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

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I've read musings that it is the extent of  snow increase in the last week of October which is the key time period - a rapid advance can result in a strengthened siberian high in the winter.. doesn't necessarily equate to cold in the UK being more likely, but increases the chances. I recall 2012 was the last time a rapid advance occured in a very short space of time in the last week or so of October..

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Why is the final week in October critical though.

Why not the first week of November etc?.

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11 hours ago, damianslaw said:

I've read musings that it is the extent of  snow increase in the last week of October which is the key time period - a rapid advance can result in a strengthened siberian high in the winter.. doesn't necessarily equate to cold in the UK being more likely, but increases the chances. I recall 2012 was the last time a rapid advance occured in a very short space of time in the last week or so of October..

The strongest correlation is actually around 25th Sep-25th Oct.

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14 hours ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

 

1) The coastal ice has now stretched into Kara and has now pushed through the J.M. islands into the Kara area.  Kara now primed for quick growth?

Coastal ice has virtually now circled the North of Russia from Kara thru Laptev to the ESS, (though not yet showing into the Baring side of the ESS).

2)  Svalbard has now been encircled in the NE quadrant and has resulted in the Barents sea exceeding growth for the last few years. This is now quicker than the last 5 years.

3) The ice is now ready to play 'pickup' in the Beaufort Sea. The ice has started to form on the coast and there are now coastal ice patches beyond Barrow and into the Baring Strait, The main ice pack is now throwing out 'fingers' towards these patches.

So, yes, the ice refreeze has got of to a slow start, but there are signs (such as the fact that Masie has recorded 4 days of more than 150K), that a quicker refreeze is about to start up  now.

 

The latest US NIC ice charts shows a very big increase of ice again in Laptev and now extending into the ESS.

Also,  all the 3 areas I discussed above have shown consolidation overnight.

The still 'green' areas of Russia are now gradually being filled in by the snow spreading south.

Will be looking out for Masie again after todays update at about 14:30.

 

cursnow_asiaeurope.gif

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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It is very good to see that there are encouraging signs from the increase of the snow and ice cover.

 

Edited by Katrine Basso
Delete map as it was already posted.

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Ah I love this thread. One of my highlights every year!

A good uptake in recent weeks, let’s see how we pan out over November.

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15 hours ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

Masie just out.

What can I say..... 

ESS   101K increase.    Laptev 80K increase. I call that a flash freeze.

We now have the imminent situation of the central ice pack linking to the Siberian coastal ice in ESS,  as well as it has already achieved in Laptev.

This leaves it more likely that more rapid ice gains will be made filling in the still open waters.

 

Elsewhere Beaufort added +11k Km2, and Barents added +13K KM2. The ice pack is being pushed by the wind into these areas, with the ice around F.J. and Svalbard looking very menacing.

Even Chukchi moved forward with +6K Km2, for the first time this year.

Zoom in the charts below for detail. 

If further proof is needed of the rapid increase in sea ice,     the time taken to get from 5000K to 6000K is now the second quickest in the last 10years, For example last year took 14 days as did 2015. Both years were considered quite a fast rate of increase - whereas it has taken just 9 days this year. 

 

cursnow_asiaeurope.gif

masie_all_r00_4km.png

This is great news. Only October too !!

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If anyone is interested in further info on the relevance of Eurasian snow cover to the UK winter, I've just made a detailed post about the relationship between winter Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the Snow Cover Extent (SCE) and Snow Advance Index (SAI) in the Teleconnections thread: 

 

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US NIC this morning...

Further gains of sea ice in Laptev and Western ESS. Guess - the  new 'connection'  to the ESS coastline will be made in the next 2 days.

Also Beaufort sea ice is now in growth mode though not quite as fast as I anticipated.  

Elsewhere,  has seen the ice hardly changing, with small decreases in the Western sea ice areas   (Greenland and the CAA)  and movement by wind in the areas such as Kara and Barents.

Snow line has changed in Russia, with some melt moving eastwards through Central Russia, however the snow line now covers the  whole of the Russian northern coast since it  has extended to meet up with he Finnish snow field.

I suspect that this may be here for the winter though the Arctic is in a highly volatile state and there is a strong chance of WAA being forced up there by an early SSA, as there is no sign of polar vortex formation yet.

Inferences and Speculation…...

So my feeling is that we may well have a quick refreeze of surface ice now,   BUT this in its own right will not lead to more volume since we are starting later by about 2 weeks.

