Extent March 18B map N_bm_extent_hiresDMI2 0923 N_bm_extent_hires

Once again we have watched two thirds of the ice at the Pole melt away, and now are seeing the ice once again start to triple.  It is time to draw some conclusions from all the observations, but I am not in the mood. It is dangerous to leap to conclusions, as ice is slippery stuff, and I will wind up abruptly seated if I leap, (or else all wet, especially when the ice is thin.)

Not that sitting and watching ice melt hasn’t shown me things. As usual it has shown me beauty, and the wisdom seen when watching clouds, however observation also tends to teach me some basic science. I need more time to think about the basic science I’ve seen.  (My life has other elements, besides watching ice melt, and these other elements sometimes don’t understand the importance and necessity of watching ice melt.)

One thing I have mused about is the fact that science isn’t owned by scientists. When I was young I painted houses with a boss three times my age who, in the winter, hunted wildcat for their fur, and who to this day, forty years after his death, still holds the record for the largest wildcat bagged in New Hampshire. (91 pounds.) I doubt there is a biologist alive who knows half of what he knew about wildcats, though he was unschooled and didn’t live to see a computer. All he did was observe, observe, observe.

Yesterday I was chatting at a wedding with a man in his seventies who “only has a high school education,” yet is sought out by young men who hold graduate degrees at MIT and Harvard, because he spent his entire life in the world of surgical tubing. He got a job right out of high school at a place that made surgical tubing, and simply was curious about the subject,  and never stopped learning. Now, though he is old enough to be fully retired, he still works, (though not in a nine-to-five manner.)  He chuckles at the irony of being an “uneducated” man who is sought out by the “educated,”  when there are problems to solve.

I don’t think his value involves technical details as much as it involves his attitude. After all, the technical details evolve with such speed these days that the computer I now work on is out-dated and “archaic,” though not all that old. There is something about problem-solving that is timeless, and beyond being up-to-date about the latest gizmo.

I like to muse about things that are timeless, and my musing wonders if part of learning simply involves observing, and noting what you didn’t expect, and, rather than feeling threatened about being “wrong,” cultivating a sense of wonder.  It certainly is more fun to wonder about things, rather than cringing in shame over being mistaken.  Rather than feeling chagrin, you feel wonderful, as you are full of wonder.  That in turn is more conducive to finding an answer.

In any case, the whole political world of Global Warming, the “Death Spiral” of arctic sea-ice,  and the spectacle of egotistical, grant-hungry scientists insisting “the science is settled”, seems a bit of a farce to me.  I want nothing to do with it, and again and again have tried to slip out the back door and avoid it, but it keeps hounding me.

I think one is suppose to state a conclusion about the sea-ice minimum because we are midst a political battle, called “The Climate Wars,” but part of that battle is against insane pseudoscience, wherein one is suppose to pretend they have authority no mortal man has. As a way of fighting that stupidity it seems wise to simply refuse to draw any conclusions or theories, and instead to wonder about what I didn’t see coming, about my predictions that failed, and about things that surprised me.

I think the biggest surprise over the past year was to have both the PDO and the AMO flip. The PDO, which is in a long-term “cold” phase, spiked in a “warm” way, while the AMO, which was in a long-term “warm” phase, spiked in a “cold” way.

I like to see order appear in chaos, but often chaos appears in order. The beautiful, structured spiral of a gale or hurricane may appear out of chaotic fronts, but then that ordered spiral falls apart and goes back into chaos. In the same manner the nice, oscillating order of a “cycle”, such as the sunspot cycle or the PDO and AMO, appears out of the chaos of our gathered data, and seems like something we can depend upon,  until it isn’t dependable.  It is oscillating nicely like the flub-dub of a heart beat,   but then that heart skips a beat, (or briefly fibrillates.)

At this point some seem to like to freak out. They run about in circles like chickens and use the word “unprecedented” a lot. I far prefer the attitudes of Josph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi over at their site at .  What they tend to do is to start digging through old maps, looking for the last time the “heart skipped a beat.”

