ARCTIC SEA ICE –Lag Time–Updated Friday Morning

My last post (which flattered me by getting posted on Watts Up With That),  took a week to write, but I haven’t been ignoring the arctic. The “nudge” provided by the invasion of Atlantic air has ended, and it has been somewhat boring up there, though more interesting further south as the “nudged” arctic headed south.

The “nudged” air is nothing I can look at my watch and time like the arrival of a train, but it has seemed apparent that after a lag of about a week the “nudged” air gets down here in New Hampshire. Therefore, as the “nudging” has ceased at the Pole, I should expect winter weather to relent to some degree down here, in about a week. Meanwhile the cold is building up at the Pole, so of course I am watching for any sign of the next “nudge”.

However, besides the lag in the time between the nudge and the arrival of the nudged air, there is another lag I have to grind up in my hopper of thought, and that is the fact the days are getting longer, but it isn’t getting immediately warmer due to another “lag”.

Winter has been hard at work erasing traces of last summer. It removes the warmth from the waters of northern lakes, bays, and seas, and then covers those waters with ice. Then those waters, and huge expanses of northern land, are covered with white snow, which is the best thing there is for reflecting the day’s sunshine, and chilling the nights with radiational cooling. Though the sun may be as high as it was last fall, and the area is the same, the effect is utterly different. Last autumn the lakes “remembered” the summer’s warmth. Now they suffer complete “amnesia”. The exact same lakes and landscape that once resisted cold now perpetuates it, which creates a lag between the time the sun rises higher in the frozen north, and the time the winter surrenders, and the snows retreat north. In fact, though northern temperatures tend to start to creep up now, the snows can continue to creep south.Snowcover 20150207 cursnow

(I’m not entirely sure the snow melts as quickly as the above map suggests. For example there is no sign in the above map of a bit of snow being left from the Washington DC Blizzard.)

Besides this lag there is yet another lag we are in the midst of, as the El Nino has peaked in the Pacific. Though Pacific waters have started to cool, there is a lag before the planet’s air temperatures will start to respond.  Though the El Nino is collapsing and we may see a La Nina by fall, temperatures as measured by satellite are at their peak. Temperatures in the lower troposphere may even creep a bit higher, due to the lag, before the La Nina crash sets in.Temperatures UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2016_v6-768x443This is actually the warmest January we have seen since the Satellites began watching, however it is occurring at a time when the sun is a “Quiet Sun”, and becoming a quieter sun after its sunspot-peak. Sunspot wolfmmsIt can be seen in the above graph that Old Sol is more reserved than any recent year. In fact, we are competing with “Cycle 5”, way back at the start of the record-keeping 200 years ago, to see who will be the champion of silence.Sunspots 201601 sc5_sc24_1There is a lot of debate about whether the dips in the number of sunspots can be seen as a “cause” of cooler weather. The debate seems to revolve around the fact no one can figure out how it works. I confess I have no idea how it works, however simply looking at the past it seems it works. Don’t ask me why, but when the sun gets quiet it gets cooler. And this involves yet another, fourth, “lag”, I imagine.

I really admire the people who try to figure out the timing of all these lags. Me? I’m just guessing. And my guess is that the cooling of the Quiet Sun is clashing with the warming of the current El Nino, causing things to be a bit out of whack.

Think of it as salad dressing. The oil wants to stay at the top and the vinegar at the bottom, but if you give the bottle a whack, the oil heads down and the vinegar heads up. In like manner, the mild air heads to the Pole and cold air snows on the camels of the Sahara, when earth gets a whack.

There. If that isn’t scientific enough for you, you are at the wrong blog.

This winter has seen some out-of-whack cold to the south, even as it is warmer to the north. Mexico City saw its first snow since 1967.

Even as milder Atlantic air pushed across Europe the cold was nudged down to Saudi Arabia, which got more snows.

Trying to figure it all out, counting on my fingers, I actually think the cold air down in Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam dates from the “nudge” before the last “nudge.” However it does demonstrate the power and tenacity of cold air masses in January and early February, especially when they are over snow-covered landscapes. They don’t “moderate” the way cold air masses are warmed when they move south, other times of the year.

That will all be soon coming to an end, as the sun marches north. However the question now is where the final shots of cold will be delivered, as the Pole is slowly gathering quite an army of bitter blue. Here are the DMI maps for the past week showing the cold slowly building, under a Polar high, despite slight invasions of Pacific air.

The Pacific nudge in the above maps may have surged some of the bitter cold of East Siberian air back south towards China, and explain some of the headlines down that way, but Pacific surges seems to lack the power of Atlantic surges.

Although temperatures remain above normal up at the Pole, the building cold air is dragging them back down towards normal.DMI3 0207B meanT_2016

Lastly, as this post is suppose to be about sea-ice, I guess I should mention the “extent” graph shows that ice levels are below normal, primarily due to big storms chewing away at the edges.DMI3 0207B icecover_current_new (1)The very slight up-tick in the above graph is likely caused by a slacking of the big storms at the edges, but the up-tick likely will cause consternation among those who think above-normal temperatures at the Pole should always lead to a down-tick on the graph. Things are not so simple.

Hopefully I’ll find time tomorrow for an update on other aspects of the sea-ice situation.

UPDATE  —Fabootoo sees the light—

The second North Pole Camera, which I have dubbed Fabootoo, has amazingly survived the winter and, when it got around to sending us a picture at noon rather than midnight, actually showed some featureless daylight. There is no way of knowing if it is flat on its face, in deep snow, or in thick fog, but there at least is hope of a springtime picture from well down the east coast of Greenland. NP3 2 0208 2015cam2_3

The mass balance buoy 2015D was once co-located with Fabootoo, but I’m nit sure it is still on the same piece of ice. Since I last reported its location on Thursday, Jamuary 28, it has moved another 177.27 miles SSW, to 68.49 N, 23.05 W. It is reporting a snow depth of four feet. Despite being so far south it has reported temperatures below the freezing point of salt water after a thaw week ago, and currently reports -6.25° C. (Update. The last report was February 1.)

As we get down towards Denmark Strait we reach an area where vast amounts of cold water sink. It is described as an “undersea waterfall”. There also are tendrils of milder water that move north, leading to dense fog and surprising changes in water temperature. The two survivors of the Hood, in the Battle of Denmark Strait, survived for hours in water that usually kills a man in five to ten minutes, so they must have been in one of those warm tendrils.

(The best map I could find comes from a discussion of Tom Swift Sr. books, which explains the charted “giant iceburg.”)Denmark Strait fboat3

Across the Pole the O-buoys are all reporting very cold temperatures of around -30°C, which shows the growing pool of cold air. O-buoys 13 and 14 are showing daylight through snow-covered lenses, at noonObuoy 13 0208 webcamObuoy 14 0205 webcamHang in there. Spring isn’t all that far away..


Milder air has snuck north both from the Pacific along the coast of East Siberia, and from the Atlantic due to a storm stalling between Svalbard and Norway. It shows in the DMI temperature maps.

I suppose this is a chicken-or-the-egg type situation.  Did the cold high pressure get nudged into Canada by the influx of mild air, or did the movement of the high pressure create a weakness that drew the mild air in?

I hope to  find time later to steal some Dr.  Ryan Maue maps from the Weatherbell site, to show the nudges moving in North America and Asia. If you are impatient, you can go to that site, click “models”, and get a week’s free trial.  I have to pay the cost of of a cup of coffee, but that means I now have to go to work.


A more careful examination of time-stamps made me realize that both Fabootoo and the Mass Balance Buoy 2015D haven’t reported since February 1.

FRIDAY UPDATE  –Nudge was brief–

(For some reason DMI didn’t update anything but the time-stamp on the temperature map.)

The “nudge” seems to have ended already, and the cold seems again building over the Pole rather than being exported down my way, which may explain why the current charge of cold air down into North America is of limited volume and only is in the east. To the west there seems to be Chinook conditions and milder, Pacific air. This is not to say we are not going to get our socks knocked off by one heck of a shot of cold air this weekend; it might even approach zero Fahrenheit in New York City Sunday Morning. Cold Shot 1 gfs_t2m_noram_13Rather than a steady flow from the north, people are likely to suffer from temperature whip-lash, as it could be raining in New York City by Tuesday evening. A low spinning up in Hudson Bay will interrupt the arctic flow, even as another storm zips up the east coast. Cold Shot 2 gfs_t2m_noram_19Then the GFS model shows the various low pressures building a sprawling area of low pressure centered over Greenland, with the winds to the north pulling milder air and low pressure from the Atlantic over the Pole, which would be a major “nudge”. I’m not sure I trust the GFS so far into the future, nor trust the fact it doesn’t show much cold air being “nudged south” by the invasion of milder air over the Pole. However it is something to watch for next weekend. Cold Shot 3 gfs_t2m_arctic_29If this extended view is correct, you’ll notice quite a storm is swirling to the left of the above map, in Russia, on February 19. This would be the long term consequence of a spear of milder air currently stabbing east into the heart of Siberia, much like the “Javelin” of last autumn, though it cannot penetrate right through the center of cold in East Siberia to the Pacific as the “Javelin” did. Rather there is a sort of back-wash of cold air back to the west, over the Arctic Sea. That needs to be watched, as sometimes such back-washes make it all the way back to Scandinavia.Cold Shot 4 gfs_t2m_asia_11Cold Shot 5 gfs_t2m_asia_28I’m starting to notice a hint of spring in these temperature maps, that I get via the Weatherbell site. Dr. Ryan Maue makes all the model-runs available, so you basically see what the computer imagines every six hours, (roughly at midnight, sunrise, noon and sunset). In December it is so dark up over the tundra, and the sun is so low (even if you are south of the Arctic Circle and it actually rises), that temperatures don’t rise at noon, and there is little diurnal variation. Now we are starting to see temperatures rise at noon, up over the frozen wastes. The nights are still longer than the days, and create cold that can invade the south, but the power of the north is not quite so massive as it was. Winter’s on the wane, though it won’t give up without a fight.

The sea-ice extent remains low, especially in Barents Sea. This is likely due to so many invasions of milder, Atlantic  air “nudging” the cold south. (The orange line indicates where the ice “should” be.) Extent 0212 N_bm_extent_hiresAt this point the ice that has formed this winter is concentrated, with little signs of being broken up with the wide leads that form some windy winters. (They would appear as hairlines of yellow in the red of the concentration map below.)Concentration 20160211 arcticicennowcastThe thickness of the ice seems less than last year, which makes sense with so many invasions of milder Atlantic and Pacific air. Thickness 20160211 arcticictnowcastThe swift increase of ice in the Pacific, south of Bering Strait and off the east coast of Russia, is all relatively thin ice, and unless it thickens substantially it will vanish swiftly in the spring, or even in the face of a powerful gale.  The ice that really matters is in the Arctic Sea, away from the coasts. If you are an Alarmist rooting for a “Death Spiral” this is the ice you want to see weaker, but the old DMI graph that measures such ice (30% extent, with the shorelines masked and not included) continues to be totally unlike all other extent graphs, and show this ice above normal. It really does make me scratch my head, because I can’t see where there would be more ice than normal, as the Arctic Sea is always completely frozen at this time of year.DMI3 0212 icecover_current (1)

I’ll comment more about this later.  Here is the more usual extent graph.DMI3 0212 icecover_current_new (1)LATER—I was thinking about the 30% DMI graph, and decided it may have simply reached the maximum extent possible earlier, this year. If it stays flat, the other years will catch up at the time of the yearly maximum.

