Something to Keep an Eye On – The Large Blue Ribbon of Below-Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the North Pacific

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

The weather pattern that created Siberia’s well-below-normal land surface air temperatures in October 2016 …


October 2016 Land Surface Air Temperature Anomalies (GHCN-CAMS through KNMI Climate Explorer)

…has apparently extended eastward.  It is now influencing the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific and creating an atypical large swath of cooler-than-normal observations that stretches almost fully from eastern Asia to western North America.  See Animation 1, which is a gif animation of daily sea surface temperature anomaly maps from CMC Environment Canada for the past 30 days.  Depending on your browser, you may need to click on the animation.


Animation 1

If (big if) those below-normal anomalies persist in the North Pacific, they should influence reported global sea surface temperatures in coming months.  Then again, they could well result from a short-term weather pattern like the one that caused the recent resurrection and demise of THE BLOB.

Time will tell.  Sure would be fun to report on if they persist.

104 thoughts on “Something to Keep an Eye On – The Large Blue Ribbon of Below-Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the North Pacific

  1. What is the anticipated impact; short term and long term if it persists, for the west coast? Specifically Oregon do you all think?

    • There will be a great deal more rainfall, snowfall, and colder temperatures, if the solar cycle is the driver of climate change and the past is a guide to the future.
      For the month of October, 2016 Vancouver, BC, Canada broke a record for the most number of rainy days set in 1967.

      If you felt like Vancouver has been extremely soggy this month, you’re not wrong. The record for most days of rain in October was broken.
      It rained 28 days out of 31 days this month, surpassing the old record of 26 days set in 1967 and again in 1985.

      The following is a description of the weather in Vancouver, BC, Canada delta area in the 1800s.

      Weather Conditions in the Fraser River Valley in the early years
      In December 1858 the British Colonist newspaper reported that the Fraser River was frozen all the way across below the mouth of the Harrison River.
      At Port Douglas, the new town at the north end of Harrison’s Lake — at the south end of the new Harrison Lillooet trail to the goldfields — the snow fell for three days before the sky cleared and the thermometer plunged to 5 degrees below zero.
      At Yale in early days the First snow fall usually took place in the beginning of November — October and November were always wet so was March April and May.
      It was nothing unusual for a rain Fall for weeks at a time particularly in the lower Fraser Valley
      It was a regular event for the Fraser to freeze over in December and remain closed until the Month of March.
      Since the coming of the whites to the Fraser Valley — there has been two very Severe Winters — 1847 and 1861/2.
      An old Indian Chief of Yale who was aged about 90 yrs at the time I speak of in 1858.
      The Chief Tal-Tal-wheet tza Said he remembered a severe winter in Yale when the river opposite Yale was Frozen over–
      Goats and deer and other game died of Starvation and were Completely wiped out.
      Mountain Goats & Deer came down to the Valley and stood around, and also on top of the Indians Subterranean houses for Warmth.
      They were so tame that they were killed with Clubs.
      The old Indian said it was pitiful to listen to the cries of the Deer for Mercy when being clubbed.
      As a matter of fact it got so that the Indians would not kill them — and besides their meat become unfit food through starvation.”
      So that is the cold winter weather in Yale in 1858 — he goes on to describe the winter of 1847-48 at Fort Hope and Fort Langley:
      The winter of 1847/8 Was a remarkable Cold winter.
      The river was Frozen from Hope to Langley.
      Mr. Chief Trader H.N. Peers a H.B. Co’s Officer Skated from Hope to Langley on the Ice —
      The Severe Weather and deep Snow Killed nearly all the Hudson’s Bay Co’s Cattle at Fort Langley.

      • ” if the solar cycle is the driver of climate change and the past is a guide to the future.”

        That’s also a big “if”.

  2. what about the atypical higher than normal temps further north/in the arctic?
    which seem to be contributing to the record low sea ice extent there from October through to the present?

    • What about the atypical cold over almost all of Siberia this fall, which actually encompasses more area than the Arctic. And how about Greenland this year? The record low sea ice is a record starting when?
      The poles are where warm air and water go to die.