In actual fact each day’s weather map is as unique an individual’s fingerprint. No two maps are exactly the same, and therefore every map is indeed “unprecedented”. However one can find old maps quite similar, if not identical to, current maps, and this often takes the panic out seeing something you didn’t expect, unless, of course, it happens to be map nearly identical to a map preceding a past calamity, (for, example, the 1938 hurricane.)

The current antics of the PDO and AMO are not something that has never been seen before, in a general sense. The north Pacific was roughly as warm (though we lack precise data) back in 1918; the PDO had a “warm” spike during a “cold” phase at the end of the 1970’s; and the AMO record is full of brief spikes the “wrong” way, each with a complimentary growth or shrinkage of sea-ice, in the limited records we have (due to the hard work of Scandinavians, especially the Danes), going back to the late 1800’s.

One thing is in fact unprecedented, and that is the detail we are now able to watch the sea-ice with, due to buoys and satellites. We are witnessing things for the first time. Because the satellites first started allowing us to see right when the AMO was switching to its “warm” cycle,  we have largely been watching the extent of ice shrink as the years pass. This led some to conclude too quickly that we were in a “Death Spiral.”  Now we are watching the AMO near the end of its “warm” phase and start to turn towards its “cold” phase. We actually have little idea what we will see, because we simply have never seen it before. It is fun to guess what will happen, but to express certainty seems to me to be sheer folly.

Therefore it seems wiser to simply state what I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect the ice to melt as much as it has in the area around and north of the Bering Strait. It went from above-normal two winters ago to below-normal last winter. This seems to be in response to the PDO spiking “warm.”

I definitely didn’t expect there to be more ice around Svalbard last summer than there was last winter. That was a real eye-opener, and seems likely to be a response to the AMO briefly spiking “cold” during the first half of the summer.

I didn’t expect there  to  be a notch of open water extending towards the Pole from the Laptev Sea. Wondering about this led to a delightful mental journey to Siberia, and study of the the Laptev Sea, and the Lena River basin.

That could well be a post in and of itself, but in a nutshell I learned the Laptev Sea is a major creator and exporter of sea-ice.  Off shore winds create polynyas of open water even during the coldest winters, and ice is constantly exported out into the arctic basin. Some winters less ice is exported, but as much as three times (and possibly four times) as much ice can be created and exported during other winters.  This constitutes a variable I never knew about, in the determination of water-temperatures and sea-ice amounts, and also can result in the ice in the Laptev Sea being very thin at the start of summer, and very easy to melt away.  (Then a hasty thinker, glancing at an extent map and seeing the open water,  might conclude the open water suggested a warming Pole, when in fact it suggests more ice was created, and more sea-water was chilled.)

Seeing what I didn’t expect doesn’t cause me to sulk. Perhaps this is because I am not dependent on grants, and only watch ice melt for the sheer wonder of it all. In fact, seeing what I didn’t expect gives me all the more reason to sit back and wonder all the more. That is actually my pay.  Where a Climate Scientist might be in danger of losing funding for cameras, buoys and satellites (and vacations) if they expect a Death Spiral and the unexpected occurs, the only danger I face is if I wonder too much, and forget to mow the lawn.


This post will simply be a presentation of the Danish Meteorological Institutes arctic maps, with the most recent at the the top. I find that simply by scanning the maps one is able to create a sort of mental animation of what is occurring at the Pole, in terms of temperatures and weather.

During the winter  one is wise to keep an eye cocked to the north, and to be aware when the arctic is discharging in your direction. As a very general rule, when the Pole is importing air to your north you are more liable to get a thaw, and when it is exporting air to  your north you are more liable to get a freeze..

There are of course subtleties that make that rule look foolish. Part of the fun is noting what can divert the cold air, or retard it. However one thing I have noted is that as soon as the air starts to bulge south to your north, when the actual arctic air is still thousands of miles away, there can be a change in your local weather. I haven’t a clue why it happens; perhaps it is like the skin on one side of a balloon expanding when you compress the opposite side.