It is interesting to watch the surface temperatures as reported by the four O-buoys drifting in the Arctic Sea. O-buoy 8b, which is over towards the Siberian side, seems to notice the intrusions of Pacific air that is “milder”, (meaning it nearly gets up to minus 20 Celsius, which isn’t exactly balmy.)Obuoy 8b 0212 temperature-1week Meanwhile O-buoy 14, over towards Canada, seems to indicate the “milder” air never really arrives, down at the surface.Obuoy 14 0212 temperature-1weekThe constant cold has chilled the ice down to the bottom, and is freezing the sea-water despite the fact the sea-water is insulated by more than four feet itself. The ice itself is chilled to around minus thirty several feet down. It is for this reason the first mild spells of the spring have absolutely no effect on the ice. The ice has to warm thirty degrees before it can even begin to think of melting. In actual fact, the ice tends to go getting thicker right into May.

This will be an interesting summer to watch, for the ice is thinner north of Alaska. There is not the same body of “multi-year ice”. It seems a smaller area, and displaced towards the Pole. However the so-called “Blob” of warm water in the North Pacific is greatly diminished at this point, which may mean the water sneaking in through Bering Strait will not be as warm, and will not melt the ice from underneath as much. That water, and also the water in Barents Sea, has been exposed to wind much of the winter, so the water will be more churned and less stratified. I can’t say whether it is colder than normal, (because I have lost confidence in the water-temperature maps, after it showed water full of small bergs as more than a degree “above normal” last summer, when it is physically impossible for ice-water to be any colder).




Peanuts Comic

It is not merely the physical science behind Global Warming Alarmism that is rotten; the social science is equally rotten. The fiasco involves both the Sciences and the Arts. You cannot stick merely to facts, and avoid the topic of morality. Therefore this examination of the mutated ethics behind Global Warming Alarmism must begin with a very long digression, involving sportsmanship.

I have always admired good losers, because I am not one. For years I have made a New Year’s Resolution to become a better sport, but can’t keep the resolution. It only took me forty years to quit cigarettes, but quitting bad sportsmanship will take me longer.

Perhaps the roots are genetic, and boil down to owning an inherently bad temper, which my older brothers thought was amusing, when I was small. I was easy to disarm, so they would enrage me on purpose, just to see me dash off to the kitchen and come back at them with a carving knife. Then I grew as big as they, and my temper was no longer so amusing. The larger brother became more cautious when he teased, and the smaller one took a course in karate.

It wasn’t fun being a bad sport. I couldn’t lose a game of checkers without my rage uplifting me and sending me stomping about the room, wildly thrashing and accusing the other person of cheating. The only one who would play checkers with me was a special sort of person who was able to say, “You’re right. I cheated. You win. Want to play again?” (He did this so he could beat me again.)

When I grew to be a teenager I found it hard to keep a girlfriend, as most girls don’t particularly like childish displays of temper. But I do remember one diminutive girl who sort of liked beating me at tennis, despite my poor sportsmanship. I relied on brute strength, and towered above her, but she’d been to several tennis camps, owned something called “skill”, and I never could beat her.

The games always began with me saying I didn’t want to play, but she’d guilt me into playing by saying exercise was good for me and tennis was fun and something we could do together (when I was only interested in something else we could do together), so I’d wind up playing, and getting beaten. Sometimes the games began close, because I was much stronger and smashed the ball so hard she could barely see it, but as I tired my inaccuracy increased, and soon I’d be drenched in sweat while she looked cool as a cucumber, and my shots would start to stray and be “out”, and I’d get really mad, which always caused her to try very hard not to smile. That made me really, REALLY mad, so my next shot would be clear over the fence, which might be good in baseball, but in tennis it meant that once again a midget had beaten me.

I tried to explain to women that the reason I raved was because I was “sensitive”, and an artist, and not because I was a really bad sport. Amazingly, this sometimes worked, but not for all that long.

Another excuse for stomping about and raving was that I owned a “healthy competitive instinct”. This worked with the football coach, but not very well with women. Come to think of it, it didn’t work very well with my fellow artists, either, for back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s being competitive was not “hip”. It wasn’t “mellow”, “layed-back”, (and other words no one uses any more). In fact among artists having a “healthy competitive spirit” meant you were aggressive, a militant “hawk”, and a loser.

This exposed me to a perplexing ambiguity, for artists tended to be a collection of losers to begin with. They tended to flunk all their classes and never went out for sports. The only way they could see themselves as winners was to totally redefine everything, and to call winners “losers”, and to call losers like themselves “winners”. (Do not ask, “What about the production of actual art?” Being an artist back then was more a matter of who you hung out with, and where you hung out, and how you wore your beatnik beret, and, increasingly, what drugs you took.)

A shocking number of these friends of mine died young, either due to drugs or to AIDS, which would tend to suggest that when you are a loser you do lose, were it not for the fact that the survivors of this morally twisted collection of winners-are-losers nitwits are now running our nation, which is why my experience among losers is valuable, even though I myself was not very good at being a loser, and in fact was a bad loser.

Initially I had the required attributes of being a loser: I got poor grades and did badly on the teams I bothered to go out for. However I was a very bad sport about it. Then, as I gravitated towards artists, I discovered I was a loser even among the losers. I was a very bad sport about that as well.

It made me realize I was after something that the winners were not after, and the losers were not after. I needed to do some redefining of my own. Just as my fellow artists had redefined themselves as winners, despite being losers, I needed (simply to muster the self-esteem necessary for my egotistical survival), to redefine myself as a winner, despite the fact I was bad at winning and bad at losing.

Such a redefinition is no small matter. It has taken me half a century. Therefore you will have to forgive me if I digress yet again and take up a little less than a half-century of your time.

The pride and shame of New England is that we seemingly have a habit of redefinition. Sometimes the redefinition is a shining advance, and sometimes we fix something that wasn’t broken, and sometimes it is both. Both good and bad ideas have unintended consequences.

It continued long after the Boston Tea Party sparked a Revolutionary War, where the good idea of Liberty cost the young nation 1% of its population. A half-century later Oliver Wendell Holmes demanded doctors wash their hands (a decade before Louis Pasteur got the credit for discovering germs), and inadvertently this caused a crisis in the Church at a time when New England was the “Bible Belt,” (because germs were an invisible power other than God.) Not long after that other redefiners pushed the radical idea that slavery should be abolished in all places, which rather than mere paper legislation inadvertently led to the horrible slaughter of the Civil War, which cost nearly as many American lives as all the nation’s other wars combined.

And so it has continued, on and on, into my boyhood, where Timothy Leary advanced ideas about Liberty involving sex and LSD, inadvertently involving tragic consequences that many of us have seen play out with our own eyes, involving people we cared (and care) for deeply.

In conclusion, redefinition is no laughing matter, and nothing to take lightly. You can’t blithely reform things like the Ten Commandments or the American Constitution, without facing reverberations of a magnitude that is far from blithe.

To return to the topic of sports, as a boy I noticed New Englanders tend to be less athletic than the rest of the nation, perhaps due long winters stuck indoors, and perhaps due to an overdose of colleges and universities. New Englanders tend to be intellectual, rather than physical. Back in the last century the idea was that the only way New England could have a good sporting team was to invent a new sport. And this was proven by the fact that, during my boyhood, New England had among the nation’s worst baseball, football, and hockey teams, however we invented basketball, and had the best team for a while, before the rest of the nation figured out how to play better than our star Bob Cousy (who was ambidextrous and could amazingly (for that time) ball-handle with both hands!!!) (Nearly every player does that now.)Bob Cousy 122303Photo_Cousy

Considering I was a bad loser, it was rough to grow up last century, and be a boy supporting the last-place Red Sox, last-place Bruins, and last-place Patriots. You might think that, since I had so much experience supporting last-place teams, I would have become a better loser, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead it fed an intense craving within me to win.

I think this is how the psyche works. When we experience loss we replay it in our minds. The psychologists may call it “Post Traumatic Stress”, but we are replaying the films of the past game, noting the mistakes, and planning to play better in the next game. We own a craving to improve.

I often see this manifest the morning after the Patriots have lost a close football game. When I open our Farm-childcare, I get to see the state young parents are in, in the dusk before dawn, and after a Patriots loss many look haggard as they drop off their kids. They have suffered insomnia, as their mind kept replaying crucial plays, and they agonized over the details. Usually it is the young men who care about football, but the young wives suffered as well, for they had to sleep with the thrashing, kicking, sighing, muttering insomniacs. And of course I am able to empathize and commiserate, for I am the worst loser of them all.

This agony of defeat does not seem to be truly slaked by the thrill of victory. This century has seen New England win more than its fair share of championships, and an entire generation has grown up without a clue of what it was like to be a New Englander last century, but if anything championships have only increased the craving for victory, and made the agony of defeat worse. What’s more, if you win too often you become despised.darth-sidious-bill-belichick

Just as I used to stomp around raving and accuse friends of cheating when I lost at checkers, New England fans have discovered winning means you get accused of cheating. Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties

It is interesting to stand back from all the emotion inherent in the agony of defeat, and see what actual improvements come from the pains of Post Traumatic Stress. One thing that becomes swiftly apparent is the importance of the rules. As one devises new and improved trick plays, one must constantly refer to the rulebook, to make sure the adjustments are legal. For example, one option that springs into my mind, during the agony of defeat, is to shoot the opponents. There is nothing in the NFL rulebook prohibiting this (I checked) however that isn’t the only rulebook we need to refer to.

And here’s where it gets interesting. It turns out that the rules we actually write down in the rulebook, for any particular sport, are but a dim reflection of higher and greater laws, which are “self evident”. These laws can be divided into two basic types. There are physical laws, such as the law of gravity, and then there are spiritual laws, which people tend to be a little squeamish about discussing.

In the case of football the physical laws come up because the amazing athletes push their physical limits. The spiritual laws come up when we attempt to keep them from hurting themselves too badly, and because we should care for these amazing men after they have sacrificed their bodies (and sometimes brains) and are crippled.

In the case of politics, and especially the politics of Global Warming, the exact same factors come into play, though some might protest politics is not a sport. But politics does involve winners and losers, and a rulebook called our laws, and the temptation to “amend” the laws, and to “redefine” how the game is played, and even what constitutes “winning”. It requires we be civil, if we are to call ourselves “civilized”, and that we follow certain set procedures we call “civil procedures”. And here again we see two basic types of laws that restrain man within certain limits: Physical laws and spiritual laws.

The physical laws are easier to deal with, because they are more obvious, though not always clear to a layman. They involve science and engineering, and require scientists and engineers to explain some of their less obvious details. For example, I once had a friend who wanted to install a huge hot tub up in her bedroom; despite the fact her plumber worried about the pressure this put on the drains. She learned to listen, after a major flood downstairs. Physical laws represent Truths that will not be mocked.

Spiritual laws are harder to deal with, because they often run counter to more selfish laws that politicians deal with, that are tantamount to a sort of Law Of The Jungle. For example, a politician needs to curry favor among constituents, and this sometimes tempts them to hand out money and jobs inappropriately, with the money diverted from the people and the job it was earmarked for. In the case of the levees of New Orleans, very little of the money Washington sent to improve the levees was actually spent on the levees, while a lot went to various sorts of “inspectors”, and to lawyers involved in endless environmental lawsuits. The result of this was that, when Katrina arrived, the levees were not ready to hold back the flood. It did not matter that the Law Of The Jungle had been obeyed, when The Law Of Nature arrived.

