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Sgregory88
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I've been a professional MET for nearly 40 years now - with the last 30 spent 'watching' the arctic. The number,intensity and most specifically persistence of arctic basin cyclones is NOT that unusual. Just because ere have not seen this before may have more to do with the length of time many on this blog have been observing the arctic. Eight years ago I hypothesized in a paper published for the energy industry that the arctic meltdown would quite likely lead to stronger storms in the fall initially, and later (as in 10+ yrs from now)in the summer. But 'frequent' & 'persistent' cyclones are a totally different story and have far more to do with global circulation patterns that have temporal life spans at the annual and decadel level.
The 500mb level is found at approximately 18,000' (ranges from near 5,000 meters to 6,000 meters) but is * NOT * where the polar and tropical jet streams form. The (polar) jet stream forms along and just below the Tropopause and is THERMALLY driven. During the winter, the maximum jet stream winds are typically found in the 250-300mb level (30,000-35,000 ft) and is the predominant, global jet stream. The tropical (actually referred to as the sub-tropical) jet forms around the 150-200mb level - and is almost always confined to the cold season. During the winter, an arctic jet can found at times around very deep upper level Lows and associated troughs - generally at the 450mb level. Ridging refers to an area of upper level high pressure (for example, where the actual height of the 500mb level, along with temperatures, is highest). Ridging can be north-south orientated or east-west, as is currently found with the sub-topical high over the Atlantic ('Bermuda High').
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2013 on Second storm at Arctic Sea Ice
Comparing 'forecasts' (for tracks/intensity) of tropical cyclones to extra-tropical ones is like comparing day to night. Non-tropical cyclones are VERY well forecast by the numerical models - they form/intensify via totally different thermodynamic energy transfer mechanisms. Admittedly, forecasts for cyclones that form within the high arctic can have larger errors than most mid-latitude storms - but comparing 'accuracy rates' to those of tropical ones is a major mistake. As well, comparing the 'forecast' for another great 'arctic cyclone' similar to last year's storm fails to take into account where the storm formation is, exactly how deep the storm gets, what the pressure gradient and pressure pattern orientation was last year compared to this year - and its longevity. There are major differences.
A bit off topic (and maybe someone else has posted but I missed it)... "NASA Rover Prototype Set to Explore Greenland Ice Sheet": www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/may/HQ_13-127_greenland_rover.html Steve
Toggle Commented May 1, 2013 on A new round of vids at Arctic Sea Ice
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Mar 24, 2013
REF RUSSIAN METEOR: The primary Meteor strike caused super subsonic seismeic rumblings around the globe - reaching the east cost of North Americia around 12 hrs after the meteor 'strike'. More importantly, the FEB 16 'stike' was just 3 days before (not 13) the major ice cracks began to appear. What is maybe more telling, there were rapid 'surges' in the larger crack formations for several days after the primary formations. And - the large cracks have a remarkably circular formation, similar to a supersonic explosive wave front. Considering there were quite a few smaller but widely observed metoers in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere for a week after the 'Russian' strike. - it is a valid hypothesis that an meteor may have struke the arctic ice, or more likely, exploded 1-3 kilometers above the centroid' of the ice fracture. (That 'small' ice break found in Russia was no doubt caused by a large 'pepple size' of piece of the meteor moving at 40,000mph.) Steve
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2013 on Crack is bad for you (and sea ice) at Arctic Sea Ice
Slow doesn't really fuuly describe the 'forum experience'. Can't get to the page half the time - and when you do - 'slow' is more appropriate. Whatever happened to "if it ain't broke..." Steve
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2013 on Arctic Sea Ice Forum at Arctic Sea Ice
I recently heard some ideas from Bill O’Reilly (not my favorite person in general) regarding 'gun control' (which I very much against as is currently being proposed). There is no doubt the O’Reilly’s ‘idea’ is the ONLY IDEA THAT WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AND MAJOR IMPACT ON REDUCING GUN CRIME. ‘Banning guns’ – or banning specific guns (like AR-15’s) will do absolutely nothing to curb crime violence in this country. There are thousands of laws on the books – and they have done little if anything to stop criminal use of guns. BUT, FEDERALIZE ALL GUN LAWS for the criminal use of a gun, with a mandatory 10 year sentence will have a HUGE impact on gun violence, and all the criminals involved in diverting lawfully produced guns up the ‘criminal chain’. You use a gun to rob a store, or shoot a person – you don’t go before a local judge and end up serving, maybe, 18 months – you go before a Federal Court and end up serving 10 years. Kill someone, and you serve life without parole. This political window-dressing view of ‘ban assault rifles’ or ban higher capacity clips or stop gun show ‘loopholes’ (which really would be a law against the private transfer of guns between relatives, for the most part) – will do NOTHING except create the political illusion that ‘Politicians Care’. Politicians and citizens would can make a real difference if you Federalize gun laws and the general registration of existing weapons to enable tracing guns used in a crime to their source. STOP aiming your sights on law-abiding citizens and start aiming for the criminals. Steve
