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Archive for the ‘Arctic Oscillation’ Category

Record Low Temps in Oklahoma, Texas

Posted by feww on February 12, 2011

New Record Low for Oklahoma

Record Low Temperatures Over Oklahoma and Western North Texas

Nowata, Oklahoma records lowest ever temperature, an astounding -31 degrees

“Clear skies, light winds and several inches of snow cover allowed several areas across northern Oklahoma to set all-time record low temperatures. The mesonet site in Nowata, Oklahoma dropped to an amazing -31 degrees! This established a new all-time record for the state of Oklahoma. Other locations across central and southern Oklahoma, as well across western north Texas also set daily record low temperatures. Below is a list of low temperature records that occurred [Thursday morning.]” (source: NWS).

At least 8 locations recorded all-time temperature lows!

U-S Snow Depth

Graphical Temp Forecast:

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Posted in Arctic cold, Arctic Oscillation, Climate change dividends, Climate Change Midterm Dividends, climate extremes, temperature swings | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Feeling Cold?

Posted by feww on February 8, 2011

AO Blowing Arctic Ice at YOU

Arctic Sea:  Lowest extent ever recorded for January

Arctic oscillation persisted in a strong negative phase for most of January, keeping the Arctic ice extent low, NSIDC said.

Arctic sea ice keeps the polar regions cool and moderates global climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. “Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline occurring  in the summer melt season.”


Sea Ice Extent for January 2011 declined to 13.55 million square kilometers (5.23 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for the month. The black cross marks the geographic North Pole.

Highlight of NSIDC Report

  • January air temperatures over Arctic rose by 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal.
  • Over the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Bay/Davis Strait and Labrador Sea, temperatures rose by at least 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) above average.
  • “As in December 2010, the warm temperatures in January came from two sources: unfrozen areas of the ocean continued to release heat to the atmosphere, and the wind patterns accompanying the negative phase of the Arctic oscillation brought warm air into the Arctic.
  • “Near the end of January the negative Arctic oscillation pattern broke down and turned positive, which usually favors ice growth. It is unclear how long it will remain in a positive mode.”
  • January 2011 saw the lowest ice extent for the month since satellite records began 31 years ago. The linear rate of decline for the month is –3.3% per decade.
  • Arctic ice extent increased at an average of 42,800 square kilometers (16,500 square miles) per day in January, which is about average.


Source: The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Click images to enlarge.


Orange line in the top image and gray line in time series (above) indicate 1979 to 2000 average ice extent for the day shown.
Credit: NSIDC. Click image to enlarge.


Monthly January ice extent for 1979 to 2011 indicated a decline of 3.3% per decade.
Source: NSIDC. Click image to enlarge.

Negative AO in December 2010 and January 2011,Keeping NH Ice Cold


The average Arctic sea ice concentration for January 2011, processed by AMSR-E aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite. The red line shows the average sea ice extent recorded for the month of January from 1979 to 2000. Source: NASA-EO

Overview of conditions

Arctic sea ice extent averaged over January 2011 was 13.55 million square kilometers (5.23 million square miles). This was the lowest January ice extent recorded since satellite records began in 1979. It was 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles) below the record low of 13.60 million square kilometers (5.25 million square miles), set in 2006, and 1.27 million square kilometers (490,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

Ice extent in January 2011 remained unusually low in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait (between southern Baffin Island and Labrador), and Davis Strait (between Baffin Island and Greenland). Normally, these areas freeze over by late November, but this year Hudson Bay did not completely freeze over until mid-January. The Labrador Sea remains largely ice-free. Source (NSIDC)

Any links with mid-latitude weather?


