ARCTIC SEA ICE MAXIMUM —A TAXING TIME—

This is a continuation of a series of posts, the last of which was,  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/arctic-sea-ice-maximum-march-madness/

This series of posts has wandered a long ways from its original intent, which was to discuss the view from the North Pole Camera.  That camera has been gone since September, and we still have roughly 45 30  21!!! days before the new one is set up in April.

The wait through winter darkness has been long, but the sun has now risen at the Pole.  I’ll be able to use my eyes more, as I complete my year of studying the Pole’s ice. I resorted to using my own eyes because I became increasingly aware that the media and government were disinterested in the the Truth.  This distresses me, because it has been my experience that if you don’t stand by the Truth, Truth doesn’t stand by you. Bad things will happen to my homeland, I fear, unless its people demand the Truth, even if it is merely the Truth about a thing as removed from their daily life as the ice at the North Pole.

Over the past year scientists far more qualified than I am have bravely  stood up and informed the government it is wrong about Global Warming, but they have been completely disregarded. Rather than listening, the government has recently ratcheted up a publicity campaign which seems dedicated more towards misinforming than informing. If the big voices of scientists can be so completely ignored, I don’t know what my tiny voice, on a blog that averages 50-100 views per day, can do. However I’ll continue on. Sometimes a small pebble can start a big avalanche.

I will be busy doing my taxes, so my posts will likely be brief for a while.

MARCH 21  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 21 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 21 temp_latest.big (1)

MARCH 22 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 22 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 22 temp_latest.big (1)

“Morphy” has moved towards the Pole, as “Marchair” has become a parade of lows moving north of Norway. This creates a strong flow across the Pole and down towards Iceland, temporarily surging the ice into a more ordinary flow, with the Transpolar Drift  aiming down through Fran Strait. However the strong flow seems likely to swing from aiming down the east coast of Greenland to aiming down the west coast, and then to aiming to Canada once again as the sort of cross-polar-flow we have seen too much of this winter.  About the only hope I see is that some of the air crossing the Pole is not bone-chilling air from east Siberia, but apparently is milder air from more southerly Steppes.

Sorry I missed last night’s DMI maps. I was worn out from a neighborhood crisis involving an old horse which couldn’t quite make it through the hard winter.

LATE SEASON SURGE IN ICE EXTENT

Extent graph March 22 ssmi1_ice_ext_small (CLICK GRAPH TO ENLARGE)

It is interesting how the peak of the ice extent has occurred later in the season over the past few years.  Largely it involves HTGT ice which is fleeting and matters little, but the simple fact it keeps happening suggests the Arctic Sea is hinting at something. I’m slow and don’t get the hint, but perhaps it is suggestive of colder water. In this particular case it may merely be due to Morphy blowing ice up against the shore of Svalbard and closing up the areas of open water that have persisted to the northeast and north of Svalbard all winter.

I commented on the open water over at WUWT, in an open thread where the Svalbard situation came up. Some were wondering about undersea volcanoes.  My comment read:

Regarding the open water northeast of Svalbard this winter:

You do not need undersea volcanoes to explain it. I’ve been watching the movement of the ice all winter, as a hobby, and it has been unusual. What would be more usual is for the Transpolar Drift to bring ice across the Pole and down into Fram Strait, which tends to eventually bring ice against the northwest coast of Svalbard. Also the polar easterlies scoot ice along the ice-edge boundary in Barents Sea against the northeast and east coast of Svalbard. Although these two motions did happen this winter, they were also interrupted by shifting winds that moved ice away from Svalbard.

The most interesting motions defied the Transpolar Flow, and pushed ice towards Canada, building the amounts of ice in the Beaufort Gyre. While that does increase ice in that part of the Arctic Ocean, it robs the area around Svalbard of its usual quota of imported ice.

Most of the ice pressing towards Svalbard this winter did not come from the Transpolar Drift, but from the Barents Sea, robbing that area of ice and resulting in a lot more open water. I’m surprised Alarmists aren’t making a bigger deal about that open water, for it is at “unprecedented” levels. (IE since 1979, and ignoring historical reports from the pre-satellite era.) This shows in the cryosphere graph: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

The openness of Barents Sea is largely due to the weather pattern that exported cold down over North America and imported milder air up over Europe. Not only did this mean there were times there was no cold air available to form ice in Barents Sea, it also meant that when the ice did form it was exposed to strong winds that moved it out. There were several good surges of ice right by Svalbard, resulting in increases of ice in Fram Strait even as there were decreases in Barents Sea. Briefly the extents were even above normal in the Greenland Sea south of Fram Strait: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.5.html

This differs from the situation in 2007, when a lot of the ice that flushed south through Fram Strait came across the Pole on the Transpolar Drift, reducing the amounts of ice as far away as Bering Strait. This time the flush comes from a smaller area, largely Barents Sea.

I’ve been watching the situation for years now, and one huge misconception I originally had was that the ice up there is static. FAIL. It is amazingly mobile. The “North Pole Camera” only starts its life near the Pole. Usually it is south of Fram Strait in only six months, where the break-up of ice ends its life. The GPS from last year’s “North Pole Camera” wound up on the northeast coast of Iceland last January, having drifted over 1600 miles since the prior April.

While some of the ice piling up north of Canada is over five years old, most ice up by the Pole is so mobile it has a hard time seeing a second birthday.

My impression is that the ice up there is increasing on the Pacific side, and at a sort of “low tide” on the Atlantic side.

UK MET MAP  —The slide—

UK Met Mar 22 13219181  (Click map to enlarge)

All the features on this map are going to slide to the northeast over the next few days.  “Marchair”  will fall apart and depart as a series of blobs across northern Norway, as the ridge of high pressure over the Azores slides up over the British Isles and onward over Scandinavia. The “Springer” family of storms will be shunted further west, up the coast of Greenland, by the lean of the high pressure to the northwest, and then will likely kick features under the high pressure ridge, creating a trough from Iceland down over England towards France, as behind that trough another nice Azores High starts to build.

For the time being nothing is bogging down and occluding, and instead everything is part of a slide, flowing northeast.

The pulse of sea-ice down through Fram Strait will likely slow and may move the other way for a bit, as all these features pass by to the south.

LOCAL VIEW  —Good-bye, old horse—

A Battle 174 satsfc (3)A battle 174 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

The map shows “Springer ” departing in the upper right corner, “Brunt” approaching us (and radar shows we are likely to get snow showers,) and a big, nasty arctic high pressing south on its heels.  Monday morning could see our temperatures back down near zero (-17 Celsius.)

The long, hard winter wore down an old mare who has been a fixture of my neighborhood for over a quarter century.  I think its fat reserves simply got used up. Yesterday she began trotting to and fro, as if to stay warm, and then fell over and lay on her side in the snow, shivering. I forgot I was sixty-one and joined a crew of passerbys to help get the old horse back up to its feet. A lot of heaving and grunting was involved, and when she got up it was like she said, “OK, OK, I’ll get up.” I suggested she needed a heated barn  and a richer diet, but the vet and owner carted her off in a horse trailer to be destroyed.

It is an end of an era. It was sort of amazing how people appeared as soon as the old mare went down.  It didn’t seem to matter what people’s politics were, everyone liked that old mare. She was nearly thirty-four.

Any way, I am stiff and sore today.

MARCH 22  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI Mar 22B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 22B temp_latest.big (1)

MARCH 23  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 23 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 23 temp_latest.big (1)

The “Morphy” mess continues to mill about in the Kara Sea, as “Marchair” slides up across Norway to join the dance of storms.  The ridge of high pressure over Iceland will follow it and then build over Scandinavia, as an upper-air blocking-high builds over Scandinavia and becomes a major feature on the map. This will shunt “Springer” to the west up the coast of Greenland to Fram Strait. No storms will be able to get through Scandinavia for a while, and instead will have to go over the top, or be squashed underneath.

