I’ve been busy with the GOES-R launch, but am also following the incredible situation in the High Arctic, where Arctic Sea ice continues to run at record low levels. More like falling of a cliff actually, and the only word I can come up with is astonishing! There is a real temperature dipole showing up between the warm Arctic and the very cold areas of Russia/Asia where the snowfall was quite extensive in October. Surface pressures have passed 1080 hectopascals (millibars) in this area (this indicates frigid and heavy air), and there is growing evidence of a connection to October snow there, and cold and snowy winters in Europe and the NE U.S. (See the winter forecast in a previous post).
The ice globally is also at record low levels, and if you’re wondering how this will impact the winter storm tracks, then I can tell you we meteorologists are wondering (and arguing) about it as well! There’s no way that it cannot, so what’s happening is VERY important. In addition, there’s no doubt that the warming planet is having a big impact in the Arctic, and if you think that climate change is a future problem, you need to change your mindset now.
This is from NSIDC (NOAA). I plotted the 1979-1989 years and the black line is the 1981-2010 average. Shading is two std. deviations. Red line is 2016.
Broadcast metr. (like me) who are busy with a local forecast each day are very appreciative of Zack Labe for keeping us updated on the Arctic ice/temps.
PhD. student Zack Labe at the Univ. of Ca. Irvine has been posting some amazing info, and I planned on contacting him when I got back from the GOES-R launch at the Kennedy Space Center. My fellow blogger Callan Bentley beat me to it, and I’m glad he did!
Read his interview with Zack Labe HERE.
Note: The open water in the Arctic (usually frozen by now) is putting a tremendous amount of heat into the atmosphere over the Arctic, and this impacts the wind flow from the surface into the stratosphere. How this is playing out is the subject of intense research right now. Last thing: Note the global temps. this year- ctsy. Climate Central in Princeton: