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Snow & Ice coverage in the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2019/20

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Meanwhile...

In the Northern Hemisphere Arctic Sea Ice thread....

Todays US NIC shows further extension southwards of snow cover in Asia, and a very small drift eastwards in Russia.

Arctic Sea Ice has seen further large increases in the outer sea areas particularly Barents and the SOO.  Greenland sea ice again has reduced with movement into Fram becoming weaker.

image.thumb.png.23e9a4d01d4d8be6682f9545ff36bf44.png

MIA

 

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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GFS is showing a 'polar low' formation for Sunday, just to the north of Finland.

It has the potential to be one of the most powerful in recent recorded history, and has a well defined 'warm core'..

Just North of the area we have the 2 Research projects fastened/stuck to the ice..

 

Let us hope that it doesn't move their way.

 

image.thumb.png.8196892bb88cf8bf43b0a4a1ce2580d6.png

The air is very cold in the area, recent data from the Polarstern has temperatures dropping down below -30C this morning. The 'Lance'  was last reported to be stuck in the ice just north of Svalbard, and the Polarstern is now just to the north of the Jan Meyer to Svalbard Islands. 

It could well be a frightening experience for the younger members on board.

Is GFS correct?

MIA

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Kirkcaldy Weather said:

@Midlands Ice Age might interest you to do with ozone and polar ice? 

 

KW..

Thanks..

It looks as if some of the models are beginning to sniff out an SSW next week.

The above is  probably what will happen. There has continued to be large differences in the Ozone concentration (and still are) this year, with Siberia and Canada having an excess and the polar central regions  having reduced amounts. ( I cannot call it a polar hole  - so far), but we will see.  Yesterday, I noticed the next wave of Ozone over the Baring Sea ready to attack Canada.

The forecast SSW is expected to be in the area.

Lots about to happen in the Polar regions next week!

From a polar low to an SSW!!! 

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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Both increases and decreases of sea ice and snow cover:

cursnow_asiaeurope Snow & Ice Chart Friday 24th January 2020.gif

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12 hours ago, Kirkcaldy Weather said:

@Midlands Ice Age might interest you to do with ozone and polar ice? 

 

KW...

A further updated response to the above  post (as it gets more interesting)....

It looks as if there is a reasonable chance of an SSW of some sort occurring now.

In addition, the PSC's (Polar stratospheric clouds)  which Amy alluded to above, are showing up widely (which indicates very low temperatures, and which are required as precursors for P.S.H's.(polar stratospheric holes) to form),  and Knockers posted chart below shows why -

image.png.5c238f1f753753ecd0ced31ad8a3667e.png        Based on Murmansk.

Also, the graph shown by Amy Butler above indicates a new record for the end of January  (brown column), so it would not be a minor event.

Knockers graph also shows why Amy  is talking about a 'polar hole'. These require temperatures of below -80C to form (it is believed to be via CFC's and Ozone interactions). The temperatures being recorded are some of the lowest recorded that I have seen for the stratospheric Arctic.

What is causing (since last October) for the PSH over Antarctica to fill unexpectedly,  following a SSW, whilst at the same time the temperatures have fallen in the Arctic to enable both to possibly form in the NH for possibly the first time in recorded(observed) history.?

Ozone and CFC's, etc  are the only thing I can see that are common features at these rare stratospheric heights. 

Interesting times indeed.

 

Also re the Polar Low formation on Monday by GFS. This morning it has reduced the intensity, but some sort of a low is shown over the area. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a less severe outcome.

image.thumb.png.6a2e4f354bf9e96cf948a9c323f35254.png

MIA        

 

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3 minutes ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

KW...

A further updated response to the above  post (as it gets more interesting)....

It looks as if there is a reasonable chance of an SSW of some sort occurring now.

In addition, the PSC's (Polar stratospheric clouds)  which Amy alluded to above, are showing up widely (which indicates very low temperatures, and which are required as precursors for P.S.H's.(polar stratospheric holes) to form),  and Knockers posted chart below shows why -

image.png.5c238f1f753753ecd0ced31ad8a3667e.png        Based on Murmansk.