The corriallis forse can curve the cold air from a north-to-south vector to an east-west-vector, or a lifting gale can sweep an entire air mass that was headed your way to the east.  Also lighter winds can have the air-mass slow and pause and build over the snow covered tundra, with the chill at its center increasingly cold and ominous, before it charges down to get you, or is inhaled back north by the Pole.

Until they freeze over, any body of open water will have a warming effect on an air mass, but as the winter passes and lakes and Bays and seas freeze over the north is increasingly able to generate cold, (or to lose heat.)  This ability tends to peak in early February, but still occurs after the sun first peeks over the polar horizon in late March.  Temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water persist through April, and the actual thaw never begins before late May.

I like the DMI maps because they are simple, but it is important to remember winds do not always obey isobars. Once in a while it pays to check out more detailed arctic maps, especially in the case of an arctic snow.  The best maps can be had for the price of a cup of coffee each day at the “premium site.” Dr. Ryan Maue produces maps that show the runs of various modles in 3 hour increments, and if you look at the “initial” map you can get an idea of where the winds are strong and where they are aiming. Also, of you are in a hurry and don’t mind maps that often mislabel highs as lows and lows as highs, you can check out

It is important to watch Siberia,  as it creates the coldest air in the dead of winter. I get nervous when that air becomes a “cross-polar-flow” heading my way.

I am just going to post the maps here. I no longer have the time or energy to name storms and marvel over their doings. Hopefully I’ll find time to post every week or two about that the Pole is doing, but it won’t be in this post.  This post will simply archive maps, and allow one to observe.  (I will continue to observe, even if it is in silence.)

Once again, the most recent maps will be on the top, and the oldest maps on the bottom.DMI2 0930 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0930 temp_latest.big (1)

DMI2 0929B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0929B temp_latest.big (1)

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DMI2 0926B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0926 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0925B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0924 temp_latest.big (1)


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.”

I chanced upon the site because they talked about the record-setting antarctic sea ice here:

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_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?


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.


This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:

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?

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.
The southern camera shows breezes of 10-15 mph, and temperatures sinking after flirting with a thaw.
SEPTEMBER 3 —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0903 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0903 temp_latest.big (1)
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.
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.”

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.


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

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)


No picture from northern camera


Southern camera hasn’t updated since the blue twilight.




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


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




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.


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


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.



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 )



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.)


“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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


SEPTEMBER 7  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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



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.


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


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.



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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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)




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.


DMI2 0910 icecover_current_new(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Could this be the bottom?  Too early to tell.


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.



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





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.



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.


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.


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.



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.



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.









(Fresh snow atop buoy in above picture.)


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.


Rapid City Sept Snow snowfall


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.


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.


DMI2 0913B icecover_current_new








SEPTEMBER 14 —DMI Morning Maps—

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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)


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.


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.




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





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:

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.


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)

webcam webcam

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.”


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)


Note how fresh snow has hidden the crack in the ice behind the 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, actual 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


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

webcam temperature-1week


temperature-1week webcam


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.

SEPTEMBER 22 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0922 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0922 temp_latest.big (1)


DMI2 0922B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0922B temp_latest.big (1)

It is amazing how swiftly these maps went from looking like a zonal flow to what appears to be a meridianal flow. I’d like to ponder it more, but not as much as I’d like to see my wife smile on our wedding anniversary. So….man-yana.

SEPTEMBER 23 –DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0923 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0923 temp_latest.big (1)

It is difficult to talk of a “storm track” when no two storms behave the same. About the only similarity is that, one way or another, low pressure systems keep making it up to the Pole. A truly zonal pattern would have a high pressure dominating the Pole, w3ith lows waltzing around it.

