NASA on 'the big chill' this winter: 'In some places temperatures were 40°F colder than average'

Blistering cold air from the Arctic plunged southward this winter, breaking U.S. temperature records. 

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A persistent pattern of winds spins high above the Arctic in winter. The winds, known as the polar vortex, typically blow in a fairly tight circular formation. But in late December 2013 and early January 2014, the winds loosened and frigid Arctic air spilled farther south than usual, deep into the continental United States.   Animated video follows.

On Jan. 6, 2014, alone, approximately 50 daily record low temperatures were set, from Colorado to Alabama to New York, according to the National Weather Service. In some places temperatures were 40 degrees Fahrenheit colder than average. Now, an animation created from NASA satellite data shows just how the Arctic air brought a deep chill to the U.S this winter.

Watch the video for a guided tour of the event.

From: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Video and images courtesy of NASA/JPL

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milodonharlani

Record cold spells are just weather. Hot spells however are of course dangerous man-made climate change.
But if colder weather becomes normal, then that too will be caused by human activity, somehow.

One possible side-effect of the displacement of Arctic air southward this winter is a record or near-record low extent of Arctic sea ice in September. And it will be blamed on global warming that has not happened for 17 years 8 months. You heard it here first.

Ptarmigan2
James Strom

I have been enjoying myself reminding friends in the northern midwest (US) how darned cold it has been, but I have to admit that the cold air was displaced from the north. You can see this demonstrated on the Sea Ice reference page on this site, where a chart of Arctic temperatures from the Danes is on display. The Arctic has been significantly warmer than usual.

milodonharlani

Monckton of Brenchley says:
April 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm
Growth in multiyear ice might help offset that tendency, but we’ll see. You can be sure that the media will certainly tout an (overdue) super El Niño as “proving catastrophic global warming & the urgent need to combat it”.

urederra

Ptarmigan2 says:
April 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm
http://www.harvard.edu/president/news/2014/confronting-climate-change

I just read the first paragraph. I cannot read more, I will get sick If I do.

Rick K

I’m surprised NASA didn’t say it was caused by global warming…

Video Animation would give more complete picture if it did show polar view as here ( NASA 2009), but to be fair it did mention Hudson Bay, which simultaneous with the other usual location above the central Siberia marks for an intriguing ‘coincidence’ ,
REPLY: Right, so run off and complain to NASA about it rather than cluttering up threads here with stuff we can’t do anything about, sheesh! -Anthony

Rick K

I bet if we have even a slightly warmer than normal Summer they’ll blame it on the “Solar Vortex…”

Jaakko Kateenkorva

In the meanwhile the catastrophic human caused global warming seems to ‘boil over’ large areas with an average population density of 0.000001 person/km^2, such as, Amazon, Sahara, Pacific ocean, Atlantic ocean, Himalayas, Mariana Trench etc. Some try to convince us that returning back to and/or staying in poverty is the solution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBE0RKbRbl4

Latitude

I thought it was called the circumpolar vortex??

Chad Wozniak

What do you suppose James Hansen has to say about all this record cold? I presume he’ll find some excuse to open his yap concerning the same.

