Arctic poised to unleash another massive cold outbreak for Eastern US

Paul Dorian sends word that there’s a change brewing in the Arctic that may result in a massive and extended cold outbreak for the Northern hemisphere, much like what we saw in late December and early January when record breaking cold swamped the eastern USA. He writes:


We are now experiencing warmer-than-normal weather conditions in the eastern US and there will be mild spells right into the first week of February, but the signs are increasing for a return to a cold pattern next month and it may very well last for an extended period of time.  The MJO is a tropical disturbance that propagates around the global tropics and it will be transitioning into “phases” during the month of February that are conducive to colder-than-normal weather in the eastern US.  In addition, stratospheric warming will unfold over the next week or so in the polar region of the Northern Hemisphere and this can set off a chain of events in the atmosphere that ultimately results in colder-than-normal weather for the eastern US.  There are other signals as well that support the notion of a return to cold in the eastern US and it very well could stick around for awhile.

00Z Euro forecast of the MJO index from today (lower arrow) to February 6th (upper arrow) which is displayed on a day-to-day basis by the green line.

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO)

The MJO is a tropical disturbance that propagates eastward around the global tropics with a cycle on the order of 30-60 days. It is a large-scale coupling between atmospheric circulation and tropical deep convection (thunderstorms). The MJO not only has wide ranging impacts on the patterns of precipitation, surface temperatures, and atmospheric circulation in the tropics, but also influences precipitation and temperature patterns across the globe.  Specifically, one significant impact of the MJO over the U.S. during the northern hemisphere winter is an increase in the frequency and intensity of cold air outbreaks across the central and eastern US.

Specifically, one significant impact of the MJO over the U.S. during the northern hemisphere winter is an increase in the frequency and intensity of cold air outbreaks across the central and eastern US.

This time of year, phases 5, 6 and 7 of the MJO index signal warmer-than-normal temperatures in the central and eastern U.S., but beyond that time, the MJO is likely to propagate into phases 8, 1 and 2 which usually are correlated with colder-than-normal weather in the central and eastern US during this time of year. In fact, the MJO index is forecasted to increase in amplitude when it enters phase 7 (i.e., move farther away from the inner circle), and an increase in amplitude may actually further influence the overall pattern around here in February.

Stratospheric Warming

Another way to monitor the potential for Arctic air outbreaks in the eastern U.S. is to follow what is happening in the stratosphere over the polar region of the Northern Hemisphere. Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events are large, rapid temperature rises in the winter polar stratosphere and they can set off a chain of events in the atmosphere that ultimately lead to Arctic air outbreaks from northern Canada into the central and eastern U.S. Indeed, there is strong evidence for stratospheric warming to take place in the Northern Hemisphere over the next five-to-ten days (top) and this often increases the chances for colder-than-normal air masses to drop southward from high latitudes and into the middle latitudes.

10 mb temperatures have spiked in recent days (arrow) across the northern latitudes (90N to 65N); map courtesy NOAA

Other supporting signals for February cold

Two other supporting signals for cold weather in the eastern US following this warmer-than-normal stretch include the outlook of Arctic Oscillation (AO) index and the current snow cover extent across the Northern Hemisphere.

Snow cover (shown in white) is currently quite extensive across the Northern Hemisphere.

Read his entire forecast here at Vencore Weather. Well worth your time.

Meanwhile from WeatherBell:

Here is the beginning of the outbreak:

Joe Bastardi weighs in…

107 thoughts on “Arctic poised to unleash another massive cold outbreak for Eastern US

  1. If Cold Winters is the Expectation, What Would a Warm Winter Mean?
    Al Gore is claiming that CO2 is the cause of the recent bitter cold. If that is the case, what would Al Gore be “Tweeting” if we were experiencing a record warm winter? I’m 100% certain that the next warm spell we have during a winter, Al Gore and Michael Mann will be “Tweeting” that a record warm winter is exactly what should be expected from the climate crisis. Facts are, in real science you have to have a falsifiable hypothesis.

