at 1011.1 mb.
 
AUGUST 11  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
 DMI2 0811B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0811B temp_latest.big (1)
 
I haven’t had time to look at the models.  I see “Steppenwolf” looks healthy, on the coast of the Kara Sea, and I suppose that is “Bertha” at the bottom of the map off Norway. I didn’t expect to see that micro-low off the northeast coast of Greenland. Hmm. As I recall, the high pressure “Beauf” was suppose to be sliding in that general direction. Mischief afoot?
 
Midnight is at the top of the map, so I expect the sub-freezing temperatures up that way. I actually was expecting more cold between Greenland and the Kara Sea, in the wake of “Stepperfour,” than I see. I also thought it might be a little colder over Scandinavia.
 
However, all in all, I approve of the current situation. Surely the Creator of this amazing planet will take solace in that, as most people don’t seem to thank Him for much of anything.
 
However I do not approve of the end of my brief vacation, camping.
 
NEW CAMERA  —Surprising Mildness—
 
I highly recommend the Army mass-balance site at imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/newsata.htm , as it gives actual data from actual buoys.  My chief complaint is that it only reports at 0000z and 1200z, as best I can tell.  Therefore data may be hours out of date.  However it does give you a glimpse you would otherwise lack.
 
Currently our northern camera reports temperatures are dipping below freezing, but Buoy 2014E: reports it was +0.16° C at 1200z (I assume; they don’t have a time-stamp,) even as our crunched camera was reporting colder temperatures further south three hours earlier. You put all this current and outdated data in the hopper of the brain and blend it, and the current picture makes more sense. It looks slushy, as if it was recently thawing, but the thaw is over for the moment. Winds are nearly calm, as we sit in a col between two high pressures and two low pressures. It is gray, showing air masses are meeting and mixing.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
Our southern camera sees thawing, with conjunct Buoy 2013F: reporting +0.87° C, which is normal for an ordinary melt-season, but unusual for this stunted summer.
 
In fact five out of the six mass-balance Army buoys, five show thaw, which is typical for melt-season, but the sixth is the  last one I’d expect to show subfreezing temperatures, Buoy 2014B: , which is just north of the open, warm-PDO waters and current mild spell of the Bering Strait. It reports  -0.78° C, which quirks my eyebrow.
 
webcamtemperature-1week
AUGUST 11 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0812 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0812 temp_latest.big (1)
The genesis of “Steppenwolf” continues, with energy swinging over the top of Norway and also approaching from the southeast. In terms of ice “extent” the wind appear to be blowing out of the Laptev Sea’s open waters, so ice will not “spread out,” and extent will diminish over the next week, though there may be some “spreading out” in Barents Sea. It will take a solid week before “Steppenwolf” moves out towards the Pole; at first it will hug the coast.
 
It looks like Scandinavia will be seeing a transitional, autumnal pattern start to appear, with more rain than they saw in the summer.
 
Models are showing an interesting solution for what becomes of “Art” as it fades into Hudson Bay. A more vigorous storm will eat it up, move up Baffin Bay and over the top of Greenland, reform off Greenland’s east coast, and then cross over to Norway. (Transitional patterns have new and interesting storm tracks.)
 
NEW CAMERAS  —Cold north; warm south; what could be more normal?—
 
Our northern camera gazes across a bleak scene, with temperatures a degree below freezing and winds light.
 
webcam
Our southern camera looks across a slightly milder scene. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: last reported a mild +1.08° C, though temperatures are now dipping as the sun dips to midnight sunset.
webcam
 NEW CAMERA  —a couple nice mid-morning pictures
I saw these while passing my computer and wanted to share them. I like the northern camera’s picture because the lighting allows us a good view of the pressure ridge crossing from the middle left margin, behind our “cork” and away into the right distance. This ridge has been active through the summer, like a fault-line running through the earth. The fact it has not yet widened into a big lead demonstrates how the ice is not “spread out,” (which we witnessed at the North Pole Camera, before it became “the crunched camera.”)
Temperatures remain below freezing, though they recently rose as winds became calm.
webcam
The southern camera views a scene tinted with sunset hues, reminding me summer is ending, and soon even the noontime sun will be low enough to be rosy, and all day will be a prolonged sunset. Also it reminds me I originally came to look through these cameras to see beauty.
(Just since I saved this picture temperatures dropped below freezing and an ice-fog drifted in on winds less than 5 mph.) (So I’ll include two pictures)
webcam webcam
 
 CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our roving wreckage, a pirate with two eye patches, continued its aimless serpentine wander eastwards in near calm, until, towards midnight, it ran into the faintest edge of “Steppenwolf,” still in the process of getting its act together, far away over the coast of the Kara Sea. We swerved south, north and south before the eastward movement abruptly stopped at 9:00 PM, at 17.770°E. By midnight we were back to 17.729°E, but what is interesting is that the wind was reported as being calm. Usually ice responds to wind, and does so rather quickly, however in this case I think we ran into other ice that was being moved by winds further away.  In any case, we began back west, swerving first north and then south, as the calm turned into a 10 mph wind, and we ended the day at  83.505°N, 17.637°E.
 
Temperatures continued their yo-yo antics.  We began the 27-hour period at -0.2°C, rose to exactly freezing at noon yesterday, and then sank back down to -0.7°C at midnight, before rising as the winds swung around, reaching +0.7°C by the end of the period at noon today.
 
Pressures remained very steady, beginning at 1011.1 mb, sinking slightly to 1010.3 mb at midnight, and then rising back to 1011.6 mb at noon. Perhaps a ghost-front passed, or perhaps it was merely a diurnal variation.
 
AUGUST 12   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
DMI2 0812B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0812B temp_latest.big (1)
Noon is at the bottom of these maps, and midnight at the top. I expect the subzero readings up on the Pacific side, for they are looking north at the midnight sun near the horizon, looking at it over the top of the earth. I don’t expect the sub-zero readings down on the Atlantic side, for they are looking south at a noontime sun, the same sun but much higher in the sky.  This map is, overall, colder than I expected, and this morning’s map was warmer than I expected. Obviously I have to do some tweaking of my expectations, as the summer grows old.
 
My focus is on “Steppenwolf,” as it develops in the Kara Sea. I likely am missing things elsewhere. “Bertha” is stalled off Norway, and expected to loop back to the mouth of the Baltic, south of Norway.  It is bringing big changes to Scandinavia. Also the storm west of Greenland, (which I am going to call “Art” although very little of the original “:Art” remains in its makeup), is going to crash into Greenland, and attempt to cross over a 10,000 foot tall icecap, and will undergo all the changes during transit I call “morphistication.”
 
I suppose I focus on Steppenwolf most because it will shift the most sea-ice.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
UK Met Aug 12 17179414
Although Bertha stalled and is occluding north of Scotland, it has driven a cold front all the way into southern Finland. During the height of summer cold fronts had a hard time penetrating the mountains of Norway, and if they did they immediately became warm fronts headed back west.  Now the high that was so hard to budge from the Baltic has retreated to the Black Sea.  It will try to push the cold front back, but will do little more than make the warm front be part of a frontal wave, rippling up the cold front to the east of Finland. Storms never had the audacity to take such a route back in July.
 
The storm “Art” west of Greenland will undergo morfistication crossing Greenland, and become a low off the east coast. Rather than stalling over Iceland, as storms did in June and July, it will zip across the Atlantic and park in the North Sea as Bertha has done. Likely it will drive more southwest winds into the Baltic.
 
Even when the high pressure is not parked over the Baltic, the mountains of Norway, (and to a lesser extent the mountains of northeast Finland,) force storms to either undergo morphistication, just as Greenland does, or storms are forced up over the top of Norway. I never really understood what a power and shelter the mountains of Scandinavia are, until this summer. (Not that I understand, but I now have an inkling.)
 
This surge moving through Scandinavia is on its way to join the genesis of “Steppenwolf” in the Kara Sea.
 
 NEW CAMERAS   —Nothing new—
I’m just posting some evening pictures for the record. Temperatures at both cameras are below freezing and winds are light.
webcamwebcam
 
AUGUST 13  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0813 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0813 temp_latest.big (1)
If you see the high pressure “Beauf” as the center of the polar cell, displaced towards the Bering Strait, you can see the areas of low pressure as rotating around that cell, though they are stalled, as each is handing off energy to the next. My focus is “Steppenwolf,” on the coast of the Kara Sea, which is sucking energy from the steppes to the south, and also accepting a glob of energy that is coming over the top of Norway from “Bertha”, (the glob will Tarzan down and be joined by another Bertha-glob coming up to the east of the Baltic and Finland.)  Meanwhile Bertha will be accpting a glob kicked across the Atlantic from “Art” west of Greenland. The fourth low, in Alaska, needs a name, so I guess I’ll dub it “Loot”, (for “Aleutian Low”).
 
Noon is at the top of these maps, and the subfreezing temperatures are diminished up towards the Pacific, though an island of cold surrounds our southern-camera.  Not far to its west is an island of plus-five-degrees isotherms. I imagine the clash between (relative) cold and warmth will weaken that part of Beauf, and the high pressure as an entity will shift towards Alaska and northern Canada, developing a Pacific to Atlantic flow between it and Steppenwolf.
 
STEPPENWOLF WINDS AND SPREADING ICE
The map below is one of thousands made available by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell Professional Site, and costs me less than the price of a cup of coffee each day.  (A week free-trial is available, but watch out, for the maps are addicting.) The map below is from the initial run of the current Canadian “JEM” model, and I’m posting it to illustrate a mistake I have made, and likely will make again.
 
My mistake is to glance quickly at isobars and use them to guess the flow of the winds. In truth the winds do not follow isobars, as the air in high pressure wants to head for low pressure, and therefore the winds tend to slant across the isobars. In the map below the colors represent the winds speed, but the actual (modeled) flow is shown by the dim gray arrows. (Click  the map two times to fully enlarge it.) 
 
In the map below, while the isobars suggest the ice is blowing out of the Laptev  Sea, the dim gray lines show the ice is in fact being blown across the northern reaches of that sea, from the East Siberian Sea towards the Kara and Barents Seas.  I imagine this will increase the extent, by turning ice-free water into waters dotted with bergs, and qualifying as “ice-covered” the moment the wandering bergs amount to 15% of the area.
 
An interesting development is that the ice to the north is so packed that, to push any more that way, there will have to be the sort of gales that can pile ice up as a pressure ridge. It is like an accordion pushed in to its limit, where it can’t be squeezed any more. However the areas to the south allow for much spreading, like an accordion opening out. This may explain today’s uptick in the extent graph, which will be under the Maue map.
DMI2 0813 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0813 icecover_current_new 
 
NEW CAMERA  —Still no thawing—
Our noethern camera views a dreary scene where temperatures are struggling to get back up to freezing after spending more than 24 hours below. Winds are around 5 mph.  Far to the south towards Fram Strait Buoy 2014E: was reporting -1.26° C ten hours ago, as our crunched camera even further south reported +0.70°C.
webcam 
Our southern camera looks out over a colder and more beautiful scene, as the sun has settled towards the horizon and the ice-fog has lifted. Back at 0000z Buoy 2014B: , west towards Bering Stait, reported +1.13 C, as Buoy 2014C: to our east reported +0.42 C. We were in an island of cold, struggling to get back up to freezing in a cold fog. (0000z is early afternoon at our southern camera.) I don’t think we quite made it, and since then temperatures have fallen under the clear skies.  
It is interesting how low the high clouds look. The stratosphere is much lower at the Pole.
webcam
 
 NEW CAMERAS   —Lunchtime peek—Thaw north—Freeze south—
webcamwebcam
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our black spot on a pirate’s white page, which some insist is a beauty-mark mole on the fair face of Snow White, drifted steadily south in light breezes of 5-15 mph, wandering west to 17.607°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, and then east to 17.650°E at 9:00 PM, and then west to 17.613°E  at 3:00 AM today, before finally wandering east and winding up at 83.429°N, 17.655°E, as our data only gave us a 21-hour-period that ended at 9:00 AM.
 