pat

that’s why NYT’s Thomas Friedman wants to call it “global wierding”:
CBS: Face the Nation Transcripts April 6, 2014: … Friedman, Cullen
(SCROLL DOWN – PAGE 2) BOB SCHIEFFER: We’ll be back in one minute to talk about one of the most serious problems facing the world today, climate change…
The unusual seems to be the norm these days with the weather, which bring us to the best-selling author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded, our friend, New York Timescolumnist Tom Friedman and Heidi Cullen, who is the chief climatologist at Climate Central. And they are here today because they’re both involved in our partner Showtime’s new documentary on climate change. It is called Years of Living Dangerously. Tom, this is a multipart series. You take part in one of the episodes. What’s the bottom line here? What did you all find out?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Well, Bob, it’s actually a nine part series. And people can watch the first one tomorrow, actually, on YouTube, YearsOfLivingDangerously.com, get it for free. For me, it’s been really the most remarkable documentary project I’ve ever been involved with. I’m looking at the environmental and climate stresses in the Middle East.
So I actually go to Syria and show how the drought in Syria is connected to the revolution. Get to go to Yemen, look at the first city in the world that may run out of water. And then Egypt to look how climate stresses were involved in the revolution there. Participating in the series, you know, we have Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle, Mark Bittman. Lesley Stahl from CBS. Remarkable group of people. The whole idea is to bring this home to personal stories. And it does amazingly effectively…
HEIDI CULLEN: Well, you know, I think the series meshes very nicely with the I.P.C.C. reports, which have just come out. They basically show conclusively that climate change is very real. We’re experiencing it right now. And that it is manmade, that is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, oil, coal, natural gas. And we’re already feeling the pain from it, right?…
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, help me with this. For example, the recent storms we’ve had, the thing that hit New Jersey, with Sandy and all of that. Is that the cause of global warming, the cause of climate change?…
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Let me put it in personal terms. So your son or daughter has a disease. And you go to a hundred doctors. 97% of them, 97 of a 100 say, “This is the cause and this is the cure.” And 3% say, “This is the cause. This is the cure.” That’s what it is on the climate science. 97% of experts say this. 3% say that. And conservatives are saying, “I’m gonna go with the 3%.” That’s not conservative. That’s Trotskyite radical, okay? That you would go with the 3% not the 97%.
To pick up on something that Heidi said, I actually don’t like to use the term “global warming.” Because that sounds so cuddly. To a Minnesota, Bob, that sounds like golf in February. I much prefer the term “global wierding”, okay? …
HEIDI CULLEN: We need to really move towards making this a nonpartisan issue here in the States. And there’s a great scene, actually, in the Years project, where Bob Inglas, former Republican congressman fro South Carolina, sits down with Michael Grimm, a Republican from Staten Island, where I grew up. Grimm has been dealing with the awful impacts of Sandy. And Inglas says to him, “You know what? I’m Republican. And I believe in climate change. You’ve just been through a terrible experience, where you’ve seen your community ravaged by, in part, climate change. Maybe it’s time to rethink this. You know, the Chinese certainly didn’t treat this as a partisan issue.” And I think that’s really the direction that we need to move in….
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/face-the-nation-transcripts-april-6-2014-pfeiffer-mccaul-friedman-cullen/

Alan Robertson

milodonharlani says:
April 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm
Record cold spells are just weather. Hot spells however are of course dangerous man-made climate change.
But if colder weather becomes normal, then that too will be caused by human activity, somehow.
__________________________
Record cold is evidence of climate disruption. It’s still your fault, so pay up.
////////////////////////////////////////
On the other hand, global sea ice anomaly is above .5 million square kilometers. Arctic ice extent is within 2 std devs. of average and Antarctic ice anomaly at +1.2 MKm2 is greater than 2 std. devs. above average. It doesn’t look likely that Chris Turney will make another trip South aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy any time soon.

Ian L. McQueen

Re: Ptarmigan2 and his posting of http://www.harvard.edu/president/news/2014/confronting-climate-change, it is looking as if Harvard University is leading the politically correct parade, viz first Pres. Summers and his departure, then this.
Ian M

Lawrence Todd

I would not pay too much attention to the DNMI polar temperatures since historically they are very unstable and only reach/exceed the lower limits on rare occasions.

Peter White

Anthony,
Yes, of course it was cold in the USA this winter. But it was rather warm in Europe. This really hasn’t got much of anything to do with anything.
REPLY: be sure to repeat that when we have a heat wave this summer and I report on that and the MSM cites it as proof of global warming/climate change/doom. – Anthony

milodonharlani

Alan Robertson says:
April 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm
Catastrophic anthropogenic global cooling! Back to the future! Retro ’70s scaremongering.
Sulfate aerosols! Yeah, that’s the ticket! We still need to freeze in the dark to appease the Goddess, who is angry at the mess we are making.
Plus of course man-made global warming from evil CO2 also causes global cooling, when needed.