    • All weather is caused by “climate change”.
      Before “climate change” all weather was “normal”.
      Anyone who says otherwise is a “climate denier”.

      • Nah, only “bad” weather is caused by “climate change.” When we have “good” weather, all you’ll her from the Climate Fascists and their media lapdogs is crickets…like you heard during the longest period on record with NO major hurricanes hitting the U.S. THEN, of course, one active hurricane season and all the hurricanes are supposedly “caused by climate change.”

      • quaesoveritas
        An interesting point. Climate is said to be the sum of weather. Fine so far. However it is impossible to take ‘climate’ and divide it into ‘weathers’.
        I can accept that after a few years of weather, say thirty, we can describe the climate and its typical boundaries. It is impossible to take a ‘climate’ and derive from it alone a set of weather events making it what it is.
        One cannot take a chicken and squeeze it back into an egg.
        Thus the concept of a ‘climate event’ is conceptually flawed. There are no climate events. A climate doesn’t have the attribute ‘events’. All events are weather events.
        The concept of a weather event being ’caused by climate change’ is equally flawed. Climate, being the sum of weather, doesn’t cause anything. A student’s average mark doesn’t ’cause’ a bad mark in history. But a bad history mark causes a drop in the average mark. That is a pretty good analogy.
        Scoring an average of 80% last year doesn’t mean a) the average will be 80% this year, and b) that this year’s poor geography mark was ’caused’ by the drop from an average 80% to 75%. Geography is the cause, the average is the effect.
        There are lots of bone-headed misconceptions afoot in climate science, but this has to one of the bone-headed-est.

      • Climate: The deciding factor that dictates what type of clothes you buy.
        Weather: The deciding factor that dictates what type of clothes you wear.

    • Maybe if for several years the temperature followed exactly along the ‘long term average’, they would finally admit to falsification. But the weather has NEVER done that, so there really is no risk of that happening.

    • This is the single factor which most boggles the mind. The climate ‘scientists’ must know that their ‘hypothesis’ is the absolute and final last word in unfalsifiability. I suppose they’ve just become used to it because of some kind of quasi-religious faith in models and the assumption that they get a falsifiabilty pass because Pascal’s Wager. In fact I thought I saw something recently where this was being earnestly proposed. The major mystery is why they would expect anyone outside of their cult to accept any of that.

    • LOL – Whenever I think about Chicago, I think about that line from the movie “The Fugitive”…”Chicago has two seasons – winter and St. Patrick’s Day.”

    • Time to haul out my down-filled bomber jacket and/or the leather coat, with apologies to the vegans in the audience, of course. 😉

      • PaulH
        I am surviving Ulaanbaatar – minus 37 again this morning – because I have a rabbit fur-lined hat. I need it more than he did.
        The only thing better is a wolverine fur. Breath frost doesn’t stick to it. That is what surrounds Inuit smiling faces.

    • RayG asks “But where does the down come from/”
      It is common knowledge that you get down off an elephant.

  2. I guess that the NE still has enough proper dispatchable electricity capacity to cope, hopefully people are monitoring how much of it gets used, allowing a threshold to be set, rather than one of those “targets” that greenies are so fond of.

  3. Please aim for Schumerville and Markeyville with the main cold blast. Don’t forget Sen. Whitehouse also.

  4. So it seems more challenging winter to come. What a comfort it is to know however, that just by warming up the SUV and lighting the BBQ we can prevent this natural weather phenomenon from ever materializing. At least so they say in the fantasy world of anthropogenic weather Armageddon.

    • nc
      The Arctic is warming alright. But part of the issue is that this warming is in part due to greater amounts of cold air leaking southwards. So this increase in air flow into and out of the Arctic can lead to far greater changes to the climate then CO2 ever will. Because if the inflow of warm air into the Arctic happens mostly over the oceans but the out flow of cold air happens over the land masses. Then climate cooling here we come.