    • Griff,
      concerning temps further north/in the arctic, we experience now a split between a warmer than normal Spitsbergen area (warm winds from the south), while the “neighbouring” Scandinavian region is bitterly cold (cold winds from Siberia, which is also very cold now). I wonder if there there is a connection with the cold “blob” in the Northern Pacific, i.e. between northern East Asia and western North America?
      Northern Europe has basically had a cold an dry autumn this year.

      • 1) The record only goes back 30 years.
        2) It’s not massively lower
        3) It wasn’t lower at all a few months ago and if current trends continue it won’t be lower at all in a few months.

      • Well, just looked at NSIDC.
        In the last 7 days the Arctic gained one million kilometers of sea ice At that rate by February we will have 19 million square kilometers of sea ice… An all time record exceeding 1979 by 2.5 million square kilometers.

      • Well, it isn’t massively lower than 2012. It is a little lower, only for the last month or so, and the way things go, won’t be lower in a few weeks. What caused the colder than usual conditions in Siberia and could well be that big cold blow, caused the warmer in the arctic. Cold has to go somewhere and warm has to go somewhere.
        The ice extent is shooting up now and I would’t be surprised if November, just like September, sets a record for fastest extent growth in any given month. However, I know those aren’t the type of records you care about.

    • PS: If trends continue as they have for the past week, for another week, the amount of ice will get back above the 2012 line. I wonder if Griff will have the integrity to start spouting about the recovery of arctic ice on that day?

      • It really is of no concern that the freeze departs so far from the norm and the temps are so far above standard?
        I submit that at least this situation is equally as unusual and worth keeping an eye on as that cold water…

      • Griff, you need to watch Joe Bastardi’s free Daily and Weekly forecasts on Then you’ll find out what’s happening. You’re failing to take into consideration that there are weather reasons for this that are common in certain years depending on certain jet stream, wind, and blocking patterns; he called it months and months ago. He explains this particularly well in last Saturday’s 4 min Summary, which will be be replaced this Saturday, so watch it now. As Bastardi said before, “The majority [later said it was 70-75%)] of all Global Warming for the years 1970-Present has occurred during the Arctic [our winter] and Antartica [our summer, their winter] winters.” He said all the arctic temps in the winter went from -35C to -29C or -25C. A rise of 6C or 10C, a huge change. But it’s still below freezing.
        That’s the global warming everyone has their panties in a knot over. Because it certainly hasn’t occurred during the summer months, according to the Danish record since 1958. Look at every data chart going back to 1958. You won’t see the summer months that high above average. Bastardi says if you see the summer arctic months get warmer, then you worry, but check out the summer months for the last 48 years. It ain’t happening.
        Right now it’s around 261 K, which is -12.15 C, boiling warm but still below freezing at 273.15 K, the blue line in the charts.The green line is the norm, the expected average, for the year. There’s a heatwave in the arctic: *minus* 12.15 degrees Centigrade. Watch Bastardi to find out why.

      • Griffie, people with functioning brain stems are aware that data bounces around, that’s why averages are used. The current low extent is merely a blip. If it continues for the next year or so, then you can claim that it means something. Until then it’s just one more pathetic attempt at cherry picking.

      • “It really is of no concern that the freeze departs so far from the norm and the temps are so far above standard?”
        roflmao.. NONE WHAT SO EVER. !!
        Your continued IGNORANCE is mirth for all. !!
        1979 was the EXTREME.. Current is getting back at least a small way towards the norm.
        The reason Arctic sea ice levels are still SO HIGH, is because the world’s temperature is only just a small amount above the COLDEST period in the last 10,000 years.

      • “Griff November 10, 2016 at 9:09 am
        It really is of no concern that the freeze departs so far from the norm and the temps are so far above standard?”
        What is the norm Griff?

      • i think griff does completely ignore that stockholm saw a record snowfall for november and…. more snow is on it’s way….
        if this line will continue for a few years ans SC25 will be a big lull, i’m affraid we will see LIA conditions, as paleoclimatology also mentioned these odd records before the temperature started dropping….

    • Griff, as usual you have it backwards. It is the warm water (probably due to the AMO) that is driving less sea ice which then leads to the warmer atmospheric temperatures in the Arctic.

      • Guys you are being a bit harsh on old Griff there. All Griff was doing is pointing out something unusual. It is odd that we have the cold blob in the pacific and siberia and the (relative) warmth is at the pole. We are talking about the last few weeks and unusual changes. Griff in my opinion asked a perfectly valid question about a possible link between the two.

