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Chris Reynolds

Barents and Kara are well below average. However the cold weather in Europe seems to be due to the low AO - there's no indication of a Petoukhov/Semenov pattern at present.

Jim Hunt

The "Morris Jesup Polynia" didn't seem to have a name back in 2002 Terry. There have been some previous references by Werther to a polynia in the vicinity on the Arctic Sea Ice blog here and here. However those were in spring 2011 rather than autumn.

Is there by any chance a north Greenland polynia expert in the house?


Morning Jim,

I see you mention my CAD count work north of Greenland last year in relation to the present polynia near Cape Morris Jessup.

What I found then were numerous small open water spots within the anomalous lead system that had evolved out there since winter 10-11. Wayne was the first noticing that pattern on AVHRR that February.

I haven’t checked the satellite record, but my guess is someone ’s going to have a hard time finding a regular polynia that site/this time of the year.
Around the corner, SE of Flade Isblink, yes, there’s a regular one, usually April-September.

That it is there now, tells something about anomalous SW- and katabatic winds and about thin ice with many, superficially frozen leads.


Meanwhile, weirdness is maybe not the adequate word to describe the evolving ‘warm Arctic-cold continent’ event. That’s because we used the term specifically for consequences through the record low sea ice minimum.

It still is hard to fix a link. Chris Reynolds said that the Kara-Barentsz connection as described by Petoukhov doesn’t appear. But maybe it is part of a larger pattern, like Wayne has described. However, there are reasons why the course of action during the fall now end up in an almost fixed split Polar Vortex (any suggestions?).

While the polar jet keeps flowing along the edges of the Rossby waves, the ridges and throughs remain almost fixed (or, said in other words, constantly re-install) on their geographical locations. The lock is on the axis Bering St – Iceland. It shows in anomalous high SLP and 500Mb height. In these pics from NCEP/NCAR 0112 I marked the pattern.

Mean 500Mb height 0112

Mean SLP 01122012

Obviously the Kara-Barentsz region is part of the game.

Next is spread of built-up cold over Russian snow cover into Europe. As stated earlier (Kris?), on the leeward-side of this system, warm air will enter the Arctic along Greenland.
While the Alaskan side of the Bering Sea is cold, the Siberian side is the opposite. The Baffin Bay is portal for lows entering the Arctic. The USA doesn’t get much to welcome St Nick.

All in all turbulent times, not a usual, uniform NH winter. Sea ice extent may not be the lowest now, but all this is bound to harm volume for next year.

Jhon Koli

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