Also, the graph shown by Amy Butler above indicates a new record for the end of January  (brown column), so it would not be a minor event.

Knockers graph also shows why Amy  is talking about a 'polar hole'. These require temperatures of below -80C to form (it is believed to be via CFC's and Ozone interactions). The temperatures being recorded are some of the lowest recorded that I have seen for the stratospheric Arctic.

What is causing (since last October) for the PSH over Antarctica to fill unexpectedly,  following a SSW, whilst at the same time the temperatures have fallen in the Arctic to enable both to possibly form in the NH for possibly the first time in recorded(observed) history.?

Ozone and CFC's, etc  are the only thing I can see that are common features at these rare stratospheric heights. 

Interesting times indeed.

 

Also re the Polar Low formation on Monday by GFS. This morning it has reduced the intensity, but some sort of a low is shown over the area. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a less severe outcome.

image.thumb.png.6a2e4f354bf9e96cf948a9c323f35254.png

MIA        

 

Just a quick Q please, MIA: are Polar Stratospheric Clouds the same phenomena as nacreous clouds?

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23 minutes ago, General Cluster said:

Just a quick Q please, MIA: are Polar Stratospheric Clouds the same phenomena as nacreous clouds?

 

Easy question - difficult answer 

My understanding is that PSC 's are formed at very low temps <-80C  and therefore form extremely high up at the top of the stratosphere.

They are believed to be composed from  gasses  (Ozone in the main at this height which with the presence of Ultra violet up here  enable Ozone to dis-associate) and form highly reactive O+ ions)  which are then thought to react on the surface of foreign bodies with any other gasses around. These include (firstly the CFC's), then CO2 and then with any small amounts of  water vapour at this height.

My understanding is that Oxygen(white/red light?)  and Nitrogen (green light?) also become excited with the energy around, and show in the colours. 

Not much H2O is involved at this height.

I have recently seen a really beautiful picture of PSC's, but I cannot locate it. 

Currently we also have large atmospheric waves bouncing up into the stratosphere from the Himalayas. They have been present nearly all the winter season. These are carrying comparatively  large amounts of dust (Aussie fires, but even more likely the recent Indonesian volcano?) towards the Arctic, and may be adding catalysts to the stratosphere.  

 

Nacreous clouds are thought to be created in the lower and mid stratosphere, (where more H2O is present),  and where there is a comparative lack of Ultra Violet. It having been 'gobbled up' by the Ozone above.

I have not studied Nacreous clouds, but I believe that they are more like normal clouds and are thought to be a lot more composed of ice crystals, and also do require sunlight (IR) to be visible..

Also Auroras seem to be coming into play more and more. They do not normally occur in the 'high' Arctic, but the Mosaic people have been surprised to see them over the last week (at 87 degrees Lat!).

image.thumb.png.f5a2d087cc5f1bdceb5d9dbc86987125.png

All in all. the stratosphere, when under attack from high energy particles (UV, etc), seems to be becoming a veritable pea soup!

It thus seems to  be highly related to the current low minimum cycle of the sun, which it is believed, allows more powerful background energy particles to approach the earth. Increases of between 20 and 50%, have been recorded in the last 4 years by stratospheric balloons released by the University of California.

Hope this helps with your question. However this is still an area of research, and I would be grateful, for any corrections or additions. 

MIA

  

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This is the coldest I’ve seen the arctic -0.9 below average, Svalbard seems to be having a cold winter apparently there has been changes in ocean current in that region, which has reduced heat transport into that region. Which could well explain that Atlantic side has been colder. Major difference to what I have seen in recent winters.

345E6D13-5F18-4F26-A070-D192C256BC33.thumb.png.8a474cb992435e03681b0d2d9ac55831.png

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@Midlands Ice Age thanks for the updates, I have recently posted quite a few photos of recent polar stratospheric clouds (Sweden has been a hot spot) over in the Scotland thread. Also on the subject of SSW it has looked for some time like an upcoming displacement event and now some possibilities of that being followed by a split but will need to get it into shorter time frames before lots of confidence given the models struggles with the PV strength this winter.