      Is that middle line the one you are concerned about, Griff? Well, what about it?
      1. Colder air is less humid.
      2. Less humid air results in less snow (and less clouds, re: #5, below).
      3. Snow increases albedo (i.e., less snow => less albedo ).
      4. Less albedo means MORE ice loss via sublimation and or ablation:

      In fact, according to [Moelg and Hardy, 2004] precipitation aids net accumulation much more through the albedo affect, which reduces ablation, than through the mass added directly by snowfall. …


      Because moist air radiates infrared more efficiently than dry air, the downward infrared becomes greater when the moisture content of the air (the specific humidity) increases. The downward infrared warming also increases with cloudiness, since clouds radiate infrared better than clear air….


      The glacier surface receives energy from solar radiation and from downward infrared. *** Because the glacier surface can be warmer than the air, melting can occur even if the air temperature remains below freezing throughout the day. This situation occurs on Kilimanjaro at present … sublimation and evaporation … continue at a rate set by the wind and the moisture gradient

      (Source: )
      Here is a little picture illustrating the above assertions:
      (Source: Ibid.)
      Thus, ice loss indicates (more likely than not) COOLER air surface temperatures.

      • I think you scared him away, Janice. Pretty unfair using graphs and logic I must say. Also, well done and thanks!

      • Thus, ice loss indicates (more likely than not) COOLER air surface temperatures.

        That settles it, then. /sarc
        Less ice means bigger losses of heat in the Arctic, but is also means high air temps near 0C. More ice means the air is very cold in the night, but it allows heat to accumulate in Hiroshimas. That is the major negative feedback to be seen.
        Alarmists think it is the summer which accumulates heat. They don’t remember the Arctic night. Any ice cover loss is overcompensated by winter-time heat loss.
        Now, just now is the heat loss time.

        • Now, just now is the heat loss time.

          Night time cooling (if that is your question), is doing just fine, and there does not appear to be any evidence of a trend in how much it cools at night.It’s cools(fall) (or warms, spring)at night just as much as it warm today, and there does not appear to be any evidence this has changed at all.
          Night time cooling is nonlinear, and the cooling rate slow when air temps near dew point temps, so water vapor controls the clear sky no wind cool point. Water vapor created in the extrotropics is just thrown out of the tropics poleward to cool, and the patterns of water surface temperatures greatly influence where and how that water vapor moves, and the underlying oceans surface temps are controlled by ENSO’s and the AMO/PDO cycles, the el nino’s show how the changing pattern of ocean surface temperatures impacts land temps, amo/pdo do the same. Other than that the only interesting thing is the step from the 97/98 el nino, something changed the climate sensitivity in the 20-~35 North latitude band. that was the “step”.

      • The point is that as usual, Griff takes any blip that moves in his direction as proof that something permanent has occurred.

      • Now that I’m looking at the graph, I’ll answer one of Griff’s earlier questions: no, this does not concern me. If it starts regularly tracking well above the 30 year average, then I’ll get worried.

      • 2016 was higher when it mattered at the minimums. But, since annual variations mean little, none of these discussions mean much. Give it a few years. With The Donald, maybe we can back off throwing money down the IPCC climate model speculation rat hole.

      • TRM, you also need to educate yourself.
        See my post just up above
        This year was hit by the remnants of the El Nino, then the north Atlantic Blob shuck up through Bering Straits.
        That warmth is now dissipating, and there is nothing to replace it.
        El Nino area , north Atlantic etc, have all turned cold.
        And by December, the Arctic sea ice level will just be part of the normal spaghetti grouping

      • Notice how the graph they currently present does not include the earlier summer months when the sea ice was also at record lows for the date and the meltmongers screamed that this year would certainly be the lowest “ever”.

      • TRM the graph does not show any other year than 2012.
        Griff’s comments
        “Its different from all other years on the record, being massively lower than the previous low in 2012.”
        “which seem to be contributing to the record low sea ice extent there from October through to the present?”
        are either wrong, the low this year was higher than 2012
        and record low sea ice from October is wrong
        from mid october might be said but without showing all the other years this graph is of no help. Other years mightor might not have had lower extents at this time.

      • The point is that as usual, Griff takes any blip that moves in his direction as proof that something permanent has occurred.”
        So denizens here don’t ??