High and low atmospheric pressure patterns for January 2011 (left) and the January 1968-1996 average (right). Yellows and reds show higher pressures; blues and purples indicate lower pressures, as indicated by the height of the 850 millibar pressure level above the surface, called the pressure surface. Normally, the pressure surface is nearer to the surface around the pole, winds follow the pressure contours around the pole (the polar vortex), and cold air is trapped in the Arctic. This year, the pressure surface is allowing cold air to spill out of the Arctic into the mid-latitudes. Source: NSIDC courtesy NOAA/ESRL PSD

AO in Strong Negative Phase

Warm conditions in the Arctic and cold conditions in northern Europe and the U.S. are linked to the strong negative mode of the Arctic oscillation. Cold air is denser than warmer air, so it sits closer to the surface. Around the North Pole, this dense cold air causes a circular wind pattern called the polar vortex , which helps keep cold air trapped near the poles. When sea ice has not formed during autumn and winter, heat from the ocean escapes and warms the atmosphere. This may weaken the polar vortex and allow air to spill out of the Arctic and into mid-latitude regions in some years, bringing potentially cold winter weather to lower latitudes. Source (NSIDC)

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Posted in AO negative phase, arctic ice cover, Arctic Oscillation, Arctic region temps, Arctic sea ice extent | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Nor’easter Dumps a Foot of Snow on the East Coast

Posted by feww on January 27, 2011

Nor’easters Blamed on Arctic Oscillation

AO Carves an Icy Path from Western Canada to Eastern United States

The 8th snowfall in New York since December 14 (6th this year) dumps another 19 inches of high compact snow on the city.


A bus stop in Queens, NY. An optimistic man waits for a bus as a fast moving winter storm causes a whiteout all the  way up the northeastern coast of the U-S. Photo credit: Mike Segar/Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

Once again a major snowstorm engulfed the Northeast United States, dumping as much as 10 inches of snow in some places.

“Classes were called off and commutes were snarled from Tennessee to New England as cars and buses slipped and slid on highways. The New York area’s airports, among the nation’s busiest, saw hundreds of delayed or canceled flights. Pedestrians struggled across icy patches that were on their way to becoming deep drifts.” AP reported.

New York region experience its eights snowfall since December 14, 2010,  including the “Bloomberg Blizzard” that dumped  20 inches on New York City after Christmas. When the snows arrived Wednesday, the city had already seen 36 inches of snow this season in comparison with the full-winter average of 21 inches.”

Snowfall Totals (so far this winter)

  • NYC: 60 inches (compared with the average of 21 inches for the entire winter season)*
  • Boston:  50.4 inches (about 270 percent increase over normal seasonal snowfalls for the same period)
  • Providence, RI: 31.7 inches (two-fold increase)
  • Connecticut (Bradley Int Airport):  59.1 inches ( more than double the normal)

Source: National Weather Service
* Not confirmed by NWS

Storm Highlights

  • More than 1,000 flights canceled in New York area’s three major airports
  • Thousands of airline passengers are stranded
  • At least 300,000 customers is Washington DC metro area are without power
  • Public schools remained closed for a second day Thursday

January 26, 2011

Area Covered By Snow: 45.5%
Area Covered Last Month: 52.9%
Snow Depth
Average: 16.5 cm
Minimum: 0.0 cm
Maximum: 2385.7 cm
Std. Dev.: 32.2 cm
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 3.7 cm
Minimum: 0.0 cm
Maximum: 1138.5 cm
Std. Dev.: 8.9 cm

Source: NOAA/NOHRSC

Arctic Oscillation Chills North America, Warms Arctic

“Technically, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is a climate pattern caused by the ring of winds that blow around the North Pole from west to east. When they are strong, they trap the Arctic air mass north of 55°N. That’s north of Edinburgh, Moscow and Ketchikan, Alaska. When they are weak, however, the frozen polar air escapes south and can visit sunny California.” Source.


United States, Canada, eastern Siberia, and Greenland land surface temperature anomalies  for January 9 to 16, 2011, against 2003 to 2010 base averages, as observed by
MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Above-average temperatures are in red and orange, below-average temperatures in shades of blue. “Oceans, lakes, and areas with insufficient data (usually because of persistent clouds) appear in gray.” Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (3 MB, JPEG)

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Posted in and surface temperature anomalies 2011, Arctic Oscillation, Bloomberg Blizzard, climate pattern, northern hemisphere | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Europe Freezing to Death!

Posted by feww on December 19, 2010

As the North Atlantic Current of the Gulf Stream Slows Down, the Big Freeze Could  Become ‘Permanent’

Third Wave of Arctic Blast Continues to Bring Snow and Cold to Much of Europe

London’s Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest hub for air passengers, has canceled all arrivals, with only a handful of departures, as temperatures plunged to -5.2C overnight. This winter could turn out to be the coldest on record (since 1910).


