Warm Arctic Storm To Hurl Hurricane Force Winds at UK and Iceland, Push Temps to 22 Degrees C Above Normal at North Pole

28 12 2015

Reblogged from Robert Scribbler….

We’ve probably never seen weather like what’s being predicted for a vast region stretching from the North Atlantic to the North Pole and on into the broader Arctic this coming week. But it’s all in the forecast — an Icelandic low that’s stronger than most hurricanes featuring a wind field stretching over hundreds and hundreds of miles. One that taps warm tropical air and hurls it all the way to the North Pole and beyond during Winter time. And it all just reeks of a human-forced warming of the Earth’s climate…

Freak North Atlantic Storm Featuring Extremely Low Pressures

Today, a powerful, hurricane force low pressure system is in the process of rounding the southern tip of Greenland. This burly 960 mb beast roared out of an increasingly unstable Baffin Bay on Christmas. As it rounded Greenland and entered the North Atlantic, it pulled behind it a thousand-mile-wide gale force wind field even as it lashed the tip of Greenland with Hurricane force gusts. To its east, the storm now links with three other lows. Lows that are, even now, drawing south-to-north winds up from a region just west of Gibraltar, on past the UK, up beyond Iceland, over Svalbard, and into the Arctic Ocean itself.


(GFS forecasts predict a storm bombing out between 920 and 930 mb over Iceland by Wednesday. It’s a storm that could rival some of the strongest such systems ever recorded for the North Atlantic. But this storm’s influence is unique in its potential to shove an unprecedented amount of warm air into the Arctic. A warm storm for the Arctic Winter time. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Over the next few days these three lows are predicted to combine into a storm the likes of which the far North Atlantic rarely ever sees. This storm is expected to center over Iceland. But it will have far-reaching impacts ranging from the UK and on north to the pole itself. As the lows combine, GFS predicts them to bomb out into an unprecedentedly deep low featuring 920 to 930 mb (and possibly lower) minimum central pressures by this coming Wednesday. These pressures are comparable to the very extreme storm systems that raged through the North Atlantic during the Winter of 2013. Systems that featured minimum pressures in the range of 928 to 930 mb.

It’s worth noting that the lowest pressure ever recorded for the North Atlantic occurred in the much further southward forming Hurricane Wilma at 882 mb. In the far north, a January 11 1993 storm between Iceland and Scotland featured 913-915 mb pressures. It’s worth noting that the GFS model currently puts the predicted storm within striking distance of setting a new record for the far north.Meanwhile, ECMWF models predict a somewhat less extreme low in the range of 940 mb. By comparison, Hurricane Sandy bottomed out at around 940 mb as well.

Regardless of peak strength, the expected storm is predicted to be both very intense and wide-ranging as both model forecasts feature numerous lows linked in chain with a much deeper storm center near Iceland. Among these and further north, two more strong lows in the range of 965 to 975 mb will round out this daisy chain of what is now shaping up to be a truly extreme storm system. The Icelandic coast and near off-shore regions are expected to see heavy precipitation hurled over the island by 90 to 100 mile per hour or stronger winds raging out of 35-40 foot seas. Meanwhile, the UK will find itself in the grips of an extraordinarily strong southerly gale running over the backs of 30 foot swells.

Warm Winds to Force Above Freezing Temperatures For the North Pole


(By early Wednesday, temperatures at the North Pole are expected to exceed 1 degree Celsius readings. Such temperatures are in the range of more than 40 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) above average. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

All along the eastern side of this storm, powerful warm winds are expected to funnel northward. Originating along the 35 degree North Latitude line west of Spain, these winds will force a train of warm air and moisture pole-ward ahead of our storm. The winds will rush up over a very riled North Sea, they will howl into a far warmer than normal Barents, and they will roar on past Svalbard — finally turning as they pass beyond the North Pole.