    • When you see a zone where the temperature is normally MINUS 20˚C at say MINUS 11˚C….think snowfall.

    • griff i know why: all that cold is here we even got snow. it seems autumn is gone and we swapped from summer straight into winter

  3. Once it was the warm blob, now it has turned to the cold blob. Wonder if it has the same meaning regarding climate change. Is it concisting with something?

    • You are attempting to apply recent weather events as evidence of climate change. No offense, but that is what Griff dabbles in. Watch the various SST cycles for a while and you will see that there are teleconnections to pressures and weather development over land. Right now I would also be watching the developing negative SSTA area just SE of Greenland. When Arctic high blocking takes place in a few weeks the cold in Asia could easily slide westward and develop also over the eastern US.
      Yet, that is still only weather and it takes at least several decades to establish climate variance.

  4. I suppose the cooling in the North Atlantic is unrelated? along 59 N, 30-0W, 0-800m depth
    There is still a lot that is unknown about ocean cycles and that limits the analysis of solar effects as well.

    • simple proposition from me. ice extent over summer and winter increases for approximately 30 to 40 years until some theoretical max extent insulates the arctic ocean waters(mostly water originating in the atlantic, very little transport from the pacific in comparison) enough over winter that the heat build up begins to melt more and more ice over the next 30 to 40 years to some low extent point , then repeat. the speed atlantic water is driven into the arctic may vary according to tidal variations on the decadal scale. i am looking at this just now , but being a bit dim it is taking a while .
      i have read a paper that suggests the residence time of the top 1500m of arctic ocean has a residence time of around 30 years in the arctic basin/s . could well be the driver of the amo. just speculation on my part, but it fits what has happened in the past.

      • should have said the heat build up contributes to increased melting .weather conditions are the main driver of the melt season.

  5. Bob – you, Willis and the others are the best.
    The Pacific Ocean dominates the world’s climate and this is very important for the coming winter across the NH. Also anomalously warm waters north of Finland will also dissipate as the winter wears on. The Earth radiating all this CO2 induced heating back out into the ether.
    We may be consumed with “warming”, but the physics of it all says heat flows from hot to cold, and when the cold side of the equation is somewhere around 2.7 deg K (above absolute zero), the tendency is towards cooling whenever there is a chance.

  6. Only slightly OT is that cold area in the North Atlantic SE of Greenland anything to worry about for those of us in Northern Europe?

  7. I think this is better, this Warm Blob in Arctic is persisting already for few months. It is almost exactly copying seashore line of Norther Ocean. There is positive anomaly up to +20C over sea and corresponding semipermanent negative anomaly over land in high and middle latitudes of N. America and Eurasia. It is bringing bitter winter over Europe and Russia and I can say we are feeling it in Europe.
    My guess it is direct impact of low sun activity and subsequent weak and meandering jet stream, which instead of circumpolating is distributing heat between high and mid latitudes.

  8. Bob, yes I’ve been noticing the very large and intense developing cold anomaly in the North Pacific. Nice animation. Also, the NOAA OISST V2 reported by UM CCI has the estimated global sea surface temperature anomaly sharply down from +0.38C on October 16 to +0.14C on November 9, referenced to 1971-2000. According to UM CCI, the North Pacific anomaly on November 9 was down to +0.12C, Equatorial Pacific down to +0.06C, and Southern Hemisphere down to +0.02C. In contrast, the UM CCI CFSV2 daily global surface air temperature anomalies spiked high during this period, rising from +0.30C on October 21 to +0.78C on November 6, but falling back to +0.56C on November 9, referenced to 1979-2000. The high surface air temperature spike was mainly due to much higher than normal anomalies in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Also, ice extents are anomalously low in both the Arctic and Antarctic at present. A puzzling mixed bag of signals, but I have to think the dropping ocean temperatures will ultimately be the primary influence on surface air temperatures in coming months.
    Current daily UM CCI CFSV2 contour maps can be seen here:
    I have been graphing the UM CCI CFSV2 estimated daily surface air temperature anomalies here:

    • Re the “ice extents are anomalously low in both the Arctic and Antarctic at present.”
      I think that is much more likely to be Satellite sensor error like the previous time Ice went wonky.
      The Antarctic Seas are certainly no warmer than this time last year.
      If it isn’t an error why isn’t the low ice levels splashed over every newspaper in the world as per normal?