    • All this cold is coming from the oceans. It’s getting pushed out by all the heat that’s going in. /sarc

  5. Thank you Robert Frost… “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow……

  6. l’ve recently been posting how l see there is a link to the mid Pacific and USA winter weather.
    Good to see that am not on my own over this.

  7. How many times do I have to tell you scientists, that refuting global warming Theory only plays into their hands– for the simple reason that it ISN’T a theory, just a proposed alternative hypothesis?
    The Earth could freeze to a block of ice at absolute zero through the core, and they would say “that PROVES it’s caused by human CO2 emissions.” As I keep telling you, you can’t prove a negative!
    The only proper response to Global Warming claims, is to point out their shortcomings in their hypothesis by the scientific method; and that until they meet the scientific requirements by standard methodology, then by definition they cannot call it science.
    ANY other response, will be taken as a refutation, which therefore validates their hypothesis as a theory.

    • “The only proper response to Global Warming claims, is to point out their shortcomings in their hypothesis by the scientific method; and that until they meet the scientific requirements by standard methodology, then by definition they cannot call it science.”
      Personally I enjoy responding with laughter.

      • “Personally I enjoy responding with laughter.”
        An example: Here’s a guy, a professor, that say we humans will be extinct in ten years. This prediction/projection was made a bit over a year ago which probably means we humans now have a we bit less that eight years to live.
        Enjoy …

    • “How many times do I have to tell you scientists, that refuting global warming Theory only plays into their hands”
      A One… A.two-HOO…A three… [Cruuunncchhh!!!]…Thrrrrreee!

  8. How many “abnormally” cold winters do we need before a Little Ice Age is proclaimed? How bad must a Little Ice Age be before people begin to fear it’s the start of a new Ice Age?

    • I think that it will take a year without a summer not caused by some catastrophic event, like a large volcanic eruption.
      If it is to be more snow, then please let it be the nice low density snow of two weeks ago. This 60 lbm/cu.ft. stuff is heavy and hard to shovel.

    • How long before nobody will be able to sell an “all electric” home? At the rate the electric bills are increasing, I won’t be able to heat my home much above freezing in a few years. My feet are cold now… in heavy sheepskin slippers.
      Sure would be very glad if there actually was some warming… somehow. Warm is GOOD! Wyoming high altitude winters are not for the faint hearted.

    • This winter here in North Central Indiana isn’t unusual at all. It’s like what I remember it was like when I was a kid in the 60’s and early 70’s. Nice to have enough snow for the kids to go sledding.

  9. Yep – It’s winter in North America. “The Climate’s Falling(!)” assertions of AGW can’t change that.
    Thanks to Anthony and Paul for this post!
    Re: “Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events are large, rapid temperature rises in the winter polar stratosphere…. “
    Here’s a couple of animations showing the breakdown of the polar vortex during a SSW event.
    The first shows a 2D polar view:
    The second shows a 3D simulation:
    Love Joe Bastardi’s pragmatic, fact based analyses and, from historical weather analogs, his forecasts.
    You ‘da Man’, Joe!
    Educational info on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), if your interested.

  10. So there is increasing variance in the latitude of the polar jet means Navy has to adjust and some people lose every peach crop, boo hoo. Move.

  11. Guessing Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow and return to his hole.
    Two weeks from today, 6 to 7 February, looks to be quite bitterly cold in the Eastern US.

  12. ‘Extended period’ means what? A month? I know it must be longer than what we experienced earlier this year.