The cross-polar-flow is directed more towards Canada and less towards Fran Strait, and is drawing a “mild” ribbon of minus-ten air over the Pole. Even though the sun is up I expect that air to rapidly cool, because the sun is so low. The ribbon of minus-twenty air crossing the arctic further towards Bering Strait is partially south of eighty degrees latitude, which explains why the DMI polar temperatures graph is showing such an upward spike; it includes the milder air but not the colder air.

The building high over Scandinavia will be quite a change, and interesting to watch.

UK MET MAP  —Changes coming—

UK Met Mar 23 13245079  (click to enlarge)

The change coming is not apparent on the surface map.  The ridge of high pressure from the Azores to Iceland will slide east towards Scandinavia and then build in the north. It looks sunny for Sweden.  This high will grow stubborn, and actually cut off the trough of low pressure currently over Europe and roll it backwards until it is off the coast of Spain.  Or that is what the models are seeing.

Here are the 500 mb maps, showing the pressure-anomalies, for the next week.

CURRENT AAA Mar 23 gfs_z500_sig_eur_1

48 HOURS AAA March 23b gfs_z500_sig_eur_8

72 HOURS AAA March 23c gfs_z500_sig_eur_13

96 HOURS AAA March 23d gfs_z500_sig_eur_17

120 HOURSAAA Marcg 23e gfs_z500_sig_eur_21

(Double click these maps to fully enlarge. They are produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at his WeatherBELL site.)

These sort of blocking highs are interesting to watch. Just looking at surface maps, you scratch your head and wonder at the odd tracks of the storms.

MARCH 23  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 23B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 23B temp_latest.big (1)

MATCH 24 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 24 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 24 temp_latest.big (1)

From now until next October I make a mental adjustment, when looking at the temperature maps, to take diurnal variation into account.  Roughly speaking, the morning maps have the top of the sphere in daylight, so I expect isotherms to show a temperature rise, as is the case with the top half of the maps in the above example.  Then I watch to see if temperatures drop an equal amount twelve hours later. Being aware of this keeps me from leaping to conclusions about warm-ups or cool-downs, and then having to eat my words twelve hours later.

“Morphy’s” area of generalized low pressure is incorporating “Marchair,” and on a whole looks weaker and more disorganized, as the ridge of Atlantic high pressure sides away from Iceland towards Scandinavia. “Springer” is crawling up the southeast coast of Greenland.

The wonderful animation at  http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticict_nowcast_anim30d.gif shows a surge of ice into Fram  Strait, including some thick ice around the northwest corner of Greenland. This is pushing the slushy and mobile sea ice up against the north coast of Svalbard. Meanwhile ice which was surging south through Bering Stait has reversed and now is surging north. All in all sea-ice-esxtents are dropping, and may have finally passed their peak.

Sea_Ice_Extent_March 24 graph v2_L (click to enlarge)

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 24 13270410 (click to enlarge)

“Springer” is moving up the coast of Greenland, kicking “Springerson” ahead towards Ireland. Now lets watch and see is everything screeches to a halt, as that ridge of high pressure over England tilts northeast towards Scandinavia. It is expected to get so strong over the north that the low over Poland will get squeezed backwards through the Baltic, and the low over Italy pressed backwards towards Spain.  The British Isle will have weak storms coming at it from all directions. Fun to watch, but perhaps less fun to be in the midst of it.

LOCAL VIEW  —Wishing a storm out to sea—

A battle 175 satsfc (3)A battle 175 rad_nat_640x480

 

“Brunt” is moving off the map, with his arctic cold front passing us yesterday and cold air creeping south and giving us a wintery Monday morning, with temperatures just touching the single digits at nine. (-13 Celsius)  If that isn’t enough to make a Monday moody, there is also talk of a snowstorm tomorrow night and Wednesday morning.

So far this winter the sheer weight of the cold has pushed a lot of these storms out to sea. I’m hoping the pattern holds, though I know storm tracks creep north with the spring.

Besides work and taxes, I have a little, local talent show to organize for next Sunday. Therefore I am using my psychic powers to wish this storm right out to sea. Do you think it is going to work?

MATCH 24  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 24B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 24B temp_latest.big (1)

 

MARCH 25  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 25 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 25 temp_latest.big (1)

“Springer” is occluded and blocked by high pressure over Scandinavia, and has become a weak Icelandic Low.

The above maps again show diurnal variation.

The “Morphy” mess continues to fill and weaken.  The “mild” air from the Steppes that came north through Siberia has cooled over the Pole, but it looks like another blob has moved north into the Laptev Sea.

Pacific air is coming through Bering Strait, pushing that ice back north through the strait.

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 25 13296552 (Click to enlarge)

This is the blocking pattern I was looking for all winter, but it is happening too late to do what it would do in December.  However, if it is true that, “The next winter will begin as the last winter ended,” perhaps it should be noted.

The fronts extending from Iceland to France should make little eastward progress, and in fact should back to the west.  As this flow-from-the-east develops the little low over Poland will take an unusual route, west through the Baltic into the North Sea (and may mess up what should be nice weather, in southern Sweden.)  In the winter this flow-from-the-east would contain bone-chilling blasts from western Siberia, but that source-region has been greatly moderated by influxes of milder air and by spring sunshine.

“Brunt” is appearing in the lower left, but can’t rush across the Atlantic with the blocking high in the way. Part will occlude and mill about to the west, as part gets kicked ahead and smushed southeast towards the Mediterranean.

“Springer” is weak, for an Icelandic Low.  Note how the Gulf Stream is forced to meander by winds blowing its surface waters south, to the southwest of Iceland, but north, northeast of Iceland.

If this blocking pattern locked in at the start of a winter, it would bring a lot of warm water north and in some ways be the author of its own demise, by importing warmth into a very cold situation. However this past winter was the opposite. In general winds pushed the surface waters of the Gulf Stream south, unlike the situation  northeast of Iceland that is seen now.  (I have no idea what happens to the Gulf Stream a hundred feet down, in such situations.)  While the waters west of Norway are near normal and slightly above normal now, that largely reflects the mild winter. As summer comes on these well-mixed waters may fail to warm in a typical manner. It will be interesting to watch.

LOCAL VIEW  —All eyes look south—

A battle 176 satsfc (3)A battle 176 rad_nat_640x480

 

It is another absurdly cold pre-dawn. Five degrees. (-15 Celsius)

Features are coming together in both the northern and southern branch to form a big coastal storm. I’ll dub it “Cherry,” for Washington DC is suppose to have blossoming cherries now, but instead of swirling petals they’ll be getting flakes.

There will be two centers ar first, one on the polar front further out to sea, and one over the arctic front closer to land.  The models have been suggesting the polar-front-storm will win out and pull most of the snow out to sea, which is my wish. In a worst-case-scenario the arctic-front-storm wins, and the snow is far enough west to get big cities and my little farm.  (Actually a worst worst-case-scenario has the arctic-front-storm get so big so fast that it digs right up into the upper atmosphere and makes its own “steering winds,” allowing it to loop-de-loop south of Cape Cod like the Blizzard of 1888.  However that is a rarity, and why worry when the storm hasn’t even formed yet?)

LOCAL VIEW   —I’M GLAD I DON’T HAVE TO MAKE THIS FORECAST—

A battle 177 satsfc (3)A battle 177 rad_ec_640x480

It sure looks like a big storm brewing up down the coast, yet there are no watches or warnings. I wonder how they are so sure this storm is going out to sea.

