Chill Out. I Got This.

January 5, 2014

Go home Arctic. You’re drunk.

What climate wonks think about on their sundays off.

Greg Laden writes:

“In this picture, notice that it is not the case that super cold arctic air has expanded to engulf us in the  middle of the US.  When weather reporters are showing the map and discussing what is happening, they virtually (sometimes actually) say it this way, and the map seems to show it. But what this image of temperatures over a large part of the northern hemisphere shows is what is really happening.  The cold air in the “Arctic Vortex” which is normally centered on the north pole is offset, displaced, lopsided, etc.  It is not the case that “coldness” expands to include more territory … how would that work in a world that obeys physics? But rather, the cold region on the pole shifts and deforms.  So if you go north from the Twin Cities, for example, it gets colder and colder. But then, it gets warmer!”

WeatherNationTV blog:

This historic bout of arctic air is coming down from the North Pole as the polar vortex descends down into the lower 48.  The polar vortex is the pattern of winds around the North Pole, where all the arctic air is locked up usually.  A huge slab of the arctic air has been dislodged and the polar winds will drop down into the country, as far south at the Gulf of Mexico.

Wind chill warnings cover 5 whole states (North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin) and fan out into at least 6 other states from the Midwest to the Ohio River Valley.  The conditions will be very dangerous for anyone to be out more than a few minutes, as frostbite can kick in on anyone that isn’t wearing several layers.  Wind chill values will be ranging between -25° to -60° across the gray shaded area above!

Image fromecmwf.int.

departure

Departure from normal highs for sunday/monday

By Monday,  the polar air shall dominate the Midwest, creating temperatures so cold, that it will be hazardous to your health to be outside more than a few minutes.  High temps will be around early on in the day in the Northeast, and then the storm system will cross the area, and temperatures will drop through the day.  The Florida Panhandle shall be around 25° colder than normal and it will feel, with some winds, into the 20s for highs!  Temperatures in Caribou, ME will be warmer than in New Orleans on Monday.

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12 Responses to “Chill Out. I Got This.”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    You’re really on the ball today. I was going to post a comment about this in one of the threads about cold weather & denialism but I see there’s no need.

    So, I’ll chill out; you got this.

  2. petersjazz Says:

    And its a lot warmer in Sweden than normal!


  3. […] What climate wonks think about on their sundays off. Greg Laden writes: "In this picture, notice that it is not the case that super cold arctic air has expanded to engulf us in the middle of the U…  […]

  4. Nick Carter Says:

    Check out the 6-10 day outlook. Notice that ihttp://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610day.01.gift’s gonna be really really wet too!


  5. Dear Peter

    Please specify which degrees are being used. It can be ambiguous when out of the USA.

    Tanks


  6. Repost info from climate central:

    This particularly aspect of climate change science is not yet definitive, but here’s what may be going on:

    1) The Arctic rapidly warming: It’s always going to be colder at the North Pole than it is in Miami, but the difference in temperature between those two places may already be shrinking. The Arctic is quickly losing sea ice, which is being replaced by relatively warmer Open Ocean. Liquid water tends to trap heat more effectively than ice, which in turn discourages the future formation of ice. It’s a feedback loop that is not working in our favor, and as a result, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

    2) The jet stream is slowing down: The coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere is typically trapped in the far northern Arctic by the jet stream. However, with a little help from climate change, that barrier is starting to break down. As the temperature contrast between the warmer tropics decreases, the jet stream, which exists due to that contrast, weakens and becomes more elongated and chaotic. Think of navigating a car through slow-moving traffic: it’s a lot less straightforward to find a quick route from point A to point B.

    3) As a result, extreme weather ensures: With a slower, more chaotic jet stream, there’s a much greater likelihood of weather systems getting stuck on their paths around the planet. When weather systems stagnate, they have a tendency to intensify, sometimes breaking records for heat, cold, snow, and rain in the process. Also, when increasingly elongated paths are taken by jet stream winds, it’s easier for them to pull exceptionally cold air further southwards, which is exactly what’s happening this week.

    For those that still doubt, here’s something else that’s happening:

    It’s so hot right now in Australia, they’re frying eggs on shovels. Isn’t science neat?

  7. fortranprog Says:

    Also Argentina recently lost people to the “worst heatwave since records began” and it’s an ENSO neutral year. Remarkable list of coincidences for the denial industry to chew over.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25564633


  8. Get out the hot cocoa and a copy of “Ground Hog Day”.


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