Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some Weather and Climate Tidbits

Mother Nature clearly is taking it out on eastern North America.  Punishment for Ottawa and Washington D.C. not taking leadership on addressing global warming?  I don't know, but check out the map below, which shows the departure of yesterday's average temperature from average.  Super cold in eastern North America and western Greenland, whereas it is near or above average across most of the rest of the northern Hemisphere (notable exception in northwest Russia).
Source: ESRL

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, check out the graph below which shows the average February temperature in Salt Lake City from 1928 to this year, the latter through yesterday.  You want to talk about an outlier, well here it is.  Average temperature so far this year is 48ºF.  Next warmest is 1995 (42.3ºF).  However, I just looked at the latest forecast models and it looks like we're going to be losing some of that lead by the end of the month.

Source: ACIS
It's easy to have a western U.S. bias, but really the patten across the entire Northern Hemisphere has been wacked for quite some time (wacked is of course a scientific term).  The average 500-mb (below left) and departure from average (i.e., anomaly) for the past 30 days shows the high-amplitude pattern is pretty much a hemispheric phenomenon.  Yeah, there's the persistent ridge/trough over North America, but also a high amplitude ridge over the North Atlantic, trough over Europe, etc.  For those of you who like the alphabet soup of climate modes, you've got what looks to be a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), positive Pacific North American (PNA) pattern, and positive Arctic Oscillation (AO).   Everything is positive except the snow situation in the west.

Source: ESRL
As such, we conclude today with a little Bob Dylan.  Yup, everything is broken.

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