"Does this qualify as winter wierdness?" *** Pretty much. Besides the storm's intensity - it's location (CPAC and latitude) were extremely unusual. Storms of this intensity normally ap[pear in winter over higher latitudes - particularly in the North Sea region. One of the most intense storms I've seen was in OCT 1977 while working in AK. The central pressure fell to 926MB when it crossed over Dutch Harbor (after crossing St. Paul Island about 8 hrs earlier with a record breaking 932mb pressure). It was the lowest pressure of any AK storm before or since. Winds at Adak Island (long abandoned by the Air Force) gusted over 100mph for more than 24 hrs straight - and several believable ship reports included Sig wave heights exceeding 26 meters; with 2 reports of 'rogue' waves exceeding 100'. Nonetheless - this was quite a storm. Should note this storm has weakened as it 'umb-bells' northwestward under the upper level low - and is not really heading for AK. Steve
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2013 on 2013 Open thread #1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Way off topic - but when discussing ice conditions around AK - some may find the info/charts provided by the ANC NWS office useful: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/ice.php Steve
Opensheart: "Doesn't the sea ice drift change alot from day to day or week to week? How long has this spiral lasted? Isn't the direction of this spiral opposite the usual circulation pattern? " ** This is a very unusual pattern (especially the intensity of the High pressure system centered near the NP) - but actually is similar to the pattern that dominated the arctic basin thru much of NOV (though the high pressure ridge 'axis' extended from just NE of Greenland to the Bewring Sea and led to the ice flow into the northern cost of AK by the last week of NOV. Steve
As a hurricane forecaster - I've gotten numerous questions from some former clients, Energy Industry Newsletters and numerous CNBC’s Financial Channel. I want to emphasis that for the first time since 2005/2006, I have never seen so much media and industry asking 'Is this extreme weather due to climate Change'? There has not been a better time since 2006 to contact media/politicians regarding ‘climate change’ – they are finally in hearing’ mode. WHY SO LOW PRESSURE – BUT JUST CAT 1 WINDS? 939mb – we’ve seen the exact same phenomena with IRENE and IKE – just to name the famous ones of recent years. ‘ Something’ is happening that is inhibiting a long-lived, hurricane with a amore evenly distributed pressure gradient near the eye comparable to what was being experienced 200 miles away of the storm. With Sandy, Eyewall formation as observed during the 72 hrs prior to landfall never lasted long enough to produce winds any stronger near the Eyewall so Sandy ’only’ produced strong CAT 1 winds during the hours just before landfall. Sandy more evenly spaced pressure gradient typical of strong, winter-like Nor’Easters, which produced gales over 500NM from the center. Even though the ‘eye’ never really closed off in those final 72 hours, it did produced a steadily increase in the wind field as one got closer to the ‘center. Sandy’s lack of a persistently closed off eyewall and a ‘thermal eyewall’ of only about 5°c (indicative of a strong CAT 1 or CAT 2 meant there was little chance for the pressure gradient near and the ragged eyewall could increase; and producing a more classical gale force wind area pp to maybe 125 NM from the center and Hurricane force some 25 miles from the center – usually in the NE-E quadrant. A ‘typical’ 939mb central pressure (confirmed by dropsondes) would ‘normally’ be expected to produce a solid CAT 3 with 115 to 135 mph winds in the Atlantic basin. The dropsonde pressure of 939mb; typical of a major hurricane, instead only had CAT 1 winds – with gale force winds up to 500 NM from the center and hurricane force within 75 miles of the center. This huge size, and long period of time of gale force winds produced a storm surge in some areas equal to that of a strong CAT 2 and low end CAT 3. In addition, another aspect to the unusual pressure gradient produced its strongest winds were often found n the SW quadrant - normally the weakest side of the storm! I could ‘understand’ this ‘unwinding’ of the strong pressure gradient near the eyewall of IKE – a CAT 5 when it hit Cuba, which severely disrupted the circulation and structure of the eyewall and its pressure gradient This allowed the storm to expand outwards – and it never again was able to tighten up the gradient near the ‘eyewall’ as too much mass had become closely tied to IKE’s circulation field. The storm’s pressure gradient simply ‘spread out’ to the point of no return. Although an eyewall reformed in IKE, other factors that control just how low the pressure can get in any hurricane – simply didn’t persist as the upper level outflow was pumping out the inflow of