 

 

 

 

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KW...

Thanks for these,,,, they certainly are a beautiful sight.

They refer to Type 1  and Type 2 clouds.

We see Nacreous clouds here in the UK, when we have colder polar air, but they do not resemble those that are currently being seen further North.

 

MIA   

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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18 minutes ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

KW...

Thanks for these,,,, they certainly are a beautiful sight.

They refer to Type 1  and Type 2 clouds.

We see Nacreous clouds here in the UK, when we have colder polar air, but they do not resemble those that are currently being seen further North.

MIA   

More info on types here 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Kirkcaldy Weather said:

More info on types here 

 

 

Thanks KW

Your post also reminds me..

To my original discussion must obviously be added the affects of the oxides of nitrogen, as they are also 'common', in our atmosphere, (as are those of sulphur relatively). Both tend to act as a 'base' for the various gasses to accumulate on to and hence become 1) the base upon which the reactions take place, and 2) also for the establishment of the 'cloud'.

They are both more common substances at lower levels.

I referred to this process as the 'catalyst'.

It would seem as though the Type2 clouds are at the top of the stratosphere and are the Nacreous clouds. The 'Iridescent' clouds at the lower levels are the standard clouds we occasionally see. They are iridescent (from IR?) and not Nacreous (from within).. Type 2 require temps below -85C,  and Type 1 around -75C to form.  

 As I said the stratosphere when under the influence of  strong UV, becomes a 'pea soup', much  better than any test-tube I ever used!!.

We clearly now need much more research to establish as to how these reactions can then (or if?) they impact the weather on the surface. (and particularly the effect on sea ice).

While talking about this, we could well be about to observe whether Ozone is a primary agent in these reactions. 

If indeed we do get an 'Ozone hole' produced as a result of this years very cold conditions, will the reactions that are thought to be occurring up there as a result of the Ozone  still happen within the hole?

Remember that the Ozone hole will still have some Ozone present, but very much reduced amounts. 

Will we see.

Very interesting times.

I am still marvelling at the beauty of your PSC photos!

MIA 

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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KW / MIA  - just a quick one from me to thank you both for your input into this and the other Snow and Ice thread.  You've provided some fascinating insight and amazing images/footage.  Just wanted to let you both know that your efforts are very much appreciated.  Keep up the good work!

NB.  Especially given the pathetic nature of 'winter' 2019/20..... so far!

Edited by Ice Day

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Morning guys....

 This mornings USNIC...

 Slightly less snow cover in Southern Asia, but more spread into places around Iraq.

Sea ice cover variable. Good increases in Bering, Barents(in particular) and Labrador.

Fairly static in the SOO and slight falls in Greenland and Baffin(outside of Labrador).

image.thumb.png.f581b0221ac3fe3875d597f8053d4232.png

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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20 hours ago, Daniel* said:

This is the coldest I’ve seen the arctic -0.9 below average, Svalbard seems to be having a cold winter apparently there has been changes in ocean current in that region, which has reduced heat transport into that region. Which could well explain that Atlantic side has been colder. Major difference to what I have seen in recent winters.

345E6D13-5F18-4F26-A070-D192C256BC33.thumb.png.8a474cb992435e03681b0d2d9ac55831.png

Daniel..

To go along with your post I found this graphic on the ASIF.  

 

ezgif.com-optimize-299.thumb.gif.d49a33818a5aeaa1f384261d7172f7f2.gif       Can this be seen?

It backs up your claims of lower temperatures during the week.

PS -  Stratospheric Ozone is little  changed during this period.

The negative temps are forecast  to continue for a few days yet.

HOWEVER, this does not mean that sea ice extent automatically will increase more rapidly.

