Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas 2019 Polar Vortex shrinkage North American side; RECORD WARMING follows, how did this happen?

~From Chicago USA:

~To even Moscow:

~The root cause,  of course, was a warmer Arctic,  with likewise much smaller size Polar Vortex

     We go strait to the root cause:

  The size of the Polar Vortex on December 25-26  may be defined at 248 K isotherm threshold at level 600 mb.   As you can see the vortex is spectacularly small and covers even less ground over North America.    It has 3 vortices,  all quite cold, as per latest observations, the warmer the Arctic gets the more prone for small but very cold PV vortices.  Obviously there is no or very little circulation originating from the entire sub Arctic towards North America and western Eurasia.  How did it get this way?

      This was from a build up of unusual Arctic circulation pattern  covered here at EH2r since late November.     Namely by cyclones heading North from the West side of Greenland. 
Here was one of the last significant warm air blitz:

The recent Polar Vortex was not always shrunken,  December 19 to 25 action demonstrates one of the latest warm cyclones bringing up air from the West coast of Greenland,  all the way to Northern Siberia by way of the North Pole.  The culprit here is the Western Canadian Arctic CTNP (Cold Temperature North Pole),  a vortice of the vortices within the Polar Vortex.  Like a hurricane eye,  this vortice has been reorganizing according to the massive warm advection,  it could only reposition itself westwards,  within a much warmed,  hence shrunken PV as seen on my first NOAA daily composite animation presented above.    This shape of the Polar Vortex took place after several Baffin Bay cyclones headed Northwards likewise.  The sum total is a shrunken PV,  reorganized in similar way as before,  with a CTNP always prone in injecting more warm air in addition to the usual North Pole warming route,  from the North Atlantic.   Of particular interest is the weather of Japan, which will likely vary greatly from rainy warm days to Siberian cold in the matter of a few hours,   I have yet seen something which will break the current circulation pattern,  it seems quite stable,  but thinner sea ice may eventually reshape PV dynamics within 2 weeks. WD December 29,  2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Pacific air meets Atlantic clouds over the Pole

~North American  Polar Vortex Cold Temperature North Pole (its coldest vortice) did indeed move West
~Making for unusual weather, where cold mixed with Pacific moisture created Havoc regularly

We can see the brief outline of the North American CTNP over the Western Canadian Arctic Archipelago, NOAA CMC IR captures,   December 20 and 22.  Everything turns counter clockwise around it,  storms,  clouds and cyclones.  Which brings Northwards Pacific moisture to meet with North of Greenland Atlantic clouds very near the North Pole.  This CTNP has been severely weakened in a day,  the subject of coming next article.  WD December 22 , 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

WARMING the Polar Vortex makes its internal vortices COLDER

~Dawn of winter 2019 looks as extreme as ever
~The coldest zone at start of winter since 2012 was 2016
~Yes,  the warmest year in history twinned with greatest El-Nino

     A continuance of warmer global temperatures creates smaller but much colder Polar Vortex internal vortices.

   The way to show this is by taking the ENSO cloud seeding theory,  which means there are more clouds during El-Ninos worldwide, either in summer or winter.   More clouds in Arctic winter definitely turns it warmer,  so was the great El-Nino of 1998 the turning point for Arctic sea ice extent , the beginning of its significant declining trend.    The  feedback of yearly ever increasing lesser sea ice areas should not be underestimated,  must remind: long in duration La-Nina's are destructive for sea ice, especially since 1999,  sea ice also plays a major role in world wide climate at either Poles.

     NOAA ENSO sst graph directly suggests the world is warming markedly because La-Nina's rebound from 2016 warmest El-Nino did not happen!  Hence cloudier Arctic summers since 2012.  But looking at peak warm/cold years reveals not only sea ice trends, but Global Circulation (GC) trends.  Obviously there wasn't the same mass of sea ice to counter 2016's warming.  2007 and 2012 summer sea ice historical all time melts were La-Nina driven,   not really counter intuitive because less clouds in summer Arctic spelt doom for robust very thick sea ice.  At any rate we look at warm years El-Nino 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2016, and cold La-Nina years 1999, 2007, 2011 and 2017.