air closer to the surface and the eyewall. IRENE was a CAT 3 – but ‘unwound’ after crossing the northern CARIB Islands and Bahamas – but also simply had its pressure gradient spread out and never again generated an intense eyewall pressure gradient. Indeed, Irene was NOT a hurricane as it approached the NC latitude – but due its’ potential damage threat – NHC decided to carry the label as a Hurricane way after it had weakened to a ‘tropical storm’ intensity. And indeed, most damage was due to rainfall – not wind or storm surge at the coast. But Irene was not impacted by land mass interaction as IKE was, why IRENE ‘unwound’ its’ tight, pressure gradient near the core is still up for debate. What was different with Sandy is that it did in fact manage to get an intensifying pressure gradient closer to the core about 6-8 hrs before landfall as it passed over the Gulf stream, and upper level wind shear declined. In addition, this occurred at the very same time the storm began to get absorbed by an approaching deep and strong winter-time type cold front in the lower and upper level. With this colder air clashing with the still warm core of Sandy simply aided intensification to develop as it would with a winter time storm system. SANDY even managed to start rebuilding a partial eyewall while passing over the Gulf stream– but by then, time ran out as the storm transitioned rapidly to a non-tropical, winter-like system. Nonetheless, the hybrid cyclone did gain enough strength to have winds approach CAT 2 level as it approached the NJ coast. However, all of these massive sized cyclones never really seem capable of pulling the massive area of its atmospheric circulation field closer to the eyewall. That old ‘ice skater’ analogy plays out in this case as if the ‘ice skater’ never pulled in her arms to increase the spin rate of the skater standing at the ‘center’ of rotation. Why we seem to be seeing so many of these storm structures is quite unclear, and deserves much more research Like so many other things in life, they just don’t make them the way they use to anymore… DOES CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSE THIS? First comment – ‘Sandy’ has been so unique in so many ways that only a real meteorologist can truly fathom all the ‘first time ever’ events related to Sandy. That said, CNBC has been spending a LOT of time questioning ‘experts’ (including Insurance and reinsurance companies etc) if climate change is really behind the increase in the number of these massive damaging storms and weather patterns. For the past few years – most METs, NOAA etc– have made it a point that no one event can be blamed on ‘climate change’. And, of course, this is true. HOWEVER, it’s reaching a point where there are now so many ‘100 and 500 year’ events occurring every year or two – and these events are being induced by a change in the climate – in this case a ‘warming planet’. One of these days – all scientists, business leaders and our always brilliant politicians will say ‘enough already – climate change is very real and is responsible for the large number of all-time record breaking events.” Frankly, I no longer give a f—k about how much is due to long-term ‘natural’ cycling of weather pattern vs. human induced warming. For many economic reasons – and the nature of human beings who should know better - we as a nation and in concert with other Countries need to at least think thru and take action to minimize the impact of the warming climate with the shifts of rainfall patterns and frequency of very intense storm systems. It’s clearly useless under the current socio-economic environment to get politician and corporations to make a REAL effort at reducing the output of CO2 and the far more dangerous methane flow into the atmosphere getting released by the melting of the permafrost areas of the arctic. Personally, I love the warmer winters here in Chicago which in some areas, can have some positive impacts, but not nearly enough of a benefit to offset the negative side of the ledger in terms of monetary costs, lives, and agriculture. So, assuming it will take decades before money is thrown at ‘green energy’ production (and yes, even a big increase in nuclear) – we desperately need to investigate what actions we should take NOW to mitigate the impact of rising sea level, along with the greater number of extreme and frequent storm events. Side Note: The loss of arctic ice this summer went far beyond the super melt down of 2007 – but it did it without the ‘ideal’ weather pattern seen during the 2007 summer for melting the ice. Theoretically, the general pattern this summer at high latitudes ‘should’ have led to only a small, additional loss of Arctic ice during melt season – yet generally warm temps, abundant sunshine and an extremely rare super storm over the arctic ocean in early August led to a massive melt down that most forecasters did not predict until AUG. Greenland lost more ice than has ever been seen in at sveral hundred years (maybe as much as 1,000 years) – and no one really knows why this is happening other than for at least one factor – a warming world. Bottom line – extreme WX events are the new ‘norm’ – and we need to figure out how best to deal with these changes in order to reduce the loss of life and property. SteveG
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2012 on Looking for winter weirdness 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
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Oct 31, 2012