Due to this apparent increased speed in ice formation, It could be that the maximum ice extent may well stay roughly the same over the next few years?. In comparison (due to lesser ice thickness) one might expect that the sea ice minimum extent could well drift away?. 

https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow_asiaeurope.gif  

image.thumb.png.5f03fb2d84dbf9ab2ccd61fe879fc462.png

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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It's important to keep in mind that ice growth is typically the fastest at this time of year. We can see daily ice growth of over 100,000km2, and it still be well below average. In fact, this has been happening over the last week or so, and according to the ADS and NSIDC extent measurements we're lowest on record by over half a million km2. For some perspective, that's over twice the land area of the UK.

icenow.thumb.JPG.c4a4427b4c912f89a0df2ab43b0c5266.JPG icenow2.thumb.JPG.5f9fa02db43aa17a933e28d6ca99e993.JPG

So the sea ice situation at the moment is worsening relative to the other years.

Also, MASIE is not suitable for comparisons with other years, as it's an operational data set (they changes their methods and data sources frequently), so it's not an apples to apples comparison with other years. It makes this quite clear on their website. There are plenty of data sets designed specifically for making year to year or longer term comparisons, but MASIE is specifically not meant for that.

ADS graph: 

ADS.NIPR.AC.JP

VIsualization Service of Horizontal scale Observations at Polar region

 

NSIDC graph: 

MASIE FAQ: 

 

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1 hour ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

It's important to keep in mind that ice growth is typically the fastest at this time of year. We can see daily ice growth of over 100,000km2, and it still be well below average. In fact, this has been happening over the last week or so, and according to the ADS and NSIDC extent measurements we're lowest on record by over half a million km2. For some perspective, that's over twice the land area of the UK.

icenow.thumb.JPG.c4a4427b4c912f89a0df2ab43b0c5266.JPG icenow2.thumb.JPG.5f9fa02db43aa17a933e28d6ca99e993.JPG

So the sea ice situation at the moment is worsening relative to the other years.

Also, MASIE is not suitable for comparisons with other years, as it's an operational data set (they changes their methods and data sources frequently), so it's not an apples to apples comparison with other years. It makes this quite clear on their website. There are plenty of data sets designed specifically for making year to year or longer term comparisons, but MASIE is specifically not meant for that.

ADS graph: 

ADS.NIPR.AC.JP

VIsualization Service of Horizontal scale Observations at Polar region

 

NSIDC graph: 

MASIE FAQ: 

 

BFTV...

Nowhere have I claimed that the ice is not at the lowest.

My posts have been over  the last 4 -5 days only. So your comment about it being in a worsening state compared to every other year was certainly correct up to 5 days ago, but things are changing rapidly right now.

That is what I am seeing and reporting here.  

Your graphs ended at the same time as this rapid increase began, and would not show this new adjustment..

Re Masie.....

1) It also claims that it is the most accurate at seeing day to day changes.  (yes - it does state that it should not be used for month to month and year to year comparison).

Also Masie has not been changed for several years now.

2) 18 months ago  (I am sure you remember ) the NOAA/NSIDC changed their monthly volume algorithm, which had the effect of reducing the monthly figures by an average of 1.8% over the history of their record. So some sense of proportion must be retained.

Also they told us that there would be 'most data imperfections as a result of their changes' in periods when coastal sea ice was changing rapidly (I.e. now and in May). This is due to their use of 'a fixed grid' for coastal ice which is updated every 2 weeks at this time of year. Coastal ice is not their speciality! They claimed changes of up to 2.8% at this time of year. (Oct/Nov). 

No product is perfect - and the NSIDC are producing a dataset which is being adjusted over the years, (Probably for valid reasons). I was trying to stay out of that debate and to just comment on what is currently happening.

3)  Many people use JAXA these days for the above reasons.. 

The above are the reasons that I chose  to use Masie as it ties in directly with the US NIC data which is released before all other datasets.

I find your use of UK for comparison of extent , quite interesting. The last 4 days increase of ice increase in Laptev and ESS  alone have been about 720K  Km2.  That is 3 times the area of the United Kingdom!!.

I shall be watching this afternoons figures from Masie with interest. 

As I suggest above, I want to keep the climate debate out of my posts. 

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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13 minutes ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

BFTV...

Nowhere have I claimed that the ice is not at the lowest.

My posts have been over  the last 4 -5 days only. So your comment about it being in a worsening state compared to every other year was certainly correct up to 5 days ago, but things are changing rapidly right now.

That is what I am seeing and reporting here.  

Your graphs ended at the same time as this rapid increase began, and would not show this new adjustment..

Re Masie.....

1) It also claims that it is the most accurate at seeing day to day changes.  (yes - it does state that it should not be used for month to month and year to year comparison).

Also Masie has not been changed for several years now.

2) 18 months ago  (I am sure you remember ) the NOAA/NSIDC changed their monthly volume algorithm, which had the effect of reducing the monthly figures by an average of 1.8% over the history of their record. So some sense of proportion must be retained.

