The DMI maps below show a little low I dubbed “Malga” crossing over the Pole and wandering to the coast of East Siberia. Meanwhile a huge area of low pressure I generalized as “Crawl” is unable to follow, as high pressure builds behind Malga and pushes the Atlantic low pressure southeast towards Europe. On the Pacific Side the gale “Crept”can’t push north either, and slides into Alaska and weakens.

DMI3 1109 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1109 temp_latest.big DMI3 1109B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1109B temp_latest.big DMI3 1110B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1110B temp_latest.big (1) DMI3 1111 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1111 temp_latest.big DMI3 1111B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1111B temp_latest.big

What is interesting to me in these maps is the feeder-band of mild air that keeps Malga alive. In the end it flows from the Atlantic along the Siberian coast nearly to the Pacific before curling up into Malga. It shows up very clearly in this GFS temperature map produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site.  (Map is flipped from DMI maps, with Greenland at the top right)Malga 1 gfs_t2m_arctic_3Not only does this map show the neat little curl of Atlantic moisture still feeding into Malga along the East Siberian coast, but it also shows a peak of mildness starting to poke north of Greenland, which may be the start of the next cross-polar-whirler.

I’m wondering about these cross-polar storms. It seems the storm track I’m more used to, which goes across Scandinavia and along the Siberian coast, has been displace far to the north.  To some degree it is still governed by the boundary between cold sea-ice and milder open water, but gets as far north as it can, along that boundary.

These storms seem to have a genesis separate from the North Atlantic storms, even when they are fed by the southerly flow on the east side of Atlantic storms. If you watch the evolution of “Crawl” in the above DMI maps you can see it kicks a secondary alive to its southeast, but that secondary loop-de-loops and stalls, perhaps kicking a tertiary south into the Baltic. The Atlantic storms have no identity you can follow north of Norway and along the Siberian coast, though there are impulses of a vauge nature that continue east.  As identities, the North Atlantic storms have demonstrated a proclivity to stall, to fail to progress, and to get poor grades on their report cards.

Of course, way down south in Europe they may be wondering what I am talking about, as they have this silly way of looking at weather sideways, rather than utilizing our superior top-down view. They can’t see how stunted north Atlantic storms are, for they are getting the defeated remnants of once-proud gales shunted their way. They fail to see the power of the Pole has pushed things south, and dented the high pressure protecting them and giving them some fine fall weather south, so dismal failures of Atlantic storms can leak east, like defeated troops marching east. All Europe sees is the once-proud Hurricane Kate will make a swift transit of the Atlantic and be breezing through the shores of Scotland on Sunday and into the Baltic on Monday.Kate 1 29093708Kate 2 29094707  Kate 3 29094712 Kate 4 29101001 Kate 5 29101427

Considering ex-hurricane Kate makes such a swift transit of the Atlantic, those poor Europeans can’t understand what I am taking about when I speak of bogged-down North Atlantic storms. They are not paying attention to the morass up at the top of their maps, because one problem with these archaic sideways views of the planet is your attention is riveted west, and not north, even though we all know where winter weather comes from.

We’ll just have to roll our eyes, sigh deeply, and forgive them. Someday all weather maps will have the Pole at the center, but we are still living in the stone ages. In the future people will laugh at sideways maps, and be amazed at the nonsense we incredibly smart people had to deal with, but for the time being I guess we just have grin and bear it, and get on with the business of viewing planet earth in the only sane and correct manner there is.


Despite the huge rush of milder air northward on the Eurasian side of the Arctic, Faboo (my name for the North Pole Camera) is just far enough west to be outside that force, and drifts in a sort of counter-current slowly southeast.

On November 8 Faboo accellerated, but veered from southeast to southwest. It made it as far east as 4.575°W at 0600Z, but when our 24-hour period ended at 2100Z we were at 83.713°N, 5.117°W, west of where we began, and 7.24 miles SSW closer to Fram Strait.  Temperatures moderated slightly, from -30.0°C at midnight to -22.4°C at the period’s end.

On November 9 winds must have whistled, for Faboo continued to accelerate SSW 14.33 miles to 83.526°N, 5.933°W. As Malga passed temperatures rose from a low of -22.9°C at 0900Z to -20.5°C at the period’s end.

On November 10 we really covered some ground, arriving at 83.425°N, 5.921°W, which is 20.8 miles south towards Fram Strait. Temperatures continued up, from -20.3°C at midnight to -17.1°C at the period’s end.

