ARCTIC SEA-ICE MINIMUM —CONCLUSIONS—

Extent March 18B map N_bm_extent_hiresDMI2 0923 N_bm_extent_hires

Once again we have watched two thirds of the ice at the Pole melt away, and now are seeing the ice once again start to triple.  It is time to draw some conclusions from all the observations, but I am not in the mood. It is dangerous to leap to conclusions, as ice is slippery stuff, and I will wind up abruptly seated if I leap, (or else all wet, especially when the ice is thin.)

Not that sitting and watching ice melt hasn’t shown me things. As usual it has shown me beauty, and the wisdom seen when watching clouds, however observation also tends to teach me some basic science. I need more time to think about the basic science I’ve seen.  (My life has other elements, besides watching ice melt, and these other elements sometimes don’t understand the importance and necessity of watching ice melt.)

One thing I have mused about is the fact that science isn’t owned by scientists. When I was young I painted houses with a boss three times my age who, in the winter, hunted wildcat for their fur, and who to this day, forty years after his death, still holds the record for the largest wildcat bagged in New Hampshire. (91 pounds.) I doubt there is a biologist alive who knows half of what he knew about wildcats, though he was unschooled and didn’t live to see a computer. All he did was observe, observe, observe.

Yesterday I was chatting at a wedding with a man in his seventies who “only has a high school education,” yet is sought out by young men who hold graduate degrees at MIT and Harvard, because he spent his entire life in the world of surgical tubing. He got a job right out of high school at a place that made surgical tubing, and simply was curious about the subject,  and never stopped learning. Now, though he is old enough to be fully retired, he still works, (though not in a nine-to-five manner.)  He chuckles at the irony of being an “uneducated” man who is sought out by the “educated,”  when there are problems to solve.

I don’t think his value involves technical details as much as it involves his attitude. After all, the technical details evolve with such speed these days that the computer I now work on is out-dated and “archaic,” though not all that old. There is something about problem-solving that is timeless, and beyond being up-to-date about the latest gizmo.

I like to muse about things that are timeless, and my musing wonders if part of learning simply involves observing, and noting what you didn’t expect, and, rather than feeling threatened about being “wrong,” cultivating a sense of wonder.  It certainly is more fun to wonder about things, rather than cringing in shame over being mistaken.  Rather than feeling chagrin, you feel wonderful, as you are full of wonder.  That in turn is more conducive to finding an answer.

In any case, the whole political world of Global Warming, the “Death Spiral” of arctic sea-ice,  and the spectacle of egotistical, grant-hungry scientists insisting “the science is settled”, seems a bit of a farce to me.  I want nothing to do with it, and again and again have tried to slip out the back door and avoid it, but it keeps hounding me.

I think one is suppose to state a conclusion about the sea-ice minimum because we are midst a political battle, called “The Climate Wars,” but part of that battle is against insane pseudoscience, wherein one is suppose to pretend they have authority no mortal man has. As a way of fighting that stupidity it seems wise to simply refuse to draw any conclusions or theories, and instead to wonder about what I didn’t see coming, about my predictions that failed, and about things that surprised me.

I think the biggest surprise over the past year was to have both the PDO and the AMO flip. The PDO, which is in a long-term “cold” phase, spiked in a “warm” way, while the AMO, which was in a long-term “warm” phase, spiked in a “cold” way.

I like to see order appear in chaos, but often chaos appears in order. The beautiful, structured spiral of a gale or hurricane may appear out of chaotic fronts, but then that ordered spiral falls apart and goes back into chaos. In the same manner the nice, oscillating order of a “cycle”, such as the sunspot cycle or the PDO and AMO, appears out of the chaos of our gathered data, and seems like something we can depend upon,  until it isn’t dependable.  It is oscillating nicely like the flub-dub of a heart beat,   but then that heart skips a beat, (or briefly fibrillates.)

At this point some seem to like to freak out. They run about in circles like chickens and use the word “unprecedented” a lot. I far prefer the attitudes of Josph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi over at their site at http://www.weatherbell.com/ .  What they tend to do is to start digging through old maps, looking for the last time the “heart skipped a beat.”

In actual fact each day’s weather map is as unique an individual’s fingerprint. No two maps are exactly the same, and therefore every map is indeed “unprecedented”. However one can find old maps quite similar, if not identical to, current maps, and this often takes the panic out seeing something you didn’t expect, unless, of course, it happens to be map nearly identical to a map preceding a past calamity, (for, example, the 1938 hurricane.)

The current antics of the PDO and AMO are not something that has never been seen before, in a general sense. The north Pacific was roughly as warm (though we lack precise data) back in 1918; the PDO had a “warm” spike during a “cold” phase at the end of the 1970’s; and the AMO record is full of brief spikes the “wrong” way, each with a complimentary growth or shrinkage of sea-ice, in the limited records we have (due to the hard work of Scandinavians, especially the Danes), going back to the late 1800’s.

One thing is in fact unprecedented, and that is the detail we are now able to watch the sea-ice with, due to buoys and satellites. We are witnessing things for the first time. Because the satellites first started allowing us to see right when the AMO was switching to its “warm” cycle,  we have largely been watching the extent of ice shrink as the years pass. This led some to conclude too quickly that we were in a “Death Spiral.”  Now we are watching the AMO near the end of its “warm” phase and start to turn towards its “cold” phase. We actually have little idea what we will see, because we simply have never seen it before. It is fun to guess what will happen, but to express certainty seems to me to be sheer folly.

Therefore it seems wiser to simply state what I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect the ice to melt as much as it has in the area around and north of the Bering Strait. It went from above-normal two winters ago to below-normal last winter. This seems to be in response to the PDO spiking “warm.”

I definitely didn’t expect there to be more ice around Svalbard last summer than there was last winter. That was a real eye-opener, and seems likely to be a response to the AMO briefly spiking “cold” during the first half of the summer.

I didn’t expect there  to  be a notch of open water extending towards the Pole from the Laptev Sea. Wondering about this led to a delightful mental journey to Siberia, and study of the the Laptev Sea, and the Lena River basin.

That could well be a post in and of itself, but in a nutshell I learned the Laptev Sea is a major creator and exporter of sea-ice.  Off shore winds create polynyas of open water even during the coldest winters, and ice is constantly exported out into the arctic basin. Some winters less ice is exported, but as much as three times (and possibly four times) as much ice can be created and exported during other winters.  This constitutes a variable I never knew about, in the determination of water-temperatures and sea-ice amounts, and also can result in the ice in the Laptev Sea being very thin at the start of summer, and very easy to melt away.  (Then a hasty thinker, glancing at an extent map and seeing the open water,  might conclude the open water suggested a warming Pole, when in fact it suggests more ice was created, and more sea-water was chilled.)

Seeing what I didn’t expect doesn’t cause me to sulk. Perhaps this is because I am not dependent on grants, and only watch ice melt for the sheer wonder of it all. In fact, seeing what I didn’t expect gives me all the more reason to sit back and wonder all the more. That is actually my pay.  Where a Climate Scientist might be in danger of losing funding for cameras, buoys and satellites (and vacations) if they expect a Death Spiral and the unexpected occurs, the only danger I face is if I wonder too much, and forget to mow the lawn.

THE ONGOING ARCHIVES —DMI MAPS—

This post will simply be a presentation of the Danish Meteorological Institutes arctic maps, with the most recent at the the top. I find that simply by scanning the maps one is able to create a sort of mental animation of what is occurring at the Pole, in terms of temperatures and weather.

During the winter  one is wise to keep an eye cocked to the north, and to be aware when the arctic is discharging in your direction. As a very general rule, when the Pole is importing air to your north you are more liable to get a thaw, and when it is exporting air to  your north you are more liable to get a freeze.

There are of course subtleties that make that rule look foolish. Part of the fun is noting what can divert the cold air, or retard it. However one thing I have noted is that as soon as the air starts to bulge south to your north, when the actual arctic air is still thousands of miles away, there can be a change in your local weather. I haven’t a clue why it happens; perhaps it is like the skin on one side of a balloon expanding when you compress the opposite side.

The corriallis forse can curve the cold air from a north-to-south vector to an east-west-vector, or a lifting gale can sweep an entire air mass that was headed your way to the east.  Also lighter winds can have the air-mass slow and pause and build over the snow covered tundra, with the chill at its center increasingly cold and ominous, before it charges down to get you, or is inhaled back north by the Pole.

Until they freeze over, any body of open water will have a warming effect on an air mass, but as the winter passes and lakes and Bays and seas freeze over the north is increasingly able to generate cold, (or to lose heat.)  This ability tends to peak in early February, but still occurs after the sun first peeks over the polar horizon in late March.  Temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water persist through April, and the actual thaw never begins before late May.

I like the DMI maps because they are simple, but it is important to remember winds do not always obey isobars. Once in a while it pays to check out more detailed arctic maps, especially in the case of an arctic snow.  The best maps can be had for the price of a cup of coffee each day at the  http://www.weatherbell.com/ “premium site.” Dr. Ryan Maue produces maps that show the runs of various modles in 3 hour increments, and if you look at the “initial” map you can get an idea of where the winds are strong and where they are aiming.

Also, of you are in a hurry and don’t mind maps that often mislabel highs as lows and lows as highs, you can check out http://www.weather-forecast.com/maps/Arctic?over=pressure_arrows&symbols=none&type=wind.

It is important to watch Siberia,  as it creates the coldest air in the dead of winter. I get nervous when that air becomes a “cross-polar-flow” heading my way.

I am just going to post the maps here. I no longer have the time or energy to name storms and marvel over their doings. Hopefully I’ll find time to post every week or two about that the Pole is doing, but it won’t be in this post.  This post will simply archive maps, and allow one to observe.  (I will continue to observe, even if it is in silence.)

Once again, the most recent maps will be on the top, and the oldest maps on the bottom.

DMI2 1018 mslp_latest.bigDMi2 1018 temp_latest.big

(ONE DAY GAP)

DMI2 1016B mslp_latest.big DMI2 1016B temp_latest.big (1)

(FIFTEEN DAY GAP)

DMI2 1002 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1002 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 1001B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1001B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0930B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0930B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0930 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0930 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0929B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0929B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0929 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0929 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0928B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0928B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0928 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0928 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0927B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0927B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0927 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0927 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0926B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0926 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0925B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0924 temp_latest.big (1)

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT –Flat-lining Death Spiral–July 15-27, 2014

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/arctic-sea-ice-melt-crunch-time/

I usually begin these posts explaining why I started studying the melt and refreeze of arctic ice,  and you should look back to earlier posts if you want to see my views evolve. I now have reached a point where, like a flea on an elephant, I feel equipped to call the government’s bluff.

To be blunt, I feel the government wanted to put forward a policy it felt would be unpopular, and rather that doing the honest thing, which would be to be forward and blunt and state what it wanted to do, it took a dishonest and cowardly route. Rather than treating the public like adult men and woman, and debating man to man and woman to woman, it treated the public like suggestible children that are easily manipulated.

What it did was to create a threat, called “Global Warming,” and to rally the people to face the threat. The people trusted, and did not think their leaders would pay scientists to falsify public records and data to “prove” Global Warming was real. However I increasing feel this is exactly what happened.

When you lie, your lies have a way of haunting you and tracking you down. Over and over we have seen a thing called “Truth” expose “Climate Science” as a sort of sham.  One such example involves the ice in the arctic sea. It’s normal decrease, due to the warm cycles of the AMO and PDO, was called in dramatic terms, “A death spiral.” Doom and gloom was suppose to occur when the Arctic Ocean became ice free.

Because I have studied the Greenland Vikings a lot, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried about an ice-free Pole, because I knew the Pole was largely ice-free back when those Vikings farmed fields which now are permafrost that would blunt a plow. However so determined were the politicized scientists to alarm everyone, they attempted to erase the warmth of that Halcyon time, (called the Medieval Warm Period), and to say it was warmer now.

It was at that point I began to call their bluff, despite the fact they assured me 97% of all scientists agreed with them.  I’ll skip the details of the battle, and simply state we are now looking at an Arctic Sea that is not ice-free.  It is not I who calls their bluff. It is Truth, in the form of Mother Nature.

Originally their attempts to inspire hysteria stated that the decrease in ice would have the effect of accelerating the melt of ice, and the Pole would be ice-free by now. They asserted 97% agreed with them. In which case 97% were stupid dunderheads.  The Pole is not only not ice-free. The ice is actually increasing.

There is one government model which I doubt, because it states the increase will be up to above-normal levels. Here are the most recent predictions of the CFS V2:

Extent CFS model July 15v sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The top graph shows the extent, by the start of August, being 0.2 million km2 above normal.  The bottom graph shows that at the end of the summer melt the ice will be at nearly 7 million km2, which would be extraordinary. (I’m out on a limb, predicting 6.1 million km2, and more scientific models, such as the UK Met, predict 4-5 million km2, which is still far from being an “ice-free pole,”  but at least is “below normal”.)

This CFS V2 model has backed off from even higher and more extraordinary predictions, as the El Nino did not develop to the levels it predicted, however even its reduced, current  prediction is a shock to all who rallied around the banner of Global Warming, feeling their sacrifices were worthy and saving the planet. What has happened to the “Death Spiral”?

The Death Spiral may well be dead. It is another casualty to Truth. However it will be proven to be dead if it flat-lines, and to flat-line the ordinary sharp decline of sea-ice during this time of summer thawing at the Pole must abruptly go sideways, even more than it did last year.  So far it hasn’t:

DMI2 0715 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

In this post we will be watching this graph carefully.

I will try to also post maps and pictures from the Pole twice a day.

JULY 15 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0715B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0715B temp_latest.big (1)

These Danish Meteorological Institute maps are put out at midnight and noon. I call them “morning” and “afternoon” maps because that is when I look at them. Because we are looking down on Earth, noon is at the bottom and midnight at the top in noon maps, such as the above map, and the opposite is true in maps from twelve hours later. Though diurnal variation of temperatures has little effect in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine at the center, it does have an effect at the edges of the circle shown by these maps. For example, in the above map it is midnight towards Bering Strait, and the little pockets of sub-freezing temperature you see up there will vanish in the next map, and then reappear in the following map.

Although it annoys some people, I tend to name storms for the fun of it, and also it helps me keep track of them. From this angle of the earth it is possible to track the same system as it evolves, all the way around the planet. During the evolution systems go through during such journeys, I tend to have systems keep the same name even when a stricter meteorologist would say the original died and a secondary took over. (To them I say, this is my blog, and I’m boss here.) (Furthermore, I’m more reasonable than your boss, with his Global Warming fixation.)  I very loosely follow a convention where secondary and tertiary storms on a front gain the suffix “son” and “three,” as they travel up the cold front, but when storms occlude and kick a storm ahead along the warm front I call it a “zipper” and use the suffix “zip.”

In the above map four storms are rotating around the high pressure at the Pole, which is a textbook situation, (and unusual for this year, for we have often had lows over the Pole and then you can then throw your textbook out the window.)  The low over Iceland is “Thur” and is stalled and fading, and the one in the Kara Sea is “Art” and also weakening. They are two faint memories of Hurricane Arthur. (Get it? Art and Thur?) The one over east Siberia is “Sib,” and the one approaching the Canadian Archipelago is “Tev.”  Some models are showing Tev moving east as Art fades west, and a low of their merge forming over the Greenland icecap,  which is unusual as high pressure likes to sit there. Rather than north winds on the east side of a high pressure, there will be south winds on the east side of a low, and rather than sea-ice flushing out of the arctic through Fram Strait, it may be jammed back north. I use the word “may” because models are not always right, and also winds don’t always obey the isobars.

The sub-freezing temperatures over the Kara Sea have been persistent this summer, even in the afternoon.

CRUSHED CAMERA REPORT

The original point of these posts was to enjoy the views of the North Pole Camera as it drifted south, however we have had bad luck this year, as camera one was knocked over by a polar bear and camera two crushed by a pressure ridge. However the weather station is still working, and I give reports on what we are missing.

As the building polar high pressure shifts over towards Scandinavia we are experiencing changing conditions, before I expect we will be blown back north.  Winds dropped to nearly calm, as the pressure crested at 1017.7 mb and then dipped to 1016.1 mb at noon. Winds fell to a long period of nearly calm conditions, and then rose to 10 mph at noon.  The temperatures fell from noon yesterday’s high of +0.8 to a low of -0.2°C at midnight, recovered to +0.3 at 6:00 AM but dipped back to -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before returning to zero at noon. These temperatures are below normal, though I expect they will rise as winds become south.

Our steady progress south and west was halted. Our southward progress halted at 84.799°N at midnight, and we were bumped north to 84.804°N at 6:00 Am, and then sagged back to 84.799°N at noon. Our westward progress halted at 12.109°E at 3:00 AM, we were jostled back to 12.195°E at 9:00 AM, and then nudged west to 12.181°E at noon. With all these shifts occurring you can understand the floes do a lot of crashing and smashing, and see why our camera may have been crushed by a pressure ridge. There is nothing neat and tidy about the Arctic Ocean this year, and one adventurer described the situation as “crazy ice.”

NEW CAMERAS

Originally these pictures merely supplimented the Noth Pole Camera, but now they are my fix of cool pictures in hot summer weather. They are from the “O-buoy Project.”  The first is Camera Nine, which has drifted from over towards Bering Strait, and is now passing quite near the Pole on the Canadian side, at 88 north latitude. Originally the camera looked over completely flat ice, but the stresses of the winter built the small pressure ridges. I expect melt-water pools to be appearing soon.

webcam

The second picture is from Camera Ten, which is much further south, a little south of 77 degrees latitude, north of Alaska. As best I can tell, the ice is nine feet thick, but as you can see the summer thaw is in progress.

webcam

JULY 19   —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0716 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716 temp_latest.big (1)

Weak storms circle much like they were doing yesterday, however the high pressure north of Scandinavia is stronger, creating south winds in Fram Strait that will push ice north and may reduce “extent” by compressing the ice like an accordion. When that ice spreads out again it will be the same amount of ice, (or a little less due to melting), but the “extent” will increase in that area. What really melts ice is to have it flushed south down the east coast of Greenland into the warmer Atlantic. I think that melts more ice than the secondary cause, which is milder Atlantic water being pushed north under the ice. That can’t happen as much when surface winds blow north and east at the top of Scandinavia, pushing the northernmost tendrils of the Gulf Stream back south.  Melting at the surface due to sunlight and warm temperatures comes in a distant third, when it comes to the icecap melting, but we might as well check the air temperatures up north of 80 degrees latitude, and note how they have been below normal all summer.

DMI2 0716 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

 LOCAL VIEW JULY 16  —Record cold to our west—

I haven’t been able to keep up with my posts about my little town, which some miss.  However it is summer in New Hampshire, and the North Pole usually doesn’t effect us that much. However it managed to discharge enough cold to drop temperatures to the verge of frost in the northern midwest, (37 degrees Fahrenheit [+2.8 Celsius] in Tomahawk, Wisconsin this morning.) What that means here to the east is a southern surge of moist air before a cold front, lovely soft thunder high  in the sky during the night, and beneficial rains. The air-mass will likely be warmed by the time it covers us tomorrow, but be crisp and dry.  My little patch of corn is loving it, and despite the retarded spring is waist high.

When the Pole exports its cold it usually gets milder up  there. And it actually was as cold in Tomahawk, Wisconsin as it was around 90 miles north of our crunched camera, at  Buoy 2014E:

Here is our local map, with the front passing through and warm summer rain falling outside:

LV 140916 satsfc (3) (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS   —CRACKING ICE—

The northern camera shows the crack just behind the yellow “plug” is opening slightly, due to the shifting winds as the high pressure builds over towards Scandinavia. Considering how smashed up the ice is up there, after all the winter gales, I would not be surprised to see a lead open up, and open water appear, which would be wonderful to watch. My best guess is that the ice is about five feet thick here, which means only six inches would be above water, and we could see some sloshing before this camera bit the dust. It is a rough year for cameras in the north.

webcam

The southern camera has thicker ice, and it may take a while for the melt-water to find channels down through the ice. The ice tends to be close to the freezing point of salt water not very far down, and when fresh water trickles down the cracks it freezes, plugging up the cracks. I’m hoping this will allow another “Lake North Pole” to form. Then what tends to happen is the ice shifts, and a six inch wide crack forms, and all the water gurgles down at once.  This is what we saw happen to “Lake North Pole” last summer: “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES

webcam JULY 16  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0716B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716B temp_latest.big (1)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our mangled eyesore upon the pristine arctic ivory did start north and east, but ran into other ice and/or a weak front around 3:00 AM, when it reached 84.833°N, before hesitating southward slightly to end the 24-hour-period at 84.828°N, 12.752°E. The barometer dipped slightly then, to 1015.6 mb at 6:00 AM, before rebounding to 1016.2 mb at noon. The temperature also dipped, from the high of +0.8°C at 9:00 PM to the low of -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before getting back to zero at noon. The winds, in the 10-15 mph range, seem to have swung briefly from southwest to west-northwest, but were swinging back to the west-southwest at noon, and I expect the northward drift to resume. Alas that the camera is gone, for some interesting weather passed through.

JULY 17 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0717 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717 temp_latest.big (1)

“Thur” is fading away over Greenland as “Art” drifts from the Kara to the Laptev Sea, eastward on the Siberian coast. Neither is liable to be very noteworthy over the next week, and in fact the models have stopped showing a low over Greenland, and instead show a more traditional high pressure cell there, though they do not show its wind extending east into Fram Strait. Instead the high pressure north of Scandinavia, which I now name “Scant,” [for “Scandinavia Top”] looks to be the lasting feature on the Atlantic side, as “Sib” mills around and is a feature this week on the Pacific side.  “Tev” is sliding south into Canada and may brew up a decent storm tucked in north of Hudson Bay,  sort of hidden but able to import warm air north through Baffin bay west of Greenland, and also able to export polar air south to the USA, and cool my summer here.

The sub-freezing temperatures in the Kara Sea have persisted all summer, but I was curious about that little noodle of cold aiming from Greenland towards our crushed camera, so I went to the Weatherbell site and looked at other views of the arctic from among Dr. Ryan Maue’s excellent maps (free week trial available.) This only makes my confusion worse, for the initial run of the Canadian model always shows the Arctic Sea colder than the DMI map, and this time it shows some significant cold just across the Pole: (Ignore the glitch that makes a smudge of zeros and nines on the left side, and remember temperatures are in Fahrenheit.)

DMI2 0717 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to enlarge fully)

My confusion is furthered by the fact the GFS model’s initial run doesn’t show this pool of cool. (Their map is upside down)

DMI2 0717 gfs_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to fully enlarge)

The best I can do is to try to go see for myself.