These winds will bring with them extraordinarily warm temperatures for the High Arctic region during Winter time. By Wednesday, the North Pole is expected to see temperatures in the range of 1-2 degrees Celsius or 41-42 degrees C above average (73-75 degrees Fahrenheit above the normal daily temperature of -40 F for a typical Winter day). Such an extreme departure would be like seeing a 120 degree (Fahrenheit) December day in my hometown of Gaithersburg, MD. Needless to say, a 1-2 C reading at the North Pole during late December is about as odd as witnessing Hell freezing over. But, in this case, the latest wave of warmth issuing from a human-driven shift toward climatological hell appears to be on schedule to arrive at the North Pole in just a few more days.

Arctic temp anomaly +4 C

(The Arctic region as a whole is expected to experience a [frankly quite insane] temperature anomaly in the range of 4 degrees Celsius above average by January 3rd of 2016. Note the broad regions over Northern Canada, Siberia, and the Arctic Ocean that are predicted to experience temperatures in the range of 20 degrees Celsius above the already hotter than normal 1979 to 2000 baseline readings. For some areas — particularly in Northern Canada — this will mean near or even above freezing temperatures for tundra and permafrost zones in the depths of Winter. A set of conditions that has serious implications for permafrost thaw and related carbon store feedbacks. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

New Freakish Weather Patterns Concordant With Human-Forced Climate Change

The deep, northward-driving synoptic pattern associated with both powerful high Latitude storms and warm winds is only something we’ve begun to see during recent years. The warming polar environment itself generates weaknesses in the Jet Stream which tends to allow these warm air invasions. In addition the warming oceans — which hold heat for longer than land masses — generate pathways for warm air invasions of the Arctic during Winter time. The Barents Sea, for example, has been particularly warm during recent years which has resulted in numerous warm wind invasion events issuing northward over Svalbard and regions eastward during recent years.

A final ingredient to this highly altered weather pattern appears to be a cooling of the sea surface in the North Atlantic just south of Greenland. This cooling has been set off by an increase in fresh water melt outflows from Greenland as glacial melt there has accelerated concordant with human-forced warming. The cool pool of glacial melt water south of Greenland has aided in the generation of a dipole featuring cool air to the west, warm air to the east. This year, warm air has tended to flow northward over Spain, the UK, and along a region between Iceland and Scandinavia. During the Winter of 2015-2016, this warm air slot has also been the breeding ground for very unstable weather and a number of powerful storm systems.

Polar Vortex Ripped in Half Late Dec 2015

(It’s an El Nino year. But despite a climate feature that would typically strengthen the Jet Stream, what we see is another Arctic warm air invasion reminiscent of the recent polar vortex collapse events of Winters 2012 through 2014-2015. Note that the region of coldest air, which would typically tend to center over the North Pole has been driven south toward Greenland and Baffin Bay. A pattern that we’d expect concordant with world ocean warming and Greenland melt as a result of human-forced climate change. Image source: ECMWF.)

Unfortunately, this larger overall pattern marks a progression away from typical North Atlantic weather and toward a much more stormy environment. It’s an environment that is all too likely to be marked by features of warm air invasions moving up through the Barents and into the High Arctic during Winter. Of the Northern Hemisphere storm circulation tending to wrap around Greenland as the center of cold air shifts from the North Pole to the last bastion of dense glacial ice. And of a very unstable storm generating cold water and surface air temperature zone deepening and gaining an ever-stronger hold within the North Atlantic.

These are influences we see now. Ones that are impacting both the current powerful storm over Iceland and the unprecedented surge of warm air that is now preparing to invade the High Arctic. And though El Nino likely also played a part in the shifting of the storm generation zone toward Iceland, the far northward propagation of warm air into the Barents and High Arctic along with the extreme strength of the predicted storm are both likely new features of an overall altered pattern. What we witness here are both climates and weather features changing before our eyes in the form of what to us may seem a freak event — but what is actually part of a dangerous transition period away from the stable climates of the Holocene.


Earth Nullschool


Climate Reanalyzer

Very Low Minima of North Atlantic Cyclones During Winter of 2013

Warning From Scientists Age of Storms, Rapid Sea Level Rise is Coming Soon

Dr Jennifer Francis on Jet Stream Changes and Increasing Instances of Extreme Weather

NOAA Ocean Prediction Center Atlantic Analysis

Hat Tip to DT Lange

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob (Remember — “Hot seeks Cold.”)




