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Polar Vortex! Make Europe warmth the U.S.A. cold?

Distant Implication by the “Siberian Express”?

Posted on 30th January 2018 (seven images added 01/31/19,  below)
With an excerpt from the essay: Northern Europe’s Mild Winters, 2016

 Temperatures plunged to minus 26°Celsius in Chicago and minus 35°C degrees in Madison, Wis., last night (01/30/19). A polar vortex is triggering the coldest Arctic outbreak in the last two decades. That is the coldest spell since a generation. The Temperature contrast throughout the Northern Hemisphere is obvious, as indicated in the Figure to the right. There is today (01/30/19) atypical chill over large swaths of the US Northeast and Midwest. The Siberian cold is restricted to Siberia, but central Europe is significantly warmer as common at the end of January. Through December and January, low-pressure cyclones faced little resistance from high pressure fields from the Far East. Even now at the end of January, one cyclone is over the northern Baltic Sea, four more battle eastwards, ensuring  that Siberian air do not reach the North Atlantic at Europe’s western shores. But while the Atlantic cyclones push eastwards, the Siberian cold moves eastwards either, presumably contribute to the chill over large region of the United States.

Very similar conditions occurred in February 2015, and a question was then, whether a mild winter in Europe contributed, and whether the warmer air conditions in Europe where at least partly related to human activities at sea, particularly by shipping, fishing, offshore wind farms, oil-drilling and so on. Fact is that the seawater temperature rise stronger in Europe’s regional  and coastal seas as elsewhere. That could means, that Atlantic cyclones are more resistant on their way eastwards, and can either ‘supersede’ cold high-pressure, or push such air further eastwards. Which occurs in winter 2015 and the NOAA called it the “Siberian Express” (see Fig. below).

In the following the indicated extracts from  the
Journal of Shipping and Ocean Engineering, No 1, 2016 pp.46-63  

Ditto: HERE

4.4 Warmer Europe’s distant implication by the ‘Siberian Express’?

Europe is not the world. However Western Europe is under the influence of the weather system from West to East. Atlantic low pressure areas move east, unless cold continental high pressure air blocks them. These are the winters that Europe talks about. This succeeds very well when the North Sea and Baltic do not assist the Atlantic weather because they cannot release enough heat or are hindered by sea icing. During last winter 2014/15 they served as perfect helpers and kept the cold from Siberia at a safe distance.

The more the Atlantic weather governs the situation beyond the Ural, the further Polar and Siberian cold will be pushed eastwards, called ‘Siberian Express’ . This was felt in Alaska, Canada and Eastern U.S.A. Many days were extremely cold with deviations from the mean of 20°C and beyond.

Perhaps North Sea and Baltic have contributed to the extreme cold in the U.S.A., at least a bit (Fig. 11), which should not be ignored but the mechanism must be understood.


Regional seas in Northern Europe are minor from size and volume in global ocean affairs. Weather is “done” elsewhere, but every location contributes to the global picture. In the case of N-Europe it may be more significant as weather can be divided in maritime and continental influence, and due to the global air circulation from West to East, it is a gate. It may support the flow of warm wet air eastward (low pressure), or stem it by dry and cold continental air (high pressure), by diverting low pressure areas– in extreme circumstances – towards the Bering Sea or Mediterranean. In so far the North Sea and Baltic play a crucial role in how to open or close this gate.

But according to SST statistics, the gate sea area warming increase more than in other sea areas in Europe, and here stronger than the oceans worldwide (Fig.1). This phenomenon is not explained with a general reference to ‘global warming’. A reasonable explanation is pending. Many “weather factors” may play a role, such as river runoff, precipitation, cloudiness, sea ice cover, but that has not yet lead to a sufficient conclusion, as none of them can be regarded as a driver in climatic matters….. Cont.//

Basically only three facts are established: higher warming, a small shift in the seasons, and a decreasing sea ice cover. In each scenario the two sea’s conditions play a decisive role. These conditions are impaired by wind farms, shipping, fishing, off shore drilling, under sea floor gas-pipe line construction and maintenance, naval exercise, diving, yachting, and so on, about little to nothing has been investigated and is understood. The little that can be done is to do fundamental considerations:

