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Snow and Cold in United States And Europe Linked By Arctic Pattern - More to Come

By Joe D'Aleo
Monday, January 4, 2010


Both the United States and Europe have seen some extreme cold and heavy snows this month. This is no coincidence as it is very often similar in Europe and the United States. In fact you can often add eastern Asia to the winter trifecta. The reason is that there are often 4 major waves around the hemisphere. When a major trough is positioned in the eastern United States, other troughs are often found in Western Europe, Eastern Asia and near the dateline in the Pacific. That has been the case. Indeed Eastern Asia has had Siberian blasts this month.

 

Washington, DC


White House encased in White



Eiffel Tower in Snow




Speeding train in snow in Germany




Snow in
Venice, Italy

 

 

Another factor that leads to this dumping of cold air into middle latitude is high latitude blocking. We have in prior posts shown how this was likely this winter due to high latitude volcanoes last spring and early summer and a stratospheric warming that was favored by a developing east QBO and low solar activity.

 

The negative AO (right) is characterized by large polar intrusions and a very amplified pattern. Note the plunge of arctic air into the eastern United States with major east coast storms, and cold Siberian air backing into Europe from the east with snow to even the Mediterranean coast (this last week, it snowed on the French Riviera and in Spain).





The arctic oscillation this month has ranked among just a few years in its negative magnitude since 1950. They are among the coldest winters and in many places snowiest 68/69, 69/70, 76/77, 84/85. The 5 day values are lowest since 1977 (January) and 1970 (March). This is a list of the lowest 5 day running mean AO dates since 1950 in winter.


Year

Month

 5 Days Ending

 

Value 5 Days Ending

1977

1

17

 

-6.9526

1977

1

16

 

-6.8794

1977

1

18

 

-6.4896

1977

1

15

 

-6.4798

1977

1

14

 

-5.9324

1970

3

8

 

-5.8484

1970

3

9

 

-5.7686

1970

3

7

 

-5.7272

1977

1

19

 

-5.6856

1970

3

10

 

-5.5186

2009

12

25

 

-5.4001

2009

12

24

 

-5.3932

1985

1

21

 

-5.3238

1970

3

6

 

-5.275

1985

1

20

 

-5.266

1977

1

13

 

-5.2288

1970

3

11

 

-5.2286

2009

12

23

 

-5.1960

1969

2

17

 

-5.0974

1969

2

16

 

-5.0886

1970

3

12

 

-5.034

1969

2

18

 

-5.0036

1977

1

20

 

-4.9556

1985

1

22

 

-4.928

2009

12

22

 

-4.9141




This is the winter composite for the other listed years in the United States and in Europe.





Note the extreme cold over Poland, where sub-zero cold lead to many deaths.




The correlation of temperatures in New York City and Central England shows a statistically significant correlation.



A recent hemispheric 500 mb pattern shows the high latitude blocking (red) with troughs of Europe, eastern Asia, and the United States. The forecast from same day shows persistence.







The pattern is very similar to the composite we have been showing for the aast QBO, low solar El Nino winters.



Expect more of the same – cold and snow in January across Europe and the United States. The UK Met Office already reeling from busted warm forecasts most of the last 4 years (winter and summer) went for the 5th warmest winter for Western Europe. This forecaster and other private forecasters in the US and the UK correctly called for the cold and snowy winter(s) and cool wet summers by looking at the real weather can climate driving factors, the government forecasters who are advocacy and dynamic/greenhouse model driven have failed again.

 

It is another winter similar to those of the Dalton Minimum on the early 1800s.



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