LOCAL VIEW  —9;30 PM—Only an inch forecast here—

A battle 178 satsfc (3) A battle 178 rad_ec_640x480

Judging from how my bones ache, we’re in for a storm, but the forecast is still for the storm going out to sea. Blizzard Warning down on Cape Cod, but we should only get light snow. It should be very windy and cold, though, with gusts to 50 mph. The pressure is steady at 29.97.  I’m getting up early to double-check on the situation.  This is like January, but they say we might warm up to fifty by Friday.

SOME EMBRYONIC THOUGHTS ABOUT SEA ICE AND ATLANTIC COOLING

tHIS COMMENT OF MINE IS FROM A DISCUSSION ABOUT SEA-ICE AT wuwt

  RE: Stephen Skinner says:
March 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm
“Every time I have looked at the NRL Ice Thickness gif there is always ice flowing out of the Arctic via the Fram Strait:
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticict_nowcast_anim30d.gif
It looks like significant volumes of ice are transported out via this strait continuously.”

No, it isn’t continuous. It is fairly regular, but there have been interruptions this winter. Also not as much ice came from the Pole via the Transpolar Drift, but came along the ice-edge north of Svakbard to the east.

Keep paying attemtion and you’ll see what I mean. The ice seems to come through Fram Strait in bulges and pulses. There was a big one at the end of last week. Often it creates a sort of bulge “down-stream,” and the ice-extent will curve away from Greenland and be “above normal” (across the orange line) in the NSIDC map on the “Sea Ice Page.” This sort of “increased extent” is actually a loss to the Polar Total, in the long run, as it is heading south to melt. However if a lot heads south it can actually chill the waters of the North Atlantic. In 1817 so much ice flushed out that bergs were beaching in Ireland, and the chilled Atlantic may have contributed to the “Year Without a Summer.”

The opposite occurred last summer. The flow through Fram Strait was reduced, as ice was pushed over towards Beaufort Gyre. The extent below Fram Strait was below normal even as sea-ice increased up at the Pole. It makes me wonder if that means the Atlantic waters were chilled less than normal last summer, which may have been part of the reason Barents Sea froze up less last winter.

Recently a lot of ice has flushed out and traveled all the way through Denmark Strait to Cape Farewell at the bottom of Greenland. Also lots of ice has flushed south in Baffin Bay, and passed into the Atlantic off Newfoundland Island. (The top of Baffin Bay was ice-free at times in the depth of winter, so much ice was exported south.) I imagine the Atlantic has had a good chilling due to the addition of all this ice.

The more you watch the ice the more you see about twenty things are going on at the same time. I don’t claim to understand it, but it is fun to witness, if you have the time.

MARCH 25  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 25B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 25B temp_latest.big (1)

MARCH 26 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 26 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 26 temp_latest.big (1)

UK Met Map

UK Met Mar 26 13321516

Local view  —Thank God for small mercies—

A battle 179 satsfc (3)A battle 179 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

Unless the storm loop-de-loops, which is unlikely, it seems we have dodged the bullet. I am hugely thankful. Extra work is the last thing I need, as I’m fighting off a cold.

I think doing taxes is bad for your health. Also it is the antithesis of poetry. It even seems to keep the sun from shining.  It won’t be springtime until the $@&#&# things are done.

LOCAL VIEW   —A roaring day—

A battle 180 satsfc (3)A battle 180 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

 

The storm did not miss us, in terms of wind. It roared all day long, with the sky battleship grey before noon, and then the sun gradually appearing in sky increasingly milky.

During my shift I took the kids out to the flood control, where the ice was more like January than the final days of March. This mirrors the situation on the Great lakes, where the ice is at 400% of normal for this date. Usually the ice is rapidly melting by now.

Great lakes March 26 lice_00__14_  Click to enlarge

Despite the cold and fierce windchill, (I was constantly checking faces for frostbite), the children didn’t complain a bit.  They laughed as the wind shoved and in a few cases knocked them down. The goats were also frisky, able to prance and kick up their heels on the snows thick crust as if it were solid ground. So I guess it is spring, no matter what the thermometer says.

MARCH 26  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 26B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 26B temp_latest.big (1)

The flow over the Pole is from Bering Strait towards Svalbard. From Pacific to Atlantic, but weak. Blocking high remains over Scandinavia.

MARCH 27   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 27 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 27 temp_latest.big (1)

It looks milder towards Bering Strait. Partly it is due to diurnal variation, and it being noon up there, but a weak flow is coming north. Also the strong high over Scandinavia is bringing some nice mildness north towards Iceland. However the Pole and Fram Atrait look to be in a sort of polar doldrums.

Note how the blocking high forces lows north up the coast of  Greenland, and won’t let them east.

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 27 13346420 CLICK TO ENLARGE

I don’t have the brain cells available to figure out this map. The block over Scandinavia is obvious, but all the junk around the edges must be murder to figure out. My sympathies to European weathermen.

It looks fairly nice over France and in the middle of the high in central Norway, Sweden and Finland, but there is polar junk to the north and Baltic junk to the south. Over the British Isles it looks unstable aloft, due to occluded junk. Stagnant junk is milling around in the Mediterranean.

This map would mean murderous cold in January. I can’t help but feel that eventually it will bring cold down and east in Europe, though with the days so much longer it won’t be so bad where the sun is shining.

The gale in the lower left corner is the big storm that gave us howling winds but no snow yesterday. I never named it. Call it “Taxie” because I’m doing my taxes.

SHORT, FUNNY AND ACCURATE VIDEO

LOCAL VIEW —Bring on the thaw—

I can never remember the ponds frozen so solidly so late in the spring, in southern New Hampshire. Yesterday was a subfreezing day with gusts over forty mph, with the morning skies a battleship gray. Due to some recent thaws, the snow has a firm crust and is like walking on Styrofoam. My goats, who hate wading in deep snow (as they can’t see what their legs may hit,) discovered the snow’s crust was strong enough to support them yesterday, and when the sun began to shine through the milky overcast in the afternoon, as a brightening smear of light higher in the sky than we are used to, those goats went nuts. They started frisking about over the stiff crust, twirling and gamboling and prancing and kicking their heels. The children were acting the same. (I run a Childcare.) Though the wind was brutal and the wind-chill was vicious, I heard no whining and not a single complaint, (unless it was my own muttering to myself.) Instead I witnessed a huge after-school burst of energy, with the children laughing and shouting and daring the roaring wind to knock them over, and scooting down hills on their stomachs like otters.

The thermometer may not know it is spring, but the sunshine does.

This morning the crescent moon is rising hand in hand with brilliant, silvery Venus, with the winds slacking and the cold like January’s. It is around 12 (-11 Celsius) which would be normal for January, but is bizarre for the sixth day of Spring.  However the maps show the high is cresting and southwest winds to our west.  And, even if those southwest winds only bring clouds and gloom and slush, before they do we will get brilliant sunshine, and you can’t fool that sun.

A battle 181 satsfc (3) A battle 181 rad_nat_640x480

 

MARCH 27  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI Mar 27B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 27B temp_latest.big (1)

A weak “wrong-way” flow exists Fram Strait, slowing the exit of ice, and perhaps even pushing some north back into the Arctic Sea.

MARCH 28  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 28 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 28 temp_latest.big (1)

Flow getting back to normal in Fram Strait, as the weak low squeezes around the northern side of the blocking high pressure over Scandinavia.

FASCINATING NEW DMI MAP

DMI Mar 28 icetemp.arc.d-00

 

This map is a satellite product, showing the temperature of the top of the ice (and also water, I think.)  (White areas represent missing data, I think.)  It will be interesting to watch in the summer, to see when the surface gets warm enough to start melting.

