~Its hard to interpret complex thermal systems, even harder to foresee what they will do.
~Warmest summer in history to come makes it somewhat easier.
Here is Unique in the world Refraction Prognosis:
SKY Colours - Aerosols:
Double Katimavik sunset, a very artistic mesmerizing end of Arctic day. Katimavik is an Inuktitut word, from the language of Inuit people who live here, meaning meeting place, a once upon a time real place in 1967 Montreal. Echoes from the past repeated visually along with multi-coloured flashes above ( illuminated gravity waves ducts), was on March 26, 2015, a typical Northwest passage view from Southern Cornwallis Island.
Sky clarity throughout winter\spring 2014-2015 was uncanny. Either revealing deep twilight brightness from distant weather systems refracted light, or drier sunsets devoid of extreme redness, very little moisture in the air does that:
Green flash above the smaller Katimavik along a red flash below. With main sun disk image compressed vertically close to 20 times.
These complex optical physics factors have significant meaning. The compressed sun (picture above) kept its true colour with 20 times more atmospheric thickness. The high elevation green flash is a very delicate structure often not seen green because of aerosols or water vapour. Winter\Spring 2015 North American Arctic had exceptionally clean air more often than not. This implicates extreme warming of the Arctic as the sun rises progressively higher till 24 hour days, clear low in concentration aerosol days, will make surface air warmer.
Sunsets mostly backed Southwards:
Exact sun positions when they disappear reveal the nature of the distant surface to air interface. In the Arctic, the rising spring sun creates a warm sea ice surface which cools rapidly in the evening on transient days between the long night and the midnight sun. Sea ice surface is cooling faster than air because of its colder than air inner core, when the core is warmed by conduction the surface ice cools, then the air right above does likewise. This creates an isothermal inversion which rises the horizon. If there is a strong inversion, the day lengthens, if there is a weak one or none the day shortens. Longest days are noted when the sun is seen when it is far below the horizon. A much longer day has a sun visible greater than 1.6 degrees below the horizon. In 2001 there was 10 extremely late sunsets, in 2015 , 2. Last year there was 4.
A lack of cooling, thermal radiation escaping to space, over the entire winter and early spring makes sea ice core temperatures warmer wise. With less of a 'heat sink' sea ice, inversions become weaker, therefore the sun shifts southwards at sunset;
This sunset in 2004 was picked to compare with 2015's greatest Northwards Shift. It lasted till the sun was last seen at 2.09 degrees below astronomical horizon and located 285 degrees azimuth, 15 degrees Northwards of true geographical West.
11 years later on same March 24, the sun disk at Akhet (when the sun touches the horizon) was much larger, this is an indication of weaker over all inversions. Sunset was 1.9 degrees below the horizon, the latest day length extension by refraction since sunrise from the long night of 2014-15. It was last seen 283.21 degrees azimuth, a full 1.8 degrees Southwards then when a past colder sea ice was formed over the winter of 2003-04. 1.8 degrees is a huge distance, roughly equivalent to 4 sun diameters.
Sunset without toboggan sun slide:
When the land surface is much warmer, sunsets look like what is seen further South, they skim the horizon Northwards less. Arctic sunsets usually give a show of extreme deformations uncommon anywhere else on Earth except on high mountains or Antarctica. One of these is the below 0 degrees sun line sliding down a hill, when the sun is usually long gone completely below the horizon in say a place like New York, the Arctic does this :
2008 was the last time the sun line was seen sliding down hill for about 1 minute, a classified phenomena called toboggan sun, but on initial anniversary in 2001 it slid further down for 3 and a half minutes.
2015 on same March 31 day, the sunset was 7 minutes earlier than 2008, a very significant shortening of the day. The toboggan stopped short on top of the hill not touching the downward slope, as if a true toboggan on rocks instead of snow, but at end of March 2015 the sandstone gravel hill top was indeed barer and much warmer killing the chance of surface to air steep inversion ducting. For Toboggan Sun to exist, the ground surface must be very much colder.
