ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The minimum—(September 2-25, 2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extent 0802 Sea_Ice_Extent_v2_prev

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 3  —DMI Afternoon Maps-

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

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


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

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

SEPTEMBER 4 —DMI Morning Maps—

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

SEPTEMBER 4  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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


No picture from northern camera


Southern camera hasn’t updated since the blue twilight.




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

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

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

DMI2 0905 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_13DMI2 0905 gfs_mslp_uv10m_arctic_23

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

DMI2 0905 icecover_current_new


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




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

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


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

DMI2 0905 meanT_2014


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



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

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

(I’m playing with Stephen Morse’s neat tool at )



SEPTEMBER 5  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The times, they are a changing.


DMI2 0906 icecover_current_new

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


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


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



SEPTEMBER 6  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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


UK Met Sept 6 17982797

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

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


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

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

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

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



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


SEPTEMBER 7  —DMI Morning Maps—

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



SEPTEMBER 7  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

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


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

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

INITIAL           UK Met Sept 8A 18016588

WEDNESDAYUK Met Sept 8B 18020844

FRIDAY          UK Met Sept 8C 18027035


Norbert 1_nasaaddsuphe

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 8  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

NEW CAMERAS  —Passing storms—

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



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

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




EXTENT GRAPH  –We haven’t bottomed out yet—

DMI2 0908 icecover_current_new

SEPTEMBER 8 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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


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

Beaufort Gyre BrnBld_ArcticCurrents.svg

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

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

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

DMI2 0908B 2014C_track

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

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

DMI2 0908B 2014B_track

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

DMI2 0908B 2014E_track

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

DMI2 0908B DriftMap(clock to enlarge)

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

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

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

DMI2 0908B N_bm_extent

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


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

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


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


SEPTEMBER 9 —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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

NEW CAMERAS  —building cold—

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



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

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

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



CALGARY—Last Rose Of Summer—

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

SEPTEMBER 9 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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SEPTEMBER 10 —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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


DMI2 0910 icecover_current_new(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Could this be the bottom?  Too early to tell.


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



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

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





trees down

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

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

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

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

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

Another Calgary picture: Calgary 2014 09 10 Screen_shot_2014_09_10_at_11_18_03_AM

The Rocky Mountain snows may extend down to Denver.

SEPTEMBER 10  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

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

NEW CAMERAS  —A pause between storms—

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

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



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


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

SEPTEMBER 11  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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


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

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

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



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

Temperatures continue to fall, and winds remain light.



SEPTEMBER 11 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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









(Fresh snow atop buoy in above picture.)


SEPTEMBER 12  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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

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


Rapid City Sept Snow snowfall


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

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

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


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


DMI2 0913B icecover_current_new








SEPTEMBER 14 —DMI Morning Maps—

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

SEPTEMBER 15  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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


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

UK Met Sept 15A 18262638

UK Met Sept 15B 18268865


Snow 13-09-15 ims2014256_alaska

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


DMI2 0915 icecover_current_new

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

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

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

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


Baja hurricane rb0-lalo

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

SEPTEMBER 15  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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SEPTEMBER 16  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

DMI2 0916B meanT_2014

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

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


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

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




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





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

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

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

Antarctic Record Screen_shot_2014_09_16_at_9_12_54_PM (Click to enlarge and clarify.)

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

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

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

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

Arizona wettest t.s. Screen_shot_2014_09_15_at_6_45_58_AM

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

webcam temperature-1week

NEW CAMERA UPDATES  (Pretty as a picture)

webcam webcam

SEPTEMBER 17  —DMI Afternoon maps—

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

SEPTEMBER 18  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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

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


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

windspeed-1week SEPTEMBER 18  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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


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

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

SP Oct 13 cmdlfullsize SEPTEMBER 19  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

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

SEPTEMBER 19  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

SEPTEMBER 20  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

SEPTEMBER 20  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

DMI2 0920B meanT_2014

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

DMI2 0920B icecover_current_new

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

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


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

webcam temperature-1week


temperature-1week webcam


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

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

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

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

Much to see, this coming week.

