Monday, July 15, 2013

Arctic Temperatures Coldest Since 1958

Temperatures being observed at the Arctic are the coldest observed at this time period since at least 1958, leading to additional speculation that this winter could be different than those observed in the past while.

The chart above shows latest temperatures in the Arctic over 2013. The winter is shown at the left of the chart, where you can see the wild fluctuations in temperatures as the stratospheric warmings we discussed in depth last winter aided high pressure development that eventually led to warmer than normal temperatures. However, now that we are in the summertime, the Arctic has calmed down for the season. These unusually cool temperatures can easily be used for those interested in the global warming debate, but I'm not here to discuss that right now.

Arctic sea ice melt is likely to be hampered. Below normal Arctic temperatures, while still above freezing, set the stage for a probable lessening of the severity of ice melt anticipated this summer. While we still expect to fall well below average sea ice levels, it is very possible that this season's sea ice extent will be unlike last year, where we hit a record low in sea ice, but more like sea ice levels roughly a decade ago.

It is likely we will find more correlations between this temperature anomaly and other atmospheric factors later on in the year, but for now, it is something to keep an eye on.

I will have an add-on piece to this article tomorrow.