I have a bad case of insomnia due to tax-worries, and drown my sorrows by animating this feature. (Hit the “loop” tab to the lower left of the map here:  http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/ice_temp/index.uk.php  )

I commented on the map over at WUWT  ( in a post about other, misleading maps put our by the University of Maine,) as follows:

RE: AJB says:
March 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Thanks for sharing that new DMI feature. When you animate it, it shows three totally cool things.

First, it shows the ice reflecting the cross-polar flow of frigid air from Siberia to Canada, at the end of the winter. (This is the supply of the air that has been freezing our socks off, down in the USA.)

Second, it shows the air in this flow becoming less brutal as the sun gets higher over Siberia. (Eastern Siberia has some of the greatest temperature extremes on earth. In the dead of winter it can average down around -70 (-57 Celsius), while in the summer it can average up over +80 (+27 Celsius). And that is “average;” and doesn’t include record-setting extremes.)

Third, it shows cracks forming and then freezing over in the Arctic Sea, as thin lines of warmer ice-surface temperature which then vanish as they freeze over. These leads (cracks) have to be fairly large to be seen from outer space. Ordinary leads are too thin to be visible. My feeling is that these cracks chill the water more than usual by exposing it. They are less likely to form when a zonal flow (around and around the Pole) brings calm to the central arctic. They are more likely to form when there is cross-polar-flow and the ice is exposed to stronger winds.

Now that the sun has risen on the Pole we can use our lying eyes to examine the ice up there with satellite pictures. You can see there were some fairly huge leads formed, up there in the windy winter darkness, for the new ice is darker than the old ice, albeit sometimes thick enough to be a milky color rather than pure white.

While the cracks do not seem as extensive as they were two winters ago, my guess is that the Arctic Sea has again been chilled. I’ll be keeping an eye on the DMI temperature graph to see if the summer temperatures up there again are below normal.

While I am sure DMI has some political appointees at higher levels, demanding maps be tinted differently, I think generally their products are good, due to hard workers at lower levels. After all, some Danes work at the edge of the ice, and if the DMI gets too political and produces false maps, people may die.

That is a reality-check the people at the University Of Maine seem untroubled by.

UK MET MAP 

UK Met Mar 28 13371670 CLICK TO ENLARGE

The blocking high over Scandinavia is starting to bring north windsdown over Finland and Swedan, as it backs and extends across the North Atlantic towards Greenland.  It is forming a wall.

“Taxie” is crashing into this wall like a bug into a windshield.  Already it is occluded and weaker, up 974 mb from around 955 mb . It will may little headway against the blocking high, and will get squashed and ooze around the block to the south, kicking its energy southeast towards the low east of Spain, which is going nowhere. Until this block erodes storms in the Atlantic will just spin their wheels and generally weaken.

LOCAL VIEW  —Pattering sleet—

A battle 182 satsfc (3)A battle 182 rad_ec_640x480

 

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day of relenting wind and cold, with temperatures nudging a above freezing and the sap again starting to dip into the buckets by the maple trees. This morning I hear sleet tapping on my window.  Milder air brings moisture, and its still a bit to cold for rain.

Rain.  Can I remember how that stuff sounds?

MARCH 28  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 28B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 28B temp_latest.big (1)

LOCAL VIEW  —Beyond belief brief relief—

A battle 183 satsfc (3)A battle 183 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

 

Just for an hour or two today it was above fifty.  At one point I simply stood feeling the wind and sprinkles of rain in my face with my eyes shut.  I felt like I was standing in the bow of a ship forging ahead to a better land.

Sometimes our hopes are a sort of myopia.  What actually occurs is better than what we hoped, even if it is brief.

The forecast is abysmal: Freezing rain Sunday and Monday. Seldom do I hope for just rain, but this time I am.

MARCH 29  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 29 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 29 temp_latest.big (1)

Without going into the piffling details of how such a resurrection is possible, I’m going to say the wreckage of Morphy and the wreckage of Springer resurrected into dual lows straddling the Spiberian side of the Pole. A strong cross-polar-flow is bringing ice and cold air back from Alaska north of Greenland and down into Scandinavia.  The high pressure block is very apparent from Greenland to the Baltic.

Just imagine if this was December! Then remember that the way a winter fades away often give hints how the next winter will begin.

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 29 13396067 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

A strong flow from the north east of Finland turns right and becomes a flow from the east all the way west to Iceland and then on to Greenland. This marks the boundary of the blocking high pressure. Taxie has squashed against that wall like a bug.  Siuth if the block various features are milling about, moving wast to west towards the north and west to east towards the south  as a sort of vast, counterclockwise confusion.  I haven’t the time to make sense of it, and find myself envying those who have the time.

LOCAL VIEW  —Sorry I wished for rain—

A battle 184 satsfc (3)A battle 184 rad_nat_640x480

 

People around here still suffer from Post-traumatic-shock-syndrome, due to an ice-storm that knocked out power for over ten days, five years ago.  That is why I hoped for rain, when they were forecasting freezing rain. However now we have flood warnings, with up to three inches forecast. Be careful what you hope for.

Talent show tomorrow is in the way of finishing my taxes.  It will be the perfect thing to do on a rainy day that turns the local world to slush.

MARCH 30  —MORNING DMI MAPS—

DMI Mar 30 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 30 temp_latest.big (1)

Sorry I missed yesterday afternoon’s DMI map.  It is interesting how “Springer” has regenerated on the far side of the blocking high, in the Kara Sea.  The exit region for polar air now appears to be down over Scandinavia.  Once again I say, “Be glad it is not January.”

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 30 13420959 Click to enlarge.

Blocking high remains in place,  Black Sea to Greenland.

LOCAL VIEW  —Perfect talent show weather—

A battle 185 satsfc (3)A battle 185 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

At least no one will be playing golf.

I’ll be a bit preoccupied until the show is over. This evening I’ll focus more on this blog.

MARCH 30  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 30B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 30B temp_latest.big (1)

The “Morphy” mess continues to swirl over the Kara Sea, bringing colder air over Barents Sea and Scandinavia.  The blocking high continues to tap Atlantic air south of Iceland. The Pole is gradually cooling, despite the fact the sun is up.

On his website at WeatherBELL Joe D’Aleo produced evidence that various factors are hinting that this pattern will be seen next winter. Not only will Eastern USA be cold next winter, but Europe as well.  If you can’t afford high heating bills, plan to shut down your house, and to move in with a neighbor from Christmas to Easter. Two can live as cheaply as one.

UK MET MAP  

UK Met Mar 30B 13431460

The blocking high pressure will only slowly erode, and is likely to still be a fature on the map bu Friday. Scandinavia is on the colder side, with northwest winds, but the British Isles have lucked out and are getting mild, southeast winds from France.  The squashed remains of “Taxie” and whirling in the Atlantic, and will attempt to push cold fronts up towards England from the south, of all odd directions.

Weather looks fair and tranquil for most of Europe, though cooler air is trying to edge westward from the east. A blocking high wouldn’t be so kind, in January.

LOCAL VIEW  —Sleet starting to mix in with the rain—

A Battle 186 satsfc (3)A battle 186 rad_ec_640x480

It’s been a grey and wet day, perfect for holding a talent show at a little church. All went well, and people had fun.  Everyone forgot the weather for a bit.

This is the first storm to stall all winter. It is whirling south of New York City, and the rain you see over Cape Cod is moving northwest towards me, cooling as it rises.  I may have to deal with a bit of an icy mess first thing tomorrow morning, so I’m hitting the hay.