The winds were so strong that our hoarfrost-encrusted wind-vane and anemometer began to feebly function. Winds were reported at 2 mph. FAIL. You do not move 20 miles with winds that light.  What likely was happening was that strong breezes were forcing a protesting mechanism to budge. Also, perhaps, some of the hoarfrost was sublimating away, though more must vanish before we get accurate readings of how the wind howls.


O-buoy 14 is the last camera far enough south to give us daylight (or bright twilight) pictures worth looking at, however what is most noticeable is the hoarfrost growing on everything. Obuoy 14 1111 webcam


For nearly a full day south winds brought the entire southward flow of a huge amount of ice to a standstill, and temperatures soared to thawing, but then north winds resumed, temperatures plunged, and O-buoy 9 continued south towards 77° S latitude, while crunching west towards 14° W longitude. Obuoy 9 1111 temperature-1weekI was hoping the brief thaw might bring the camera to life. The fellows behind the scenes have demonstrated an amazing ability to regain contact with lost cameras, and I was hoping the thaw might melt hoarfrost from a radar dish, but there was no such luck. However the anemometer did thaw enough to again spin, and reported winds up to gale force at 34 mph, only slowly subsiding to 20 mph.Obuoy 9 1111 windspeed-1week

One thing important to note is that when O-buoy nine moves west it is upon an area of 100% ice coverage moving into an area of 100% ice coverage. It is upon older ice, some of which sticks up as big bergs like clippership sails,  and plowing into flat “baby ice” which is one to two feet thick. There are no open spaces between bergs to fill in, and therefore there must be a crumpling occurring. Ice is buckling and pressure-ridges are rising. However this building will not show up on graphs that measure ice by the square footage when viewed from above. In fact, when ice is shoved against the coast of Greenland, both the extent and area graphs may show there is less ice, even as jumbles of bergs grow into looming piles, like snowbanks beside a plowed road.


Sorry to be slow to update, but every dog has his day, and mine happened to be yesterday, because I got the prior post “Micro-critters Rule!” published on “Watts Up With That”. I spent a bit of time gloating. But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.

It’s funny how fleeting the pleasures of this world are. Every dog has his day, but it isn’t enough, and I want to amend it and say, “Every dog has his days.” It isn’t enough to be a one hit wonder; one wants to be a two hit wonder. Even minor fame is one of those cravings that tends to become insatiable, and therefore it is best to skip the whole addiction, and simply write because it is fun to write. So…I’m back to work.

I missed some morning maps, but here are the past two days DMI afternoon maps, showing some interesting stuff going on over the Pole and Fram Strait.

DMI3 1112B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1112B temp_latest.big DMI3 1113B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1113B temp_latest.big

The storm I called “Malga” swiftly faded away on the East Siberian coast. I suppose the pipeline of Atlantic air simply became far too long to sustain it, and once it was cut off it immediately filled in, replaced by an area of colder air. Meanwhile a second weak storm I’ll call Malga2 went through a similar genesis north of Greenland, independant of the North Atlantic gales except for a new feeder band that shows up quite clearly on the temperature maps. And now it looks like a third feeder band may be pushing north through Fram Strait, perhaps to assist in the genesis of a third storm that might take this odd, cross-polar route, seemingly ignoring both the Pacific and Atlantic storm tracks.

The North Atlantic is plugged up, and storms are being squeezed south through the Baltic for the time being. Storms that try to come north become a tangle of occlusions, and haven’t come north. That may change, as the huge high over and north of central Siberia  may slam the door on sneaking south through the Baltic, and force the North Atlantic storms to bleed north across the Pole. The way may be cleared as the Malga storms seem to be crossing closer to Canada, in a sense clearing the way.  For the time being that solution hasn’t happened yet, and I’m just going to call the storms milling around east of Iceland “Crawl”, even though Crawl faded and some three generations of secondary and tertiary descendants have gotten mixed up in the tangle.

On the Pacific side some descendant of “Crept” is moving weakly east along the Alaskan and Canadian coast, even as Malga2 passes going the other way, far out over the Arctic Ocean.


On November 11 Faboo slowed, but still moved 10.15 miles SSE to 83.278°N, 5.840°W. Temperatures remained flat, with a high of -17.2°C at midnight and a low of -18.0°C at noon.

