LOCAL VIEW —THANKSGIVING STORM APPROACHES— updated with afterward

This is a quick insomnia report, to show maps of the storm #5’s development, and also to express amazement that anyone would have the sheer audacity to forecast snow, when it only got down to 39 last night (as of 4:00 AM) and is still 46 in Boston.  In fact it is only recently that the radar started to show snow at the northwest edge of the rain.

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If I was a suspicious fellow, I might suspect the fellows over at the weather bureau were pulling our legs.  After all, it likely gets boring looking at isobars all the time. Maybe they decided to cause general panic and hysteria throughout the east coast just for the fun of it, and now are sniggering up their sleeves.  It wouldn’t be the first time.

20141126A satsfc (click maps to enlarge)

I’ll update later, after I’m done hysterically panicking.

UPDATE–8:00 AM EST

Storm is deepening over South Carolina. Watch to see if the following second low over Florida persists. A strung-out storm is weaker.

Temperature here has dropped 4 degrees to 36 in 4 hours. Alto stratus with some high scud indicating falling rain, from west. Radar shows rain here, but it isn’t reaching the ground. Pressure in Manchester 30.19 Hg and falling. In Jaffrey 30.16 Hg.

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UPDATE  —2:00 PM—  Storm is here.

The first flakes started falling at 8:30 AM. There was no rain.  I went and picked some wild cranberries with one of the older boys.  The bright berries contrasted nicely with the purple-green foliage and the white snow.  Then we dug the final row of potatoes, plus some scattered onions and carrots that remained, from the frozen and then re-thawed soil, which was very muddy. I wore yellow raingear which soon was covered with briwn slush.

In the yard a boy built a snowman as the snow swiftly mounted up to over two inches. The snowman was a bit muddy as well. Parents came early to pick up their kids. Now only a single child remains.

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Temperatures down to 34 Manchester, 32 Jaffrey.  Pressures still fairly high, at 30.11 Manchester and 30.07 Jaffrey.

UPDATE  —7:00 PM—in for keeps—   (not posted until 9:00 AM)

Temperatures down to 32 at Manchester and 30 at Jaffrey.  Can’t check pressures, as we have just lost our internet connection. but at 6:00 Manchester was down to 29.89 and Jaffrey was down to 29.87.

I’ve saved the maps but can’t access them at the moment. Nor can I post this, so why am I writing?  Life is such a mystery at times!

At least we still have power, though the lights keep blinking. The snow is so sticky that all the electrical wires look as thick as a man’s thigh, like long white noodles.

My last outdoor job was to snow-blow the Childcare drive so the last,  lone child and single member of the staff could leave. We had around five inches then, at 5:00, and have aound seven now, at 7:00.  The drive home was a creeping crawl. Coming down the steep hill into town I saw a policeman pushing a car with spinning tires up the hill, well away from his cruiser and its flashing blue lights.  You don’t see that every day.

Now I’m home and there are very few things that could pry me from my chair and out the door again.

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FINAL UPDATE  —AFTERWARDS—

We received a total of a foot, tapering off to light snow by midnight. Winds remained fairly light and the pressure never got below 29.85. Temperatures remained mild, and this morning it is at 34 in Manchester to our east and 28 in Jaffrey to our west. The snow was very sticky, and all the trees are burdened and stooped, especially the evergreens, which barely show any green at all, and resemble big blobs of white. Everwhites, perhaps, or that is what they will be until the wind picks up. 

I’ve been out shoveling this morning, to prove to my sons that the old man is tougher than he appears, and to make them feel guilty for sleeping late.  The snow was fairly light until I got to the pile the plow made by the road. Then I spent a lot of time leaning on my shovel, except for a brief time shoveling vigorously because a car was passing, and I wanted to keep my reputation.  I used to have the reputation of being “hale”,  but now I think I’m called “spry.”  I’m not sure I like the demotion.