Fresh snow has brought much of Britain to a standstill. Traffic queues in the snow on the A3 near Guildford, in southern England December 18, 2010.  Reuters/Luke MacGregor. Image may be subject to copyright.

The Temp lows in Britain:

Loch Glascarnoch (Scotland) : -17.2C
Norwich (England) : -14.4C
Tredegar (Wales) : -10.2C

“For the first 15 days of this month, the average has been -0.7C. So far this month there have been five nights in Edinburgh when the mercury dropped below -10C, once hitting -16C. On December 7, the maximum temperature reached in the daytime there was -8C,” a report said.

“In Manchester and London, 11 out of 16 nights were below freezing, the coldest in Manchester -12C and in London -5C.”

Rest of Europe

In Paris, Charles de Gaulle’s air traffic was cut by about 50 percent as heavy snow blanketed the French capital. At Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport there were many cancellations and long delays.

At Frankfurt airport, Germany’s busiest, nearly half of the planned total of 1,350 flights, departures and arrivals, were canceled Sunday.

Heavy snowfall covered much of Scandinavia, where temperatures dipped to -22ºC (-8ºF).

Heavy snow and ice storms affected as far south as Italy. Tuscany was blanketed in several inches of snow, forcing the closure of Florence’s airport on Sunday.

Heating Oil Shortage

Up to 3 million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing this winter, as the UK  government warns of ‘very serious’ shortage of heating oil during the cold snaps.

The price of heating oil in the UK has skyrocketed by 63% since June, to  71 pence [USD1.10] per liter today.

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt


The Thermohaline Circulation (THC)

The great ocean conveyor belt delivers warm water into the north Atlantic, making Europe warmer than it would otherwise be. The slowing down or stopping of these currents could result in catastrophic changes in the world’s climate.

FIRE-EARTH believes that the North Atlantic current of the Gulf Stream is slowing down and could stop entirely in the very near future.

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Posted in AO, AO negative phase, Arctic Oscillation, Canadian Arctic, Gulf Stream | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

United Kingdom of Ice

Posted by feww on January 8, 2010

Arctic Oscillation in Strong Negative Phase:
Why Northern Hemisphere is So Cold

Image of the Day: United Kingdom, Where the Ice Never Thawed!


Photo Credit: NASA/ MODIS Rapid Response. Click Image to enlarge.

Arctic Oscillation (AO)

The loading pattern of the AO is defined as the leading mode of Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of monthly mean 1000mb height during 1979-2000 period.

Arctic Oscillation Loading Pattern
Click image to enlarge.

The negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) has been a contributing factor to the arctic cold weather and blanket snow at the mid-latitudes across much of Northern Hemisphere since December 2009. The Arctic Oscillation Index in December 2009 fell to its lowest monthly value since 1950.

Observed Daily Arctic Oscillation Index.
Click image to enlarge.
The daily AO index is constructed by projecting the daily (00UTC) 1000mb height anomalies poleward of 20°N onto the loading pattern of the AO.  Year-round monthly mean anomaly data has been used to obtain the loading pattern of the AO (Methodology).  Since the AO has the largest variability during the cold season, the loading pattern primarily captures characteristics of the cold season AO pattern. Source: NOAA/ National Weather Service

Vertical Cross section of Geopotential Height Anomalies and AO index. Click on image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.
The daily geopotential height anomalies at 17 pressure levels are shown for the previous 120 days as indicated, and they are normalized by standard deviation using 1979-2000 base period. The anomalies are calculated by subtracting 1979-2000 daily climatology, and then averaged over the polar cap poleward of 65°N.

The blue (red) colors represent a strong (weak) polar vortex. The black solid lines show the zero anomalies.  Source: NOAA/  National Weather Service


Click image to enlarge.
The standardized 3-month running mean value of the AO index. The departures are standardized using the 1950-2000 base period statistics.  Source: NOAA/  National Weather Service

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Posted in AO negative phase, Arctic Oscillation, cold season AO pattern, polar vortex, treme cold | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »