ARCTIC SEA ICE —Look Out Below—

A rather simplistic concept I’ve been playing with is the idea that if we want a mild winter then we should hope that the cold gets locked up at the Pole. Keep the milder air down south where it can thaw away the snow cover, and don’t send it north where it all gets frittered away up into outer space. Hope for a nice zonal pattern, and a positive “mild” NOA and AO.

Over the past ten days some very mild surges have gone rushing up to the Pole, which is not good news if you like low heating bills, or are the one stuck with removing the snow from driveways or walkways. It tends to dislodge the cold air from the Pole, and trigger a negative, “cold” NAO and AO.

Joseph D’Aleo, on his excellent blog at Weatherbell, uses the chart below to show the difference between the two patterns in a nice, neat nutshell.AO and NAO EUR19(2)

Of course, the patterns tend to vary, and are seldom as nice and neat as the above chart suggests, but I think you can see how the jet stream looping up to the Pole doesn’t warm our world, but opens the doors to a major surge of cold from the northwest into North America, and a major surge of cold from the northeast into Europe.

What this does is to increase the snow cover, and increase the amount of radiational cooling over snow-covered terrain during the long winter nights, and increase the albedo of the snow-covered landscape during the short days. When you add in all the heat lost to outer space up at the Pole, it would seem the heat budget of the planet would take a hit, when the jet stream loops up to the Pole.

This makes me wonder why some Global Warming Alarmists think it is such a proof of warming, when the AO and NAO show signs of going into their “cold” phase. The opposite would seem to be the case.

In actual fact, when you look at whether the temperatures of Europe are above or below normal, (using the Dr. Ryan Maue temperature anomaly map from GFS data available at Weatherbell), one sees the first ominous Siberian cold of the winter in the east of Europe. ZZZ1 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_1And if you look at the Anomaly map for North America, you see the cold sneaking down into the east, where it was so mild over Christmas.ZZZ2 gfs_t2m_anom_noram_5This is not exactly what Alarmists expect, when they see it get milder at the Pole. They seem to operate under the assumption that when it gets milder at the Pole, it also gets milder everywhere else. In actual fact, when mild air surges north, look out below.

The question then becomes whether this is just a brief invasion, and whether the situation will swing back to having the cold trapped up at the Pole like it was over Christmas, or not.

It will be interesting to watch, for the current map shows the latest mild surge swinging up over Barents Sea on the Siberian side.ZZZ3 gfs_t2m_arctic_1Yet in only 3 days we see a new and interesting invasion of mild air swinging up through Bering Strait on the Pacific side,ZZZ4 gfs_t2m_arctic_13All in all I’d say this is a terrific waste of mild air we should be keeping south, to fuel a nice, mild January Thaw. Instead, look out below!


11 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE —Look Out Below—

  1. Also, The anomaly maps can be a bit misleading to the general public. Temperature is relative on those maps. A +10 degrees in a location that is normally at -20, is still quite cold. Yes, Winter is just begun, and Peru recently had some snow after their longest day of Summer. Go figure. 😉

    • Excellent point, and one worth dwelling on. Often when air that anomaly maps show as cherry red west of Hudson Bay moves south it (mysteriously to those who don’t think deeply) swiftly changes to blue hues as it crosses the Canadian border and heads south into the USA. That -10 degree air that was above normal up in Canada is -10 degree air that is well below normal in Ohio.

      One thing that the cherry red in anomaly maps does show us, up in the north, is that more heat than usual is up there, being lost to outer space. Even south of the Arctic Circle the sun has little power; it hangs low in the sky even at noon, and its glancing rays find little that is dark and can absorb heat, but rather vast stretches of drifting snow of brilliant white.

      Even down where I live in New Hampshire, at 43° north latitude, the slight lengthening of the days has no warming effect, and temperatures keep dropping in January. On average they don’t bottom out here until around January 20. It wasn’t until February 15th that the old-timers would say, “Winter’s back is broken” (and there could be mighty big storms right into April, though the snow melts more swiftly after them.)

      In any case cherry red in an arctic anomaly map of temperature is, as you say, “misleading”, unless you ponder what it actually means.

  2. Pingback: ARCTIC SEA ICE —Look Out Below— | ajmarciniak

  3. Caleb u will likely be enjoying ur last pre surgery meal and then the big day tomorrow. All the best and see u on the other side!!

    • I hope so!

      I’m in the “flushing out” phase already. Nothing but clear broth now, and nothing at all in the morning. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

      Hope you’re staying warm up there. Any hope of a Chinook? My weather map shows a stationary front near Calgary. Which side are you on?

      • I’m in Fernie skiing my ass off and finally feeling near normal as I continue to gain strength after the surgeries. So my son was enjoying a chinook today in Calgary and said it was +4 when he finished hockey but we are holding in the -7 to -12 range which is fine by me.

      • We got down to 15.4 degrees this morning. I am about 12 miles NE of downtown DC. To you hardy Yankees, that is nothing, but considering the lowest we had been so far this “winter” was only 31, today’s cold seems like quite a shock. Also the end of the party for the roses and cherry blossoms that have been blooming. Back to reality!

        Best wishes with your surgery today! Hope it all goes well.


      • Last year I felt sorry for you. This year I’m jealous! Funny how the tables turn.

        Well, I’m off. Talk in a couple days (I hope) (and pray.)

      • My son told me he even saw some demented roses blooming in Boston. They’re a sorry sight now, I’ll bet.

        It got down to 2 degrees here last night. It’s a shock for us too. It takes a while to “thicken the blood”.

        Well, I’m heading off to the hospital. Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple days.

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