I’m not sure when we got our internet connection back. One of my sons rebooted the computer, and there it was.  I went to look at my favorite blogs, and at Weatherbell saw Joseph D’Aleo claim places had two feet of snow. We usually get the most, because we face the east in these hills, and I doubted very much that Flatlanders down in the cities could get two feet, when we only got a fluffy foot that settled to ten inches by morning.  I thought this might be one of those rare occasions where I’m right and Mr. D’Aleo is wrong, but then I’ll be darned if he didn’t go and offer photographic proof:

TWO_FEET

In Canada that would be “61 cm of snow fell this morning,” and the joke would make no sense. Nor do we make sense for celebrating Thanksgiving five weeks too late.

http://www.insidehalton.com/whatson-story/4923662-10-reasons-why-canadian-thanksgiving-is-better-than-american-thanksgiving/

Be that as it may, thanks for visiting and HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Oh, I nearly forgot the Afterward maps: (Note the new lake-effect snows, and the small storm being whisked south of us.)

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CALGARY, PREPARE FOR EXTREME COLD!

I was looking “upstream,” for hints at what the weather will be like downstream, here in New Hampshire, after our Thanksgiving snowstorm, and I came across this Dr. Ryan Maue map at the Weatherbell site. It is an anomaly map, showing if temperatures are above or below normal, and shows the conditions 90 hours from now, on Saturday.

The map shows it will be a little below normal round here, in the fading north winds after our Thanksgiving storm, but then I look northwest to western Canada…

Yikes!  That light purple is temperatures more than 50 degrees below normal, Fahrenheit. In actual fact the coldest spots are off the color-code key to the right of the map, which only goes as low as 50 below normal.  If you look at the small writing at the upper right, you see the lowest is actually -63.6 of normal.  Double Yikes! (Click maps, or open-to-new-tab, to clarify and enlarge.)

Calgary cold Nov 25 gfs_t2m_anomf_noram_16

In terms of actual temperatures, it looks like the core of that cold will touch -50, but Calgary may be to the edge and “only” get to -23. (-31 Celsius.)

Calgary cold Nov 25 gfs_t2m_noram_31

 

They can keep that stuff up there, as far I’m concerned. For heaven’s sake! It isn’t even December yet!

My hope is that the cold clashes with the above normal air to the south, and brews up a big west-coast gale. Some models are showing California getting some needed rain as a storm hits them at the end of the weekend. If that storm would only suck in the cold, and swirl it around with Pacific air, it would be much milder when it came east.

LOCAL VIEW —THANKSGIVING SNOW? MILD AT THE MOMENT—

Quite a lovely rush of mild air swept over us yesterday, after the day began with a cold rain and temperatures down close to freezing. I didn’t mind the chill as I’d picked my smoked bacon and ham up, at the slaughterhouse in Troy, and was using the back of my truck as a sort of refrigerator, because the refrigerator in the house is crammed with stuff for Thanksgiving.

It was 36 when I drove the 6 five-year-olds to kindergarten, and then I went home to test out the fresh bacon for breakfast.  It was delicious, but then the after-effects of insomnia hit, and even though I had a ton to do I lay down to listen the lulling drumming of rain on the roof, and the next thing I knew it was over an hour later and the low sun was beaming through the window into my eyes. I headed into the cool kitchen for a second coffee, and stepped out onto the porch, and it was ten degrees warmer outside than inside.  (62 versus 52) (17 vs.11 Celsius) A warm front had swept north and past us.

It was hard to take the winter storm watches seriously when the kind wind was ruffling fingers through my hair, but I managed to potter about, putting the smoked meat from the back of the now too-warm pick-up into the freezer, getting some late carrots from the thawing soil in the frozen garden, dismantling the box I built in the back of my truck when I moved the pigs, moving the lumber into the stall to repair the goats stables with, instructing the fellow who came by to tow off my youngest son’s car to the shop to be fixed, loading the porch with firewood, all the while in a dreamy mood due to the mildness.

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Even after dark it stayed mild. The family is starting to gather for Thanksgiving, and we had a fresh ham for dinner with six adults and a baby at the table. (I never seem to get to enjoy much empty-nest-syndrome.) A lot a talk was about the coming storm, even as we were in T shirts due to the heat from the oven and the nearly completely closed-up wood-stove (which has had the same fire burning in it since mid-October.) I checked the computer and saw that at the Weatherbell site Joe Bastardi had noted the NAM model had upped the snow amounts:

Thkz3 Screen_shot_2014_11_24_at_9_40_56_PM

Now I’m up at 2:00 AM with my typical insomnia, and it is still mild, with hazy starlight. It is nearly impossible to imagine that in 24 hours it is suppose to be snowing heavily.  It is 57 out, (14 Celsius) and 64 (18 Celsius) down in Fitchburg, a half hour south of here in Massachusetts. The cold front won’t get here until around daybreak. Even though I can see the backlash snow well west of here, north of Chicago on the radar, and can see the first hint of low pressure down in South Carolina,  it is hard to think the storm won’t be rain.