LOCAL VIEW  —The radar’s deceitful.  No snow; just rain—

A battle 187 satsfc (3)A battle 187 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

It is a relief to look out into the blackness from the front porch and hear nothing but dripping and gurgling, and the rushing of the freshet over the ruined dam in the woods.  There may be a few snow flakes mixed in with the icy rain, but the stalled storm hasn’t quite been able to mess up a Monday.  I can sit back and enjoy my coffee in peace, without needing to rush off and clear walkways.  I may have to lay some planks across puddles, and drain a few other puddles, but I sort of like digging little channels in the mud and watching the water flow off in rivulets. Maybe it is because I don’t get in trouble for playing in the mud, like I used to as a boy.

The igloo at the Childcare collapsed on Friday, and we have lost a lot of snow since then. Not that rain a degree above freezing melts as well as a warm rain, but a few south-facing embankments are showing brown grass.  The bare ground is showing its face for the first time since December.

I’m still enjoying the afterglow of our little talent show. It is funny how such events come together. At first there is an unwillingness on the part of people to budge from their winter immobility, but then, as the event approaches, a subtle anticipation starts to grow. People start to suggest things, and to offer things. Immobility turns into a momentum, and soon you’ve got something rolling you can’t stop. My list of “acts” suddenly was filling up, and I went from thinking I’d have to send out for pizza to having more food prepared than we could eat. Then the show itself was full of fun, with the youngest performer aged five and the oldest aged ninety. We had no “hook” or “gong” to shame bad performers off the stage, nor was one needed. Keep your expectations low, and rather than disappointed you are astonished by the goodness you see. We had jokes and songs and magic tricks and a hilariously transparent example of “mind-reading,” (which the adults could see through but which awed the children; “How do they do that?”) It was a far better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon than to click through a hundred channels on a TV and find nothing decent.  I expect people will be remembering things and chuckling all week.

Blast. I spoke too soon. I just looked out the window, and in the purple light of a rainy dawn I can see the rain has turned to a gloppy sort of falling slush.  O well.  What do you expect from a Monday?

I guess I’ll name the current storm “Drench.”

Where’d that storm up in Hudson Bay come from?  That is “Fooler,” for April Fool’s Day, and the storm out west is “Foolerson.”

MARCH 31   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Mar 31 mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 31 temp_latest.big (1)

UK MET MAP

UK Met Mar 31 13442152 (Click to enlarge)

MARCH 31  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Mar 31B mslp_latest.bigDMI Mar 31B temp_latest.big (1)

The “Morphy mess” is pulling ice away from the Siberian shores of the Kara and now Laptev seas and crunching it north towards the Pole, and also pulling ice south up against the North Coast of Svalbard, and past Franz Josef Land into Barents Sea.  (The increase in ice in Barents Sea is more than countered by a lot of ice lost from the Pacific coast of Asia, in terms of the “ice extent graphs”.)  The Morphy mess is also creating a visual swirl in the isotherms in the temperature map.

The block remains in place just north of Iceland, keeping mild air over Iceland and southwards.

It looks colder on the Canadian side, and slightly colder towards Bering Strait. Is a block forming there as well?

UK Met Map  

UK Met Mar 31B 13452833

Usually I pity European weathermen, but for some odd reason this bizarre map has me envying them. You have a warm front pressing across Iceland from the northeast, as a cold front approaches Ireland and England from the southwest.  I assume a lovely plume of mild air is being ushered up from the topless beaches in the south of France across England to Iceland, as arctic air from frigid Canada crosses the Atlantic and swings up from the south.  There may be some thunder in Cornwall tonight, but it seems bizarre that the cold air is coming from the south as, in Iceland, the warm air comes from the north.

How “Taxie” came to be such a disjointed collection of fronts and lows, strewn about the Atlantic, both baffles and fascinates me. If I had the time and money I’d hire a young European meteorologist to study it, make an animation, and take me through the evolution of each low pressure, step by step.  (Not likely, this week.)

Scandinavia continues to get north winds, on the other side of the blocking high, but it looks like the winds may die and they’ll get calm as the center of the block gravitates north, with little polar lows skimming along its northern edge, perhaps giving the arctic coasts of Norway, Sweden and Finland bits of bad weather as they zip east.

Central Europe and France looks like they get to celebrate springtime. Must be nice, but I wouldn’t know about that.

APRIL 1 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Apr 1 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 1 temp_latest.big (1)

A reinforcing low is moving up from just east of the Ural mountains in Russia to join the “Morphy mess” in the Kara Sea, keeping Scandinavia as the exit region of polar winds.  The blocking high will gradually weaken and center over Scandinavia, so the north winds will give way to calm and then south winds a week from now.

The Pole continues to cool but still is above normal. Things are quiet on the Canadian and Bering Strait sides.

UK MET MAP

UK Met Apr 1 13464993 (Click to enlarge)

A piece of “Taxie” has brewed up a bit of a storm west of Spain and Portugal, but this storm will not forge east into the Mediterranean, and rather will drift back to the northwest, only kicking a storm ahead to the south coast of Spain towards next weekend.  The boundary between the blocking high’s air and Atlantic air will remain stuck, generally from coastal France through the British Isles to south of Iceland, until the block breaks down and drifts east next weekend.

LOCAL VIEW  —No break during the break—

A battle 188 satsfc (3)A battle 188 rad_nat_640x480

I have to cover for a member of my staff who hurt her back. Then I have a state-required class to take tonight. However the dawn is lovely, as we are between Drench and Foolerson.

APRIL 1  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Apr 1B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 1B temp_latest.big (1)

I don’t see much that is new. The blocking high pressure is still in place, with Iceland on the warm side and Svalbard on the cold side. The Morphy Mess is being strengthened by the addition of a low coming up from the Sreppes, and it looks like the mild side of that low is managing to push some milder air up towards the Pole. This is quite a change from January, when south winds from Siberia are so cold.

UK Met Map

UK Met Apr 1B 13478807 (click to enlarge)

“Taxie” continues to spin, drifting away from Spain to the north, but basically stalled by the persistent blocking high to its north.  That high has created a strange situation over the British Isles, where the much-modified air over southern England is from the Canadian arctic, while to the north the much-modified air over Scotland is from the south coast of France. Taxie is liable to bring milder air over much of the British Isles briefly, though it is difficult to figure out the flows when things are basically stagnant.

One odd feature I don’t understand is shown by that bit of cold front between Norway and Greenland. That is a developing storm that will clip northern Scandinavia.  I also think it is indicative of the crumbling of the blocking high pressure. It looks like the block will lose its roots in the upper atmosphere, and the high pressure at the surface will go rolling away across Scandinavia by the weekend.

LOCAL VIEW  —What a glory day it was!—

A battle 189 satsfc (3)A battle 189 rad_ec_640x480_01

“Drench” continues to fade slowly to the east, as Foolerson stalls north of the Great Lakes and kicks fronts towards us. We didn’t see storms stall like this all winter, but perhaps we are seeing hints of next winter’s patterns.  Stalled storms give us our deepest snows, which is not a thing I am in the mood to think about right now. I’d much rather simply bask in the healing beams of sheer, unadulterated mercy, called “Spring.”

With Foolerson so close to us, to our west, I am under no illusions that the fine weather will last, and in fact computer models are giving us further snow before true spring comes in May, however today was a day to simply bask.

The word “bask” has ferocious Viking roots.  Similar to the word “bath,” its use meant you were not bathing in warm water, but rather in the warm blood of your defeated foe.  While bloodbaths are no longer politically correct, back then it was preferable to the alternative, which was death. It meant your foe was defeated and you were alive, and joy was in the gruesome word. (Now we think we are more civilized when we kill from far away using drones.)  In any case, apparently it took Shakespeare to take the Norse word for bloodbath and connect it to sunshine. It is a far nicer word when the foe you have defeated is not a fellow human, but the inanimate enemy called “winter.”