NEW CAMERAS VIEWS

The northern camera’s bleak view still gives me the impression the ice is trying to crack up, but the surface looks more like frozen slush than thawing slush. When I check the site’s temperature graph it shows a temperature a hair below freezing, but when I check Buoy 2014E: this morning, (between this site and our crushed camera,) I see it is a surprisingly low  -2.01° C. (perhaps it is in the noodle of cold shown on the DMI map.)

webcam

The southern view is interesting because the lens is just starting to get covered, but not by drops of water. That is snow, and since I saved the view the lens has become totally obscured. Heck of a way to run a thaw, if you ask me, even down at 77 degrees latitude. When I checked the temperature graph it appears to be a hair below freezing, and the closest other buoy I can find, Buoy 2013F: (at 77.06° N, 156.79° W) is coming in at -0.01°C. I get the feeling there is cold air lurking about up there which I was unaware of.

webcam

Sometimes a fall of snow up there can have an interesting effect on the “extent” graphs, especially if they are derived from satellite data, and the satellite is confusing melt-water pools with open water.  Abruptly the pools are covered with white snow, so the satellite abruptly sees open water as ice-covered, and there is a strange up-tick in the graph. I was actually expecting a down-tick, as winds compressed the ice back north towards the Pole, but now I’m going to be on the lookout for the opposite. There is no sign of it yet, however the snow is just starting to fall:

DMI2 0717 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

The only other news to report is that an interesting area of ice-free water is appearing in Fram Strait, against the northeast corner of Greenland, due to the fact sea-ice is not being flushed out of the arctic, and rather is being crunched back in. I don’t recall seeing that last year.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our useless heap of scrap floated steadily east, while curving south to 84.823°N and then back north, finishing further north than we began the 24-hour period, at 84.837°N, 13.022°E.  The breeze was steady at around 5-10 mph, picking up slightly at the end of the period to around 12 mph. The barometer took a sharp dive between noon and 3:00 PM, from 1016.2 mb  to 1012.7mb, and then remained fairly steady, finishing at 1012.2mb. The temperature rose from zero to +1.0°C during the period.

JULY 17  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0717B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717B temp_latest.big (1)

A revived “Tev” is in the Northwest Passage. “Sib” sits north of Alaska. What may be a bit of  “Thur” sits atop Greenland, across the Pole from weak “Art.” Alas! What a fate to befall a once mighty hurricane!  The high “Scant” sits over northern Finland, and may bring the east winds back to the Baltic, although the source region doesn’t look as warm this time.

Sub-freezing persists in the Kara Sea, and on the midnight side of the map (top), although the sun barely dips below the horizon even south of the arctic circle, in high summer. However the days are getting shorter, and the time for thawing is running out.

NEW CAMERAS

Our northern camera continues to show a bleak view, woth ominous cracks, but no obvious melting.

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Our southern camera shows all the slush covered with fresh snow. I hope all the Albedo-feinds are noting this, and adjusting their equations. Nothing reflects sunlight better than freshly fallen snow. It may be back to slush tomorrow, but this does slow the thaw’s progress.

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JULY 18 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0718 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is a decent storm in the Northwest Passage. I wonder if it is cracking up the ice. Soon we may get reports from adventurers attempting the Passage, though usually they wait until late July to start.

“Sib” is stalled and hanging in there north of Alaska. “Art”, (or perhaps his zipper,) is pushing into east Siberia, with a trailing trough of low pressure than now cuts across the Pole to the faint memory of “Thur,”  which although very weak is yet another low attempting sit atop the world. They have divided “Trans” into a weak high towards Bering Strait and the stronger one northeast of Finland.  South east of that high is a vigorous inland low (perhaps a reincarnation of “Spinthree”), but which I’ll dub “Artson,” which is doing interesting things in some models. They see it cruising along the Arctic coast, swinging across Bering Strait and then attacking the Pole from Alaska next week. However the models change their minds a lot, like one of the sexes. (I am too smart to say which.)

One of the mildest temperature maps we’ve seen so far, though I should report Buoy 2012G: north of the Canadian Archipelago reported -2.22° this morning, and Buoy 2014B: north of Bering Strait at 75.21 N, 170.66 W, reported -0.47°.

NEW CAMERAS

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We have the same dreary view, with some sort of warm front pushing moisture in aloft from the south, I imagine. It is likely the warm-up that reached our crushed camera yesterday has not made it this far north, for Buoy 2014E: was reporting -0.09°.

One slight change is we can see more of the top of the yellow “cork” than last week. I wonder if the wind swings it slightly, or if it has some sort of mooring line dangling through the ice to the water beneath.

Further south our southern camera was showing a lot of fog earlier, but now is showing fresh snow, getting soggy over the melt-water pools:

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This camera was deployed with Buoy 2014E: which was showing a temperature of -0.08° this morning. Here is a map of how they have drifted over the past ten months: (Double click to fully enlarge.)

Drift map July 18 2013F_track

CRUNCHED CAMERA DATA   

The most interesting data is that temperatures remained fairly flat through most of the 24 hour period, only sinking three tenths of a degree to +0.7°C at 6:00 AM, and then sank more swiftly to -0.1°C. The wind had shifted to just north of west, and as the eastward drift persisted we stopped moving north at 6:00 Am at 84.892°N and by noon had settled back to 84.887°N, 13.717°E. The pressure remained very steady at 1012.3 mb.

JULY 18 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0718B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718Btemp_latest.big (1)

Not much change, except a bit colder than yesterday on the Pacific side.

NEW CAMERAS  —Friday night and not much change—

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AN EXCELLENT CONCEPT   –Compare area to extent to determine compactness–

I wander a bit on the web in my search for fresh data, and lurk at sites that tend to take the Alarmist view that the Pole is melting away and in a Death Spiral. Some repel me and I have no desire to visit ever again, (Skeptical Science is such a site, especially because at times it hasn’t just snipped comments, but has altered them to make the person commenting look like a dope.)  However (so far) I haven’t been particularly repelled by this site, “Arctic Sea Ice Blog,” although I disagree with the bias. (I have a thick skin about bias, as I recognize my own.) http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/07/asi-2014-update-5-low-times.html#more

They have come up with the following chart that compares extent with area, and gives an idea of how compact the ice is. (I have mentioned how the same amount of ice can be compacted, or spread out like a small pat of butter on a large piece of toast, and how this influences “extent”.) Judging from the graph they came up with, the ice is quite compacted this year.  I think it a great concept, and give credit where credit is due.

CAPIE20140710

JULY 19 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0719 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” continues to keep conditions uncomfortable for anyone attempting the Northwest Passage, as together with “Sib” towards Alaska, they make low pressure on the Canada-Alaska side mesh with high-pressure on the Scandinavia-Siberia side, creating a general Atlantic to Pacific flow which I imagine will keep sea-ice from being flushed out into the Atlantic. I am going to watch to see if ice gets blown into the ice-free areas of the Laptev Sea. You can see the ice-water boundary marked by that little necklace of sub-freezing temperatures. The Kara Sea continues to have sub-freezing temperatures, but the diurnal variation is quite obvious towards Bering Strait on this temperature map, where it is noon towards the top. In the last map, when it was midnight towards the top, there were patches of sub-freezing temperatures, but now they are not to be seen.

The “Art” and “Artson” area of low pressure is difficult to see, but models continue to imagine it will redevelop, swing around across the Bering Strait to Alaska and then up to the Pole by next Wednesday, and continue to be a top-of-the-world storm into next weekend.

NEW CAMERAS  —Gray days return—

Our northern camera has been showing a lot of fog, though now it looks like the sun is trying to burn through.  Fog may mean milder Atlantic air is trying to push north on south winds from Fram Strait, though Buoy 2014E: in that direction is reading a cold -0.25°. The hope of real thaw is on the north coast of Greenland, where Buoy 2014D: is coming in at a toasty +3.02°.  It looks like we have one little melt-water pool forming in the lower, right foreground, but it better hurry up because we are running out of time.

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Our southern camera seems to suggest slush is eroding the fresh snow, and that it is foggy there as well.  I haven’t noticed any up-ticks in “extent” graphs caused by the fresh snow, but the blogger Max™ shared a couple maps I’ll post. The first shows this area as only 60% ice, while the second shows it as having ice six to nine feet thick. It does make me scratch my head and wonder if the satellite is seeing slush as open water. What I really want to do is get some clear weather, so we can study the visible satellite image.

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Extent July 19 cryo_compare_small

Thickness July 19 arcticictnowcast

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Winds shifted from the northwest to the southwest and temperatures rose a little, from -0.1°C at noon yesterday, to +0.7°C at 9:00 AM today. We progressed steadily east, but our southward drift ceased at  84.881°N at (:00 PM last night and we moved back north to 84.893°N, 14.020°E at 9:00 AM.  The barometer dipped to 1011.8 mb  at 3:00 AM and then rose back to 1012.4 mb at 9:00 AM.  It is like a very faint front pushed north.

I’m not sure why the final entry was 9:00 AM, and not noon. Likely someone had better things to do on the weekend than tend to a defunct camera. I hope the sensors didn’t get crunched along with the camera. I find it interesting we are heading east north of Svalbard rather than south to Fram Strait.

JULY 19  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0719B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS   —Sunshine soon?—

Our northern camera is showing some blue sky, but the low scud is keeping the sun fairly dim.  The sun is fairly low up there even in the height of summer. Buoy 2014E: is showing a temperature of +0.13° C, which is just barely a thaw. It really takes some sunshine to get things going.

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Our southern camera has just a hint of blue in the gray overcast, as if the clouds may be thinning. The DMI map above shows the low “Sib” has some cold air in it, so if any clouds wrap around we might see more snow. The thermometer associated with this camera site, on Buoy 2013F: , is actually the only above-freezing reading from the Beaufort Sea, just barely, at + 0.01° C. To the west Buoy 2014C: is coming in at -0.75° C and to the west Buoy 2014B: is coming in at  -0.15° C.

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ANOTHER BUOY BITES THE DUST?

I’ve been relying on Buoy 2014D: to tell me the conditions just off Greenland’s north coast, where a warm up has been occurring, however there is no report this morning, and when I check the temperature graph it looks like a berserk spider took over the data:Berserk 2014D_temp (click to enlarge)

The ice is quite a jumble of pressure ridges up there, and my fear is that the buoy met an untimely end. It is a rough year for ice apparatus

My hope is that the buoy is OK, and the scambled data only means that somebody, somewhere, drank too much beer this weekend.

The weather station at Nort, at the northeast tip of Greenland, reports a balmy 41 degrees this morning. (5 degrees Celsius)

JULY 20  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0720 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720 temp_latest.big (1)

Not much change. “Tev” continues to whirl over the Northwest Passage. Canadian Ice Service maps don’t show much break-up of ice plugging the center of the route. The only adventurers I’ve found look like they are touring the top of Baffin Bay, and haven’t attempted the passage.

“Sib” continues to sit north of Alaska. Warm air north of Greenland is rising, keeping a faint memory of “Thur” alive.  Weak low pressure sprawls across the Atlantic south of Iceland.

The real news is “Scant,” which is what I dubbed the Scandinavian High.  It reaches all the way east to central Siberia, but its core looks like it will back west into the Atlantic, which will continue the wrong-way flow from south-to-north in Fram Strait, and will continue to push ice to the east north of Svalbard.  I’m watching to see if it pushes ice into the Laptev Sea’s open waters, which could cause an uptick on “extent” graphs.

“Scant” also has brought east winds back into the Baltic. The intrusion of Atlantic air I mentioned last week looks like it was short-lived. Nice dry air from Siberia’s summer (utterly different from winter east winds) can filter west. My main question now is whether the winds will turn northeast and come off the cooler Arctic Ocean, as “Scant” shifts west. It looks like “Scant” will persist right through the oncoming week.

I’m puzzled by the patches of sub-freezing temperatures by the northeast corner of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. The Kara Sea shows no sub-freezing temperatures, which is unusual for this summer.

In east Siberia “Art” is reforming, and is liable to swing around and reinforce “Sib” by midweek, moving out towards the Pole. By having them meshing with “Scant”, a flow from Svalbard to the Laptev Sea looks likely.

NEW CAMERAS  —The gray goes on—

Our northern camera shows a bit of ice formed around the edge of the small melt-water pool in the lower right corner. Last year’s North Pole Camera already showed a large melt-water pool by July 20. I recorded the growth of the pool in this post: https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/north-pole-ice-melt-watching-the-summer-thaw/

That buoy had drifted down to 85 degrees latitude by then, which means the camera was roughly 200 miles further south. Maybe that explains the lack of pools this year. I’m still expecting to see some grow. This gray weather may be due to south winds and overriding moisture.

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Our southern camera down at 77 degrees latitude is snowing the fresh snow is reverting to melt-water pools. Buoy 2013F: indicates the temperature is + 0.24° C

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Mostly this ice thins from the bottom up, as the spike in the PDO from “cold” to “warm” allows more north Pacific water to invade through Bering Strait and get under the ice. However the ice is fairly thick.  The Navy graph suggests the ice may have thinned as much as six feet in places, yet still is six feet thick. I doubt it. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice, as the heat becomes latent heat in the phase-change. Also the graph from Buoy 2013F: deployed with this camera indicates the ice at this site began thinner than the Navy map led me to believe, (5 feet rather than 10 feet,) but has only melted to down to 4 feet thick.: (Red line is snow atop the ice; blue line is the bottom of the ice.)

Thickness July 20 2013F_thick (click to enlarge)

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

UK Met July 19 16399316 (click to enlarge)

I haven’t checked these maps in a while. The high “Scant” has blocked thing again, making Scandinavia an independent island, and causing a traffic jam in the Atlantic. I’m not sure where that new low south of Greenland came from, so I’ll just call it “Newl”, (for “new low”). It will stall around Iceland as “Thur” did.

The main difference is that there is no Spinthree south of the Baltic Sea adding to the easterly flow.  Spinthree devided, part moving northwest off the coast of Norway, and part fading away east to become part of…..oh heck. I just realized I went dyslexic with the names of my storms. That storm in eastern Siberia is Art, not Thur.  Now I have to go back through this post and correct everything.

********

There.  That’s done. Where was I?  Hmm. I suppose I was just saying the position of “Scant,”  and the east winds over the Baltic, are going to be interesting to watch. If “Scant” moves west Scandinavia could get a more northerly flow off the Arctic Sea.

UPTICK IN SEA-ICE EXTENT

The blogger Max™ pointed out the newest DMI map shows the uptick I was wondering might occur, due to the snowfall over towards Bering Strait.

DMI2 0720 icecover_current_new

This is not to say I’m sure I was right. Perhaps the ice is spreading out into the Laptev Sea, or some other place. However it is interesting to watch, as it may hint at the graph “flat-lining”.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our battered camera is being repaired by polar bears drinking coca cola, but they are not done yet, so you will have to take my word for it. Meanwhile it drifted slowly west and as far north as  84.906°N, before backing off slightly  and winding up at noon at 84.900°N, 14.537°E. Back on June 23rd it was at 85.022°N, 14.599°E. So a months of steady drifting has swirled us around in circles, and we are less than ten miles from where we started.

Not much happened, though we had a 27 hour day, due to the unexplained end of yesterday’s report at 9:00 PM. The temperature and barometer were flat, with the temperature only moving a tenth of a degree all day, from +0.7°C to +0.6°C. and the barometer starting at 1012.4 mb and ending at 1012.3 mb with diurnal quirks in between.

The winds slackened off to around 5 mph. I think this is the calm before the storm, for things look they will get interesting by mid-week.

JULY 20   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0720B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720B temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” remains stalled over the Northwest Passage, though expanding over Baffin island. “Sib” is weaker and quite cold, north of Alaska, and is going to fling “Art” right around in some Fujiwhara dance, as what looks to be a decent storm over the Pole by the end of the week. The meshing of that storm and the high pressure system “Scant” over Scandinavia ought create strong flows in the general direction of the Laptev Sea. Likely the ice extent will lessen at the Atlantic edge but expand at the Laptev edge. How this will all play out in terms of the “Extent” graphs will be interesting to watch.

I am surprised by the amount of sub-freezing air that has appeared on the Pacific side, and also north of the Canadian Archipelago and northeast of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. I suppose warm air rises, but I’ve noticed such cooling before, in the wreckage of dying storms. (That area holds not only  weakening “Sib”, which was cold to begin woth, but also the faint memory of “Thur”.)  To try to study in greater detail I turned to the Gem model, which Dr. Ryan Maue makes available at the Weatherbell site.  The same maps as above look like this:

DMI2 0720B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0720B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

(As with the DMI maps, you can click these maps to enlarge them, but these maps can be clicked a second time to enlarge them further.)

I’m not sure that seeing in greater detail increases my understanding, but it does increase my wonder. The remains of “Thur” can be seen to be three seperate swirls, each with sub swirls. (Would you expect less from a former hurricane?)

The Canadian temperature map is always colder than others, but it shows the cold isn’t drawn from some place else. The cold is created (or the heat is lost) in a home-grown manner, by the arctic itself. I’m always reading about 24-hour-sunshine and albedo and melt-water pools, as if the arctic summer is nothing but warming, warming, warming. However here we see some cooling is going on. Why doesn’t anyone write about that? Oh…I just did.

NEW CAMERAS  —Struggling to thaw—

Our northern camera shows the struggle to thaw continues. The temperature graph shows we dropped below freezing for much of the day, and have only just struggled back to zero. This is no way to  run a thaw. However the temperature further south towards our crunched camera is up to +0.64° C at Buoy 2014E:, so perhaps some mildness is working north.

That black crack to the right and behind the yellow “cork” looks less obvious, as if there might have been some sleet blurring the sharpness of the details. Either that, or the ice shifted a little.  I imagine it could start shifting more and even break up by mid week.  Stay Tuned!!!

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Our southern camera, which seemed to be seeing the thaw nicely underway, is now experiencing a refreeze. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting a temperature of  -0.44° C, and the melt-water pools are taking on that milky look they get when they skim over with ice.

Again, this is one heck of a way of running a thaw. I want my money back. How am I get fat and lazy, sitting around watching ice melt, if the darn stuff keeps refreezing? I’m losing weight!

(Actually a lot of melting has occurred, this far south. Back when the winter snow first melted off the camera lens, at the end of April, the deep snow was up to where the yellow turns to black towards the top of the buoy in the distance.  If it is a buoy. It might be a robot, you know. Several groups deployed things at this site, and maybe they all assumed the robot was another group’s object.  Actually it might be a probe from the planet Kal-zeediff, sent to earth to try to figure out what we Earthlings are doing, out on the arctic ice.  They are all scratching their heads at their mission control, as we make no sense to them. Many have concluded arctic sea ice is a religion to Earthlings. (hmm….) )

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CFS V2 GRAPH MODERATES ITS TONE

Extent CFS July 20 sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The CFS V2 Model is backing off its shocking prediction of there being above-normal sea-ice at the minimum in September. (It has also stopped predicting a “super El Nino,” and is now predicting a more modest El Nino Modoki, which is bad news for my neck of the woods, as it may give us a winter like 1976-1977.)  Rather than a minimum of over 7 million km2, it is predicting 6.4, and rather than 0.70 million km2 above normal it is only predicting 0.15. Still, for ice to be above normal would cause the “Death-spiral” crowd to sulk for at least six months, though hope would bloom eternal for them by next spring.

Why would anyone root for a “Death Spiral”? When I look back to my youth, I think normalcy was quite unattractive. Normalcy meant I’d have to get a real job, but if the world was coming to an end, working for a pension was like brushing your teeth on the steps to the gallows. It made no sense. That is why my friends now have pensions and I will be working until I drop. However, what the heck. I took my retirement when I was young and could enjoy it.

JULY 21  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0721 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0721 temp_latest.big (1)

“”Tev” is moving into Baffin Bay, likely giving gloomy weather for the sailors thinking of attempting the Northwest passage. Quite a gale is heading north where air is squeezed against the west coast of Greenland. This may push mild, uplifting air into the Canadian Archipelago and promote low pressure up that way, and even some Chinook warming where the air sinks down to the Arctic Sea.  Buoy 2012G: is coming in at a mild + 0.96°C there.

“Sib” is swinging a revived “Art” across Bering Strait, incorperating some Pacific juice and likely pushing sea-ice away from the coast of Alaska, where Barrow was showing sea ice at the shore a couple days ago.  http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

JULY 19  Barrow July 19 screenhunter_1129-jul-19-08-29

JULY 21  Barrow July 21 00_33_44_220_ABCam_20140721_0019 

To get back to the subject, at this point the isobars between the low “Sib” and the high “Scant” are loose and winds are not strong. I expect that to change by Wednesday.

Notice how in the above maps, where noon is towards the top and Alaska is in its afternoon, the sub-freezing temperatures have vanished. They are still reported at a couple buoys, though.  Buoy 2014C: north of Bering Strait at  74.49° N, 149.75° W is coming in at  -0.11° C, and Buoy 2013F: conjunct with our southern camera is coming in at  -0.25° C.

Speaking of those cameras…

NEW CAMERAS   —Gloom persists—

Somewhere some scientists must record how much sunshine and how much cloudiness the Arctic gets. I’d like to see if this summer has been cloudier. I think it has been cloudier, at the scattered places I observe. (Most of the year clear skies make it colder at the Pole, however I’m not sure that is true during high summer. Likely there is debate about the effects, and the effects of high clouds versus low clouds. In any case, I miss the views of turquoise and silver.)

Our northern camera still looks cold. Notice the melt-water pool in the lower right corner has a skim of ice around the edge. Its graph shows temperatures a hair below freezing, and Buoy 2014E: at 86.24° N, 1.06° W (roughly 125 miles towards Fram Strait) is coming in at  -0.08° C.

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Meanwhile the thaw remains on hold at our southern  camera, with the melt-water skimming over with ice:

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SAILOR TRAPPED IN SEA ICE IS RESCUED

Some of the best information about sea-ice comes from adventurers in the north. It doesn’t matter if they are Skeptics or Alarmists, their cameras tend to hint at actual conditions. This fellow got trapped in sea-ice north of Barrow, trying to sneak through the ice that os pressed against the coast there, and find a way to open water to the east. After ten days the coast guard broke through 40 miles of ice to get the guy.  Full story: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=124426&refre=y&ntid=0&rid=4

Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl trapped1Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl under tow1

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

We continued to drift slowly south, but our eastward drift ceased at 14.665°E at 9:00 PM last night, and we have slipped back west, finishing the day at 84.842°N, 14.542°E. Temperatures hit their high of +0.7°C at 3:00 PM, and have trended downwards in the northeast wind, winding up at +0.2°C. The barometer has continued flat, finishing at 1012.1 mb at noon, and the light breeze has been in the 5-10 mph range.  A rather quiet and boring day.

NO DMI MAPS, SO I’LL SUBSTITUTE MAUE MAPS

DMI2 0721B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0721B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

These maps are created by Dr. Ryan Maue out of data from the Canadian “JEM” model. You can see them and thousands more at the Weatherbell site. (Free week’s trial available.) Remember the Canadian tends to read colder than the Danish maps.

I have to run to a meeting soon, but hopefully can comment later.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera looks gray and dull. Maybe the ice at the edge of the melt-water pool in the lower right has melted back just an inch.  It’s hard to get excited about that.

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It looks like the melt-water pools have frozen over, with just a dust of snow on the ice, at our southern camera. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.66° C. Further west, north of the Bering Strait,   Buoy 2014B: is coming in at -0.41°C, while to the east   Buoy 2014C comes in at -1.46°C. The Beaufort Sea is cold.

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JULY 22  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0722 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is weakening in northwest Hudson Bay, but not before bringing some mild air up into Baffin Bay, As weakening “Sib” swings “Art” around and over the Pole, it may tap into that milder air, and also mild air inland in Alaska,  The Beaufort Sea has warmed today, and the Canadian Archipelago is milder than it has been. Interestingly, one of the colder places up there is northeast of Greenland, in south winds. I haven’t a clue what the “source region” for that cold air is  I suppose it must be Greenland’s icecap, but when air descends 10,000 feet usually a Chinook effect kicks in and it is mild.  I have more learning to do.

There is only a few day window when “Art” will blow ice into the Laptev Sea, according to the changing models. Now it looks like “Art” will swing the winds around, and be blowing the ice the other way by Friday. So the the “extent” graph may have up-ticks and dips. At the moment it has such a big up-tick that some are saying the satellite must  be faulty:

DMI2 0722 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Clearing skies?—

It doesn’t look like the thaw has quite resumed yet, at our northern camera, though it seems it should, as “Art” brings south winds as it approaches.  However it is still -0.45° C at Buoy 2014E: .  Also the little pool in the lower right of the picture still has ice around its edge.