Yesterday Maisie recorded a fall of about 50K Km2.  Looking back at the last  7 days the ice has grown (with the loss yesterday) of about 280K Km. This is about average (only just above) for the time of year.

Whereas we have seen above average growth this month, inferring more ice growth when the temperature was higher!!..

Looking at the DMI temperature graph we can see that above average temperatures are still being recorded. 

image.thumb.png.9be923154a21a921ad558b0703aab544.png

I suspect that at this time of year we need to look at the temperatures in the outer sea ice areas, since within  the Arctic Ocean it is pretty much full.

Only depth (thickness) of ice will increase..

and this does seem to be happening now -  see the comparison of sea ice thickness for today and a month ago - (perhaps not as quickly as one would like)

image.thumb.png.e9518a255eb3121c880fd7d1baf5f00c.png      and      image.thumb.png.551515d1c2a85f714bc4c3a9d20c14c0.png

 

There is also a disparity between the DMI temperatures (from ECM) being supplied and those of Climate Reanalyser  C.R. (GFS based), which has gone negative the last 2-3 days. 

 

image.thumb.png.db9494225dc5c6a1937ba738f9abec82.png

 

The question I ask is whether at a short to medium timescale  sea ice extent change is affected by temperature that much and is more impacted by wind and tide. 

To me sea ice extent as more of a budgerigar and not a canary.🤩😜

 MIA 

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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Morning all 

US NIC …

Snow cover slightly reduced.

Ice increases in most areas except the SOO.

MIA

 

image.png

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Thanks KW for the  above on Ozone.

I have been out all day (volunteer Monday!), and I have been thinking and looking into it.

I use a similar website for monitoring the Ozone and I had come to similar conclusions -

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/NH.html

The 'hole' is not real as in the sense of the one in Antarctica which remained nearly stationary for 2 - 3 months (Until this last winter).

It seems to be an effect of the extensive wave breaking in the NH stratosphere (from the Himalayas) this winter season, and this shows up quite well in the animation presented.

The mini 'hole' looks to be exactly that to me, in comparison to what is currently moving through Canada.

It clearly shows up the huge burst of Ozone currently moving through Canada (the real black 'hole'), and which in front of it, it looks to be simply downwelling over Scandinavia. It reminds me of the clear skies ahead and behind a thunderstorm.

I have mentioned this effect several times,  in terms of the variations in Ozone levels through the Arctic this year. What I do not understand is if and how this can effect the surface in terms of the increased sea ice.

 It looks to be downward pushing the stratosphere into the atmosphere in the Scandy area. (to me)  

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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5days since the last update from Masie...

During that time the ice has expanded by an average increase of 143K Km2 (28K Km2) per day, and is still on course to reach 15.000K Km2 before the end of the season.

Areas showed a large increase in Barents(+124K), with smaller ones in Baffin(+16k), Bering(+46k),  

The SOO(+8K) came to a suspension of increase, but the outer areas of Baltic(+8K), Yellow Sea  (+4K ) and Cooke Inlet (+4K) started to grow.

The real oddity is Greenland which fell (-58K), which although looking poor, actually means that hardly any ice is being lost through Fram. Will this enable Central area to thicken up?.

Arctic temperatures from DMI are now falling, and Climate Reanalyser is showing further falls over the next few days, so the outlook for the ice is still positive.

image.thumb.png.963bcb2b7aaecd592c7d0ff4ee033b5a.png

 

Reports from the Mosaic project have become scarcer as to conditions as of the last 3 days. It looks as if some sort of storm hit on Monday and more ice leads and ridged were created. The were also pushed back eastwards by over 100 miles, so going back to where they started.   Recent reports of the ice piling up to 4 meters and above were unexpected.

Temperatures have been falling steadily to below -30C and a minimum of -37C has been reached. 

At these high Latitudes they have not seen many Polar bears for weeks , but are being visited by inquisitive Arctic Foxes.

 

MIA 

    

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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Northern Hemisphere snow mass reaches its average peak six weeks early

fmi_swe_tracker.jpg

 

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