Politicians always claim they need more money, but money is useless if corruption misappropriates it. Few projects have involved cost overruns as insanely huge as Boston’s “Big Dig”, but the vast expense couldn’t change the result when substandard materials were used, resulting in a dangerously leaky tunnel that has already killed a driver with a roof collapse. Bostonians were happy when there were lots of jobs and Federal funds were being flung about, but they will be less amused when a tunnel-collapse cuts their city in half.

The Law Of The Jungle seems smart in the short term, but in the long term Truth will not be mocked. It is for this reason the Navy conducts trials. They will not trust a ship given to them by bureaucrats. The last high-speed troop carrier delivered to the Navy had its bow cave in, the first time it was tested in heavy seas. You don’t want to discover a shortcoming like that in the middle of a war.

It is hard to have such a trial when you are building a bridge, and it is embarrassing to all concerned when a brand new bridge has a structural failure, as occurred recently with the Nipigon Bridge in Canada. Glitches like that are suppose to be seen and ironed out when things are still in the planning phases, and not after a bridge is already built.

The sad fact of the matter is that we are likely to see more of these costly mistakes, not fewer, as long as we allow the political Law Of The Jungle to rule science and engineering. The sooner we erect some sort of barrier between politics and science the better off we will be.

This seems unlikely to occur until people recognize they can’t take the money and run. There seems to instead be the attitude that it doesn’t matter if levees fail in New Orleans, tunnels collapse in Boston, and bridges close in Canada, as long as one can retire safely to Florida. People think they can escape the consequences.

However this implies there are consequences, and some are not even willing to admit that. They assume they are the winner in a situation that causes others loss, and that others are the losers. They think that if there is karma to face or hell to pay, others will face it, as they sit back, eat cherries, and laugh last.

This is not how the Law Of The Jungle works. The king of the jungle doesn’t get to retire to Florida. The moment he shows any sign of weakness, he faces the jungle-consequences of weakness, of aging. Only a civil society cares for their elderly, or even allows the elderly to become philanthropists. In the jungle, as soon as you weaken, all your wealth is taken. That is just the way it works, when you abandon civil procedures and ignore spiritual laws.

Because of this some adopt a splendid hypocrisy, wherein they ignore civil procedures while amassing their fortune, but as soon as they have their hoarded pile they become very, very interested in the very same civil procedures they once so blithely ignored. Few onlookers buy this double standard, (though some will nod and put on an agreeable face, if paid a high enough salary). Gradually the hypocrite experiences a dawning, painful to behold, wherein they move from calling others suckers to realizing who the sucker actually was.

It turns out civil society is based on spiritual laws involving fairly simple concepts, such as being a good neighbor, and that it is better-to-give-than-receive. Some lawyers might scrutinize the scriptures of various lands and say it is only better-to-give-than-receive ten percent of the time (because “tithe” means “ten percent”), but nearly all religions include the concept of “charity”. However it is when examining the concept of “charity” that the most horrendous hypocrisy and most stupendous violations of spiritual law are seen.

The simple fact of the matter is that you are not supposed to get richer if you give. If you have a hundred credits and give ten percent, you are suppose to only have ninety credits left. Therefore you should be highly suspicious if you notice the giver winds up with three hundred credits. That money is coming from somewhere, and more often than not it is stolen from the very poor the charity was suppose to be helping in the first place.

I will not belabor you with countless examples of people who claim they are spiritual, and helping the widows and orphans, the sick, the oppressed, and those in prison, yet who wind up wealthier, even as those they claimed they would help wind up worse off. I’m certain you can think up examples of this gross hypocrisy on your own. What I would like to propose is that such behavior is actually the antithesis of charity, and a major violation of spiritual law.

It seems to me that, just as an engineer cannot mock physical Truths, people who work outside the sciences cannot mock spiritual Truths. In both cases the mocker will face a day of reckoning. Brown stuff will hit the fan. In the case of do-gooders, fewer and fewer will be persuaded by the altruistic arguments of the ones who claim they do-good. People disbelieve that glib altruism, when the speaker resembles a fat tick bloating off the lifeblood of a nation.

Rather than depressing you with examples of people involved in Global Warming discussions who resemble fat ticks, I think it would be less depressing to revert to contemplating young artists, and their losers-are-winners attitude.

When you come right down to it, art is very rarely a way to get rich. For 99.99% of all artists, giving the gift they were given is a form of charity, for the artists does not see much material gain. Even if they get some money thrown into their guitar case, as they play on a sidewalk, they could likely be making far more money hammering nails at a construction site. And many others do not play, or paint, or compose, or write, in public at all. They sing for their family, or friends, or in a church choir. They give for the joy of giving. That may be why poets are defined, in Sufi humor, as “proud beggars”.

This underscores the fact that the benefit of art, and all gift-giving, and all charity, is not a thing measured in dollars. Unfortunately, a very few artists, perhaps .01%, are so amazingly good that they do make piles of dollars. In my generation the example of this was the Beatles. By being successful they inadvertently gave the other 99.99% the false hope that they too might someday be millionaires, and “winners”. However the Beatles made their money by being more honest than most, and one truth they dared to sing was that that they were not the winners they appeared to be.

I sure wish I got paid millions for publicly confessing I’m a loser, but it hasn’t worked out that way for me, or for the other 99.99% of all artists. The real “pay” for art is in the joy of giving. This is why we speak of “playing” a guitar rather than “working” a guitar. The funny thing is that when you inform many young artists that they will not get paid as much as the Beatles for playing, they say, “Then the heck with it,” in which case they were not really artists. They were in it for the money, which makes them con artists. (Other artists get a Real Job to make money, but continue their art for joy, which is described by saying they have a “vocation” and an “avocation”).

The fact of the matter is that there is a distinction that needs to be made between the Arts and Sciences, but many of my generation failed to make it. Somehow they got it into their heads that giving should make you materially rich, and that charity should be profitable. What is more, they took steps to make charity lucrative, even though that violates spiritual law and is strangely grotesque, like a nursing mother with coin-slots on her breasts.

One .01% artist was Bono of “U2”, who became rich and famous enough to be asked to give the commencement address at a major American university, and he told our youth, “Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will.”

I think that future generations will look back at Baby Boomers, and will be stunned by our delusion that giving should gain the giver material wealth. It doesn’t. The wealth gained through giving is measured in joy. However so insistent are some that money must come from charity that they will ignore all the evidence so freely given by Reality, when one foolishly ignores physical and spiritual Truths. Truth will not be mocked, but when faced with the complete bankruptcy of their beliefs, some will just print more money.

“Just print more money.” Isn’t that the sign of a counterfeiter? To me it is also the sign of a bad loser, who can’t even admit that he or she lost the game with Truth.

(I could give countless examples from the history of Global Warming Alarmism of how individuals have lost the game, both in terms of physical laws and spiritual laws, but as this essay is already too long, I’ll leave the giving of specific examples to others.)

(Anthony Watts graciously posted this essay on his site: )


Sad news has come from Canada. The cute and cuddly woodchuck “Winnipeg Willow” expired early on Saturday, January 30. Groundhog Day willow-groundhog

Unconfirmed reports state that Winnipeg Willow was seen drinking heavily on Friday night, and was heard screaming, “I can’t take it any more, I tell you! I’m vermin! I break horses legs with my holes, and can demolish an entire vegetable garden’s worth of spring seedlings in one night! My Momma didn’t raise me to be no teddy bear! But for five years I’ve had to put up with this @%$#&^%,  @#(**&  @#$$^%. I can’t take it! Don’t they know the only time a woodchuck is ever good is in a stew?”

The caretaker could not be reached for comment.

The news that the groundhog died apparently set off panic in Canada’s large community of Global  Warming Alarmists, who have stampeded to the southern border, making it hard for our reporter to get north for interviews (and to see if they wanted the yummy woodchuck meat, which is hard to come by in February.)

Groundhog 2 traffic-jam


Government officials, speaking under conditions of anonymity, state there is no truth to the leaks that suggest Willow was driven to drink by government pressures that she only forecast warming winters, when she wanted to forecast six bad weeks coming after the current thaw. Copies of emails suggest Willow was offered a 100,000 carrot scientific grant to see no shadow, but the emails have since been erased and Willow’s laptop has mysteriously disappeared, asserted an anonymous source speaking at an undisclosed site to an under-educated reporter.

Further government statements from multitudinous leaks leaking under a guarantee of strict secrecy absolutely deny that Willow was assassinated, which is odd, because no one ever suggested that.


LOCAL VIEW –I’m A Loser–

January and early February tend to be the hardest times to get through, in New Hampshire, with the holidays past and the bitterest winds blowing. It is bad enough when one is hale and healthy, but when you are under doctor’s orders to keep exertion to a minimum, you feel bed-ridden and can become a real sourpuss, and write morbid sonnets like this one:

It is cruel January, the Mad Moon,
When sanity swings from a slender thread
And brave men whistle a graveyard tune
As tombstones clutch moon shadows of dread.

Attempting smiles, good people bare their teeth.
“Nice try,” I think, but see through the pale mask
To the heavy heart lurking underneath
And the way their life has become a task.

Why did we ever move so very far north?
Eden was warm. You could wear a fig leaf.
Here bitter winds bring bitter words forth
And we bite our tongues, or else cause wives grief.

Life was made for joy, but the cruel Deceiver
Relishes stale air, and our cabin fever.

I’m usually better at making a joke of cabin fever, even when I catch it. Sometimes, rather than fighting it, I go with it, exaggerating it to such a degree it becomes laughable. For example, here is an example of such January humor:


The east blushes blue. A cardinal tweets,
Insanely loud in the subzero hush.
Jaunty red plumage black against dawn, he greets
Winter’s conquest with counter-claims, a rush
Of twitters, and then, “Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!” he yells:
A winced headache to all with hangovers
And a plague to sleep. “Tweet! Tweet!” It compels
Curses from virgin lips; even pushovers
Push back against the madness of claiming
A white waste of tundra for a dull spouse
Who likely thinks he’s mad, and is shaming
Him by basking in Florida. What house
Can he claim for her when the odds are so low?
”Tweet! Tweet!” screams the cardinal at seven below.

However sometimes even I get serious. Perhaps it is a side effect of having a kidney removed. (Not that I failed to see the humor of paying a surgeon more than I can make in two years to make me feel one hell of a lot worse than I have ever felt in my life.) However it hurt to laugh, so I stopped, and got serious.

One of the most serious things I found to think about, when tapped on the shoulder by my own mortality, was the simple fact that not all of my dreams may come true.

I have tended to use hopes and dreams to lure myself on through life, like a stubborn donkey is lured by a dangling apple on a string just in front of its nose. Deluding myself with hope has worked for decades, but all of a sudden it became outdated. It occurred to me, “Maybe I won’t make a million overnight, solving all my financial woes by writing a silly song that mysteriously becomes a one-hit-wonder.”  (Other people buy lottery tickets, but I write silly songs.)

It was amazing how black life became, when I simply gave up on some hopes. Rather than imagining myself as an eventual “winner”, I accepted the fact I was a “loser”. After all, not all our dreams can come true, and we are often happier because they don’t. For example, when we go to a class reunion we sometimes meet people we long-ago dreamed might marry us, take a hard look, and then thank God that particular dream didn’t come true. However giving up on some of my current hopes made everything look pitch black.