Also they told us that there would be 'most data imperfections as a result of their changes' in periods when coastal sea ice was changing rapidly (I.e. now and in May). This is due to their use of 'a fixed grid' for coastal ice which is updated every 2 weeks at this time of year. Coastal ice is not their speciality! They claimed changes of up to 2.8% at this time of year. (Oct/Nov). 

No product is perfect - and the NSIDC are producing a dataset which is being adjusted over the years, (Probably for valid reasons). I was trying to stay out of that debate and to just comment on what is currently happening.

3)  Many people use JAXA these days for the above reasons.. 

The above are the reasons that I chose  to use Masie as it ties in directly with the US NIC data which is released before all other datasets.

I find your use of UK for comparison of extent , quite interesting. The last 4 days increase of ice increase in Laptev and ESS  alone have been about 720K  Km2.  That is 3 times the area of the United Kingdom!!.

I shall be watching this afternoons figures from Masie with interest. 

As I suggest above, I want to keep the climate debate out of my posts. 

MIA

I never made mention of you in my post, nor climate debates -  just providing some context.

Evey extent data set used masks to blank out areas where the sensors detect ice when there is none, so false values don't get incorporated into the extent data. These masks get updated and refined occasionally. There is also the issue where pixels, which are usually 10s of km2 for extent data, are near coastlines. With these, you get pixels covering both land and ocean, and determining how much, if any, ice is present in these pixels is more challenging.
Improving algorithms over time to make these measurements more accurate is a positive thing, and not a reason to dismiss one data set over another, unless you believe there's a conspiracy theory to hide the truth about the ice.

Every sea ice dataset goes through multiple versions and refinements, even JAXA (now called ADS) .These revisions apply to the entire dataset, so they remain consistent through time. ADS just isn't as well known, so their revisions don't get as much attention from anti-science conspiracy blogs.
MASIE is produced by the NSIDC also, but use different methods, sensors, data and commonly has big gaps in their records.  For example, they use optical sensors to determine where the ice edge is. Optical sensors have a way higher resolution than the microwave sensors typically used, but can't see through cloud or at night, so their use is sporadic and dependent on time of year and weather conditions. It's an inconsistent data set overtime. It can be fun to observe now, but shouldn't be compared to previous years. That's explicitly not it's purpose.

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35 minutes ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

I never made mention of you in my post, nor climate debates -  just providing some context.

MASIE is produced by the NSIDC also, but use different methods, sensors, data and commonly has big gaps in their records.  For example, they use optical sensors to determine where the ice edge is. Optical sensors have a way higher resolution than the microwave sensors typically used, but can't see through cloud or at night, so their use is sporadic and dependent on time of year and weather conditions. It's an inconsistent data set overtime. It can be fun to observe now, but shouldn't be compared to previous years. That's explicitly not it's purpose.

BFTV..

LOL.....

On to todays Masie:

Up by around 80KKm2.

ESS/ Laptev another 100K KM2, with ESS managing 93K. (Only  1/2 the size of the UK!). Beaufort also up`13K.

Greenland and the CAA managed a 30K drop....  (southerly winds starting up).

All as predicted from US NIC in this mornings run..    

MIA                

 

 

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Early snows continue in the USA. It's snowed down the Rockies and into the Texas panhandle. It's only snowed in October in Texas 8 times in 70 years and it's about a month ahead of the average first snow date. One or two places look set to reach 3 inches which might break seasonal records.

CLIMATEREANALYZER.ORG

 

 

 

Edited by Aleman

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Already snow on the Atlas range in North Africa. That's very early.

ims2019296_asiaeurope.gif

 

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10 hours ago, Aleman said:

Already snow on the Atlas range in North Africa. That's very early.

ims2019296_asiaeurope.gif

 

Squint and you’ll see it.  Very early though I agree.  

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10 hours ago, Aleman said:

 

ims2019296_asiaeurope.gif

 

 

Arctic ice showing very steady and more progressive increases.

A net gain of 158K Km2 according to Masie.

Only 2 areas showed decreases,  those in Baffin and the CAA (-20K),  where WAA appears to be driving into the North East of Canada.

Elsewhere more signs of a typical  early freeze  with Beaufort (+35K) now heading for the coastal ice in  western Canada and Alaska.

ESS (+24K) and Laptev(+50K) are containing their pincer movement on the Laptev Ocean - this area is now more advanced than last year.

Kara (+38K) and Barents(+13K) have now started to show life and the ice advance is now moving from the Arctic pack and the costal ice many miles to the South.

Meanwhile coastal ice is now being recorded (by the more accurate Masie recording system) in Hudson Bay, Bering and the Sea of Okhotsk for the first time.