Note, declining sea ice mangles ENSO's global circulation role year by year as sea ice volume and extent vanishes, it gives quite the interesting start of winter GC look,  note a couple of days at the dawn of winter are very significant if looked holistically,  a wide expanse of planet Earth is in effect an average compared with identical same day periods, long term averaging dilutes the GC outlines :

                             WARMER                                                              COLDER

      Consider the extent of Polar Vortex within the orange zone (the jet stream line), astounding as you may notice,  600 mb temperatures are very close to the weighted temperatures of the entire troposphere, but the coldest temperatures measured at beginning of winter were mostly during the warmest years, especially 2016, the warmest year.  Warmest years December 13-14's had much smaller jet stream outline (-25 C,  248 Kelvin border), colder years had naturally a vaster expanse of colder air but,  this is a big but,  mainly much warmer internal vortices.   Warmer years had mainly top of sea ice great warming incursions,   Cold Temperature North Poles (CTNP) were closer to the North Pole during colder years.

   The easy question is:  what causes this?  Refraction observations of vertical sun disk expansions or compressions have confirmed this phenomena.  During the last two springs, 2019 and 18,  the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Vortice (english language needs adjust to the times) was found radically colder but smaller.    Dark season long term observations rendered tentative conclusions,  the Cold Temperatures North Poles have largely migrated Southwards, away from lesser and thinner sea ice,  snow on ground species have tended to be more of the "wet" snow type,  more sublimation and mostly there seems to be a tendency for more stable but smaller cloud free zones,  which tend to be in a deep freeze feedback loop.

   What about 2019-20 winter:
   Same days dawn of winter look:  a vast tropospheric expanse over  the Arctic Ocean is warmer, the CTNP's are to the South,  meaning?  Rogue vortice formations much within populated areas, wild weather, warm to deep freeze merry go round all winter.  WD December 16, 2019

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Significant "additional" cooling after snowfall event depends on the type of snowflakes

~Refraction method observed in the Arctic revealed an important facet with respect to after snowfall surface temperatures.
~The method confirms that T*** top of snow temperature is colder when the snow layer snowflakes are larger.
~ This lingered well afterwards even when the clouds persisted,  a quite specific and peculiar key observation
~In this situation of bigger snowflakes within the carpet, when the clouds clear even a little,  surface temperatures dropped really fast, only to warm quickly as soon as cloudier not necessarily overcast conditions returned.

   During the Arctic long night we have the luxury of darkness eliminating sun ray heat effects.  After a period of  unusually large snow flakes we can literally precisely measure if different flakes cause temperature variations. Unlike snow beds in sunnier climes,   most flakes remain buried in place for the duration of winter,  as long as from October till June.  When the precipitation occurred,   Resolute Bay  October 2019 was likely the warmest in history,  it was mainly extensively cloudy and so with clouds there was very little chance for the  usual cooling clear skies triggering the start of winter.  Hence,  beginning of October had a lot of snow usually called "wet",  they  create a weaker density layer, compact less in the winds as can ice crystals or very small "colder" snowflakes do.   After weeks on ground, they are only readily identifiable by walking over the snow pack, causing while walking intense sinking with every step.   Measuring T*** with high precision thermistor revealed a marked cooling as compared with previous years.  Onto itself this cooling can affect the local refraction horizon and it did:

Twice confirmed,  with 2018 in blue,  2019 in red.  Top 2 bars, the average local horizon height was significantly higher in 2019 compared to 2018 same period.  2nd series from top, the average temperature difference between surface temperature (Ts) and top of snow layer (T***)  was greater in 2019 by +0.4 C.  3rd group down, average temperature readings at 2 meter height was colder in 2019 than 2018.  Finally bottom bars average T*** in 2019 was equally colder than 2018.   Measurements were done between October 5 and November 30 2019.  Greater sublimation of snow is the suspected causation.

      To sum it up,  the greater the positive temperature difference between Ts and T*** ,  the stronger the refraction,  observed by the horizon mainly appearing higher.  In other words,  a "wetter" snow bed causes more sublimation,  hence steeper cooling at the interface between snow and air.   Remember this sublimation cooling occurred in the Arctic long night, no sun, solar rays would exacerbate the sublimation,  which infers much more cooling.     The temperatures taken, with respect to the graph above were done nearly simultaneously with the refraction observations.  This is important, these temperatures are not daily averages,  which would require 24 near simultaneous refraction observations.