It sure didn’t help that the New England Patriots chose just then to lose the championship game. Then it wasn’t just me; the whole darn town got depressed. It was especially hard because Tom Brady took such a beating, was clobbered and flattened so constantly, yet fought back so bravely to the very verge of tying the game up, only to lose at the end. It was like seeing that you can try, you can be brave, you can be tougher than nails, and still be a loser.

Of course, because I am an a old fossil, the old Beatle’s song, “I’m A Loser”, started drifting through my head. That always seemed like am odd tune for the Beatles to write, considering they were far more than a one-hit-wonder, and were unbelievably successful and rolling in dough when in their twenties. (I sure wasn’t.) If any were winners, it sure seemed they were. How could they write about being losers? But they wrote it, so I decided to take a look at it, through the wonders of the internet.

It seems incredible that they were doing that stuff fifty years ago. Half a century!  What was it that made them so attractive? To me it seems it was the simple fact they dared be honest, dared confess they were human and mortal and not always winners. They took public confession to unheard-of levels, and people simply couldn’t help but like them for their honesty.  However they were not merely honest, they were proud of it.

When I look back at that time, fifty years ago, when I was not quite a teenager yet, one thing I recall is what fakes and phonies all the grown-ups all seemed to be. When a guy saw a pretty woman ahead he’d suck in his gut and walk in a manner that seemed, to me as a mere boy, to be preposterous. I dreaded the idea that someday I’d have to act that way, if I was to grow up. It seemed everyone was trying desperately hard to be better than they were, to be winners and hide the fact they were losers. Then along came the Beatles, and sung, “I’m a loser, and not what I appear to be,” and it was such a relief, and so refreshing. Rather than girls rejecting them for being losers, teenyboppers shrieked shrill adoration. (I was also a loser, but girls sure didn’t shriek adoration over me, but perhaps that was because I wasn’t proud of it, and was always cringing when my true self was revealed. You hardly ever saw the Beatles cringing.)

It is only a step further to arrive at “Nowhere Man”. I wondered what person the Beatles were writing about, when they wrote that song, and was surprised to learn John was writing about himself, and writing a song to himself.

In other words, when you examine the lives of so-called “winners”, what you discover is that they were also losers. They were also mortal, and human, and prone to all the sufferings ordinary people face. Yet they were just a bit less ashamed of it, and were not held back by shame.

Pride doesn’t always come before the fall. When you are proud about being honest, and about confessing, and about being truthful, pride can actually uplift, at least for a little while.





ARCTIC SEA ICE –The return of the Nudger–(Updated Saturday Evening)

The building of the cold over the Arctic Sea didn’t last all that long before the next onslaught of Atlantic mildness came north, with some Pacific mildness pinching in from the other side.

The build up of cold air was close to its peak on January 25, though the nudging Atlantic air can be seen poking towards the pole on the temperature maps

DMI3 0125 mslp_latest.big DMI3 0125 temp_latest.bigDMI3 0125B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0125B temp_latest.big

By January 26 the Pacific air is also becoming apparent, as it pinches in from the top of the temperature map.

DMI3 0126B mslp_latest.big DMI3 0126B temp_latest.big

Today (January 27) we see the invasion continuing, and the area of deep blue on the temperature graph greatly reduced.

DMI3 0127 mslp_latest.big DMI3 0127 temp_latest.bigDMI3 0127B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0127B temp_latest.big

This warming at the Pole does verify certain Alarmist computer models that predict warming will be greatest at the Pole, however the problem is that the cold air hasn’t simply vanished. It has been displaced, and nudged south. In fact this is bad news for people who don’t like winter down at 40 degrees latitude, like myself, for the cold will not be staying up where it belongs, and where bears are adapted and have white fur. Instead it will be heading where bears have to sleep the winter away, and humans aren’t so lucky, and must stay awake, spending a fortune attempting to keep from going bonkers by sliding down steep hills on flat sticks, or drinking colossal amounts of hot buttered rum.

A problem seems to exist in the idea that a warmer Pole will make the world warmer, simply because the cold does get nudged south, and in some cases all the way south to lands where people are not accustomed to cold weather. I already posted the picture of the snow-covered palms in Saudi Arabia:Saudi Snow 2 fotonoticia_20160116113053_1280

However now the cold has nudged right through China, giving relatively mild places like Hong Kong snow on its hills, and even further south into Indochina and India. Perhaps the most touching picture is from Thailand, where the army has rushed to bring thousand of blankets and warm hats to villagers who don’t have such things.Thailand Cold 30277820-01_big

The sad thing is that people are actually dying of the cold in such places, although the cold might not seem cold by northerner’s standards. Hypothermia can set in when temperatures drop below 60°F, and when they get down to 45°C (+7.5°C) it can mean serious hardship for unprotected peoples, especially the very old and very young. There has been a lot of sickness reported in places like Bangladesh, as a direct result of temperatures dropping below 50°F.   This is only one of many stories posted at the Iceagenow site, describing the cold being nudged south from the Pole into southeast Asia. Where places like Korea are used to such onslaughts from the north, places like Thailand and Bangladesh are not. I am quite certain if you were to tell such shivering people that the cold is proof of Global Warming they would respond in a manner that might not be polite, yet I have read some Alarmists write exactly such stretchings of credulity.

It makes me aware we need to broaden our outlooks, when we talk of the “Warming Pole”, for the Arctic Sea is not all that large an area, if you look at a globe, rather than at one of the distorted maps that make Greenland look bigger than Australia. We need to recognize that warming over one small area does not add up to warming over the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere.

We also need to recognize the ebb and flow of vast rivers of air from north to south, as well as from east to west, and the fact the north to south (or meridienal) flows could be set off by the north and south being in some way out of balance, while an east to west (or zonal) flow indicates the north and south are in more of a balance.

I wonder if the “Quiet Sun” is causing a colder Pole, which puts things out of balance, and requires more of a meridienal flow to bring things back into balance. It should at least be considered. All the milder air rushing north might be a result of cold, in a sense like leaving the draft to a flue open and having the warm air in your living-room make a beeline  to the fireplace and up the chimney. I suggest this because I see little sign of all the mild air rushing up to the arctic making the planet warmer. Rather I see all that mild air gets colder, once it gets up there, as the heat is lost to space in the 24-hour darkness of midwinter. Perhaps the sea-ice will not get quite as thick as it otherwise might get, in the Arctic Sea, but I doubt a little less sea-ice will make much of a difference to the planet as a whole, especially with snow-cover further south, reflecting sunshine further south, and also some coastal waters freezing outside of the Arctic Sea, further south than usual, for example in the Yellow Sea in China’s Shandong province.

Yellow Sea 2 eca86bd9e2f918124c250aYellow Sea 3 eca86bd9e2f918124c2402Yellow Sea Ice 1 eca86bd9e2f918124c250bApparently not even China’s smog caused any Global Warming, along that coast. It simply becomes one more image, that adds to the sneaking suspicion that a warmer Pole doesn’t necessarily mean we will have a warmer Earth.

A lot of the cold across China and Southeast Asia was due to an earlier nudge of mild air into the arctic, and it is to be hoped they get a bit of a break due to the recent pause, when cold air built in the arctic. There seems a definite “lag” between the occurrence of events at the Pole, and when the resultant responses are seen further south.

For example, the blizzard in Washington DC occurred even after the last nudging was over at the Pole. It took a while for that nudged, cold air to travel south. Now, even though the current build-up of cold seems over at the Pole, Washington DC seems likely to experience a January Thaw.  It will again take a while for the currently nudged cold to travel south, but computer models are showing the next arctic invasion reaching Washington in a week, perhaps with another blizzard. (Joseph D’Aleo has a brilliant analysis of the various computer runs at the Professional Weatherbell Site, but the one map (of many) that has the most bearing on this discussion is this one):Next onslaught eps_t850a_exnamer_41

This is the European model’s “solution” for February 6, right after a storm moves away from North America, dragging cold all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico. It is impossible to locate where the possible storm (or storms) will track at this early date, but the result is plain, and people in Ohio will shiver, imagining air ten degrees below normal in early February. However I point up to the Canadian Archipelago. Temperatures are forecast to be ten degrees above normal, up there. Once again we see what certain Alarmists will call “proof” of Global Warming. It will not matter if there are frosts in the orange groves of Florida.

All I can do is watch and wait. I remember that these cold outbreaks are occurring when we are amidst the end of a strong El Nino, when (adding in “lag time”) the planet’s atmosphere should be at its warmest. It is slightly unnerving to think how much colder it might get as we sink into the cycle of a La Nina, however perhaps we can hope a La Nina might cause a more zonal flow to take over, with the cold trapped up at the Pole next winter. But this would also cause certain Alarmists to reveal their hypocrisy, I fear, for if the cold was trapped up at the Pole, they likely would stop focusing up there, and instead focus on how it was less wintry further south.

The thing about hypocrisy is that it only works so long before people catch on. A snake oil salesman out in the American West always had to move on to the next town, because people in the old town started to doubt. In the case of the Global Warming, it has been pitched world-wide, and there is no new town to move to. If NASA suddenly gets interested in building a base on Mars, you will know it is because they need to move to a new planet, after all the nonsense Hansen oversaw.

In Turkey they likely doubt NASA’s wasted breath about Global Warming, for this winter they have been unfortunately situated at a place where they get snow whether storms swing north or are nudged south.  Their snowfall totals are unreal, for a land so far south.Turkey Snow 1530223

This is the landscape some Syrian refugees are fleeing through. It is not a pretty picture, seen in that light. But it does get me thinking along lines which I’ll save for some other post, about humans who love their neighbors, versus humans who hate. Isis is obviously filled with hate, but I sadly I know some Alarmists who are not much better, because they use their own incapacity to solve preconceived problems (which may not be as horrible as they imagine) such as “overpopulation”, as an excuse to propose drastic and inhumane measures. It seemingly does not occur to them that what they propose fails the lodestone-touch of “does it love your neighbor?” (I could go on, but that is enough of a rave for now.)

The best response seems to be to counter balderdash by quietly, steadily and persistently reporting observations of the Truth. I figure Truth is a mighty big thing, much bigger than I am, and Truth involves allies I can’t even imagine exist. “Stand by the Truth and the Truth will stand by you”.

It will be interesting to watch the sea-ice this spring and summer, after a winter of above-normal temperatures. My guess is that the “extent” should start out low but, due to the “Quiet Sun”, fail to shrink to the levels some Alarmists are hoping for. We’ll see what Truth shows us.


Kuwait Snow Untitled_21

FRIDAY UPDATE  –The Pole as an Engine–

When the milder air heads up to the Pole it rises, creating low pressure at the surface. It also created low pressure because all the moisture condenses, and you basically have steam (which takes up a lot of room) becoming a small drop or flake (which takes up very little room). But when that is done it is done, and all you have left is air getting colder and colder in the 24 hour darkness, and cold air doesn’t rise. In a sense it is like a piston that was going up starts going down. The low pressure at the Pole turns into high pressure, as the cold air presses down, and eventually this weight of air starts rolling south as the next arctic outbreak, and that creates the opening for the next milder surge to head up to the Pole.

Or this is what I seem to be seeing, as a witness. Currently it looks like the last batch of mildness is starting to chill, and starting to press down, creating new high pressure. We’ll have to watch, and see how swiftly the temperatures chill.