29 responses

28 12 2015

Oh come on Mike, you KNOW the answer to this load of Scribbler garbage. “…just reeks of a human-forced warming of the Earth’s climate…” Why do you keep republishing his crap?

BTW, the weather is perfectly normal here. The monsoon started on 13 December, and I’ve had 13 out of 16 wet days since. Temperatures have been a lovely 31 max since then under the cloud cover.

Let’s have a weather report from you, instead of this nonsense.

28 12 2015

What…….. so it’s not true? That a huge storm is on its way to the UK hot on the heels of the 3rd one in two hundred year floods in a row?

The weather in Tasmania is NOT normal BTW……. after the driest and coldest winter on record, we are now having the wettest and hottest spring ever. October and November were record hot months. We’ve just had a 33 degree day, hottest ever recorded in December. The next day was freezing……. It snowed twice in Geeveston this winter, and that hadn’t happened in 25 years. And I mean it only happened one day 25 years ago.

28 12 2015

Abnormal weather in several places in the whole world doesn’t say anything about climate change. When climate change deniers were pushing the meme “it has been getting cooler since 1998”, I said it then too, and you agreed.

“Records” that also happened 25 years ago are not really records. On a 30-year timeframe, which is the minimum you should consider for climate change, means it has happened twice in the current period. Now how many times did it happen in the 30 years before that? And the 30 years before that?

When Scribbler is bankrupt of facts, he starts on “a SCARY storm is on it’s way” based on someone’s weather forecast.

29 12 2015

You’re misquoting me, again? The snow was only a ‘record’ because it happened TWICE in one year. The other record hot days in Oct/Nov/Dec are records since records began, which is well over 100 years in Tassie, maybe even 150 yrs ago……

31 12 2015

Hi Dave,

While weather comes and weather goes, I look at what is happening in my crops for confirmation of what I call climate disruption rather than climate change.

I am seeing disruption in my crops that I have not seen before in my over seventy years. I am seeing my apples producing a second crop after a more unseasonable cool spell than I have seen before. Neither the first crop or the second crop were equal to the previous single cropping. The same goes for my nut trees.

I know that you may claim that this is just anecdotal but for me it is nature talking without the denialists or alarmists having the possibility of putting their two bobs worth in.

While I do not follow Robert Scribblers blog other than rebloggings, this article, if it shows one more event (an extreme event) that follows the trend that has been showing up over 100 years then I think it is valid for him to draw attention to it and for Mike to reblog it.

29 12 2015
Chris Harries

So far the wet in northern England has cost an estimated $8 billion in damages. But there’s more to come in the next few days. Of course I can’t pin this event on climate change, as I can’t pin any extreme weather event on climate change, but this morning’s news was full of extreme weather events worldwide – fires, floods, tornadoes and extreme temperatures.

It is possible to conclude that reporting of weather has increased and that’s all there is to it, but the science community has been arguing for two decades that this is what we ought to expect – less climate stability. So I’m apt to join the dots with some confidence.

30 12 2015

You can add an unseasonal flood in the Mississippi to the list now…

The number of ‘unseasonal’ weather events worldwide is growing apace.

30 12 2015

“In southern Illinois, the Mississippi River is forecast to at least match — if not exceed — its highest flood crest on record.” Wow, that’s some SCARY forecast – higher even than in 1993 ! And you know how reliable flood forecasting is.

30 12 2015
Chris Harries

Yeah, but Dave a record is a record. I’m happy to accept that records can take place any time, and even if there was no climate change happening some site specific records would have been broken around the world in 2015. However, in the midst of scientific conjecture that we will be getting more and more climate instability I think it’s worth looking around us and seeing what’s happening.

The catch cry of the denialist brigade is that no extreme weather event can be pinned onto climate change, just as no person’s lung cancer can be irrefutably pinned onto their smoking habit. And they are correct.

Won’t stop me surmising though, and drawing my own conclusions.

31 12 2015

Since temperature records at the North Pole have a history going back 106 years, very patchy at first obviously. Flood records on the Mississippi, maybe 300 years, so something exceptional might only happen every 22 years.