Yesterday morning I was flinching from sleet pellets that stung my scalp as I salted the walkways, for the sleet was mixed with freezing rain and small icicles hung from every twig and electrical wire. It accumulated as a cobalt blue slush that coated the ground but didn’t flow downhill like ordinary slush, until the victorious sun broke through in the afternoon, and abruptly the world melted.  Today’s brilliant sunshine was almost a shock.

I took the children out for a walk, and was surprised to see the boisterous spring-fever energy fade into a languor.  We wound up at a stretch of large stones that had been rolled from a pasture by farmers of the past,  and the children just sat about on the warm rocks, quietly conversing, and also basking.  In the distance my goats were all laying down, and also basking.

I can only conclude basking is natural, and has a hidden importance.

APRIL 2 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Apr 2 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 2 temp_latest.big (1)

(You can click these maps to enlarge them.)

“Morphy” is creating a strong flow north over the Laptev Sea towards the Pole. For some reason they haven’t updated the Navy maps since March 27, but I imagine the ice is being pushed away from the Siberian coast there, and is crunching and thickening towards the Pole.  The air being pushed towards the Pole is above minus-ten, and near the coast is nearly up to freezing, but further east some remaining Siberian chill near minus-twenty is being wrapped into the swirl. Further west Morphy has less tightly packed isobars and the conditions are calmer over the Kara Sea.  Barents Sea is also untroubled, until you get over towards Svalbard, where a strong flow from the north is likely pushing ice south through Fram Strait.  A little low north of Norway is sucking some of that colder air into northern Scandinavia.

Over towards Bering Strait conditions are calmer and high pressure is blocking any major invasions of Pacific air.  The coldest air is now west of Greenland in Canada north of Hudson Bay.

UK MET MAP

UK Met Apr 2 13491934 (Click to enlarge)

An interesting home-grown arctic low is attacking the top of Norway, north of the blocking high pressure, which persists from the Baltic to Greenland.  Taxie continues to spin, stalled south of the British Isles. “Drench” is appearing at the lower left.

LOCAL VIEW  —A surprising sunny daybreak—

A battle 190 satsfc (3) A battle 190 rad_nat_640x480

 

The high pressure between Drench and Foolerson is holding strong, and it hasn’t clouded over yet.

APRIL 2 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI Apr 2B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 2B temp_latest.big (1)

 

APRIL 3 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Apr 3 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 3 temp_latest.big (1)

COMPARISON OF SEA ICE THIS YEAR WITH LAST YEAR

APRIL 2 2013  Comparison April 2 2013 AM2SI20130402RGB

APRIL 2 2014  Comparison April 2 2014 AM2SI20140402RGB

Bill Illis offered these two links in a comment on a sea ice thread over at WUWT.  If you open the two links in a new tab, and then click back and forth, you can have fun and fall behind schedule.  Greenland and the Atlantic are at the top, and Bering Strait and the Pacific are at the bottom. The black dot is the North Pole. The thicker ice appears as a darker shade of blue.  My own observations were as follows:

RE: Bill Illis says:
April 3, 2014 at 5:48 am

Thanks for sharing those two satellite shots. I did what you said, and after falling behind schedule by having a blast, clicking to and fro between the two tabs, I am struck by the increase in the ice thickness.

The exception seems to be the Laptev Sea north of central Siberia. That makes sense, when you remember the cross-polar-flow kicked in fairly often during the winter, sending Siberian air across to Canada (and then down to freeze my socks off in New Hampshire.) That flow would be offshore in the Laptev Sea, pushing the ice across towards Canada.

As you head east from North of Scandinavia the Northeast passage is wide open in Barents Sea, looks like it is open or will soon be open along the coasts of the Kara Sea and Laptev Sea (due the aforementioned offshore winds) but when you proceed east to the East Siberian Sea you start to run into the thicker ice. While there is less ice south of Bering Strait than there was the prior (record setting) winter, north of Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea it looks thicker.

This may present a bit of a problem for shipping in the Northeast passage. It doesn’t matter much if you are following a super-icebreaker, when the winds turn north and the ice starts shifting south. The channel behind an icebreaker can close like the jaws of a bear trap. (And winds can get strong, from the north, along the Siberian coast during the summer. When you have inland temperatures of 85 degrees and offshore temperatures of 34; it generates one heck of a sea-breeze.)

(If an oil tanker gets trapped up there, for even a day, Greenpeace will be doing back-flips. So the Russians won’t mention it.)

My own take is that what really matters is the temperature of the water under the ice. My assumption is that the water is colder, and less stratified. (In calmer conditions a layer of warmer, more-salty water is below colder, less-salty surface water. However conditions have been far from calm, with large areas ice-free at the start of the past two winters. This is especially true of Barents Sea, however the waters north and south of Bering Strait on the Pacific side had below-normal ice-cover for the first half of winter. Without that protective cover the waters get churned and don’t stratify as much.) However an assumption is only a guess.

It is not that we don’t have a clue, concerning arctic sea-ice. We just need more clues. We’ll watch and wait for more clues.

The entire thread can be seen here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/03/sea-ice-news-volume-5-number-1-multiyear-ice-on-the-rise/

APRIL 3 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Apr 3B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 3B temp_latest.big (1)

The “Morphy Mess” has moved over the Pole, and is a sort of warm-core storm sitting atop the planet. The theory of a “Polar Cell” (like a Hadley or Ferrel Cell) is suppose to have air rising around the periphery of the Pole and sinking at the center, but this appears to be the opposite; air rising at the pole and sinking at the periphery.  I’ll need to think about this, after my taxes are done.

Looks like ice is being blown into Fram Strait, but not out.

APRIL 4  —DMI MORNING MAPS–

DMI Apr 4 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 4 temp_latest.big (1)

I’m just sticking these in for the record.  No one will want to be anywhere near me this weekend, as I’ll be up to my elbows in illegible receipts and swearing a lot.

Every year I say I’ll be more organized however the truth is I’m just a slob.  The government invented taxes to punish disorganized people.

DMI Apr 5 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 5 temp_latest.big (1)

I’m still stuck with heaps of receipts, but just needed to relax my eyes on some cool ice.

It looks colder up there; the tongue of mild air that blew up from the Steppes over the Pole has lost its heat.

Where’d that storm north of Norway come from?  You takes your eyes off things for a second, and those rascal storms are up to something.

Looks like the block hasn’t quite quit yet.

UK Met Maps  —saturday—

UK Met Apr 5 FSXX00T_00UK Met Apr 5B 13578913 (click maps to enlarge)

The block has developed a weakness between a Greenland center and a center over Europe. Lows are starting to squeeze through that weakness, though it looks like “Taxie” did get crushed and have to kick low pressure beneath the Block to Italy.

Things are starting to move west-to-east again, and the high over Greenland ought roll east along the edge of the Arctic over the top of Scandinavia.  Behind it may be some south winds that will push the ice the wrong way, north through Fram Strait.

LOCAL VIEW  —a cold shot—

A battle 191 satsfc (3)A battle 191 rad_ne_640x480 (1)

 

After a lovely week, with a lot of snow simply fading away, we had a shot of rain last night and this morning as a storm came up the coast and over us. Behind it it is sharply colder.  I’m glad I never let the wood stove go out. (I only have one fire a winter, but I light it in October and it goes out in April.)

OK  Back to the taxes.

APRIL 7  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Aprol 7B mslp_latest.bigDMI Aprol 7B temp_latest.big (1)

These temperatures are roughly normal for the Pole. If it dips below normal up there it will be for the first time since last autumn.

Taxes are bad for my immune system. I’m suffering from a bad cold.