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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This mornings US NIC chart for Northern hemisphere snow and ice shows a large increase in snow cover in Russia.

Looking very impressive now...   see below

 

It also shows that most of the Arctic is now showing increasing sea ice.

The US sea ice areas have increased slightly today, and over to the east there seems to have been a steady gain of ice in all the 'inner' sea areas.

Looks like another century plus gainer today.

Back to confirm when Masie is out at about 14:30.

 image.thumb.png.6f008780b8b0c4853a19f150c6f6139a.png

MIA

 

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2 minutes ago, Midlands Ice Age said:

This mornings US NIC chart for Northern hemisphere snow and ice shows a large increase in snow cover in Russia.

Looking very impressive now...   see below

 

It also shows that most of the Arctic is now showing increasing sea ice.

The US sea ice areas have increased slightly today, and over to the east there seems to have been a steady gain of ice in all the 'inner' sea areas.

Looks like another century plus gainer today.

Back to confirm when Masie is out at about 14:30.

 image.thumb.png.6f008780b8b0c4853a19f150c6f6139a.png

MIA

 

Thanks MIA.... just wondering are there direct meteorological implications for the increased snow cover for this little island.... many thanks 

 

V

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50 minutes ago, V for Very Cold said:

Thanks MIA.... just wondering are there direct meteorological implications for the increased snow cover for this little island.... many thanks 

 

V

Some discussion took place on Monday and Tuesday up above.

Also it has been under discussion for about the last 4 weeks in this thread.

Until last year it was thought that there was some correlation between early Siberian snow cover and the strength of the resultant 'Siberian' Anticyclone at the peak of winter.

However this is all still under debate.

If this develops  (and moves westwards) and links up to Scandinavia then we are in with a better chance of a severe winter. 

History has taught us that 90% of all the severe spells in the UK occur after some sort of 'Northern Eurasian' high. 

The exceptions seem to be either a 'Greenland' high (seems to me to be occurring more frequently in the last few decades) or a northerly blast from the Arctic. (Low pressure over Scandinavia). The latter tend to be much shorter lived.

I think that a 'EuroAsian snow index' was produced to check the progress, but I cannot find it just now. I seem to remember that Judah Cohen was the initiator of the theory.

However the Rutgers University site is acknowledged as being one of the best in this field for the data..

 

https://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/index.php 

 

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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'Latest from Masie …

 A very high increase of 158K Km2 in Arctic sea ice...

That's now over 1,000K Km2 in the last 6 days.  160K Km2 average daily increase. 

Compares with an average increase of about 120K Km2 over the last 10 years (according to JAXA and  NSIDC). Furthermore other years are now entering a period when the rate of increase starts to reduce.

 image.thumb.png.83a7e338573752a78e66227f6868342c.png Taken from the Arctic Sea Ice Forum.  

 The above graph shows the average rate of increase dropping from about 120K Km2 to about 100K Km2 during this coming week.

Today's data in detail....  (Ignore if you are not interested!!)

Individually only one area showed a reduction  Baffin (-1).

This compares with Beaufort(+42), ESS(+21), Laptev(+18) -  all predicted and possibly expected. I think I have missed my predictions on the sea ice 'links' with mainland ice by about a day in my predictions. Both the ESS and Beaufort however had a missed 'crossover' - if not exactly a link. Another day should see it link in both locations. 

Central (+10) continued to expand and is now nearing being full,  and quite early. This interestingly shows that the central arctic pack has remained rather tightly packed this year.  The date when ice is recorded at all localities above 80 degrees must be approaching a modern day record  (for this decade), that is  if it occurs. Several recent years have not achieved this criteria, due to shortage of ice around Svalbard right through the ice year.

 Kara(+13), Barents(+14), Greenland(+8) all gained as the ice continued to form at normal rates  on the 'Atlantic Front'.  

Whilst over in the east,  Chukchi (+21K) was unexpected, and Baring(+1) and SOO(+1)  built on their early start. Whether this attempt survives is open to debate.

The CAA (+15K) started to increase again as the WAA was replaced by another cold outbreak moving into Central Canada. 

The implications of all this are that the areas that have built rapidly are now levelling off (as in similar to the usual dates for the last few years), but the areas in Canada and the eastern seas appear later, however Kara and Barents that are now ready (primed) for a quick refreeze may well keep ice growth high for a few more days.. This may well ensure that the reductions in sea ice growth that normally start to appear/level off (see the ASIF graph above) might well be delayed. The net effect is that further net 'gains' might be expected in the sea ice growth in the next few weeks.

There - that is me sticking my neck out with another prediction!!

 

https://nsidc.org/data/masie/

 

MIA

Edited by Midlands Ice Age

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