ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Whiplash–(Including Butterfly Effect and Sunday Update)

For people heavily invested in the Climate Wars, who are yearning for temperatures to plunge so that the Alarmists stop strutting about patting their own backs, there is hope in the fairly decent Scripp’s model, which shows the major El Nino flipping to an “unprecedented” La Nina by next winter. (I can never recall seeing a La Nina below around -1.8, so this forecast of -2.64 is likely a glitch, and overblown, but there are other models showing a strong La Nina coming, as well.)Nina to Nino 1 Screen_Shot_2016_03_03_at_8_33_32_AMNina to Nino 2 Screen_Shot_2016_03_03_at_8_33_43_AM

(The above graphics were lifted from Joe Bastardi’s blog at Weatherbell)

Also the pattern continues to be extremely meridenal, and if you know where to look there are snows far to the south, which provide excellent ammunition if you are in a bull-baiting mood, when among Alarmists. When they talk about how amazingly warm it is likely to be in the eastern USA during the next week, it is handy to have snows in California, and way down into Mexico, to talk about. (If you ever want to know where the snow and cold is, I highly recommend this site: ).

Mexico March Snows ecmwf_tsnow_west_41(23)

This displacement of cold air far to the south has been going on all winter. If you have been visiting this site you may recall the cold wave in Thailand and snows in Kuwait in January, which at times made me forget to mention the sea-ice I supposedly am focusing on.

While noticing that super-cold East Siberian air heading south to Thailand and Bangladesh, we noted Mongolia suffered, and learned a Mongolian word for such suffering was “dzud”. But now we amazingly learn that meridienal flow was due to Global Warming.

Mongolia: Deadly Cold, Heavy Snow blamed on Global Warming

In actual fact I think the original idea was that Global Warming was suppose to promote a more zonal flow with less extreme weather (of the snowy sort), and it has only been due to the fact that reality disagreed that this new hypothesis popped up.

My own view is that the whip-lashing jet stream is likely caused by things going slightly out of whack because of the “Quiet Sun”. A more zonal flow is due to things settling down to a semblance of balance (which never lasts all that long on Earth, because the planet is tilted and has winters and summers, and also because long-term sloshes manifest as various “cycles” such as the PDO and AMO, which sometimes are in sync and more-or-less “balanced” and sometimes are out-of-sync and causing loopy jet-streams.

Currently a lot of factors are making the atmosphere mild, including the El Nino and the “Warm Blob” creating a warm PDO:PDO January 2016 pdo_shortThe AMO is also warm, if you only look at the SST, but the Atlantic has developed a suspicious “cold blob” south of Iceland, and also Dr. Bill Gray’s way of measuring the AMO, which includes atmospheric effects NOAA ignores, shows the AMO crashing.AMO Gray Slide06(27)What I think we are going to see is a lot of loopy weather, including a crash in world temperatures beginning around six months from now. However for the moment there is no denying the Alarmists have reason to rejoice, for the El Nino has temperatures spiking, and there is likely to be a “lag” before the temperatures respond to the developing La Nina.Record Surface warmth cdas_v2_tropics_2014

What will be interesting to watch this summer is whether or not the temperatures at the Pole are below normal, as they’ve been in recent years. If the El Nino was the only factor they would be above-normal, but the “Quiet Sun” is also a factor. If Svenmark is right about the Quiet Sun allowing more cosmic rays to create more clouds, there could be less sun which would lessen the surface melting, and also perhaps more fresh snow which increases the albedo and drops the temperature. (One peculiarity about last summer was that even with the ice melting greatly from below there was more snow and more freezing of melt-water pools at the top, judging from what the cameras were showing us.) (If it rains, which happens up there, it will decrease albedo and increase melting.)

One thing I noticed, during my days as a beach bum who studiously observed the waves, is that just before a big wave the water is sucked back a lot. (In fact I’ve heard that if the water retreats very far, exposing sunken ships and treasures, you should not investigate the treasures but rather head for the hills, for a tsunami is coming.) When I look at the above graph I have a sense the water is drawing back very far. Or else the whip is drawing back very far and about to lash forward.

Alarmists will likely be very pleased by the current warmth, but will  behave like children who run down to the ruined ships to investigate the treasures exposed, when the water draws back before a tsunami. Or that is my forecast.

Currently the DMI maps show the cold continuing to pool up at the Pole, without being “nudged” south. The south wind in Barents Sea has been deflected east towards central Siberia rather than up towards the Pole.