Temperatures peaked at +0.9°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, before the north wind and lowering sun drew the temperatures down to a low of +0.1°C at 3:00 AM. The rising sun hasn’t brought much of a rebound so far, and temperatures are at +0.2°C at 9:00 AM. 
 
Pressures remain flat, finishing at 1011.3 mb, which is where we were two days ago. We remain betwixt and between.
 
AUGUST 13  —DMI Afternoon maps—
DMI2 0813B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0813B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is biding his time in the Kara Sea, as “Bertha” sends low pressure oozing over the top of Norway, and “Art” looks completely blocked by Greenland. The main event it the face off between the high pressure of “Beauf” and the low pressure of “Steppenwolf”.
 
As seen by our cameras, it is thawing at the Pole and colder 800 miles south, in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska. I foresee a clash developing as “Beauf” brings cold air from Alaska around to contact milder air “Steppenwolf” is bringing north through the Kara Sea.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —A milder interlude—
Our northern camera has seen temperatures right at freezing for an extended period, though a pool of sunfreezing air lies towards Svalbard, where Buoy 2014E: reported a chilly  -2.32° C at 1200z, even though our crunched camera reported +0.20°C at 0900z not all that much further south. Winds at our camera remain light, around 2-5 mph. Temperatures may dip, if the skies stay clear.
webcam 
Our southern camera saw the coldest temperatures this side of the solstice, as the midnight sun rolled along the horizon. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported -4.67 C, as towards waters north of Bering Strait Buoy 2014B: came in at  -2.53 C, and to our east Buoy 2014C: spoke of a cold -3.13 C. That was at 1200z, which is the wee hours at our camera. Since then temperatures have rebounded and are flirting with freezing. Interestingly, again as it warmed the scenery grew Gray and foggy. It looks like our larger melt-water pool has a skim of ice again. Winds remain light, 5 mph.
webcam 
 
AUGUST 14 —DMI Morning maps—
DMI2 0814 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0814 temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” continues to sit in the Kara Sea without moving towards the Pole, as a northern blob of “Bertha” squeezes over the top of Norway to join the fray. The situation is starting to stray from the picture models foretold, and we may be seeing “Steppenwolf” at its strongest. Models now see it moving to the northern Laptev Sea and weakening; it will be interesting to see if an area of cold appears where it fills.  (The energy that might have reinforced Steppenwolf now looks like a successor, “Wolfson,” which might park in the Laptev Sea in the manner Steppenwolf parked in the Kara Sea, next week.) (But that is looking pretty far ahead, and we’ve seen models can’t be trusted this summer.)
 
“Art” has vanished into the mystery of morfistication as it crosses Greenland. That weak area of low pressure appearing along Greenland’s east coast will slide south, pick up a ripple of energy  
 sneaking under Cape Farewell,  and then move towards Iceland tomorrow, strengthen as it passes Iceland Saturday, be a North Sea low on Sunday, and finally become a major, stalled feature over Scandinavia next week, as the summer high pressure is replaced by an extended period of low pressure.
 
I can’t figure out what’s up with the scattered pools of subfreezing temperatures swirling around the Pole. Noon is to the top, and there is more cold up that way than I expect, but less cold on the Atlantic side. When I have time I’ll check out some Dr. Ryan Maue maps over at Weatherbell. Though I value the simplicity of the DMI maps, sometimes more detailed, modeled maps show you all sorts of subtle features swirling about. Sometimes it’s too much to understand, being basically chaos, but then at least you know why you don’t understand.
 
NEW CAMERAS  
Our northern camera has seen a period of subfreezing temperatures as low as minus 2, with winds picking up slightly to 5-10 mph. There may be no sign of thaw, but the ice is still thinning from beneath, and I’m still watching dfor signs of the ice breaking up and spreading apart. One thing to watch for is dark undersides on clouds along the horizon that don’t move even as the clouds move. I haven’t seen any, but when you see them they indicate patches of open water.
webcam
temperature-1week
 
Our southern view shows a thick fog, with winds a steady 8 mph and stirring the fog, and, after a spell of barely thawing (back at 1200z conjunct Buoy 2013F: reported +0.20° C), temperatures are now dipping just below freezing. I don’t think the fog is thick vertically. It looks dark because the sun is low on the horizon.
webcamtemperature-1week 
SAME VIEW 2 1/2 HOURS LATER 
webcam
 AND THE SAME VIEW AGAIN, 1 3/4 HOURS LATER
webcam
 
It is the sheer beauty of pictures such as this one that drew me to the polar cameras in the first place. It is secondary trivia that the temperatures are plunging in the view, and low sun quite obviously isn’t doing any melting at the moment. The politics involved with such trivia is exactly the sort of nonsense I came to the camera to escape.
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our unremembered dream drifted wraith-like south on 5 mph winds from the chilling north, veering and backing and veering and backing and veering and winding up, all in all, a little further east at 83.367°N, 17.528°E.
 
Temperatures remained steady at +0.2°C from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM yeaterday, then fell to -0.4°C at midnight, struggled back to -0.1°C at 6:00 AM, and then slumped back to -0.5°C at 9:00 AM.
The pressure remained very steady, finishing at 1011.1mb.
 
AUGUST 14  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0814B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0814B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is weakening as it edges eastward in the Kara Sea. It is a bit disappointing. When you give a low a cool name like “Steppenwolf,” you expect more from it. Perhaps the blobs of low pressure tarzaning down from Norway and underneath it will kick some life into the lazy storm, but I’m starting to think the low may be an underachiever. I had hopes it would spread the ice a bit, and save my minimum extent forecast, but it is demonstrating no gratitude towards me for giving it such a cool name. I may rename it “Dunce”, or some such thing, tomorrow.
 
“Art” is reappearing to the east of Greenland after morphistication, but is still weak.
 
Midday is at the bottom of the maps, and midnight at the top, so the subfreezing air on the Pacific side is expected, and the cold air north of Greenland a little unexpected.
 
NEW CAMERA  —(yawn)….nothing new—
The northern camera is flirting with thaw again, after a dive to minus two earlier. The cold air has headed south towards Fram Strait, and Buoy 2014E: just gave us a 0000z report, (it being tomorrow already, there,) of -2.63 °C. 
 
Not much sign of action at our site. The melt-water pools have receded like sunken eyes.  The crack behind our yellow “cork” looks like it has widened slightly. But with winds only around 5 mph, there’s not much chance in the short term of seeing the excitement of the ice breaking up.
webcam 
After another chilly period of midnight sun, not quite so cold as yesterday but down around minus-three, the sun has climbed and so have temperatures, and the fog has reformed. A faint fog-bow is vi sable, as conjunct Buoy 2013F: reports a 0000z reading of + 0.09 C. To our west Buoy 2014B: is coming in at a thawing +0.77 C, but to our south-southeast Buoy 2014C: shows the cold standing tough at -1.25 C. (That buoy was once well east of us, but is riding faster ice, and may pass south of us if things continue as they have.) Our ice remains solid. Remember that ice didn’t even exist at this location, when the PDO was warm, or, if there was ice, it was broken up and covered in melt-water pools. (See picture earlier in this post, towards the top.) The ice we look upon now is far more boring. The only ecitement I can see is that the melt of the snow has revealed a refrozen crack in front of the “robot.” At times even though these cracks are refrozen they can indicate weaknesses, and be where the ice cracks and leads form.
  webcam
 
 
 
LINK TO A GOOD COMPARISON BETWEEN THIS SUMMER’S ICE AND 2012’S
 
 
 stephengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/more-detail-on-the-arctic-catastrophe/
 
In the comments I share my observations, and also reply to a fellow who thinks he is being tricky when he is in fact being sadly transparent.
 
AUGUST 14  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0815 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0815 temp_latest.big (1)
In a rush and have no time to comment. Warm air entering through Bering Strait and up through Laotev Sea, but a surprising amount of subfreezing air exists in the upper “noontime” side of the map.
 
NEW CAMERAS 
Our northern camera saw a thaw of around six hours a hair above freezing, but is back to a hair below. The winds remain light, around 2 mph currently. Nothing much will change in this gray view unless the wind picks up. It is interesting how the water in the melt-water pools seems lower.
webcam
 
Our southern camera shows the brief thaw is over and the mist is gone, as temperatures again sink below freezing as the sun dips down to a midnight spent rolling along the horizon.  (Some the haze on the horizon may be due to forest fires in Siberia.) 
webcam
 
 
LUNCHTIME PICTURE 
I wanted to include a picture from our southern at the end of a “night” of midnight sunshine, when temperatures are just starting to rise after their daily dive. Buoy 2013F: was reporting -3.97 C at 1200z, which is the wee hours of morning in our southern  camera’s time-zone.  It looks like the melt-water pool has again skimmed over with ice, despite the bright sunshine.
Now we are likely to see temperatures rebound back up to freezing, and perhaps a half degree higher. It will be interesting to see if mist and fog again form.
webcam
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our guilt-ridden heap of junk, mortified about disappointing so many fans, skulked slowly but steadily south and west in light winds of 5 to 10 mph, ending the 24-hour-period at 83.312°N, 17.234°E. (I wonder at what point the progress of the ice is slowed or alterd due to the simple fact it starts bumping up against the north coast of Svalbard.)
 
Temperatures bottomed out at -0.8°C at noon yesterday, and then temperatures rose, getting above freezing in the late afternoon and then flattening out, achieving the high temperature of +0.5°C at 6:00 AM today, and then settling back to freezing at 9:00 AM.
 
Pressures remained flat for the fourth straight day, ending up at 1011.4 mb.
 
AUGUST 15   —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0815B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0815B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” ias weaker and crossing into the Laptev Sea, as “Art” is stronger and moving towards Iceland. I’ll dub that blob of low pressure north of Norway, “Berzip,” as it spun off Bertha, who is now south of Norway. 
 
This year is exactly the opposite of last year, which had all the high pressure on the Eurasian side and low pressure on the Atlantic side. Consequently the cross polar flow is completely reversed, from Pacific to Atlantic rather than from Atlantic to Pacific.  ( You can check out the old history at my old post from last August, as long as you don’t laugh at the fact I was learning the ropes about the Arctic, and was even more of a boob than I now am.  The old post is found at sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/the-big-chill-sea-ice-version/ )  I wonder if this hints that the people of western Europe will have a winter opposite last winter’s mildness.
 
Last year we’d just seen a gale cross the Pole. At this point I see no sign of a gale this year, nor of the post-gale temperatures down to minus-eight-degrees.
 
