The past week has seen an interesting change up at the Pole. The high pressure that has been stubbornly parked up there on the Canadian side has drifted over to the coast of Central Siberia, and elongated. This has created a two way street of Cross-Polar-flows, one bringing Pacific air along the East Siberian coast, and another bringing cold Siberian air the other way across to Canada and also a spear of milder Atlantic air right over the Pole as far as the Canadian coast.
I’ve been watching these invasions carefully this winter, and noting how they seem to precede weather events down south, where I live in New Hampshire, by roughly a week. The invasions seem to “nudge” the build-up of cold air off the Pole and down south through Canada, to the USA, where they make headlines. Two nudges ago brought us the Washington DC blizzard, and then that snow swiftly melted away as the nudging ceased and the cold built at the Pole. Then a smaller nudge sent another outbreak south, but it was strong for such a little nudge, and set records for cold even though it was brief. Now it is warm again, reflecting the last period the cold was building up at the Pole, and I’m expecting another outbreak a week from now, due to the current nudge.
Looking at a Dr. Ryan Maue map (from the Weatherbell Site) of temperatures three days from now (Canadian JEM model) you can see the bright pink in northern Canada, indicative of temperatures down at minus 40, (that great temperature where Fahrenheit and Celsius finally agree).
The surface map for that time (three days from now) shows an interesting low over northern Hudson Bay, and the north winds on its west side seem likely to shift that very cold air south towards me. I don’t imagine it will warm much as it comes south, for it will be passing over snow-covered landscapes, and the nights are still longer than the days.
A look down from the top of the planet five days from now sees that low still parked over Hudson Bay, and a new low north of Greenland. In fact the high pressure over Greenland seems totally surrounded by storms.
What is especially interesting is that the temperature map five days from now shows that, despite the invasion of milder air over the Pole, major cold remains over both north Canada and Siberia. The imported mildness is being squandered, lost to outer space, without warming the tundra much, though perhaps it is nudging that tundra’s cold south to places where it is unwanted by the old, and enjoyed by the young.
I would expect the invasion from the Atlantic to compress the sea-ice to the north, decreasing the extent of the ice, but so far the extent-graph shows a slow rise.With storminess increasing at the Pole, it will be interesting to watch the NRL map of how the ice is moving. Currently it is describing the shape of the elongated high pressure, and the ice is staying put in the Arctic Ocean, with little being flushed out. The above map shows fast-moving ice crashing into slower ice north of the Mackenzie River Delta, likely building pressure ridges, while some leads are opening up north of Bering Strait, where faster-moving ice accelerates away from slower ice. A lot of shifting and crunching is likely to occur over the next week, and I am going to try to post more of these maps that show how the ice moves. They clearly show how mobile the ice is, and refute the idea that sea-ice is static stuff that is only effected by Global Warming.
O-BUOY 8b BITES THE DUST?
I never like to see one of the Arctic buoys go through a blank period, when reporting data:It is especially troubling in the case of O-buoy 8b, because it is located right where the ice seems stressed, in the above ice-motion map. Also it located right on the edge of a sort of San Andres Fault, formed within hours of when the bouy was placed last fall. If you have two minutes to spare, it is well worth watching the time lapse movie made of pictures taken by the O-buoy 8b camera last fall. Among other things, it shows within an hour of the men working to place the camera on the ice, the ice cracked up.
This does make one think about the risk the men take, installing those cameras when the ice is weak in September. (Not to mention the chance of meeting a 1500 pound bear.) It also makes me wonder if the icebreakers they ride up there on actually weaken the ice, and cause a sort of structural failure of areas greater than the channel made by the boat itself. (I know it works that way when they break up the ice in harbors in the spring.) Here is a picture of the Mass Balance Buoiy 2015 right after it was placed last August. (Note the vanity of the graffiti. Seems odd that fame is seen in having your name appear where it is likely only a polar bear will ever see it.)And here is a picture of Obuoy 13 after it was placed.Note the solar panels, which may explain why there are no pictures after the sun sets for the winter. The GPS must have a separate battery.
Sometimes these buoys come to life after surprisingly long periods of time off the air. One came back last summer after more than a month. Perhaps they get tilted, and can’t properly transmit. Also I read there can be times they can’t get room because other projects are using the available space on the Satellite they must all share, when transmitting. In such cases the buoy has the ability to save data and send it later.
I hope we see O-buoy 8b come back soon.
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE
Despite the steady import of milder Atlantic air up over the Pole, the cold continues to build in northern Canada. Also a lot of the “nudged” air spilled down the east coast of Greenland and is chilling the north Atlantic, cooling the western shores of Europe. Joseph D’Aleo has an interesting post on his blog at the Weatherbell site about the possibility of late-season snows in Europe. I can’t claim I saw that cold air sneaking around from the northwest, as usually the Atlantic moderates the arctic air, but it sure looks like the western coasts of Europe are cooling. Their midwinter surge of mildness seems to be flipping. In fact I think this winter will wind up being remembered for a lot of flip flops in both Europe and North America. Europe has been spared the steady blasting of Siberian cold China has gotten, (and that I remember too well happening here last winter). (Personally I mind winter a lot less when it is served out in small helpings.)The DMI maps show the cross-polar-flow swinging from Siberia-to-Canada to Scandinavia-to-Alaska, but the milder air continues to flow over the Pole. It cools fairly dramatically as it approaches Canada, partly because there is still no sun close to the Pole, and partly because the air rises and doesn’t show on surface maps. Because the air is rising we are expecting low pressure to appear north of Greenland.