APRIL 8 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI April 8 mslp_latest.bigDMI April 8 temp_latest.big (1)

APRIL 9  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI Apr 9B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 9B temp_latest.big (1)

Milder air up to Iceland and Svalbard.  Quite cold north of there around the Pole. The flow through Fram Strait is slow and even halted. Looks like ice is being pushed away from the western Siberian coast, in the Kara Sea.

UK MET MAPS APRIL 9 

UK Met Apr 9 FSXX00T_00UK Met Apr 9B 13679070 (Click maps to enlarge)

I’m just archiving these maps here, hoping I find time to peruse them at a later date.

Looks like the blocking high pressure has pretty much eroded away.

LOCAL VIEW  —SURVIVING THE CLIMATE CHANGE—

A battle 192 satsfc (3)A battle 192 rad_nat_640x480

 

The map shows a secondary cold front sweeping down over us, so we will get a freeze tonight. The low will be in the mid-twenties (-4 Celsius) and not a tree is budding.  The farm pond remains astonishingly ice-covered, for this late in the spring, and to our west the Great Lakes are 50% ice-covered, at a time of year when they are usually nearly ice-free.: (Hat tip to Joseph D’Aleo’s WeatherBELL blog.)

Great Lakes Apr 9 lice_00(6)

Great Lakes Apr 9 20140331180000_CVCSWCTGL_0007594648

 

However the radar map shows something comforting:  Not a bit of snow is falling in the entire USA. And the sunshine is comforting as well, as it is as high on April 9 as it is on September 2, when people flock to the beaches for the last holiday of summer, “Labor Day Weekend.”  All the trees are still green then, and the squash and tomatoes thrive in the gardens, un-blackened by frost.

The sun has real power, and despite frosts every night that freezes puddles, the snow has vanished from the pasture, (though it is still six inches deep on north slopes and in shaded groves of pine.) Unfortunately people shed their winter clothing too swiftly, ignoring the wisdom of old-timers, which stated , “Stick to your long underwear until your long underwear sticks to you”. Consiquently a cold virus has seized the opportunity to afflict my little town, and even though I kept on wearing my long underwear, being sneezed upon by so many snuffling, under-dressed children dropped off by snuffling under-dressed parents overwhelmed my immune system, and though I never wound up in bed like so many others, I truly felt like something the cat dragged in.

One bad side of a farm is that even when you get sick the animals still require care.  A bad side of running a Childcare is that when the employees call in sick you still have to work.

Simply getting through the day was an ordeal. One aspect of the current virus is that, while the congestion isn’t all that bad, you feel totally exhausted and very achy. You feel like you have worked very hard even before you have worked a lick, right down to the aching muscles. All you want to do is sleep, and in fact that has been the talk of the town, the past week: How much time people have spent in bed.

As I trudged through the day I couldn’t help but wonder how young mothers, and especially young, single mothers, manage when they are sick.  The kids don’t stop being kids.  The mother has to keep caring, though she really needs rest.

By the time I came home, and faced the huge drift of receipts and tax-forms on the dining-room table,  I could barely last a half-hour adding up sums.  I got more and more anxious as the deadline approached with my taxes undone.  However today I finally was starting to feel better. I planned to go home and get the damn taxes done. But my daughters, who have had the virus, were feeling better as well, and chose tonight to visit, along with my baby granddaughter.

I faced a choice: Do my taxes, or sweep the papers aside on the dining-room table for one more night.  As is usual for me, I quietly and privately told the Federal Government to go to hell, and instead of doing my taxes I put my wife, daughters, and granddaughter first.

If the government demands an explanation, I’ll blame “Climate Change.”  Global Warming definitely afflicts the northern hemisphere in April, and makes people forget to wear jackets and catch colds and sneeze all over me.  It is not my fault; it is the government’s fault. Despite spending a billion dollars a day, world-wide, to prevent Climate Change, they haven’t kept springtime from coming.  Like the Grinch who tried to keep Christmas from coming, they are attempting to regulate things which cannot be governed.

Once I’m over this cold and have my taxes done, I think my pen will ventilate a huge amount of spleen, concerning the complete stupidity of government regulations.

However first things first. First is: Get the damn taxes done.

APRIL 10   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI Apr 10 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 10 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA BEING SET UP

http://translate.google.ru/translate?hl=ru&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbarneo-polus.livejournal.com%2F

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/npeo-2014-field-reports/

APRIL 11  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI Apr 11B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 11B temp_latest.big (1)

APRIL 12 —DMI MORNING MAPS—Threat to camp at North Pole—

DMI Apr 12 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 12 temp_latest.big (1)

 

A pretty big storm has blown up over the Laptev Sea, and is moving north towards the guys setting up the North Pole Camera. I’ll dub the storm “Camprek,” because I imagine it is wrecking their camping.  Hopefully no leads form right where they’re working. They’ve already been through a “Polar Bear Alert,” which seemingly involves everyone withdrawing to the tent that serves as their cafeteria. Now they can gather first hand observations of an arctic gale.  I wonder if the ice rocks and moans.

I don’t see how I am expected to finish up  my taxes with this interesting stuff going on.

QUICK PEEK AT UK MET MAP

UK Met Apr 12 13741773 (Click to enlarge)

The map shows a new pattern has taken over while my attention has been elsewhere. A faint memory of the blocking high has faded east into Russia, with a tail of high pressure dangling down towardfs the Azores, as north of it a new storm track marches up over Iceland and then along the arctic coast of Scandinavian and Russia.

The weak low over the Black Sea is remnants of “Taxie.”   The Icelandic Gale is “Taxick” (because I’m sick of taxes) and the Labrador Low is “Taxmore” (because I have more taxes to do).

What will be interesting to watch is the Azores High and the high pressure south of Newfoundland.  They are going to attempt to take over the British Isles and southern Europe, and perhaps even southern Scandinavia, and push the storm track north into the arctic.  However the storm track will keep counterattacking with fronts like the one approaching Scotland.

LOCAL VIEW  —A battle nearly over—

A battle 193 satsfc (3)A battle 193 rad_nat_640x480

 

The last bit of snow in the center of the Childcare playground, a circle where the igloo once was, had faded away to a single lump the size of a grapefruit on Thursday morning, and by afternoon it was gone.  Yesterday it was warm enough to go out wearing just a sweater, with no jacket, though a front swung through late in the day with cold sprinkles of rain. This morning is clear and chilly, but a benevolent sun is beaming over the eastern hills,  and I have the sense we might escape without an April snow this year.  Of course, I do glance anxiously at that patch of snow showing on the Canadian border of North Dakota. However even if it does get us, it will melt quickly.  The worst is past and the future is bright.

Or it will be when I finalize my taxes.

I am planning to explain why it takes me so long, but if I do it now I’ll be avoiding the task of finishing them.  How even as I work I’m muttering some choice bombast, saving it up for an essay which will ventilate a lot of pent up ire.

APRIL 12 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI Apr 12B mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 12B temp_latest.big (1)

“Camprek” continues strong, edging towards the Pole. The Friday report from Barneo Camp mentions “the weather is deteriorating,” but I could find no Saturday report. Likely they are busy, and have more important things to do than chat to people outside.

“Taxick” continues on towards northern Norway.

APRIL 13  —MORNING MAPS—

DMI Apr 13 mslp_latest.bigDMI Apr 13 temp_latest.big (1)

APRIL 13 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

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It looks like “Camprek” is weakening as it nears the Pole, though it still looks fairly windy up there.  I wonder if they evacuated the Barnea camp and airstrip. The ice is only around four to five feet thick, and strong winds can crack the ice and open sudden long leads of water.