MY FORECAST WAS WRONG—“STEPPENWOLF” DIDN’T SPREAD ICE OUT—IT COMPRESSED IT—
At his site at “Real Science” Steve Goddard explains the map below by stating, “Red shows ice extent loss since August 7, green shows gain. High pressure has been creating winds which are compacting the ice in the Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas, and will continue to do so for at least a few more days.”  I did not expect this compression, and in fact expected the opposite. Arrgh!  I hate being wrong, which seems odd, as I’m so good at it, and you’d think I’d be used to it by now.
DMI2 0815B screenhunter_1942-aug-14-22-26
 
 
It seems a good time to think about starting a new post. That way I don’t have to face admitting my mistake each time I update.
 
NEW CAMERA  —Cross polar transport of cold—
Our northern camera is starting to record subfreezing temperatures steadily, as winds transport the chill from the Pacific side to the Atlantic side. Winds are still light, 2-6 mph. 
webcam
temperature-1week
 
Our southern camera saw cold build, as I reported earlier, but now experiences a rapid return towards thawing, as its air is transported toward the Atlantic. (Neighboring buoys also reported a cold “night.”) No mist has appeared. Winds have picked up slightly to 7 mph.
webcamtemperature-1week
 
 AUGUST 16  —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0816 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0816 temp_latest.big (1)
 
NEW CAMERA  —Some pretty views—
Northern camera sees steady temperatures around minus one, and light 5 mph winds.
webcam
 
Southern camera sees temperatures starting to bounce back from midnight-sun lows near minus five, and a light breeze around 7-8 mph.
webcam
 
 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
On cold winds of 10 mph our zombie apparatus drifted west-southwest to  83.241°N, 16.740°E. 
 
The temperature dipped below freezing at the very start of our 24-hour period, passing zero and giving us our high temperature at 9:00 AM yesterday, and continuing down to our low of -2.2°C at 3:00 AM, before recovering to -1.5°C at 9:00 AM.  We were below the freezing point of salt water from 6:00 PM until 6:00 AM.
 
The pressure fell to 1007.6 mb at 3:00 AM and then rose to 1009.4 mb at the end of our period.
 
AUGUST 16 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
DMI2 0816B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0816B temp_latest.big (1) 
A weak “Steppenwolf” is sliding east into the Laptev Sea, as a following weak “Berzip” moves east across Barents Sea. “Art” is growing stronger as it moves away from Iceland towards Norway, and models show “Art” as a pain for Scandinavia next week, unless they need rain.  The high pressure “Beauf” is bringing cold air towards the Atlantic side. 
 
NEW CAMERAS   —
Our northern camera shows light winds and sunshine allowing temperatures to touch freezing after 24 hours a degree or two below. No signs of change on the ice, and I don’t expect much until the wind picks up.
 
The cross-polar flow has brought cold air down to our crunched camera, and to Buoy 2014E , which reported  -1.46° C at 1200z ainking to -2.23° C at 0000z. It may have warmed at the Pole due to bubbles of milder air “Steppenwolf” swung north over the ice-free Laptev Sea.
webcam 
Our southern camera shows mist forming again, when the sun is highest. Temperatures have failed to recover to freezing, as a light breeze has slightly increased to 8 mph.  Our conjunct buoy Buoy 2013F: reported -3.80 C at 1200z and -1.21 C at 0000z. To the west Buoy 2014B also failed to reach freezing, reporting -1.46 C. Only Buoy 2014C: to the southeast reported any thawing, at + 0.52 C at 0000z.
This seems to be home-grown cold, as there are no colder places for the air to come from.
webcam 
 
AUGUST 17  —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0817 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0817 temp_latest.big (1)
 
 
COMPARING THIS SUMMER WITH LAST SUMMER
DMI2 0817 mslp_latest.bigDMI Aug 17 pressure mslp_latest.big
Last summer is the map to the right. The flow was from Norway towards Alaska. This year it is from Alaska to Norway.
 
NEW CAMERA  —Beautiful but cold—
Our northern camera sees a scene that has slipped back below freezing, despite bright sunshine and light winds of 5 mph. The humidity has dropped to 85%, which is actually quite low for the Pole during the summer. After all, we are on the surface of an ocean.
The sun is rising, but because we remain only two degrees from the Pole, it doesn’t get that much higher at noon than it is at midnight. We are at 88 degrees north, while our southern camera is at 77 degrees, and does see the sun rise and dip much more. 
webcam
 
Our southern camera sees the sun setting down towards midnight, and you can see from the orange light it is getting close to the horizon now, as days get shorter further south. Soon the midnight sun will give way to periods of midnight twilight.
 
Temperatures fail to get up to freezing even during the warmest part of the day, yesterday. Now they have started dipping down again.  Winds have slacked off slightly, to 6 mph. The chances of significant surface melting are growing slim, but there still may be melting from beneath for around another month. Temperatures have to get down to around minus ten for the cold to penetrate the insulating ice, and start growing new ice at the bottom of the bergs and floes. In open leads new ice starts forming where water touches ice at minus 1.7 degrees.
webcam 
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our asterisk on a blank page continued south and west in winds that slackened slightly to 8 mph, ending the period at  83.147°N, 16.579°E.  
 
We spent the entire time below freezing but above the freezing point of salt water, starting with our low of  -1.5°C at 9:00 AM yesterday and slowly rising to  our first high of -0.8°C at 9:00 PM, and then sinking to a second low of -1.3°C at 6:00 AM, and then springing up to our high of -0.3°C at 9:00 AM.
 
Pressures stayed fairly steady, finishing the period with a slight rise to 1010.3 mb.
 
AUGUST 17 —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0817B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0817B temp_latest.big (1)
“Steppenwolf” is nudging north towards the Pole, but likely will be drawn back as it weakens by “Berzip” swooping under it and then tarzaning up. We will have to watch for two things. First, will Steppenwolf create any cold air as it weakens and fills. Second, as “Berzip swing up and around towards the Pole, will it be pulled back by yet another low swooping under and  up,  or will it claim the king-of-the-world status, atop the Pole.  
 
“Beauf” has shifted more towards the Canadian Archipelago, as warmth and a storm brews in the Bering Strait, but likely won’t come north. The cross-polar-flow from Alaska to Norway continues, as “Art” has reached the North Sea.
 
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
UK Met Aug 17 17341412
“Art” is actually strong for a summer storm. It looks a little like an early autumn. It will move over Sweden and just sit there much of the week.
 
NEW CAMERAS  —A sunny spell—
Our northern view seeing light winds of 4 mph and temperatures that have just risen to touch freezing, after being jusr below all day.
webcam
 
Our southern view shows temperatures again stubborn about rising as the sun does, but the wind is rising, now up to 14 mph. A rising wind speaks of a change in the weather.
webcam
NOTE—This is the final picture submitted by the southern camera on Sunday.  I have no idea what the problem is. As we are looking north, there is no way of knowing if the ice is breaking up behind our back, to the south. Or it could be that because the wind has risen the dish-reception needs to be tweaked to transmit a picture. However last year O-buoy 7 continued to transmit even as it bobbed about in open water. So…your guess is as good as mine.
 
As this post has gotten overly long, the post will continue as a new post called “ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT  —The Thaw’s End— ”  which will begin with these two maps (and observations:)
 
ARCTIC TEMPERATURES   —THE THAW’S END—
DMI2 0818 meanT_2014  (click to enlarge)
The green line on this map shows we have passed the point where temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude average out above freezing. This is not to say that pockets of thaw can’t come north.  I’ve seen above-freezing temperatures take a run at the Pole from the Atlantic side even in the dead of winter, associated with huge North Atlantic storms. However that sort of warmth tends to swiftly lift above the ice and, while the uplift may generate a low pressure’s winds that rip and tear at the ice, it simply doesn’t have the thawing effect of summer sunshine. We are pretty much done the time of watching melt-water pools expand. In fact the 90 days when the sun it as its highest and beats down most strongly (if you can use such words to describe the low arctic sun) ended back on August 5.  The above graph shows the temperatures starting to respond to the sinking of the sun.  There can be a warm spell after the green line shows the average ordinarily sinks below normal.  For example, look what happened in 1979:
DMI2 0724 meanT_1979 
You can see that in 1979 the thaw continued for a week longer than normal, despite the fact it was a very cold year, and the prior winter had some of the lowest temperatures ever seen at the Pole.
 
This trivia demonstrates how little air temperature and surface thawing (and the hubbub about “albedo”) actually has to do with the growth and shrinkage of arctic sea-ice. We will also see this demonstrated for the next thirty days, as the sea-ice continues to shrink despite temperatures that will drop well below the freezing point of the salt water the ice floats upon. (The ice itself has far less salt in it, as it extrudes the salt that was originally in it through several processes, and of course any snow and rain that falls on the ice, and fog that condenses on the ice, is fresh water.)
 
What really determines the amount of sea-ice is how much ice is flushed south through Fram Strait, (not much, this year,) and how much warm water comes north through the Bering Strait, (associated with a “warm” PDO), and comes north as tendrils of the Gulf Stream (associated with the “warm” AMO.)  
 
We have seen the ice respond very nicely to short term spikes of the PDO and AMO during the past year, which affirms the idea the sea-ice has not been responding to CO2 and is not in any sort of “Death Spiral,” but rather was responding to natural cycles which take roughly  60-70 years to complete.  
 
MY FORECASTING FLOP  —THE FAILURE TO FLAT-LINE—
 
The graph below shows the ice-extent plunging at the very time I expected it would level off.  My  idea was that the tightly packed ice would spread out, like a pat of butter on a wide piece of bread, but what has happened is that the ice has been compressed, both north of Alaska and north of the Laptev Sea.  
 
It is important to make a forecast even if you are not an expert, because it is through seeing where your forecast went wrong that you learn about things you otherwise would fail to notice. 
DMI2 0818 icecover_current_new
 
If you don’t dare make your own forecast, and instead rely on models, you can be amazingly wrong, but you will have no idea why you are wrong.  For example, last June the CFSv2 model was predicting a September ice minimum up around 7 million km2 with an anomaly of +0.6 million km2, and now it predicts 5.9 million km2 with an anomaly of -0.3.  
Extent Graph June 18 sieMonExtent CFsv2 August 18 sieMon
 
Models flip-flop all the time, especially once you are looking more than ten days ahead, and when they are wrong they never blush, and instead simply change. It is the people who consider models to be authorities that wind up blushing, (or they should blush, but sometimes simply go from parroting the old to parroting the new.)
 
My own guess was for a minimum of 6.1 million km2, which is obviously too high. However rather than blushing I’m focused on trying to see what is keeping the ice from spreading out.
 
AUGUST 18 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
DMI2 0818 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0818 temp_latest.big (1)
 
NEW CAMERAS
Our northern camera is seeing temperatures dropping down to around minus 2.5 and winds slacking to around 5 mph.  
webcamtemperature-1week
 
Our southern camera is failing to transmit updated pictures, but saw some thaw yesterday after a prolonged freeze, and winds grow brisker, up to the 15-20 mph range, as temperatures again dropped below freezing.
temperature-1week
 
 
 windspeed-1week 
 
This post will be continued at http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-thaws-end/
 
 
 
 

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —Flat-lining Death Spiral—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/arctic-sea-ice-melt-crunch-time/

I usually begin these posts explaining why I started studying the melt and refreeze of arctic ice,  and you should look back to earlier posts if you want to see my views evolve. I now have reached a point where, like a flea on an elephant, I feel equipped to call the government’s bluff.