Na6 has crashed through Greenland, and become a northern (“Na6N”) and southern (“Na6S”) duo.  The northern Na6N will cross the Pole and wander down to to the Laptev Sea, completely opposite the storm that crossed they other way a couple weeks ago. Meanwhile  Na6S will not come up the east coast of Greenland as storms have done, but will penetrate the north to south wall of high pressure along the spine  of the North Atlantic despite being a weakling.

One reason it will be able to move east is that a memory of “Na5″ developed in the Baltic. Perhaps is is a secondary, and should be called “Na5son.” It will not be as strong as models foresaw, as half of its energy is going into the formation of “Na5three” down in the Black Sea.  Nor will it be northeast of Finland as midels mforesaw, but rather will backtrack northwest right over Finland, Sweden, and wind up northwest of Norway, approaching the Pole from a new and interesting angle.

Lars will not be able to stand up to attacks from both Canada and Scandinavia, and will depart to the south, into central Siberia.  We will have switched from a Pole dominated by high pressure to a Pole dominated by low pressure with remarkable speed.

The next storm, “Na7″, looks like it will come under Greenland and scoot north of Iceland and Scandinavia to join the party at the Pole, and the one following it, “Na8″, looks to be a true North Atlantic Autumnal Gale.  However that is a week away, and it is hard to trust the models in such a chaotic situation.

There seems to be a lot of Atlantic air flowing north with these systems.  Because we are in transition, it is likely we are not seeing the winter pattern. Last winter Scandinavia had a lot of Atlantic Air flowing up from the southwest, but I would not use the current pattern as a sign they will see southwest winds this winter.  Often  the winter pattern is the opposite of the autumnal pattern, so perhaps this hints at east winds in January, and shuddering cold.

In any case, with all the traffic at the Pole I am provided with a handy excuse.  I expected cold to build over the Pole, and, despite some islands of minus-ten air, the cold hasn’t built.  FAIL.  (I still expect it, though I am starting to drum my fingers.)

Despite the temperatures being above normal on the Atlantic Side, they are below the freezing point of salt water in many places. No longer can above-normal temperatures bring much thaw, and ice is reforming. I expect we are at our minimum.

DMI2 0923 icecover_current_new

We likely should save a map of this important moment in the political history of the United States.

DMI2 0923 arcticicennowcast (1)

One thing I notice is that the ice is much more tightly packed this year, where it remains.

I like to also include this map, which has a weakness in that it shows even loosely packed ice as solid white, but has the benefit of having an orange line that shows “normal” extent. Notice the “warm” spike in the “cold” PDO melted more ice on the Pacific side, but the “cold” spike in the “warm” AMO created above-normal ice on the Atlantic side. (The AMO is back to being “warm” now.)

I think the decrease in ice between the Laptev Sea and the Pole is due to cross-polar-flow much of last winter, that crushed all that ice to the Canadian side, leaving only thin ice on the Eurasian side. (The Laptev Sea ordinarily creates and “exports” more ice than any other coastal Sea around the arctic, but last year it exported even more than normal.)

DMI2 0923 N_bm_extent_hires

NEW CAMERAS  —The gloom of winter approaches—

After the equinox days grow shorter with increasing speed, the further north you travel. At our northern camera up near 86.5 latitude the darkness will descend in a matter of days, while our southern camera, which has been shoved north nearly to 78 degrees, the shortening daylight will last a little longer.  It is likely these will be among our final pictures, for when the lenses frost over there is neither sunshine nor thaw to melt them clear.

webcam webcam

SEPTEMBER 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0924 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0924 temp_latest.big (1)

I missed last night’s map, and this morning we abruptly see Na6N passing over the Pole, with “Lars” sliding down into the Kara Sea as “Na5son” builds over Finland and proceeds the “wrong” way west-northwest towards the top of Norway. “Na7″ is crashing into Greenland.

Quite a pool of minus-ten air is forming over the Pacific side of the Pole, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the minus-fifteen isotherm appear soon.