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At our southern camera temperatures have risen above freezing. Our conjunct  Buoy 2013F: is reading + 0.12° C, and other nearby buoys are above freezing as well. Partly this is due to  the fact we are far enough south, at 77 degrees latitude, for the sun to be higher at noon and a slight diurnal variation to kick in, however I think the passage of “Art” may have also stirred up  the air; broken the inversion and brought milder air down from above.  Mild air may have been transported in as well. We’ll see if temperatures stay up as the sun dips toward the horizon at midnight.

Though “Art” has passed right over this area I see no fresh snow, so it must be a fairly dry storm. It still looks cold, but I now expect thawing to resume. The sky looks blue in the upper right, and sunshine would speed up the melt.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Changing conditions made for an interesting day. the winds shifted from generally northeast and light to southwest and stronger, (from less than 5 mph to  more than 14 mph), and as a consequence our westward movement stopped at 14.507°E at 3:00 PM yesterday and our southward movement stopped at midnight at 84.826°N, and we picked up speed north and east, finishing the day at 84.841°N, 14.854°E.

Temperatures dipped to a low of -1.1°C at 3:00 AM but then rebounded to +1.3°C. The barometer crested at 1014.6 mb at 6:00 Am but then fell to 1013.1 mb by noon.

We may be in for a bit of a blow.

JULY 22 —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0722B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722B temp_latest.big (1)

With “Newl” stalled south of Iceland and “Tev” stalled south of Baffin Island, the big players at center stage are the storm “Art” approaching the Pole from Canada and the high pressure “Scant” probing toward the Pole from Norway. The flow between them woll shift, and be worth watching.

The warm air over Scandinavia seems like it will just sit and stagnate, but the blonds on Baltic beaches will not call stagnation a bad thing.  I’m not sure why “Scant” isn’t pumping warm air up over the Pole, and should likely look at the UK Met.

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

Not much help here, for the min thing I see is stagnation.  Compare today’s map with Friday’s forecast map, and little has budged.

UK Met July 22 16478277UK Met July 22 Fri forecast 16485096

“Newl” just fades away southwest of Iceland. “Tev” and family whirl away, stalled off Newfoundland’s north coast. A newcomer to the lower left, “Newc”, gets half way across the  Atlantic, and then it too stalls. Th fronts back up off Great Britain, west into the Atlantic as “Scant” sits happily atop Scandinavia. Some mild air must be leaking north, but north of Scandinavia it looks like west winds keep Atlantic air from rushing north.

NEW CAMERAS 

Our northern camera is still gray, and it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred, though wisps of passing fog suggest some milder air is about.

The small melt-water pool in the lower right may now be open, but the ice around the edge is whiter, as if it has been peppered by sleet a some point.

There are pockets of cold air around. Buoy 2014E: is reporting in at  -0.57°C.

webcam

Our southern buoy is still refusing to thaw even enough to get us back to where we were ten days ago. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.65° C.  I think it may have been warmer earlier, and opened the ice to the right of the largest melt-water pool, but it also looks like we’ve had another dusting of snow.

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The hint of blue sky in this picture was gone the next time the camera updated (around every ten minutes.) I can never remember a summer when the camera so often showed a gray world up there.

INSOMNIA REPORT   —Snow at southern camera—

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JULY 23  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0723 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723 temp_latest.big (1)

“Scant” remains strong high pressure over Scandinavia, as “Art” is a 987 mb low north of Canada. A decent southwest flow over the North Atlantic is trying to bring warmth north, and has reached Svalbard, but it seems it will not get far north of there before being turned southeast towards western Siberia. The current flow into the Laptev Sea will rotate clockwise into the Kara Sea an then Barents Sea.

Noon is at the top of the above maps and midnight at the bottom. Despite the night, note how mild it is in the Gulf of Bothnia, an despite the day, note that there are still sub-freezing temperatures off the North Slope of Alaska.

Models suggest the status-quo, with Scant and Art, will fade away by the weekend. Interestingly, a new storm looks likely to aim for h Pole. The question is whether it will head north from Siberia, or the North Atlantic, or both.

Models also show temperatures over the Beaufort Gyre remaining below normal.

FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0723 icecover_current_new

NEW CAMERAS  

The nearby buoys haven’t updated this morning, but neither view shows evidence of thawing. The temperature graphs show temperatures right at freezing.

Remember we are at the height of the thaw. Last year the North Pole Camera showed that splendid melt-water pool called “Lake North Pole.”

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CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

In the past 24 hours our blind squirrel searched for the nut mostly to the east, getting as far north as 84.874°N at 6:00 AM, before veering a little south and ending the day at 84.867°N, 16.175°E. We are about halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, at a longitude roughly a third of the way across the top of Svalbard. Only in 2006 has a North Pole Camera wandered so far east.

We ended yesterday with temperatures at +1.3°C, holding the promise of thawing, but the 3:00 PM report came in with temperatures back to zero. Temperatures were just above zero until after midnight, when they fell below zero and were at  -0.3°C at 6:00 Am, winding up at -0.1°C at noon.

The breeze was quite fresh during the the start if the period, up around 18 mph, but gradually slackened off to 9 mph at noon.  The barometer steadily fell to 1001.5 mb.

JULY 23  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0723B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” approaching the Pole and king-of-the-world status, as “Scant” remain comfortably parked over Scandinavia.  Sub-freezing pocket over towards Bering Stait and back into the Kar Sea, but oddly none shows in the vincinity of our North Pole Camera, though it was reporting -0.1°C at the time this map is suppose to show.  (You can see the tendril of cold air from St. Nort in Greenland to the vicinity of our crunched camera.)

Not a terribly cold map, but definitely not a warm one either.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera shows a situation that is basically unchanged.

webcam

The southern view shows the melt-water pools are definitely refrozen, which is note worthy at the height of the melt-season.  However I can’t comment further, as a big thunderstorm is approaching this obscure corner of a big planet.

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JULY 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0724 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening up over the Pole, bit will continue to mill around up there into the weekend. (It will have various part and pieces, but I haven’t he time to name them all.) Meanwhile “Scant” continues to give Scandinavia mild weather, but it too will weaken, and there are hints that a weak low over the Baltic will tun into a home-grown storm at the start if next week, moving north into the Arctic to reinforce the remains of “Art.”

The warmth in Scandinavia can’t make it up to the Pole, as it is bent east. The Pole has a rough zonal flow, (albeit backwards from a textbook polar high pressure,) and is keeping its cold air.  A pocket of sub-freezing exits even in the afternoon, towards our southern camera north of Alaska. The northern parts of the Kara Se are sub-freezing again as well.

Thee is still plenty of time for a thaw, but the temperatures usually are just passing their peak by now. We are just touching normal, in our DMI graph of temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude, for the first time all summer. (We did this last year as well, twice, before the early and abrupt plunge in August.)

DMI2 0724 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

It is interesting to compare this graph with the graph from 1979, when a far colder winter led to a much milder melt-season, that extended into the fall.

DMI2 0724 meanT_1979  (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Blue skies at last!—

For some reason the army mass-balance site isn’t updating its buoy data, but judging from the graphs attached to our cameras at the O-buoy sites, both of our sites are experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. This is no way to run a thaw, but the sunshine might get the thaw back on track, during the short time we have left before the refreeze.

webcamwebcam

FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0724 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHEN LOOKING AT DMI TEMPERATURE GRAPH

The DMI temperatures-north-of-80-degrees-latitude graph, which finally, finally, finally made it briefly to normal, only measures temperatures north of 80 degrees.  If you look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s representation of the Canadian “JEM” model initial run, (available at Weatherbell; one week free trial,) you notice the heart of the current cold over the Arctic Ocean is located south  of 80 degrees. (80 degrees is the circle of latitude that just clips northern Greenland.)

DMI2 0724B cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (Double click to enlarge fully.)

JULY 24  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0724B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS VIEW  —This is more like it!—

The northern Camera has an ice-bow in the sky. Some slight thawing appears to be starting in the nonstop sunshine.

webcam The southern view is also sunny, but with little sign of thawing yet.

webcam

temperature-1week

 

For some reason the Army mass-balance temperature data for various buoys has been off-line since July 22, so I am resorting to the temperature graphs attached to the O-buoys to get a feel for the cold pool over the Beaufort Sea. The above shows our southern camera keeps seeing temperatures dip below freezing.

I wonder, in a worry wart sort of way, if having a system off-line screws up the initial runs of various computer models.  After all, they have limited observations on the surface to begin with, and to some degree have to fill in the blank areas between. If they don’t get the data, or, far worse, keep receiving data from July  22 long after the fact, then they foll-in-the-blanks incorrectly.

I was wondering this because the Canadian “JEM” model keeps showing sub-freezing temperatures persist over the Beaufort Sea, especially towards the edge of the ice where you’d think it would be warmer. I am a Doubting Thomas, at times. This graph reassures me that, for he time being at least, no computer glitch is involved.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our heap of junk experienced a lull, as winds dropped to nearly calm conditions. Our westward motion ceased at 16.271°E at midnight, and at the end of the 21-hour period we has floated back to 84.860°N, 16.172°E. (For some reason the final repoert was from 9:00 AM and not noon.)

Temperatures rose from just below freezing to +1.4°C at 9:00 AM. The pressure fell to 1000.2 mb at 6:00 AM and then rose to 1001.2 mb at 9:00 AM. Down here, halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, temperatures are back to normal an the thaw has resumed.

JULY 25  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0725 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening and filling in over the Pole, as “Scant” weakens over Scandinavia and the North Atlantic.  Sub-freezing temperatures have reappeared in the eastern Kara Sea, even as a low moves up that way from the hot Steppes to the south. (I’ll call that low “Stepper”).

I’m watching the Baltic Sea to see if a low develops there, and watching the Pole to see if the in-filling of “Art” creates cold, as some storms do when the weaken and fade up in the arctic.

(I just checked the models, and the Baltic storm seems to have vanished from the “solutions,” at least until next week.)

NEW CAMERAS  

The northern camera continues to show the views of turquoise and silver I come to Pole to see, when the desire to escape reality hits me.

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Despite the bright sun it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred yet.

To the south, clouds have returned to our southern camera, which suggests warmer air is moving in aloft, though the surface remains just below freezing.

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CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

Our pathos continued south in a serpentine fashion, first moving east to 16.038°E at 6:00 PM, then west to 16.097°E at midnight, and then east to finish the 24 hour period at 84.806°N, 16.033°E at 9:00 AM.

Winds were light until after midnight, when the breeze began to pick up, especially at the last report at 9:00 AM when the breeze had stiffened to over 15 mph.

The temperature yo-yoed through some surprising antics, bouncing up to +2.0°C at 3:00 PM, sinking to  -0.1°C at 3:00 AM, bouncing back up to +0.5°C at 6:00 AM, and then sinking back to zero again at 9:00 AM.

Pressures bottomed out at 1000.6 mb at 3:00 AM, and then rose as “Art” weakened to the north, up to 1007.5 mb.

JULY 25  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0725B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” continues to weaken over the Pole, as “Scant” remains parked over Scandinavia. “Stepper” is moving up towards the boundary between the Kara and Laptev Seas. As it embarks towards top-of-the-world status its warm south winds will be over the ice-free Laptev Sea, as its colder north winds will blow down into the more icy Kara Sea. Sometimes storms like to use preexisting boundaries.

The subfreezing air is obvious up towards midnight and the Bering Strait. Despite the fact much of it is south of 80 degrees, the air over the Pole, while above freezing and officially a “thaw,” is below normal:

DMI2 0725B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

JULY 26 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0726 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726 temp_latest.big (1)

Though the temperature map shows subfreezing have vanished at the top of the map, (where it is noon), the Canadian JEM map shows it colder up there, and still below freezing at places. (Our Camera in the Beaufort Sea shows no thaw.)

The innocuous, unnamed low over Svalbard may be hinting at a new storm track over the top of “Scant,” which now looks like it will retreat southeast, allowing Atlantic storms to start clipping the top of Scandinavia by midweek.

NEW CAMERAS  —Thaw on hold—

This is the sort of beautiful view I like to escape to, when life gets hard. (And it is a bit hard now, as I’m facing two separate funerals.) However there is no sign of thawing, despite the bright sun, and the temperature graph at the northern camera shows temperatures below freezing and sinking.

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temperature-1week

 

The southern camera shows a grayer view with light fog, which suggests milder air may be trying to press north, but the frozen melt-water pool shows the thaw hasn’t set in yet, and the temperature graph attached to the camera shows temperatures remain just a hair below freezing. (Temperatures from the Army Buoys remain off-line.)

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temperature-1week

(You can click these pictures and graphs to get clearer images)

RE-RE-RE-RE-READJUSTED CFS V2 FORECASTS

The model has now completely backed off its formerly dramatic forecast of above-average ice extent this September, but is still saying it will be normal, which is a far cry from a “Death Spiral.” It is now forecasting a minimum of 6.3 million km2, as opposed to my out-on-a-limb forecast of 6.1 million, which is far above more expert forecasts of 4 to 5 million, which is far above “an ice-free-Pole”.

Extent cfsv2 July 26 sieMon (click twice to fully enlarge)

A QUICK LOOK AT CANADIAN “JEM” MODEL’S VIEW OF ARCTIC COLD

These maps are produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site. Besides the “JEM” model you can see many other models. Besides the maps I show (initial and 12 hours from now,) there are maps of foretasted temperatures out to 240 hours from now. So that is 26 maps right there. Then there are maps for other things the “JEM” model considers, such as pressure, humidity, and stuff I don’t claim to understand, such as “500 hPa Wind Speed & Geopotential Height”.  There are 22 things to look at. So now you have over 400 maps to look at.  And that’s just the “JEM” model. there are around 40 models, or versions of models, to look at, so we are now up over 2000 maps. So be forewarned. You have to practice self control, or you will get lost at that site, and may never be seen again. (You can sign up for a week-ling trial offer.)

The first map is the initial 1200z run, which has noon at the top of the map. Above freezing is pale blue and below freezing is pink. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit. You click these maps once to enlarge them, and click them a second time to enlarge them further.

What I notice about the first map is how much below freezing air has moved north of 80  degrees (which is the circle that just clips northern Greenland.)  The DMI graph may show a further down-tick.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_1

The next map shows the temperatures 12 hours later, when noon has moved (clockwise) to the bottom of the map, and midnight is at the top. You can see how much colder the ice has become towards Bering Strait. This is no way to run a thaw.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_3

(I don’t know why they can’t fix the glitch that has all the 9’s and 0’s on the left side of the map. I’ve learned to ignore it.)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

The ice our junkpile rides upon continued its disconcerting shifts and changes of direction. It moved west to 15.912°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, and then started east, and it headed south to 84.741°N at midnight, then shifted north to 84.754°N at 6:00 AM, and then was nudged south, ending the 24-hour-period at 84.750°N, 16.606°E.

Temperatures followed similar antics, falling to -0.2°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, rising to +0.7°C at midnight, and then falling to -0.3°C at 9:00 AM.

The breezes were steady and brisk at first, around 15 mph yesterday before slacking off to 8 mph around midnight and then picking up to 13 mph at the end of our reports.  As the wind slackened the pressure peaked at 1009.5 mb, and then began to fall to 1008.4mb as the winds resumed. However the winds never really slacked off, as they do when a high pressure crests overhead.

JULY 26 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0726B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726B temp_latest.big (1)

Polar low and Scandinavian high, Art and Scant, do not want to leave the stage.

The increase in sub-freezing temperatures, though partly due to night falling on the Bering Strait side of the Pole, also seems to be a home-grown chill, as there is no other place the cold can come from.

NEW CAMERAS  —clouds return—

I am watching the crack behind the yellow cork with interest. Does it seem wider to you? I went and checked out the satellite view of this spot, and the ice this far north looks much more unbroken than the ice down by our crushed camera, which appears amazingly fragmented and pulverized, though all the bergs are tightly packed together. Up here I could see no cracks from the satellite, tough our camera sees them.

Temperatures remain below freezing.

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Not much change at the southern camera. Less foggy; higher ceiling; pressure rising.

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JULY 27  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0727 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0727 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” remains stubborn over the Pole, refusing to weaken as much as forecast, however the influence of “Stepper” over the western Kara Sea is converting the circumpolar circulation into a trough poking north from Asia. Some milder air is being drawn north in the Laptev Sea, and any ice that was pulled down into the Laptev Sea last week is now being blown out, which likely will reduce the “extent” graphs.

The real news is that “Scant” is fading southeast towards Poland, allowing weak low pressure to form along the north coast of Scandinavia. A new storm barely visible off the south tip of Greenland should be passing Iceland by Tuesday and start effecting Norway Wednesday. Rather than stalling in the middle of the Atlantic, as most storms have done all summer, this storm looks like it will continue across the northern tip of Norway, and continue on northeast, perhaps reaching the Pole itself next  weekend. I am going to dub this low pressure “Gus.” (For “August.”) It will briefly bring southwest, Atlantic winds to Scandinavia. Then likely winds will again turn to the east, as high pressure builds in the wake of “Gus”, however whether the old pattern will reestablish itself, or whether “Gus” is the harbinger of a new pattern, remains to be seen.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE UK MET

It is amazing how stalled the situation has been, since we last looked on July 20.  The front over Great Britain is the same front, though it did back west of Ireland for a while. The low “Newl” took all week to get to the lower left-center margin of the map. The high pressure “Scant” has stood stubborn over Scandinavia.  The occluded front over the Baltic is basically a home-grown folding of the atmosphere (which some models thought might become an interesting storm, but it didn’t).  The new fellow on the map is “Gus,” off southern Greenland, roughly where “Newl” was a week ago.

INITIAL MAP:       UK Met July 27 16627671 

When we look ahead to the forecast for Wednesday, we see “Gus” didn’t get stuck like “Newl” did, and is off the coast of Norway.  (Summer will not last forever.)

1300 WED MAP:UK Met July 27 Wed Forecast 16633805 

NEW CAMERAS  —Fresh snowfall at Pole—

Please remember, folks, what we were told. We were told that a significant decrease of ice would increase the amount of darker open-water, which would absorb more heat and melt more ice, creating a “Death Spiral” which could very well lead to an ice-free Pole by 2013. And what are we seeing instead? We are seeing snowfall at the height of the summer thaw-season.  Nothing, I repeat, nothing, reflects solar radiation better than freshly fallen snow.

webcam

Looking at our southern camera, it looks to me like, after the warmest part of the day down at 77 degrees latitude, the ice on top of the melt-water pool in the lower right may be melting a little. However there isn’t suppose to be any ice on top of those puddles. They are suppose to be expanding and achieving “Lake North Pole” status.

webcam

There is still enough time left in the thaw season to get some decent melt-water pools going, however we are running out of time and are past the point when temperatures at the Pole begin a gradual descent towards freezing. If you bet your last dollar on the Pole being ice-free by the summer of 2013, I’d say things look very grim for you. In fact it looks to me like I should tempt fate by starting a new post titled “The Death Spiral’s Debunking”.

MORE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT (2 hours later)

webcam

It looks more like May than July, up there.  Compare it to last summer:  “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES  Oh well, maybe we’ll get some melt-water tomorrow.

I will continue this post with a bit of a rave at, ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Death Spiral’s Debunking—

 

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —Crunch Time—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-thaw-begins/

I began this series over a year ago, mostly to share a way of relaxing on hot summer days, but also to demonstrate to young reporters how to investigate the arctic, and be less like parrots. I’d been enjoying the North Pole Camera for years, and knew some things reported by the media displayed gross ignorance. Somewhat naively I assumed the media could be educated, and was misreporting due to mistakes, and not as a matter of policy.

Last July a melt-water pool developed right in front of the camera.  I correctly said it would soon drain away down through a weakness in the ice, but the media made quite a fuss about the shallow pool being a visual image of Global Warming. No sooner did they draw the public’s eyes north when the water drained away and, a couple days later, the scene was blanketed in snow.

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/lake-north-pole-vanishes/

During this episode my site went from getting perhaps ten hits a day to getting over five hundred. I decided to contiue this series of observations, as a sort of messy notebook full of ideas, some which have been falsified, and also doodles and even doggerel, as that is how my notebooks have always been.  My more polished articles appear as separate posts, and a few have appeared over on the Watt’s Up With That website.

Gradually, over the past year, I’ve become alarmed. Rather than alarmed about Global Warming, I’ve become alarmed at the government’s bad habit of putting “spin” on facts to promote policy.  At some point the facts stop being facts, and become distortions. This occurs not only concerning the topic of Global Warming, but with other facts such as Unemployment Figures.

For me to take on the government is a bit like a flea taking on an elephant. I doubt I can slam it down, or topple it. However a flea can annoy an elephant, especially  if there are a lot of them, and perhaps can even cause an elephant to go take a bath.

I’m calling this post “Crunch  Time” because over the next 30 days we will see if the ice melts as is usual, or if something astounding occurs. What is astounding is forecast by these two government graphs, (which apparently did not get the memo.)

Extent Jul 1 14 sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The top graph shows the ice-extent going from ,6 million km2 below normal to .6 million km2 above normal during the month of July. This increase is not due to ice growing, but rather due to far less ice melting than usual, as is shown by the lower graph.

In order for this to happen the other extent graphs will have to stop their ordinary and natural yearly plunge, and practically flat-line sideways.  Currently there is little sign of this occurring:

Extent July 1 14 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

I don’t think the graph will flat-line to the degree the upper graphs predict. It predicts a minimum of 6.8 million km2, while models such as the UK Met predict between 4 and 5 million (which is still a far cry from the “ice free” Pole predicted ten years ago.) I myself predict 6.1 million, which puts me out on a limb.

I base my prediction on observations more like dead reckoning than careful science. The water in the Arctic Sea, and entering the Arctic Sea from the Atlantic, seems colder, and mixed rather than stratified.  Also the ice north of Greenland, Canada, and even Alaska is thicker. The pictures sent back by arctic adventurers last April (see earlier posts) were of pressure ridges that dwarfed a man. When these big jumbles fall apart during the summer thaw they have the ability to spread like a pat of butter over toast, and even though the volume of ice shrinks, as it always does in the summer, the extent and even area can blip upwards. Lastly, the air temperatures have been below normal:

DMI2 0701 meanT_2014 (Click to enlarge)

I don’t think the air temperature matters all that much, as most melting comes from the water below, however these cooler air temperatures may be hinting that the water is in fact colder, as the air temperatures over ocean are greatly influenced by the water.

Lastly I should mention that there are two ways of measuring how much ice there is, and I think we are still in the mode that sees melt-water and slush as open water. This mode is useful in colder weather, and we may be in that mode due to the interest in the ice cover in the colder environment of Antarctica. Usually they switch over to a second mode, which doesn’t see melt-water as open ocean. I don’t fully understand why we haven’t made the switch, or even if this news is accurate, but I felt I should mention it.

In any case, we are now at the point where we will see if the extent fails to drop as much in past years, and, if it doesn’t, it will be crunch time for the politicians. They have based policy on dire predictions, such as the prediction of an ice-free Pole, and when these forecasts prove false, logic would dictate that they change their policy.  Can they?  Or are they so in love with the unnecessary taxes they hope to get from Global Warming that they can’t change. If they don’t change, they will face being changed, next election. It is not a comfortable pair of slippers to be wearing.