To be blunt, I feel the government wanted to put forward a policy it felt would be unpopular, and rather that doing the honest thing, which would be to be forward and blunt and state what it wanted to do, it took a dishonest and cowardly route. Rather than treating the public like adult men and woman, and debating man to man and woman to woman, it treated the public like suggestible children that are easily manipulated.

What it did was to create a threat, called “Global Warming,” and to rally the people to face the threat. The people trusted, and did not think their leaders would pay scientists to falsify public records and data to “prove” Global Warming was real. However I increasing feel this is exactly what happened.

When you lie, your lies have a way of haunting you and tracking you down. Over and over we have seen a thing called “Truth” expose “Climate Science” as a sort of sham.  One such example involves the ice in the arctic sea. It’s normal decrease, due to the warm cycles of the AMO and PDO, was called in dramatic terms, “A death spiral.” Doom and gloom was suppose to occur when the Arctic Ocean became ice free.

Because I have studied the Greenland Vikings a lot, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried about an ice-free Pole, because I knew the Pole was largely ice-free back when those Vikings farmed fields which now are permafrost that would blunt a plow. However so determined were the politicized scientists to alarm everyone, they attempted to erase the warmth of that Halcyon time, (called the Medieval Warm Period), and to say it was warmer now.

It was at that point I began to call their bluff, despite the fact they assured me 97% of all scientists agreed with them.  I’ll skip the details of the battle, and simply state we are now looking at an Arctic Sea that is not ice-free.  It is not I who calls their bluff. It is Truth, in the form of Mother Nature.

Originally their attempts to inspire hysteria stated that the decrease in ice would have the effect of accelerating the melt of ice, and the Pole would be ice-free by now. They asserted 97% agreed with them. In which case 97% were stupid dunderheads.  The Pole is not only not ice-free. The ice is actually increasing.

There is one government model which I doubt, because it states the increase will be up to above-normal levels. Here are the most recent predictions of the CFS V2:

Extent CFS model July 15v sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The top graph shows the extent, by the start of August, being 0.2 million km2 above normal.  The bottom graph shows that at the end of the summer melt the ice will be at nearly 7 million km2, which would be extraordinary. (I’m out on a limb, predicting 6.1 million km2, and more scientific models, such as the UK Met, predict 4-5 million km2, which is still far from being an “ice-free pole,”  but at least is “below normal”.)

This CFS V2 model has backed off from even higher and more extraordinary predictions, as the El Nino did not develop to the levels it predicted, however even its reduced, current  prediction is a shock to all who rallied around the banner of Global Warming, feeling their sacrifices were worthy and saving the planet. What has happened to the “Death Spiral”?

The Death Spiral may well be dead. It is another casualty to Truth. However it will be proven to be dead if it flat-lines, and to flat-line the ordinary sharp decline of sea-ice during this time of summer thawing at the Pole must abruptly go sideways, even more than it did last year.  So far it hasn’t:

DMI2 0715 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

In this post we will be watching this graph carefully.

I will try to also post maps and pictures from the Pole twice a day.

JULY 15 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0715B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0715B temp_latest.big (1)

These Danish Meteorological Institute maps are put out at midnight and noon. I call them “morning” and “afternoon” maps because that is when I look at them. Because we are looking down on Earth, noon is at the bottom and midnight at the top in noon maps, such as the above map, and the opposite is true in maps from twelve hours later. Though diurnal variation of temperatures has little effect in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine at the center, it does have an effect at the edges of the circle shown by these maps. For example, in the above map it is midnight towards Bering Strait, and the little pockets of sub-freezing temperature you see up there will vanish in the next map, and then reappear in the following map.

Although it annoys some people, I tend to name storms for the fun of it, and also it helps me keep track of them. From this angle of the earth it is possible to track the same system as it evolves, all the way around the planet. During the evolution systems go through during such journeys, I tend to have systems keep the same name even when a stricter meteorologist would say the original died and a secondary took over. (To them I say, this is my blog, and I’m boss here.) (Furthermore, I’m more reasonable than your boss, with his Global Warming fixation.)  I very loosely follow a convention where secondary and tertiary storms on a front gain the suffix “son” and “three,” as they travel up the cold front, but when storms occlude and kick a storm ahead along the warm front I call it a “zipper” and use the suffix “zip.”

In the above map four storms are rotating around the high pressure at the Pole, which is a textbook situation, (and unusual for this year, for we have often had lows over the Pole and then you can then throw your textbook out the window.)  The low over Iceland is “Thur” and is stalled and fading, and the one in the Kara Sea is “Art” and also weakening. They are two faint memories of Hurricane Arthur. (Get it? Art and Thur?) The one over east Siberia is “Sib,” and the one approaching the Canadian Archipelago is “Tev.”  Some models are showing Tev moving east as Art fades west, and a low of their merge forming over the Greenland icecap,  which is unusual as high pressure likes to sit there. Rather than north winds on the east side of a high pressure, there will be south winds on the east side of a low, and rather than sea-ice flushing out of the arctic through Fram Strait, it may be jammed back north. I use the word “may” because models are not always right, and also winds don’t always obey the isobars.

The sub-freezing temperatures over the Kara Sea have been persistent this summer, even in the afternoon.

CRUSHED CAMERA REPORT

The original point of these posts was to enjoy the views of the North Pole Camera as it drifted south, however we have had bad luck this year, as camera one was knocked over by a polar bear and camera two crushed by a pressure ridge. However the weather station is still working, and I give reports on what we are missing.

As the building polar high pressure shifts over towards Scandinavia we are experiencing changing conditions, before I expect we will be blown back north.  Winds dropped to nearly calm, as the pressure crested at 1017.7 mb and then dipped to 1016.1 mb at noon. Winds fell to a long period of nearly calm conditions, and then rose to 10 mph at noon.  The temperatures fell from noon yesterday’s high of +0.8 to a low of -0.2°C at midnight, recovered to +0.3 at 6:00 AM but dipped back to -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before returning to zero at noon. These temperatures are below normal, though I expect they will rise as winds become south.

Our steady progress south and west was halted. Our southward progress halted at 84.799°N at midnight, and we were bumped north to 84.804°N at 6:00 Am, and then sagged back to 84.799°N at noon. Our westward progress halted at 12.109°E at 3:00 AM, we were jostled back to 12.195°E at 9:00 AM, and then nudged west to 12.181°E at noon. With all these shifts occurring you can understand the floes do a lot of crashing and smashing, and see why our camera may have been crushed by a pressure ridge. There is nothing neat and tidy about the Arctic Ocean this year, and one adventurer described the situation as “crazy ice.”

NEW CAMERAS

Originally these pictures merely supplimented the Noth Pole Camera, but now they are my fix of cool pictures in hot summer weather. They are from the “O-buoy Project.”  The first is Camera Nine, which has drifted from over towards Bering Strait, and is now passing quite near the Pole on the Canadian side, at 88 north latitude. Originally the camera looked over completely flat ice, but the stresses of the winter built the small pressure ridges. I expect melt-water pools to be appearing soon.

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The second picture is from Camera Ten, which is much further south, a little south of 77 degrees latitude, north of Alaska. As best I can tell, the ice is nine feet thick, but as you can see the summer thaw is in progress.

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JULY 19   —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0716 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716 temp_latest.big (1)

Weak storms circle much like they were doing yesterday, however the high pressure north of Scandinavia is stronger, creating south winds in Fram Strait that will push ice north and may reduce “extent” by compressing the ice like an accordion. When that ice spreads out again it will be the same amount of ice, (or a little less due to melting), but the “extent” will increase in that area. What really melts ice is to have it flushed south down the east coast of Greenland into the warmer Atlantic. I think that melts more ice than the secondary cause, which is milder Atlantic water being pushed north under the ice. That can’t happen as much when surface winds blow north and east at the top of Scandinavia, pushing the northernmost tendrils of the Gulf Stream back south.  Melting at the surface due to sunlight and warm temperatures comes in a distant third, when it comes to the icecap melting, but we might as well check the air temperatures up north of 80 degrees latitude, and note how they have been below normal all summer.

DMI2 0716 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

 LOCAL VIEW JULY 16  —Record cold to our west—

I haven’t been able to keep up with my posts about my little town, which some miss.  However it is summer in New Hampshire, and the North Pole usually doesn’t effect us that much. However it managed to discharge enough cold to drop temperatures to the verge of frost in the northern midwest, (37 degrees Fahrenheit [+2.8 Celsius] in Tomahawk, Wisconsin this morning.) What that means here to the east is a southern surge of moist air before a cold front, lovely soft thunder high  in the sky during the night, and beneficial rains. The air-mass will likely be warmed by the time it covers us tomorrow, but be crisp and dry.  My little patch of corn is loving it, and despite the retarded spring is waist high.

When the Pole exports its cold it usually gets milder up  there. And it actually was as cold in Tomahawk, Wisconsin as it was around 90 miles north of our crunched camera, at  Buoy 2014E:

Here is our local map, with the front passing through and warm summer rain falling outside:

LV 140916 satsfc (3) (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS   —CRACKING ICE—

The northern camera shows the crack just behind the yellow “plug” is opening slightly, due to the shifting winds as the high pressure builds over towards Scandinavia. Considering how smashed up the ice is up there, after all the winter gales, I would not be surprised to see a lead open up, and open water appear, which would be wonderful to watch. My best guess is that the ice is about five feet thick here, which means only six inches would be above water, and we could see some sloshing before this camera bit the dust. It is a rough year for cameras in the north.

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The southern camera has thicker ice, and it may take a while for the melt-water to find channels down through the ice. The ice tends to be close to the freezing point of salt water not very far down, and when fresh water trickles down the cracks it freezes, plugging up the cracks. I’m hoping this will allow another “Lake North Pole” to form. Then what tends to happen is the ice shifts, and a six inch wide crack forms, and all the water gurgles down at once.  This is what we saw happen to “Lake North Pole” last summer: “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES

webcam JULY 16  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0716B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716B temp_latest.big (1)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our mangled eyesore upon the pristine arctic ivory did start north and east, but ran into other ice and/or a weak front around 3:00 AM, when it reached 84.833°N, before hesitating southward slightly to end the 24-hour-period at 84.828°N, 12.752°E. The barometer dipped slightly then, to 1015.6 mb at 6:00 AM, before rebounding to 1016.2 mb at noon. The temperature also dipped, from the high of +0.8°C at 9:00 PM to the low of -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before getting back to zero at noon. The winds, in the 10-15 mph range, seem to have swung briefly from southwest to west-northwest, but were swinging back to the west-southwest at noon, and I expect the northward drift to resume. Alas that the camera is gone, for some interesting weather passed through.

JULY 17 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0717 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717 temp_latest.big (1)

“Thur” is fading away over Greenland as “Art” drifts from the Kara to the Laptev Sea, eastward on the Siberian coast. Neither is liable to be very noteworthy over the next week, and in fact the models have stopped showing a low over Greenland, and instead show a more traditional high pressure cell there, though they do not show its wind extending east into Fram Strait. Instead the high pressure north of Scandinavia, which I now name “Scant,” [for "Scandinavia Top"] looks to be the lasting feature on the Atlantic side, as “Sib” mills around and is a feature this week on the Pacific side.  “Tev” is sliding south into Canada and may brew up a decent storm tucked in north of Hudson Bay,  sort of hidden but able to import warm air north through Baffin bay west of Greenland, and also able to export polar air south to the USA, and cool my summer here.