I’d have to agree with Lawrence Todd. I’ve seen temperature charts from decades in the past and they are extremely squiggly.

CodeTech

OMG – Do you SEE how RED the planet is? Except for that small swirly cool blue bit, we’re burning the planet to a cinder!!!

Mike Maguire

Very impressive. This is what happens when the natural cycle is cooling and apparently, enough so for over the last decade now, to completely offset the warming from greenhouse gases/CO2.
With the PDO value shifting to negative around a decade ago, we are seeing global weather patterns that are similar to when the last time the PDO was negative………the 1970’s. (It was positive during the warming in the 80’s/90’s)
You can watch a similar month to the one depicted in this video in the frigid Winter of 1976/77/
Go to the link below and put in a starting date of 1976-YEAR MONTH-12 and DAY-25
Hit the + above DAY to manually advance a day at a time from Christmas, through January 1977.
If you want to make a loop of it, you should put in the ending date when you want it to stop at the bottom. I prefer to hit the + and – buttons as it allows for a close look for however long the viewer needs to examine each frame.
http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ncepreanal/
During the frigid Winter of 1976/77, California also had a severe drought.

Alan Robertson

CodeTech says:
April 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm
“OMG – Do you SEE how RED the planet is? Except for that small swirly cool blue bit,…”
___________________
Here in flyover country, we’re about the only holdouts left against the Global Statists and POTUS is trying his best to change that.

Third Party

In Jan 06, the whole State of Wyoming seems to be an anomalous spur of coldness. WUWT?

Mike Maguire

“This is what happens when the natural cycle is cooling and apparently, enough so for over the last decade now, to completely offset the warming from greenhouse gases/CO2.”
So nobody gets the wrong impression that should be “completely offset the ADDITIONAL warming that was expected during the last decade by global climate models and CAGW theory, from the continuation of greenhouse gases/CO2 going up the entire time”.
I know its warmer now than it was 150 years ago and I would “guess” half of the beneficial warming of 1 degree C came from the increase in CO2. Many of those that label me and others as deniers, don’t realize this.
Our local paper has been very open minded in allowing me to write articles on weather and climate going back 30 years(when I was chief meteorologist at a local tv station).
I’m grateful for their continued willingness to publish both sides of this issue at time when some are refusing to allow skeptics to make authentic contributions on science related to this political issue.
However, they picked the title:
“COMMUNITY COMMENT: Carbon dioxide increase not to blame for global warming”
The implication was probably unintentional by them.
http://www.courierpress.com/news/2014/apr/04/carbon-dioxide-increase-not-to-blame-for-global/

Bruce Cobb

Much to the dismay and loud d*nials of climatists, it is a further sign that we are, in fact cooling.

brantc

As long as they ignore the fact that the polar vortex is part of the magnetosphere and is a hole into space, and controls the ozone hole, they will never have a model that works…

Brrrrrr! It’s still chilly here.

Elliott Althouse

How can you use “blistering” as a descriptive adjective for “cold”?

Geologist Down The Pub Sez

Normal? Average? How do you determine those numbers when we have been keeping records for only 150 years or so? We simply do not have the perspective to make intelligent statements about “normal” and “average” weather phenomena.