I try to post twice a day, including the DMI maps of pressure and temperature at the Pole. (You’ll have to forgive me for naming storms, and sometimes even high pressure areas, and occationally even features on the isotherm map.)  I also include daily pictures from the North Pole Camera. I update at the bottom of this post, which makes these posts get longer and longer.  Here are the last updates of the prior post:

JUNE 30  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS

DMI2 0630B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0630B temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 1  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0701 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0701 temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” continues to brew up southwest of Iceland, as “Ach” remaons weak over Svalbard. The other main feature continues to be the high pressure over the Arctic Sea, and its quasi-zonal flow.

A “heat wave” is occurring north of Alaska, with temperatures up over plus five. The ice is pretty thick there, but must be slushy. The sub-freezing pool continues to be in the Kara Sea.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The gray thaw resumes—

NP2 June 30D 12NP2 July 1 17

The top picture is from 9:30 PM last night, and the bottom is from 3:30 AM this morning.  The snow is again starting to look grayer, which is indicative of slush. The lead continues to remain wide, and the satellite pictures show many cakes of ice jostling together in a packed sea.  I’m not sure it is right to call the lead a “lead” any more, as it is less like a crack in solid ice and more like water between floating islands, but I’ll keep on calling it a “lead” for the sake of consistency.

You can click these pictures for greater clarity. Then I like to use my magnifier to hunt for seals and polar bears, and other small details in the distance.

9:30 AM —Gray, gray, gray. Will it never get blue?—

NP2 July 1B 18 It up near 90 (32 Celsius) here in New Hampshire, which is the weather I used to go to the North Pole Camera to get relief from. However in my memory the Pole was turquoise and silver, not this gray all the time. It must be the blasted cosmic rays making cloud particles, due to the Quiet Sun. (Or maybe cloud particles from soot from China burning coal.) (Who should I blame today?) In any case, it is noteworthy that there have been more clouds this year, on the Atlantic side of the Pole, at least.

That large berg in the lead isn’t moving. I can’t see much motion in the overcast either. It must be fairly calm at the moment. (This is one of four pictures taken 2-3 minutes apart. You can go see them fir yourself at http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/NPEO2014/webcams1and2.html )

3:30 pm —NOTHING HAS BUDGED—

NP2 July 1C 18

Nothing has changed. Not even the berg in the lead has moved.  This is odd, for winds have picked up a little, from 9 to 14 mph, mostly from the east, as our camera has chugged steadily west, and inched a little bit back to the north, ending the day at  85.204°N, 13.370°E. Temperatures began and ended at +0.5°C, edging up to the day’s high of +0.8°C at 3:00 AM and edging back down to the low of +0.4°C at 9:00 AM. Pressure has raised only a hair to 1015.4 mb. I suppose the scene looks still because we are in a steady, slow flow from the east. It is when winds are shifting that the ice starts jostling.

JULY 1   —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0701B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0701B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA IN DANGER FROM NEARBY PRESSURE RIDGE

NP2 July 1D 14 (1)

The jumble of a pressure ridge’s crushed ice is clear at the right margin, despite the dim light. Also the horizon is tilted, which means the camera is tilted a little.

The ice in the lead has pushed to the left a little. I’m not sure what the black things on the ice are. Seals?

JULY 2 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0702 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0702 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —NO PICTURES—

There have been no pictures since 9:30 last night. Alas, things do not look good at the moment for the camera. Perhaps it really was “crunch time.”

We continue to get reports on its position and on weather conditions. The ice continues west, and to nudge north, and at noon was at  85.230°N, 12.598°E. This motion crunches ice back towards the Pole rather than flushing it south, out through Fram Strait. We are further north than we were a week ago.

Temperatures have risen slightly, hitting the days high of +0.8°C at several times, and at +0.7°C at noon. The pressure has risen just a hair to  1016.8 mb and winds have slackened slightly to 5-10 mph.

JULY 2 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0702B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0702B

JULY 3  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0703 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0703 temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” is parked over Iceland, playing the part of an Icelandic low to excess. The Azores-to-Pole ridge of high pressure is now shattered and exists no more. Weak low pressure extends east from “Sprin” to unnamed and weak low over the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic Sea, and on from there to a weak low over the Kara Sea. These two lows have some dim relation to “Ach”, formerly over Svalbard, as an occlusion and a “zipper,” but also gained strength from the south.  High pressure remains over the Pole.

STILL NO PICTURES FROM THE NORTH POLE CAMERA

This is depressing me. How am I to base this post on views from a camera likely buried in a pressure ridge?  Perhaps I am being freed of this self-imposed obligation, by the powers-that-be. After all, it is Independence Day, tomorrow, here in the United States.

I’ll think of something.

JULY 3  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0703B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0703B temp_latest.big (1)

I’m surprised at the overnight chill that appeared on the Canadian side.

“Spin” is occluded and spinning its wheels over Iceland, with an eastward extention of low pressure to “Ach”, weakening over Scandinavia, and on to “Achzip”, strengthening on the central Siberian coast over the Kara Sea.  Despite “Spin’s” size, there is no surge of warm air north into the arctic around its eastern side, and instead a long fetch of Atlantic wind aims across southern Scandinavia, as east wind prevail along the northern Scandinavian coasts. Our crunched camera looks to be in calm seas.

I’m curious to see the UK met view:

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

UK Met Jul 3 15875394 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

This map shows the long fetch into the Baltic.  Though “Spin” assists the Gulf Stream halfway up the coast of Norway, isobars suggest winds counter any southern influx of water north of there. Curiosity has me look to see what this models next Monday as looking like:

UK Met Jul 3 Forecast Mon 15886930

This shows “Spin” still stalled, and rather than a surge of warm air up over the Pole a Scandinavian high is building south. Our crunched camera may again be in light southerly winds that are not overly warm. On the other side of the Scandinavian high “Achzip” may be the next low to attempt to attack the Pole, though it is not seen as getting more than half way there.

By the way, the low southwest of Greenland in this map is Hurricane Arthur. I likely should be paying attention to that, as it is to my south. However it is so hot and muggy here I prefer the Pole.

CRUNCHED CAMERA  —LIGHT WINDS AND BRIEF FREEZE—

Light winds of 4-7 mph swung slightly northeast, and our northward progress ended at 3:00 PM yesterday at 85.230°N, as we continued east to wind up at 85.209°N, 12.139°E at noon today. The wind shift brought temperatures down from a high of +0.8°C at 6:00 PM yesterday to a low of -0.4°C at 6:00 am, but then temperatures bounced back to +0.8°C at 9:00 AM and remained there at noon.

NOTE TO ALARMISTS—CAMERA WAS CRUNCHED BY ICE COLLIDING; NOT MELTING.

I figured I should make that point clear. The ice was pulverized at the Pole back when temperatures were at minus twenty, and had to do with a stormy pattern, and a Polar flow that was meridian rather than zonal. I figured I should say that because I’ve been watching all winter and spring,  and also because I imagine a hoopla could arise when word gets out the camera is kaput. Just remember the last picture showed a jumble of ice appearing from the right.

CRAVING A CAMERA  —Obuoy #10, north of Alaska at 77 north, 155 west—

webcam

The ice is getting slushy over there, and it looks pretty gray. Where’s my views of turquoise and silver?  When it is hot and muggy here in New Hampshire, with dew points above 70, I prefer the shining arctic, not this gray stuff.

By the way, this buoy is nearly 500 miles further south from the Pole than our crushed camera, so you expect slush in July. However the real melting comes from below, and this far south I’ve seen the ice break up in September even as the top starts to refreeze and be covered with drifting snow. The ice here was 1.40 m thick when the camera was deployed last September 28, and is currently 1.62 m thick.  It’s drift map is interesting, for it has looped around and defies the “Beaufort Gyre”, a “wrong way” buoy.

2013F July 4 _track (Double click to fully enlarge.)

JULY 4  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0704 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0704 temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 4 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0704B mslp_latest.bigDMi2 0704B temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” continues to weaken as it wobbles by Iceland, but is swinging a bunch of fronts with wind and rain over England, as it looks like warmer air is being shoved up into Scandinavia, with a warm front struggling half way north across the Baltic before fading away on Sunday.  Meanwhile Achzip lurks in the Kara Sea, probing towards the Pole.

The surprise (for me) is the cold appearing on the temperature maps. While it is not by our crunched camera, it is significant enough to dip the DMI Graph back towards zero.DMI2 0704B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

THE CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Light winds of six to nine mph have continued to push our crushed camera south and east, to  85.140°N, 11.925°E. Temperatures dipped to a low of +0.1°C at 9:00 PM last night, and were still at +0.2°C at 6:00 AM this morning, but then soared to +1.0°C at noon. (OK, perhaps “soared” is a bit of purple prose, but it is hard to make the stagnation of summer temperatures very exciting.) In any case that is the warmest we’ve seen this summer. Pressures have slowly fallen to 1015.3 mb

A NEW NORTH POLE CAMERA? 

This is the picture from O-buoy #9, just across the Pole. It has come drifting up from the south to roughly 88 north latitude and 157 west longitude, which is closer to the Pole than our crushed camera is.

I know it is terribly fickle to ditch the North Pole camera, especially considering the arduous conditions, the bitter blizzard winds and danger of bears, faced by the brave men who set those cameras up, but hey, they fell down. Anyway, this camera has turquoise and silver, and who can resist that?

webcam

In case you don’t know this camera, it was set up late last September down around 80 north and 105 east, which is about 2/5th of the way across from the New Siberian Islands to northwest Alaska. The landscape was very flat and boring. They shut the camera down in the winter darkness, and when they turned it back on in the spring all the interesting pressure ridges had appeared. Then, at the end of April, that nasty crack appeared, practically under the yellow buoy.  That does not bode well for the future, though some of these buoys take pictures even when they are dumped into the sea, as they are on buoys that bob about.

O-buoy 7 was great fun to watch last summer, eventually getting dumped into the sea and sailing into truly ice-free waters before wind blew it back north and the expanding sea ice gobbled it up again. (It is still up there, but sadly they haven’t been able to get the camera going this spring.)  Watch this entire movie if you have 12 minutes to blow, or just the period after ten minutes if you are pressed for time:  http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy7/movie

JULY 5  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0705 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0705 temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” remains stalled over Iceland. It now has two centers, as it sucked in a secondary low which has wheeled around to its north. These two centers are going to orbit each other like the two stones of a bola, as the entire system gradually fades away by next Tuesday. Then it looks like the Azores high will try to probe north and attempt to rejoin the arctic high, and recreate the mid-Atlantic high pressure ridge, but the remnants of Hurricane Arthur will be attacking from the west, so we’ll have to wait and see who wins. In the meantime a general south and southeast flow is coming up over Scandinavia, then swinging east and then south along the coast of Greenland, and never mounting a proper warm invasion of the Arctic. “Spin” can’t make any headway into this flow, and its fronts will have a hard time crossing England and getting to Denmark and southwest Norway.  Eventually a sort of zipper will kick under the flow, and a secondary will wander up from the Mediterranean and strengthen south of the Baltic on the Poland-Germany border, around Tuesday.  This will only add to the southeast flow over Scandinavia, and add to the repression of the northern remnants of “Spin.” This southeast flow will press against a cooler easterly flow along the arctic coast of Scandinavia, and likely will create a weak front with weak lows along the very top of the Atlantic, acting as a lid on warm invasions. To the north of this lid our crunched camera will remain blithely unaware of the hubbub to the south, and sit in relative stillness.

Over in the Kara Sea “Achzip” will try to attack the Pole, but be bent back by a ridge of high pressure that builds from Finland to Alaska.  However, if you trust the longest range forecasts (and you shouldn’t) there is a chance remnants of Hurricane Arthur may make it to the Pole a week from Monday. (Even if it is unlikely, it would be cool to see that happen.)

NEW CAMERA—OLD GRAY VIEW

webcam

I don’t know about you, but I’m curious as to what the Albedo-crowd has to say about this gray, gray summer.

JULY 5  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0705B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0705B temp_latest.big (1)

It looks mild in Scandinavia. I wonder if that warmth could fuel a storm… or is it too dry. I need to hire a reporter.

THE CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our wreckage continued southwest, to 85.099°N,11.884°E at midnight, before wandering southeast to 85.075°N, 11.916°E at noon. Winds were briefly up over 10 mph yesterday but had slacked off to less than 5 mph at noon. The high temperature was +0.7°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, and then the thermometer fell erratically to -0.1°C at 9:00 Am today, before bouncing back to +0.6°C at noon.  The barometer remained boring, dipping slightly before rising to 1016.7 mb. What we need around here is a hurricane, to liven things up.

NEW CAMERA —IN THE PINK—

webcam

I wasn’t going to bother bore you with another view of gray, when I noticed a hint of a tint, pink, I think. This demonstrates how low the sun is up there. Even at noon sunset enchantment  colors the clouds. The twenty-four hour days are a sunrise never over, and a sunset never done.

JULY 6  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0706 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0706 temp_latest.big (1)

One of the mildest maps we’ve seen, with most of the sub-freezing air relegated to the northern Kara and northwest Barents Seas. “Achzip” is swinging a bit of mild air up into the Laptev Sea, but there also seems to be some colder air in that flow from East Siberia. Our crunched camera seems to be just out of the reach of “Achzip’s” winds, in a more tranquil area.

“Spin” is continuing to weaken, as weak secondary and tertiary lows make no progress against the high over Scandinavia, and are shunted beneath. I guess I’ll call the tertiary “Spinthree,” and it will be parked south of the Baltic at the start of next week, keeping Scandinavia in a mild flow from the east. So far little of this mild air has made its way north to the arctic, and rather is recycled south by the flow around “Spin.”

THE FINALLY AGONY OF THE CRUNCHED CAMERA ON FILM

I thank the blogger Max™ for putting together the static pictures in a way that shows the final crunch that crunched our polar view, and sent us like orphans out over the ice, looking for a new window to that world.

http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/7-05-2014/Kin74G.gif

THE CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT —Below freezing—dubious data?—

Our mangled piece of junk continued slowly south and west, to 85.063°N, 11.823°E, in winds that dropped to a calm for a while and produced some odd data. At  6:00 PM last night, when winds were dead calm, the thermometer abruptly read +4.1°C, when the above DMI map shows no temperatures that high in the area at midnight. (If there were, they would be a more yellow hue.) Hmm. By midnight the reading dropped to -0.5°C, and by 6:00 AM it was down to -1.7°C, and then rose some to -1.1°C by noon.

Hmm. It occurs to me that, if our camera is crunched, the buoy we used to look at might be tipped over on its side. The sun, at a particular angle, might hit the thermometer through a entry not usually exposed to direct sunlight. We’ll have to see what happens at 6:00 PM  tomorrow.  (I’m not sure I trust the low temperatures either, as they are suspiciously close to the temperature of the salt water, and half the buoy may be submerged, even as the wind-vane and anemometer still are in the air.

I merely became more confused when I consulted the initial 0000z runs of various computer models, as they all showed colder temperatures than the DMI map above. Most striking was the Canadian JEM model.

NP2 July 6 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (click to enlarge)

All the pink is below-freezing in the above map. (Temperatures are fahrenheit) Don’t the models use the same data for their initial runs? Oh…wait…that is the 1200z run. Never mind.

The barometer at our ruin has slowly risen to 1018.7 mb.

NEW CAMERA  —Oh brother! Now this site is stressed!—

webcam

You will notice the large yellow trash can has started to list to the starboard, as the crack under it grinds.  What next???  Stay tuned!!!

JULY 6 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0706B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0706B temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” continues to weaken over Iceland, even as it incorporates a second secondary, as a weak low north of Iceland. The third secondary is barely nudging a front against the southwest coast of Norway, but likely to be blunted southeast into what will become “Spinthree.”

“Achzip” is also weaker, and is being backed away from the Pole by a growing ridge of high pressure. The high pressure north of Canada is joining hands with the high pressure over Finland and east Siberia. I’ll dub this feature “Trans”, for “transpolar high pressure ridge.”

(In case you are wondering, my names do make sense. A storm named “Spinach” crashed into Greenland and split, so I named the two blobs “Spin” and “Ach”  Get it?)

(If a storm has an obvious secondary, it will get the suffix “son,” but if the son is born along an occlusion zipping east along the warm front it gets the suffix “zip.”)

However, though my names make sense, I am having trouble making sense of the differences in the temperatures between the Canadian 12z “Jem” map, and the DMI map, above. It may only be a degree of difference, but that degree is the difference between H2O being ice or water. If anyone can explain it, I’d be all ears.

It does look like it might be +4° just north of Svalbard, and close to -2° just south of the Pole, but how our crushed camera could experience both these extremes. with winds so light,  is a mystery to me.

(As an investigatory reporter my duty is to ask more questions than I can answer. I wish the mainstream media would learn to do this.)

A HINT OF THINGS TO COME?

I am not expecting the ice-extent-graphs to stop dropping until the non-arctic ice is all melted. Ice in some places is always melted, every summer, such as off the east coast of Russia. In other places it melts nearly every summer, such as in Hudson Bay. Only when this outlying ice is gone do I expect the ice-extent-graph to stop plunging, and, because the ice in Hudson Bay is still melting away, I did not expect the uptick in the DMI graph:

Extent July 6B icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

JULY 7  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0707 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0707 temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERA   —Nice picture—

webcam

It’s a gray Monday down here, but not up there.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT  —More mystery—

In light airs less than 5 mph and occasional calm our crumpled hunk of industrial waste continued southwest to  85.041°N, 11.691°E. The barometer continued rising to 1025.2 mb. Temperatures were reported below freezing all through the 24 hour period, except for another mysterious spike.  After arriving at the low of  -2.2°C at 3:00 AM it spiked to +3.1°C at 6:00 AM and was back down to -0.5°C at 9:00 AM, finishing the 24-hour-period at  -0.6°C at noon.

What could cause such a spike? Like yesterday’s, it occurred when the wind was dead calm, however the sun was 180 degrees around in the sky, hitting from the exact opposite side. Hmm. Is their some slot in the structure of what holds the thermometer, running from side to side so that the sun only shines in the slot when it is at opposite sides of the sky?  Or are such pools of milder air common, when winds slacken at the Pole?

I prefer to let my imagination run wild, and to picture that a ruptured tank on the side of the tilted buoy has vomited some fetid black substance onto the pristine ice, and when the wind dies it creates an urban heat island. After all, when your lying eyes can’t see, who knows?

(I figure if I can get some good internet rumors going, they might helicopter a guy up from a nearby icebreaker to fix those cameras.)

JULY 7 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0707B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0707B temp_latest.big (1)

Right off the bat I notice that, though our crunched camera reported a 12z temperature of  -0.6°C, this 12z map shows no such cold in that area. Oh well, what’s a degree between friends?

The high “Trans” is the big feature, as both “Spon” and “Achzip” weaken. The low pressure southwest of Greenland is remnants of hurricane Arthur. Scandinavia is getting some warm east winds, and looks like it will continue to get warmth for some time. So far that heat hasn’t made it north to the arctic.

UK MET MAPS  —East winds over Scandinavia—

It is interesting that the east winds that give the Baltic its worst cold in the winter give the warmest weather in the summer. It shows you how hugely the conditions on the Russian plains change, and the importance of understanding the conditions in the “source regions” air-masses originate in.

The Tuesday initial map shows that after a week or work, “Spin” was only able to push its front into southwest Scandinavia, and it is now being rejected and pushed back west as a warm front. To the north of “Spin” orbits “Spinson,” and down the front over Germany is “Spinthree,” which is getting a good flow going across the Baltic,  working in conjunction with a Scandinavian high, which is an extention of “Trans” across the Pole. The remnants of Hurricane Arthur are southwest of Greenland.

UK Met July 8 16015425

If we look at the forecast for 24 hours from now we see both “Spin” and “Spinson” have largely filled in, or perhaps been absorbed west and east, as a ridge rebuilds briefly up between the Azores and the Pole. My guess is this ridge will be transient, as it is getting attacked from both sides. To the east the flow from the east above “Spinthree” through the Baltic has become more pronounced, and it is headed west towards a show-down with the flow from the west beneath “Arthur,” (which is breaking into two chunks, “Art” and “Thur”).

UK Met July 8 24 hr forecast 16018558

“Spinthree” looks like it will not move, part of a blocking pattern, while “Thur” looks like it part of a progressive pattern.  The two patterns will have a difficult time being politically correct, and coexisting. Perhaps they will be polite, and the east winds will pass to the north as the west winds pass to the south, however the North Atlantic is not always so polite. The meeting of east and west will be interesting to watch.

JULY 8 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0708 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0708 temp_latest.big (1)

“Trans” is the main feature. The one thing apparent in this view, unapparent in the UK Met View, is the long fetch developing along the Siberian coast, introducing the possibility of cooler air in northern Scandinavia.  (Also “Spinson” looks decently strong on this map, and it is hard to believe it will be gone tomorrow.)

It is noon towards the top and midnight towards the bottom, which partly explains the lack of sub-freezing temperatures towards the top. Once again, however, you get a cooler picture from the initial run of the Canadian “Jem” model from the same time:

DMI2 0708 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (Double click to fully enlarge)

Perhaps I should use my lying eyes.

NEW CAMERA  —Sunny but cold—

webcam

Temperatures here at O-buoy 9 are just below freezing, though the snow looks a little softer under the bright sun. Now let’s travel roughly 650 miles south down towards Alaska, to O-buoy 10 at latitude 77:

webcam

That sure is a slushy scene, and more typical of Arctic summer. Temperatures here are just above freezing. (American and Russian scientists [and spies] used to spend summers on “ice islands” in the arctic, back in the time of the cold war, and they stated the slush could be difficult to walk through, for at times it was over knee deep.)

ADJUSTED NOAA CVSv2 FORECAST

Extent forecast July 8 sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

This forecast is still amazing, though they tweaked it to better resemble reality. Now, rather than predicting the anomally will change from -.6 to +.6 million km2 by August 1, they predict it will swing from -.9 to +.5 million km2. Pretty gutsy forecast, considering they only have 23 more days to see it actualize.

ARCTIC DETAILS  —Open water in Laptev Sea—

During last winter and early spring the cross-polar-flow blew a lot from Siberia towards the Canadian Archipelago, and while this jammed ice up against the Canadian coast and made it thick on that side, it was blowing ice away from the Siberian coast, often creating open water along the Laptev Siberian coast even in the coldest part of winter. As a consequence that sea has been swift to melt this spring and summer, and has .2 million km2 less ice than expected.

Laptev graph July 8 recent365.anom.region.8 (click to enlarge)

The red line in the above graph shows how far below normal the ice coverage is. If you look back to last summer you can see that even if the entire sea is ice-free in late September, that will only be .2 million km2 below normal. So the Laptev situation will likely only be a blip in the minimum totals. Also, the ice to the north is thickly packed, and a north wind in September could spread that ice south and cause upturns in the Laptev extent, which puzzles people who assume this means ice is growing in above-freezing temperatures, when in fact it only means ice is shifting.

Another interesting feature is that ice in the Greenland Sea is .1 million kn below normal.  Rather than meaning the arctic extent is less, this actually suggests less ice is being flushed out through Fram Strait and down Greenland’s east coast, indicating more ice is being left up north to increase the extent.

The extent in the central Arctic Basin is between .26 million km2 above normal.

You can check out the graphs for all the various seas at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html

Go to the map at the bottom of the page to switch from sea to sea. Also be aware Cryosphere Today has Alarmist tendencies, and tends to favor warmer data, and may be using the satellite version that sees slush as open water.