      • A C, I have not seen any indications of satellite sensor failure as happened last spring. I suspect that anomalously warm sea surface temperatures in the Arctic are slowing the formation of new ice with the onset of winter. In the Antarctic, sea surface temperatures are anomalously low in conjunction with the low ice extent and thus are not likely to be melting the ice more than usual with the onset of summer. Wind patterns might be responsible for pushing the sea ice toward the continent and thus lowering the extent more than usual.

  9. “If (big if) those below-normal anomalies…”
    Sorry to nit-pick but isn’t that just wrong? The “anomalies” are in comparison with a long term average, but presumably that average contained significant variation. Are these temperatures actually outside normal variation or are they simply below average?
    Using “anomaly” to mean above or below average is debasing the word. It also implies that the average is what we shuold expect rather than constant variation, which is actually what we always get.

    • “Using “anomaly” to mean above or below average is debasing the word.”
      I think it is a pretty common definition when used in a mathematical context. “Difference from measured average” has just as many logical implications as “anomaly.” It is indeed nit-picking to wonder that some people will worry the data is “very unusual” when it really is only “sort of unusual!” At the end of the day, the data is the data.
      “It also implies that the average is what we should expect rather than constant variation,”
      This is not the fault of the word “anomaly” but rather it is faulty reasoning and extrapolating.

    • In meterology/climatology anomaly is not a judgmental term, but rather a signed mathematical measure of departure from some expected value. In fact (as you can see above) anomalies often have a value of zero, which means the value of the measurement was precisely the expected value.
      On a global scale, anomalies are more useful than absolute values for characterizing trends in temperature, because absolute values tend to have more variance than the changes in temperature. For example, the temperatures at different locations in some particular province may vary by a degree or two at some instant of time, but if all the measurements are consistent with expected values then we can simply summarize the trend as ‘anomaly=0’.

      • Polar Amplification pollutes calculations of global anomaly averages. CAGWers would have to fall on their swords with even minor cooling.

      • Nit picking, but: “absolute values tend to have more variance than the changes in temperature” is nonsensical.

      • More generally, the ‘anomaly’ is by comparison to a referent, not necessarily to an expected value. In climatology, the average of the most recent three full decades’ (the base period) values for the particular metric.
        Sometimes, for effect, a different base period is used, for example, if the data were not available for 30 years.

  10. The Demise of the BLOB left Boston under 10 feet of record snow 2 years ago. Are you suggesting that I invest in a snow machine?

  11. The jet stream has been pretty consistent for several weeks bringing generally warm temperatures across most of the US. I suspect if this also is true over Siberia then it would be consistently driving a cold wind over this part of the Pacific. This would cool the waters in that general area.

  12. Animation 1
    If (big if) those below-normal anomalies persist in the North Pacific, they should influence reported global sea surface temperatures in coming months.

    They will also be altering the path of the jet stream, it’s been warm on NE Ohio so far, but it’s getting cold.
    Last night after the rain passed, it cleared up, air temps dropped to about 38 by 11pm, I got the IR thermometer out, and measured the grass at 27, and the clear sky -65F. But dew points stayed right at about 35F(~93%rh), and air temps did not drop but 1F over 6 hours of clear sky. But 3 days earlier on another clear day and night it dropped 27F in 12 hours.

  13. There has been a parade of storms cross the North Pacific where the cold patch. Near term forecast is for more storms. Scroll down an hit the ‘pressure’ button at the top of the map for the animated forecast:
    This is something I follow daily

  14. To the best of my understanding NOAA is predicting ridging and below average rainfall for California based on warm sst’s that are nowhere in evidence. Last year the same model ensemble predicted California deluge based on nino warmed sst’s that were very much in evidence.

  15. As I watched that GIF, I couldn’t help but think to myself that it looked like most of the warm areas were shrinking and the cold areas growing, or is it just my imagination? It also looked like the cold areas were get a deeper blue as well.

    • That is exactly what has been taking place. Along with that I think that after a surge to deeper blue, you can often see a trend to warm towards average over the days following as the colder waters mix with warmer waters. Then the waters continue to trend back to colder temps a week or so later. The process has been leading to a gradual cooling not only in this region of the Pacific, but also in other regions of the oceans. The South Atlantic is certainly looking cooler, and the Indian Ocean ssta has seen below average conditions for almost one year.