RE: Monckton of Brenchley says:
April 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm
I doubt very much the arctic sea-ice will be at low levels. In fact my hunch is we will see the exact opposite.
I can see why you might feel the ice could have been weakened this past winter, living as you do in a local that experienced a surge of southerly winds towards the Pole. With so much arctic air roaring down south on this side of the Pond, it had to be replaced, and the the replacements rushed north over Europe. I felt sorry for my friends in England and Scotland, as I noted the Icelandic Low might as well have been called the “Britannic Low” this past winter, it was displaced so far southeast, and so often parked rainy gales over your Isle. Due to this southerly flow Barents Sea to your north had less ice than it has ever had, in the satellite era. However this is only a microcosm.
Another microcosm was on the Pacific side, which also saw a sympathetic inflow of mild air as winter began, and also saw less ice than normal both north and south of Being Strait, at the start.
Between these two pulsing inflows, (at times alternating and at times united,) was a flow right across the Pole from Siberia to Canada, also pulsating, and at times strong and at times interrupted. One thing this cross-polar-flow did was interrupt the Transpolar Drift, (which flushes ice south down the east coast of Greenland,) and instead pressed a lot of sea-ice towards Canada, where the ice is thicker than it has been in recent times. A second thing it did was chill the Bering Strait to a degree where the waters north and south of Bering Strait went from below-average to above-average ice-extent, despite the inflowing pulses of milder Pacific air. However the third effect is likely to be a surprise to many, if I am correct.
My hunch is that, (besides winds flushing all the sea-ice out, as in 2007,) the main reason sea-ice shrinks or grows is water-temperature, under the ice. Furthermore I postulate that the best way to chill the Arctic Sea is to remove the protective ice, and expose the water to frigid winter winds.
My pet theory is now facing a test. I couldn’t ask for more open water. Barents Sea was very open all winter.
Both north and south of Bering Strait were very open for the first half of winter.
Thirdly, the cross-polar-flow roaring from Siberia to Canada stressed and cracked ice all winter, creating leads and exposing the Arctic Sea to temperatures as low as minus-forty. (You can see all these “healed” cracks as daylight returns to the Pole and Satellites let us use our lying eyes.)
Lastly, because the Icelandic Low was displaced so far southeast, the Gulf Stream was not helped along by southwest winds as much, and instead was often raked by arctic winds from the northwest. While I’m unsure whether the current itself can be deflected south, I surmise the water drifting north towards the top of Norway is colder and well-mixed, and, as it arrives in the arctic over the next few years, it will be less likely to contribute to melting and to resist freezing.
Therefore I am willing to bet a nickle (and no more) that the ice-melt this summer will be less than many expect. I’ll furthermore risk a second nickle by betting that, (unless conditions dramatically change,) the refreeze of Barents Sea next fall will astonish many with its speed and magnitude.
And if I am proven utterly and totally wrong, I will merely qualify myself as a genuine “Climate Scientist.”

R. de Haan

Peter White says:
April 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm
Anthony,
Yes, of course it was cold in the USA this winter. But it was rather warm in Europe. This really hasn’t got much of anything to do with anything.
REPLY: be sure to repeat that when we have a heat wave this summer and I report on that and the MSM cites it as proof of global warming/climate change/doom. – Anthony
It was rather warm ina small part of Western Europe. Scotland had a very bad winter with record snow fall. the UK, Benelux, Germany and Northern France and Denmark didn see much of a winter but in the South of France, Spain, Italy, average temps were below normal,
And all forgotten the incredible cold wave that delivered snow from Jerusalem to Egypt this winter and horrible conditions for the refugees living in the camps in Syria
All we lacked was a Siberian cold wave for the reasons we didn’t have an Arctic cold wave in Europe but i tell you. A lot of heat was destroyed this winter.
In fact we had below normal temperatures all over the planet, even on the SH .

stan stendera

@Elliott Althouse: Blistering can be and frequently is a symptom of frostbite.

Elliott Althouse says:
April 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm
How can you use “blistering” as a descriptive adjective for “cold”?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You need to spend some time outside in the cold at 20 or 30 below and you can find out about “blistering” cold. I have little feeling in my extremities from too much work and play in low temperatures.
“Second degree Frostbite
If freezing continues, the skin may freeze and harden, but the deep tissues are not affected and remain soft and normal. Second-degree injury usually blisters 1–2 days after becoming frozen. The blisters may become hard and blackened, but usually appear worse than they are. Most of the injuries heal in one month, but the area may become permanently insensitive to both heat and cold.”

more soylent green!

NBC News featured several “scientists” on a story about global warming Sunday night and if memory serves correctly, at least one was from NASA. Does NASA not publish the same data to everyone? Are there really experts who don’t know there hasn’t been any warming in over a decade?
Yes, the world is warmer that an arbitrary baseline started in 1978, but that doesn’t mean it’s still getting warmer. In simple language, temps peaked years ago and haven’t increased. It’s not getting warmer.
I don’t know how many times that can be repeated, but I’ll keep pounding my head against the wall until they get the message.