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Considering worry is something I am all too good at, it seems odd I am doing such a bad job of it.

The mildness has chased the snow-cover north, and it has retreated greatly from its record-setting levels of only five days ago, when it was just north of here and clear down to Texas. However the west side of Hudson Bay is freezing up swiftly. The warmth never got up that far.

Snowcover 20141125 ims2014328_usa

 

LOCAL VIEW —VAPORS OF MY MIND—

I’m starting the week with up-at-1:00 -AM insomnia.  I might as well check out some maps.

It is still too early for the latest computer models, but the most recent runs continue to fuel the frenzy about a Thanksgiving storm. The GFS has now pulled the storm in closer to the coast.  Here’s the Dr Ryan Maue map from the Weatherbell site, of the GFS forecast for Thanksgiving Eve. (Wednesday night):

Thk 1 gfs_ptype_slp_east_13

(The above map should alert European viewers to the difference in pressures of gales at lower latitudes, when they note the storm is barely below 1000 mb.)

Even the Canadian JEM model is starting to pull the storm closer to the coast, but it seems to now weaken it by having it be two ripples on the front rather than a single gale. I’ve actually seen this happen to a system the media is making a hoopla about.  Everyone is wild-eyed, and the reporters are down on the beaches all ready to report “live shots” of crashing surf and howling winds and smothering snow, and they look ridiculous because there is just a gentle breeze, a few ripples, and a single, wandering snowflake.

The other thing that turns looming storms into jokes is the slight flattening of steering currents that will whisk a storm out to sea. I remember the sheer agony this would cause me as a boy, when I hadn’t done my math homework, and Virginia would get over a foot and up here we’d only get gray skies. The only thing worse was to have a storm veer inland, and change snow to rain.

The devil is in the details. In many ways a forecaster is like a gambler studying the horses, and betting on the odds.  There are countless factors that can throw a forecast off, and what amazes me (besides the fact they even attempt to predict the behavior of chaos) is that they can see a snowstorm when the entire east of the USA is warm and the storm doesn’t even exist.  Joseph D’Aleo admits there are still many possible outcomes, and uses the headline, “Whopper or Wimp?” while Joe Bastardi (so far) has had the good sense to avoid the devilish details, and instead to bask in the glory of having seen this threat coming over a week ago.

Weather geeks are a most merciless group.  Years ago Mr. Bastardi saw a threat in a hurricane when it was way over by Africa, and used the headline, “Houston, We Have A Problem,” and a week later the weather geeks were taking him to task because the storm (Rita?) hit Houston’s suburbs and not downtown. Therefore I wouldn’t blame him one bit if he remains in the safety of the long term, and avoids the specifics of the short term’s devilish details. (Of course, because he loves competition, he’ll be tempted to stick his neck out as the geeks sharpen their axes.)

The thing that amazes me is the fact he saw the threat a week ago.  He calls it “pattern recognition,” but to me it is mysterious, for to me the future that far out is all vapors of worry, and unreal creations of my mind.  The current map looks far too mild to imagine a snowstorm in three days.

I guess we’ll call this mild storm storm #4, though it can’t count as a winter storm.  Yesterday saw it form between an Alberta clipper on the northern branch and a stalled low left behind by a cold front, down in the southern branch’s territory. A large area of rain appeared where none had existed. (Images can be clicked, or openned to a new tab, for larger and clearer views.)

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The maps from this morning’s wee hours shows #4 continuing to mill about out there.  The first cold front, down in Texas, only holds Chinook-warmed Pacific air behind it, but that second cold front, cutting through Iowa and Nebraska and then up to Montana, represents the arctic wolves, and some backlash snow is appearing on the radar behind it.

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Storm #4 is expected to slide northeast through Quebec, between Hudson Bay and the St Lawrence Valley,  and then off Labrador, dragging those arctic wolves south and then east off the USA coast, but even in 48 hours there is little sign of a storm, unless you call the weak low pressure along the rain-front south of Florida a “storm.”

