I’ve been trying to explain to my wife that when the weather gets blazing hot the thing to do is to get chores done quickly, and then to retreat indoors and gaze at pictures of arctic sea-ice. This isn’t going over too well, as one “chore” is my son’s wedding.
I don’t see why women can’t be reasonable about these things. The whole ceremony could be over in fifteen minutes, with a minimum of fuss and bother, and could be done at a church in the cool of the day. But noooo. She (and my son) have to plan it at the farm in the blazing sun, and have to invite 180 people.
Some people don’t understand what is really important in life. I try to explain that bergs bobbing about up where nobody lives are of vital importance, and upon them hinge the fate of the entire planet, but all I get is a bunch of funny looks.
In any case, I’ll have to be brief.
The latest reincarnation of “Ralph” has been surprisingly persistent, drifting east along the north coast of Siberia. Very little changed between July 22 and July 24, except Ralph pulled up more reinforcements from the south, while sucking cold air in from the north. (If I was into detail I’d likely have numerous different names for Ralph, as he sucks in small lows, some of which take over as the center and some which don’t. But this would take a lot of concentration and irritate my wife, who thinks I should concentrate on weddings.)
The winds around Ralph are pushing ice back towards the coast of Asia by the 24th. In my last post the high pressure towards Canada was dubbed Ridgeway and the one toward Scandinavia is Ridgeway 2. In theory the lows should circle a polar high, but Ridgeway seems to circle Ralph in the next maps, merging in with Ridgeway 2…but keep an eye on the spoke of low pressure between the two highs. It is R10, the next major reinforcement to Ralph. By the final map it is a low on the south coast of the Kara Sea.
Models show R10 doing a Fujiwhara dance with Ralph (and you know the survivor will be called Ralph no matter what). Some models show Ridgeway trying to squeeze between them and keep them apart, and some show them combining and that the reinvigorated Ralph could become fairly large, down to 975 mb, as it drifts across to Canada.
A reinvigorated Ralph will cause wild excitement in the sea-ice-watcher world, as the summer storm in 2012 melted a lot of ice very swiftly. I doubt we will see a repeat, as we seem to be witnessing the infinite variety of a fabulous creation, and seeing something we’ve never seen before.
If a summer gale occurs it will test some of my ideas. One is that it was so stormy last winter, with the ice breaking up so much, that the water under the ice is far less stratified than 2007, (or even last summer, towards East Siberia), and therefore there is less warm water lurking down thirty feet or so that can be churned up to melt ice. Also the ice simply is thicker towards Asia, as is seen in this cool graphic created by Tony Heller.
The long thin island sticking north from Russia is Novaya Zemyla (an extention of the Ural Mountains) and form the west side of the Kara Sea. The ice starts at the next group of coastal islands, which are called Severnaya Zemyla, and are the east side of the Kara Sea. We will be watching that ice, as it is blocking the adventurers attempting the Northeast Passage aboard the Northabout. They have been tacking to and fro north of Novaya Zemyla, avoiding the strong breezes to the west of Ralph.
What they need is some south winds at Severnaya Zemyla to push the ice away from the coast, and then they will attempt to squeeze though hoping north winds don’t bring the ice clamping back. It is going to take some gutsy sailing, and the captain could use some prayers, as he has women and children aboard. So far he hasn’t even seen any sea-ice, but once he gets further east he will be our firsthand reporter on the scene.
My one other comment is that the above DMI maps show Ralph seems to be creating a fair number of patches of sub-freezing air, right in the middle of the summer thaw, which is something I noticed last summer too.
I’ll comment more later, with the pictures from O-buoy 14, which seems to show a pause in the summer thaw. But now I must run.