In fact the air up at the Pole is as cold as it has been all winter. There is plenty of ammunition for a final blizzard, such as the Blizzard of 1888, (which occurred on March 17), if the cold comes down my way (to New Hampshire) so I am being selfish and hoping it either stays up there or heads down to some other land. DMI3 0307B meanT_2016While the cold temperatures up at the Pole are likely to cause the ice to continue to thicken in the Central Arctic Basin, the usual battling will go on around the edges. The open area north of Svalbard is likely to freeze over in the next week.Thickness 20160307 arcticictnnowcastIf that open area freezes over before the warm surge coming up the east coast of the USA shrinks ice in maritime Canada, then there might be a final peak in the sea-ice extent graph, for a late maximum.

DMI3 0307B icecover_current_new (1)

As the maximum largely involves thin ice around the edges, it really doesn’t matter much. What matters most is the temperature of the water moving in under the ice, and I’m very distrustful of the data available, and uncertain of the mildness involved. Both on the Atlantic and Pacific sides the water was very open early in the winter, and likely is well-mixed and colder than usual. The water arriving later in the summer is still to be determined. Even when it shows as above-normal now, it may show as below-normal in June, if it doesn’t warm as much as usual, which offers us all sorts of chances to make fools of ourselves.

As a final aside I should mention that a single volcanic eruption could further complicate matters, and Joseph D’Aleo keeps dropping ominous hints on his blog that there seems to be amorphous data suggesting “Quiet Sun” periods are often marked by big eruptions. So that is one more thing to watch for.

Here is the article Joseph D’Aleo linked to:

I’ll update further, later in the week.


O-bouys 8b and 15 have remained completely silent, and 14 has stopped transmitting pictures, so all we have is O-buoy 13’s snow-covered lens. But at least we see daylight returning to the north.

Obuoy 13 0308 webcam

The Russian Geographical Society is preparing to head north in helicopters on March 18 to start setting up the Barneo base, which hopefully will give us a North Pole Camera to watch. Barneo preperation 308973

There may also be a Mass Balance Buoy or two put out in the spring, with cameras attached. However at this point it looks like we will have less of a chance to utilize our lying eyes than we had last year, when we had eight cameras for a while.

NON-ARCTIC UPDATE  –Loopy Weather–

New Hampshire (except for the top of Mount Washington) was over ten degrees warmer than Phoenix. It was 61 in Phoenix and 73 in Concord New Hampshire, at 1:00 PM EST. (Drat! The map below was not frozen-in-=time, but apparently goes right on adjusting to “current conditions.” I apologize.)


New Hampshire Temperature Map

And also it currently is snowing in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Mexico March Snow Chihuahua-Snowfall-8Mar2016-600x372

Although this odd weather hasn’t much to do with sea-ice, it does demonstrate how “loopy” the pattern has been this winter. In fact I think I’ll save the maps for today, because they are so unusual. In a sense it is a real test of a forecaster, because it is hard to find similar examples of the current scenario from the past.

If you look at the upper air 500 mb map of North America you can see the deep “bowling ball” trough down over Mexico, more than six standard deviations below normal, and the fat “Bermuda high” pressure ridge up the east coast. Mexico Snow gfs_z500_norm_noram_4Moisture comes diving south from the North Pacific into California, tucks around central Mexico, and then, picking up Gulf of Mexico moisture,  heads straight north to the Texas-Louisiana coast. Both California and east Texas are seeing floods. 20160309 satsfc

I haven’t been paying proper attention, I suppose, but as best as I can tell the cold in Mexico didn’t slide down the east side of the Rockies, and have Canadian Origins, but rather was part of a surge of cold from East Siberia Origins out into the Pacific, which then plunged south along the west coast of North America. It is “greatly moderated”, but when air is -70 to begin with it retains its punch a long time. Therefore we should heed the old meteorological text books, and “always heed your source regions.”

There is some very cold air up at the top of Canada, but it doesn’t look likely to be “nudged” south, for if you look at the above 500 mb upper air map you note that the one place where the flow is west to east and zonal is northern Canada. The cold will be shunted east to Greenland. In fact I may even roto-till my garden a month early, tomorrow.  (If that doesn’t “hex” things, and bring record cold south, nothing will.)

Mexico Snow cmc_t2m_noram_2

I really feel the site is invaluable. If I am curious about cold weather or snow, (which the mainstream media is studiously ignoring), I just go to that site, and if they haven’t mentioned the event I am curious about already, I mention it in the comments, and within a day there is a headline about the event. (There is one person who comments named Argiris Diamantis who ought to be the reporter or fact-checker for a major newspaper, for he seems to read every newspaper in the world, looking for the word “snow”.)