If SST rise in the North Sea more than elsewhere (section 2) and human activities rise as well, the influence on the temperature profile Fig. 4-8 is a serious issue. During summer more heat is pushed down, but available for release during the winter season. The down push is a merrily mechanical exercise, while the interaction between the sea surface and the atmosphere is a highly complex matter requiring certain conditions. Thus it is easier to force heat mechanically into the sea body, while it takes some time until ‘natural processes’ release the ‘additional’ heat according the laws of physics. …. Cont//

SST can easily change from zero to several plus degrees. Very critical is the impact of vessels navigating in ice-fields, when the water body is cut-off from interaction with the atmosphere. As warmer water is less heavy, as colder water any vessel’s wake spreads below the ice bottom. Although sea ice mechanism and duration is intensively observed and studied in the Baltic Sea since the nineteenth century [8] the impact by human activities in the marine environment received hardly any attention…. Cont//


The entire essay: Northern Europe’s Mild Winters,
Contributions from Offshore Industry, Ships, Fishery, et cetera?

To the corresponding website:

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Sun cycle and winter weather basically a mirage?

The warming of the ocean remains a wide open question

Posting: January 25, 2019

Is there some movement now in the discussion about ocean warming? A research paper published, in Nature Geoscience (January 21, 2019],* the following assessment: There is no definite connection between the solar cycle and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)**debunking the solar-cycle – North Atlantic winter weather connection. The paper focuses on 11 years cycles. While it is common knowledge that the NAO usually fluctuates over a period of a few years and has a huge effect on European weather, exactly what causes these long-term patterns, however, it remains unclear. Is it an external force, or an internal ocean affair, as mentioned in the last post about ocean warming?

* Insignificant influence of the 11-year solar cycle on the North Atlantic Oscillation

** The North Atlantic Oscillation is a weather phenomenon in the North Atlantic Ocean of fluctuations in the difference of atmospheric pressure at sea level between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High. Wikipedia

 As the sun provides essentially all the energy that drives the Earth’s climate system, it is obvious that solar variations have the potential to directly alter climate. So far, so good.  But what about climate change due to solar cycles? The problem starts when it comes to the question whether any of the climate changes during the last century results  mainly from anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere, or can be partly be attributed to solar cycles. The former is by far the majority of scientists, represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), while there are not only few saying that there is “proven by thousands of temperature datasets, the earth’s climate fluctuated cyclically in the past, and there’s an overwhelming body of evidence showing a close correlation with solar activity and other powerful natural factors.”

The correlation with solar cycles is now challenged the article in Nature Geoscience. The research essentially debunks what was considered a “demonstrated link” between the 11-year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere and found it is actually, for the most part, a coincidental alignment. With the use of sophisticated computer modeling and extended observations, the new research shows that before 1960 evidence of any correlation simply vanishes. The theory was basically a mirage.

This leads to the immediate conclusion, that sun cycles have only a minor role in climate change matter. But instead considering the role of the oceans, the paper claims that: these apparent comings and goings of correlation are really due to atmospheric variability, and not the sun. How can the authors seriously assume that the atmosphere provides conditions, which can sustain a “difference of atmospheric pressure at sea level between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High” over a longer period, meaning weeks, months or even years? That is in no way thought out.  Longer weather or air pressure deviations from average have either been caused by the sun or one part or several ocean areas. The authors Gabriel Chiodo, et al. miss a crucial point in their work, namely the role of the North Atlantic’s below its surface down to the bottom. Their research is nevertheless a big step forward, as it challenges the widespread theory of the influence of the sun variations even on short cycles of 11 years. Such papers will bring climate research closer to the ocean, very little,  one small step never the less.  

Extract from the Book (2012) “Failures of Meteorology”

But there is hope!

A paper by Gilbert P. Compo and Prashant D. Sardeshmukh, entitled: “Oceanic influence on recent continental warming”, raises the oceanic issue in a different way than this investigation, but the fact matters. For the interested reader two brief excerpts:

Abstract : Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. The oceanic influence has occurred through hydrodynamic-radiative teleconnections, primarily by moistening and warming the air over land and increasing the downward longwave radiation at the surface. The oceans may themselves have warmed from a combination of natural and anthropogenic influences.

                                       Concluding  sentence:

The indirect and substantial role of the oceans in causing the recent continental warming emphasizes the need to generate reliable projections of ocean temperature changes over the next century, in order to generate more reliable projections of not just the global mean temperature and precipitation changes (Barsugli et al. 2006), but also regional climate changes.