On November 12 we slowed further, progressing 3.66 miles SSE to 83.225°N, 5.814°W, but seeing eastward progress halt at 5.780°W at noon. A change in the weather is hinted at by the slow rise of temperatures from -17.5°C at the start to -11.3°C at the end.

Some “wrong way” drift is likely over the week-end.


Obuoy 14 1113 webcam

You have to be fast to catch the time it is bright enough for a good picture. (3:00 in my busy afternoon.) Today I wasn’t fast enough.


The weather station associated with O-buoy 9 continues to crunch west, but the southward grinding has halted and even nudged a little north. A southeast wind from warmer waters is hinted at by the temperature arising to a thaw. Likely it is very foggy.

Obuoy 9 1113 temperature-1week



This is interesting. The cross polar swirls look like they are turning into a cross polar flood. This will have possible implications of a counter-flow across Asia into Europe. I’ll study it a bit more later. They are having those climate talks in Paris soon, and those things always seem to attract blasts of arctic air.


For the record, Malga2 drifted over to East Siberia and faded, as Malga3 formed north of Greenland, incorporating some of the faded remnants of the Pacific impulse “Crept”, and then stalling north of the Beaufort Sea, and now is starting to link up with “Crawl”, which has moved slowly north-northeast from the top of Norway to Svalbard. Besides returning Fram Strait to a typical north flow, that Malga3-Crawl connection is creating a long fetch of west winds north of Siberia, which holds a little Atlantic air, but it must be modified by continental European air, coming north through western Scandinavia and Eastern-Russia. The long fetch is associated with a rather massive high pressure in central Siberia, which is sneaking cold air east under its belly.


On November 13 Faboo’s southward progress halted at midnight at  83.224°N, and then we drifted slowly northwest to 83.283°N   5.884°W, veering slightly northeast at the final report. This was a total “wrong way” drift of 4.04 miles to the north-northwest. Temperatures were the mildest we’ve seen in a long time, with a high of -3.2°C at 0600Z and staying fairly “mild”, and ending at -5.0°C.

On November 14 we edged northeast as far as 5.825°W at 0600Z before backing northwest as far as 83.310°N at 1800Z, where our “wrong way” flow halted, and we floated slightly southwest, ending the period at  83.309°N, 5.858°W. This left us 1.8 miles north-northwest of where we began. Temperatures fell from a high of -4.3°C at midnight to a low of -13.5°C at 0900Z, and ended the period at -9.9°C.

On November 15 Faboo drifted southwest to 83.245°N, 6.055°W, for a day’s progress of 4.69 miles. It was a loopy weekend, winding Faboo up further west. Temperatures remained fairly mild, with a high of  -7.1°C at noon, and a low of -9.6°C at the end of the period.

I imagine the cross-polar flood on the Siberian side will create a counter-current on the Canadian side, and we will see Faboo resume its drift towards Fram Strait.


The weather station belonging to O-buoy 9 has seen winds swing around to the cold north, and has resumed its southerly flow past 77° south. It’s crunching progress west towards the coast of Greenland seems to have halted at 15° west. Temperatures are back down towards -20°.

Obuoy 9 1116 temperature-1week


The maps show the cross-polar-flood increasing. “Malga3” forms the tip of the trough, and has weakened, and once again its weakening is associated with the appearance of some very cold air. At the risk of appearing to belabor a point, I would like to point out how unlike a Chinook this is. In a Chinook you lift air, release snow (and also heat held as latent heat), and when the air comes back down it is warm and dry. At the Pole the air get raised by low pressure, is robbed of moisture, but when it descends it is darn cold.  This does not compute, but no has offered a way to reprogram.

“Crawl” continues to hang north of Svalbard, connected to a decent storm to its south off the coast of Norway I’ll call “Crawlson.”  To their east an impressive flow comes up from the south and along the coast of Siberia, but is very different from last year’s. Last year it was straight up from the Azores and loaded with tropical juice. This year it may be from roughly the same area, but the air masses are different; they are hugely modified by north Atlantic air or by hugely modified Siberian air, so the flow from the south is drier and cooler, even when the air is from the Mediterranean. (Don’t forget the early snows they had down that way, for example, in Turkey.)