Thx 2 gfs_ptype_slp_east_9

Even at the 48 hour point, 24 hours before the map that began this post, the storm is just vapors, both literally and in terms of imagination. All sorts of wrenches can be thrown into the works that change everything. For example, if you look back at the current maps you can see something brewing off the Carolina coast. That is just the sort of small detail a computer model might miss. If it grew larger than expected it could cause #4 to wobble, and just as a small pebble can cause a huge avalanche, cause-and-effect would lead to cause-and-effect, and the storm for Thanksgiving could vanish completely, except for the sheepish grins on the faces of forecasters, [except for Joe Bastardi’s, (because he only said a storm would be in the news this week, and didn’t give specific details.)]

In any case, though I don’t like to be ruled by the vapors of worry, I should get back to bed. I’ve got a lot to do before snow buries us. However…..I’m not tired. What can I do that will promote sleep?

Hmm. My poetry. It seems to work on everyone else.

VAPORS OF MY MIND

Peeking downwards from the verge
I tire of this edginess
And think I’ll turn away
From my constant fear
Of dying; of rejection; of exposure;
Of what happens anyway
Though I seek to disappear it
Though I cannot grasp or steer it
And it’s gone each time I near it.

Vapors of my mind I think
Are despots of asylum rooms
Which cultivate a thousand dooms
That window box as danger looms
And fight ferocious pansy blooms.

Tapers in my temple wink
An eye lashing of candlelight
And think it foolish that I fight
An escalator’s up-bound flight,
Dashing down with all my might.

Tired of this edginess
I think I’ll turn away
From what seems a sort of suicide
Made of mental, muddled pride.
Instead of flapping I will glide.
Who knows? I might enjoy the ride.

Hmm.  It didn’t work.  I’m not sleepy. Maybe I’ll try eating a big bowl of oatmeal.

LOCAL VIEW —Thanksgiving storms—Calgary and Boston

Temperatures have risen overnight, as we get a brief breather from winter weather. As the cold high pressure sags out to sea to our south milder air is swung north on its west side and east over its top, and it is ten degrees warmer in Northern Vermont than down in Virginia. (41 degrees in Burlington versus 31 in Roanoke.) (+1 vs. -5 Celsius). The radar shows nothing but sprinkles of rain, and no northern snow. It is colder in Washington DC than up in New York and Boston.

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One breathes a sigh of relief in the mild, predawn darkness, but worry wonders where the cold has gone. It obviously is to our south, being warmed by southern landscapes and a the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream, as reinforcements must be gathered to our north up in Canada.

I like to look upstream to Calgary for hints about our future, and yesterday the Blogger Stewart Pid alerted me to a snow event they were seeing pop up on their long-range charts. So I look that way. (I hope this works)

MonNov 24      TueNov 25      WedNov 26    ThuNov 27        FriNov 28
Mainly sunny    Flurries           Snow              Mainly cloudy   Cloudy with sunny breaks
                                  
0°C                  -1°C                 -1°C                -6°C                 -8°C
 2-4 cm            ~20 cm            5-10 cm

That is the forecast for Fernie, up in the Rockies southwest of Calgary. The snow-event is not quite as big as it appeared in yesterday’s forecast, but a possible 34 cm of snow is nothing to ignore, and I can also see their mild weather will be ending.  The reinforcements of  arctic wolves will be heading south.

But will the howling wolves just head south to Texas in the west, as mildness surges north here in the east?  The models are showing a low heading up from the Gulf of Mexico towards the Great Lakes,  and that would seem to keep us on the warm side.  However, just as mild air can surge east over the top of a high, as it is doing this morning, cold air can surge under the bottom of a low, next week.  Too often I’ve watched mild air come towards New Hampshire, only to be lifted off the ground up into an occlusion aloft just before getting here, to count on any real warmth actually arriving.

Also, when a cold, arctic high pressure moves out over the Atlantic, as is happening today, it is sort of like the lid on a pressure cooker. The warm water wants to billow warmth up like a huge hot air balloon into the cold air, but the descending air in the high pressure keeps it clamped down.  It is as if the balloon is tethered down, and then, as the high pressure moves off shore, it is like the tether was chopped with an ax.  Abruptly the air rises and abruptly you have a storm off the coast, just in time for Thanksgiving.