    A very difficult observation is to contrast top of drift snow pack (left) with 30 cm below (right).  The  bottom snow layers are much less dense.   But appear the same in a cross section scope,  however placed on a slab with 5X magnification the top layer primarily appears as  ice crystals while
the bottom "wet" snow in origin semi compacted has fewer ice crystals.  Yet the best way
to judge the differing layers is to simply walk on snow, usually a well compacted snow carpet leaves a very shallow footprint as opposed to a less dense one,  the former is like walking on concrete,  the latter causes difficulty in walking.  WD December  8 2019. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Arctic Resurrection Lows; Passing the Baffin Bay Cyclone cemetery once again.

~This is not a once in 100 years phenomena, it is repetitive
~Not odd given present Polar Vortex weakened construct and Baffin Bay sst being warm

From Jim Hunt's sea ice area (always good to go there):

Baffin Bay Sea ice area is meek,  compactness more terrible,  is now a heat source: 
sst in Baffin Bay is very warm

NOAA CMC capture November 28-30 IR Loop.This time we see a late November mainly cloud free Arctic Basin,  one month late.  Top of Arctic Ocean sea ice welcomed another Baffin Low pressure ,  what we see here  is unusual,  note the mega storm over Ellesmere Island as the Low whisked North over Nares Strait.  Also note the clouds on top of Greenland ice cap, irrefutable warming there.  

It is a main signature feature of this autumn.  The heat coming from Baffin Bay is so strong the Cyclone has plenty of fuel to subsist way Northwards than usual, we are very use to North Atlantic Lows heading North on the other side of Greenland though,  again this phenom marks a different coming winter general circulation.  WD November 30, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A little word on solar panels... Not quite off topic for a website mainly dedicated to the sun

~Not so bright deniers about AGW potential solutions, even University professors (no need to watch), require wise words to ponder their skepticism.

         The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy.   Look no further but to this:  one of the grandest natural wonders of this world with a Seneca name:

    You are looking at a Thunderous 4.9 million Kilowatt output (more here), a minuscule fraction of Earth's solar input.  Niagara Falls strictly exists by the sun,  thunders 24 hours a day,  none stop.
So much for solar power being limited by daylight.


     In fact these Falls inspired Nikola Tesla  (photo attribution), to introduce production of cheap and clean AC electricity for the entire planet.   The continuance of this inspiration is seen in Niagara's latest developments which fills a reservoir (here) downstream with huge pumps energized from night time excess hydro power.  In other words the creation of a mega ultra clean battery.

     Likewise solar power may be used the same way anywhere in the world on a large or small scale.
   Final word is about photo voltaic panels (P.V.),  year to year becoming less expensive to install.
Say a certain professor pays $3000 a year in electricity related expenses,  especially for heating (in Northern countries ,  air conditioning in tropical countries).  This same money can be spent on paying back a P.V. rooftop, instead of paying $3000 a year to utility company,  this $3000 can be diverted to pay off  eventually overall greater equity,  it is self investment with guarantied returns for 25 years.   After installation, value of his house all of a sudden becomes richer,  especially since his house is producing electricity.    And yes, even during cloudy days there can be electric production.

     There is no need to wait for someone else to solve our worldly problems.  Procrastination caused by arguing in error spells disaster for our descendants. WD November 26, 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Expected November clearance of Arctic clouds very small

~ Very significant missing clear air space will ultimately change the face of this winter

   November 15 1999 RAW NOAA sat picture.   Note the vast areas of clear air, the beginning of a very strong Polar Vortex (PV).  With only 3 cyclones exceeding the Arctic circle,  this was well in the beginning of a more thorough sky clearance:

  Leading up to a brutally cold February 6 2000, hardly a cyclone in the High Arctic. If present they were quickly done with, note the significant temperature contrast between extensive sea ice and cyclone being devastated or destroyed,  very white signifies quite cold while deep black much warmer.   
CMC NOAA capture November 15-16 2019,  hardly a sea ice surface seen,  with many cyclones,
some coming from the West Coast of Greenland to North Pole.  The forming cold zone of old would have never allowed this.  
November 24 2019,  with hardly a sea ice patch showing with North of Behring sea wide open sea water giving off cloud streamers, and another Greenland West Coast Low
likely heading North.  
 The core Polar Vortex 2019 locations;  Nov 13 blue, Nov 15 green, November 19 red and November 23  black.   Emaciated, elongated mainly causing cold dry air from Siberia to rapidly close the open water area in the North Pacific Arctic Ocean sector.  This triggered 2019 sea ice extent to descend from #1 lowest,  however thinner sea ice 2019 has in spades though.  Looking at Polar Stern photos (North of East Siberian sea about 300 miles from the Pole)
The shaping of weather to come,  with North Atlantic Pole sector to be having much less sea ice extent,  the North Pacific sector with more than last year.  The much diminished Polar Vortex bending more than being grand as it was in year 2000 winter,   Baffin Bay,  Hudson Bay late ice laggers by ever often encroaching cyclones.  Translation:
the elongated PV may be further to the West in North America and East in Eurasia.  WD November 24,  2019.  