SEPTEMBER 22 —DMI Morning Maps—

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


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

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

SEPTEMBER 23 –DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DMI2 0923 icecover_current_new

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

DMI2 0923 arcticicennowcast (1)

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

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

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

DMI2 0923 N_bm_extent_hires

NEW CAMERAS  —The gloom of winter approaches—

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

webcam webcam

SEPTEMBER 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 24 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 25  —DMI Morning Maps—

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Quite a storm for Scandinavia.

These DMI maps will be continued at:


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

webcam temperature-1week

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

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

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

webcam temperature-1week


22 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The minimum—(September 2-25, 2014)

  1. Pingback: ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Thaw’s End— | Sunrise's Swansong

  2. Hi Caleb once again thank you for amazingly informative posts, it has been a great pleasure to read. not only that, but you have helped to inform those who may not have known the facts, for it is knowing the facts that that the truth will out, wherever that leads us.
    I have been following you for some time but comment rarely, but you need to know that you have a great following, as I am sure your stats. tell you. I hope you will continue your Arctic adventures and inform us of the truth, though scaled down when the darkness descends. I await your new posting’s as keenly as I have these Arctic blogs. Good luck to you and yours, and keep warm.


    Keith Gordon

  3. Caleb u are likely watching and aware of this but the old DMI graph shows almost no ice loss vs the new one you posted … it is interesting to me because DMI claims the masking of bays / coast is the major difference between the two and so I wonder where these bays are that are only now melting out since the bays with the nearby land usually are the first to melt out? Perhaps nothing but my spidey sense tingles when I look at the differences between the two graphs 😉

    • I doubt there is much ice forming along the shorelines yet. Freezing temperatures are just starting to appear inland, in Alaska and Canada and Siberia. Give it a couple more weeks, and suddenly the land will be colder than the sea, and the sea-breezes will give way to land-breezes, and the shoreline “fixed ice” will appear.

      It likely has more to do with how little spread-out ice there is this year. It is interesting to think about.

  4. Dang, just in from covering the plants. My deck is like a skating rink with the sleet / snow on the vinyl deck covering. Temps are right about freezing and after 10 minutes of fighting with various blankets and tarps in the wet and cold my hands are just about frozen … too early for this silliness!!
    And it is forecast to be like this for the next several days … GLO-BULL warming my cold, frozen Canuck ass.

    • Yikes! Too early!

      It is probably politically incorrect now, but we used to call these early cold snaps “Squaw Winter.” People said it would be followed by “Indian Summer,” which was a nice long warm spell.

      After that, you needed to consult other signs. Sometimes a Squaw winter was a warning, and a sign of a bad winter. However if the Indian Summer that followed it was short and cool, (or never came at all,) then it was a sign of a mild winter.

      I am very nervous about a winter like 1976-1977, which had the cross-polar-flow take the short-cut, from east Siberia to central Alaska, and then right down the core of Canada to the Eastern USA. That would put you on the western edge. About half the time the cold air would back up against the Rockies and you’d get to taste Siberia, but the other half of the time you’d be blessed by Chinooks. However, to be sure, you should check the 1976-1977 records for Calgary. I’m not sure how far east the Chinooks made it. I do recall it was downright hot on the west coast in California, and mild on the coast even up to southern Alaska, and people up there could sit back and chuckle at the sight of easterners freezing.

      We are currently having crisp and cool weather. This morning was the first time we saw temperatures down in the 40’s. (5 to 10 degrees Celsius).

      • I was in Toronto in ’76 listening to Buffalo drown in the snow across the lake 🙂 I remember parts of that winter well with lots of shoveling and some sketchy drives home to Ottawa. Being a skier I have never noticed the cold unless it hits the -30 to -40 range when even the toughest struggle to have any fun playing in the snow and so I don’t recall it particularly cold then. So I can’t speak to the climate / weather in Calgary before the summer of ’80 when I landed here to seek my fortune.
        Just staying cold this AM with temps right at freezing and the odd flurry however they are forecasting old man winter to return tonight after reloading his snow gun and giving us another good dump!

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

  6. Caleb, with all of your vast research you may be able to answer this question off the top of your head. (Arctic sea ice is not one of my areas of expertise, still learning.)

    Question: In a REALLY hard winter, if the Arctic waters are COMPLETELY covered with ice, the ice will still continue to increase in height (and consequently depth) due to additional snow. But, is the water beneath the ice cold enough (super-cooled) so that more ice can be formed BELOW the existing ice?

    Or, to put it another way, can sea ice increase without additional snow?

    (Yeah, you’ve already explained about wind stacking up the ice. I understand that, I’m wondering about the possibility of ice thickening WITHOUT snow or wind.)


    • Yes it can and does.

      Scientists (I’m not sure how) are able to measure the temperature of the ice from the top to the bottom, and produce wonderful charts that show an entire year.

      Ice is an insulator, but isn’t perfect. As “heat cannot pass from one body to a hotter body”, the water is always losing heat to the ice. The heat travels upwards through the ice. You can see this quite clearly in the dead of winter, especially when the ice is newly formed and not too thick. For example, when -40 degree air moves over Hudson Bay, it warms very swiftly when the bay is open, and less swiftly when the ice is thin, and hardly at all when the ice is thick.

      In the dead of winter the water under the ice is losing heat so swiftly it cannot remain water, and freezes. I think it usually freezes against the bottom of the ice, but I have seen pictures of very thin plates of ice forming and drifting up to the bottom of the ice. The ice thickens as long as the air above the ice is so cold the heat-loss continues. On average I think the ice grows 3 to 6 feet thick in a winter.

      The arctic is a desert, so there isn’t all that much snow, but if the snow on the ice gets deep it actually slows the freezing process, as it is a better insulator than solid ice, due to its air content.

      As spring comes on and the air above the ice warms, the charts show the warmth from below warming the ice towards freezing from below, even as the ice starts warming downwards from above. Halfway between the top and bottom the ice holds a “memory” of the winter cold for a while, but it eventually vanishes. At that point the ice melts some from the top, but a lot of the thinning comes from beneath.

      At this time of year the ice at the top starts refreezing, but the ice is still melting at the bottom, as the point halfway between still has a “memory” of summer warmth and is still around freezing. It takes a while for the cold to move down through the ice, and start the refreeze at the bottom of the ice.

      Hope that answer isn’t too long. The short answer is simply, “Yes, ice does thicken at the bottom of a plate of ice without any direct exposure to cold air.”

      • No, the answer was not too long. It was most informative, easy to grasp, and much appreciated. (Okay, I had to read it twice to soak it all in, but I said I am still learning!)

        Thanks again, and keep WARM.

    • Thanks for sharing those maps. I think on the Atlantic side the storm that came up the east coast of Greenland compressed a lot of ice northward either side of Svalbard, with the south winds on its east-side. Another storm looks like it will come up north on the same track. So you have extent decreasing on one side due to compression, as it grows in other areas due to refreezing.

      I think extent could drop a little more, before shooting upwards. My reasoning is that the refreezing will speed up, and the compression can’t go on much more as the ice is very compressed to begin with. Lastly, besides ice being crompressed north it can be spread-out south, by north winds, and that increases the extent graph. All things considered, I am expecting a dramatic up-spike, once the second storm passes..

      • Caleb,
        I agree that the minimum is essentially upon us, but I think it’s interesting (re your comment on how packed the ice is) that the current ice levels on the DMI graph at the 15% concentration are only a little bit above 2013 levels, but the old 30% graph is significantly above 2013 levels (and close to 2005/2006). To me, this shows just how compacted it is this year as compared to previous times. It would be nice to see what it looks like at 50%, I agree, but the current evidence is pretty convincing. I’m very interested to see what the PIOMAS data looks like at the end of the month, particularly in comparison with recent years. If the 30% coverage is any indicator, there’s a lot of ice volume increase this year.

        Looking forward to your seasonal wrap-up, as the minimum gets official, and thanks again for all your fascinating work – it’s been an education for me.


      • Thanks for comparing the 30% graph with the 15% graph. I hadn’t thought to do that. I was basing my judgement on the satellite views. (I have a habit of trusting my lying eyes.)

        Thanks for the appreciation. All I am doing is educating myself. Of anyone else gets a bit of education as I scribble my notes, it is just an added benefit. Most of the joy is in discovery.

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