So I go to the Weatherbell site to see what Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps say, and immediately see that, as usual, Joseph D’Aleo is miles ahead of me, and has already done all the work on his blog’s post.  He shows that GEM (Canadian) GFS (American) and ECMWF (European) all see the Thanksgiving storm, but have hugely  different solutions.

The GEM sees the storm slipping harmlessly out to sea.

Thanks 1 cmc_pr6_slp_t850_conus_23
The GFS model sees the storm just brushing us, with perhaps 2 inches of snow.
Thanks 2 gfs_pr3_slp_t850_conus_43
But the ECMWF?  Yikes!  We get clobbered.
Thanks 3 ecmwf_slp_precip_conus2_22(1)
(Click maps, or open them to a new tab, to clarify and enlarge them)
This morning a lazy American weatherman will just click onto the American model, and yawn, and forecast 2 inches of snow near the coast for Thanksgiving. The general public will make travel plans with no idea that the European model is forecasting Boston and New York getting buried by snow amounts like this: (Click to enlarge.)
Thanks 4 ecmwf_tsnow_boston_41(2)
Hopefully this forecast will shrink, as the forecast in Calgary seems to be starting to do. It is a “I’ll have to see it to believe it” forecast.  However, if I were making travel plans, I’d keep it in the back of my mind.

LOCAL VIEW —WAITING FOR WARMTH—Updated

The cold hasn’t yet loosened its grip on us. In fact, despite all the talk of a warm up, it is actually two degrees colder this morning than yesterday. (19 versus 21).  Once again Calgary is milder than the parts of the American southeast, as it is 37 in the dark  before dawn in Calgary, and 29 as the sun rises over the Atlantic in Wilmington North Carolina.

That will change, as the north wind that blew yesterday is swinging around to the south. Below are yesterday evening’s and this morning’s maps. (Click maps, or open them to a new tab, to clarify and enlarge them.) Yesterday’s isobars clearly show a north wind, but today they show the shift to a kinder direction.

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20141122 satsfc

The weak storm drifting across Hudson Bay is bringing modified-by-Chinook Pacific air east. It is the so-called “northern branch.”  The weak low in southwest Texas is the “southern branch.”  We get our big storms when the two branches come together and “phase.”  This isn’t happening right now. Instead we need to draw an imaginary warm front north to south between the two features, bringing some light snow, freezing rain and thawing to the Great Lakes. (I’m sure those snow-buried folk don’t need any  extra weight on their roofs.)

20141122 rad_nat_640x480

We just had a glorious sunrise, with the sun flickering crimson over the bottoms of alto cumulus as it peeked over the horizon. But now I have to go utterly waste my morning attending one of those adult-education classes the state requires of Childcare Professionals. The message of this class seems to be that children benefit from spending time outdoors.  Duh.  Or perhaps I should state that more succinctly:

DUH!

Considering our entire Childcare is based around the premise the outdoors is good for children, it is more likely that I should be teaching this class than taking it.  However….sigh…I need the “hours” of classroom time. And sometimes…(assume John Wayne voice)….a man’s just got to do what a man’s got to do.

UPDATE

As usual, the class wasn’t as bad as I feared. Of course, I can think of 1024 better ways to spend a Saturday morning, (and at my age I  don’t have that many left,) however once I resign myself to the situation, I can find it amusing. For one thing, the classroom held 29 women and myself, the lone man. That alone is great fun.

One thing that is good to note is that the idea that the outdoors is good for kids, which was, for some bizarre reason, “radical” only eight years ago, seems to be gathering momentum. (Sometime I’ll have to write about all the hoops the State made us jump through, to run a Childcare on a farm.)

Had lunch with the staff and drove back from Keene, (over on the west side of Southern New Hampshire) and the short, wintry day, (as short as January 20),  seemed pretty much shot. After a quick catnap, the clouds were already stained with the golden roses of sunset. You have to remind yourself the day is not done.

Headed off to a meeting of church elders. I guess I’m an elder now, though the idea still seems absurd. Some part of me is still a teenager who doesn’t trust anyone over thirty.

For geezers we talk about some pretty intense stuff. It is up to us to hand the Faith to a new generation, however New England has gone from being the “Bible Belt” of the USA in the 1800’s, to being an area where Christianity attracts hostility.

About the only thing retained from the 1800’s is New England’s remarkable prudishness. In the old days it was old fashioned prudishness, but now it involves political correctness. In both cases it is safest to keep your mouth shut, if you are not willing to be a parrot. As usual, I failed to keep my mouth shut.