The sub-freezing temperatures in the Kara Sea have persisted all summer, but I was curious about that little noodle of cold aiming from Greenland towards our crushed camera, so I went to the Weatherbell site and looked at other views of the arctic from among Dr. Ryan Maue’s excellent maps (free week trial available.) This only makes my confusion worse, for the initial run of the Canadian model always shows the Arctic Sea colder than the DMI map, and this time it shows some significant cold just across the Pole: (Ignore the glitch that makes a smudge of zeros and nines on the left side, and remember temperatures are in Fahrenheit.)

DMI2 0717 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to enlarge fully)

My confusion is furthered by the fact the GFS model’s initial run doesn’t show this pool of cool. (Their map is upside down)

DMI2 0717 gfs_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to fully enlarge)

The best I can do is to try to go see for myself.

NEW CAMERAS VIEWS

The northern camera’s bleak view still gives me the impression the ice is trying to crack up, but the surface looks more like frozen slush than thawing slush. When I check the site’s temperature graph it shows a temperature a hair below freezing, but when I check Buoy 2014E: this morning, (between this site and our crushed camera,) I see it is a surprisingly low  -2.01° C. (perhaps it is in the noodle of cold shown on the DMI map.)

webcam

The southern view is interesting because the lens is just starting to get covered, but not by drops of water. That is snow, and since I saved the view the lens has become totally obscured. Heck of a way to run a thaw, if you ask me, even down at 77 degrees latitude. When I checked the temperature graph it appears to be a hair below freezing, and the closest other buoy I can find, Buoy 2013F: (at 77.06° N, 156.79° W) is coming in at -0.01°C. I get the feeling there is cold air lurking about up there which I was unaware of.

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Sometimes a fall of snow up there can have an interesting effect on the “extent” graphs, especially if they are derived from satellite data, and the satellite is confusing melt-water pools with open water.  Abruptly the pools are covered with white snow, so the satellite abruptly sees open water as ice-covered, and there is a strange up-tick in the graph. I was actually expecting a down-tick, as winds compressed the ice back north towards the Pole, but now I’m going to be on the lookout for the opposite. There is no sign of it yet, however the snow is just starting to fall:

DMI2 0717 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

The only other news to report is that an interesting area of ice-free water is appearing in Fram Strait, against the northeast corner of Greenland, due to the fact sea-ice is not being flushed out of the arctic, and rather is being crunched back in. I don’t recall seeing that last year.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our useless heap of scrap floated steadily east, while curving south to 84.823°N and then back north, finishing further north than we began the 24-hour period, at 84.837°N, 13.022°E.  The breeze was steady at around 5-10 mph, picking up slightly at the end of the period to around 12 mph. The barometer took a sharp dive between noon and 3:00 PM, from 1016.2 mb  to 1012.7mb, and then remained fairly steady, finishing at 1012.2mb. The temperature rose from zero to +1.0°C during the period.

JULY 17  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0717B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717B temp_latest.big (1)

A revived “Tev” is in the Northwest Passage. “Sib” sits north of Alaska. What may be a bit of  “Thur” sits atop Greenland, across the Pole from weak “Art.” Alas! What a fate to befall a once mighty hurricane!  The high “Scant” sits over northern Finland, and may bring the east winds back to the Baltic, although the source region doesn’t look as warm this time.

Sub-freezing persists in the Kara Sea, and on the midnight side of the map (top), although the sun barely dips below the horizon even south of the arctic circle, in high summer. However the days are getting shorter, and the time for thawing is running out.

NEW CAMERAS

Our northern camera continues to show a bleak view, woth ominous cracks, but no obvious melting.

webcam

Our southern camera shows all the slush covered with fresh snow. I hope all the Albedo-feinds are noting this, and adjusting their equations. Nothing reflects sunlight better than freshly fallen snow. It may be back to slush tomorrow, but this does slow the thaw’s progress.

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JULY 18 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0718 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is a decent storm in the Northwest Passage. I wonder if it is cracking up the ice. Soon we may get reports from adventurers attempting the Passage, though usually they wait until late July to start.

“Sib” is stalled and hanging in there north of Alaska. “Art”, (or perhaps his zipper,) is pushing into east Siberia, with a trailing trough of low pressure than now cuts across the Pole to the faint memory of “Thur,”  which although very weak is yet another low attempting sit atop the world. They have divided “Trans” into a weak high towards Bering Strait and the stronger one northeast of Finland.  South east of that high is a vigorous inland low (perhaps a reincarnation of “Spinthree”), but which I’ll dub “Artson,” which is doing interesting things in some models. They see it cruising along the Arctic coast, swinging across Bering Strait and then attacking the Pole from Alaska next week. However the models change their minds a lot, like one of the sexes. (I am too smart to say which.)

One of the mildest temperature maps we’ve seen so far, though I should report Buoy 2012G: north of the Canadian Archipelago reported -2.22° this morning, and Buoy 2014B: north of Bering Strait at 75.21 N, 170.66 W, reported -0.47°.

NEW CAMERAS

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We have the same dreary view, with some sort of warm front pushing moisture in aloft from the south, I imagine. It is likely the warm-up that reached our crushed camera yesterday has not made it this far north, for Buoy 2014E: was reporting -0.09°.

One slight change is we can see more of the top of the yellow “cork” than last week. I wonder if the wind swings it slightly, or if it has some sort of mooring line dangling through the ice to the water beneath.

Further south our southern camera was showing a lot of fog earlier, but now is showing fresh snow, getting soggy over the melt-water pools:

webcam

This camera was deployed with Buoy 2014E: which was showing a temperature of -0.08° this morning. Here is a map of how they have drifted over the past ten months: (Double click to fully enlarge.)

Drift map July 18 2013F_track

CRUNCHED CAMERA DATA   

The most interesting data is that temperatures remained fairly flat through most of the 24 hour period, only sinking three tenths of a degree to +0.7°C at 6:00 AM, and then sank more swiftly to -0.1°C. The wind had shifted to just north of west, and as the eastward drift persisted we stopped moving north at 6:00 Am at 84.892°N and by noon had settled back to 84.887°N, 13.717°E. The pressure remained very steady at 1012.3 mb.

JULY 18 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0718B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718Btemp_latest.big (1)

Not much change, except a bit colder than yesterday on the Pacific side.

NEW CAMERAS  —Friday night and not much change—

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AN EXCELLENT CONCEPT   –Compare area to extent to determine compactness–

I wander a bit on the web in my search for fresh data, and lurk at sites that tend to take the Alarmist view that the Pole is melting away and in a Death Spiral. Some repel me and I have no desire to visit ever again, (Skeptical Science is such a site, especially because at times it hasn’t just snipped comments, but has altered them to make the person commenting look like a dope.)  However (so far) I haven’t been particularly repelled by this site, “Arctic Sea Ice Blog,” although I disagree with the bias. (I have a thick skin about bias, as I recognize my own.) http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/07/asi-2014-update-5-low-times.html#more

They have come up with the following chart that compares extent with area, and gives an idea of how compact the ice is. (I have mentioned how the same amount of ice can be compacted, or spread out like a small pat of butter on a large piece of toast, and how this influences “extent”.) Judging from the graph they came up with, the ice is quite compacted this year.  I think it a great concept, and give credit where credit is due.

CAPIE20140710

JULY 19 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0719 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” continues to keep conditions uncomfortable for anyone attempting the Northwest Passage, as together with “Sib” towards Alaska, they make low pressure on the Canada-Alaska side mesh with high-pressure on the Scandinavia-Siberia side, creating a general Atlantic to Pacific flow which I imagine will keep sea-ice from being flushed out into the Atlantic. I am going to watch to see if ice gets blown into the ice-free areas of the Laptev Sea. You can see the ice-water boundary marked by that little necklace of sub-freezing temperatures. The Kara Sea continues to have sub-freezing temperatures, but the diurnal variation is quite obvious towards Bering Strait on this temperature map, where it is noon towards the top. In the last map, when it was midnight towards the top, there were patches of sub-freezing temperatures, but now they are not to be seen.

The “Art” and “Artson” area of low pressure is difficult to see, but models continue to imagine it will redevelop, swing around across the Bering Strait to Alaska and then up to the Pole by next Wednesday, and continue to be a top-of-the-world storm into next weekend.

NEW CAMERAS  —Gray days return—

Our northern camera has been showing a lot of fog, though now it looks like the sun is trying to burn through.  Fog may mean milder Atlantic air is trying to push north on south winds from Fram Strait, though Buoy 2014E: in that direction is reading a cold -0.25°. The hope of real thaw is on the north coast of Greenland, where Buoy 2014D: is coming in at a toasty +3.02°.  It looks like we have one little melt-water pool forming in the lower, right foreground, but it better hurry up because we are running out of time.

webcam

Our southern camera seems to suggest slush is eroding the fresh snow, and that it is foggy there as well.  I haven’t noticed any up-ticks in “extent” graphs caused by the fresh snow, but the blogger Max™ shared a couple maps I’ll post. The first shows this area as only 60% ice, while the second shows it as having ice six to nine feet thick. It does make me scratch my head and wonder if the satellite is seeing slush as open water. What I really want to do is get some clear weather, so we can study the visible satellite image.

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Extent July 19 cryo_compare_small

Thickness July 19 arcticictnowcast

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Winds shifted from the northwest to the southwest and temperatures rose a little, from -0.1°C at noon yesterday, to +0.7°C at 9:00 AM today. We progressed steadily east, but our southward drift ceased at  84.881°N at (:00 PM last night and we moved back north to 84.893°N, 14.020°E at 9:00 AM.  The barometer dipped to 1011.8 mb  at 3:00 AM and then rose back to 1012.4 mb at 9:00 AM.  It is like a very faint front pushed north.

I’m not sure why the final entry was 9:00 AM, and not noon. Likely someone had better things to do on the weekend than tend to a defunct camera. I hope the sensors didn’t get crunched along with the camera. I find it interesting we are heading east north of Svalbard rather than south to Fram Strait.

JULY 19  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0719B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS   —Sunshine soon?—

Our northern camera is showing some blue sky, but the low scud is keeping the sun fairly dim.  The sun is fairly low up there even in the height of summer. Buoy 2014E: is showing a temperature of +0.13° C, which is just barely a thaw. It really takes some sunshine to get things going.

webcam

Our southern camera has just a hint of blue in the gray overcast, as if the clouds may be thinning. The DMI map above shows the low “Sib” has some cold air in it, so if any clouds wrap around we might see more snow. The thermometer associated with this camera site, on Buoy 2013F: , is actually the only above-freezing reading from the Beaufort Sea, just barely, at + 0.01° C. To the west Buoy 2014C: is coming in at -0.75° C and to the west Buoy 2014B: is coming in at  -0.15° C.

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ANOTHER BUOY BITES THE DUST?

I’ve been relying on Buoy 2014D: to tell me the conditions just off Greenland’s north coast, where a warm up has been occurring, however there is no report this morning, and when I check the temperature graph it looks like a berserk spider took over the data:Berserk 2014D_temp (click to enlarge)

The ice is quite a jumble of pressure ridges up there, and my fear is that the buoy met an untimely end. It is a rough year for ice apparatus

My hope is that the buoy is OK, and the scambled data only means that somebody, somewhere, drank too much beer this weekend.