  16. The following is surface ocean temperatures, updated for November 10, 2016.
    There is clear indication of regional cooling.
    Regional cooling over the ocean is caused by either a change in cloud cover or change in cloud properties or a change in wind speed. Higher wind speed results in a significant increase in evaporation rate which in turn causes cooling.
    Higher wind speeds over the ocean also causes there to be an increase in rainfall in coastal regions.
    The cult of CAGW have been hiding the fact that the planet’s climate changes cyclically correlating with solar cycle changes.

    Little Ice Age
    The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period (Medieval Climate Optimum).[1] While it was not a true ice age, the term was introduced into the scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939.[2] It has been conventionally defined as a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries,[3][4][5] or alternatively, from about 1350 to about 1850,[6] though climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of this period, which varied according to local conditions ….
    Europe/North America
    ….The population of Iceland fell by half, but this was perhaps caused by fluorosis after the eruption of the volcano Laki in 1783.[20] Iceland also suffered failures of cereal crops, and people moved away from a grain-based diet.[21] The Norse colonies in Greenland starved and vanished (by the early 15th century), as crops failed and livestock …. …. Hubert Lamb said that in many years, “snowfall was much heavier … ….Crop practices throughout Europe had to be altered to adapt to the shortened, less reliable growing season, and there were many years of dearth and famine (such as the Great Famine of 1315–1317, although this may have been before the LIA proper).[25] According to Elizabeth Ewan and Janay Nugent, “Famines in France 1693–94, Norway 1695–96 and Sweden 1696–97 claimed roughly 10% of the population of each country. In Estonia and Finland in 1696–97, losses have been estimated at a fifth and a third of the national populations, respectively.”[26] Viticulture disappeared from some northern regions. Violent storms caused serious flooding and loss of life. Some of these resulted in permanent loss of large areas of land from the Danish, German and Dutch coasts.[24]
    Historian Wolfgang Behringer has linked intensive witch-hunting episodes in Europe to agricultural failures during the Little Ice Age.[36]
    William: This is interesting as it indicates there was cooling in both hemispheres during the Little Ice age which supports the assertion that the cause of the cooling has solar cycle related, rather than due to regional changes in ocean current flow or wind patterns.
    Kreutz et al. (1997) compared results from studies of West Antarctic ice cores with the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) and suggested a synchronous global Little Ice Age.[46] An ocean sediment core from the eastern Bransfield Basin in the Antarctic Peninsula shows centennial events that the authors link to the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period.[47] The authors note “other unexplained climatic events comparable in duration and amplitude to the LIA and MWP events also appear.”

  17. Bob,
    So my son, who lives in Alasks, explained to me – Dad, we carry guns to the polls for self-protection.
    I asked: aren’t the Bears asleep at this time-of-year?
    Response: no Dad! They wake or sleep based on available food.
    Is your notion ENSO insightful?

    • Momentary shifts in trend aren’t significant in a Climate defined by its own “checks and balances” – long term trends are.
      Define the significant factors and watch and enjoy the compensation – it’s a wild world 😎

  18. I expect global sea surface temperatures to decline in response to weak solar activity.
    Even looking at the current situation in the N.H we have snow coverage way above normal and the area of temperatures below freezing way above normal. I have always said who cares if the Arctic is above normal because it is still far below freezing. Who cares if the N.H is above normal in temp. if much of it is due to the very high latitudes.
    Is it not funny that the AO is tending more negative once again as solar EUV light has been on the decline. Is it not amazing that this also happened in the 2008-2010 period of time. My bet is look for -AO to be the rule gong forward , and let us watch global sea surface temperatures and see if any declines start to develop. I think they will if UV light remains weak enough and sunspot numbers average less then 40. I am talking about much longer wavelengths here in respect with UV light /sea surface temperature as opposed to EUV light which is more involved with ozone.

  19. i notice that also the north atlantic it’s cold pool is growing…. i wonder if the warm waters are just shifted polewards…. THAT can be a worry as then it will massively cool…. no ice = no insulator = above normal heat loss

  20. Then again, if sea surface temperatures plunge, the data will need to be “corrected” to reflect the proper conditions, as forecast in the models.