Currently we are temporarily looking like we have created a textbook example of a Polar Cell, with low pressures cycling around a central high pressure at the Pole, and with air rising at the edges and sinking at the center. polar-cell-atmospherecirculation

The problem with this image is that it seems too stable, and fails to take into account the observation that high pressure doesn’t perpetually sit on the Pole. Low Pressure rudely tosses the textbook out the window and goes barging up there. That totally messes up the above illustration, for if you have air rising at the Pole it either turns the Polar Cell into a donut, with low pressure in the middle, or perhaps creates a fourth cell, which in all modesty I think should be called the Caleb Cell, or perhaps the Super Cell. However such cells never seem to last very long, which has got me thinking about the Pole as an engine, pulsing away, or perhaps as a huge inanimate lung, breathing in and out. While the above illustration is elegant, and gives the gist of what is going on up there, it is too simple, for simply observing shows us that either the Pole isn’t elegant, or its elegance is of a majesty beyond our simple minds.

I imagine the above illustration is most helpful when the flow is “zonal” and the cold is locked up at the Pole by a jet stream that is circular and sits on the earth like a halo. When the flow gets more devilish and loopy and “meridienal” we need a different illustration to help our small minds grasp the vast.


What was once the ice that Faboo (The north Pole Camera) sat upon continues to be flushed down the east coast of Greenland. Faboo’s last picture was on New Year’s Eve, while Fabootoo amazingly survives and keeps sending pictures. Unfortunately it only sends pictures at midnight, for some odd reason, and therefore we only see pitch black, though the camera has made it far enough south to see some light at noon, if only it would snap a picture at that time. Of course, it could be laying flat on its face, or be buried in snow, as the snow has fallen thickly on the east coast, as reported by the co-located Mass Balance Buoy 2015D, which reports snow four feet deep.

The sea-water is below freezing, so when snow falls on such water it doesn’t melt, but becomes slush and seed crystals for new ice. A lot of the ice is home-grown, and a lot has come all the way south from the North Pole with Faboo. I’ve never seen anyone try to determine how much of each type are in the mass of ice crushing south.

At this point the ice may be so fractured we can’t be sure Bouy 2015D is actually sitting on ice. Some of these devices float and report while in open water, and two years ago we had two GPS’s that began on the same floe, “co-located”, which wound up hundreds of miles apart.

In any case 2015D reported in at 71.34 N, 18.99 W Wednesday, which placed it 79.04 miles southeast of where it reported from on Saturday. Then, only a day later, it reported from 70.73 N, 19.42 W, another 43.14 miles southeast, so you can see it is really being whisked along by the wind and currents. Temperatures came in at -4.14 C on Wednesday and  -7.56 C on Thursday, which are warmer than we’ve seen further north, and indicates the gales by Iceland are wrapping around Atlantic mildness. Of course, temperatures are still below the freezing point of salt water, so “mildness” is a relative term.

Across the Pole we have O-buoys 8b, 13, 14, and 15 reporting, though their cameras don’t see much. Buoys 13 and 14 are far enough south to see some noon twilight, though the lenses are obscured with snow. This is evidence winter won’t last forever.Obuoy 13 0129 webcamAt this time of years the O-buoys are primarily important because they allow us to double check the surface temperature reading given by the satellites.  I think the satellites sometimes miss very thin layers of cold air, because the buoys sometimes fail to see the the Atlantic mildness coming north. O-buoy 8b did see the last invasion:Obuoy 8b 0129 temperature-1week

Notice how the cold has rebuilt, and also how the mildness never nudged above the freezing point of salt water.

The other buoys show less of an invasion of milder air at the surface. Obuoy 14 0129 temperature-1week

The location of the buoys can be found on the O-buoy homepage overview. You should bookmark this page for hours of time you will not be able to account for, all summer.

The cameras usually have their lenses start to clear off when the sun starts to peek over the horizon. That will be in February, for the more southerly cameras, and in March for the more northerly ones.


The ice extent graphs continue to show less than normal growth at the edges. On the Pacific side it is apparently due to the East Siberian blasts heading south more than east. Parts of northern Japan speak of a “mild” winter with less snow, as parts of southern Japan that rarely see snow have been buried.

On the Atlantic side we have watched the invasions of mild air push north, mostly through Barents Sea but occasionally even up through Fram Strait to the west. This prevents the growth of ice in two ways. First, it keeps the ice from spreading out to the south, and instead crushes it north. Second, milder air slows the process of freezing ice at the edges. (This tends to happen more to the east, in Barents Sea, as we’ve watched some very cold air come down through Fram Strait to the west.)

In any  case, both Barents Sea, and the Greenland Sea to its west, have less ice than normal.Barents Sea 20160129 recent365.anom.region.6Greenland Sea 20160129 recent365.anom.region.5If you add the two seas together, you account for a half million square km of the “missing” ice at the Pole, in the extent graph.DMI3 0129 icecover_current_new (1)The question is whether this ice is actually “missing”, or merely more compressed. As we have watched the ice off Greenland, we saw it be reluctant to come south at the start of the winter, in which case it was “missing” because the Arctic Ocean was not being robbed of its stash. Since then the ice has come surging south through Fram Strait, as it always does, as well as the Greenland coast home-grow some new ice due to extreme cold coming south.  We have also witnessed the ice be crushed west against the coast by the east winds of North Atlantic gales. It becomes very hard to say if ice is “missing”, when extent is not the same thing as volume, and the same amount of ice can be like a pat of butter, either a square pat, or spread out over an entire piece of toast. All we can say for certain is that the extent is “below average”.

To the east the winds have been far more steadily from the south, and the northern edge of the ice is clearly further north in Barents Sea. At times the air first entering the arctic has even been above freezing (though it swiftly cools) so it seems only logical that less ice would form, and any ice that formed would be compressed north. I think it can be said ice is “missing” here, because we could see how slow it was to form on the east coast of Svalbard and south of Frans Josef Land.Fram Ice 0129 general_20160129The edge of the ice is far from being static, as some seem to imagine, and a lot of changes could occur between now and when the actual melt begins.Melt and drift 20160128 arcticicespddrfnowcastTwo summers ago the ice actually increased in Barents Sea during the very months when most think of ice decreasing, and it will be interesting to watch to see if the same occurs again.


It is hard for people to the south to imagine how deep the gales in the North Pacific and North Atlantic get. The gale that caused the hubbub in Washington DC barely got to 985 mb. People would be going ballistic if a gale got down to 950 mb so far south, but a gale that deep is north of Scotland, and will still be that low when it stalls just off the coast of Norway tomorrow. It will then be followed by another gale, (currently off the left side of the map below), which could be nearly as deep, and rather than stall could charge right across Britain and the Baltic on Monday.UIK Met 20160129 31339844What has this got to do with sea-ice? Well, it looks like the flow of Atlantic air is not going to be heading to the Pole for a while, but rather go blasting across Europe. To the south it might even involve some balmy air from the Azores, but it will also involve some less balmy North Atlantic air, which is why you see all those cold fronts on the map. However it won’t be the true blue Siberian air that comes from the east, so it won’t be cold fronts that bring winter-at-its-worst. It might even be “above-normal” in places, but it won’t be as far above-normal as it would be (though exactly the same air) if it was transplanted up to the North Pole.

My guess is that up at the Pole we’ll see some quietude, and the air getting colder in the darkness. (Of course, who knows what surprise could come from the Pacific side?)

However the current nudge of mild air has already done its damage, and the displaced cold air is coming south, down through Canada, with people in the American West getting ready for a blizzard, (though currently it looks like it won’t hit until after the elections in Iowa on Monday). (It is interesting to note that bad weather seems to help conservatives, while liberals can’t be bothered voting in bad weather.  Hmm.)


The huge gale off Norway is being downright selfish, and not sharing much Atlantic air with the Pole. The Atlantic air over the Pole is cooling, but a tendril of Pacific air can be seen sneaking in from the top of the temperature map.  This air is following a “weakness” that developed between the high pressure over the Pole and the high pressure over Siberia. It looks rather weak, but should be watched, as it interrupts cross-polar-flow from Siberia to Canada, at least for the time being.


Over at the always-interesting “Weatheraction News” Site I noticed Piers Corbyn had posted two maps which seem perfect, when it comes to showing how the jet stream across the Atlantic swings to and fro, sometimes looping up to the Pole and sometimes heading straight across and slamming into Europe.

The first map is from around Christmas and shows an especially elongated loop north, and the second is from when the jet flattened out on January 11 (I think.)

Piers 1 screenshot_2016-01-11-10-51-35-13

Piers 2 screenshot_2016-01-11-10-52-02-13

The lower map above shows what a tricky business it is to judge the temperature of a west wind coming off the Atlantic into Europe. Some of the stream is coming up from the Azores, some is coming straight across, and some is coming straight down from the Pole, and they all converge over Europe. Good luck figuring that one out, fellows! (In mid January, the cold was predominate; I’ll talk more about the current tricky business later.)

What the above maps also show is that cross Atlantic jets are like a fire-hose that some foolish fireman dropped, which is snaking back and forth.

I actually have experience with high pressure hoses dropped by foolish people, for once I was the foreman of a crew that cleaned up a herring cannery between shifts. It is a great tale, for some other evening. What applies to this situation is how completely unpredictable the hose was, as it snaked to and fro and blasted people left and right. The entire crew was teenaged boys, and they were attempting to creep up on the hose from all angles, as if it was a living thing. All work had ground to a halt, as they used trash-can lids as shields, and waged war on a sort of dragon. They were losing, but having a blast and laughing their fool heads off, until, as the serious elder in the situation (at the old age of 26), I spoiled all the fun by slaying the dragon from afar. What I did, using my age and wisdom, was to shut off the faucet.

Unfortunately there is no faucet that shuts off the North Atlantic jet stream, nor any real way to get a grip on its nozzle. There are a few deluded types in certain political circles who think such a thing can be controlled by increasing taxes, erecting windmills, and closing efficient coal power plants, but that is another tale for another evening. The fact of the matter is that no mortal can control such power. (The best you can do is pray, and hope that the Creator of such power harkens to a flea, and has mercy, but few politicians are inclined to pray for mercy, because few have any mercy….[end of brief rave].)

Here is a satellite animation of the world’s weather for the year 2015. Focus on the storms crossing the the Atlantic, ignoring the rest of the planet. Just watching the Atlantic makes me pity the weather forecasters of Europe. Forecasting the continental USA is a piece of cake in comparison.

Rather than poking fun at European forecasters, which is a cheap shot from afar, I decided to go look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps over at the Weatherbell Site. There are thousands. I first had to pick and chose between various models, and then chose between various versions, and decide upon what continent and then what specific sort of map to look at. I chose the surface-pressure-and-windspeed maps of Europe created by the Canadian JEM model, (which may overdo the size of storms, but seems to have a better grasp of winter, in some hard-to-describe way.) Glancing over 41 maps, I had to decide which ones to share with you (hoping I don’t get sued because I have provided free advertising for their excellent site). I decided to show the current, 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour and 96 hour maps.

Basically we start with the gale stalled off Norway, and then watch another storm charge across the Atlantic and pile right through Norway. Like Pacific storms attempting to plow across the American Rocky Mountains, storms don’t fare too well when they attempt to plow across Norway’s mountains, but even in a weakened state this storm does keep the west winds blowing across Europe. My job, as a layman forecaster, is to determine the source-region for the air in these west winds. Are they balmy west winds from the Azores? Are they cool winds from America? Or are they cold winds from the Greenland Sea?West 1 cmc_mslp_uv10m_eur_1West 2 cmc_mslp_uv10m_eur_5West 3 cmc_mslp_uv10m_eur_9West 4 cmc_mslp_uv10m_eur_13West 5 cmc_mslp_uv10m_eur_17My guess is that, at first, a lot of Europe could get a break from winter. The storm currently off Norway could give the north a cold shot, but the source-regions for the rest looks like they are from the cool west, with even some balmy winds mixed in down towards Spain. But the final two maps show a lot of isobars aiming air right down from the north at western Europe, so my guess they might be seeing some colder weather appear in their forecasts by Tuesday.