Sea Ice Horizon permutations:
Recently learned fantastic discovery of judging whether underside ice is melting or not reveals very interesting relations with weather and whether sea ice underside melts even when temperatures outside are as cold as -35 C. I am in the process of discovery from horizon elevation data lines, whether more melting happens when its not windy, windy, cloudy, or with an optically thick aerosol rich atmosphere. What is reasonably known is subsequences after First Melts. A very low September Minima starts from a very early consistent daily cyclic thermal process. If sea ice horizon does progressively maintain the astronomical horizon and or increase in time maintaining this line every next day, the minima will be greatly reduced. So far, 2015 post FM true astronomical horizon increased in duration every day when observed. It signals hard to stop increasing diurnal melting periods. Like any engine, when an engine sputters its not as warm, as sea ice was in the spring of 2014 when astronomical line was seen erratic only more consistent in later May. A big Arctic Sea ice minima begins with a strong essentially regular ever increasing in time under-melt.
The Northwest passage of 2015 has thick First Year ice
because of a lack of snow cover by less snowfall and greater sublimation caused by unstable air from much more common than usual surface to air adiabatic temperature profiles. Despite 2015 sea ice greater accretion, its thickness was nowhere near past average thickness spanning the same distance of the light rays from the setting sun, the atmospheric light path. And so, sea ice horizon rises are directly proportional to sea ice thickness.
Flying saucer type sunset is not in the air, but aerosols
masked the ice horizon risen 11.6 arc minutes, March 27 2004.
Near last sighting of the sun with 2015 clear air revealing ice horizon risen 5.8 arc minutes on March 27.
The difference between March 2015 and 2004 was set at autumn 2014 and 2003, the Northwest passage of September 15, 2014 had wide open water spanning its entire distance. 2003 NWP on same September day was clogged with multi-year ice:
What is the Score?; Climate Projection "Howitzer" vertical sun disk expansions post- Arctic long night results:
Frequency of maximum expanded average sun disks represented by 110 sun elevations from -.9 to 10 degrees
2015, 2013, 2006 and 2005 11.82%
2012 and 2011 10%
From 425 observations compared with about 4000, clear weather was strong since end of February.
With no apparent temperature change, 2002 to 2015 vertical sun disks would be 8.1% expanded from year to year. The last 5 of 6 years had more expanded sun disks than the previous 10 combined.
An apparently totally new phenomena has been surging in the past 5 years, when a lower sun in the sky gives a greater size vertical sun disk than at a higher elevation.
This defines an area of the lower atmosphere with a very warm layer of air, as the sun passes through this layer, it expands in size. There were many such captures of thicker warmer lower layers in the spring of 2015. The exact impact of such layering of warmer air is hard to fathom.
From all this and more sources; the Projection:
Because of overwhelming refraction heat signals,
2015 will be warmest year in Northern Hemisphere history - by a significantly larger margin than 2014. No High Arctic observations over Cornwallis Island gave a consistent sign of cooling, despite being right near center
of coldest atmosphere in the world. This forecast is not at all counting on El-Nino rising again, which undoubtedly guaranties more heat.
Sea ice adds complexities, remaining Arctic pack is estimated thicker than past few years, yet we are presently at all time low extents. Horizon height measurements confirmed that first year sea ice of 2015 is indeed thicker than last year in the Canadian archipelago NW passage, but not because it was colder, but rather from dried up North Pole in provenance air as depicted here for nearly the entire dark season and current spring. It was astonishing, there was a nearly continuous flow of dry but adiabatic air (December onwards) which sublimated the sea and land surface snow cover of almost the entire North American Arctic sector. There is thicker first year sea ice in the Canadian Arctic sector compared to last year, but given that winter just past had one day with surface temperatures below -40 C over Cornwallis Island Nunavut Canada (for only a few hours in duration), local sea ice thickness didn't exceed all time maximums.
However, extent is really more important because without ice sheet cover the sun warms the darker Arctic sea enormously due to more exposure time to sun rays which are very important, even when the sun is low in the sky, remember the Arctic has naturally very low concentrations of atmospheric aerosols, especially this spring.