The weather station at Nort, at the northeast tip of Greenland, reports a balmy 41 degrees this morning. (5 degrees Celsius)

JULY 20  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0720 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720 temp_latest.big (1)

Not much change. “Tev” continues to whirl over the Northwest Passage. Canadian Ice Service maps don’t show much break-up of ice plugging the center of the route. The only adventurers I’ve found look like they are touring the top of Baffin Bay, and haven’t attempted the passage.

“Sib” continues to sit north of Alaska. Warm air north of Greenland is rising, keeping a faint memory of “Thur” alive.  Weak low pressure sprawls across the Atlantic south of Iceland.

The real news is “Scant,” which is what I dubbed the Scandinavian High.  It reaches all the way east to central Siberia, but its core looks like it will back west into the Atlantic, which will continue the wrong-way flow from south-to-north in Fram Strait, and will continue to push ice to the east north of Svalbard.  I’m watching to see if it pushes ice into the Laptev Sea’s open waters, which could cause an uptick on “extent” graphs.

“Scant” also has brought east winds back into the Baltic. The intrusion of Atlantic air I mentioned last week looks like it was short-lived. Nice dry air from Siberia’s summer (utterly different from winter east winds) can filter west. My main question now is whether the winds will turn northeast and come off the cooler Arctic Ocean, as “Scant” shifts west. It looks like “Scant” will persist right through the oncoming week.

I’m puzzled by the patches of sub-freezing temperatures by the northeast corner of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. The Kara Sea shows no sub-freezing temperatures, which is unusual for this summer.

In east Siberia “Art” is reforming, and is liable to swing around and reinforce “Sib” by midweek, moving out towards the Pole. By having them meshing with “Scant”, a flow from Svalbard to the Laptev Sea looks likely.

NEW CAMERAS  —The gray goes on—

Our northern camera shows a bit of ice formed around the edge of the small melt-water pool in the lower right corner. Last year’s North Pole Camera already showed a large melt-water pool by July 20. I recorded the growth of the pool in this post: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/north-pole-ice-melt-watching-the-summer-thaw/

That buoy had drifted down to 85 degrees latitude by then, which means the camera was roughly 200 miles further south. Maybe that explains the lack of pools this year. I’m still expecting to see some grow. This gray weather may be due to south winds and overriding moisture.

webcam

Our southern camera down at 77 degrees latitude is snowing the fresh snow is reverting to melt-water pools. Buoy 2013F: indicates the temperature is + 0.24° C

webcam

Mostly this ice thins from the bottom up, as the spike in the PDO from “cold” to “warm” allows more north Pacific water to invade through Bering Strait and get under the ice. However the ice is fairly thick.  The Navy graph suggests the ice may have thinned as much as six feet in places, yet still is six feet thick. I doubt it. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice, as the heat becomes latent heat in the phase-change. Also the graph from Buoy 2013F: deployed with this camera indicates the ice at this site began thinner than the Navy map led me to believe, (5 feet rather than 10 feet,) but has only melted to down to 4 feet thick.: (Red line is snow atop the ice; blue line is the bottom of the ice.)

Thickness July 20 2013F_thick (click to enlarge)

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

UK Met July 19 16399316 (click to enlarge)

I haven’t checked these maps in a while. The high “Scant” has blocked thing again, making Scandinavia an independent island, and causing a traffic jam in the Atlantic. I’m not sure where that new low south of Greenland came from, so I’ll just call it “Newl”, (for “new low”). It will stall around Iceland as “Thur” did.

The main difference is that there is no Spinthree south of the Baltic Sea adding to the easterly flow.  Spinthree devided, part moving northwest off the coast of Norway, and part fading away east to become part of…..oh heck. I just realized I went dyslexic with the names of my storms. That storm in eastern Siberia is Art, not Thur.  Now I have to go back through this post and correct everything.

********

There.  That’s done. Where was I?  Hmm. I suppose I was just saying the position of “Scant,”  and the east winds over the Baltic, are going to be interesting to watch. If “Scant” moves west Scandinavia could get a more northerly flow off the Arctic Sea.

UPTICK IN SEA-ICE EXTENT

The blogger Max™ pointed out the newest DMI map shows the uptick I was wondering might occur, due to the snowfall over towards Bering Strait.

DMI2 0720 icecover_current_new

This is not to say I’m sure I was right. Perhaps the ice is spreading out into the Laptev Sea, or some other place. However it is interesting to watch, as it may hint at the graph “flat-lining”.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our battered camera is being repaired by polar bears drinking coca cola, but they are not done yet, so you will have to take my word for it. Meanwhile it drifted slowly west and as far north as  84.906°N, before backing off slightly  and winding up at noon at 84.900°N, 14.537°E. Back on June 23rd it was at 85.022°N, 14.599°E. So a months of steady drifting has swirled us around in circles, and we are less than ten miles from where we started.

Not much happened, though we had a 27 hour day, due to the unexplained end of yesterday’s report at 9:00 PM. The temperature and barometer were flat, with the temperature only moving a tenth of a degree all day, from +0.7°C to +0.6°C. and the barometer starting at 1012.4 mb and ending at 1012.3 mb with diurnal quirks in between.

The winds slackened off to around 5 mph. I think this is the calm before the storm, for things look they will get interesting by mid-week.

JULY 20   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0720B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720B temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” remains stalled over the Northwest Passage, though expanding over Baffin island. “Sib” is weaker and quite cold, north of Alaska, and is going to fling “Art” right around in some Fujiwhara dance, as what looks to be a decent storm over the Pole by the end of the week. The meshing of that storm and the high pressure system “Scant” over Scandinavia ought create strong flows in the general direction of the Laptev Sea. Likely the ice extent will lessen at the Atlantic edge but expand at the Laptev edge. How this will all play out in terms of the “Extent” graphs will be interesting to watch.

I am surprised by the amount of sub-freezing air that has appeared on the Pacific side, and also north of the Canadian Archipelago and northeast of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. I suppose warm air rises, but I’ve noticed such cooling before, in the wreckage of dying storms. (That area holds not only  weakening “Sib”, which was cold to begin woth, but also the faint memory of “Thur”.)  To try to study in greater detail I turned to the Gem model, which Dr. Ryan Maue makes available at the Weatherbell site.  The same maps as above look like this:

DMI2 0720B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0720B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

(As with the DMI maps, you can click these maps to enlarge them, but these maps can be clicked a second time to enlarge them further.)

I’m not sure that seeing in greater detail increases my understanding, but it does increase my wonder. The remains of “Thur” can be seen to be three seperate swirls, each with sub swirls. (Would you expect less from a former hurricane?)

The Canadian temperature map is always colder than others, but it shows the cold isn’t drawn from some place else. The cold is created (or the heat is lost) in a home-grown manner, by the arctic itself. I’m always reading about 24-hour-sunshine and albedo and melt-water pools, as if the arctic summer is nothing but warming, warming, warming. However here we see some cooling is going on. Why doesn’t anyone write about that? Oh…I just did.

NEW CAMERAS  —Struggling to thaw—

Our northern camera shows the struggle to thaw continues. The temperature graph shows we dropped below freezing for much of the day, and have only just struggled back to zero. This is no way to  run a thaw. However the temperature further south towards our crunched camera is up to +0.64° C at Buoy 2014E:, so perhaps some mildness is working north.

That black crack to the right and behind the yellow “cork” looks less obvious, as if there might have been some sleet blurring the sharpness of the details. Either that, or the ice shifted a little.  I imagine it could start shifting more and even break up by mid week.  Stay Tuned!!!

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Our southern camera, which seemed to be seeing the thaw nicely underway, is now experiencing a refreeze. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting a temperature of  -0.44° C, and the melt-water pools are taking on that milky look they get when they skim over with ice.

Again, this is one heck of a way of running a thaw. I want my money back. How am I get fat and lazy, sitting around watching ice melt, if the darn stuff keeps refreezing? I’m losing weight!

(Actually a lot of melting has occurred, this far south. Back when the winter snow first melted off the camera lens, at the end of April, the deep snow was up to where the yellow turns to black towards the top of the buoy in the distance.  If it is a buoy. It might be a robot, you know. Several groups deployed things at this site, and maybe they all assumed the robot was another group’s object.  Actually it might be a probe from the planet Kal-zeediff, sent to earth to try to figure out what we Earthlings are doing, out on the arctic ice.  They are all scratching their heads at their mission control, as we make no sense to them. Many have concluded arctic sea ice is a religion to Earthlings. (hmm….) )

 webcam

CFS V2 GRAPH MODERATES ITS TONE

Extent CFS July 20 sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The CFS V2 Model is backing off its shocking prediction of there being above-normal sea-ice at the minimum in September. (It has also stopped predicting a “super El Nino,” and is now predicting a more modest El Nino Modoki, which is bad news for my neck of the woods, as it may give us a winter like 1976-1977.)  Rather than a minimum of over 7 million km2, it is predicting 6.4, and rather than 0.70 million km2 above normal it is only predicting 0.15. Still, for ice to be above normal would cause the “Death-spiral” crowd to sulk for at least six months, though hope would bloom eternal for them by next spring.

Why would anyone root for a “Death Spiral”? When I look back to my youth, I think normalcy was quite unattractive. Normalcy meant I’d have to get a real job, but if the world was coming to an end, working for a pension was like brushing your teeth on the steps to the gallows. It made no sense. That is why my friends now have pensions and I will be working until I drop. However, what the heck. I took my retirement when I was young and could enjoy it.

JULY 21  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0721 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0721 temp_latest.big (1)

“”Tev” is moving into Baffin Bay, likely giving gloomy weather for the sailors thinking of attempting the Northwest passage. Quite a gale is heading north where air is squeezed against the west coast of Greenland. This may push mild, uplifting air into the Canadian Archipelago and promote low pressure up that way, and even some Chinook warming where the air sinks down to the Arctic Sea.  Buoy 2012G: is coming in at a mild + 0.96°C there.

“Sib” is swinging a revived “Art” across Bering Strait, incorperating some Pacific juice and likely pushing sea-ice away from the coast of Alaska, where Barrow was showing sea ice at the shore a couple days ago.  http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

JULY 19  Barrow July 19 screenhunter_1129-jul-19-08-29

JULY 21  Barrow July 21 00_33_44_220_ABCam_20140721_0019 

To get back to the subject, at this point the isobars between the low “Sib” and the high “Scant” are loose and winds are not strong. I expect that to change by Wednesday.

Notice how in the above maps, where noon is towards the top and Alaska is in its afternoon, the sub-freezing temperatures have vanished. They are still reported at a couple buoys, though.  Buoy 2014C: north of Bering Strait at  74.49° N, 149.75° W is coming in at  -0.11° C, and Buoy 2013F: conjunct with our southern camera is coming in at  -0.25° C.

Speaking of those cameras…

NEW CAMERAS   —Gloom persists—

Somewhere some scientists must record how much sunshine and how much cloudiness the Arctic gets. I’d like to see if this summer has been cloudier. I think it has been cloudier, at the scattered places I observe. (Most of the year clear skies make it colder at the Pole, however I’m not sure that is true during high summer. Likely there is debate about the effects, and the effects of high clouds versus low clouds. In any case, I miss the views of turquoise and silver.)

