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Archive for the ‘Negative Arctic Oscillation’ Category

Arctic Blast Hits Britain Again

Posted by feww on December 17, 2010

Heavy snow and ice strike many parts of the UK as arctic conditions return

Heavy snow has blanketed Northern Ireland, northern Scotland, Wales and most parts of southwest England, reports say.

More snow is expected in northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, southwest England and Wales. Forecasters say up to 25cm (10 inches) could fall Saturday.

The overnight temperature forecast for parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland is  -10ºC (14ºF).

Thousands of schools are closed across Britain, and snow has blocked a dozen major roads.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled and many more are delayed as at least a dozen airports are shut down. Disruptions are expected at all major airports throughout in England, N-Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

“Heavy snowfall during the past few weeks has caused huge disruption, especially in Scotland and north-east England.” BBC said.

“November saw the UK’s most widespread snowfall since 1965, and December has continued to be exceptionally cold and snowy.”

Many train services are suspended across the country until further notice.

“An estimated two million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing over Christmas after MPs warned that supplies of heating oil would hit “crisis” point during the cold snap,” a report said.

Arctic Oscillation Chills US and Europe


Image depicts the land surface temperatures for December 3-10, 2010, compared to the average temperature for the same period between 2002 and 2009, measured by
MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite.  While northern Europe and the eastern United States were cooler than average this year. Greenland and parts of northern Canada, were much warmer due to a temperature pattern caused by the Arctic Oscillation. The Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern that influences winter weather in the northern hemisphere. It describes the relationship between high pressure in the mid-latitudes and low pressure over the Arctic. When the pressure systems are weak, the difference between them is small, and air from the Arctic flows south, while warmer air seeps north. This is referred to as a negative Arctic Oscillation. Like December 2009, the Arctic Oscillation was negative in early December 2010. Cold air from the Arctic channeled south around a blocking system over Greenland, while Greenland and northern Canada heated up.”  Source: NASA/E-O. Click image to enlarge. Download large image (5 MB, PNG)

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Posted in fuel rationing, heating oil shortage, heavy snow in Northern Ireland, Negative Arctic Oscillation, snow forecast | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Transitory Impact of AO is the ‘Good News’

Posted by feww on January 9, 2010

The Bad News?
More Permanent Changes May Be Occurring!

Impact of Arctic Oscillation on Winter Temps

[Stay Tuned …]


Click image to enlarge.
See  Kingdom United by Ice for detailed data and charts. Image Credit: NASA EO.

NASA image compares December 2009 temps to the average December temps between 2000 and 2008. Blue (red) for colder (warmer) than average land surface temps.

The Arctic Oscillation (AO), a climate pattern, impacts  winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere. The Arctic is dominated by a low-pressure air mass, while the mid-latitudes (around 45 degrees North, about the latitude of Montreal, Canada or Bordeaux, France) are governed by high pressure systems.

The strength of the high- and low-pressure systems oscillates. Weaker than normal systems cause the pressure difference between the two to decrease, allowing Arctic air to escape south and warmer air north. A weaker-than-normal AO is defined as “negative.” Strong high and low pressure systems characterize positive AO.

AO was strongly negative during Dec 2009. This image  observed by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite shows cold Arctic air impacting land surface at midlatitudes, while Arctic land, like Greenland and Alaska, was much warmer than usual. NASA Earth Observatory image by Kevin Ward. Caption by Holli Riebeek. Edited by FEWW.

See    Kingdom United by Ice for detailed data and charts

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Posted in AO, Arctic weather, Icebox weather, Negative Arctic Oscillation, Winter Temps | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »