The very cold air over the Pole and Siberia has moderated. When there is a rebound of temperatures, one has to do some detective work, and see where the cold air has gone.
Below are the DMI arctic maps for November 7th, 9th, and 11th. (Barometric pressure to the left, temperature to the right.) If you focus on the temperature maps you can see the deep blue fade away north of Greenland, as an invasion of milder air comes north through the Bering Strait. Whenever there is an invasion of air there is usually an arctic outbreak somewhere else. Seldom do the opposing forces politely mix.
In this case the invading Pacific air split the cold air into two parts, the Eurasian part and the Canadian Part. The Canadian part is stronger, as is shown by the high pressure building there. The Eurasian outbreak is not as obvious, for a lot of the outbreak poured down the east coast of Greenland and out into Fram Strait, giving Svalbard very cold temperatures and chilling the North Atlantic. As soon as such air gets over open water it rapidly warms at the surface, and appears to “disappear” from temperature maps, though in fact it had a lot to do with the series of storms rolling along the arctic coast of Eurasia.
The storms that have been rolling along the north coast of Eurasia have been interesting, for beneath them they carried a huge shot of milder temperatures on west winds. This surge A.) led to some thawing of the Siberian snow-pack along its outer edge, B.) bumped some very cold air into the Pacific where it met a typhoon and became a huge gale, and C.) has a backwash of cold east winds to its north. The current temperature map of Asia still shows the milder air attacking the east Siberian cold from the southwest, as the backwash starts to build a new pool of cold air in central Siberia. (Map created by Dr Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site.) (Click to enlarge and clarify)
Europe needs to keep an eye on the backwash. As the Siberian cold builds the west-to-east surges settle south, and the east-to-west back wash can extend to Scandinavia and even Britain, giving them their most frigid winter temperatures.
The cold air pouring out over the Pacific is messing with my head big time. I have been relying on my memory of 1976-1977’s brutal winter, rather than digging up old maps, and that is obviously a mistake, as things are not happening as I remember them happening. Rather than cold air crossing over to North America just north of the Bering Strait, mild air is pouring north in the Bering Strait, but the arctic outbreak is coming south in North America just the same. It is obviously time to shut up, and just observe.
There was a lot of incorrect blather in the media about the huge gale that brewed up, incorperating all the juice of a typhoon into one of those amazing North Pacific monster storms. They are so big they make a super-typhoon look small, and though they may not have a core of 100+ mph winds, they can have winds of hurricane force over an area far larger than a hurricane does. (More Maue maps from Weatherbell.) The first map shows the gale near its peak, and the second shows it starting to fill and weaken now. (Click to enlarge and clarify; open-to-new-tabs to compare.)
It is fairly obvious the winds from such monster storms are not going to allow air to cross the Bering Strait west-to-east. Instead Siberian air charges east beneath such storms, to chill the north Pacific but to be much moderated before reaching North America.
(The winds were so strong as they poured off the Asian mainland that they actually warmed the coastal waters, despite being frigid, for they pushed the surface water out to sea and caused up-welling along the coast. This led to odd sea-surface temperature anomaly maps. While the frigid air chilled the western North Pacific, making parts to the west shift from above-normal to below-normal, and be tinted blue on maps, right along the coast there was a strip of bright crimson, due to the up-welling. Bright crimson represented three degrees above normal, but normal is very cold in those waters. Usually the sea water is below the freezing point of fresh water and about to freeze. So don’t be fooled by the bright crimson and think that water is hot. However do be aware that the refreeze of those waters, [called “The Sea of Okbotsk,”] may be briefly delayed, despite very cold winds pouring over those waters.)
These giant Pacific gales suck up huge amounts of heat into the upper atmosphere, and all that rising air must descend somewhere, and therefore these storms tend to “pump the ridge” of high pressure in front of them. It is the other side of that ridge that is now delivering the very cold air south through Canada to the USA. However I have to put on my thinking cap, because the origins of that cold air are not from where I supposed.
In like manner huge gales blow up in the North Atlantic, and pump ridges in front of them. This currently seems to be happening over towards Europe. The first map shows the big but diffused gale stalling south of Iceland, and the second map shows the storm still stalled but high pressure building over Scandinavia, with cold air coming south on its eastern flank.
Last year the North Atlantic gales were bringing vast surges of mild air up their eastern sides, and flooding Europe with merciful southwest winds. Although the winter pattern hasn’t locked in, it is starting to look like this winter will be very different.
What does all this mean in terms of sea-ice? (I actually don’t care all that much, as I have to attend to staying warm here in New Hampshire, and things freezing here matters more than things freezing thousands of miles to the north.) Currently it means there is a delay in the increase.