There is a huge buildup up of snow in Siberia this year like last. Meteorologists believe that portends another brutal winter.
Bloomberg reports Climate Model Predicts Very Cold Winter in Northern Hemisphere.
About 14.1 million square kilometers of snow blanketed Siberia at the end of October, the second most in records going back to 1967, according to Rutgers University’s Global Snow Lab. The record was in 1976, which broke a streak of mild winters in the eastern U.S. In addition, the speed at which snow has covered the region is the fastest since at least 1998.
Taken together they signal greater chances for frigid air to spill out of the Arctic into more temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia, said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Massachusetts, who developed the theory linking Siberian snow with winter weather.
“A rapid advance of Eurasian snow cover during the month of October favors that the upcoming winter will be cold across the Northern Hemisphere,” Cohen said in an interview yesterday. “This past October the signal was quite robust.”
Cold air builds over the expanse of snow, strengthening the pressure system known as a Siberian high. The high weakens the winds that circle the North Pole, allowing the cold air to leak into the lower latitudes. The term Polar Vortex actually refers to those winds, not the frigid weather.
Cohen said he first noticed the relationship between the Eurasian snow cover and larger weather patterns while doing post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1990s.
It came about by chance because the original assignment was to look at the North American snow cover, Cohen said. He changed it to Eurasian and “when we investigated further it turned out it was Eurasian snow cover that was the dominant influence.”
Last year, 12.85 million square kilometers covered Eurasia at the end of October. By January, waves of frigid air were pummeling the U.S. Prices for natural gas, a heating fuel used by half of American households, rose to a five-year high in February.
“The big early snowbuild will definitely set things up for a cold back half of the winter,” said Todd Crawford, a meteorologist at commercial forecaster WSI in Andover, Massachusetts.
Another Record Breaker?
Model theory makes sense to me. And if so, this winter could be as bad as last year’s record breaker (or worse).
- Flashback March 26, 2014: One of the Coldest Winters in 20 Years Shatters Snow Records.
- Advance Warning on October 12 in UK: Worst winter for decades: Record-breaking snow predicted for November
- US on December 13, 2013: Snow, Cold Already Crush Records
Beware, the Ice Age Cometh
Bring on the warmth!
Mike “Mish” Shedlock