The current situation is caused by the jet stream doing a big snake, and that is most likely in winter. At times it causes extreme heat in western US and extreme cold in eastern US. None of this is surprising, and none of its history has been measured for long enough to say anything about it.

All forecasts are probablistic, so the scientists would say their forecast is X with a standard deviation of Y. Newspapers do bother with mentioning the Y. Scribbler and Cochrane are liars and cheats and say X+Y, and you believe them. All I can do is tell you and your readers every time you make a fool of yourself. You don’t want to believe the truth, you want to believe the situation is SCARY.

30 12 2015

Isn’t it interesting that this record lasted but 22 years? Don’t you think they should last 100 years? or 200? and that it’s WINTER and it shouldn’t happen at all? Or that there are wildfires in California, where it’s winter too?

31 12 2015

Dave, you can’t be serious…….. the snaking of the jet stream, as you call it, is a new phenomenon that climate scientists say is almost certainly caused by the melting of the ice, and the general warming of the pole. It’s only been doing this for the past five years! You are just refusing to acknowledge that we are experiencing some sort of tipping point that cannot correlate with normal statistics, and you’re doing this because it does not fit in with your desire that economic collapse will ‘save us’ from dire climate change. The collapse will be too late, and that’s all there is to it.

31 12 2015
30 12 2015

Wednesday the North Pole will be warmer than parts of West Texas, Southern California and parts of the Sahara.

30 12 2015
31 12 2015
Chris Harries

I’d like to know where you are coming from Dave? I’m used to the climate change denialist camp’s arguments but you seem to be on a slight tangent to that crowd? I’m pretty sure you aren’t in ‘we don’t have a problem” camp.

31 12 2015

I believe in climate change science, and I believe the IPCC models do a pretty good job of taking predictions about fossil fuel use and turning them into predicted temperatures. The models are still being tweaked, but the changes from AR4 to AR5 were small, and I expect they will always be small changes from here on. There is no tipping point on the horizon.

What I know for a fact is that the FF use predictions (the various RCP scenarios) are hopelessly wrong, on the high side, resulting in predictions of high temperatures that can never happen. Peak Fossils means that there is no way that FF production will ever be as high as what IPCC is talking about in RCP 4.6, 6.0, and 8.5 .

So why did IPCC choose such high scenarios? – they want the world’s politicians to agree to the scenarios, and the politicians won’t admit to Peak Fossils, so there is no way they are going to put forward a realistic Peak Fossils scenario.

As well as the low, medium and high scenarios, there is also RCP 2.6. This is a FF burning scenario that was worked backwards from a temperature rise of 2°C. In fact it shows temperature peaking at +1.6°C in 2045 (25 – 75% range 1.3 – 1.9°C) and falling very slightly after that.

When you dig into what the FF burning rates are in RCP 2.6, even that is too high:

So Peak Fossils means that temperatures will not go as high as +1.6°C . Now I don’t know what the world will be like climate-wise at +1.5°C or whatever, it might be horrible. But I DO know that industrial civilisation cannot continue through the decline phase of Peak Fossils, and that a Capitalist industrial civilisation cannot survive more than a few years of energy decline.

So industrial civilisation will collapse due to energy decline, not climate change. Disasters caused by weather events will continue, and probably increase, but they will be dealt with by insurance premiums, and probably by drastically increased insurance premiums, until the financial system breaks for those and many other reasons.

Then once the banks are shut, it will be impossible to pay for electricity, and for the electricity generators to pay their suppliers and workers, so the electricity system will shut.

That will take the internet with it, and water and sewerage services, and fossil fuel production, and hence transport, and hence everything else. To get the system restarted will take EVEN MORE energy than it is currently using, which makes it impossible to recover.

I don’t expect politicians to understand and accept this concept, but I do expect Peak Fossils believers, like Mike, to understand. Hence my frustration at his continually re-publishing the most extreme SCARY predictions, which don’t stand up to scrutiny.