NEW BUOY  —LOVELY DAY, BUT CLOUDS CREEPING UP—

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT  —A turn around—

The wind-vane apparently is still working, for it reported a 180 degree swing, and the ice did start moving the opposite way. Our westward movement stopped at 11.621°E at 3:00 AM, and our southward movement stopped at  85.021°N at 9:00 AM, and we ended the day at  85.023°N, 11.682°E. Once again we didn’t quite cross 85 degrees latitude.

The light airs continued at less than five mph until the noon reading, when a light breeze of 9 mph was reported.  The temperature barely broke freezing, and only briefly, yesterday at 3:00 PM, when temperatures touched + 0.1°C. By 6:00 PM they were down to – 0.4°C, and continued down to -0.8°C at 3:00 AM, rose to -0.3°C at 9:00 AM, but then surprisingly dropped to -1.4°C as the wind picked up at noon. This is no way to run a thaw.

The barometer crested at 1027.6 mb at 3:00 AM, and has since fallen slightly to 1026.2 mb at noon.

JULY 8  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0708b mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0708B temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 9  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0709 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0709 temp_latest.big (1)

That low atop Greenland is a bit of a surprise.  I’m going to call it “Art,” because it is in a small part due to the “morphistication” of Arthur, transiting Greenland south to north, and by using the art of imagination, I can do what I want,  as this is my blog. In actual fact it likely also has a lot to do with the mild air pouring across Scandinavia, and not being able to penetrate northwards into the Arctic. While some of this mild air was ocean-cooled and sunk, building high pressure at the surface, it also formed a weak boundary between the Atlantic and Arctic, (which is more obvious on last night’s map). I think this boundary was enough of a frontal clash to fuel “Art”, making him stronger than I recall any model foreseeing. For the moment the southerly flow east of “Art” and west of the building high pressure in the Atlantic will push ice the “wrong way”, north in Fram Strait. Also this will at long last allow at least some mild air up over the Pole.

It looks like “Art” will divide “Trans,” and one part of the high pressure will drift down into Canada while the other part hangs tough in Scandinavia. While some cool polar air may push a front into northwest Finland, most of Scandinavia will remain in the mild flow between “Trans” and the stalled low “Spinthree” south of the Baltic.  This mild flow, from the Steppes to the east, which will continue pouring west to meet the progressive flow across the Atlantic from the west coming east, (including the other half of Arthur, milling about south of Greenland). (I’ll call that half “Thur”.)

As “Art” divides “Trans”, “Art” will drift out over the Pole, which will allow me to say that Hurricane Arthur wound up over the Pole. Although this is “wish-casting” of the worst sort, it comforts me. There are few places on the planet I have the slightest bit of control, but this  post is one of them.

NEW CAMERA  —Cross polar view—

webcam

Judging from the position of the sun and the time stamp, the North Pole is roughly beneath the sun, or perhaps a little to the left. We are looking past the Pole,a little to the right of our distant crunched camera,  towards the far off Atlantic, and eventually jolly, old England. “Spin” is located to the right margin, and the clouds are swinging around and coming north on “spin’s” warm side.  The snow looks a little softer, but there is no sign of slush yet. To see our first genuine melt-water pool we need to look over our left shoulder, backwards, down to O-buoy 10, down at 77 degrees south:

webcam

There are roughly ten feet of ice beneath this pool, however if the satellite is still measuring using its “winter-mode,” it will see the pool as open water.

JULY 9 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

For some reason they haven’t updated these maps, so I guess I’ll go and have a

QUICK CHECK OF THE UK MET

UK Met July 9 16062067

A very interesting map, with the east about to clash with the west, and England in the middle. A strong easterly flow is crossing the Baltic north of “Spinthree” in Germany, as a westerly flow scoots under the occluded wreckage of Hurrican Arthur, in the process of forming “Thur” south of Greenland. The long fetch we saw in this morning’s DMI map, aloing the Eurasian side of the high pressure “Trans”, has managed to push a cold front into Finland, but the rest of Scandinavia appears warm, and I’, curious to see whether any of that warmth has been pushed up to our crunched camera by the circulation of “Art”, north of Greenland.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Temperatures did rise, from -1.2°C at 3:00 PM yesterday to +1.2°C at 3:00 AM this morning, as winds rose to more than 20 mph.  Then, as winds slacked off to 9 mph the temperature fell to +0.4°C at noon. The pressure fell steadily to 1010.1 mb. Our northwest movement persisted until 9:00 AM, when we reached 85.121°N, when a .002° southward bump was registered, and we ended the 24 hour period at  85.119°N, 12.375°E.

That .002° southward bump seems curious, as the other maps I’ve looked at make it seem the flow should still be southwest, though the wind-vane shows a wind-shift to the north. I guess I should check the new camera.

NEW CAMERA  —Gray overcast moves in—

webcam

 

It looks like “Art” has brought some moisture up to the Pole. I’m curious to see if the warmth all stays aloft, and the surface gets colder. Temperatures at this buoy appear to be right at freezing. (They have a graph rather than a number.)

Now let’s check out O-buoy 10 and see how the melt is getting on down there.

webcam

Well, it is not big enough to call “Lake North Pole” yet, and also, at latitude 77, it is a bit far south, but as it expands it may get some media coverage. As the ice is roughly 10 feet thick, this melt-water pond could get fairly large before it finds a crack and drains down. What is neat is when a single hole drains a large area, for then it forms an interesting veined, spiderweb pattern, with all the branching streams leading inward to a single drain.

Some sort of rivulet seems to be starting to flow, in this picture.

There tends to be more melt-water ponds this far south. The thing to remember is that back when the PDO was constantly warm (it is currently in a brief warm “spike”,) the ice here was thinner and fractured into many flat pans, each of which had many ponds on it.  Here is a picture from that time:

Ice-melt ponds SIZRS July melt ponds

If the Alarmist contention that the icecap is melting away was founded in fact one would expect the floating pans to now be fewer, with more water between them, and for them to be thinner. In fact the Navy map shows this same area to now be covered in fairly solid ice (with some leads) that is much thicker:

Thickness July 9 arcticictnowcast

JULY 10   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0710 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0710 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is moving out towards the Pole as a new low, “Tev”, pushes out from the other side into the Laptev Sea.  They have split “Trans” into two separate high pressure systems, with the one over Scandinavia the stronger.  The Pole looks the warmest it’s looked all summer, yet still isn’t quite up to normal.

NEW CAMERA  —Gray day—

webcam

It is hard to find much of interest in a gray picture, but that yellow object, (which I have decided is not a trash can but a cork), is moving. First it swiveled around so we could see its top, but now seems to be starting to rotate back.

Judging from the Navy drift-map, we are moving towards the Canadian side, as the ice across the Pole down at our crunched camera is moving the other way. This likely would open a lead between the two sites. Also note that in Fram Strait the sea-ice is flowing into the Arctic rather than out. The ice shifting about has created a situation where there is ice off the northwest coast of Svalbard in the height of summer, where there were ice-free waters, in the dead of winter. (Notice that Hudson and Baffin Bay are nearly ice-free; from here on in it will be harder to reduce “extent.”)

Drift July 10 arcticicespddrfnowcast (Double click to fully enlarge)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT   —HEADING NORTH AGAIN—

Our shocking piece of pollution blotching the pristine snows continued steadily east, but its southward motion ceased at 85.106°N at 9:00 PM last night. The wind had died to less than 5 mph, and temperatures reached the low for the 24-hour-period of -0.7°C. Then, as the winds swung from wnw to wsw and rose to 9 mph, temperatures rose to the day’s high of +0.9°C at noon, when our camera’s position was 85.117°N, 12.628°E.  The barometer slowly fell throughout the period to 1006.3 mb.

It is interesting how calmer conditions seem to lead to colder temperatures, as if the air in contact with the ice and seawater is chilled, and the air not very far up is warmer, and higher winds stir the air more.

JULY 10  —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0710B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0710B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is nudging towards the Pole as “Tev” wallows out into the Laptev Sea, completing the break of “Trans” into two high pressure systems, with the Scandinavian one subdividing further due to what likely is a front between polar air and highly modified air from the Asian Steppes. Further south “Thur” is getting his act together southeast of Iceland.

The temperature map shows the summer thaw underway over much of the Arctic Sea, though temperatures remain a hair below normal. The sub-freezing air towards Canada is because it is after midnight in that quadrant, and the sun is either very low or just below the horizon. Interestingly, that is where O-buoy 10 is located, and right by where O-buoy 9 is located is a single spot of sub-freezing air near the Pole. There is also sun-freezing air in the Kara Sea but it, like much of the cold north of Canada, is south of 80 degrees and does not show up in the DMI graph.

DMI2 0710B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

What is fascinating about this map is that, south of “Spinthree” over Germany, Atlantic air has streamed east over the Alps and nearly to the Black sea, while north of Spinthree air from the Steppes has pushed west nearly to England. It is a sandwich. Despite the fact the high pressure ridge “Trans” has been broken, the long fetch it had along the Siberian coast is pushing a cold front down into Finland.

UK met July 10 FSXX00T_00 (1) (click to enlarge)

The next map is 12 hours later and twelve hours after the above DMI maps, and shows the polar front pressing further south through Finland, on its way to eastern Sweden and eventually Denmark, where it will have briefly pinched off the flow of warm air from the Steppes. However models show that Spinthree will intensify towards the Black Sea and send another surge of air from the Steppes into the Baltic next week, pushing the cold front west as a warm front.

Across the Atlantic “Thur” is brewing up and will stall as a sub-1000 mb low over Iceland, with west winds shoving a series of fronts and occlusions to meet that warm air from the Steppes, and models show that warm air pushed back east and north, as Atlantic air gets into the Baltic around midweek.

Perhaps we can then get into a more zonal pattern, where storms behave as they are suppose to behave, and trot around the Arctic Circle from west to east in a polite and politically-correct fashion. However perhaps models are showing that solution because they are programmed to be correct. They are not used to weather misbehaving, and have scored badly, in terms of correct solutions, so far this spring and summer.

UK Met July 10B 16094192 (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —POCKETS OF COLD—

Besides showing that the yellow cork has really flopped over, O-buoy 9 seems to show a slight dust of snow has fallen. This will reflect the sun and slow the thaw.

webcam

Down at O-buoy ten, the lowness of the sun at midnight seems to have allowed a skim of ice to form on the edges of the melt-water pools, hindering their growth briefly even as the sun rises higher, however I expect the melting to swiftly resume.

webcam

JULY 11  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0711 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0711 temp_latest.big (1)

Although “Art” is weak, it marks yet another low sitting atop the Pole, king of the world. I like to think it contains a vauge impulse of Hurricane Arthur, though most of Arthur’s moisture is wound up in occlusions in “Thur,” by Iceland.

The winds must have turned north by the northeast coast of Greenland, to have sub-freezing temperatures there.

NEW CAMERA —DRIZZLE?—

webcam

The snow looks grayer and more like slush to the left, and I think there may have been rain or drizzle, which is not all that uncommon in July at the Pole.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

No report today. Maybe the buoy got crunched as well.

JULY 11  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0711B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0711B temp_latest.big (1)

It is interesting how quickly the ridge across the Pole turned into a trough across the Pole.

NEW CAMERAS  —GRAY SKIES—

webcamwebcam

Busy with some other writing tonight. Will comment tomorrow.

JULY 12 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0712 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0712 temp_latest.big (1) 

NEW CAMERAS  —snow north, thaw south—

webcamwebcam

JULY 12  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0712B mslp_latest.bigDmI2  0712B temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 13   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0713 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0713 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is stalled at the northern edge of the Kara Sea, which continues to be cold and show sub-freezing temperatures. I thought “Tev” might be attracted to “Art” and they might do a Fujiwhara dance around the Pole, but I was wrong, as Tev has drifted across to Alaska and now will drift along the coast to Canada, as high pressure builds between it and Art. That high pressure will build more strongly between Art and “Thur”, which is stalled over Iceland. This high will build  as Art and Thur fade away, curving east winds along the Scandinavian north coast and then north up through Fram Strait, pushing the sea-ice back up the “wrong way” again.

QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

UK Met July 13 16172227

The map continues to show the interesting sandwich, with Atlantic air to the south heading towards the Black Sea, and warm air from the Steppes moving east through the Baltic, with Spinthree directing traffic between the two. However Spinthree is getting weak, and it looks like it will wobble back to southern Sweden and redevelop a bit, with east winds retreating north and west winds actually managing to drive an Atlantic cold front into the Baltic by midweek.  That little low back towards Newfoundland, “Thurthree,” will ripple east under “Thur” to Norway by Wednesday. Meanwhile Thur and its secondary “Thurson” will back towards Greenland. Some models show Thur actually moving inland over Greenland and contributing to the south winds in Fram Strait.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT  —Two days data—

Winds have been swinging around to the north behind “Art,” and our northward progress came to a halt at 85.121°N at 3:00 PM on the 10th.  Our eastward progress came to a halt at 13.439°E at 9:00 Pm on the 11th, and by noon yesterday we had drifted back to 85.031°N, 13.096°E. We should get south of 85 degrees latitude for the first time before the winds shift south again, as current northeast winds are light but steady, from 5 to 10 mph.

The barometer bottomed out at 1002.6 mb at 6:00 PM on the 11th, and had risen back to 1006.3 mb by noon yesterday. “Art” was by no means a big, ice-busting storm, but it did cut back on the sunshine.

The thaw seems to finally be getting serious about setting in, as we only had a single sub-freezing reading, -0.2°C at 6 PM back on the 10th, and since then it has been constantly above freezing, peaking at +0.9°C at noon on the 11th, and at +0.5°C at noon yesterday.  This is no heatwave, but the sun never sets, and slowly the world we can’t see gets slushy.

I want to see. Time to check the other cameras.

NEW CAMERAS   —Summer thaw setting in—

webcam

The ice looks just a bit more slushy to the left. Also there is a sign of an old crack on our side of the yellow cork, to go along with the crack just beyond it. We’re not likely to get a good melt-water pool with those cracks, as the water likely will drain down through weaknesses in the cracks. However maybe we’ll see this ice crack up, later in the season.

webcam

Fog!  Now this could get some real thawing going. Fog condenses on the side of cold snow, just as humid air condenses on the side of a glass of ice-water in the summer. As the fog condenses it gives off its latent heat, which further hurries the melting, and is why fog is called a “snow-eater” in New England.

CRUNCHED CAMERA DATA

Our heap of junk finally crossed 85 degrees latitude, continueing south and west to  84.931°N, 12.818°E. Winds picked up a bit to the 10-15 mph range.  Temperatures continued mild, with a low of +0.4°C at midnight and a high of +0.8°C at 9:00 AM, settling back to +0.7°C at noon. The barometer steadily climbed to 1011.2 mb.

JULY 13  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0713B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0713B temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 14 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0714 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0714 temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS  —Contrasting weather—-

webcam

webcam

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our demolished example of taxpayer funding continued south and west to 84.827°N, 12.389°E, as winds slackened to 9 mph, and the pressure continued rising to 1016.2 mb. The temperature remained nearly constant in the 24-hour daylight, twice hitting the 24 hour period’s high at +0.8°C at 3:00 PM yesterday and noon today, and the low at +0.5°C at 3:00 AM.

NEW CAMERAS

webcam

webcam

Though there is no sign of thawing yet in the picture from up at 88 degrees latitude, the background shifted at some point when I wasn’t paying attention. (I’ve been busy with a post that got printed today on WUWT.)  There may be a second fault-line in that pressure ridge behind the buoy, and it is possible a lead may open up there.

The picture from down at 77 degrees latitude shows the thaw if full progress. You can see why it is omportant to have the satellite be able to tell the difference between open water and melt-water pools. My best guess is that the ice is ten feet thick under the pools.

JULY 14  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0714B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0714B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is fading in the Kara Sea as “Thur” fades over Iceland. The ridge across the top of the Atlantic will stop the export of sea-ice for a while.

Very warm over Scandinavia, as sub-freezing temperatures reappear by the Pole.

JULY 15  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0715 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0715 temp_latest.big (1)

Lows are circling high pressure over Pole. “Tev” moving from north of Alaska to Canada, “”Art” that is weak over Kara Sea and moving east,  and a new low “Sib” over Eastern Siberia, likely to cross to Alaska.  However the most interesting feature is the high over Svalbard, likely to drift north of Scandinavia and create quite a “wrong way” flow south to north through Fram Strait all week.

Busy day at farm. I have two pigs coming. It is hot and muggy. I’d like to cool myself watching the ice melt, but won’t have time until later.

NEW CAMERAS

webcamwebcam

I couldn’t resist taking a quick peek at lunchtime, as it is so hot and muggy here in New Hampshire. By the way, the ice on the other side of the pressure ridge has shifted. It shifted to the left at 11:23 of the movie made by camera shots, and back to the right quite dramatically at 11:53 of the movie. So this ice is not as stable as it looks.  Here’s the movie, if you want to see for yourself: http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy9/movie

*******

I figure this post is getting too long, so I’m going to start a new one. But I’ll post the first maps and pictures of the new post here, considering you have come all this way. However you may notice the tone of my writing changes a little, as I explain myself to first time viewers.

JULY 15 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0715B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0715B temp_latest.big (1)

These Danish Meteorological Intitute maps are put out at midnight and noon. I call them “morning” and “afternoon” maps because that is when I look at them. Because we are looking down on Earth, noon tends to be at the bottom and midnight at the top in noon maps, such as the above map, and the opposite is true in maps from twelve hours later. Though diurnal variation of temperatures has little effect in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine at the center, it does have an effect at the edges of the circle shown by these maps. For example, in the above map it is midnight towards Bering Strait, and the little pockets of sub-freezing temperature you see up there will vanish in the next map, and then reappear in the following map.

Although it annoys some people, I tend to name storms for the fun of it, and also it helps me keep track of them. From this angle of the earth it is possible to track the same system as it evolves, all the way around the planet. During the evolution systems go through during such journeys, I tend to have systems keep the same name even when a stricter meteorologist would say the original died and a secondary took over. (To them I say, this is my blog, and I’m boss here.) (Furthermore, I’m more reasonable than your boss, with his Global Warming fixation.)  I very loosely follow a convention where secondary and tertiary storms on a front gain the suffix “son” and “three,” as they travel up the cold front, but when storms occlude and kick a storm ahead along the warm front I call it a “zipper” and use the suffix “zip.”

In the above map four storms are rotating around the high pressure at the Pole, which is a textbook situation, and unusual for this year, for we have often had lows over the Pole and you can then throw your textbook out the window.  The low over Iceland is “Thur” and is stalled and fading, and the one in the Kara Sea is “Art” and also weakening. They are two faint memories of Hurricane Arthur. (Get it? Art and Thur?) The one over east Siberia is “Sib,” and the one approaching the Canadian Archipelago is “Tev.”  Some models are showing Tev moving east as Art fades west, and a low of their merge forming over the Greenland icecap,  which is unusual as high pressure likes to sit there. Rather than north winds on the east side of a high pressure, there ill be south winds on the east side of a low, and rather than sea-ice flushing out of the arctic through Fram Strait, it may be jammed back north. I use the word “may” because models are not always right, and also winds don’t always obey the isobars.

The sub-freezing temperatures over the Kara Sea have been persistent this summer, even in the afternoon.

CRUSHED CAMERA REPORT

The original point of these posts was to enjoy the views of the North Pole Camera as it drifted south, however we have had bad luck this year, as camera one was knocked over by a polar bear and camera two crushed by a pressure ridge. However the weather station is still working, and I give reports on what we are missing.

As the building polar high pressure shifts over towards Scandinavia we are experiencing changing conditions, before I expect we will be blown back north.  Winds dropped to nearly calm, as the pressure crested at 1017.7 mb and then dipped to 1016.1 mb at noon. Winds fell to a long period of nearly calm conditions, and then rose to 10 mph at noon.  The temperatures fell from noon yesterday’s high of +0.8 to a low of -0.2°C at midnight, recovered to +0.3 at 6:00 AM but dipped back to -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before returning to zero at noon. These temperatures are below normal, though I expect they will rise as winds become south.

Our steady progress south and west was halted. Our southward progress halted at 84.799°N at midnight, and we were bumped north to 84.804°N at 6:00 Am, and then sagged back to 84.799°N at noon. Our westward progress halted at 12.109°E at 3:00 AM, we were jostled back to 12.195°E at 9:00 AM, and then nudged west to 12.181°E at noon. With all these shifts occurring you can understand the floes do a lot of crashing and smashing, and see why our camera may have been crushed by a pressure ridge. There is nothing neat and tidy about the Arctic Ocean this year, and one adventurer described the situation as “crazy ice.”

NEW CAMERAS

Originally these pictures merely supplimented the Noth Pole Camera, but now they are my fix of cool pictures in hot summer weather. They are from the “O-buoy Project.”  The first is Camera Nine, which has drifted from over towards Bering Strait, and is now passing quite near the Pole on the Canadian side, at 88 north latitude. Originally the camera looked over completely flat ice, but the stresses of the winter built the small pressure ridges. I expect melt-water pools to be appearing soon.

webcam

The second picture is from Camera Ten, which is much further south, a little south of 77 degrees latitude, north of Alaska. As best I can tell, the ice is nine feet thick, but as you can see the summer thaw is in progress.

webcam

This series of posts will be continued at: https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/arctic-sea-ice-melt-flat-lining-death-spiral/

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —THE DEATH SPIRAL’S DEATH—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-approaching-thaw/

Originally I was going to end this series at this point, because it is again June, and a year is long enough to study ice melting and refreezing, unless you get paid for doing so.  However it looks like the Alarmists who were talking about the Arctic Sea’s ice being in a “death spiral” are about to be embarrassed. I don’t want to miss it, especially because I was called some rude words back in 2007, when I stated the lack of sea ice that summer was no big deal.

The CPC model causing the embarrassment creates these graphs:

Death Spiral 1 sieMon (Click for clearer image)

The lower graph shows the amount of ice shrinking, as it does every summer, when the temperatures are above freezing for around two months.  However the upper graph shows the shrinkage will be less than normal, and the amount of ice remaining at the minimum in September will be above normal.

How can this be? We were told that the North Pole would be ice-free by 2013, and instead we are seeing not merely the normal amount of ice, but even more ice than normal!

The next DMI graph shows that polar temperatures are not rising as quickly as usual this spring, and the thaw isn’t starting on schedule.

DMI2 0609B meanT_2014 (Click to enlarge.)

In this post I will continue to observe what is happening up there, and perhaps share some ideas I have about why it is not warming up there. I’ll try to post maps of the conditions up there, and pictures from the North Pole Camera, twice a day.

WORDS OF WARNING

The ice up in the Arctic Sea is amazingly smashed up, after two winters and summers of storms.  The storms are likely due to the fact the Atlantic and Pacific cycles, (called the AMO and PDO,) are out of sync.  Therefore rather than a relatively calm “zonal” pattern the jet stream shows the exaggerated loops of a “medinianal” pattern, which is not calm and which cracks up the ice, exposing open water even when it is minus-forty, (which is my favorite temperature, as it is the one time Celsius and Fahrenheit agree.)

It is obvious that exposing open water, (during the ten months of the year when temperatures will cool the water more than the water would be cooled if it were sheltered under an igloo of ice), will create a cooler sea which makes for cooler air. It also forms more ice, but that ice is crunched together like an accordion, creating a formation called a “pressure ridge,” even as yet more open water appears as a long crack called a “lead.”  Barring any influxes of warm water under the ice, open water is generally a sign of cooling.

However the media is also cracked up and loopy, and any sign of open water makes them wild. If there is one thing I have learned, during the year I’ve spent simply observing the ice, it is that the media hasn’t done its homework.  Many reporters do not even fact-check, and merely are parrots, while those who do glance north have only the most rudimentary understanding, and make the dumb mistakes I made when I first began studying, but never learn as I have learned.