Reference: Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0448-9; Published online: 31 July 2008 ©  Springer-Verlag 2008,

Posted by: Arnd Bernaerts

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Europe’s Winter Drama January 1940 – UK’s Great Ice Storm

Thrown suddenly in the climatic boondocks – While meteorology is looking away

Posting: January 19,  2019

What makes climate changing – Military activities in wars?

The previous post was about „What is a winter in Europe?” Towards the end of January 1940, also the United Kingdom was severely affected. It came suddenly, unexpected, and without any precedence since industrialization. Anthropogenic abilities to interfere in the natural commons reached its first heights with the start of the Second World War (WWII). Suddenly, the weather in Europe runs amok. Eight decades later science has failed to explain to the general public what was all  about, and whether a link to the huge military activities can be excluded for sure. How can anyone claim to understand

climatic changes, if incapable to understand and explain one of the most pronounced and sudden winter weather shifts in some regions during the last 150 to 200 years, which occurred without an ‘obvious’ reason (e.g. earthquake, volcano). Therefore the European weather drama in January 1940 should serve as a reminder that climatologists behaves irresponsible as long as they ignore this drama. Towards the end of January 1940, also the United Kingdom faced the worst possible weather conditions possible, here is a brief account

Ice storms are rare in the UK, but the worst incident was in January 1940, during the Second World War. It was the coldest winter for a century when, on January 27, a savage ice storm swept much of southern Britain. The landscape seemed to be encased in glass, trees looked like frozen waterfalls, and the ice weighed them down until they broke and smashed to the ground. (pay-wall:The Times, 2007)

Great ice storm paralyzed everything it touched – 27-30 January 1940

January 1940 was a severe wintry month with frequent frosts and heavy snowfalls. The CET for the month was -1.4C, the first sub zero CET month of the 20th Century and the coldest month since February 1895.

On the night of the 23rd, a minimum of -23.3C was recorded at Rhaydaer (Powys) a record low for that date. Other lows include -20C at Canterbury, Welshpool, Hereford and Newport in Shropshire.

The Thames was frozen for 8 miles between Teddington and Sunbury and ice covered stretches of the Mersey, Humber and Severn.
The sea frozed at Bognor Regis and Folkestone and Southampton harbors were iced over. The Grand Union Canal was completely frozen over between Birmingham and London. Central London was below freezing for a week and there was skating on the Serpentine on 6″ ice.
However, January 1940 will always be remembered for the Snowstorm and ice-storm that struck the UK.  (Credit:


On the 26th, two occlusions were moving up from the SW engaged the cold air over the UK. At the same time, the anticyclone over Scandinavia was intensifying blocking the fronts from pushing through the UK, they became stationary over Wales and SW England. This resulted in a great snowstorm across many northern and eastern areas.
Vast areas of northern England reported between 30-60cm of level snow, the higher parts in excess of 60cm+. The snow drifted in the strong Sely wind even in the Centre of London. Other reports of snow depths include Eastbourne:- 25cm, Pontefract:- 37cm, Malvern:- 60cm and Exmoor: – drifts of 2.5m. The snowfall lasted till the 29th of January.


On the low ground in the south, the precipitation fell as freezing rain. The raindrops were of the super cooled nature, so when the rain hit the surface, it would freeze instantly. This is a rare event in the UK and the 1940 is reckoned to be the severest that has struck the UK in recorded history.
The duration of the storm was remarkable lasting up to 48 hours in places. For instance at Cirencester, 48 hrs of freezing rain fell in temperatures of between -2 and -4C. The effect of this prolonged ice storm was severe and damaging. Many telegraph poles and wires were snapped, unable to cope with the weight of the ice. Flora and fauna suffered as well, many tree branches were snapped off by the enormous weight of ice, birds were unable to fly because ice accumulated on their wings. Travel was next to impossible as roads and pavements became skating rinks. Any sloped surface was impossible to climb. (Credit:

Prepared by: Dr. Arnd Bernaerts

Text and figures partly reproduced from:

Further reading: Records, Records, Records – Introduction to the unexpected
Excerpts from Chapter C2 of the book: “Failures of Meteoroloy!”


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What is a winter in Europe?

A brief comparison between the early January 1940 and 2019

 Posting: January 10, 2019

Our previous posting was about the question: “Is there another ‘Beast from the East’? The Met-Office considered it as possibility on January 03. More than a week later there is none, even though some places in Russia are currently cold but in no way exceptional. At some places the temperature will be about 7°C below average. Small regions in Central Europe (Bavaria and Austria) have been trapped in snow, but although the air temperature conditions across Europe are far off wintry.