Our northern camera still looks cold. Notice the melt-water pool in the lower right corner has a skim of ice around the edge. Its graph shows temperatures a hair below freezing, and Buoy 2014E: at 86.24° N, 1.06° W (roughly 125 miles towards Fram Strait) is coming in at  -0.08° C.

webcam

Meanwhile the thaw remains on hold at our southern  camera, with the melt-water skimming over with ice:

webcam

SAILOR TRAPPED IN SEA ICE IS RESCUED

Some of the best information about sea-ice comes from adventurers in the north. It doesn’t matter if they are Skeptics or Alarmists, their cameras tend to hint at actual conditions. This fellow got trapped in sea-ice north of Barrow, trying to sneak through the ice that os pressed against the coast there, and find a way to open water to the east. After ten days the coast guard broke through 40 miles of ice to get the guy.  Full story: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=124426&refre=y&ntid=0&rid=4

Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl trapped1Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl under tow1

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

We continued to drift slowly south, but our eastward drift ceased at 14.665°E at 9:00 PM last night, and we have slipped back west, finishing the day at 84.842°N, 14.542°E. Temperatures hit their high of +0.7°C at 3:00 PM, and have trended downwards in the northeast wind, winding up at +0.2°C. The barometer has continued flat, finishing at 1012.1 mb at noon, and the light breeze has been in the 5-10 mph range.  A rather quiet and boring day.

NO DMI MAPS, SO I’LL SUBSTITUTE MAUE MAPS

DMI2 0721B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0721B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

These maps are created by Dr. Ryan Maue out of data from the Canadian “JEM” model. You can see them and thousands more at the Weatherbell site. (Free week’s trial available.) Remember the Canadian tends to read colder than the Danish maps.

I have to run to a meeting soon, but hopefully can comment later.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera looks gray and dull. Maybe the ice at the edge of the melt-water pool in the lower right has melted back just an inch.  It’s hard to get excited about that.

webcam

It looks like the melt-water pools have frozen over, with just a dust of snow on the ice, at our southern camera. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.66° C. Further west, north of the Bering Strait,   Buoy 2014B: is coming in at -0.41°C, while to the east   Buoy 2014C comes in at -1.46°C. The Beaufort Sea is cold.

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JULY 22  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0722 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is weakening in northwest Hudson Bay, but not before bringing some mild air up into Baffin Bay, As weakening “Sib” swings “Art” around and over the Pole, it may tap into that milder air, and also mild air inland in Alaska,  The Beaufort Sea has warmed today, and the Canadian Archipelago is milder than it has been. Interestingly, one of the colder places up there is northeast of Greenland, in south winds. I haven’t a clue what the “source region” for that cold air is  I suppose it must be Greenland’s icecap, but when air descends 10,000 feet usually a Chinook effect kicks in and it is mild.  I have more learning to do.

There is only a few day window when “Art” will blow ice into the Laptev Sea, according to the changing models. Now it looks like “Art” will swing the winds around, and be blowing the ice the other way by Friday. So the the “extent” graph may have up-ticks and dips. At the moment it has such a big up-tick that some are saying the satellite must  be faulty:

DMI2 0722 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Clearing skies?—

It doesn’t look like the thaw has quite resumed yet, at our northern camera, though it seems it should, as “Art” brings south winds as it approaches.  However it is still -0.45° C at Buoy 2014E: .  Also the little pool in the lower right of the picture still has ice around its edge.

webcam

At our southern camera temperatures have risen above freezing. Our conjunct  Buoy 2013F: is reading + 0.12° C, and other nearby buoys are above freezing as well. Partly this is due to  the fact we are far enough south, at 77 degrees latitude, for the sun to be higher at noon and a slight diurnal variation to kick in, however I think the passage of “Art” may have also stirred up  the air; broken the inversion and brought milder air down from above.  Mild air may have been transported in as well. We’ll see if temperatures stay up as the sun dips toward the horizon at midnight.

Though “Art” has passed right over this area I see no fresh snow, so it must be a fairly dry storm. It still looks cold, but I now expect thawing to resume. The sky looks blue in the upper right, and sunshine would speed up the melt.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Changing conditions made for an interesting day. the winds shifted from generally northeast and light to southwest and stronger, (from less than 5 mph to  more than 14 mph), and as a consequence our westward movement stopped at 14.507°E at 3:00 PM yesterday and our southward movement stopped at midnight at 84.826°N, and we picked up speed north and east, finishing the day at 84.841°N, 14.854°E.

Temperatures dipped to a low of -1.1°C at 3:00 AM but then rebounded to +1.3°C. The barometer crested at 1014.6 mb at 6:00 Am but then fell to 1013.1 mb by noon.

We may be in for a bit of a blow.

JULY 22 —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0722B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722B temp_latest.big (1)

With “Newl” stalled south of Iceland and “Tev” stalled south of Baffin Island, the big players at center stage are the storm “Art” approaching the Pole from Canada and the high pressure “Scant” probing toward the Pole from Norway. The flow between them woll shift, and be worth watching.

The warm air over Scandinavia seems like it will just sit and stagnate, but the blonds on Baltic beaches will not call stagnation a bad thing.  I’m not sure why “Scant” isn’t pumping warm air up over the Pole, and should likely look at the UK Met.

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

Not much help here, for the min thing I see is stagnation.  Compare today’s map with Friday’s forecast map, and little has budged.

UK Met July 22 16478277UK Met July 22 Fri forecast 16485096

“Newl” just fades away southwest of Iceland. “Tev” and family whirl away, stalled off Newfoundland’s north coast. A newcomer to the lower left, “Newc”, gets half way across the  Atlantic, and then it too stalls. Th fronts back up off Great Britain, west into the Atlantic as “Scant” sits happily atop Scandinavia. Some mild air must be leaking north, but north of Scandinavia it looks like west winds keep Atlantic air from rushing north.

NEW CAMERAS 

Our northern camera is still gray, and it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred, though wisps of passing fog suggest some milder air is about.

The small melt-water pool in the lower right may now be open, but the ice around the edge is whiter, as if it has been peppered by sleet a some point.

There are pockets of cold air around. Buoy 2014E: is reporting in at  -0.57°C.

webcam

Our southern buoy is still refusing to thaw even enough to get us back to where we were ten days ago. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.65° C.  I think it may have been warmer earlier, and opened the ice to the right of the largest melt-water pool, but it also looks like we’ve had another dusting of snow.

webcam

The hint of blue sky in this picture was gone the next time the camera updated (around every ten minutes.) I can never remember a summer when the camera so often showed a gray world up there.

INSOMNIA REPORT   —Snow at southern camera—

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JULY 23  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0723 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723 temp_latest.big (1)

“Scant” remains strong high pressure over Scandinavia, as “Art” is a 987 mb low north of Canada. A decent southwest flow over the North Atlantic is trying to bring warmth north, and has reached Svalbard, but it seems it will not get far north of there before being turned southeast towards western Siberia. The current flow into the Laptev Sea will rotate clockwise into the Kara Sea an then Barents Sea.

Noon is at the top of the above maps and midnight at the bottom. Despite the night, note how mild it is in the Gulf of Bothnia, an despite the day, note that there are still sub-freezing temperatures off the North Slope of Alaska.

Models suggest the status-quo, with Scant and Art, will fade away by the weekend. Interestingly, a new storm looks likely to aim for h Pole. The question is whether it will head north from Siberia, or the North Atlantic, or both.

Models also show temperatures over the Beaufort Gyre remaining below normal.

FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0723 icecover_current_new

NEW CAMERAS  

The nearby buoys haven’t updated this morning, but neither view shows evidence of thawing. The temperature graphs show temperatures right at freezing.

Remember we are at the height of the thaw. Last year the North Pole Camera showed that splendid melt-water pool called “Lake North Pole.”

webcam

webcam

CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

In the past 24 hours our blind squirrel searched for the nut mostly to the east, getting as far north as 84.874°N at 6:00 AM, before veering a little south and ending the day at 84.867°N, 16.175°E. We are about halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, at a longitude roughly a third of the way across the top of Svalbard. Only in 2006 has a North Pole Camera wandered so far east.

We ended yesterday with temperatures at +1.3°C, holding the promise of thawing, but the 3:00 PM report came in with temperatures back to zero. Temperatures were just above zero until after midnight, when they fell below zero and were at  -0.3°C at 6:00 Am, winding up at -0.1°C at noon.

The breeze was quite fresh during the the start if the period, up around 18 mph, but gradually slackened off to 9 mph at noon.  The barometer steadily fell to 1001.5 mb.

JULY 23  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0723B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” approaching the Pole and king-of-the-world status, as “Scant” remain comfortably parked over Scandinavia.  Sub-freezing pocket over towards Bering Stait and back into the Kar Sea, but oddly none shows in the vincinity of our North Pole Camera, though it was reporting -0.1°C at the time this map is suppose to show.  (You can see the tendril of cold air from St. Nort in Greenland to the vicinity of our crunched camera.)

Not a terribly cold map, but definitely not a warm one either.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera shows a situation that is basically unchanged.

webcam

The southern view shows the melt-water pools are definitely refrozen, which is note worthy at the height of the melt-season.  However I can’t comment further, as a big thunderstorm is approaching this obscure corner of a big planet.

webcam

JULY 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0724 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening up over the Pole, bit will continue to mill around up there into the weekend. (It will have various part and pieces, but I haven’t he time to name them all.) Meanwhile “Scant” continues to give Scandinavia mild weather, but it too will weaken, and there are hints that a weak low over the Baltic will tun into a home-grown storm at the start if next week, moving north into the Arctic to reinforce the remains of “Art.”

The warmth in Scandinavia can’t make it up to the Pole, as it is bent east. The Pole has a rough zonal flow, (albeit backwards from a textbook polar high pressure,) and is keeping its cold air.  A pocket of sub-freezing exits even in the afternoon, towards our southern camera north of Alaska. The northern parts of the Kara Se are sub-freezing again as well.

Thee is still plenty of time for a thaw, but the temperatures usually are just passing their peak by now. We are just touching normal, in our DMI graph of temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude, for the first time all summer. (We did this last year as well, twice, before the early and abrupt plunge in August.)

DMI2 0724 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

It is interesting to compare this graph with the graph from 1979, when a far colder winter led to a much milder melt-season, that extended into the fall.

DMI2 0724 meanT_1979  (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Blue skies at last!—

For some reason the army mass-balance site isn’t updating its buoy data, but judging from the graphs attached to our cameras at the O-buoy sites, both of our sites are experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. This is no way to run a thaw, but the sunshine might get the thaw back on track, during the short time we have left before the refreeze.

webcamwebcam

FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0724 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHEN LOOKING AT DMI TEMPERATURE GRAPH

The DMI temperatures-north-of-80-degrees-latitude graph, which finally, finally, finally made it briefly to normal, only measures temperatures north of 80 degrees.  If you look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s representation of the Canadian “JEM” model initial run, (available at Weatherbell; one week free trial,) you notice the heart of the current cold over the Arctic Ocean is located south  of 80 degrees. (80 degrees is the circle of latitude that just clips northern Greenland.)

DMI2 0724B cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (Double click to enlarge fully.)

JULY 24  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0724B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS VIEW  —This is more like it!—

The northern Camera has an ice-bow in the sky. Some slight thawing appears to be starting in the nonstop sunshine.

webcam The southern view is also sunny, but with little sign of thawing yet.

webcam

temperature-1week

 

For some reason the Army mass-balance temperature data for various buoys has been off-line since July 22, so I am resorting to the temperature graphs attached to the O-buoys to get a feel for the cold pool over the Beaufort Sea. The above shows our southern camera keeps seeing temperatures dip below freezing.