Now we shall see how good a guesser I am.

In terms of sea-ice, it looks like the Pole is in for a break from Atlantic imports, and may even be exporting a bit. We’ll have to watch and see if the north winds are strong and persistent enough to spread the sea-ice south, which would produce one of those odd saw-tooth up-jags in the extent graph.


ARCTIC SEA ICE –A Changing Pattern–(Updated Sunday Night)

The DMI maps are available again at long last, and seem to indicate the low pressure over the Pole is filling in, and the cold is starting to rebuild.                          DMI3 0122 mslp_latest.big DMI3 0122 temp_latest.bigDMI3 0122B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0122B temp_latest.big

Deep low pressure continues to stall between Iceland and Greenland, creating a southerly flow up through the North Atlantic, but the associated fronts and lows aren’t making the same progress past Fram Strait towards the Pole. The UK Met maps show the current storm weakening as it crawls from Denmark Strait up to Fram Strait, as a new Gale replaces it by midday Sunday down in Denmark Strait. Note all the fronts occlude and tangle to the north, failing to progress north. (Click maps to clarify and enlarge.)

UK Met 20160122 31143270 UK Met 20160122 2 day for 31146915

The Atlantic flow is expected to slowly collapse south and east, until it pours across Northern Europe.  (Jospeph D’Aleo has an excellent post about this shift at the Weatherbell Professional Site.) This will squeeze the cold currently over Europe back down over poor, snowbound Turkey (and any Syrian refugees) and then down to the Middle East, as western Europe gets a break from its current cold, and even may get some rain, but eastern Europe and Russia gets yet more snow. This developing spear of milder temperatures shows up especially clearly in Dr. Ryan Maue’s Canadian JEM model map for temperatures next Monday.DMI3 0122B cmc_t2m_asia_11It is not particularly “warming” to increase the Siberian snow-pack, which has been generating a copious supply of cold air this year. It’s to be hoped that the spear of mildness is bent southeast down to Mongolia, which has been suffering bitter cold, as the cold generated over Siberia’s snows escaped south towards China. The excellent researcher and contributor the Ice Age Now site,  Argiris Diamantis, found this press release about Mongolia’s plight, (which I haven’t seen mentioned in the mainstream media):

 Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Mongolian herders facing severe winter. Published: 19 January 2016
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released 158,000 Swiss francs (157,686 US dollars) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist 1,500 herder families (7,500 people) in Mongolia who are at risk of losing all their livestock to extreme sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall.
Based on the latest assessment report released by the Mongolian Government in early January 2016, 50 soums (districts) in 16 aimags (provinces) are currently categorized as being affected by dzud (the Mongolian term for severe winter conditions), while 120 soums in 20 provinces are facing a winter situation that is very close to dzud.
Snowfall and snowstorms are expected to continue unabated in the coming weeks with average temperatures of below -25 degrees Celsius during the day and around -40 degrees at night. This will potentially affect more than 965,000 people, especially vulnerable herders. The herders, most of whom are now facing difficult weather conditions and shortage of hay and fodder, are expected to start losing their livestock in the coming weeks. In order to obtain cash to buy food, hay and other necessities many herders have started selling their animals before they perish in the severe weather. However, the oversupply of livestock resulted in very low market prices, forcing herders to sell at abnormally unfavourable prices. This situation will have the worst consequences for vulnerable families with smaller herds.

(From )

(This sad situation introduced me to a new word, “dzud”, which is a Mongolian word for the mass death of livestock.)

Besides the cold air escaping south, it is pouring east into the Pacific, giving Korea its bitterest cold of this winter, and speeding the freeze of Pacific coastal waters to the northeast, the Sea of Japan and especially the Sea of Obhotsk further north. These waters, outside the Arctic Ocean, have had below-normal-sea-ice so far this winter, and are one reason the ice extent graphs show “less than normal” ice. (Map from Wikipedia)240px-Sea_of_Okhotsk_mapWhile ice in these waters likely has a part to play in the intricate engineering of the PDO, it is likely wrong to put too much weight to the up-ticks in the extent graphs any increase here might create, (especially as ice on Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay were not included in “sea-ice extent graphs” last winter.) Also, in terms of the reflected sunlight and “albedo” equations that mean so much to some Alarmist theories, the amount of snow over Siberia (and Canada) should be factored in, as it far exceeds this possible increase of ice, but the albedo of snow-pack often isn’t included.

The thing I’m noticing more and more is how Siberia generates cold air masses, and what a huge factor this is all over Eurasia, and even across the Pole in Canada. Siberia is a gigantic region, and even the snow currently blocking the mountain passes in the North African nation of Tunisia can be traced back to the Steppes.

In any case, to return from Africa to the subject of the Arctic Ocean, some of the Siberian cold seems to be pouring north, and I am going to be keenly watching to see if the temperatures up at the Pole take a dive, after being relatively high during the time Atlantic air was flowing up that way. (The DMI has finally posted a new graph, for the mean temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude.)DMI3 0122 meanT_2016While temperatures have been as much as ten degrees above normal at the Pole, it should be noted this is no heatwave, and represents a mean temperature of -20C, at the “mildest”. This is “below zero”, for people like me who use Fahrenheit, and quite obviously no melting has been going on during this “heat wave”, (except for a brief thaw on the Atlantic side, that lasted only a matter of hours.)

I will also be keenly watching to see if a rebuilding of cold at the Pole is accompanied by a break from the cold, a so-called “January Thaw”,  further south. As it is, when milder temperatures push north colder temperatures seem to be pushed south, and, even as I write, a nor’easter is blowing up on the eastern coast of the USA, creating quite a hubbub, as the snows are falling further south than they did last winter, and Washington D.C. is getting clouted.

In a sense it seems to me almost as if the Arctic is breathing. It breathed cold out, and had to breathe warmth north to replace that cold, (or perhaps vice-versa). Now it is breathing the other way. The cold is refilling the Arctic Sea, but likely will be again exhaled, leading to the next outbreak of winter storms.

Spring seems a long way away, but we are currently at the depth of the cold, the bottom of the bottom. The coldest surface temperatures are usually around January 20, down where I live in New Hampshire, and the coldest temperatures aloft occur around February 1. I even saw a true sign of spring today, which was the first advertisement by “Quark Expeditions”, for people like me who would like to travel up to the Russian Barneo Base, a yearly airbase (and military exercise) that exists for roughly 45 days on the sea-ice at the North Pole. (Unfortunately I lack the $15,000.00 needed for a ticket, but surely some good reader will fund my research). (I want to meet and interview the fellows putting up next year’s North Pole Camera.)

The sea-ice will keep expanding at the edges for another month, and in some areas the ice keeps growing thicker right into the spring, so there is still much to watch. Besides watching to see if there is late growth in below-normal Pacific areas such as the Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea, it will be interesting to watch the below-normal parts of Barents Sea on the Atlantic side, especially around Svalbard.Concentration 20160120 arcticicennowcastOf course a lot concerning the ice is very difficult to gauge. Is the ice tortured by storms, and crammed into pressure ridges? Is it thinner, due to greater snows acting as a muffler? The Navy’s thickness map attempts to measure this, but has some shortcomings.Thickness 20160121 arcticictnowcastOne thing I’ve noticed about the thickness map is that it can’t really tell you whether or where the ice will or won’t melt in the summer, as that is partly caused by where the ice moves, and also is dependent on the temperature of the water moving in, under the ice. Water temperatures are important, and it is great fun trying to figure out what the oceans are up to.

One of the most important factors in the flow of the currents involves the antics of the AMO and PDO, so I try to watch what they are up to

The AMO is still staying up in its “warm” phase (whereas last year it was taking a dive, in January). AMO January amo_short

The Pacific, on the other hand, seems likely to become colder, with the El Nino starting to fade, the so-called “Warm Blob” looking less robust, and the PDO starting down.PDO January pdo_short

One thing becoming apparent to me, as I try to fathom something as huge as even one of the oceans, is that the sloshes represented by the AMO and PDO are brought about by some mighty big butts in the bathtubs. Things such as the magnificent moods of the Sun, and the bigger volcano eruptions, can take a nice predictable cycle and knock it all out of whack. As I look back in time I can see all sorts of evidence of a sixty-year-cycle, but also times when a world shaking event, such as the eruption of Tamboro in 1815, threw some cannonballs into the bathtubs, and added sloshes to the sloshes. Considering some of the ocean’s up-wellings contain waters that are over a thousand years old, I wonder if some events occurring now had origins in calamities that occurred to Earth a thousand years ago. My sense of wonder grows and grows, the more I study.

One small comment at the end of a recent post by Joseph D’Aleo really got me thinking. He mentions, in an off-hand manner, “In upcoming winters as the sun goes into its deep slumber including geomagnetic activity which has a cycle that trails the sunspot/flux cycle, expect more persistent cold and the return of record snows further west as the AC/NAC become very negative. High latitude volcanoes seem to get more active in these periods and they help enhance blocking in winter and the cold.” (My bold).

I found this statement a bit disconcerting, because it exposed my own dismissal of the idea the Quiet Sun could have any effect on things such as earthquakes and volcanoes. I just took a practical view that sunshine might effect the temperature of the air and the surface waters of the sea, but sunshine couldn’t cause the continental plates to shift or volcanoes to explode. Sunshine just plain didn’t seem strong enough.

However I dismissed this idea without bothering to investigate the idea or look at data. Considering I’ve spent (and perhaps wasted) ten years investigating whether trace amounts of a trace gas could have earth-shaking consequences, including boiling oceans and the extinction of the human race, it doesn’t seem fair that I dismissed another idea off hand. But I confess: I did exactly that.

My study of the trace gas CO2 has taught me an amazing amount, and I am far more aware of its effects than I formerly was. Formerly I was only aware of CO2 when tried to see how far I could swim under water, and the CO2 levels in my blood told me it was time to come up for O2. Now I know all sorts of fascinating trivia. For example the CO2 levels in my garden spike during the night, when no photosynthesis is occurring, while a lot of fungus is contributing to a lot of CO2-producing rot. Therefore most of the plants in my garden rejoice at dawn, for the CO2 levels are at their peak, and they do most of their growing just after dawn, when the air is rich with CO2. Within a couple hours the CO2 levels plummet to levels so low plants can barely grow, due to the frenzied phtosynthysis of daybreak.

Now I ask you, isn’t that some interesting trivia?

However, in terms of sea-ice, try as I would, I could find no great effect from CO2 levels. Nor was there much effect from even sunshine, though it was obvious sunshine twenty-four hours a day did have a greater thawing effect than CO2.  Yet most of the effects on the amounts of sea-ice were caused by winds, and by currents of water under the ice.

Winds and currents can at least be attributed to the levels of sunshine reaching the earth, and I struggled to see CO2 might be the fausett turning on and turning off those levels of sunshine, but in the end it was too great a stretch to look at CO2, and not look at the sun itself, as the determiner of the levels of sunshine.

However it is one thing to see the sun as influencing winds and currents, and quiet another to see the sun as influencing earthquakes and volcanoes. Therefore I found Joseph D’Aleo’s comment  unnerving, because if anyone has sifted through the available data, it is he. Maybe he couched his language and used the word “seem”, when he said “High latitude volcanoes seem to get more active”, but when he stops to look at something, it gives me pause.