  21. I have been watching the North Pacific for the last several weeks as a stream of dense atmospheric rivers have been building up at middle latitudes. The last typhoon which ended up south of Japan around 3 weeks ago appeared to be the start of the process. That enhanced stream is then being carried eastward towards the PNW. Note the wind movement set right above Hawaii that then arcs northeastward towards the PNW. That looks to me like it is setting up for a Pineapple Express system to plow into the PNW. The blue wv stream which is heading towards lower Canada is carrying over triple the normal wv ratio for the area. Three years ago I had predicted that this winter would be a likely candidate for the next PNW flood. In another month or so, I will find out if I was correct or not…Three years ago I had predicted that this winter would be a likely candidate for the next PNW flood. …,32.13,497/loc=-172.106,33.189

  22. re: “Sure would be fun to report on if [those below-normal anomalies] persist.”. No fun if it gets seriously cold. As so many people have been saying for so long (and have been consistently la-la-la-la’d), warmer is better.

  23. The canary in the coal mine is the Athabasca Glacier. If it starts advancing, that will be a “thing”.

  24. I was looking at the snow extent as it increased across Siberia, Russia, and Scandinavia as far south as northern Afghanistan and Iraq. Most impressive! Not so many years ago, this detailed and up-to-date information was surely not available. I, for one, am glad to see it; and I can surely see the advantages of having all this info to aid in forecasts and in explaining current and recently past weather.

  25. Thanks Bob
    I’ve speculated over the last couple of years that the blob is due to slowing of poleward ocean heat transfer in general and the North Pacific gyre (as well as the Atlantic Gulf Stream) in particular. This could be part of a cyclical oscillation in the ground state if the oceans. In this scenario, warming e.g. the blob would be the initial transitory result but the longer term consequence would be ocean driven cooling. Following this paradigm further, it would make sense that Arctic downwelling and cold water formation, in the Norwegian sea and probably somewhere in the far North Pacific also, is also slowing and thus “drawing” less warm water from the equator.
    It is interesting that this near-Arctic cold ocean blob is appearing first in the Pacific – a similar one can be expected to form in the far North Atlantic within a year or two.
    Could this be cyclical ocean driven cooling just in time for the Trump presidency?

  26. Here is my take. Oceans become net evaporators after a prolonged period of net absorption, warming the atmosphere with both water vapor and CO2. Eventually ocean heat becomes depleted, reducing evaporation, which results in a cooler, dryer atmosphere. Rivers and streams begin to dry up from lack of precipitation but that makes them more prone to freezing up, which they do, creating thick slabs of ice that slowly build up, creating ice sheets. Under this condition, oceans become net absorbers (no clouds or water vapor to get in the way) leaving us cold, until the oceans are once again filled to overflowing with heat and then switch to evaporation mode again. This process takes a tremendously long time stair stepping up and then down, due to the capacity of oceans to absorb solar heat and short term variations prolonging each phase. The work of long term evaporation likely takes a while, and the work of absorption quickly leaves us cold. This scenario would only be maintained under the present continental positions and ocean currents. Which could explain the seesaw of the past 800,000 years.

    • Pamela
      Why do you leave out Milankovich forcing?
      I find it hard to see how something as evanescent as cloud cover and its variations could drive millenial scale ocean heat cycles. As you yourself often argue here – the cycles are no doubt in large part intrinsic. However intrinsic cycles can be periodically forced from outside – either strongly or weakly.

  27. The temperature patterns that you are seeing in the Pacific north of 20 deg. N are those you would expect for a positive PDO.
    The PDO starting turning positive around January 2014. The Blob was first detected in late 2013 and continued to strengthen in 2014, and 2015. It still persists in 2016.
    No mystery here.

  28. Because of map projection this anomaly may not be as comparatively large as it appears. The similar anomaly along the equator may be more significant

  29. Take a look at the South Atlantic and come up with an explanation for why it’s all cold. Combined with that big cold swath across the North Pacific (as of 11/13/16 on UNISYS) and the South Pacific turning cold, the only warm spot left is, ironically, the North Atlantic.

  30. I’m just hoping we have the wet version of La NIna (meaning, the rain line is well down into California as opposed to being near the CA – OR border).

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