I’m a disheveled wreck, but my taxes are nearly done.  Then I can get back to important things, like watching ice melt.

It is interesting to see a “warm sector” of a storm pulled right atop the Pole.  Though the DMI temperature graph of the Pole will likely show a spike, I’ll be watching to see if it is swiftly followed by a crash.  Sometimes these Polar storms seem to generate cold air.  I’m not certain of the dynamics, and will be seeking clues.

APRIL 14  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

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APRIL 14  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

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Camprek is weakening right over the Pole. It did not wreak the camp but did make life difficult. The Russian site reported (translation) :

Today was not any flights. Yesterday evening, the weather began to deteriorate and the whole Today snowstorm sweeps. Despite the fact that all the tents were fixed on the first day, at night the wind has torn corner tourist wardroom, so the whole team was alerted to further strengthen the tents (tying ropes). From today, the camp commandant introduced compulsory clock duty to look after the tents from wind damage and time to detect possible faults ice – the last day of the route with skiers reported more torosheniem and appearance of open water. 

A “torosheniem” is a pressure ridge, a sort of mini-mountain range of ice formed when two plates crunch together.

For a while the wind was blowing over 56 mph with temperatures down around  -31° C!!!

That is a nasty wind-chill for the people who went up there to ski.  Some Chinese tourists suffered frostbitten fingers.  (I’ve had enough of hurting hands for this year.)

No reports from the North Pole Camera people.

LOCAL REPORT  —Taxes Done!— —Wild and Mild—

A battle 194 satsfc (3)A battle 194 rad_nat_640x480

 

 

Considering I’ve spent so much time watching ice melt, I likely have no business talking about anyone wasting time.  I’m sure many think counting coins is much more fun. However that is their business, and my business is my business. Just as they would likely deeply resent it if I forced them to watch ice melt, I deeply resent being forced to count coins.

To be honest, I consider money a sort of manure. It is a byproduct of work, just as manure is a byproduct of farming. It has its value, just as manure has a value, which is why farmers once called it “brown gold.” However farmers knew better than to hoard manure.  It did absolutely no good unless you spread it around the garden to enrich the soil.

Our government likes to talk about “redistributing wealth,” as if they were spreading manure, however the fact is they obsess about manure.  They can’t get enough of it.  They  have to create more and more of it, even to a degree where they print trillions that don’t exist, which is tantamount to creating manure without cows. Nor do they spread it in sensible places, such as gardens that grow food. Instead they spread it on the ceiling and walls of the houses where they abide, and in the kitchens, which is why their lives stink, and why the poor stay poor as their cronies thrive.

Farmers are quite able to handle large amounts of manure without obsessing upon it.  They keep stables clean (except perhaps in the coldest weather, when manure in stalls can generate free heat), and have a rough idea how much land their mellowing pile of manure in the barnyard can fertilize.  However they would laugh at the idea of recording every single flatulence of every cow, which is basically what the government requires of me, when I do my income taxes.

In order to figure out your income you have to tally the amount you took in, and then subtract what you expended making it, and the result is what you harvested.  In simple terms, it takes a potato to grow potatoes, and when you say you have harvested twenty potatoes from four plants, you need to remember the single potato you cut into four pieces to grow the four plants, and subtract it from your total harvest.  If it took a potato to grow twenty, your harvest isn’t twenty, but nineteen.

Because I run a Childcare, my harvest is happy children. It has been my experience that children don’t thrive in a Childcare which is operated like a penitentiary built to incarcerate criminals. They’d much rather be outside, doing stuff like cutting a potato into four pieces and seeing it grow twenty.  When I am dealing with twelve children, that involves twelve potatoes. It is a very small expense, but the government demands I be able to show them a receipt, “Twelve Potatoes.”

It just so happens that it doesn’t take all that much time to plant twelve potatoes. Kids also don’t want to stand about all summer watching a potato plant grow.  Potatoes take about twenty minutes in April. I need to think up another activity, and this involves another small receipt. After three-hundred-sixty-five days I have hundreds of small receipts.

As I went through the hundreds of receipts, doing my taxes, I came across one that stated, “Nightcrawlers, $2.50”.  This refered to a hot day in August when we could not dig our worms for fishing, as the soil was very dry and the worms had gone deep down and coiled themselves in balls to hibernate until the next rain. So I swung into the local market, got worms, and the children didn’t have to sweat under the hot sun learning what they learned the day before, (which was that in hot, dry weather it is hard to find worms because they go down deep and coil themselves in balls). Instead I was a small-time master with twelve disciples, heading off to learn about catfish.

The Childcare my wife and I run has won praise and awards. I wish the government cared for children (and their parents) like we do, but they care more about receipts. In fact, if I get audited, there may be trouble about the “Nightcrawlers $2.50” receipt.  You see, I was in such a rush to get to work on time that day that I neglected to put it in the proper folder, It sat in my truck, and my dog sat on it. It slipped to the passenger-side floor and somehow coffee got spilled on it. Invading sunbeams faded the ink until you need to know what it says to read it.

This sort of situation can only develop when people in power care more for manure than cows. However if they care so much for manure, they should not be surprised when their reward isn’t milk and honey, and the brown stuff they bite into turns out to be something other than chocolate.

There. I had to get that out of my system.

Today was actually hot.  It was 56 (13 Celsius) even before the sun rose, and as I drove to mail my taxes it was 75 (24 Celsius).  Its been a while since I could think about complaining about heat. Nor am I thinking about that now, as the radar shows snow in Chicago, heading my way.

The wind has been roaring from the southwest, and it is ever so nice to get shoved about by a wind gusting over 40 mph and not to feel cold.  I’d write a sonnet about it, but I’m too worn out from paying what I owe the government for making my life miserable and preventing poetry.

APRIL 15  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

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APRIL 15  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

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APRIL 16  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

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With “Campreck” fading away, perhaps they can get the North Pole Camera up and running.

LOCAL VIEW  —A parting shot; howling snow squalls pass through—

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The world is white out my window this morning. My wife said, “It’s sort of pretty out there.” When I looked at her in disbelief, I could see mischief in her eyes. She was only saying it to stimulate incredulity in my face.

It has been a long, hard winter, and we’ve actually been lucky to get so little snow in the second half of it.  This is just a parting shot from the North, to remind us that our land is only being loaned to the summer.

I’m attempting to clean up the wreckage taxes made of the dining room, and put all the dirty receipts into neat folders, in case I am ever audited. (I’d much rather throw them all in the trash.) Once that is finished, I suppose the “taxing time” is over, and we can step into the amazing resurrection called Spring. That deserves a new post, so I guess this one is over.

The continuation of these posts will be found at: https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/arctic-sea-ice-melt-resurrection-or-zombie/

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3 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE MAXIMUM —A TAXING TIME—

  1. Caleb, I would like to thank you for providing such a wealth of knowledge on the arctic sea ice and other related topics. I’m not sure how often I will be on this blog over the next few months as the warmer weather sets in, but I look forward to coming back here later this summer before the arctic sea ice minimum approaches. I’m from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and am hoping for a mild and dryer summer, after the brutal cold and snowy winter we have had down here. Until then cheers and good luck finishing up your taxes!

    • In July it sure will be refreshing to look at that scene, however in April it makes me shudder. It looked like that around here as recently as April Fool’s Day, but it wasn’t fooling anyone.

      Today, however, it is sunny and mild, and even though the ice is still pretty thick on the northern and shaded sides of ponds, on the south sides the frogs have awoken today, and are making up for lost time by croaking up a storm. They sound a bit like a hundred busted banjos. I can’t recall hearing the frogs start before the spring peepers (a much smaller frog) before.

      Every spring is new. There’s no such thing as “the same old spring.”

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