In any case it was through that excellent site that I followed a link to a CBC News site with a link to a northern city in Nunavut (which used to have the sensible name “Northwest Territories.”) And through that link I got to see true blizzard conditions, and read the comments of local people who said it wasn’t all that bad and that people are soft nowadays and when they were young they played outside in such conditions. And one also sees people are people in other ways, and “newsreaders” take “selfies” in storms. Mexico Snow jane-sponagle-blizzard-selfie

I really admire the people who live up there, who are able to adapt to such a harsh environment. I pray their culture is able to survive the corrosive and corrupting influences of the modern world, including all the nonsense about Global Warming, (when they should be on guard for the opposite), and including the greedy people who want to mine their lands without taking the time to make sure their (and our)  environment isn’t hurt. (There can be mining with care, which would create wealth without ruin, but it might take time and effort.) (And reduce profits for Moneybags who care only for their personal glut.) Lastly, I pray they don’t get messed up by the “political correctness” which pretends to respect cultures, but actually wants to replace all cultures with a bland culturelessness called “internationalism.”

I think it is important that they stand up for their traditions, but that I should also stand up for mine. They have no tradition, when it comes to writing the English Language, but I had to study under genuine masters, and learn of sacred traditions.

One such tradition is that bad things will happen to you if you ever spell a word that has the letter “Q” that isn’t followed by the letter “U”.  I’m sure some may think this is sheer superstition, but, I ask you, do you think it is mere coincidence that so much sadness has befallen the people around Baghdad when they decided to call themselves “Iraq”?  Some evil person tricked them into doing that. They just as well could have called their land “Irack”. /semi-sarc

I am nervous about the same evil person tricking the good people of the north into spelling all their place-names in a manner that violates my sacred traditions. For example, it is very wrong for the community in Nunavut, experiencing the blizzard, to allow its name to be spelled “Iqaluit”.  It should be “Ickaluit” or “Ikwaluit”.

I doubt very much that the local people came up with this wrong spelling. Likely it was some evil outsider. Someone should warn them. They likely are unaware of the dangers involved, when you violate the usage of English, just as tourists entering their community from the south are unaware of the danger of feeding cute, baby polar bears.  However I was taught by masters, and know the dangers, and that a mere pen is more mighty (and dangerous)  than a sword.

The good People Of The North have challenges enough, within their amazing adaptation to their beautiful but harsh homeland, without the challenge of cruising for a bruising, by not following the letter “Q” with the letter “U”.  (And don’t tell me this was their idea).

Moving north from there, to actual sea-ice, the DMI maps are showing the beginnings of a weak “nudge”, in the form of mild air brewing up weak low pressure north of Greenland.

I am well aware that my “nudge” hypothesis has revealed some major shortcomings the past fortnight, but still I like it. In the above maps you can see a wedge of Atlantic air sneaking to the Pole, and also that the Pole as a whole is pooling its resources and getting colder. (This shows you that if you limit yourself, and only use the temperatures at the dot we call “The Pole”, you can fool yourself and not see the actual situation. A broader view is better.)

Yet it isn’t helping me much. It is like poking a sleeping lion. The Atlantic air nudges the Pole, but where is the response going to go?  At this point it is best to defer to the true masters, who are the older meteorologists. Yet even they are going to be tested, because we are seeing things we’ve never seen before. We are seeing a “Quiet Sun”.

There once was a fellow who used to argue on a daily basis with Joe Bastardi, back when Joe was young and hot-headed and not the retiring fellow he has become. The other fellow was named Ken Reeves, and every day he argued with Joe on a show called “Weather Warriors.” When they were at their best you got a glimpse of a meteorology very different from the modern business of sitting back and  waiting for models to regurgitate “solutions”. They would look at the exact same map and vehemently discuss all sorts of different possibilities.

Now, in order to do this, they had to have some sort of understanding how weather works. They saw how a trough digs and how a ridge pumps. They didn’t need past maps, and they didn’t need models. All they needed was the present tense ingredients.

I think we are entering a period where such seat-of-the-pants thinking is going to be asked of meteorologists. It will be like the computer is broken and there is no library of past maps to refer to, and they will just have to look at the sky and make a forecast.

Some will panic, because they have no clue how weather works. Others will reach back and demonstrate amazing skill, because they do know how weather works.

Why will this happen? Because we are (perhaps) entering a Quiet Sun period where weather will not behave the way it used to act. However it will follow the same rules.

If I am correct about this, then it will become increasingly important we stop the silly business which creates confusion, because data doesn’t agree.