  13. It seems the following temp averages are considered irrelevant rather than inconvenient but I still think the point is worth making.
    NOAA data show the averaged winter max of the contiguous United States was 45.0F in the 10 years of 1998-2007 and 44.2F in the 10 years of 2008-2017 – a 0.8F cooling.
    The averaged winter min of the contiguous US was 23.8F in the 13 years of 1992-2004 and 23.6F in the 13 years of 2005-2017 – a 0.2F cooling.
    Met Bureau data show the averaged winter max of the UK was 7.3C in the 10 years of 1998-2007 and 6.9C in the 10 years of 2008-2017 – a 0.4C cooling.
    The averaged winter min of the UK was 1.4C in the 15 years of 1988-2002 and 1.3C in the 15 years of 2003-2017 – a 0.1C cooling comparing the first and second halves of a 30 year climate period.

    • True. Global warming stopped a quite some time ago.
      To give a summary of all my investigations into climate change starting ca. 2009/2010
      Concerned to show that man made warming (AGW ) is correct and indeed happening, I thought that here [in Pretoria, South Africa} I could easily prove that. Namely the logic following from AGW theory is that more CO2 would trap heat on earth, hence we should find minimum temperature (T) rising pushing up the mean T. Here, in the winter months, we hardly have any rain but we have many people burning fossil fuels to keep warm at night. On any particular cold winter’s day that results in the town area being covered with a greyish layer of air, viewable on a high hill outside town in the early morning.
      I figured that as the population increased over the past 40 years, the results of my analysis of the data [of a Pretoria weather station] must show minimum T rising, particularly in the winter months. Much to my surprise I found that the opposite was happening: minimum T here was falling, any month….I first thought that somebody must have made a mistake: the extra CO2 was cooling the atmosphere, ‘not warming’ it. As a chemist, that made sense to me as I knew that whilst there were absorptions of CO2 in the area of the spectrum where earth emits, there are also the areas of absorption in the 1-2 um and the 4-5 um range where the sun emits. Not convinced either way by my deliberations and discussions as on a number of websites, I first looked at a number of weather stations around me, to give me an indication of what was happening:
      The results puzzled me even more. Somebody [God/Nature] was throwing a ball at me…..The speed of cooling followed a certain pattern, best described by a quadratic function.
      I carefully looked at my earth globe and decided on a particular sampling procedure to find out what, if any, the global result would be. Here is my final result on that:
      Hence, looking at my final Rsquare on that, I figured out that there is no AGW, at least not measurable.

      • Silly rabbit – now you’ve called attention to the true observed temps – keep an eye on this data as it will be ‘corrected’ warmer by those with the agenda. Guard these results and publish them widely everywhere.

  14. We got sticky snow in Wisconsin yesterday and all the trees are white. It sure seems a lot colder today than they were predicting. I do know that snow ground cover is supposed to drop temps 5F from what would otherwise be predicted but what about snow ground cover AND snow tree cover?

  15. Please see how the atmosphere works in winter. One can see how the stratosphere declines more and more over the polar circle and the troposphere layer is more and more thin. This mechanism exposes the deception of anthropomorphic global warming.
    Let’s be honest, how can a person influence the stratosphere?
    Few people realize that the polar vortex is accelerating above the stratosphere. As you can see below, the wind speed in the highest layers is the highest and reaches a speed averagely of 70 m / s, or over 250 km / h.

  16. The polar vortex increases the speed due to the temperature difference in winter over the polar circle. This is due to lack of ultraviolet radiation in the winter.
    The polar vortex is affected by waves that occur in winter over the polar circle.

  17. i’m taking this opportunity to ask a stupid question. I was curious about exactly what longitudes the boundaries 8/1 (West Hemisphere and Africa), 2/3 (Indian Ocean), 4/5 (Maritime Continent), and 6/7 (labeled Western Pacific). Well, the Indian Ocean is located at longitude 90E. Progressing eastward in 90 degree increments, one encounters the International Dateline (labeled the Maritime Continent), the Eastern Pacific (labeled Western Pacific), and the Prime Meridian, Greenwich England (labeled West Hemisphere and Africa). So, since the 6/7 boundary is located opposite the Indian Ocean which is located at 90E, shouldn’t it be located at 90W and called the Eastern Pacific and not the Western Pacific?

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