(You can go back through these posts to see my dumb mistakes; I make no effort to hide them.)

The media does make an effort to hide its mistakes, and even misinforms the public, for its mistakes are blazing headlines, while the corrections are in small print on page forty-seven, when they correct themselves at all.

A fine example of this was the hoopla made about a melt-water pool that appeared in front of the North Pole Camera last summer, that some called “Lake North Pole.” Such pools become common at the Pole, after temperatures have been above freezing during the 24-hour-a-day sunshine for weeks on end, however the media produced a great deal of hype about “Lake North Pole,” insisting it was proof the Pole was melting.  I said it was a pool, and would eventually drain away through a crack in the ice.  That was what happened, but the media never showed pictures of the bare ice, and the fresh covering of snow that covered that ice within 72 hours. Therefore the media was guilty of a sin of omission,  showing the public a picture of water at the Pole, but never showing follow-up pictures.

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/lake-north-pole-vanishes/

This year we have the experience of a “lead” opening up dangerously close to the North  Pole Camera. I fear we may eventually lose the camera, but so far we have experienced a wonderful view of the crack opening and exposing water, which skims with ice and then slams closed, showing us the jumble of a pressure ridge.

My warning to you is that you are liable to see pictures of the open water, and the media will “forget” to mention, or show pictures of, the pressure ridges.  Of course, this will be a moot point if the coming storm drowns our camera.

THE COMING STORM

This storm hasn’t developed yet, but is forecast by the GFS model and the Canadian “GEM” model to be lashing our camera with gale force winds in 84 hours.  Below is the GEM model’s prediction of pressure and wind speed. (Double click to fully enlarge)

Lappy June 10 forecast cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_15

(Because I steal these maps from the WeatherBELL site, I feel obliged to give them a free commercial. The site costs me the price of a cup of coffee a day, but you can get a free week-long trial offer.  The maps alone, produced by Dr. Ryan Maue, are worth it. There are quite literally thousands. Are you interested in the humidity in Scotland four days from now? You can find the map.  The wind? The dew points? There are maps, for many different models. There are also learned daily posts by Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo.)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Before the storm–

NP2 June 9D 15

(Click to enlarge.)  The view at 10:00 PM is gloomy, despite the midnight sun. The wind is at our back, and the ice we are on is moving in the direction the camera is aiming, to the east.  The lead straight ahead appears to be narrowing, after growing wide yesterday. (See prior post.)

You can get these neat pictures at the NPEO website at:  http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/NPEO2014/webcams1and2.html

We will have to wait until they post data at noon tomorrow to see what the temperature is. It is quite cold to our north, -6.74 C at Buoy 2014E: a hundred miles north, but to our west, just north of Greenland at Buoy 2014D: it is a relatively mild  -0.50 C, which is closer to normal. After all, ordinarily the summer thaw has started by now.

JUNE 10  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0610 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0610 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —No storm in sight—

NP2 June 10B 14 (1)NP2 June 10C 18

(click pictures to enlarge them)

These pictures are from 4:00 AM (left) and 10:00 AM (right) this morning. The clouds are moving away and to the right, so my guess is winds are northwest. The camera data isn’t in yet, but my lunch break is over.

*******

Our southward drift slowed to a halt, with a slight .002° bump back to the north at the very end, but our eastward movement was steady and across 14° longitude for the first time,  ending up at 85.561°N, 14.066°E at noon.  The breeze was steadily 10-15 mph. Pressures fell slightly to 1014.8 mb, as temperatures attempted to climb back to normal, rising to -2.9°C at midnight, falling back to -3.8°C at 6:00 AM, and rising again to -2.7°C at noon.  (This remains below the freezing point of salt water.)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —gathering gloom—

NP2 June 10D 10NP2 June 10E 15

These pictures are from 4:00 PM (left) and 10:00 PM (right) and show the loss of distinct features that arctic adventures sometimes describe when weather gets gray. It is as if a sort of white-out occurs even without snow or fog, and they describe stumbling over bumps in the snow that they fail to see, due to the lack of shadows.

In the first picture no motion is detectable in the distant ice, and in the second some of the small flows in the lead are drifting to the right.

At Buoy 2014E:, north at 87.26 N, 10.91 E, temperatures have dropped from around -3.50°C to -5.29° C.  Although a two degree drop might not seem like much, at times such slight variations seem to be associated with gloomy weather, and may be indicative of subtle arctic fronts. Perhaps colder air is curling south.

JUNE 11  —MORNING DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0611 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0611 temp_latest.big (1)

The isobar map shows the storm I dubbed “Greeny” is weakening over the Pole, as “Lappy” starts to move north from the Laptev Sea.  Lappy is the one which may cause a ruckus up there.

The isotherm map is starting to look more like summer, over on the Pacific side.  Remember that the average temperature is above freezing from now until August, but that doesn’t mean a few areas of below freezing temperature don’t drift about, especially south of the Arctic Circle where there is a brief arctic night (or twilight).  Even north of the circle the sun can dip low at midnight, and create a slight diurnal variation as night swings around and around the Pole. (In in above maps midnight is at the bottom.)  However the above map is still below normal, as there are very few pools of above-freezing temperature around the Pole itself.

It is very warm in western Siberia, and Lappy is drawing some of that warmth north to serve as gasoline to fuel its development as it spins north.  Although I like the simplicity of the DMI maps, I turn to Dr, Ryan Maue’s WeatherBELL maps to get a better idea of land temperatures around the arctic. This is the 0000z Canadian JEM “initial” run, from the same time as the above DMI maps.

DMI2 0611 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to fully enlarge)

(Ignore the mass of “9’s” and “0’s” smudging the left side of the map; that is just a glitch.)

This map nicely shows the western Siberian late-afternoon warmth, cooling instantly as it is pulled north over the Arctic Sea. However that cooling only occurs at the surface, at 2 meters (six feet) and up even fifty feet the air remains mild (and likely more humid) longer. It is that warmer air that will fuel Lappy, and as it runs out Lappy will weaken.

You can look at the same map in the GFS model, if you can stand the fact that, (likely due to politically-incorrect chauvinism,)  they flip the map upside down so they are front and center at the bottom.

DMI2 0611 gfs_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to fully enlarge)

You might think that, as these are both “intital” runs, and the same real data is plugged in, the maps would be the same, but if you have the time to blow examining the maps you can spot differences.  This is due to the ways the models fill in the blank spaces between the actual weather stations. In a sense it isn’t that different from the old days, when two different weathermen might draw in the isobars and isotherms on maps, and arrive at different results. And, considering the models don’t even have the same starting points, you can see why they might arrive at utterly different solutions in the maps they produce of future conditions.

In any case, the maps show the “gasoline” sucked north to fuel the possible storm. Now we have only to sit back and watch, to see if the storm actually develops.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —A clear patch—

NP2 May10B 17

I’ve heard these patches of clear sky referred to as “weather holes” by people up in the north, which likely is due to having to fly everywhere, and being able to see well enough to land. The clouds are moving away and to the right, as the large berg at the right margin is shifting to the left, perhaps closing up the lead in the center distance.

In order to grasp how fractured the ice is up there, on clear days I like to look down from outer space via a satellite.  Using Google maps you can move a little hand around the screen, and in the lower left you’ll see the latitude and longitude the little hand is covering.  Here’s a link to a permalink I (hopefully) captured yesterday.

http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8/2014-06-10/7-N85.10713-E19.12761

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —Some beautiful shots—

NP2 June 11B 17NP2 June 11B 18

I recomend opening the two pictures above on separate tabs, and then clicking between the two. They are from 10:00 AM and 10:05 AM this morning.  Besides the high clouds moving against the low, polar stratosphere, there is a bit of activity on the edge of the lead towards the middle right margin. The ice in or across the lead is edging right to left, (and perhaps shrinking the area of open water dead ahead,) and also it looks like the remnant of a pressure ridge on our side of the lead slumps down slightly into the water, hinting there is open water hidden from view there.  Also very nice is, above the pressure ridge on the far side of the lead, one can see the distant horizon, and a stretch of flat, white ice stretching off to what may be yet another pressure ridge, on the very fringe of the horizon.

I sure do enjoy these moments of excellent visibility. There haven’t been all that many, this spring.

********

The winds have apparently swing back towards the north, for the brief .002° northward blip at the end of yesterday’s record was purely a blip, and the southward and eastward motion resumed, bringing us to 85.515°N, 14.693°E at noon. Winds have been fairly steady, between 10 and 15 mph, and the barometer has only dropped slightly to 1011.6mb.

Temperatures trended down to -4.0°C at midnight, and then bounced about, up to -3.0°C at 3:00 AM, down to  -5.0°C  at 6:00 AM, up to -3.3°C at 9:00 AM, and down to -4.7°C at noon.  It should be noted that none of these bounces gets us above the freezing point of salt water, which is one heck of a way to run a thaw.

JUNE 11 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0611B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0611B temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is starting his cross polar swing, but the warm air fueling him hasn’t made much of a dent in the below normal temperatures over the Pole.  It is fairly hard to start a thaw with temperatures down around -3. Just as we had a slow start to spring down here, they’re having a slow start to thawing up there, this spring.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —-Again the gloom

NP2 June 11C 18

It sure must be hard for the crowd focused on “albedo” to have the sun popping in and out like this. One moment you are basing calculations on open water absorbing sunlight, and the next there is no sunlight.

At the moment there is no motion visible when I compare pictures, so I suppose we are wedged up against the far side of the lead. It looks a little warmer, as no skim of ice seems to be forming on the open water.

Although there is no island of sub-minus-five isotherms on the above DMI map, I was surprised to see a reading of -7.07° C at Buoy 2012G: , north of the Canadian archipelago, and a reading of -8.46° C at Buoy 2014B: , north of Alaska.

It has occurred to me that all winter the cross-polar-flow was piling up the ice north of Greenland and the Canadian archipelago, and now that heap of slabs is being dispersed by the east winds into the waters north of Svalbard; waters that were surprisingly ice-free last winter. (Those who followed this post back in April may remember the arctic adventurers exclaiming over the size of the pressure ridges close to Canada, and posting pictures of ridges that dwarfed a six-foot-tall man.)  If you think of those ridges as reservoirs of slabs, quite a flood of those slabs is capable of coming out of hiding, north of Greenland, and if they don’t head south through Fram Strait, and instead ride across the strait to the waters north and northeast of Svalbard, we could see areas of Barents Sea have a greater extent on the first day of summer than they had in the dead of winter.

JUNE 12  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0612 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0612 temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is making his move towards the Pole. Furthermore, he seems to be at long last dragging a plume of milder air up from East Siberia.  We may actually see a chance of thawing closer to the Pole. The failure of the Pole to start thawing this year is starting to get ridiculous:

DMI2 0612 meanT_2014 (Click to enlarge)

A quick look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s WeatherBELL map of the situation 24 hours from now (GEM model) raises my left eyebrow a bit.

DMI2 0612 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_5 (Double click to fully enlarge)

What is fascinating to me is the strong winds upwind of our camera. The red stripe is 40 mph winds, that decrease to green 20 mph winds, and finally blue 10 mph winds. The stronger winds will move the sea-ice faster.

Think of it in terms of cars on a freeway. You have a bunch of fast cars stepping on the gas, catching up to a bunch of slower cars, (and remember sea-ice has no brakes). Hmm. What do you suppose will happen? Stay tuned!!!

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —a cold scene—

NP2 June 12 17

(Click picture for larger, clearer view.)

The open water dead ahead appears to be partially skimmed by ice. The ice across the lead is shifting to the right, perhaps due to northwest winds from our left, or perhaps the berg our camera sits upon is plowing ahead, shoving the ice aside.

There is cold air to our north, -6.34 C at Buoy 2014E: , but behind our backs (north of Greenland) some much milder air is available, and it is  -0.36 C at Buoy 2014D:.  Also it has warmed in the broad daylight of noon north of the Canadian archipelago and Alaska, up to -2.14 C at Buoy 2012G: and up to  -3.43 C at Buoy 2014B: .

JUNE 12   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0612B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0612B temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is approaching Pole and strong winds are starting to influence our camera. It looks like some above-freezing air is trying to work north from the southwest.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The lead claps shut—

NP2 June 12B 11NP2 June 12C 15

(Click pictures to enlarge) They are from 10:00 AM (left) and 4:00 PM (right).  Apparently it is crunch time, and there is no longer any sign of open water ahead.  I’m wondering if we’ll see some big pressure ridges form.

*******

Our southward drift continued, and our eastward movement was steady and across 15° longitude for the first time,  ending up at 85.431°N, 15.184°E at noon.  The breeze gradually strengthened to a steady 20 mph. Pressures slowly fell to 1007.5 mb, as temperatures remains below the freezing point of salt water, rising to -4.2°C  at midnight, falling back to the day’s low of -5.3°C  at 6:00 AM, and rising again to the day’s high of -3.0°C at noon.

 JUNE 13 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0613 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0613 temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is passing over the Pole and curving towards Scandinavia. It seems likely to pass northeast of our camera. At this point it is cut off from it’s original source of “gasoline,” and though the isotherm map shows some mild air being drawn in from north of Canada that warmth is largely due to noontime heating, and Lappy is likely to weaken.

The next polar invader will likely be that low inland in central Siberia, which seems likely to move north, again through the Laptev Sea, but to head for Alaska rather than the Pole. (I’ll dub it Lapeto [Lappy Two])

As a weakened Lappy digs into Scandinavia it seems likely to scoop up a low from the Baltic, and some models show that storm again heading right for the Pole, with surprising strength, next week. Usually things are pretty quiet up there in the summer, which is why summer storms make news.

The storm in the summer of 2012 made news because it stirred up warmer water from below, which increased the ice-melt. My pet theory is that the warmer layer of water that was stratified beneath the ice is “used up,” or at least doesn’t exist to the same extent, so current storms do not have the same power to melt ice.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Nothing to see here; move along—

NP2 June 13 18

It is difficult to know if the fog is fog or very fine particles of snow. The snow stakes show no accumulation, and, if anything, show some slight signs the snow is being scoured away by the strong winds.

To get a better view I cross the Pole to 87.8 north and 154.9 west, where the storm has already passed, and peek out O-buoy 9’s camera at a windswept world. Temperatures there are below minus five C. (By the way, this camera looked out over a flat landscape, without any pressure ridges, last fall.)

webcam(1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Not much to see, but we’ve been cruising—

NP2 June 13C 18

The view has been gray all day, but the wind is gradually picking up, and now is steadily 25 mph. The pressure bottomed out at  992.9 mb at 6:00 AM and is now rising, at   998.0mb at noon. Temperature rose as the pressure fell, to -1.3°C at 3:00 AM, but then began falling as the pressures rose, to -4.1°C at noon.

The camera made some impressive speed south and east, crossing 16 degrees longitude and getting as far east as 16.406°E before the wind must have veered into the northeast, and we shifted back west.  (I wish I could see what this is doing to the ice.)  Our position at noon was  85.327°N, 16.293°E.

JUNE 13  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0613B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0613B temp_latest.big (1)

JUNE 14  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0614 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0614 temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” continues to move away from the Pole, and likely will start to weaken as it slides down towards Scandinavia. The blocking high continues to sit in the North Atlantic. Scandinavia looks likely to  get northeast winds as Lappy nudges that high, and low pressure oozes up from the Baltic towards the Kara Sea. (If a storm develops there I’ll dub it “Carrot.”) “Lapeto” has developed as expected in the Laptev Sea.

The isotherms are showing more above-freezing temperatures, especially towards Canada.  Perhaps the thaw will finally begin.  However I wonder if these polar storms have an over-all cooling effect.  They transport a lit of heat and moisture up to the low polar stratosphere, where a lot of latent heat is lost as moisture condenses and then turns to snow.  However then the air warms while descending.  (While some summer thunderstorms generate a cooling effect, sometimes the uplifted air is quite hot when it comes back down, due to a sort of Chinook-effect.) I have no answer to my own question,  and can only watch and witness.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The murk and the glimmer—

NP2 June 13D 14 (1)NP2 June 14 17

The above pictures are from 10:00 PM last night (top) and 4:00 AM this morning (bottom). (Click them for larger and clearer views.) It looks like there has been a little snow, though it could be frozen fog on the snow stakes. Our camera’s foundation didn’t crumble in the storm, and the pressure ridges on the right horizon don’t seem especially giant, though the lighting is poor.  Our lead, straight ahead, is cracked open, likely by the shift in movement from eastward to westward, but the crack isn’t particularly wide at this point. It would be nice to get some better lighting.

I’m already looking ahead to see if the Pole gets calm. Over at the WeatherBELL site, Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps have the GEM model showing “Carrot” up over the Pole in only five days, even stronger than Lappy is.  Hmm. No rest for the poor icebergs.

NP2 June 14 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_21

(Double click for full-sized map)

(The GFS model has a much different solution, with “Carrot” staying south and the Pole much warmer.)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Drat!  Ice on lens!—NP2 June 14B 17

Well, I guess we can infer it is warm aloft, and cold at the surface.  Beyond that, all we can do is hope for warm sunshine to melt off the lens.

10:00 Am and still no view

NP2 June 14C 16

4:00 PM  —They must have used a defroster—

NP2 June 14C 18

It was stormy last night, with winds above 25 mph for hours around midnight, and the barometer falling again to 994.8 mb at midnight. Temperatures hit the day’s low of -4.5°C at 9:00 PM and then began rising to the day’s high of -2.1°C at 3:00 AM. After midnight the winds began slacking and the barometer rose, with the wind at 14 mph and the barometer at 1003.9 mb. Temperatures fell to -3.6°C at 9:00 AM but bounced back up to -2.8°C at noon, finishing another full day with temperatures below the freezing point of salt water.

Our camera moved steadily south, but its westward movement was arrested by a lurch east for a while around midnight, before westward movement resumed, and we ended the day at 85.154°N, 15.555°E.

I assume some sort of defroster was used, as the temperatures have remained below freezing in the area. In the fall we have to wait longer for a frozen lens to clear, perhaps because the sun is lower and the solar cells can’t be used for defrosting.

It looks like our nearby lead is slammed closed fairly tightly for the time being, but the dark clouds on the fringe of the horizon may indicate open water beneath.

JUNE 14  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0614B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0614B temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is heading down towards Svalbard and weakening slightly, (though not as swiftly as I expected.) “Lapeto” is leaving the Laptev Sea over the New Siberian Islands, and drawing mild air (and fuel) north over the East Siberian Sea. There is no sign of “Carrot” forming in the Kara Sea yet. Temperatures remain below normal around the Pole,  but are rising.

JUNE 15  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0615 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0615 temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is weakening as he completes his lap, moving back down towards Eurasia. A ridge of high pressure behind it will build north and between Lappy and Lapeto.  As that ridge passes over our camera north winds will give way to calm, and then a period of south winds. Behind that ridge weak low pressure [“Elsie”, for Ellesmere Island in northern Canada] will move along the north coast of Greenland and add to the south winds, but this northward push of our ice looks like it will give way to a major southward surge, as “Carrot” moves towards the Pole next week. “Carrot” can be seen over Russia, between 50° and 60° at the lower right fringe of the circular map.  It looks like Scandinavia is in for an extended period of north winds.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Gray and grinding—

10:00 PM  NP2 June 14D 11

  4:00 AM  NP2 June 15 17

  10:00 AM NP2 June 15B 18

The ice across the lead appears to be moving parallel to the ice our camera is on, grinding against it.

JUNE 15  —Afternoon DMI Maps—

DMI2 0615B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0615B temp_latest.big (1)

As “Lappy” fades in Barents Sea,  the north winds behind it are giving way to calm as a ridge of high pressure extends north from the blocking high over the North Atlantic. While that blocking high has been keeping much warm Atlantic air from coming north, it does have a west side, pumping warmth north. When the blogger “stewart pid” today pointed out how warm the west side of Greenland was, we discussed a number of factors, but later it occurred to me that the blocking high may simply be pumping milder Atlantic air around that side of Greenland.  In any case, an invasion of above-freezing air has wedged north on the Canadian side of the Pole, and is clearly seen on the temperature map.  Perhaps the thaw will at long last begin, as the DMI temperature graph shows we are finally close to the freezing point.

DMI2 0615B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —A Calm Descends—

NP2 June 15C 18

Though the view remains gray the winds have slackened to 5 mph. The ice across the lead has come to a halt.  Things are quieter, for the time being.  Our camera survived another storm. The barometer has risen rapidly to 1015.3 mb at noon, and I’m hoping we might get some sunshine soon.

Then again we might not, as it is warming and that often brings clouds.  Temperaturs have bounced around, but mostly have been above the freezing point of salt water. Our high was -0.9°C at 9:00 last night, and is has settled back to -1.7°C at noon.

Our movement has been slower, but steadily south and west, winding us up at  85.092°N, 14.554°E at noon.

A QUICK PEEK AT THE UK MET

I”m going to paste in the initial map, and then the map for next Saturday. The thing to noticre is that high west of Ireland that simply refuses to budge. It forces storms to work around its periphery, and must be a challange for forecasters. The Italian forecaster has to figure out the blurbs squeezing under the high and passing through the Mediterranean, and the Swedish forecaster has to look west for stuff squeezing over the top and east for stuff backing up and north for stuff bulging down from the Pole.  (This high looks nice for Ireland, but not so nice for Scandinavia.)

UK Met June 15 15373081UK Met June 15 next sat 15385507

JUNE 16  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0616 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0616 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Great pictures of lead opening up—

The first picture is from 10:00 PM last night, and the second (lower) picture is from 4:00 AM this morning. Notice how only half of the volume of the pressure ridge stays on our side of the lead, while the other half has gone sailing off.

NP2 June 15D 13NP2 June 16 15

JUNE 16  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0616B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0616B temp_latest.big (1)

“Lappy” is fading into “Carrot,” now just emerging into the Kara Sea. “Lapeto” has a trailer now, “Lapedoto,” and together they are going to exit through the Bering Strait. Weak low “Elsie” now is north of Greenland and heading for our camera, giving us south winds.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead remains open—

NP2 June 16B 18

Winds shifted and the camera is headed back northeast,  at 85.134°N,15.234°E at noon.

Barometer is falling, down to 1007.4 mb. Temperature hit its low at midnight at -3.1°C, and its high of -1.5°C at 9:00 AM, and had dropped to -2.2°C by noon.

JUNE 17  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0617 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0617 temp_latest.big (1)

The thaw has finally  begun, on the Canadian side, as the sub-freezing cold continues on the Eurasian side.

“Elsie:” is drifting over our camera, and the south winds will shift to the north behind it. “Carrot” is forming over the Kara Sea, but is no longer forecast to charge the Pole.  Models now show a storm-track along the coast of Siberia, with Carrot following Lapeto and Lapedoto.

Sorry if I’m late posting maps. I’m engrossed with other writing.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —skies remain gray; lead remains open—

NP2 june 16C 12NP2 June 17 18

These pictures are from 10:00 PM yesterday (top) and 4:00 AM today, (bottom). The far side of the lead is slightly closer. The lead shows no sign of refreezing, but can’t absorb much sunshine if it remains cloudy.  It would be interesting to know if the Pole has been significantly cloudier this spring.