31 12 2015

I don’t know why those images are shown as broken links. try:

31 12 2015

“What I know for a fact is that the FF use predictions (the various RCP scenarios) are hopelessly wrong” YOU BET! They rely on carbon capturing all the future emissions, Which Kevin Anderson says will never happen, no money and not enough resources.

The weather’s going haywire everywhere NOW……. not in 20 or 30 or 40 years time, but right now, with the current 400pppm, growing daily. Plus, the Carbon emitted 20 years ago is only just starting to have an effect now, so the Carbon emitted over the past 20 years will continue worsening weather events (and warming us up) for the next 20 years due to some thermal flywheel effect. Most scientists are now saying 2.7C increase is baked in, EVEN IF we completely stopped emitting CO2…..

31 12 2015
Chris Harries

OK, that makes sense. I too believe that resource limits will hit society sooner and more disruptively than will pollution limits – even though climate change has supremacy in the public and political mindset. There are relatively few academics who deal with the Peak Oil issue, most of that information coming from industry sources.

I’ve grown to accept this bias, with a little bit of frustration. Most of my peak oil colleagues dwindled away three year ago when the public was sold that the world is awash with oil and they drifted further away when the oil price collapsed. (I think most peak oiler activists were those folk who hoped that peak carbon may prevent climate change.)

Though It’s pretty hard to talk up peak oil during this period, others, such as Gail Tverberg and yourself have been doing a good job pointing to the less popular resource limit issue. Interesting that Gail is being criticised lately for being a climate change denier, whereas she has really been asserting that that when we are hit with supply limits the world economy and everything else will be turned on its head…. and so will some of the predictions on climate change. Some, but not all, because it seems that feedback cycles are kicking in now and this looks like on the cards even if we stopped burning carbon now.

I can accept all this whilst still accepting the reality of increasing climate instability. If anything we will be hit hard by supply limits at the same time as life around us gets increasingly grim, so I don’t see the need to address the two issues in competitive terms, but do understand the reasons for your frustration.

31 12 2015

When I posted this stuff on Gail’s site, she contacted me directly and asked for more detail, which of course I sent promptly. In follow up discussions I suggested that another RCP was in order, that closely matches what peakists believe is the most production that can happen.

The whole point of changing to RCPs in AR5 from the 40 SRES scenarios in AR4 was to make it easier to construct new scenarios that could be fed into the models and compared to the other results on a fair basis. For this, the RCP has to be accepted by the IPCC’s RCP Validation Team, and applications for this process can only be submitted by scientists with recognised work in the climate field.

Since I don’t have that standing, I wondered if Gail did, or knew someone who did. She was working with a professor in China at the time, and tried to get him interested. She also spoke with David Rutledge, who she knew from the speaking panels she often goes on. Anyway it all fizzled out, probably because she is too busy.

But the point is, when Gail (an actuary, with mathematical skills) sees this idea, she can immediately see that RCP-2.6 is too high, and takes the idea on board.

Aleklett and Hook in Sweden have written papers bagging the IPCC AR4 scenarios, showing that the lowest scenario of the 40, B1-miniCAM, was still too high. Unfortunately they have never answered any of my emails.

Energy Working Group (in Europe) did reply, but they said they were so pissed off with IPCC (and vice versa) that they wouldn’t have anything more to do with them.

Gail’s latest article http://ourfiniteworld.com/2015/12/21/we-are-at-peak-oil-now-we-need-very-low-cost-energy-to-fix-it/ hits the nail on the head, but nobody seems to get it.

31 12 2015

Mark Cochrane just posted this on Peak Prosperity………

Uncletommy raised a good point about the effects of a potential global
economic depression. I too believe that it is coming if not already here. On
the one hand, it likely means that the economic resources necessary to make
new investments for changing our energy and other infrastructure systems will
be limited or lacking, meaning that countries will be unable or unwilling to
make their intended changes to meet their emissions commitments in the Paris Climate accord.

On the other hand, the surest way to actually reduce emissions, whether
intended or not, is to have a serious global economic depression. What we see
now is a significant reduction in demand for fossil fuels (not just extra
supply). Global growth in emissions has been averaging 2.4%/year but this
year there is a drop of roughly 0.6% (uncertainty between +0.5% and -1.6%).
That is a swing of 3% and a strong indication of a global slow down in
progress. China’s emissions have been falling off a cliff, which tells you
what is really going on there.