Lets look at one of those sideways maps that other folk look at, and see what is going on in the North Atlantic.  Here is the UK Met map. UK Met 20151117 29268943You can see the North Atlantic is untidy. Let’s be honest. It is a complete mess. All the warm air is aloft in occlusions, and the storm track, if it exists, is well to the south. They have no lush, tropical warm sectors from the Azores, and behind their cold fronts is modified Arctic air from the coasts of Greenland and inland Canada. The air over Europe is well above normal, but it is mild in a way that makes it like a contract written by a con artist. It is full of clauses and exceptions-to-the-rule, for even when it is mixed with a blurb of juicy Azores air, there’s other blurbs from the icecap if Greenland.

That is why, when you go back to the DMI maps, the mild temperatures on the Siberian side of the Pole are perhaps not so mild as I might expect.

To continue our examination of sideways maps, lets look at a cool map Dr. Ryan Maue offers at the Weatherbell site. The map does not show if temperatures are warm or cold, but rather shows if they are above or below normal. (Therefore red doesn’t necessarily mean warm, but rather means above the normal for that particular location. Often, on such maps, -20° will appear red as +20° appears blue, because locations to the north are above normal as locations to the south are below normal.)Surge 1 gfs_t2m_anom_natl_1What is most interesting to me is that band of blue feeding in over Scotland.  Also the cold off Cape Cod (where the water is actually warmer than normal). This hints that the air feeding into warm sectors isn’t all that warm.

However, if we are going to take this sideways view, we might as well look at poor Paris, which is currently nice and mild. So lets look  at Dr. Ryan Maue’s temperature-anomaly-maps for Europe for now, 48 hours from now, and 96 hours from now. Surge 2 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_1Surge 3 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_9Surge 4 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_17

What these maps show is a big glob of cold air coming from the upper right corner of the sideways maps, and flipping Paris from warm to cold. Considering everything has been coming at them from the west, they will not know what hit them. However we, who have been viewing things from the proper and sane polar view,  will be aware a cross-polar-flood has been stealing all their nice, mild air and squandering it to outer space, even as a cross-polar-counter-flood brings south some nasty arctic cold down the east coast of Greenland, that can’t be warmed by its transit of a colder-than-normal North Atlantic.

What no maps or models are showing is a second counter flow coming towards Paris like a pincer, from Siberia. My intuition says this should happen, but my honesty sees no sign of it. The warmth moving into Europe seems to keep the Siberian cold bottled up to the east. (The Dr. Ryan Maue temperature-anomaly map of Asia below shows the cross-polar-flood moving east at the top, but the Siberian cold failing to become a westward counter-flow in the center.) (It can’t move west past the Ural Mountains.)Surge 5 gfs_t2m_anom_asia_16


Yesterday, (November 16) Faboo felt the Cross-Polar-Counter-Flood, and made good time south-southwest to 83.034°N, 6.180°W, which was 14.48 miles closer to Fram Strait. As the winds became north temperatures fell, from a high of -9.6°C at the start to -19.5°C at the end. Even our hoarfrost and rime encrusted anemometer seemed to break free of the crust, (perhaps due to the expansion and contraction of temperature changes of over thirty degrees we’ve seen), and at the end began reporting winds of 22 mph.


The old O-buoy 9 Weather Station reports temperatures slightly moderating up from -20°, as winds slackened to 7 mph. The buoy continued south, and again began crunching west towards the coast of Greenland.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute maps shows the current cold north winds have made the ice moving down into Fram Strait a solid mass. To the east in Barents Sea the waters remain open,  as the Cross-Polar-Flood heads north there.Fram Ice 1117 general_20151117



3 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –CROSS POLAR WHIRLS–(Updated Tuesday Evening)

  1. On a more southerly theme I notice you continue to enjoy fall weather with old man winter no where to be seen. Calgary had an awesome fall, probably the mildest in the 35 years I’ve lived here but shortly after halloween we flipped into winter mode and there has been snow on the ground since. However it is still pretty nice with temps ranging from about -3 at night to 3 -5 through the day and so the snow slowly melts but then gets renewed with a fresh dump every 5 days or so but this too will change next week as they forecast a plunge to the -5 to -15 range as winter takes us in its icy grip for the next 4 months except for the occasional chinook warming. The local ski resorts are getting decent snowfalls as a series of storms blow in from the Pacific. I await the opening of my hill (Fernie ) and resuming my ski bum retirement.
    And so it goes. I enjoyed the post …. keep them coming.

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