JUNE 17  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0617B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0617B temp_latest.big (1)

“Carrot” is the big boy on the block, swirling up in the Kara Sea as “Lapeto” weakens over by Bering Strait.  “Elsie” is an interesting little low as it dives southeast into Norway, for it seems to be getting reinforsements from a practically invisible storm-track over the big high blocking the North Atlantic. These dive through the Baltic and then seem to stall and gather force just east of Finland. You  can see a small storm sitting there now. You can’t see a tiny low being squeezed over the top of Iceland.  These storms will all gather together east of Finland the next few days. I guess I’ll continue to call it “Elsie” although it is actually a conglomeration. There are also impulses coming north from the Steppes to join the fray. I doubt the computer models will handle it well; there is simply too much subtlety.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Surprisingly strong winds—

NP2 June 17B 14 (1)NP2 June 17C 18

The top picture is from 10:00 AM and the bottom is from 3:45 PM.  If you open them onto new tabs, and then click back and forth between the two tabs, you should be able to see the distant silhouette of an iceberg near the right margin of the horizon of the first picture, and about a sixth of the way across, further left, in the second. It looks grey and ghostly and big as a battleship, but I surmise it is far smaller, and the other side of the lead is closer than the fish-eye lens makes it appear.  Why?  Because winds are a steady 16 mph in both pictures, likely with higher gusts, but there is no sign of whitecaps on the open water. (I could be wrong; it’s just my perception.)

These southerly winds lifted our temperatures up close to freezing, up to the high of -0.5°C at midnight, when the winds were up over 20 mph. Then the temperatures dipped slightly, back down to -1.1°C at noon. As this opposes diurnal variation (which is slight but does exists, now that we are nearly 300 miles south of the Pole,) I assume some slightly different air mass is involved. The winds did shift and stop our eastward movement at 15.401°E at 9:00 AM, and lurch us back west, but we’ve continued to move north, and at noon were at  85.260°N, 15.348°E.

Pressures bottomed out at 1005.6mb at 9:00 PM last night as “Elsie” passed, and have risen back to 1015.2mb at noon. I was surprised Elsie, who had such a small blip in terms of pressure, had the winds she had.

JUNE 18  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0618 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0618 temp_latest.big (1)

“Carrot,” over the Kara Sea, is drawing from some very warm air (up in the 80’s) in central Siberia, and the models keep flip-flopping over whether it will be drawn towards that warm air and track east along the coast, or whether it will copy prior storms and head for the Pole.

Very cool air is being drawn south over Scandinavia by “Elsie,” which looks like it will stall and sit over Finland all week. The air swirling in Elsie is fairly dry so they may get some spells of sunshine, but any warmth will have to be home grown.

A tiny low is rippling up over the top of the blocking Atlantic high, and is just east of Finland.

The thaw is finally beginning at the Pole, so I think I’ll start a new post today.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The lead closes again—

NP2 June 17D 14 (1)NP2 June 18 18

Judging from isobars, the wind has likely shifted to the north, and the ice has shifted in a way that is closing up the lead.  Although the lead looks grayer I think it is due to lighting, and not due to it freezing over, as I temperatures are not below the freezing point of salt water. (There is a chance wind-blown freshwater snow, with a melting point of 32, has landed in seawater that is down around 30,  and in such cases the snow doesn’t melt right away.)

This post will be continued at https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-thaw-begins/

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —THE APPROACHING THAW—(May 27-June 9, 2014)

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-pulverized-pole/

These posts are a sort of notebook where I jot down my observations as the sea-ice at the Pole goes through its yearly melt and refreeze. It is full of doodles and doggerel, and some ideas that are incorrect and then corrected, and is far from any sort of final draft.

In earlier posts I go on at great length what motivated this study.  In a nutshell, I came to distrust the media, and decided I could not rely on them to become an educated voter.  This perception has grown all the stronger, as I have learned.  I am increasing convinced many reporters do not bother to investigate at all, and merely report what they are told.

My initial plan was to write a single post, but then I decided I would follow the comings and goings of the ice for an entire year. The year will be up this June.  I’d stop these posts, but it now is starting to look like there may be a return to normal amounts of ice this summer.  I don’t want to miss this, if it happens, because I want to watch how the politicians spin the complete failure of their Global Warming prophecies. All the talk about the arctic sea-ice being in a “death spiral” will look like so much hogwash.

It increasingly looks like the public has been tricked.  A call to arms and a call for sacrifice was made, and the public responded, ready to face the foe that was “Global Warming,”  ready to give up liberties in a time of war.  Now it turns out there was no reason for those sacrifices, and now the hard eyes of the public will look to see who gained from the fraud.

Worst is the possibility we could be entering a time of hardship due to colder winters.  Rather than getting the public ready for a very real threat, our leaders instead prepared us for a fixation, a paranoid delusion, which made them rich.  In a sense they are like a man who advised and even ordered dikes be removed, just before a flood.  I would not like to be in their shoes, and I pray that God raises up a generation of saner leaders.

I myself am but a single voter among millions, and all I can do is seek and speak the Truth. This post-notebook is my way of doing so.

I tend to update this post at least twice a day, with the newest updates at the bottom of the post.  As the post gets longer and longer you may find it is quicker to hit the “comments balloon,” which appears to the right of the title on the “Home” page, and then scroll up from the bottom.

I am going to attempt to improve upon my website during the summer.  Because I am incredibly clumsy, when it comes to doing anything with computers, I fear there may be an interim when this website is a complete shambles. Forgive me, if such is the case.

MAY 27  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI May 27B mslp_latest.bigDMI May 27B  temp_latest.big (1)

FIRST THAW OF THE YEAR AT NORTH POLE CAMERA

NP2 May 27B 17

Temperatures had risen to +0.5°C at noon. The camera had been pushed north past 86 degrees latitude, while meandering east, west, and then east again, arriving at 86.012°N, 13.520°E at noon. 

The drift to the east is interesting. I don’t think we’ve ever had a North Pole Camera that didn’t eventually move south through Fram Strait, but this one seems determined to drift east, to the north of Svalbard.

MAY 28 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI May 28 mslp_latest.bigDMI May 28 temp_latest.big (1)

“Valplaces” is starting to weaken, as it sits blowing counter-clockwise winds over the clockwise Beaufort Gyre.   It should fade by Friday, and by Sunday models show a high building in the same place, with clockwise winds over the clockwise flow of ice.  Likely there will be a lot of crunching as the ice adjusts.

The weak low over the Pole is likely along a front made by the tongue of milder air coming north from Svalbard, brought up by the west-side winds of the high over Scandinavia.  The east-side winds are bringing polar air down over Finland to the Baltic, where an interesting low is forecast to grow and attack the high pressure over Scandinavia from the southeast. This will weaken the high, but also cause the east winds over Finland to persist.

The Pole continues its seasonal rapid rise in temperature, with areas within the minus-five isotherm rapidly shrinking.  Even with the thaw at the Pole, temperatures remain slightly below normal over all.

PEEK AT UK MET CURRENT AND 48-HOUR FORECAST

UK Met May 27 48 hour forecast 14893285

UK Met May 28 48 hour forecast 14897083

These maps show a solution where the interesting storm develops east of the Baltic, the ridge weakens but stubbornly persists on the Atlantic west of Norway, and a storm mills about south of Greenland.  The storms are starting to take on characteristics of summer storms, far weaker than the monsters we see in the winter, though I’m sure the people of Finland are not calling the situation “summer-like.”

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Dull and grey—

(Click images to enlarge.  If you open them to a new tab you can click back and forth to compare; most of the changes between these two pictures are due to diffent angles of sunlight, I think.)

NP2 May 27C 12NP2 May 28 18

The first picture gives us a better view of the crack which may open into a lead at some point this summer, in the middle distance.  The lack of sunshine continues, and demonstrates the slight thaw is more due to imported air than sunbeams.

LOCAL VIEW   —COLD AT THE FARM—

This is just a note to inform anyone who liked the “Local View” segments of these posts that “Local View” has graduated and has a post of its own, which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/local-view-a-day-to-skip-planting/

I just figure that, while the arctic did have a connection with my life in New Hampshire when we were blasted by north winds last winter,  that connection is tenuous now.  However the local weather will be a part of the new posts, which is more about running a toy farm, and a childcare on that farm, than the North Pole.

One picture from that first post should be included here.  It involves a day on the beach on the shores of Lake Superior, with air temperatures at the inland parking lot over 80. Here is the view the lifeguard saw:

LV May 28 lake_superior_memorial_day_ice

With that to our  west, a frozen Hudson Bay to our north, and the Atlantic very cold once you get north of Cape Cod, I suppose you could say winter is over but not forgotten, by the waters.

MAY 28  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI May 28B mslp_latest.bigDMI May 28B temp_latest.big (1)

“Valplaces” continues to weaken, but has kicked the weak low over the Pole towards the Siberian side, shifting the wind at our camera.  The winds are stronger than you would imagine, looking at the isobars.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Still gray, but colder—

NP2 May 28B 18

Temperatures reached a high of +1.0°C at 1500z yesterday, as the camera was blown north and east to 86.016°N, 13.579°E at 1800z.  There was apparently a wind-shift at that time, as the buoy turned around and headed south and west to  85.975°N,13.524°E. Temperatures fell slowly back to zero at 0900z today, and then dropped more rapidly to -1.6°C at the last report at noon.  Winds, which has been below 5 mph, became a breeze of more than 15 mph as the temperatures fell.

MAY 29  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI May 29 mslp_latest.bigDMI May 29 temp_latest.big (1)

“Valplaces” is all but gone, and high pressure should build in its place within 24 hours and become a feature conducive to the normal circulation of the Beaufort Gyre.  The next weak low pressure to assault the Pole should come from central Siberia, and will attempt to keep the Beaufort high from linking up with the blocking high over Scandinavia. That blocking high will be attacked from the southeast by summer lows moving up to the east of the Baltic.  There are some signs the blocking high will erode only to rebuild, further west, and continue to block the north Atlantic.

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —Brief glimpse of sky—

NP2 May 28C 15

This is our first hint of blue sky in days. The improved visablility gives us a chance to look at the crack in the right, middle-distance.  It looks like the ice has been crushing and grinding together, forming a small pressure ridge. However the fracture represents a definite weakness in the ice, and I imagine it could open up to a lead of open water with little warning.

The view six hours later shows the clouds and fog clamped right down again.NP2 May 29 18

Roughly 90 miles north, Buoy 2014E reports temperatures have dropped to -4.70 C, so there is cold air nearby.

MAY 29  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI May 29B mslp_latest.bigDMI May 29B temp_latest.big (1)

 

 

“Valplaces” is all but gone, as the high pressure hangs tough over northern Scandinavia. The low east of the Baltic hasn’t yet been able to budge it.  We low pressure stirs over the central Siberian coast.

It is colder on the Canadian side, though that may only be a diurnal drop due to the short night swinging around to that side of the Pole.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Some snow—

If you open these two shots, taken 12 hours apart, (4:30 AM [left] and 4:30 PM [right]), and place them on separate tabs, and click between the tabs, the increase in snow (an inch or two) is obvious on the snow stakes, and beside the yellow and red gizmo in the right near background. Also the crack in the middle distance is less obvious.

Sometimes such cracks vanish under the drifting snow, but they are not gone, though they can mend to some degree, and melt-water pools can even form atop them without draining down through their weakness. Weeks can pass with no sign the crack is still there, but then when the ice is stressed the crack reappears in the exact same place.

NP2 May 29B 10NP2 May 29C 18

 

Temperatures have fallen and risen with a seemingly diurnal movement, bottoming out at -5.0°C at midnight and rising back and leveling off at -2.9°C at noon. (We are back below the freezing point of salt water.)  The camera has moved steadily south and west, as winds slacked off from around 15 mph to around 8 mph, and at noon the camera was situated at 85.889°N, 13.115°E.

Though temperatures are below freezing, enough powdered salt is blown around with the snow to create slush even at these temperatures, and Camera One seems to be slowly sinking into the brine. However it did deliver a single pretty sideways-picture just before midnight yesterday, as the midnight sky peeked briefly beneath the clouds, touching their undersides with subtle color.

NP1 May 29 npeo_cam1_20140528230942

It is such a pity this camera fell over.

AND NOW FOR A VIEW FROM SOUTHERN BEACHES

Lake Superior Screen_shot_2014_05_28_at_9_28_12_PM

(Photo courtesy: Melissa Ellis)

I stole this neat picture of a beach on the shores of Lake Superior from Joseph D’Aleo’s excellent blog at WeatherBELL’s “Premium Site.” (A 7-day free trial is available.) I figure he probably won’t sue me because I speak so highly of his site, and offer free advertising. However even if I did get sued I’d likely keep paying for his site. It is that good.

There has never been ice on Lake Superior this late, in the satellite era. However I did come across an old history that spoke of a June day in the mid 1800’s when there was enough ice left to trap some paddle-wheel-steamships close to shore,  and the customers hopped from berg to berg to visit a nice mansion on the shore.The lady in the mansion was such a hospitable hostess that she served over 200 cups of coffee. (Sorry; I didn’t save the link.)  Of course, that was back in the tail-end of the Little Ice Age. Could we have a new Ice-age looming?  (Darn, I sure hope it’s a brief age.)

MAY 30  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI May 30 mslp_latest.bigDMI May 30 temp_latest.big (1)

Most of the Arctic Sea remains below freezing, but we are only ten days from the usual start of a period when most of the Arctic Sea will be above freezing.

MAY 30  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI May 30B mslp_latest.bigDMI May 30B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Ice on the move—

NP2 May 30 npeo_cam2_20140530042352NP2 May 30B npeo_cam2_20140530102320

If you open the above two pictures in new tabs, and then switch two and fro between the two tabs, you can see that the ice in the far side of the crack in the middle distance is shifting right to left.

We have action, ladies and gentlemen. Prepare to see open water, and prepare for media hoopla about “The North Pole Is Melting.”

I am so sure of this I feel I can write a response beforehand,  simply to show the event is no surprise, just as the melt-water pool last summer was no surprise, though the media made it into an alarming event.

“The formation of a lead of open water in summer ice is by no means an uncommon event. We just happen to be fortunate, and to have the North Pole Camera situated in a spot that gives us a front row seat on the lead’s formation. Hopefully our camera will not  be dumped into the sea, and we can study close-up what we have only had distant satellite views of, (plus some still pictures from submarines which surfaced in such leads of open water in the past.)

It is no surprise that the sea-ice breaks into plates of ice of various shapes and size, which bump  and grind in the Arctic Sea. This happens every year and is no reason for alarm. What does surprise us is whether they melt away, as they did in the summer of 2012, or are flushed away through Fram Strait, as happened in the summer of 2007, or stay put and fail to melt much, as they did in the summer of 2013. This summer they are failing to melt away.

 The behavior of the ice is largely controlled by the temperature of the water under the ice and winds above the ice, and these are factors we are still learning about. Having a front row seat allows us to increase our understanding. We should be thankful, rather than panicked by media sensationalism about events that are ordinary and natural.”

There. You read it here first.  Now let us wait and see whether I can just clip and paste this pre-written reply on other  sites, a month from now.  Hopefully people are not quite so predictable.  (I like to think that, hidden in even the most predictable people, is a Spirit that is even harder to predict than the weather.)

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —The fog lifts and…WOW!—

There is a small area of open water shining in the glare of the obscured sun, straight ahead, but what is really amazing is how the formerly-flat ice in the right middle-distance has been turned into a jumble of pressure-ridged ice.

The first picture is from 10:30 PM yesterday, and the second is from 4:30 AM this morning.

NP2 May 30 13NP2 May 31 16

(click above pictures for enlargements of better quality)

Yesterday temperatures at our camera swung through a slight diurnal variation, dipping to -4.6°C at 3:00 AM and then rising to -2.9°C at noon. (Though the sun doesn’t set, it does dip lower at midnight, as we have already drifted nearly 250 miles south of the Pole.) Our drift continued to the south and to the west, and we wound up at 85.836°N, 12.723°E. The pressure remained high at 1016.8 mb, falling slightly, and winds remained light, at 7 mph.

MAY 31  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI May 31 mslp_latest.bigDMI May 31 temp_latest.big (1)

The old blocking-high is slipping east of Scandinavia, as a new blocking-high develops in the Atlantic to their east, and the odd Baltic low divides the two.  Very weak low pressure expands towards the Pole from central Siberia, as the high builds stronger over the Beaufort Gyre, north of Alaska. The temperatures over the Pole continue slightly below normal, with a slight dip in the swift rise that ordinarily occurs in May.

DMI May 31 meanT_2014

MAY 31  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI May 31B mslp_latest.bigDMI May 31B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA —Hey! Where did that mountain range come from?—

NP2 may 31B 13

Of course it isn’t really a mountain range. It’s a pressure ridge. I have no idea how tall it is. The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s a splendid view.

Winds have been quite light, less than 5 mph, and our camera has edged southwest to 85.807°N, 12.428°E.  Temperatures have yo-yoed erratically up and down a degree or two,  hitting a high of -1.1°C at 3:00 PM yesterday afternoon, then falling to -2.4°C at midnight, bouncing to -1.6°C at 3:00 AM, falling to -3.1°C at 6:00 AM, again bouncing to -1.6°C at 9:00 AM, and again falling to -3.1°C at noon.  I imagine the air can form small pools of more-warmed and less-warmed air, when winds are light, brought about by areas of open water, and also whether a berg is tilted towards or away-from the sun, and these areas of slightly different temperature eddy about each other, wafting by the thermometer and causing the yo-yo effect.

JUNE 1  —DMI MORNING MAP—

DMI2 June 1 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 June 1 temp_latest.big (1)

High pressure persists over the Beaufort Gyre, as a weak low shifts north towards the Pole from Severnaya Zemlya, (which is that group of islands seperating the Kara and Laptev Seas).  Though the low continues the pattern of storms heading to the Pole, it is far weaker than earlier gales, but I suppose I ought dub it “Severn”.

The entire Arctic Sea is below freezing, but very little below minus five.  I wonder if the unusual consistency of temperature is due to the fact all the powdered salt, which was blown around with the snow at colder temperatures, is now all melting the snow.  This might create a plateau in the rise of temperatures until the physical process is completed.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Gone gray again—

NP2 June 1 18

 

JUNE 1  —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 June 1B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 June 1B temp_latest.big (1)

“Servern” is dragging  a needle of above-freezing air up towards the Pole, as night swings around and brings reading below minus-five to the Canadian side.

Things seem fairly stagnant. The biggest low, over Hudson Bay, will just sit there and weaken. Thge low southwest of Iceland will sit there and weaken. The low exiting Scandinavia will suck “Servern” south, and then weaken.  A vauge sort of ridge from west of Scandinavia towards Alaska will undulate, and weakly persist.

The computer models seem to show the block persisting. And interesting storm will skiit h of all the stagnation across the Atlantic,  and be large for a summer storm, sitting off Spain and well south of Ireland by Friday. Then it turns around and heads back towards the southern tip of Greenland in ten days.  Hmm. Maybe the models are confused by all the stagnation. But it will be an interesting feature to watch for.

Let me show you some of the confusion in the UK Met maps:

CONFUSING UK MET SOLUTION FOR NEXT FRIDAY

This map shows the low I was talking about after it has crossed the Atlantic but before it heads back towards Greenland, completely wound up and a tangle of occlusions, to the west of Spain. But what really is puzzling is the warm front coming down from the north, in the Atlantic, as a cold front comes up from the south in southern Scandinavia.

UK Met June 1 June 6 forecast 15015810 (click to enlarge)

This just shows you how topsy-turvy  blocking patterns are.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Open water dead ahead—

NP2 June 1C 15NP2 June 1B 18

These two pictures are from 10:30 this morning and 4:30 this afternoon, and are definitely worth clicking and enlarging, especially the second one.

The second picture shows clearly that what was merely a crack last week now is a pressure ridge, (though perhaps there is a lead of open water hidden behind it.) Remember that ice cannot build up on the top of the ice without pressing down, and the rule of thumb is that nine times the volume is below.  Therefore, though the “area” of the ice may be decreased, the “volume” remains roughly the same, overall, and in this small area is greatly increased.

Second, the picture shows a new lead appearing straight ahead. Temperatures are below the freezing point of salt water, so the lack of a skim of ice likely means it is quite new.  You can see distant ice on the far side.

Third, if you compare the horizon with the last sunny picture you can recognize forms, and see they have moved little, but definitely have undergone some mangling. This is especially obvious at the right margin, where an impressive mountain of ice has arisen.  I hope, if that horizon decides to shift, that it shifts to the left, so we can get a better view of that bulge.

Lastly, I’ve been wondering about the row of dents in the snow in the near distance, passing behind the very top of the buoy.  With the sun at the angle it is, I’m fairly sure a polar bear walked by and left tracks, in the past. Pity the camera didn’t catch him or her, but, if our camera had made a clicking noise he or she might have come over to check out the noise, and this camera would be knocked over as well.

If that happens I’ll take it as a sign I’m spending too much time watching ice melt, but for now these pictures are a wonderful diversion.

Temperatures did briefly spike up to -1.3°C at 5:00 yesterday afternoon, but just as swiftly were down to -3.2°C at 8:00 PM. They bottomed out at -6.0°C at 3:00 AM, and have recovered to -4.4°C at noon. Our camera has continued to the southwest, to 85.755°N, 12.088°E at noon. Winds have picked up a bit to 11 mph.

I’m curious where the cold is coming from. Not far to our north it is -5.53 C at Buoy 2014E:  but it is mild to our south, up to -1.94 C just north of Greenland, at Buoy 2014D: . Further west it is very cold north of Canada, -11.11 C at Buoy 2012G , and even colder north of the border with Alaska,  -15.26 C  at Buoy 2014C: .

In order to better visualize this I turn to the several thousand maps offered by Dr. Ryan Maue at the WeatherBell site. Below is the GFS prediction for noon tomorrow at our camera:

NP2 June 1B gfs_t2m_arctic_7 (Double click to fully enlarge)

This map does show the short arctic night’s cold north of Canada, and how “Servern” is pulling a streamer of that cold over our camera, but I am distracted by the bright orange in the upper left, showing a heat-wave over Siberia. (This map is upside down, with Greenland at the top.)

That heat, as far as I can tell, is not headed north towards the Pole, but rather, due to the blocking pattern, is going to back west through Scandinavia, (notice how cold northern Norway is,) and then become that warm front moving south in the Atlantic, that seemed so odd to me when I posted next Friday’s UK Met map, above.

How bizarre, that warming isn’t coming north with the Gulf Stream, but east from Siberia. Even stranger is that this pattern, bringing winds from the north in the Atlantic, may bring mild air (which will swiftly be chilled,) but it will also push cold surface waters south, and may deflect the Gulf Stream away from the arctic.

If anyone from Scandinavia visits this site, I’d be curious to know whether Siberia actually does blow warm winds your way. I’m not sure I trust the models.

JUNE 2  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 602 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 602 temp_latest.big (1)

“Servern” is weaker towards the Pole, as the low exiting Scandinavia is stronger as it enters the Kara Sea. Guess I’ll dub that one “Servernson”.

Milder temperatures towards the coast of Canada and Alaska are indicative of the long arctic day swinging around to that side of the Pole.  In this 0000z map noon is straight up and midnight straight down, and the light swings around clockwise. An parabola of shadow also swings around the Pole, drifting away from the Pole until it reaches the Arctic Circle on the first day of summer, whereupon it starts drifting back.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Less open water straight ahead—

NP2 June 2 16NP2 June 2B 18

 

The two pictures above were taken 8 minutes apart around 4:30 AM. The water that looked ipen last night, just above the right antennae-thingy (with the clear globe on top), appears dusted by blown snow, which suggests a skim of thin ice has formed. Or…a skim of thin ice has drifted over the open water, moving right to left.

If you open the above pictures on  new tabs, and then click back and forth between them, you can see a slight right-to-left motion of a small berg on the right edge of the shining open water that remains.