Sea ice or lack thereof has a greater affinity to position the Cold Temperature North Pole. It is thus projected that Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas will have a thorough loss of sea ice, leaving the core pack more or less compressed against the Canadian Archipelago to a lesser overall extent than 2012. The larger question would be the North Pole? Would it be ice free? The answer to this very elusive , frustrating, furtive and difficult forecast will be at end of this page.
General circulation conditions are foreseen in three distinct periods and completely driven by the location of the CTNP (s) and later by El-Nino which should warm but darken Arctic skies. Weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere will happen from where-ever the CTNP will be.
ARCTIC dedicated generalized projection;
Period one April-May 2015:
2 CTNP's (Center of capital "C" in purple) will essentially maintain a pan-Arctic dipole by the flow they create. More or less a continuation of winter past scenario, minus extremely long Southwards freezing flows. The jet stream will be frequently very North of Alaska dipping down at times at the Can-Am border further East. This should make Coastal BC wet with not so potent remnant Pacific in origin cyclones eventually merging and diluting Gulf stream cyclones towards Ireland and the UK (not so wet a spring there). North of Alaska High will be ideal for melting Pacific Sector Arctic Ice.
Period 2, June-July 2015:
Approaching pre-merging North-bound CTNP's Isolate
the pan Arctic Dipole further. East-Siberian sea ice melt prime time. Not so good for Beaufort area with Bering sea now cleared of sea ice. Here we can realize N-E passage quick opening in the Pacific Arctic sector. Not so for Novaya Zemlya to Pole region where the ice will be largely immobilized and melting in place. Summer not wet 2012 style for UK and Ireland , but definitely cool and grey for Scotland as opposed to Souhwards. A Super hot Central North America is foreseen because of polar jet stream way in the Northwest Territories with Pacific in origin floes much more dried by a greater summer surface temperature-dew point spread. Central Canadian Arctic should be very hot by July.
Period 3, August-September 2015:
Merged single but weak CTNP roughly between Franz Joseph and Spitsbergen Islands, principally because of North Pacific and El-Nino warmth influence. Beaufort circulation again not so favorable , but with sun rays from clear skies damage done for months and warmed wide open adjoining open seas will make Beaufort ice free. NW Pacific Cyclones will penetrate the Arctic Ocean 2012 style by mid-August. With the polar jet stream weak but regenerating come September. A CTNP in such a location should cause wettest period of the year for Ireland and UK. driest for BC Canada, and possible Hurricane diversion towards the NE coast of US. Arctic Cyclones moving Southwards will cool some parts of Russia and mid west North America. This despite El-Nino clouding the Arctic, Arctic Cyclones are not very good to foster tornadoes or severe weather.
From this projection we can estimate Canadian NW passage open first, NE later with the often usual Kara Sea ice bridge block vanishing last.
El-Nino and North Pacific warm sst moisture is the only feature promoting summer Arctic cooling, sea ice melt would have been much more vast if extra clouds are not promoted. However during period 2, El-Nino and North Pacific warmth will increase Arctic temperature to dew point spreads favoring clearer skies.
Tornadoes Typhoons and Hurricanes
There is a need for Cold Upper Air vs Hot surface air for tornadoes. The seemingly obvious lack of very cold Upper Air due to a very weak therefore warm Stratospheric Polar Vortex (just about to vanish), and much increased density weighted temperatures throughout most of North America is not favorable for a fierce tornado season at usual peek periods, so hopefully less of them than probability statistics would predict. Typhoons will be unfortunately great in numbers in the Pacific, while Atlantic Hurricanes may be rare but for very late in its season increasing the chance to be diverted by a High pressure block over the Atlantic favoring a landing Northwards.
Finally , the North Pole
Hardest for last, the North Pole will be partially open like a more expanded version of 2013, with more open water than broken sea ice, essentially open if defined by
accessible by a non icebreaking ship sailing from the Pacific or Atlantic. WD 18 April 2015