The winds pushing the ice back towards the Pole is finally showing a reduction of ice-extent on the extent graph. I confess I’m nervous about the extent being low. If it is a “record” low the hubbub of the Alarmists will be hard to bear. They will fail to mention that the mildness up towards the Pole meant the arctic air was displaced, and places like Mexico and Saudi Arabia and Thailand saw “unprecedented” cold this winter (which I documented). Though I mention the mild places, on this site, they are sort of color blind, or “cold blind”, and on their sites they won’t mention the suffering of the refugees in Syria and south Turkey. Instead they’ll start the tiresome “Death Spiral” malarkey all over again, and will wait in breathless anticipation of an ice-free Pole this summer, and suffer depression when it doesn’t happen.
The only gleam of hope I have is that the “displacement”, (more properly called “nudging”), looks like it will continue, and we could see some late season snows. There is nothing like snows in April to hush most Alarmists, (though the worst will claim most anything proves their point).
Not that I much want to see late season snows in my own backyard. I’m NIMBY when it comes to winter weather, these days. However the flip-flopping between mild and arctic does seem to bring together the ingredients that bake the cake of big storms. Last winter, once we got stuck in a frigid pattern, it stayed pretty dry. We were four inches of snow away from setting an all-time record for snow all over New England, in Early February, and then the final four inches didn’t seem to want to come. Maybe people were so sick of shoveling snow that they resorted to prayer. That is unscientific, and is among the powers (such as water vapor) that some models fail to include. In any case, we did break the record, just barely, in the end, but it was a close call. It was like Old Man Winter had us staggering, but never hit us with the knock-out punch. The old grouch has a kind side. Who knew?
Around here the real “knock out punch” happened the year my mother’s mother was born, and is called “The Blizzard Of 1888”. It had 4 feet of snow, drifts over 2 story houses, and 80-mile-an-hour winds, around here, (though Boston got a lot of slush), and one thing the old reports mention is that it happened after a fairly mild and snow-free winter. So, if you are inclined to worry, that gives you a reason to worry if the winter is kind. Me? I’m just enjoying the present mild spell.
That blizzard started out as light rain, with temperatures mild. Then the storm exploded and stalled, just southeast of New York City, and temperatures crashed. The ingredients for that storm seemed to be flip flopping patterns, which brought very mild and juicy air right against very cold arctic air. Of course, other things were involved as well, but I’m expecting those “other things” to get lined up somewhere, the next sixty days, and create a whopper storm.
In yesterday’s post Joseph D’Aleo pulled out a brilliant trick he has, involving using the experience of the past to see the likelihood of current weather being warm or cold, or wet or dry. The trick (or part of it) starts with this map, which shows whether ocean temperatures are above normal or below normal:Most people immediately look at the above map and focus in on the hot spot in the center of the Equatorial Pacific. That is the El Nino there has been much fuss about, and it is actually fading very swiftly, especially towards South America. Because the El Nino is now away from South America and towards the Dateline, it now qualifies as an El Nino Modoki. That has different effects than an El Nino sitting right on the coast of South America. The genius of Joseph D’Aleo is that he goes through all the past maps of other El Nono Modoki situations, and combines them into a sort of blended average. For my neck of the woods, such an average suggests I’ll experience a cold late-winter.
But the Equatorial Pacific is not the only part of the planet. D’Aleo does the same thing for other parts of the planet. For example, in the above map you will notice there are cool pools in both the North Pacific and North Atlantic. What sort of blended averages do they give?
And that’s where it gets interesting, because they totally disagree with each other. The cool pool over the North Pacific is saying temperatures should be like this over North America (which would be cold for me.)But the cool pool in the North Atlantic states this is likely (which would be warmer for me).What a contradiction! My guess is that, (because we cannot see both), we will see a flip-flopping clash, which may create the meetings of mild and cold that creates historic storms.
However there is another lesson to be learned in this. It is this: You must be broad-minded. If one only looked at the Pacific, or only looked at the Atlantic, one would obviously miss the big picture. In like manner old coots like me must not only look at how high hornets build their nests, or only look at how fat the deer are, or only count the black sections of woolly bear caterpillars.
This is what drives me nuts about Alarmists, who only look at the levels of CO2. How can they be so insanely narrow-minded?