It was especially disturbing because of another thing I’ve been dismissing. That is the idea that undersea vents may contribute to the melt of sea-ice. I’ve seen creatures by those deep sea vents living quite happily in spitting distance from water so hot it only was kept from exploding into steam by enormous pressures, and if heat couldn’t even cross that short distance, I didn’t see how it could get to the surface.

But wouldn’t you just know it? The very day I read Joseph D’Aleo’s remark I came across this map:

Vent melts sea ice fig1_arctic

It was an illustration for this post:  .

I began to think: If the Quiet Sun could increase high latitude volcano eruptions, could it not increase high latitude undersea eruptions?  And could that not increase the melting of ice from below, even as the Quiet Sun made things colder and increased the ice from the top? And what sort of butt would this stick into the sloshing bathtubs of the PDO and AMO?

What a hideous complication!  But what a wonder to wonder about! (Don’t get me wrong; I am far from arriving at a firm conclusion, but I sure am wondering).

It makes me feel so sorry for the Alarmists who are so insistent upon CO2 being the one and only reason, for absolutely everything, that they never open their minds to the possibility of anything else. What a narrowness they live in. It must be like living in a crack.


I should likely note that the Camera Fabootoo is still producing pictures of darkness, and that the co-located Buoy 2015D is reporting another slight thaw, with temperatures of +0.16°, as pressures have plunged to 983.07 mb. Likely the winds are roaring. We are at 72.31° N, 17.03° W, which means we have moved 244.22 miles south-southwest since December 30. We are now closer to Denmark Strait than Fram Strait, and nearly as far south as the small, isolated  Norwegan Island of Jan Mayen, to the east.

The DMI maps show a weakening low crawling up the east coast of Greenland. The cold is building in the Arctic Sea, but an interesting tendril of milder air is extending up over the Pole from Svalbard, causing a noodle of low pressure north of Greenland.

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE –Cold To Be Dislodged From Pole Again?–

Today’s DMI Maps continue to show the cold building up over the Arctic Sea.

However it appears this cold will be pushed off the Pole by new invasions of both Atlantic and Pacific air. Look at the Canadian Jem Model’s solution of what the temperatures will look like on Tuesday, up there. You can see the intense cold in East Siberia, and cross-polar flow to Canada getting squeezed by tendrils of milder air from both Oceans.DMI3 0124B cmc_t2m_arctic_9While looking at a NASA video of the blizzard that hit Washington DC my eyes were drawn, (because I’m a true sea-ice fanatic) to the upper right, to watch what was occurring in the North Atlantic. You can see a couple of very impressive surges heading straight for the East Coast of Greenland.

It looks to me as if it will stay “warm” over the Pole, with a meridenal pattern locked in. If it keeps up, it will be interesting to see what the long-term effect on the sea-ice is. I’ll make no predictions.

The effect on the media is more predictable, for those eager to find “evidence” of a melting arctic are bound to notice if it stays above normal in the Arctic Ocean. They will be all the more delighted if there is any sort of dip in the amount of sea-ice, which is something I myself would not be terribly surprised to see. But I will be considering whether it indicates things other than a “melting arctic”.

For one thing, having so much heat rushing to the Pole seems like it might be in response to the El Nino releasing heat and moisture. To have it rushing to the Pole is like warmth from your living-room rushing up your chimney.  It is a waste of home heating, with “home” being planet Earth. It would be far more efficient if the “damper was shut”, and a zonal pattern kept the winds circling around and around the Pole, with the cold locked up in the north, and the warmth hoarded further south.

Another thing to consider, and watch for, is the consequence of warm air rushing up to the Pole, which tends to be the cold getting dislodged and snows getting deep in places where it usually doesn’t, such as Washington DC and Turkey. Even though snows in southern latitudes tend to melt swiftly, and be gone by the end of February, they cannot have a “warming” effect while they last, especially when you consider the “albedo” of freshly fallen snow is huge. In terms of the “energy budget” (that Alarmists like to pretend we understand, and I don’t),  snow over areas that do get sunshine is bound to reflect more sunshine than a lack of sea-ice over areas that are under 24-hour-a-day darkness is liable to fail-to-reflect.

Once the sun starts coming north all these calculations will get more interesting, for then there is at least a chance of open waters absorbing some sunshine. However that won’t be until March.

Everything is likely to change very much by summer, because the El Nino is expected to fade fairly rapidly. Even if you include “lag time”, the very thing that may be fueling the current situation may vanish by next autumn, when a La Nina may be setting in. Just around the time I get things figured out, they are likely to completely change. To use the analogy I used above, a La Nina is like a cannonball plopping in the bathtub. I guess you can see why I am reluctant to venture a prediction.

I prefer to simply watch and wonder, so that is precisely what I intend to do.


We seem to be switching back to the former pattern, so I figure this post about the “new pattern” is already obsolete, and it is time to start another post. For the record I will state that we have seen a break in the flow of arctic air, during the brief time it has been held up at the Pole, but I suspect the new post will watch the arctic wolves again starting south.



LOCAL VIEW –A Beltway Basher–(Updated and Concluded Sunday Morning)

A little low that gave us a couple inches of fluff blew up into a huge gale as it moved off to Labrador, and all day we’ve been shuddering in the howling north winds to its rear.

20160119 satsfc

The really cold air is further west, and is somewhat modified by passing over the Great Lakes, which are starting to freeze but are more open than they were last year. We are getting a shot from Hudson Bay, which is frozen over. Our only hope of moderated air is for the gale over Labrador to swing some Atlantic air around and down from the north, but such air is so greatly modified you can’t really call it warm. As it is the blasts of air we’re getting are bone dry. Dew points are at 0°F (-17°C)as temperatures struggle to reach 20°F (-7°C). It is the sort of day where the cat’s fur crackles with static, and it doesn’t want to be patted. I have a raging case of cabin fever, and don’t much want to be patted either.North America Jan 19 cmc_t2m_noram_3My fellow weather geeks are all excited by a storm that doesn’t exist, except in the imagination of computer models. The weak low over Texas in the above map is the forerunner of an impulse that could explode over the east coast. The American, Canadian and European models are all showing it. It is the sort of situation that once would fill me with excitement, as it would be a formidable foe to be fought, but now it only makes me crabby, as I am under doctor’s orders to avoid any sort of lifting that tenses my stomach muscles, after my operation. It a little like being presented with a beautiful woman or delicious meal when you are young and healthy, and yet told you aren’t allowed to touch or taste. A whirling blizzard of snow could be on its way, but I’m just suppose to sit idly by.

I am allowed to lift paper, which means I’m stuck with producing the slips that show all our customers how much they spent at our Farm-childcare last year. They need it for their taxes, for childcare is a tax-deduction. I don’t see why they can’t just do the job themselves. They should be well aware of what they spent. However the stupid government doesn’t trust them. They want lots and lots of slips of paper. As if this is something I need added to my life. I have to waste my time producing formal forms, handing them to my customers, who then have to waste their time shuffling the forms with other forms into a heap sent to the IRS, who then has to waste their time hunting for errors.  Someday all of us will stand before God, who will ask us how we spent our time on Earth, and we’ll answer, “Shuffling forms.”

I wouldn’t mind it so much if the government was so careful, and was meticulous about accounting for each penny they spent, but the irresponsible buffoons simply print money whenever they need it. It is complete hypocrisy for them to demand that tax-payers do what they don’t.

Obviously I’m very grumpy. I glance out the window as the wind shudders by, and see the swirling powder snow glittering in the sunshine, and don’t see a lick of beauty. I just feel the drafty house breathing cold air, and want to go out and shovel, to get my blood stirring, but can’t. I am allowed to go out and walk, but there is only so much doddering-about I can do outside before I just feel like a shuffling old man, out on his “constitutional”. I want action that has purpose.

I suppose finding beauty in a grim day is a worthwhile purpose, and I must begrudge that walking about in a howling, shuddering wind does nudge me with a sense that there is grandeur about, but it doesn’t last. As soon as I step back into the house I feel like I’m back in prison. The paperwork rankles. Even when I try to write a sonnet, the cabin fever sits on my head like a helmet of lead. Then the phone rings. It is yet another pollster, wanting to pick my brains about the upcoming New Hampshire Primary.

The pines have been roaring up in the hills
As the furnace is roaring, increasing my bills
And I am now pacing, cursing the shills
That constantly call up to poll “won’ts” and “wills”.

I feel I could rip out the damn telephone
If only those pollsters would leave me alone;
Pretenders, cajolers, they’re fake to the bone,
Part of a problem they pretend to disown.

The winter wind roars and the drifting snow hisses
Yet no one’s aware of what everyone misses.
There’s no warmth in the air, yet all say that this is
How it should be: All make-up and kisses.

It’s amazing the millions that madmen have spent
Creating a winter of my discontent.
The only time I really get out is to go to the hospital to get the bayonet wound in my gut looked at. Then I get a lot of odd flattery, odd because I’m told what great shape I’m in for my age, which is strange because they just took out a cancerous kidney. What kind of “great shape” is that? But apparently the surgeon appreciated not having to cut through any flab, and the nurse practitioner mentioned most guys my age have long lost their six-packs. She was a little concerned about a bump on my scar, which might be scar tissue but might be a tiny hernia, but she said the only reason she can see it at all is because I don’t have a spare tire around my middle. I muttered that I soon will have a spare tire, if I have to sit around not even allowed to to put wood in the fire, and she said I could put a log in, if it was under ten pounds. I suppose that is some progress.

The real thing I like about visiting the hospital is that it gives me a chance to grouse about paperwork. It is something people there are very willing commiserate about, seeing as how they now spend roughly half their time dealing with paper, at the expense of patients.

Considering how Washington seems to want everyone buried under a blizzard of paperwork, it would seem a sort of justice if they themselves got buried under a blizzard of white. Driving home I noticed the possible storm had made the mainstream media, but all the world seemed gray, not white. It was so cold there was no water, only ice and dust and litter  whipping in the wind. Even the low gas prices made me crabby.

I’m under no illusions that the low prices are occurring due to any kindness felt towards the common man.   They are part of a cruel war, and much suffering is resulting among oil workers. The aim is to bankrupt North American oil companies, so the dangers of competition, and of freedom from dependence on Arab oil, can be removed.  Or so I thought, until I heard the car radio mention that my idiot government is helping the non-Arab nation of Iran, which is not at good terms at all with Saudi Arabia, to flood the market with even more oil. This made absolutely no sense, if we care at all about protecting our own oil producers and developing any sort of energy-independence, however it has been so long since my government has made much sense that I can’t say it surprised me.

What did surprise me was the view my middle son held, when he came stamping into the house later. Without me even bringing the subject up, he said the flood of Iranian oil was a plot to absolutely ruin “Big Oil.”  He said so insanely does the government loathe all and any sorts of “fossil fuel” that they will do anything they can to destroy the competition to solar power and wind turbines, and, because solar power and wind turbines can’t possibly compete unless oil prices quadruple, they are resorting to the temporary step of having very low oil prices, as a way to quadruple those prices.

I thought he sounded radical and a bit paranoid. In other words, more like me than himself. Usually I’m the grouch, and he’s the fount of hope. Perhaps the howling wind and drifting snow and crackling static electricity even gets to the young. Or perhaps Washington has even worn down the  eternal optimism of youth. In which case they deserve a blizzard more than ever.


