Sudden Stratospheric Warming Could Bring Cold Outbreaks Soon

February 15, 2023

Below, YouTube meteorologist Ryan Hall is warning about extremes in coming weeks due to a Sudden Stratospheric Warming.


 Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at AER in Massachusetts, said the jury is still out on exactly how the disruption of the stratospheric warming event will affect the weather in the U.S. and Western Europe in late February into March.

  • “How and whether this translates to exciting weather is still challenging in my opinion,” he said via email. 
  • Simon Lee, a weather researcher at Columbia University who studies the polar vortex, said much depends on the extent and speed at which the changes in the stratosphere, including a slackened polar vortex, affect the troposphere below.
  • Already, computer models are signaling the likelihood of air pressure patterns over Greenland and the North Atlantic shifting into positions that favor cold and snow in Europe and can do the same for the eastern seaboard from Washington to Boston. 

What they’re saying: Butler said the polar vortex disruption is only one of many factors that will influence winter weather during the next few weeks. 

  • “I think it’s also important to recognize that the stratosphere is not acting in isolation on the weather but as one part of many other things going on; including the current La Niña.” 
  • “These factors may either reinforce or cancel out the impacts of the SSW in some regions,” she said.

The bottom line: A strong stratospheric warming event is likely to take place next week, and there is the potential for high impact shifts in weather patterns to affect Europe and parts of the U.S. 

  • However, there is considerable uncertainty on the specific impacts to come. 
  • For example, if it takes several weeks for shifts to occur in the lower atmosphere, Cohen noted, the clock on the winter of 2022-2023 may quickly run out.

2 Responses to “Sudden Stratospheric Warming Could Bring Cold Outbreaks Soon”

  1. mboli Says:

    So meteorologists can confidently predict that in the coming weeks the weather will be hot or cold, stormy or calm, in Europe or the eastern U.S., depending on what the atmosphere does.

    Actionable information!

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Looks like our centex March will be mostly warm and dry.

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