SEPTEMBER 24 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0924B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0924B temp_latest.big (1)

“Na6N” is stronger as it wobbles away from the Pole towards Eurasia.  The air in its wake is very cold on the Canadian side. It is slurping fuel from what must be a long occluded soda straw, shown by the spike of warm temperatures north of Svalbard, moving all the way to the Kara Sea and the spiking back towards the Pole. It’s a final straw, and I think it will collapse and the storm will starve and weaken.

“Na7″ split in two like “Na6″ did, and the northern part is heading up Baffin Bay like “Na6N” did, but apparently models don’t see it having a chance when it runs into the very cold air north of Baffin Bay. (We’ll see about that.) Instead the southern part looks like it will become the first real North Atlantic Gale of the autumn, and Scandinavia will get quite a windy Friday, with air rushing up from the southwest, on the southeast side of the big gale.

On the coast of Alaska and Canada weak lows drift east, which  I am glad to see, as they prevent the export of that very cold air down into North America.  I’m not ready for winter down in my neck of the woods.


The first map shows the conditions at noon today, with Na5son over Finland and Na5three over the Black Sea. The ripple in the front over Denmark may hold a hint of a memory of Hurricane Eduard. The curve in the isobar over southern Spain is all that is left of Zorro, a low that spun for over two weeks to the west of Spain. However the low between Iceland and Greenland is Na7S, which totally takes over the North Atlantic, as a sub-960 mb gale, by the second map, which shows conditions expected Friday afternoon. According to this forecast nearly all of Scandinavia could see winds gusting over gale force

UK Met Sept 24A 18565696 UK Met Sept 24B 18571239

I’m glad we aren’t getting a gale here. Strong winds tear all the turning foliage off the twigs. I like the autumn to linger.

SEPTEMBER 25  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0925 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925 temp_latest.big (1)


DMI Sep 25 pressure mslp_latest.bigDMI Sep 25 temp_latest.big


DMI2 0925B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925B temp_latest.big (1)


webcam temperature-1week webcam temperature-1week A QUICK GLANCE AT THE…..YOWZA!

UK Met Sept 25 18598327 Take a look at the complexity of this map,  and perhaps you can understand why I feel ready to throw in the towel. This is a map that would challenge even the most trained meteorologists like Joseph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi.  Me?  I’m just a dreamer who likes looking at clouds.

People have been kind and told me they hope I continue my observations about the sea-ice and arctic maps, but when I look at a map like this it seems important to share a quite different observation:

A map like this deserves attention. It requires research. It is like a big homework assignment, but I never have been all that good at homework.  Ask my math teachers, if any are still alive. They will tell you I spent all my math classes looking out the window, at clouds.

Somewhere, in places like Scotland and Sweden, young meteorologists are giving this map the attention it deserves.  They may have names for all the warm fronts, “Haggis” and “Blorg.” They are the ones you should seek out, for keen and insightful observations.

Me?  I’d rather observe other things.  The autumn foliage is very beautiful in New Hampshire this year, and I’m observing differences in this year’s beauty from other years. That is the direction my semi-scientific mind is wandering towards.

I have decided to conclude my focus on sea-ice with a conclusion, which will be my next post. After that I will post every week or two about the regrowth of sea-ice.  I will do that for my friends on the internet. However it will not be my focus. My focus will be fall foliage, and what follows.

I also will try to keep an active post of DMI maps, with the most recent map at the top.  But this is only because I think it pays to look at such maps, at least until the flow becomes zonal around the Pole. ( I think any meteorologist who looks down at the globe from the top, as well as at maps that view the globe from the side, will be a step ahead of his brethren this winter.) However I will not comment. It will not be my focus, unless it has something to do with foliage and what follows.

I understand that the number of viewers of this website may drop.  More people are interested in sea-ice than foliage.  However I am not as interested in sea-ice as I used to be, especially as the cameras will soon shut down and I won’t be able to see any beautiful arctic views.