For example, it would be nice if we could say sea-ice lay in a certain place. We should be able to agree about that, should we not? Yet look at the variance between these three maps:

M1 CSIC_figure2M2 N_bm_extentM3 arcticicennowcast


I understand these maps show slightly different things, but they make it be like we can’t even agree on a starting point, and if we cannot agree on a starting point how can we handle what occurs after the gun goes off and everything is in motion:M4 arcticicespddrfnowcastNeed I say any more?


The isobars suggest “wrong way” winds, if not a wrong-way-flow, in Fram Strait. The usual flow of ice is south there, and any hold-up lessens the ice-extent by meaning there is less ice off the east coast of Greenland, but also meaning there is more ice staying behind, up in the Arctic Sea. I imagine that though it lessens the ice-extent now, it increases the ice-extent later on the summer.

Also the short days of late winter are creeping ever closer to the Pole. Although these days are still shorter than the nights, they are starting to have a diurnal effect on temperatures. O-bouy 14 is at latitude 76 north, north of Canada, and is already starting to show a warmer daytime in its temperature record.

Obuoy 14 0310 temperature-1week


The DMI maps continue to suggest a wrong-way-flow in Fram Strait, with mild air poking up towards the Pole.

This is disconcerting to me for several reasons. The first is that low pressure isn’t supposed to be squatting atop Greenland like that. It just isn’t proper. It’s not polite. There is suppose to be cold air created on an icecap more than 10,000 feet tall, and that cold is suppose to press down and, after adjustments made for altitude, to be high pressure. And then that cold is suppose to come screaming down to sea-level as adriabotic addabionic katatonic winds like Antarctica’s. Due to the corrialice corrolary corrialis coriolis effect, these winds are suppose to be north in Fram Strait. To have the winds south makes me very, very suspicious. Something is up, mark my words.

Second, to have the Atlantic air again curling up to the Pole, as it has done so often this winter,  is suspiciously like the whirlpool over the drain of a bathtub. Though skies at the Pole are blushing with dawn’s twilight, sunrise is still ten days away, and any warmth sent up that way is lost to outer space. To have a whirlpool up there, squandering our planet’s warmth, almost looks like our planet is doing it on purpose. But why? What nefarious reasoning could underlie this plot to chill us out?

Lastly, I find it troubling that we are so conscious of the air and so ignorant about the water. We can see how the air is moving, but what is happening to the current in Fram Strait? The more I ponder sea-ice the more plain it seems to me that the water matters much more than the air, and much, much, much, more than a trace gas called CO2. After all, a tablespoon of water contains as many molecules as a roomful of air, more or less.  When it comes to significance, air is fleeting wraiths and zephyrs, and water is weighty. We spend all our time studying an atmosphere that is flimsy, when the real movements are beneath the surface of the sea. Perhaps this is a reason the Weatherbell Site does so well with its long-range forecasts. By attending to the sea-surface temperatures they include a far more massive influence than skittish winds driven hither and thither like frightened chickens. (An even more massive influence may well be the sun, but never mind that.)

Psychologists like to blather that the conscious mind is like the small part of an iceberg that pokes above water, but that they understand the subconscious which is like the big part of an iceberg beneath the surface. (They don’t. The proof is that they are far worse at predicting human behavior than weathermen are at predicting weather. That’s what you get, when you attempt to predict chaotic systems using the logic of a nitpicker. If you really want to understand the chaos of human psychology it is best to study a poet like Shakespeare or a prophet like Isaiah.) In terms of sea-ice and Fram Strait, what matters is beneath the surface.

What troubles me is this humble confession:  I haven’t got a clue. I just watch, wait, and wonder.


Mexican Monachs Freezing mariposas-610x389

TRANSLATION:  Almost half million Monarch butterflies froze to death in Michoacan by the recent snowfall recorded temperatures of 12 degrees below zero, says Homero Gomez Gonzalez, president of the Board of Directors of the sanctuary El Rosario.
However, they have found that many still breathe and return flying as the sun melts the snow.
According to his calculations, three percent of the 50 million butterflies arrived this season to the nature reserve froze to death and buried, after the snow generated by the winter storm 11 reached up 35 centimeters thick.
on the other hand, the official says Lepidoptera have found that many still breathe and fly again as the sun melts the snow.