This year could just be a blip on the upward march of emissions but a serious
depression could lead to long term trends downward. No quite sure what we
should be hoping for…

3 01 2016

This recent ICCI report indicates that our window of opportunity to prevent some major long term physical impacts is only until the 2030s http://iccinet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ICCI_thresholds_v6b_151203_high_res.pdf

4 01 2016

More from Mark…

September. Since then, the amount of  ice cover has been growing again. There are two ways to impact the ice cover  in the Arctic though, either through increasing the melt rate in the  spring/summer or by decreasing the freeze rate in the autumn/winter. The 2015  season was the 4th lowest minimum on record but better off than 2012 by a  good margin. In November 2015, however, the latter half of the month was too  warm and slowed the rate of new ice formation putting 2015 and 2012 on the 
same track (see below). (Note this doesn’t mean there was melting, just  freezing at a slower rate)

Now this short end of the year warming blast is 
slowing things again and now the 2015/16 track is below even the 2012/2013  track. This could reverse again if the Arctic weather turns bitterly cold  again but the clock is ticking. If things do not freeze up quickly, the  Arctic ice maximum will be very low going into the spring/summer of 2016. 
This makes it much more likely that the subsequent ice minimum in 2016 will be lower too.

None of this guarantees an ice free Arctic any time soon but we are steadily  moving closer to those conditions in summers. Winters will still freeze up 
but, once we hit an ice free summer, chances are good that we will have  longer and longer ice free periods every year after that.


4 01 2016

The variability in sea ice minimum (for weather reasons) means that a record minimum often stands for 10 years. So when the minimum reaches zero, on one day and to the resolution of satellite cameras, it doesn’t mean that “we will have longer and longer ice free periods every year after that.” And anyway, what is so special about “ice-free”? You can still have 15% of one pixel on the satellite image a solid chunk of ice the size of a city.

4 01 2016

What is so special? The ice melt and warming of the pole is precisely what is causing the jet stream to go haywire and cause all the weird weather in the northern hemisphere, that’s what. And I’d like to see a source for your ten years, because it sure as hell doesn’t show up on the death spiral.

And just to prove how unreliable your precious models are, they didn’t predict this level of melting for another seventy years. I doubt that they are capable of predicting any tipping point.

4 01 2016

I mean what’s so special about 0% ice cover compared to 1% ice cover, or 10% for that matter.

I have already told you in the past about the variability (weather) having more effect than the trend (climate), resulting in the 10 years effect. The spiral chart you used is designed to make it as difficult as possible to see what is actually happening. When you take the same data and plot it the normal way, orthogonally, you can see the changes much more clearly – if you want to see, that is. It’s here on this website.

The models which didn’t predict this much ice melting for 70 years were from AR4 using data up to 2005. The fact that they don’t work well 10 years ahead, is a fact of life in modelling. Bearing in mind that the best brains in the world are working on it, imagine how way off Cochrane is going to be with his totally un-modelled predictions. We have been over all this too on this website, but you seem to just take no notice.

The models do their best, and have the methane feedback loop built into them, so they would predict a tipping point if it was there, but they don’t. If some scientists who believed in the tipping point were to come up an IPCC-compatible model that proved it, or even proved it in a 10% probability case for the ludicrous RCP-8.5 scenario, that would be major news. It hasn’t happened.

4 01 2016
7 01 2016

The observation that yet another putative ‘rapid’ geological event is occurring perhaps a thousand times slower than today and not associated with widespread surface ocean acidification has been the focus of much recent research at the University of Bristol. Co-author Professor Daniela Schmidt, who was also a Lead Author on the IPCC WGII report on Ocean systems, emphasised that today’s finding builds on one of the IPCC’s key conclusions: that the rate of environmental change occurring today is largely unprecedented in Earth history. She said, ‘This is another example that the current rate of environmental change has few if any precedents in Earth history, and this has big implications for thinking about both past and future change.’


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