Also the highest “mountain” on the horizon, to the far right, has moved left from where it was last night, and is situated a little farther away from the right margin.

It still looks cold up there.

JUNE 2 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0602B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0602B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead reopening—

NP2 June 2C 16NP2 June 2D 17

The right picture was taken five minutes after the left, around 4:15 PM. The ice in the right background is shifting to the right, and the “mountain” has moved off camera, to the far right.  The ice continues slightly south in 5-10 mph winds, but the movement west has shifted to a movement east (which may explain the opening lead,) and we wound up at 85.707°N, 12.167°E at noon. Temperatures have been fairly steady and cold, and at noon were at -5.4°C.

JUNE 3 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0603 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0603 temp_latest.big (1)

“Servern” continues weak over the Pole as “Servernson” lashes the Kara Sea.  Some open water is appearing in the Laptev Sea. Hudson Bay is getting broken up as a series of storms move north across it and stall to the North.  “Servernson” looks likely to also stall. Between the two the polar areas are relatively tranquil, with temperatures below normal. Temperatures are not rising as quickly as they usually do, which is like last year.

DMI2 0603 meanT_2014 (Click to enlarge)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead may be closing—

NP2 June 2E 13NP2 June 3 17

The above pictures were taken around 10:30 last night (left) and 4:30 this morning (right).  The low scud continues to move left to right, however it seemingly was slanting away from the camera in the first picture and is slanting towards the camera in the second. The ice along the right horizon continues to move to the right in the first  picture, but movement has apparently stopped in the second.  Perhaps we’ve run up against another berg. The lead appears smaller in the second picture. Temperatures continue cold.

JUNE 3 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0603B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0603B temp_latest.big (1)

Very warm over Scandinavia, but warmth is spilling west and not coming north yet.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —SUNNY AND QUIET—

NP2 June 3B 15NP2 June 3C 18

The ice isn’t moving much in the background. Our camera has moved slightly south to 85.661°N, 12.156°E. Winds have increased from around 5 mph to around 10. Temperatures have gradually risen to -3.9°C at noon.

JUNE 4  —MORNING DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0604 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0604 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead crunches shut?—

NP2 June 3D 12NP2 June 4 14 (1)

(Click to enlarge and compare)  These pictures are from roughly 10:30 last night and 4:30 this morning, and I can detect no movement in the ice on the horizon, yet it seems something has filled in the open water that shows straight ahead in the earlier picture (to the left.) Rather  than sun shining on water there appears to be shadows of jumbled ice.

JUNE 4 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0604B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0604B temp_latest.big (1)

A weak memory of “Servern” persists over the Pole surrounded by weak and largely stagnant features. The mild air over Scandinavia continues to drain west and not move north.

Temperatures are below normal over the Arctic Sea. Ordinarily roughly half the area would be above freezing at this point, yet we only witness a small area over towards Bering Strait and another smaller area in the Kara Sea above freezing, and also pools of minus-five isotherm north of Canada.

Before we get excited about the cool air temperatures, we should remember 2007 was also cold at this time over the Pole, but it didn’t stop the export of ice through Fram Strait.

My guess is that the water under the ice is colder than in 2007, and less stratified.  I’d like to gain access to the data being gleaned by new thermometers under the ice to see if my guess is close to reality, though I don’t suppose they have much data from 2007.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Ice shifting again—

NP2 June 4B 14 (1)NP2 June 4C 16

The ice on the horizon to the left has started shifting left again, which should open up the distant lead. Winds of 4-8 mph have apparently shifted around to the south, as our Cameras motion to the south has slowed and stopped, as we continue east, to 85.637°N, 12.403°E.  There was even a tiny 001° northward movement during the last report at noon.

Temperatures remain steady, and were at -3.8°C at noon. The barometer is slowly rising, up to 1019.7 mb at noon, but the cloudiness makes me wonder why people fret so much about the effects of sunshine up there.

JUNE 5  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0605 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0605 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Open and shut—

NP2 June 4C 13NP2 June 5 18

(Click images to new tabs to best enlarge and compare.)

…AND CRUNCH

NP2 June 5B 14 (1)

 

Features on the horizon are larger and closer. Features on the the far side of the lead may not be larger because they are closer, but rather because the lead has crunched shut and the far side’s pressure ridge is building. The ice on the far side of the lead is moving slightly to the left.

Our camera has moved steadily east, but moved south and north and south and north and south again in winds that have generally been light and less than 5 mph. (It is interesting to speculate what sort of rumpling of ice we’d see if the lead slammed shut in stronger winds.) Our noon position was 85.630°N, 12.628°E. Temperatures fell to -4.8°C at 3:00 AM, rose to -3.1°C at 9:00 AM, and then fell right back to where they were at noon yesterday, at -3.8°C at noon today.

If you compare the above picture with the sunny picture from May 31 (under the title “Hey! Where did that mountain range come from?”) you can spot the same features on the far side of the pressure ridge and the far horizon, though displaced to the right and smaller. They actually may not have changed all that much. However what has truly changed is the amount of ice piled up on our side of the lead, (which is the near side of the pressure ridge when the lead is closed.)

In a way it is like watching a fault line, or rift valley, with the geological time-scale greatly sped up.

JUNE 5  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI 0605BDMI2 0605B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead reopens—

The entire ice-mountain-ranges visible in the most recent picture above have exited to the right of our stage, in the picture below, and the lead that had clamped shut has reopened.

NP2 June 5D 15

This is a much milder-looking picture, especially as the clouds look more prone to rain than snow. However be wary of leaping to conclusions. Leads can close as swiftly as they open, and the “mountain-ranges” are not far away, though out of sight.

JUNE 6  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0606 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0606 temp_latest.big (1)

The pressure remains fairly disorganized over the Pole.  Some of the milder air over Scandinavia is being sucked up towards Svalbard, and some above-freezing air is in the northern Bering Strait and Laptev Sea, but most of the Pole remains below normal.

NORTH POLE CAMERA —Another wind shift—

NP2 June 6 15NP2 June 6B 17

(Enlarge these to new tabs and compare. They are taken 5 minutes apart, at roughly 4:15 this morning. The ice in the lead can be seen to drift tight-to-left, which suggests the lead may be again closing.) ( Also the distant, white dot in the lead in the second picture may be a polar bear on thin ice, as the white dot isn’t there in a picture taken three minutes later.)

JUNE 6  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0606B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0606B temp_latest.big (1)

 

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The lead slams shut; the lead rips open—

NP2 June 6C 11NP2 June 6D 16

These pictures are from roughly 10:00 AM and 4:15 PM.  Click to enlarge, or better yet, check out this animation the Blogger  Max™ sent me, made up of the pictures from the same time period: http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/6-06-2014/szJdAf.gif

In the first picture the ice in the background is shifting to the left, and in the second picture it is shifting to the right.  The repetitive opening and closing of the lead may be associated with the fact our camera moved south, then north, then south, and then north again. All the while it drifted east, winding up at 85.625°N, 13.057°E.  Temperatures rose as high as -3.3°C at 9:00 PM yesterday, and sunk as low as -5.2°C at 6:00 AM today, before again rising to -4.1°C at noon. Winds increased slightly to around 14 mph.

JUNE 7 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0607 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0607 temp_latest.big (1)

The lull continues one more day, but there are some signs the pattern may be changing, or perhaps reloading. The blocking high will persist in the north Atlantic, but the features around its edges will move about.

I don’t claim to understand the warmth over Scandinavia. The rising air seems to have created a weak low at the surface over the Baltic, which somehow translated into a weak upper air low, to the east of the blocking high.  As that mess moves east the mild air coming into Scandinavia looks like it will be replaced by more of a southwest flow. This sort of flow is more likely to warm Barents Sea, but it seems a front will form there and resist penetration of the mildness north into the arctic, due to yet another low moving up over the Pole.

The weak memory of “Servren” will be revitalized by some mild air pulled north past Svalbard, and the stronger low west of Greenland will transit Greenland’s northern highlands, (I call this “morphistication”), and move towards the Pole. I’ll call this second low “Greeny.”  It will dance-with and absorb “Servren,” keeping low pressure over the Pole for what looks like it will be a solid week.  Some of the strongest winds associated with the low appear likely between the Pole and Fram Strait, and likely to hit our camera.  STAY TUNED!

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The back-slosh before a charge?

NP2 June 6E 13NP2 June 7 17 

(Click to enlarge) These pictures are from 10:15 last night and 4:15 this morning. In the first picture the background ice is moving to the left, and the lead has closed to a degree. In the second picture the background ice appears motionless, and the lead appears very slightly wider. Judging from the clouds, it looks like milder air is moving in, at least aloft. Surface temperatures may remain colder. At Buoy 2014E: , roughly 100 miles north, the most recent reading is -5.60 C.

As “Greeny” reforms northeast of Greenland it will be to our south, but will pass over today and be to our north tomorrow and all next week. Today winds will be from our east, but for a long stretch afterwards they will be from the west. Assuming (from the fact the camera faces the sun at 4:15 AM) the camera faces east, the wind will be in our face today and then at our back for a week afterwards.  Today we will back off, but then we will charge ahead.

What will this mean in terms of the lead we have been watching?  I haven’t a clue, for the same wind will effect the ice on both sides of the lead.  I suppose it depends on which floe of ice has the taller pressure ridges, which would be like sails catching the wind.  If the ice dead ahead has the better sails, it could move off and the lead would widen, but if we have better sails we could go crashing into it and see some big pressure ridges form.

In either case, it ought to be an interesting week, unless the ice cracks up and our camera sinks.  Or…well…I suppose that would be interesting, but an end to this series of posts.

I wonder how far east we will be blown.  We could move east well north of Svalbard, which I’ve never seen a camera do before.  STAY TUNED!!!

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

UK Met June 7 15149472 (click to enlarge)

I’m just comparing this initial map, which is reality, with the forecast map for today I posted a week ago, above.  They did get the stalled storm southwest of Ireland right, but they had a weird warm front pressing down from the north, over Iceland, as a weird cold front pressed up from the south, over Scandinavia.  That got messed up by the weird back-wash of warmth from the east over Scandinavia rising and forming a weak low over the Baltic, which extends up into the upper atmosphere.

Before I peek at upper atmosphere maps I should mention that having a low stalled this  far south happened a lot last winter, and, as you can’t really call it an “Icelandic Low” I dubbed such stalled storms “Britannic Lows”.  It seems significant (to me at least) that lows in this position blow against and across the normal flow of the Gulf Stream.

Considering people focus so much, in the Pacific, on whether trade winds are strong or weak, and how this effects the development of the El Nino, it seems probable (to me, at least),  that equal attention should be paid to whether winds assist the flow of the Gulf Stream, or hinder it.

SOME 500 MB MAUE MAPS

I urge any who are fascinated by weather to subscribe to the WeatherBELL premium site (free week’s trial offered) if only for the wonderful collection of maps that Dr. Ryan Maue has put together from data which, (if it isn’t made into a map or graph) is sheer gobbledygook to me.  There are more maps produced through some automatic computer wizardry than you could possibly look at, updated every six hours or so.  The maps must number in the thousands. I like to look at the 500 mb maps, as that level of the atmosphere does a lot of “steering” of things down below.

Below are the current, 3 day, 5 day and 6 day maps of the 500 mb level over Europe.  What really interests me is the trough (blue anomaly) abruptly bulging down over Scandinavia on the sixth day.  That would seem to be an abrupt shift from balmy to colder weather, and also suggest winds that might steer our camera south.

CURRENTMM Jun7A gfs_z500_sig_eur_1  

3 DAY        MM Jun7B gfs_z500_sig_eur_13  

5 DAY        MM Jun7C gfs_z500_sig_eur_21  

6 DAY        MM Jun7D gfs_z500_sig_eur_25

(CLICK THESE MAPS TWICE TO FULLY ENLARGE THEM)

JUNE 7  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0607B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0607B temp_latest.big (1)

“Servern” has drifted back up to the Pole, as “Greeny” morphs over the icecap and appears on Greenland’s northeast coast.

Temperatures remain well below normal around the Pole. Usually they are up to freezing by now.

DMI2 June 7B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Bump and grind—

NP2 June 7B 10NP2 June 7C 15

 

Background ice isn’t moving in first picture (to left, roughly 10:00 am), and is moving to left in second picture (to right, roughly 4:00 PM).  Judging from background features, the background ice is also moving away.

Our camera drifted steadily east all day, and north until 6:00 AM, and then was nudged .005° south by noon, winding up at 85.610°N, 13.602°E. Winds have slackened down to around 8 mph. The pressure has been steady all day at 1016 mb, winding up at 1016.4 mb at noon. Despite the midnight sun, temperatures fell to -6.0°C at midnight, and then rose to -3.7°C at 6:00 AM.  At noon they are back down to -5.3°C.

Usually we are seeing more above freezing temperatures by now, especially down towards the Atlantic side of the Pole. (Don’t forget we’ve drifted roughly 250 miles south of the Pole.)

JUNE 8 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0608 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0608 temp_latest.big (1)

 

More above-freezing temperatures on the Pacific side, where it is high noon on these 0000z maps. We’ll see how it looks twelve hours from now, when the brief polar night descends south of the Arctic circle, up at the tip of the map. It looks a little cooler at the bottom of the map, where it is midnight.

“Servren” is weaker over the Pole, as “Greeny” moves slowly northeast towards our camera.

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —dreary and gray—

NP2 June 7E 12NP2 June 8 18

 

(Click to enlarge) Ice across the lead is moving right to left. Temperatures are quite cold at  Buoy 2014E: to the north, at  -7.34 C.

JUNE 8  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0608B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0608B temp_latest.big (1)

 

“Servren” and “Greeny” are pulling off the Fujiwhara Effect waltz, (or perhaps it is the bola-stones-twirl), and each seems to be drawing north their separate source of slightly milder air to fuel their  separate existences. Some colder air lies over the Pole between them.

The first glimpse of really mild air can be seen on the shores of the Laptev Sea in central Siberia, hinting of the inland heat of Siberia in the summer.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Wind in our face, and….Aurrrgh!!!”

NP2 June 8B 14 (1)

Turn on the defrosters!  Turn on the defrosters!

NP2 June 8C 18

 

There. That’s better.  (Actually some of these cameras do have lens defrosters, but they only use them when they have power to spare. I’m not sure how much solar power you get when the weather is so cloudy up there, even though the sun never sets.)

It looks like the camera got an inch or so of snow.  Since yesterday we have drifted steadily north, but our eastward drift came to a halt at 6:00 PM yesterday, at 13.704°E, and since then the wind-in-our-face has pushed us back west, and at noon today we wound up at 85.643°N, 13.424°E. (We are back up at the latitude we were at on June 3.)

The snow is likely connected to some sort of weak warm front, as the temperatures have risen steadily to -0.9°C. The pressure has fallen to 1010.8 mb, and winds are quite light, around 5 mph.

For people who are focused on the albedo equations, a fresh fall of snow reflects sunlight better than anything else.

JUNE 9  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0609 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0609 temp_latest.big (1)

“Servren” and “Greeny” continue their Fujiwhara Waltz, with Greeny now past our Camera, and the winds likely shifting. There is some thawing on the Bering Strait side of the Arctic Sea, but around the Pole it still remains below normal.

NORTH POLE CAMERA   —Clearing skies—

NP2 June 8D 15NP2 June 9 18

(Click images to enlarge.)  These images are from 10:00 last night (left) and 4:00 this morning (right). In the first the ice across the lead isn’t moving, but a chunk of ice in the lead is moving to the left. In the second the entire far side is moving to the left. Or perhaps we are moving to the right. However, as the lead has apparently closed, there must be a lot of grinding going on. The snow drifts have shifted about quite a bit from how they were laid out in the picture from May 31, above.

JUNE 9  —DMI Afternoon Maps— Where’s the thaw?—

DMI2 0609B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0609B temp_latest.big (1)

“Servren” and “Greeny” are continuing their Fujiwhara waltz around the Pole, and it seems to be creating a zonal flow that locks the cold air up there and won’t let any warm invade from the south.  The closest thing to an invasion is due to a low along the coast of the Laptev Sea, “Lappy”, bulging a small area of warmth north there. (“Lappy” will be the next storm to charge up to the Pole.)

Another small pocket of above freezing temperature is north of Franz Josef Land, during the warmest part of their afternoon. The short arctic night has swung around to the Bering Strait side of the Arctic Sea, and dropped temperatures over there.  It is a impressively cold map, at a time where the average temperature of the arctic sea is usually above freezing.  However don’t expect headlines. Only thaws make headlines.

The graph shows temperatures actually dropping, when we should be above the blue line that marks the freezing point.

DMI2 0609B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Eastward Ho!—

(Click the pictures below for larger, clearer images.)

In the first picture we see a far colder scene. The winds that were in our face have swung around to our right, (the north), and continued on to our back. While they were in the north they cleared the loose ice out of the lead, but temperatures fell significantly, from -0.9°C at noon yesterday to -6.8°C at three AM today. At the time of this picture (10:00 AM) the temperatures were inching back up to a reading of -5.9°C. The open water in the lead looks like it is skimming over with ice despite the bright sunshine. Our northward movement has ceased, and we are moving south, as our westward movement has ceased, and we are just starting back east, to 85.577°N, 13.021°E. As the winds swung through the north they peaked at around 16 mph but have slackened to 9 mph from the west.

NP2 June 9B 13

 

The second picture shows the far side of the lead still distant, but closer, with some looming peaks.  If we catch up there could be quite a crunch. The mass of ice that was distant and straight ahead in the above shot now appears to be lodged on our side of the lead, to the right, and is motionless.

NP2 June 9C 17

 

We are likely to have a low to our north for the next weak, and one model is showing “Lappy” will be a significant gale, and the east winds at our camera could get quite strong by next weekend. Eastward ho!

********

As this post is becoming long and unwieldy, and as the thaw I’ve been awaiting isn’t happening, I’ll start a new post about the death of the “Death Spiral”, at:   https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-death-spirals-death/

 

—*******MEMORIAL DAY*******— —FATHER’S DAY—

On Memorial Day I recall guys I knew who didn’t make it back from Vietnam, but also my parents, who were veterans of a different battlefield.  The social earthquake they lived through is a story for another evening. Let it suffice to say they walked sixteen years together and then over thirty-five apart, surviving an ordeal with the strange dignity given to those who endure.

In the end they were buried very far apart. My father’s grave is less than a mile away, but I cannot visit my mother’s grave.  She asked that her ashes be scattered at sea. I’m not sure why, for she didn’t tell me her reasons.  She was a very private person, and perhaps didn’t want her privacy intruded upon, even in death. If that is the case, it didn’t work, for when I go swimming at the beach I sometimes think of her ashes, and that I am swimming in her as I once did as an embryo in her womb.  You can’t get much more intrusive than that, but then, I always was a bit of a brat.

It made no sense to me that she would want to be buried at sea, for all her life she was in terror of the ocean. Maybe her choice was made because her first love likely died at sea, (he was a merchant marine sailor on a freighter sunk by a German submarine while convoying supplies to Russia.) Maybe she wanted her ashes mingled with him, in the end. However she sure hated it when my father and brothers and I sailed and fished on the ocean. She’d seen the sea be cruel, and was sure we all were good as dead, over and over and over again.

We never died, for as far as we were concerned it was a kindly sea, not a cruel sea, and it never let us down despite some close calls and hair-raising escapades. Rather than dying my father came alive on the sea, and if anyone should have been buried at sea it should have been him. It makes no sense that he’s buried up in these hills, so far from the shore.

In any case, there was little chance of visiting my mother’s grave today; the traffic to the shore was terrible, and I am way behind on my planting. In any case, she never seemed to want visitors, but my father seemed to think being remembered was a nice thing. Every Memorial Day he’d go down to Clinton,  Massachusetts to his family’s plot, and visit his parents and grandparents.  I figured he’d like it if I visited him today, so I picked some lilacs and went to his grave.

We used to argue about whether there was an afterlife or not. I stated the Mind was different from the brain, and he stated consciousness ceased when the electricity ceased flickering through the miracle called the brain. Therefore he would not want me to visit because he’d be watching. Instead he liked being remembered.

He actually wanted to be buried down in Clinton, so he could be remembered along with his mother and father and brother and sister-in-law, and the linkage of family history back through time would be easier. However my stepmother insisted she would be buried in the town she loved, with the man she loved next to her, and my father meekly and wistfully complied.  (My stepmother could be very selfish at times, but I brought her some lilacs all the same.)

After I laid the lilacs on their graves I stood in the hot sun feeling far away from them. No communing was going on. I figure folk are fairly busy in the afterlife, and not very aware of this world. This world fades like the reality of your bedroom does, when you are deep in a vivid dream. However my father wanted me to remember, so I did my best.

Oddly, what popped into my head were two pictures of my father in situations I hadn’t witnessed, taken sixty years apart.

The first was a picture my sister sent me, of my father in uniform in World War Two, with my uncle, also in uniform.  There were other, more formal pictures, but this one was a gag shot.  Because my father was the “baby,” six years younger than my uncle, (my grandfather served in France in World War One between their births,) my uncle was holding my Dad in his arms, (more like a husband holds a bride crossing a threshold than a mother holds a baby,) and both wore mischievous grins I’d never seen them wear, as more serious elders.

The second was a gag shot from the final visit my father made to the Clinton graveyard. By then my father could not move about without a walker, (which he called a “galloper”,) but he had labored away from my grandparent’s grave, up a slope to my grandmother’s family plot, and had his picture taken by the big stone with her family name on it.  I’m not sure my stepmother recognized the irony as she took the shot, but I’m certain my Dad did: A very old man in a walker by a gravestone with the single word, “Young,” on it.

I guess that demonstrates a tough sense of humor that lasted from youth at the gates of war, to the gates of death sixty years later. It made me smile, blinking in the bright sunshine, which I think is the sort of remembrance my father would have wanted.

However as I turned away to get back to my planting I wished I had done more for the old man, in his final years.  I did take him fishing at a nearby pond, but never took him to the beach, though we talked about the ocean all the time. I suppose it was because I could barely take my own kids to the beach, for a single day once or twice a summer.  Still, it seemed a shame that a guy who loved the sea so much didn’t get to the shore once, that I know of, in his final thirteen years.

I think that thought was wandering through my skull because I found this old, sappy Father’s Day poem I wrote for my Dad, when my my dead computer from those days was resurrected, last Saturday.

SAILING (For Dad.)

In a boat called, “Life,”
On a sea called, “Life,”
Through a storm called, “Life,”
We’ve gone sailing.

Often bailing;
Often flailing
To reach sheets in the wind,
Or to reach a beach on a reach before finned
Sharks bit our bark,
We’ve gone sailing.

We’ve gone sailing in the summer
When the waves are soft and low,
And gone sailing in some weathers
And in places few dare go.

In a manner of speaking
We have sailed onto the shore
And up and over mountains
Where eagles never soar.

We have sailed across salt deserts
Which have never seen an oar.

We’ve ignored the folk who say,
“Sail where sailors ought.”
Even when we simply sit
We’re sailing in our thought.

And I am glad I’ve learned these ways
Of thinking, at your side,
And looking back I see a wake
that makes me grin with pride.

When the night is full of plankton
And my wake is through the stars
And I tack about the Dipper
I’m glad you were my skipper.

I can’t really remember writing this poem, nor whether I decided it was too sappy to give to my father.  Often I’d write poems that seemed great, and later decide they stunk. It is as Henry Miller wrote, “Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read the words of a master and recognize them as our own…”

If we want life to be more poetic, we need to push poetry and to be poets.

However I did remember my my father on Memorial Day, which is something he would have liked.