Ptarmigan2 says:
April 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm
http://www.harvard.edu/president/news/2014/confronting-climate-change

Do you suppose President Faust (or whoever wrote that tedious announcement for her) has any inkling that there has been no warming for 17.6 years?
I suppose the establishment elites, which have bought in wholeheartedly to the politically-correct litany of ‘climate change’ and ‘sustainability’, will be the very last to know.
/Mr Lynn

THe animation also reveals why Alaska was wearing swim suits in January. Nice animation. I suspect some trees in the Canadian Northwest did not fair very well either.

Elliott Althouse

I thought the use of “blistering” was intentional since all weather comes from warming, hence the blistering. Forgot the (sarc). I once touched a pipe accidentally when filling a liquid nitrogen dewar. Much worse than a burn. I was not attempting to be critical of the post.

Gary Pearse

Note Nasa’s brick red world outside of the polar vortex. They get it by having it go red by 55F. This is a left handed report on the cold. This is scandalous, so dishonest its worth protesting about. It hides the fact that it was also quite cool a summer in the southern hemisphere. Shame on a once great, now thoroughly corrupted agency.

Bill Illis

Land surface temperatures will be up in March. Very warm in Europe and Russia. Semi-cool in North America and in almost all of the southern hemisphere. Overall, land temps will be up from the dip in February.
http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/view.php?datasetId=MOD_LSTAD_M

Pachygrapsus

Re: Heidi Cullen…
I love the “medical” analogy. We have one Earth. Medical science is built upon millions of independent trials to demonstrate safe and effective practices, and even those treatments are approved only after extensive tests on analogous systems are completed.
Just a little thought experiment:
I go to a doctor after experiencing a 0.5C increase in body temperature. The physician explains that it’s caused by too much oxygen, a gas that is known to create heat. The prognosis is grim. My body temperature is projected to increase dangerously and this will cause many of my essential systems to fail, so the doctor recommends the removal of one of my lungs.
Am I wrong to be skeptical that such a radical procedure is necessary when I’m presenting such benign symptoms? When I learn that my body temperature has reached this level many times before, should I accept the doctor’s assurance that this time is different because he/she ran a simulation on a computer? If I waited a week and my body temperature remained stable, would I be a “medical denier” if I factored that into my decision not to act?
As far as the 97% consensus, I can’t fit that into a thought experiment because it’s an absurd proposition. With no patients as a reference, no empirical data, and a series of simulations that are inconsistent with my progress so far, it would be impossible to get ANY responsible physician to perform the surgery. The medical analogy fails completely because of that field’s insistence on through research and double-blind trials before any treatment is approved. In fact, climate science has a lot more in common with the marketing of vitamins and supplements being utilized by quasi-medical therapists and nutritionists. (Magnets anyone?)
Bad medical science gives us thalidomide babies. Bad climate science gives us ill-advised adventures in biofuels and expensive wind/solar boondoggles. A consensus is not a reason to accept either result as acceptable.

rogerknights

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Let me put it in personal terms. So your son or daughter has a disease. And you go to a hundred doctors. 97% of them, 97 of a 100 say, “This is the cause and this is the cure.” And 3% say, “This is the cause. This is the cure.” That’s what it is on the climate science. 97% of experts say this. 3% say that. And conservatives are saying, “I’m gonna go with the 3%.” That’s not conservative. That’s Trotskyite radical, okay? That you would go with the 3% not the 97%.

What if those 97% had been 97% wrong?