In the following compare a report on weather in the current week  (italic green) and early January 1940, which until now are ignored, although from 11-21 January five all-time records occurred- See Figure 1.

A current weather report for the second week of 2019 reads as follows (Excerpt from, Jan.09):

Deadly winter weather has blasted Europe for another day, trapping hundreds of people in Alpine regions, whipping up high winds that caused flight delays and cancellations and raising the risks of more deadly avalanches.
Temperatures will fall widely across Europe over the next few days before rising again at the end of the week.
Colder air will be in circulation on Wednesday and Thursday in a northerly to north-easterly airflow due to the position of high pressure in the vicinity of the British Isles and low pressure over the South East Europe,
This colder air will move over warmer waters and bring further snow over central and South East Europe this week, the snow will be heavier and more persistent over the Alps as well as the mountains in Bulgaria.

What a difference to the weather conditions Europe experienced eight decades ago already in early in January 1940, as shown by an excerpt from [  ]:

  • January 2, 1940; Esbjerg – soft or new ice, navigation not hindered, Danish light buoys were withdrawn over the next 10 days.

  • January 8, 1940: A record frost today covered Northern and Central Russia , with the thermometer at 31 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-35°C), and impeded normal activity. (NYT, Jan. 09, 1940).

  • January 13, 1940: Riga/Latvia; The most bitter cold wave of years, which sent temperatures in Baltic countries to as low as 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, ended abruptly today. The mercury rose rapidly to a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Parts of the Baltic have frozen over, and floating and pack ice are likely to interfere with shipping for some time (NYT, Jan 14, 1940).

  • January 6, 1940; Drift ice in the East Scheldt . Ameland temporarily cut off from the mainland by ice. River Maas is frozen over from Woudrichem to Heusden.

  • January 14, 1940; Drift ice on river Scheldt reported to have torn buoys from their mooring. Simultaneously it was observed that “in these nine days conditions have deteriorated very rapidly and one sees the first real indication of somewhat abnormal conditions, most particular is the freezing of rivers Scheldt and Maas ” (Frankcom, 1940).

  • January 17, 1940; Ice reported in the North Sea off Jutland for the first time in many years, up to 2 miles from the coast. Fjord in Jutland frozen over. Ice three meters thick reported from western end of Limfjord. Minus 23°F reported during the night in Denmark

  • January 18, 1940; Helsinki : “Pitiless, deadly cold laid a glacial cover on Russian’s war machinery tonight… near Salla, above the Arctic Circle . Phenomenal 54-degrees-below-zero temperature (-48°C) restrained the Russian air forces… and apparently immobilized Russian ground forces, which have been attacking on the Karelian Isthmus (NYT, Jan 18 1940).

  • January 18, 1940: Temperatures of more than 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit were reported from several points. At Nickby, northeast of Helsinki , a temperature of 58 degrees below zero was recorded – the coldest since 1878. It was 11 degrees below zero in Helsinki (NYT, Jan. 19, 1940).

  • January 20, 1940; “Thus they are able… to relieve men exhausted by a week of fighting in temperatures plunging to 60 degrees below zero” (NYT, January 21, 1940, p.23, left 1st column).

  • January 21, 1940: “The cold polar air remained stagnant over vast areas of Europe and North America . Result: Some of the coldest weather in half a century. In Moscow the temperature on January 17th dropped to 49 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-45°C), and in parts of Finland to 58 degrees below zero. Such temperatures can be measured only on alcohol thermometers, because mercury freezes solid at 38 degrees below zero” (NYT, January 21, 1940, Weekend in Review, Title: War in the Cold).

The events described and the data clearly indicate that random processes are eliminated there. Why was Northern and Central Europe so badly affected? Southern Europe, including Switzerland , however, was much less affected from the Arctic temperatures simply because they didn’t have naval warfare at their front door, ……

“The highs (over North Europe), however supported a uniform inflow of cold air from northern Russia and Siberia, but blocked the way for mild air currents from the Atlantic and southern latitudes.”

This statement confirms the ‘weather blocking’ situation which was man-made by stirring the regional seas.


Since 2015 a number of postings have dealt with January 1940, here an example:

Poland’s Cold Snap: ‘deadliest ever’ or: ‘most ignorant claim ever’?