These are the west coast variety of Monarch butterflies. The east coast sub-species winters in the Yucatan. It is something of a mystery how the insect pulls of this migration and hibernation, in some cases flying between Canada and Mexico, because when they get north they can produce several generations on a good summer, which are perfectly happy to stay put, and then a following generation takes a look at the lowness of the sun and somehow knows the way south. Unfortunately the harvesting of Mexican lumber is reducing the number on the east coast.  Also an invasive species of milkweed tricks the butterflies into laying their eggs on it, and then is inedible to the caterpillars.

Could you cut this tree down?

Monarch Mexico Hibernating la_mariposa_monarca_tiene_nuevo_hogar


SUNDAY CONCLUSIONS –Polar Storms To Increase extent?–

The low pressure building north of Greenland will “nudge” some cold air south into Canada, which should give North America a blast of late winter cold, but then that low pressure looks like it will do something interesting. Here are the DMI maps showing the low pressure building, and more warm air swirling up to the Pole to be lost to outer space.

The relatively mild Atlantic air rushing to the Pole creates another spike in the temperatures-north-of-80-degrees-latitude graph:DMI3 0313 meanT_2016Because this set-up creates south winds all the way from Greenland to Norway, the sea-ice should get compressed to the Pole and there should be a dip in the extent Graph.DMI3 0313 icecover_current_new (1)But here is where it gets interesting. The low north of Greenland looks like it may become a polar storm that will move across towards the Kara Sea.  This will flip the south winds to the north, first in Fram Strait and later in Barents Sea, and the sea-ice will be spread out to the south.  It will be the same amount of ice, but there is a chance that, as it is spread out like butter over a piece of toast, it will create a final peak in the extent graph next week.

MONDAY MIDNIGHTBarent switch 1 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_5   MONDAY NOONBarent switch 2 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_7  WEDNESDAY MIDNIGHTBarent switch 3 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_13  THURSDAY MIDNIGHTBarent switch 4 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_17

It looks to me like the cold air will switch from being imported into North America, and instead Europe will get blasted.  Also the opening of the North Pole base called “Barneo” may be delayed.

It will be interesting to see how the sea-ice is effected by this storm, but, as this post is getting long, I should probably start a new post called “The 2016 Sea-ice Maximum”. (Prepare for a lot of hoopla.)




5 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Whiplash–(Including Butterfly Effect and Sunday Update)

  1. Caleb I meant to pass this along but have been fighting a mutant flu bug from hell (perhaps the bug that got u last year) and forgot. Anyway I follow the Iditarod every year and this year I signed up for the insider package which is a great deal. These dogs and their drivers are amazing … especially the night time runs in the dead of winter and the middle of nowhere.
    Check it out …. there is lots of free stuff:
    I still am in awe of what great running machines these dogs are. One announcer commented on their power … 900 lb of dog & 64 legs all pulling!

    Still winter in the mountains here at Fernie and new snow this morning but temps are right at freezing & spring will sprung soon.


    • I’ll check out the link later. I’m looking forward to it.

      I hope you get over the flu-bug fast. The one passing through this area hangs on a long time. The ‘flu shots didn’t stop it, as it seems to be some sort of mutant cold. The kids at the Childcare have these barking coughs that last long after they are supposedly “better”, so I have had my immune system boosted by constant exposure. So far my health is pretty good, now that I’ve gotten rid of that bad kidney.

      It is very mild here at the moment, and I’m itching to start my garden a month too early. Instead I’ll tell myself, “Whoa!” And do my damn taxes.

  2. Caleb … FYI correct spelling is Nunavut.
    When I was in northern Quebec in the late 70’s we got CBC northern service which broadcast in English, French, Cree & Inuktitut … quite the culture mix. In my experience many native or eskimo words are difficult to english speakers which must be down to totally different roots.

    • Thanks for the correction.

      I spent 1984-1988 as a minority in an area that was largely Navajo, who informed me their true name was “Dineh” and that my race’s true name was “Belihghana.” It didn’t take me very long to realize how difficult their cool language was, and also to realize I could be respectful without being a New Age idiot who was trying to be more Navajo than the Navajo. I found they liked me a lot more if I was straight-forward, and we enjoyed some good laughs poking fun at each other’s cultures.

      I discovered they had a particular contempt towards anthropologists, who were trying to “figure the Navajo out”. I can understand. It is a bit annoying to have someone treating you as some sort of alien life-form, and jotting down things you say with a knowing expression. So they’d tell the anthropologists the most absurd things, with straight faces and stoic expressions.

      So understand my comments about “Northern Peoples” are spoken from that attitude, with a my tongue in my cheek a bit. (I often can generate a ruckus, which I tend to enjoy, for nothing exposes people’s preconceptions and racism like pushing their buttons, and outraging their sensibilities, just a tad.

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