TomRude
TomRude

BTW the cryosphere image used in the LiveScience article shows that only definite areas are showing less Arctice sea ice, namely the Okhotsk Sea and the Barents Sea and along the eastern edge of Greenland. Thus this is hardly surprising since these areas are the corridor of advection of warm air displaced poleward by MPHs. Since we see very well the shape of the zones affected by bitter cold and their edges on http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/s4-10241.jpg there should be no surprise as to why Arctic sea ice extent in these zones is lower than average contributing to the lower winter extent in 2014. That NSIDC or Live Scinece would “discover” this is worrying about their understanding of lower atmospheric circulation dynamics and its relation to sea ice…

bushbunny

Arctic sea ice comes and goes. Some years it is more expansive than others. I feel we should welcome a cold period,because it will ensure we will appreciate warmer weather later this year. We don’t want it to melt as the fresh water will alter the Gulf Stream. For the Northern Hemisphere of course.

Magma

Monckton of Brenchley says:
April 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm
One possible side-effect of the displacement of Arctic air southward this winter is a record or near-record low extent of Arctic sea ice in September. And it will be blamed on global warming that has not happened for 17 years 8 months. You heard it here first.

Moving the goalposts already? How sadly predictable.

SAMURAI

Monckton of Brenchley says:
April 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm
One possible side-effect of the displacement of Arctic air southward this winter is a record or near-record low extent of Arctic sea ice in September. And it will be blamed on global warming that has not happened for 17 years 8 months. You heard it here first.
—-=======================================
I looked at the DMI Arctic Temp records (above 80th northern parallel) and found that the winter of 2013/14 was the warmest Arctic winter since DMI records began in 1958, with the possible exception of 2012, which was a very close 2nd.
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
During the Arctic Vortex phenomena events this year, Arctic temps rose by +10C (imagine leaving your freezer door open–same effect), which obviously had a negative effect on Arctic ice thickness this year.
I think you’re right about the possibility of seeing a low September minimum, however, the 2012 Arctic Ice record minimum was mostly attributed the record strong Arctic cyclone that pulverized the Arctic Ice sheet in August, 2012, that led to the record September minimum:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/24/nasa-on-arctic-sea-ice-record-low-storm-wreaked-havoc-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-cover/
If there is a low September minimum, which seems likely, you’re correct that the selective memory of the MSM will forget to mention the rare Arctic vortex phenomenon that caused record cold US/Canadian winter temps and subsequently record warm temps in the Arctic region.

James Bull

What I want to know about this is where was Big Al when all this was going on, because it does look like a major Gore effect.
James Bull

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Johannesburg

The climate shamans in Johannesburg (an ad hoc self-trained cycle-aware bunch) are again predicting a very cold winter here on the Highveld. The rains are continuing late and will do so for some time. The direct cause is the rain-drought cycle which is Metonic in origin (19 year lunar cycle). Rainfall will be above average for a couple of more years and then taper off to an ‘unprecedented drought’ in 2021. Everyone will have by then forgotten the ‘really unprecedented drought’ experienced in 1983, 2 cycles before.
The extra rain padding the beginning and end of the summer growing season during the wettest portion of the cycle brings a lot of cooling. It will be bitterly cold in July-Aug with more snow than usual in Aug-Sept. While it is often cold enough to snow, there is usually no moisture available in mid-winter at the lower altitudes (1000-2000 m). However if anyone wants to ‘Ski Africa’ this year check out the conditions at the Rhodes ski lodge from time to time.
http://www.drakensberg-tourism.com/rhodes.html

frozenohio

All I know is I ran out of firewood – over 6 cords. This winter in Ohio sucked big time.
I’ll wait for the spin that this has nuthin to do with nuthin, and I’ll giggle as usual.

I would bet that Caleb has the right thought on the upcoming Arctic sea ice minimum. The current trend line for the ice extent has moved sideways for the last 5 days. Today,s DMI shows the Arctic temps sitting at the long term average. This is only the 3rd time in the last 100 days where temps reached average, with no movement below average anywhere. The year 2012 did a very similar pattern to this years movement. In 2012, the trend line moved off of the -2 sd border and continued on to stay close to the median line. The DMI chart for 2012 shows the winter trend Jan/Mar was all above average, until around the 112th day. After that the sea ice stayed robust for many months.
Meanwhile, the Antarctic sea ice is off and running close to record territory.