Part of the reason I am losing interest is because I feel the people interested in the Truth about Global Warming are already educated. I was disgusted by the recent march in New York City of people who feel “Global Warming” is an issue worthy of demonstrations. They have arrived at their decision without ever bothering to look through the eyes of the North Pole Camera. Truth and facts don’t matter, as what they believe, and call “education,” is sheer dogma.  Therefore it is useless to present the facts my lying eyes have learned, at this obscure website.  They feel they are already educated, and have nothing left to learn.

In order to penetrate the thickness of their Neanderthal thinking I must discover a different approach.  This blog will move in that direction, whatever that direction is.

How does one argue with dogma?  I am fairly certain it doesn’t involve facts, charts and maps. I think the only penetration must involve poetry. To a scientist this may seem like touchy-feelly crap, and in some ways it is, but in other ways what motivates the mortal psyche is: Deep-down and gut-level moods.

Next time you watch a movie, pay attention to the background music.  Ask yourself, “How scientific is that?”  However it makes a big difference. For example, imagine a girl walking under a starry sky, and two different sorts of background music.  The first is serene, and the second is ominous, with an increasing drum like a beating heart. Which movie is the love story, and which is the monster movie?

In terms of the Climate Wars, it has been a battle for the hearts and minds of people.  The battle of the minds is over, and science has proven Global Warming is a farce, a fraud, and fake and phony and funded by political bribery. Now the battle is for hearts.  And that strange world is where this blog is now adventuring off into.

Pragmatic people may want to gag, and therefore I will try to differentiate between the posts that are sensible studies of sea-ice, and the posts that involve functioning midst the hysteria of a crazed society.


DMI2 0926 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926 temp_latest.big (1)


DMI2 0926B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926B temp_latest.big (1)


DMI2 0926B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926B temp_latest.big (1)

Quite a storm for Scandinavia.

These DMI maps will be continued at:


Yikes! Temperatures dipping to minus twenty, in the blue twilight of the growing arctic night.  Some of this cold air will be sucked south and east by the big gale off Norway. Likely a cold blast is coming down onto Svalbard.

webcam temperature-1week

We lost both Buoy 2014B to our west on September 11, and Buoy 2014C: to our south on September 22, as the warm Pacific water from the “warm” PDO continues to erode ice even though the air temperatures have been persistantly below the freezing point of salt water. The same thing happened last year.

It’s been a rough year for buoys, but our camera will likely survive the winter, providing no pressure ridge buckles right beside it. However they may have troubles starting the things back up in the spring. (They never did get O-bouy 7 running again this year, though its final picture last November seemed to show it is decent shape.)

I hope they can find the funding for next year’s buoys. I worry the fellows who give us these wonderful pictures may not be all that popular with politicians right now, as the cameras failed to show a “Death Spiral.”

webcam temperature-1week


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.

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.
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.
DMI2 0818 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0818 temp_latest.big (1)
Our northern camera is seeing temperatures dropping down to around minus 2.5 and winds slacking to around 5 mph.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
 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)
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.)
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
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.
 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.)
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. )
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
 AUGUST 25  —DMI Afternoon Maps—
DMI2 0825B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0825B temp_latest.big (1)
NEW CAMERAS  —Northern Camera is fixed—
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our southern camera has seen winds drop off to 4-8 mph, with temperatures just a hair below freezing.
DMI2 0827B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0827B temp_latest.big (1)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Temperature -7.0 and rising; Relative humidity still relatively low.
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)
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—
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.)
SEPTEMBER 1   —DMI Morning Maps—
DMI2 0901 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0901 temp_latest.big (1)
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.
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”.
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.
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
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
Average high °C (°F) −35.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −38.6
Average low °C (°F) −41.5
Record low °C (°F) −63
Precipitation mm (inches) 9
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:[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.
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.


versus 2013.

DMI2 0902B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0902B temp_latest.big (1)
NEW CAMERAS  —The gathering gloom—
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: