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jm wrote: "what else can explain the amount of wacky weather in these last 2 years?"

Are the mid-latitude jet stream and the polar vortex really in the process of fusing? Has that process now gone to completion? No more Ferrel Cell?

Is anyone publishing on this?


The flows out of the tropics directly to high latitudes are certainly dramatic.

I'm musing over what effect the increased temperatures over the pack will have. It does seem that we may be seeing the start of Fracturing Event 2-oh in the Beaufort. Perhaps warmer temperatures and lack of thickening of ice may be contributing?

(this will change, but here's the 11 nanometer IR image from the Canadian Weather Service:

As wili says, it does leave one wondering if the northern hemisphere Hadley/Ferrel/Arctic cell structure is disintegrating before our eyes.


Jdallen, I am wondering that myself although there does appear to be a couple patches of fairly decent westerlies.
Wili, I would like to have the answer to that question myself. There does, however, appear to be enough westerlies that the cells haven't completely fused.


The fog finally cleared out here today in SW Washington and I had a clear view of the mountains. Everything looked green except the tops of Mts. St Helens, Adams, and Hood. Even at 1300 Meters of elevation the mountains were green where normally there is 2 to 3 Meters or more of snow. On Mt. St. Helens at 2000 Meters elevation the rocks looked to be about 50% snow covered. Extremely unusual.


Speaking of circulation, I'm looking at animations of the jet stream over the last 5 days (Dec 31 through Jan 5, 2014), and am boggled by what I'm looking at.

This animation no doubt will change over time, but look at January 2nd.


There is a *6000 KM Long* North/South jet between 500mb and 250mb running from the Canadian Arctic all the way down to the lower Mississippi valley.

Looking at our new toy ( http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-98.21,62.25,350 ), 500MB circulation north of 60 degrees of latitude has disintegrated into a half dozen small vortices, both low and high pressure.

There appears to be another near-vertical N/S jet running a similar distance as the earlier one, running from just south of the Mackenzie delta along the spine of the Rockies all the way to the Mexican border.

Has anyone ever seen anything at all remotely like this?!


I think there was almost similar configuration during the cold spell in Florida a couple of years back (jan-2010 it seems to be), only a bit more east.

Kevin O'Neill

jdallen - this is the same pattern we are seeing more and more of in the summer - the January 3rd animation looks almost identical to July 3rd see Jeff Masters


More crazy…

While the folks in the US get the Arctic whip, we’re presented with the Caribbean torch over here: late night temps in The netherlands 7.9 to 12.4 dC, about +9 dC anomaly:

 photo KNMItempactual073006012014small_zpsf55bcf00-1.jpg

Today could go for +15 dC, shattering day-records. And it’s not just over here; mid Sweden yesterday showed +9 dC anomaly for the First 4 days of this new year….

What a start….


On further thought…
While media over here are suggesting early spring, I wouldn’t be surprised if western Europe is second in line to recieve an Arctic blow. In this roller coaster winter ride, a full wave-1 SSW and some rotation in the wave-sequence could turn this all around. I saw temp anomalies now falling quickly over Siberia, possibly preluding a cold blast third week of January?

Meanwhile, long term average temps over the Arctic Ocean are almost in line with those last winter now. A SSW could contribute to even less ‘winter power’ over the ice, leaving just Feb-Mar for some more thickness growth. Not without importance, if 2014 will see the return of El Nino.


jdallen, I had that very thought earlier before I read your comment: "looking like a summer weather pattern." The pattern on the west coast of North America has been and still is similar to a summer weather pattern too. The forecast is for the high pressure here to break down a little over the next week or so then build back in. Forecasts for rain are now in the forecast again but in the previous month rainy forecasts just haven't panned out much. We'll see if this happens. I am under a temperature inversion up to about 500meters but above 500 m the temps have been running about +5C to +15C above normal since about December 20. Early December was about that much below normal for temps. Lack of precipitation is the most unusual I have ever seen though.


Werther - that doesn't/wouldn't surprise me in the least. A shift east of about 40 degrees of longitude would do it. We could see the plains and places like Chicago go from deep freeze now to 80 degree temps in February. (The shift up is the same in magnitude as the current one down...) Similarly, if that happened, we could see California go from parched to washed away as the moisture track moves.

Don't blink.


Scotland just had it's wettest month ever in December...


Hans Gunnstaddar

Vaughn, we'll just have to see if the westerlies do their trick. I was driving back to our neck of the woods from a nearby town in a location where there is a good view of our large rural community of about 4500, and noticed the trees are taking on a reddish dead look to them. However the natural surrounding areas have green trees. I'm wondering if runoff has to be guided away via culverts so the houses do not flood but that reduces groundwater levels. Usually that probably isn't a problem, except in droughts.

There is a natural spring that has had water flowing out of it year round ever since we moved here in 97, that has gone dry. The local creeks and even on a Mt. St. Helena have a little bit of standing water here and there but no flow. They look much like they would during mid Summer.

I'm feeding the local birds to hold them over until the rains come to spring forth some worms. It's getting downright eery. Go westerlies!


Not really Arctic, but illustrative for this phase in the progress of AGW?

So we had the max today; 14.5dC in De Bilt, the main Dutch weather Station. The highest January maximum in 114 years, except for 13 January 1993, 15.1dC. that was during the Braer-storm, remember the oil tanker crashing against the Shetland rocks.

This time it’s stormdepression Christina, pulling a lot of energy from the subtropics…


Matt Owens has a new post on this subject. Contrasting US with Finland and some input from Dr. Francis.



Good article, JohnC!
BTW I'm getting nervous following Mauna Loa CO2... in this tempo it will hit 400 ppm weekly by March...


Werther, Maakt deel uit van de opwarmende aarde scenario.

Indeed , not enough winter. the rest of the real winter position will be decided during next few weeks. I am still convinced it will be Central Russia, but that would mean that you will be colder!

I Ballantinegray1

I was watching the Beeb report on the US cold plunge and the chappie from the MetO went into some detail to dispel the myth that we in the UK get the US weather a week later. He was at pains to explain that after a few days over the Atlantic the cold would effectively be killed ( modified) by the waters.

The powerful vortex that allowed the deep cold over the Arctic over the early winter will be negated in a matter of days. How many such plunges do we need to see the results begin to spike on the DMI 80N plots?

When I see such an elongate Jet pattern as to drop polar air into the region of the sub tropical Jet I have to wonder if this is how we lose the Polar jet completely and end up with a strengthened sub tropical Jet running more north than it used ( kind of like the Jet Pattern we have seen over the Asian/Pacific region over the past few weeks?)Obviously the contact zone of such air masses would be a very messy affair!


Yes the Beeb and other media outlets need to look u the definition
of "Polar Vortex", which by standard definition is located near the Poles. I have a better acronym for what is going on, it should be called Cold Temperature North Pole, which is an actual Density Weighted calculation of the temperature of the entire troposphere. Usually there is only 1 coldest place per Hemisphere, perhaps when winter has its grasp worldwide. But Today there are at least 3 CTNP's.

Climate Changes

Is extraordinary to watch the Polar Vortex morph from this ... http://earth.nullschool.net/#2013/12/24/1800Z/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=-0.24,95.90,271

... to this ? http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=0.89,105.62,271


Hans, it is not quite that dry up here but the streams are running at summer flows. Still dry today but it looks like rain is threatening as a portion of the westerlies are starting to undercut the high pressure...
Maybe you will get a little rain down your way too.

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