ARCTIC SEA ICE –Dullsville–

When I last posted a week ago the “anti-Ralph” high pressure on the Siberian side of the Pole was forecast to fade south into Siberia, but it hasn’t obeyed. It refuses to budge, and today’s map looks very much like the map of a week ago. The only excitement has been down in the North Atlantic at the bottom of the maps, where the typical winter gales have roared.

The main inflow to the Pole has seemed to take a long, convoluted path over Europe and then back around the top of these gales, bringing moisture into the Atlantic side of the Anti-Ralph and creating a feeder-band of milder air north of Greenland, though “milder” is a relative term, for the same gales bring the same air around and down their west sides, whereupon it is colder-than-normal further south, swinging over England and then into mainland Europe. Besides this region of outflow, another has poured south over Hudson Bay, and a third into the Pacific from East Siberia.

The Labrador Low (at “7:00” on most recent map) may be of interest, for some models show it could become the first “Ralph” we’ve seen in some time, and jolt us out of the current pattern. Of course, you can’t really trust models all that far in the future, but the suggestion is that the general area of low pressure will take around five days to battle around the south tip of Greenland, (not as a single storm but as a complex collection of secondary and tertiary lows), and then will drift northeast as a collection of North Atlantic gales until it moves into the Arctic Ocean over Svalbard. We’ll see about that.

The Labrador Low is at the far left of the map of Europe. If it can interrupt the flow from the north in the Atlantic it may be a pattern-changer.UKMet 20171215 61103939 The flow from the north is starting to cool the above-normal SST south of Greenland and Iceland.

SST 20171215 anomnight.12.14.2017

The Labrador low is in the upper right of the map of North America.

20171214 satsfc The arctic air is pouring south down the west side of this low, but hasn’t been able to push west, and North America is only bitter cold in the northeast.

Canada temperature 29171215 gfs_t2m_can_1

As long as the anti-Ralph stays anchored on the Pole the arctic outbreaks will be of the lesser sort. The north is so sunless in December cold can be home-grown over tundra, but to really make headlines the flow can’t be zonal, which is what the anti-Ralph encourages at higher latitudes (even as the flow can be meridional further south.) This is fine with me. The Pole can be selfish and keep its cold, as far as I’m concerned. I’m made nervous that the Atlantic side of the anti-Ralph seems to be slowly and quietly bleeding air from Siberia across to Canada.

Here is a map from Joseph D’Aleo’s site at Weatherbell comparing this years SST with last year’s. It is quite different, though both years had La Nina conditions. Last year’s La Nina was weaker, in a sea of mildness. This year the cold water off the entire west coast of South America is impressive. Also note how this map makes the cold south of Greenland look more intense. (2016 left; 2017 right).

SST Screen_Shot_2017_12_13_at_7_30_30_AM

Hopefully I can update later, but it seems like the entire staff at work is calling in sick, so today the boss (me) can’t sit back and be a fat capitalist.

2 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –Dullsville–

  1. It seems that North America is settling into a bit of a good old fashioned winter, although it may be a bit colder than average in some places. Not where I am in Canada where we are right in the -5 to -15 C range that is so typical of late Dec.
    Thanks for all the excellent & entertaining posts through 2017 and I look forward to many more in 2018. Rock on Caleb & all the best to you and your family.
    Merry christmas everyone.

    • Yes, it does look like the flow will dump south across Hudson Bay and clobber us. We will be 10-15 degrees below normal. But you just watch. These arctic outbreaks tend to drain the Pole, so it may be 10-15 degrees above normal up there. So where will the focus be? You guessed it, at the Pole. However I imagine people will be a bit fed up with the alarmism if they are freezing their socks off on the east coast of USA.

      It will be interesting to see how far west the cold gets. Modles are suggesting you get the core of it in two weeks, but we know how reliable models are that far out.

      Have a Merry Christmas, and the best year yet! .

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