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Stretched out warmed Polar Vortex brings to North Pole a cyclone which should have normally vanished in Baffin Bay

~A very uncommon event highlights the changing Polar climate

   Here is a sketch I done last week describing the rough outline from our current Polar Vortex:

   About 10 days like this, 2 vortices within the P Vortex,  with Novaya Zemlya one being at unusual location compared to several past years.  The main thinning area was of course by the very warmer North Pacific and Atlantic thinning  the width of P.V. of the Arctic Ocean.  This easily explains the jet stream cooling the Western Midwest of North America.  However being stretched thin,  the P.V. extreme Southern locations  were susceptible to create rogue vortices ,  and they have a few days ago,  where as the extreme Southern points of elongation were the coldest just recently.

   This is the newest way of which climate change expresses itself:
In fact the 2 coldest 700 mb points were within vortices near Maine USA and Northern Japan November 16 12 z 2019.  These were quickly vanishing remnants of very cold rogue vortices,  we can see them here about to die off moving Eastwards to the Pacific and Atlantic.

     With new ways comes new circulations,  an astounding cyclone was observed moving well past its usual dying spot:  the Baffin Bay cyclone cemetery,  moving all the way to the North Pole:

  And appearing to Merge with the Vortex surely to warm it with ease.    The interesting bit is its passage throughout Western Greenland,  this Low survived the ride Northwards meaning it was pushed relatively rapidly and also kept warm or got stronger by Baffin Bay wide open water.  Another view of this is with a surface analysis loop:
  CMC surface analysis November 7 (Gyre high 1038 mb),8,9,12,15 and 16 respectively at 18Z  ,  between day 12 and 15 the center of cyclone dropped in pressure by 16 mb from 988 to 972 mb.

        How often does this happen?   I do not recall ever seeing such an event since 1985.  WD November 16, 2019

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Greenland melts more when the flow of sea ice to Fram Strait slows

~Recent summers pressure switchover mechanics have literally saved Arctic sea ice from vanishing more rapidly
~However the real tragedy,  these steady summer Arctic Ocean gyre cyclones bring warm weather melting top of Greenland more.

    First,  winter Arctic High pressures are very cold, they exist over very dry  land or icescapes.  Polar High pressures of summer are warm,  they exist over dry surfaces,  consider a mid July wide open 0 to +4 C sea surface temperature as "dry".    Arctic Low pressures of winter are warm, they usually come from the South and consist of moist very cloudy turbulent air.    Arctic Low pressures of summer are cold,  they can come from the North and readily survive and last longer over a mix of open water and broken up sea ice.  Frozen surfaces are a great contributor to Arctic fog clouds when summer temperatures are near 0 C.  Basic meteorology holds these preceding generalizations consistent for the True North,  not necessarily nearer to the equator.

   This was EH2r's April 2019 projection for June -July, the main circulation overview held quite well.   C1 and C2 are vortices within the Polar Vortex,  the coldest air exists at their respective centers.   Low pressure cyclones location flipped geographically from the a month prior,  from SE to NW of both vortices.  In summer,  coldest air usually hangs out between Greenland and Alaska, partly by the barriers offered by each of these massive topographies,  shading the potential warming influence from the Atlantic and Pacific.    Summer "Switchover" is when the repositioned  Low combats the very existence of the Arctic Ocean gyre,  a clockwise current now faces counterclockwise headwinds (North of Beaufort Sea), the clockwise gyre was  created by months of persistent winter High Pressure hovering (because cold anticyclones thrive during the long cloudier free nights).   Frequently of late,  the summer Low pressure hovering top of the Arctic gyre area can greatly diminish the transpolar current from Siberia to Greenland,  if it lasts long it may even slow, stop or reverse its direction altogether.  These Lows also provides warm advection from the Canadian continent to top of Greenland.   It is here where on the one hand the Gyre summer Low saves the Arctic Basin sea ice but literally helps melt the top of Greenland:

Each respective significant extent melt spikes had one strong thing in common,  the switchover Gyre Low:

From University of Wyoming archives ,  there was a significant Gyre Low pressure North of sea of Beaufort,  during the first large melt over the Greenland ice sheet in 2019,  but on the other side of the Vortex,  the Eastern side ,  there was a High Pressure.  This image is exactly flipped during winter.  Relatively colder weather naturally languishes between Greenland and Alaska year round,  only the pressure configurations change.  It is said,
the Canadian side of the Arctic is usually more humid compared to the Russian side, largely because it is often colder by persistent presence of sea ice spared from direct melting by the influence of massive  Ellesmere Island and Greenland Glaciers.  Now look at 700 mb temperatures on top of Greenland compared to over the Gyre,  near 0 C compared to -15 C,  it was warmer over the massive Greenland ice sheet than above the Arctic Ocean at the same altitudes.  It is unquestionably colder within an Arctic summer Cyclone when top of Greenland melts a lot.  Here the North Atlantic High pressure mixed with a hot continental Canadian atmosphere expanded the number of small to modest in size glacial lakes on top of the Northern Hemispheres largest glacier.

   We seek a consistent pattern confirmation that can only happen during the largest Greenlandic melt extent day of 2019 on about August 2:

Again the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean  Gyre current is colder by -10  to 0 C during the greatest top of Greenland melting day of 2019.   This largely confirms that the two differing ice sheets do not necessarily melt more in tandem,   but rather require different weather patterns than usually found during mid Arctic summers.  A steady long living cyclone over the Gyre current naturally slows the transpolar Arctic Ocean current which means a significant saving of sea ice volume otherwise to be surely lost to the  very much warmer summer time North Atlantic.

            The only way for summer sea ice to melt entirely would require a rather stupendous change in nature from Greenland's cooling effect.  It is likely possible with a rather huge summer ice lake covering a significant portion top of Greenland,  much nullifying its cooling effect over the Archipelago  region,  then the coldest place in July Arctic would likely be where clouds dominate,  not necessarily above Arctic Ocean gyre current,  the coldest place would vary in locations more often allowing an anticyclone to persist longer over the gyre area,  when so,  the devastation of sea ice should be nearly complete.   WD November 6,2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

More numerous Californian wildfires, the Arctic perspective

~ The consequences of ignoring warming Polar regions extends way beyond snow and ice lands.

~We look at one example,  where lot's of people live.

      And so the Arctic just had record lower sea ice extent minimum again, a few weeks after mid September minima being 2nd lowest ever.   In the Arctic, this gave warmer September and October weather with a whole lot more snow and strong blizzards,  nothing to worry the world about.  But further South,  weather patterns have changed not so favorably in some places.  We look further away to the place where wildfires rage,  California, because there is less rain there for a reason:

 2011, 2010 are the best recent years with the least numbers of Californian wildfires, 1982 was an example taken at random.  600 mb temperatures NCEP/NCAR NOAA daily composites for October demonstrate a peculiar Arctic vortex pattern,  squarish roundish with least extended planetary waves.   Of particular interest is the -20 C boundary at or near deep Southern Alaska,  it is in green,  this is the likeliest average location of the Polar jet stream.    We see this green zone being at the British Columbia Alaska coastal border.  Implying a stronger Pacific flow of moist air towards most of western North America,  likely favoring rain.   And there was normal rain in 2010 and 2011 for California.

We look at the wavier 2017-2018-2019 global circulation.   At first glance the average -20 C green line for October looks about the same. Although overall Polar Vortex looks wavier,  showing distinct planetary waves crests,  this is due to a more collapsed Polar Vortex by warming from within.  It is no coincidence,  2017 to 2019 have had record wildfire area outbreaks for California,  costing a profound distressing fortune in lives disrupted materially and psychologically and especially for the environment alike.   Now look again at the 253 Kelvin green line (-20 C).   It was at Barrow Alaska October 2018, at extreme Northern Alaska,  with 2017 and 2018 green line near Anchorage 700 hundred miles further North than 2010 and 2011.  This Northwards repositioning of the Vortex jet stream of course means a weaker Pacific flow for the Californian coastline,  suggesting less fall rains,  as it is and was so (precipitation facts :

     The Northwards shift of jet stream or the October 600 mb -20 C line movement towards the high Arctic is strictly the result of vanishing sea ice,  during especially about the Arctic sea ice minima,  causing massive warming feedbacks, especially for North Pacific sea surface temperatures.  These fires were very predictable,  because what happens in the Arctic,  does not stay there.  WD November 5 2019