We are still in the northerly flow, but the winds have died down. The initial impulse is nudging through the south, but there is still no sign of the following impulse, which will grow the imaginary monster storm. Perhaps it can be seen in the low pressure sinking south through the Rockies, and the bulge in the sub-tropical jet coming ashore on the Pacific coast of Mexico, but largely it is still all in the realm of imagination.20160120 satsfc

The models are still seeing the big storm, but are nudging it south and out to sea, which is fine with me, for now the Beltway gets blasted, as I only get dusted, at the northern edge of the storm.

I start my day (before hitting the paperwork) with a visit to Weatherbell and a quick glance at Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps of the models, .

First look at the American GFS model maps for Saturday and Sunday.Belter 1 gfs_ptype_slp_noram_13 Belter 2 gfs_ptype_slp_noram_17Next is the European map of the storm slipping out to sea after clouting the mid-Atlantic, on Sunday.Belter 3 ecmwf_slp_precip_conus2_17Lastly, below are two maps showing the Canadian JEM models solutions, for Saturday and Sunday. Again the beltway gets blasted, as I broom the dust from my steps.

Belter 4 cmc_pr6_slp_t850_conus_13 Belter 5 cmc_pr6_slp_t850_conus_17

There is room for lots and lots of hype, the next few days. Interestingly, Joe Bastardi focused, in his video today, not on this imaginary storm, but on an even worse imaginary storm possible a week from tomorrow.

I wish Washington was imaginary, but that grousing will have to wait until future updates.

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE   -Hoopla! Hoopla! Hoopla!-

The funniest headline about the blizzard I’ve seen so far was from the New York Post, and stated, “This weekend will be WHITER THAN THE OSCARS”.  (Actually there is a chance most of the snow will stay south of NYC.)

In the Beltway, where the worst is suppose to hit, they were so focused on the snow expected to start on Friday that they got blindsided by only an inch of snow that snuck in on Wednesday evening. There were two to three hours before the salt trucks moved out, and the pavements were so cold that the small amount of snow turned the roads to grease, and traffic moved at a crawl with many fender-benders and spin-outs. (Perhaps they were reluctant to use up their salt before the “Big One”.)

Meanwhile, the Big One still doesn’t exist. It is a figment of our imagination. All that the map shows is a weak low over Texas and a bulge on the tropical jet moving up through the Gulf of Mexico.20160121 satsfcThe GFS Model imagines the low over Texas will move to Memphis, Tennessee,  as a secondary bombs out just off the coast of Georgia and takes over, becoming the primary storm on Saturday, off Cape Hatteras. (Last winter these storms formed roughly 500 miles further north, pounding New England and sparing Washington, before kicking out to sea.) Below is the GFS models “solution” to how the storm will redevelop. (I chose five of the 41 maps Dr. Ryan Maue offers at the Weatherbell side, for this one run of the GFS model alone, involving the “surface pressure and precipitation type” features alone.) (The maps go out to 240 hours; I could spend all day looking at maps; but limited myself to the maps from 24, 36, 42, 48 and 54 hours from now.)

Bash 1 gfs_ptype_slp_conus_5Bash 2 gfs_ptype_slp_conus_7Bash 3 gfs_ptype_slp_conus_8Bash 4 gfs_ptype_slp_conus_9Bash 5 gfs_ptype_slp_conus_10The European and Canadian models also see the storm bombing out on the coast Saturday morning.Bash 6 ecmwf_slp_precip_conus2_11Bash 7 cmc_pr6_slp_t850_conus_11Currently all the models see Washington buried under nearly 2 feet of snow.Bash 8 gfs_6hr_snow_acc_east2_16(1)

The thing to remember is that, at this point, all the above maps are showing is imaginary snow, imaginary drifts, and imaginary gales. Washington is very good when it comes to dealing with things that are purely imaginary (like Global Warming). It is likely to be incapable, when dealing with something that actually happens, (as we saw last night, as they dealt with a single inch of snow.)


It is still sunny and calm up here in New Hampshire, as the storm brews up over Washington, D.C..20160122 satsfc 20160122B satsfc20160122B rad_ec_640x480

The NAM computer model is making people up this far north a little nervous, as it shows the snow coming further north than other models.Nam Snow 21050122 hires_snow_ne_61

Nearly all models show Washington getting absolutely clobbered.


It was odd to watch the press conference down in Washington DC from their “Homeland Security” center, and see they were basically asking the public to go indoors and stay indoors for the next two days, so the roads would be clear for the various people allowed to be outside, (clearing the roads, or attempting to drive ambulances, fire trucks and utility crews to emergencies). It made me wonder a bit if people would obey. After all, it might be one of the biggest storms in a hundred years. Are you not allowed to go outside and experience it?

Up here in New Hampshire there are lots of people who like to go out for a drive during a bad storm. It used to drive me nuts, because I’d try to impress my teenagers with how bad a storm was, but they’d sneak out. I myself preferred walking in the roaring wind, and found it somewhat annoying to cross the road to be on the safe side, as cars came zooming by, lighting up the night with brilliant headlights. However I supposed it was warmer in a car, and modern types are not as tough as us old timers.

What was really annoying to me, in past storms,  was the people who would go too fast, trusting in their all-wheel or four-wheel drive, and then go plowing off the road, winding up out in a pasture. You’d see them there, engines still running, heaters still humming, headlights still brilliant and wipers still slapping, talking on their cell-phones, getting someone to come and rescue them. That’s not a real outdoors man, in my book. However I think New Hampshire people most would still laugh, if asked to stay home in a blizzard.

However perhaps it is different in cities, or perhaps Americans are becoming more like sheep. I thought it was amazing that the public so meekly complied, after the “Marathon Bombing”, when the government commanded that everyone stay in their homes. That wasn’t the rebllious spirit of New England I thought I knew.

In any case, radar shows the heavy stuff has started, down around Washington. 20160122C rad_ec_640x480Even though the storm hasn’t yet redeveloped on the coast. (Those of you used to European maps should note the “storm” currently has a minimum pressure of 1002 mb, which likely would be a sunny day in Norway.  That lack of deep low pressure is largely a matter of latitude. Pressures simply don’t get as low, so far south.)20160122C satsfcMeanwhile up here in New Hampshire we’ve only seen our blue skies gradually fade to gray, as the sun sunk down into a blear.Grtaying sky IMG_1644

SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE  –Our turn to be smug?–

It was a gray day up here in New Hampshire, without a single snowflake to be seen, sixty miles northwest of Boston, (though apparently Boston is now being dusted just a bit). The wind didn’t even pick up much, though one or two lone gusts came through, hinting at the hubbub to the south.

I myself steered clear of most of the news, avoiding the hubbub, and simply watched the weather maps show the progress of the storm, and the radar maps show the northern edge of the snow flirt with New Hampshire, and even snow aloft above me, but with the falling flakes sublimating to nothing as they fell, and never reaching the ground.

20160123 satsfc20160123C satsfc20160123D satsfc20160123 rad_ec_640x48020160123B rad_ec_640x48020160123C rad_ec_640x48020160123D rad_ec_640x480

I wondered at myself, and the way I was so disinterested in the hoop-la from further down south. My indifference didn’t seem very Christian or caring of me, and I wondered if maybe I wasn’t harboring some sort of residual resentment over the fact folk down south couldn’t see what all the fuss and bother was about up north, last year, when we got clobbered and they didn’t. In fact the the first big storm last winter was described as a “bust” even in New York City, as they had all the hubbub of blizzard warnings, and then barely an inch of snow. What they failed to recognize is that even thirty miles away, out on Long Island, people got buried.Last Year 20150125_20150128_2_62Where I live, in the above map, you’ll note there is a so-called “lollypop” of snow, indicating we got more than thirty inches of snow. In fact we got three feet, on the east-facing side of the hill where I live. But there were no breathless reporters producing live reports of how we fared. Could it be I was a bit hurt by the lack of attention? And now I’m thinking turn-about is fair play?

Forty years ago I had a wonderful and faithful dog I had to leave behind at my mother’s, without my personal attention, for two months, as I went on an adventure. When I returned I could see the dog from afar as I drove towards my mother’s house.  As I crested a distant rise the dog recognized (somehow) the sound of my little car, and I could see it jump up and turn on the lawn, and then start to wildly wave its tail. However when I got out of my car the dog suddenly remembered it was really, really pissed off at me, and abruptly stopped waving its tail, and began walking away with a grouchy expression, looking over its a shoulder in a way that said, beyond doubt, “Screw you.” (I ran across the lawn and begged forgiveness, and the cur did forgive me.)

It is funny how these two storms are nearly exactly a year apart, and the people who got the deep snow are so neatly divided. (The lone exception seems to be Long Island, which seemingly has the dubious privilege of getting clouted by both blizzards). It seems a sort of proof that Karma is equal, or at least it is proof that things average out, in the end.

I got to thinking, as I lived through the gray day, of how we should not let simple things like storms divide us.  If we allow snowflakes to divide us, how can we remain united when faced with more substantial things? We should be unswayed by trivial things like snowflakes. However, when I thought about it further, it seemed that was exactly what my fellow writers in the media are asked to do: To be trivial, to focus on short-term differences, in the name of sensationalism. Hmm. Could there be a sonnet in what I was glimpsing?

It was a dreary day under dreary skies,
And I stayed indoors and with bleary eyes
Watched some humdrum news where some dear-me guys
Tried to enthuse all, hiding weary eyes.

Somewhere far away snow is drifting deep.
Somewhere sons are late. Somewhere mothers weep.
Somewhere cars collide. Some are losing sleep
As the newsmen prance, promises to keep.

I thought I glimpsed, in their hyped-up eyes,
How darn tired they were of their tripe and lies
And the way they never get to write of skies
And instead must wear a King’s Fool’s disguise.

Well, that is what you get, when you’re not like me,
And put your paper’s paycheck before poetry.

In any case, I decided I should drop my silly grudge about how, last year, some folk down south said we folk up north were “fussing too much”. After all, if my dog could forgive me all those years ago, I could at least be a little interested in the doings of folk down south.

Almost immediately a picture was sent to my computer from the son of a friend of mine who has moved to Virginia. Because he was so far south the young father had neglected to buy, for his toddler son, a toy that is deemed essential in New England: A small sled. Yet now he was confronted with two feet of snow in Virginia. What could he do?

He got a large box that once had held a bulk-price amount of disposable diapers, did some swift cutting with a paring knife, punched two holes, inserted a rope, and created a sled to pull his little boy through the snow in. His wife took a picture, and I got to see how resourceful people are, when faced with the “storm of the century”…… (and also how they  do not fail to see such storms can be an excuse for joy, sheer joy.)


No snow at all is showing on radar this morning, as the gale slips out to sea. We didn’t even get a dusting here, as NYC got over two feet. There was sledding on Capital Hill. (some say it is the first time it has been allowed in 100 years.) (I notice the capital dome is being worked on. They need to work on the domes of the fellows inside, as well.) Baltimore also got over two feet.Sledding Capital 650x366_01232127_screen-shot-2016-01-23-at-4.26.32-pmI’m glad I’m not facing the clean-up they are facing in New Jersey.New Jersy Drifts 650x366_01240108_carssnowHere’s a final map, and then we can call this storm (and post) over. (However I should mention that the computer models did an amazing job of seeing the storm from five days away, and Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo did an even better job of seeing it from seven days away (and warning of such storms happening January (and February) back when computer models were saying we’d have a Mild El Nino January like 1998’s, back in December.)20160124 satsfc