After the meeting it was dark, but you could feel the change in the weather.  The map shows the wind shifting to the west:

20141122B satsfc

Though they do not draw a warm front on the above map, you can feel the air is moister, and it is attempting to snow, though the precipitation is drying up on its way east.

20141122B rad_ne_640x480

It is striking how subjective we mortals are. In a more ordinary November this evening might have been been after a spell of Indian Summer, with mellow air and temperatures touching sixty, in which case people would be walking hunched, hugging themselves against the chill of an evening with temperatures in the 30’s. However, because it was preceded by a record-setting cold spell, people are more at ease, and walk swinging their arms with their jackets un-zippered.

Our assessments tend to be tainted by yesterday’s skies.

Hmm. I sense a sonnet brewing.

          YESTERDAY’S SKIES
How fickle we are, and how very strange
Are our postures. Although weather’s the same
Our stance is dependent on chance and change.
Yesterday’s skies deserve all shame and blame,
For if, with wind west and air forty, but
The day before bright, balmy, calm and kind,
We walk hunched with jackets hugged shut,
Then that should be the rule, and yet I find
If the day before froze brooks and cracked pines
Then west wind and air forty holds great charms,
And inconsistent people with mad minds
Walk with wide-open coats and swinging arms.
The past isn’t dead when smiles and sighs
Are puppets controlled by yesterday’s skies.

THE UNDULATING SIBERIAN MONSTER

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the sun was still high enough to make Siberia warmer than the Arctic Ocean. Those days are done, and now Siberia is a monster, a sort of dragon with a breath of ice rather than fire. It is a huge expanse of snow, bigger than the lower 48 of the USA, and a large amount of Siberia’s north is above the arctic circle.

Arctic_circle.svg_

Between now and early February the parts north of the Arctic Circle experience no sunshine, right down to the circle on the Solstice, and even south of the circle the sun is so low at noon it has nearly no warming effect, unless a slope faces south. It is a situation where the land is constantly losing heat to outer space.  With no warmth coming from the sun, all warmth must be imported. If warmth isn’t imported, temperatures fall continuously, reaching the coldest levels seen north of Antarctica.  -40 is quite common, and -70 is reached most winters.

Snow-cover greatly increases the ability of this landscape to get cold. This year it was established early, and although it has melted back in the very west of Russia, to the east it has increased south of Russia’s borders.

Snowcover 20141121 ims2014324

At this point the constantly building cold over Siberia becomes a sort of pulsating, undulating amoeba, a blob throwing out huge globules of deadly chill. It pays to keep an eye on this monster, to see where it is aiming its empty-eyed gaze.

Here is the current cold, from the GFS initial run.  (These maps can be clicked or opened to a new tab for better clarity and enlargement.)

Temp Siberia 1121 A gfs_t2m_asia_1

Storms running along the southern boundary of the monster attempt to punch warmth north, as huge storms in the North Pacific sometimes drive milder air up through Bering Strait and attack the northeast. This pressure doesn’t much bother the monster, who merely retracts north and exhales cold over the “warm” ice of the Arctic Sea.  Also the blob-monster can simply undulate west. Look at the map 30 hours from now.

Temp Siberia 1121 B gfs_t2m_asia_11

When the blob-monster bulges west, Europe gets nervous. 60 hours from now a sort of counter attack from the west tries to halt the westward expansion.

Temp Siberia 1121 C gfs_t2m_asia_21

When the blob-monster is halted, attacked from the west and punched in the gut from the south, he just smiles an icy smile and gets colder. The pink area in the above map in central Siberia shows temperatures dropping below minus 40 (which is a great temperature, as it is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius).

The final map is 90 hours from now (after which the GFS model has been no good, lately.)

Temp Siberia 1121 D gfs_t2m_asia_31

This map shows a victory for Europe, as it shoves the blob-monster east.  However the victory is selfish, and shows they don’t think much of the USA, as a lot of cold pours north over the Pole. However look to the upper left. Some of the cold is curling around the top to the west, and is thinking of sneaking down on Europe from the north.

Various analog years show a pattern where Europe holds winter off for a while, but later in the winter the blob-monster comes oozing west on cruel east winds. I’m wondering if its first attack might be one of these sneak attacks, curling around from the north.