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Neven

It's unseasonably warm in Alaska BTW, because of that loop in the jet stream that's bringing cold to the eastern part of the US.

Colorado Bob

Record Alaskan Warmth and Rains Trigger Huge Avalanche That Isolates Valdez

Record warmth and precipitation in Alaska
As of January 26, 13.83" of precipitation had fallen in Valdez during the month of January. This is more than 8" above average for this point in the month, and close to the all-time record for January precipitation of 15.18", set in 2001 (records go back to 1972.) With more rain on the way Monday and Tuesday, this record could easily fall. Numerous locations in Southeast Alaska have beaten their rainiest January day on record marks.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has much more detail on the record Alaska January warmth in his latest post, Record Warmth in Alaska Contrasts Cold Wave in Eastern U.S. A few highlights:

- Temperatures of up to 40° above normal occurred across the interior and West Coast of Alaska on Sunday. Bolio Lake Range Complex in Fort Greely, Alaska, located about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, hit 60°. This is only 2° short of the all-time state January heat record of 62° set at Petersburg in 1981.

- At 10pm local time Sunday in Homer, Alaska, the temperature was 54°. This was warmer than any location in the contiguous U.S., except for Southern Florida and Southern California. The 55° high in Homer on Sunday broke their all-time monthly record by 4°.

- All-time January heat records have been set in 2014 in Nome, Denali Park, Palmer, Homer, Alyseka, Seward, and Talkeetna.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2620#commenttop

Colorado Bob

Aqua/MODIS
2014/025
01/25/2014
22:00 UTC


Sediment along the southern coast of Alaska
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=Alaska.A2014025.2200.1km.jpg

Colorado Bob

In fact, on Sunday (January 26) the temperature at around the 10,600’ level (about the 700 mb level) rose to freezing above Fairbanks, the warmest ever measured for any month from November to March (inclusive). The same also occurred at Ketchikan where at the 850 mb level (around 5,000’) the temperature soared to 53.6°F (12°C), a January record for any location anywhere in the state.

However, in spite of the shallow cool air at the surface, some interior locations have reached record territory. Most incredible is an unofficial report from an automated platform at Boli Lake, south of Delta Junction, which reported 60°F (15.6°C) on January 26. If accurate, this would be just 2°F shy of Alaska’s all-time state monthly record of 62°F (16.7°C) set at Petersburg on January 16, 1981. Of course, Petersburg is on the southeast Alaskan Peninsula where mild Pacific air sometimes intrudes during the winters. Boli Lake is in the heart the Alaskan interior, normally one of the coldest regions in the state during January.

Extreme January Warmth Elsewhere

The extreme warmth experienced so far this month in Alaska has also been noted in Canada’s Yukon Territory where Carmacks has averaged 22.5°C (40.5°F) above average for the past 10 days (-12.1°C low 2.2°C high versus a normal of -33.6°C low and -23.8°C high). In Iceland, Reykjavik is so far experiencing it’s 8th warmest January on record with a POR beginning in 1871. Greenland has also been exceptionally warm with the normally frigid Summit Station (at 10,500’) yet to record a -50°C (-45.5°F) reading this month (which is around what the entire monthly daily minimum average should be).

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=237#commenttop

Susan Anderson

xkcd might have been about this (but there are so many places ...). Day after day for the past months I've barely seen most of Alaska go below freezing. So weird!

http://xkcd.com/402/
(h/t Hank Roberts)

Chris Reynolds

Thanks Neven.

Nice pic Colorado Bob.

wili

Neven, the loop you talked about in the first comment seems to have mostly busted up.

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-123.84,40.05,328

Parts of the Pacific NW are finally getting some rain. Southern CA is still pretty dry, though.

Can any of our UK friends talk about the battering that various parts of your island nation have been getting from incessant storms?

jdallen_wa

Parts of the Pacific NW are finally getting some rain. Southern CA is still pretty dry, though. fri
Meanwhile, we now appear to have *3* vortices at work in the arctic, and one stream which crosses from Siberia, across the Arctic basin, all the way south to the Gulf.

Weirder than boiled owl poop.

And then, there's the 15C+ above normal temps in central Alaska. My I have friends demanding we send back their weather...

Enno

Re: battering ... from incessant storms :

the NOAA´s OPC has a statement up on that:

http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/Loops/Atlantic_December_2013/Charts2.php

"December 2013 featured an extremely active, and very intense low pressure track across the North Atlantic ocean basin."

And its continuing, though with somewhat reduced intensity; the next hurricane force low is predicted at the weekend or so and going to hit Ireland.

I have not yet seen an explanation for why the N. Atlantic is this extremely stormy this winter. It does seem to serve to pump warm air arctic-wards.

Colorado Bob

Most extensive fire since World War II

The fire in Flatanger on the West Coast of Norway is the most extensive fire catastrophe in Norway since World War II. More than 139 houses and buildings have been destroyed.

The fire in Flatanger in the county of Nord Trøndelag started late Monday night, and only ten days after 40 houses burned to the ground in Lærdalsøyri, also on the West coast.
http://www.norwaypost.no/index.php/news/latest-news/29482

Colorado Bob

Video of the fire -
Fire sweeps across peninsula in northern Norway (1:05)

Jan. 28 – A fire continues to sweep across a peninsula in northern Norway, burning down at least ninety buildings. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
http://uk.reuters.com/video/2014/01/28/fire-sweeps-across-peninsula-in-northern?videoId=276619649&videoChannel=117759

wili

Thanks all for your insights into local events. Does anyone have anything to opine about Enno's (implied) query?:

"I have not yet seen an explanation for why the N. Atlantic is this extremely stormy this winter."

I'm assuming that it is related to the whole wacky wavy jet stream from the central Pacific, up to Alaska, down to the mid US, then back up over the northern Atlantic. That pattern is in the process of falling apart now, apparently, so we'll see.

But I'm mostly just talking out of my nether regions here. So any insights on this from the cogniscenti would be appreciated.

Entropic man

A hypothesis to explain the increased storm activity in the North Atlantic this Winter.

The jetstream is running much further South than normal across North America.

As a result the air on the southern side of the jetstream is warmer than normal and the temperature gradient across the jetstream is larger than normal.

This is energising the jetstream in the North Atlantic and generating the chain of energetic storms the UK has experienced in of late.

Kevin McKinney

Jim, pretty pictures indeed in that second set. Almost too pretty for the subject matter, though it appears that the famous stiff upper lip is in pretty decent fettle.

Thanks.

I have to say, it reminds me of one of the sub-chapters in "Six Degrees," called "Blighty Gets A Battering." Can't be climate change yet, though, surely--that section was in "The 4 Degree World."

http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/The-Four-Degree-World

Natural variability, perhaps--though it is consistent with the ideas in Francis & Vavrus, 2012, I have to recall as well. Either way, it's a good illustration of what "Blighty Gets A Battering" means in real-world terms.

jdallen_wa

Have to disagree with you here, Kevin. I don't think the events we see now fall within natural variability. I think you would have to go a long way to demonstrate that. However, the effects you reference are certainly in line with what we are seeing.

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