Forum member jdallen started speculating about it on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum a few days ago, Robertscribbler then posted a blog about it two days ago, and this was followed by a piece on the Washington Post website yesterday, and today it's mentioned in a Slate article about all the crazy weather lately.
There sure is a lot of crazy weather, but the cherry on top, literally, is a storm in the North Atlantic that is pulling a huge amount of warm air into the Arctic.
For a brief moment we'll have temperatures close to zero degrees near the North Pole. That's almost warmer than the night temperatures where I live in Austria, at the end of December. I don't know how often this has happened before, and I've seen some crazy anomalies over Siberia and places like Svalbard in the past couple of winters, but this is the first time I'm seeing something like this, a swirl of warm air spiralling into the Arctic (actual temperatures on the left, anomalies on the right, from the University of Maine's Climate Reanalyzer website):
Freak storm in North Atlantic to lash UK, may push temperatures over 50 degrees above normal at North Pole
The vigorous low pressure system that helped spawn devastating tornadoes in the Dallas area on Saturday is forecast to explode into a monstrous storm over Iceland by Wednesday.
Big Icelandic storms are common in winter, but this one may rank among the strongest and will draw northward an incredible surge of warmth pushing temperatures at the North Pole over 50 degrees above normal. This is mind-boggling.
And the storm will batter the United Kingdom, reeling from recent flooding, with another round of rain and wind.
The storm’s pressure is forecast by the GFS model to plummet more than 50 millibars in 24 hours between Monday night and Tuesday night, easily meeting the criteria of a ‘bomb cyclone’ (a drop in pressure of at least 24 mb in 24 hours),
By Wednesday morning, when the storm reaches Iceland and nears maximum strength, its minimum pressure is forecast to be near 923 mb, which would rank among the great storms of the North Atlantic.
It's not clear yet what the effect of all this will be on Arctic sea ice, but what a way to end the year. I wish everyone the best for 2016, especially the people across the globe who are suffering from all this winter weirdness.