I wonder, in a worry wart sort of way, if having a system off-line screws up the initial runs of various computer models.  After all, they have limited observations on the surface to begin with, and to some degree have to fill in the blank areas between. If they don’t get the data, or, far worse, keep receiving data from July  22 long after the fact, then they foll-in-the-blanks incorrectly.

I was wondering this because the Canadian “JEM” model keeps showing sub-freezing temperatures persist over the Beaufort Sea, especially towards the edge of the ice where you’d think it would be warmer. I am a Doubting Thomas, at times. This graph reassures me that, for he time being at least, no computer glitch is involved.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our heap of junk experienced a lull, as winds dropped to nearly calm conditions. Our westward motion ceased at 16.271°E at midnight, and at the end of the 21-hour period we has floated back to 84.860°N, 16.172°E. (For some reason the final repoert was from 9:00 AM and not noon.)

Temperatures rose from just below freezing to +1.4°C at 9:00 AM. The pressure fell to 1000.2 mb at 6:00 AM and then rose to 1001.2 mb at 9:00 AM. Down here, halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, temperatures are back to normal an the thaw has resumed.

JULY 25  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0725 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening and filling in over the Pole, as “Scant” weakens over Scandinavia and the North Atlantic.  Sub-freezing temperatures have reappeared in the eastern Kara Sea, even as a low moves up that way from the hot Steppes to the south. (I’ll call that low “Stepper”).

I’m watching the Baltic Sea to see if a low develops there, and watching the Pole to see if the in-filling of “Art” creates cold, as some storms do when the weaken and fade up in the arctic.

(I just checked the models, and the Baltic storm seems to have vanished from the “solutions,” at least until next week.)

NEW CAMERAS  

The northern camera continues to show the views of turquoise and silver I come to Pole to see, when the desire to escape reality hits me.

webcam

Despite the bright sun it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred yet.

To the south, clouds have returned to our southern camera, which suggests warmer air is moving in aloft, though the surface remains just below freezing.

webcam

CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

Our pathos continued south in a serpentine fashion, first moving east to 16.038°E at 6:00 PM, then west to 16.097°E at midnight, and then east to finish the 24 hour period at 84.806°N, 16.033°E at 9:00 AM.

Winds were light until after midnight, when the breeze began to pick up, especially at the last report at 9:00 AM when the breeze had stiffened to over 15 mph.

The temperature yo-yoed through some surprising antics, bouncing up to +2.0°C at 3:00 PM, sinking to  -0.1°C at 3:00 AM, bouncing back up to +0.5°C at 6:00 AM, and then sinking back to zero again at 9:00 AM.

Pressures bottomed out at 1000.6 mb at 3:00 AM, and then rose as “Art” weakened to the north, up to 1007.5 mb.

JULY 25  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0725B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” continues to weaken over the Pole, as “Scant” remains parked over Scandinavia. “Stepper” is moving up towards the boundary between the Kara and Laptev Seas. As it embarks towards top-of-the-world status its warm south winds will be over the ice-free Laptev Sea, as its colder north winds will blow down into the more icy Kara Sea. Sometimes storms like to use preexisting boundaries.

The subfreezing air is obvious up towards midnight and the Bering Strait. Despite the fact much of it is south of 80 degrees, the air over the Pole, while above freezing and officially a “thaw,” is below normal:

DMI2 0725B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

JULY 26 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0726 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726 temp_latest.big (1)

Though the temperature map shows subfreezing have vanished at the top of the map, (where it is noon), the Canadian JEM map shows it colder up there, and still below freezing at places. (Our Camera in the Beaufort Sea shows no thaw.)

The innocuous, unnamed low over Svalbard may be hinting at a new storm track over the top of “Scant,” which now looks like it will retreat southeast, allowing Atlantic storms to start clipping the top of Scandinavia by midweek.

NEW CAMERAS  —Thaw on hold—

This is the sort of beautiful view I like to escape to, when life gets hard. (And it is a bit hard now, as I’m facing two separate funerals.) However there is no sign of thawing, despite the bright sun, and the temperature graph at the northern camera shows temperatures below freezing and sinking.

webcam

temperature-1week

 

The southern camera shows a grayer view with light fog, which suggests milder air may be trying to press north, but the frozen melt-water pool shows the thaw hasn’t set in yet, and the temperature graph attached to the camera shows temperatures remain just a hair below freezing. (Temperatures from the Army Buoys remain off-line.)

webcam

temperature-1week

(You can click these pictures and graphs to get clearer images)

RE-RE-RE-RE-READJUSTED CFS V2 FORECASTS

The model has now completely backed off its formerly dramatic forecast of above-average ice extent this September, but is still saying it will be normal, which is a far cry from a “Death Spiral.” It is now forecasting a minimum of 6.3 million km2, as opposed to my out-on-a-limb forecast of 6.1 million, which is far above more expert forecasts of 4 to 5 million, which is far above “an ice-free-Pole”.

Extent cfsv2 July 26 sieMon (click twice to fully enlarge)

A QUICK LOOK AT CANADIAN “JEM” MODEL’S VIEW OF ARCTIC COLD

These maps are produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site. Besides the “JEM” model you can see many other models. Besides the maps I show (initial and 12 hours from now,) there are maps of foretasted temperatures out to 240 hours from now. So that is 26 maps right there. Then there are maps for other things the “JEM” model considers, such as pressure, humidity, and stuff I don’t claim to understand, such as “500 hPa Wind Speed & Geopotential Height”.  There are 22 things to look at. So now you have over 400 maps to look at.  And that’s just the “JEM” model. there are around 40 models, or versions of models, to look at, so we are now up over 2000 maps. So be forewarned. You have to practice self control, or you will get lost at that site, and may never be seen again. (You can sign up for a week-ling trial offer.)

The first map is the initial 1200z run, which has noon at the top of the map. Above freezing is pale blue and below freezing is pink. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit. You click these maps once to enlarge them, and click them a second time to enlarge them further.

What I notice about the first map is how much below freezing air has moved north of 80  degrees (which is the circle that just clips northern Greenland.)  The DMI graph may show a further down-tick.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_1

The next map shows the temperatures 12 hours later, when noon has moved (clockwise) to the bottom of the map, and midnight is at the top. You can see how much colder the ice has become towards Bering Strait. This is no way to run a thaw.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_3

(I don’t know why they can’t fix the glitch that has all the 9’s and 0’s on the left side of the map. I’ve learned to ignore it.)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

The ice our junkpile rides upon continued its disconcerting shifts and changes of direction. It moved west to 15.912°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, and then started east, and it headed south to 84.741°N at midnight, then shifted north to 84.754°N at 6:00 AM, and then was nudged south, ending the 24-hour-period at 84.750°N, 16.606°E.

Temperatures followed similar antics, falling to -0.2°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, rising to +0.7°C at midnight, and then falling to -0.3°C at 9:00 AM.

The breezes were steady and brisk at first, around 15 mph yesterday before slacking off to 8 mph around midnight and then picking up to 13 mph at the end of our reports.  As the wind slackened the pressure peaked at 1009.5 mb, and then began to fall to 1008.4mb as the winds resumed. However the winds never really slacked off, as they do when a high pressure crests overhead.

JULY 26 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0726B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726B temp_latest.big (1)

Polar low and Scandinavian high, Art and Scant, do not want to leave the stage.

The increase in sub-freezing temperatures, though partly due to night falling on the Bering Strait side of the Pole, also seems to be a home-grown chill, as there is no other place the cold can come from.

NEW CAMERAS  —clouds return—

I am watching the crack behind the yellow cork with interest. Does it seem wider to you? I went and checked out the satellite view of this spot, and the ice this far north looks much more unbroken than the ice down by our crushed camera, which appears amazingly fragmented and pulverized, though all the bergs are tightly packed together. Up here I could see no cracks from the satellite, tough our camera sees them.

Temperatures remain below freezing.

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Not much change at the southern camera. Less foggy; higher ceiling; pressure rising.

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JULY 27  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0727 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0727 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” remains stubborn over the Pole, refusing to weaken as much as forecast, however the influence of “Stepper” over the western Kara Sea is converting the circumpolar circulation into a trough poking north from Asia. Some milder air is being drawn north in the Laptev Sea, and any ice that was pulled down into the Laptev Sea last week is now being blown out, which likely will reduce the “extent” graphs.

The real news is that “Scant” is fading southeast towards Poland, allowing weak low pressure to form along the north coast of Scandinavia. A new storm barely visible off the south tip of Greenland should be passing Iceland by Tuesday and start effecting Norway Wednesday. Rather than stalling in the middle of the Atlantic, as most storms have done all summer, this storm looks like it will continue across the northern tip of Norway, and continue on northeast, perhaps reaching the Pole itself next  weekend. I am going to dub this low pressure “Gus.” (For “August.”) It will briefly bring southwest, Atlantic winds to Scandinavia. Then likely winds will again turn to the east, as high pressure builds in the wake of “Gus”, however whether the old pattern will reestablish itself, or whether “Gus” is the harbinger of a new pattern, remains to be seen.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE UK MET

It is amazing how stalled the situation has been, since we last looked on July 20.  The front over Great Britain is the same front, though it did back west of Ireland for a while. The low “Newl” took all week to get to the lower left-center margin of the map. The high pressure “Scant” has stood stubborn over Scandinavia.  The occluded front over the Baltic is basically a home-grown folding of the atmosphere (which some models thought might become an interesting storm, but it didn’t).  The new fellow on the map is “Gus,” off southern Greenland, roughly where “Newl” was a week ago.

INITIAL MAP:       UK Met July 27 16627671 

When we look ahead to the forecast for Wednesday, we see “Gus” didn’t get stuck like “Newl” did, and is off the coast of Norway.  (Summer will not last forever.)

1300 WED MAP:UK Met July 27 Wed Forecast 16633805 

NEW CAMERAS  —Fresh snowfall at Pole—

Please remember, folks, what we were told. We were told that a significant decrease of ice would increase the amount of darker open-water, which would absorb more heat and melt more ice, creating a “Death Spiral” which could very well lead to an ice-free Pole by 2013. And what are we seeing instead? We are seeing snowfall at the height of the summer thaw-season.  Nothing, I repeat, nothing, reflects solar radiation better than freshly fallen snow.

webcam

Looking at our southern camera, it looks to me like, after the warmest part of the day down at 77 degrees latitude, the ice on top of the melt-water pool in the lower right may be melting a little. However there isn’t suppose to be any ice on top of those puddles. They are suppose to be expanding and achieving “Lake North Pole” status.

webcam

There is still enough time left in the thaw season to get some decent melt-water pools going, however we are running out of time and are past the point when temperatures at the Pole begin a gradual descent towards freezing. If you bet your last dollar on the Pole being ice-free by the summer of 2013, I’d say things look very grim for you. In fact it looks to me like I should tempt fate by starting a new post titled “The Death Spiral’s Debunking”.

MORE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT (2 hours later)

webcam

It looks more like May than July, up there.  Compare it to last summer:  “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES  Oh well, maybe we’ll get some melt-water tomorrow.

I will continue this post with a bit of a rave at, ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Death Spiral’s Debunking—