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Winter forecast 2018/19 versus 1939/40

‘Beast from the East’ early in 2019?

Post: 04 January 2019

“Is there another ‘Beast from the East’ on the way?” is a recent post on 3 January, 2019 by Met Office Press Office. An excerpt is given below in italic and blue.  At the moment there are little indication that this is more than a loose guess. Presumably Met Office could have been better, if they –and climatology as well – had started an in-depth investigation on what has happened after merely four months war activities. Suddenly Europe had been plunged in the coldest winter for more than 100 years. Already January 1940 was extreme Fig.1 [and HERE]. From many dozen news-paper report, we reproduce an excerpt from The New York Times, on January 21 January 27, 1940 and , with temperatures reported by NYT are in Fahrenheit, in italic and purple. The text is from the Book “Climate Change & Naval War”:

21 January  1940; “The cold polar air remained stagnant over vast areas of Europe and North America. Result: One of the coldest weather in half a century. In  Mos-cow the temperature dropped on Wednesday (January 17) to 49 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-45°C), in parts of Finland to 58 below zero. Such temperatures can be measured only on alcohol thermometers, as mercury freezes solid at 38 below. (NYT, 21 January 1940; Weekend in Review, ‘War in the Cold’).

 21 January 1940:  -23ºC was recorded at Rhayader (Wales).

 22 January 1940; Severe snowstorms swept Europe from the Adriatic Sea to Scandinavia. (NYT, 23 January 1940).

It took almost a week before the NYT (NYT, 28 January 1940) could report what had happen in England, which goes at follows (Excerpt from Book)

 Censorship commenced with the start of WWII. Weather was given a top-secret place. Only when Britain plunged into glacial conditions, not experienced for many decades, His Majesty’s Censor relaxed censorship on weather reporting and The New York Times was able to report as follows (excerpts): 

“ London , 27 January 1940
British Cold Snap Can Now Be Told.
Military Censorship on the Weather Lifted – Freeze Severest Since 1894. 7-Degrees Low in London .            Press Has Noted     Subzero Spell in Europe Without a word of Arctic Conditions locally. 

Now it can be told. For the first time since the war began, British censors today allowed that humdrum conversational topic, the weather, which has been a strict military secret in Britain, to be mentioned in news dispatches – providing the weather news is more than fifteen days old. The weather has been so unusually Arctic that by reaction the censors’ hearts were thawed enough to permit disclosure of the fact that this region shivered since past several weeks in the coldest spell since 1894, with the mercury dropping almost to zero and a damp knife-edged wind piercing the marrow. While British newspaper readers’ teeth chattered, the newspapers told them about a cold wave sweeping Europe, with sub-zero temperature records in Germany, Finland and neutral countries.”

Here are now experts from the Met-Office recent post concerning the ‘Beast from the East’ early in 2019. Full Text All images added.

There have been many headlines in recent days proclaiming a return of the ‘Beast from the East’ and ‘triple polar vortex to trigger heavy snow’ with bookies reportedly cutting the odds that this month will end as the coldest January on record following a sudden stratospheric warming high above the Arctic.

So, just how much truth lies behind these headlines and what can we really say about the weather for the coming month? Our Deputy Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly explains.

Well, it is true that a sudden stratospheric warming has happened. The warming started around 22 December 2018 and the winds at around 30 km above the North Pole have now reversed from westerly to easterly. At ground level we know that sudden stratospheric warming tend to weaken the UK’s prevailing mild westerly winds, increasing the chances of us seeing colder weather a couple of weeks after a sudden stratospheric warming.

However, it’s important to note that not all sudden stratospheric warming lead to colder-than-normal conditions …cont.//

Certainly, for the first ten days of January there is no strong signal for a cold easterly flow that was associated with the ‘Beast from the East’ last winter, and it’s too early to provide detailed forecasts for what the weather will be like for the remainder of January.

Our current 6-30 day forecast points to the likelihood of more mobile conditions before the arrival of anything that might potentially be colder. Towards the end of January, however, there is an increased likelihood of a change to much colder weather generally, bringing an enhanced risk of frost,  fog and snow.

This cold spell is by no means certain though, and ……… All HERE

Please be prepared for further information and analysis on winter weather development then and now and whether it is acceptable for one of the leading meteorological services not to be interested and able to explain the weather events after four months of World War II.