Due to health concerns I’ve been thinking a bit about my latter end, and what I might say, if it turns out we actually do stand before God and answer some Fatherly questions after we die. I think I’m going to be in trouble, if I have to answer questions about how I treated ridiculous, narrow-minded Alarmists. I wish I could proudly stand before the Lord and announce I’d been charitable, and had patiently explained all the things Alarmists were not permitting past the blinders which they so willingly wear. I wish I could even say I stomped around and kicked the wall and said nothing. Instead I fear that, when asked how I responded to pitiable people, I will have to confess that I barfed.
In any case, I do not expect the current calm conditions to last.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
The relatively mild (but below freezing) Atlantic air moving up over the Pole has supplied the uplift, because warm air rises, to create a relatively meek low pressure up over the Pole. This will interrupt the flow of Atlantic air, and likely lead to lowering temperatures, especially if the the low fills and weakens. The flow over Barents Sea will continue from the south, which will continue to compress the sea-ice north, and keep the ice-extent graph low.
OBSERVATION ABOUT LAPTEV SEA SEA-ICE
The Laptev Sea is a great exporter of ice, due to winds roaring off shore from the depths of Siberia. Even in the dead of winter there can be polynyas of open water along the shore, as the ice is shoved out to sea, towards the Pole and eventually to crunch up against the Canadian Archipelago and Northern Greenland, which are great importers of sea-ice.
There is considerable variety in the amounts of ice exported from the Laptev Sea, and this winter has seen much less ice be exported. Perhaps this is because a lot of the Siberian cold was pushed south into China, rather than coming north. In any case, the ice is much thicker than last year in the Laptev Sea, and also parts of the East Siberian Sea. We are talking three or four or even five feet thicker, in places. This will not show up in the extent graph, which does not care is ice is six feet or six inches thick. However it is something to keep in mind, as the ice melts this summer.
Ice in other places will be missing the reinforcements of Laptev ice, but the Laptev Sea itself may be slower to melt unless, of course, some late winter howling winds push all its ice off shore.
One interesting bit of trivia involves the island of thicker ice to the northeast of Wrangle Island. That was, late last summer, part of the “reef” which formed the southern boundary of the “Slot” of open water north of Alaska, and before that it was a sort of long and thin bulldozed pressure ridge towards the western Canadian Archipelago, formed as the multi-year ice plowed ahead through “baby ice”, and at one point it was roughly fifteen feet thick (dark red in the above map.) It is amazing the changes ice goes through, even when it retains a sort of identity.
CONCLUSION —Surprise! Nudge didn’t come south—
One thing you have to be ready for when watching the sea-ice is to be wrong. I’ve actually attempted to avoid ever expecting anything, to avoid ever being wrong, but the mind simply doesn’t seem to work that way. It notices patterns, and once you notice a pattern you expect it to happen again. Sometimes it does, and sometimes you are in for a surprise. Therefore I think I’ll stop using the word “wrong” and start using the word “surprised”.
In any case, rather than hiding the evidence I’ll conclude this post with what surprised me. The DMI maps show a push of milder air up over the Pole, but what surprised me was that the cold air over the Pole didn’t come charging down into the USA, but rather was swept southeast and then east into the Atlantic, south of Greenland. Some cold air did leak south into the west of the USA, but a major storm blew up in the middle of the country, bringing very mild air up the east coast. Therefore I was awoken by flashing lightning and loud thunder after midnight last night, with temperatures up near sixty right at a time I was expecting an arctic outbreak, when I looked ahead last week. Surprise! (And actually it is a sort of pleasant surprise, as there is nothing to shovel.)
Here are the concluding DMI maps.
The low stalled over Scandinavia looks like it will cut off the flow of Atlantic air over the Pole, and actually export air down over the Atlantic. That air, likely combined with the cold air being exported from Canada south of Greenland, ought give Western Europe the coldest sort of Atlantic air it ever gets. Meanwhile the drained Pole can start growing a new pool of cold.
Below are The Dr. Ryan Maue maps from Weatherbell showing the GFS model initial run of temperatures for this morning, and then temperatures for 2 days from now. You can see some of the cold does make it down to the eastern USA (so I could claim my nudge-theory was “right”, if I wanted to spoil the surprise), however you can also see the core of the cold is hooking east towards Labrador and the Atlantic.
And of course we need a map of the surprise storm roaring up west of here, giving the Great Lakes a pretty good blizzard, as we get a mild night and thunder like it is summer.As interesting as midnight thunder may be for me, it likely belongs more in a “Local View” post, and I should turn my eyes to Europe, and the waters north of there. Europe had a chilly dawn, though the air seems Atlantic, rather than east winds from Siberia. (pink is below freezing.)To the north the winds have shifted around to the north in Barents Sea, which may be spreading ice south rather than compressing it north, and explain (at least partially) the odd little up-tick in the ice-extent graph.For the most part winds have been south in Barents Sea this winter, and the Pole has been invaded by Atlantic air, making it above normal all winter up there. Barents Sea is pretty much wide open, and has been through a complete flip-flop over the past two years. I have the sense it is trying to show us something, but we mortals are too dense to get it. In any case, I think it will be the focus of my next sea-ice post.