From Rutgers University and the “Nor’easter’s weren’t as bad before global warming” department comes this “story I’ve been telling for a couple of years now…”. See the commentary after this article.
Warm Arctic means colder, snowier winters in northeastern US, study says
Rutgers scholar says warming Arctic’s connection to US weather is ‘no coincidence’
Scientists from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) have linked the frequency of extreme winter weather in the United States to Arctic temperatures.
Their research was published today in Nature Communications.
“Basically, this confirms the story I’ve been telling for a couple of years now,” said study co-author Jennifer Francis, research professor of marine and coastal sciences in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “Warm temperatures in the Arctic cause the jet stream to take these wild swings, and when it swings farther south, that causes cold air to reach farther south. These swings tend to hang around for awhile, so the weather we have in the eastern United States, whether it’s cold or warm, tends to stay with us longer.”
The research is timely given the extreme winter of 2017-2018, including record warm Arctic and low sea ice, record-breaking polar vortex disruption, record-breaking cold and disruptive snowfalls in the United States and Europe, severe “bomb cyclones” and costly nor’easters, said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at AER and lead author of the study.
In their study, Cohen, Francis and AER’s Karl Pfeiffer found that severe winter weather is two to four times more likely in the eastern United States when the Arctic is abnormally warm than when the Arctic is abnormally cold. Their findings also show that winters are colder in the northern latitudes of Europe and Asia when the Arctic is warm.
Paradoxically, the study shows that severe winter weather in the western United States is more likely when the Arctic is colder than normal.
The researchers found that when Arctic warming occurred near the surface, the connection to severe winter weather was weak. When the warming extended into the stratosphere, however, disruptions of the stratospheric polar vortex were likely. These disruptions usually cause severe winter weather in mid- to late winter and affect large metropolitan centers of the northeastern United States.
“Five of the past six winters have brought persistent cold to the eastern U.S. and warm, dry conditions to the West, while the Arctic has been off-the-charts warm,” Francis said. “Our study suggests that this is no coincidence. Exactly how much the Arctic contributed to the severity or persistence of the pattern is still hard to pin down, but it’s becoming very difficult to believe they are unrelated.”
Of course, Nor’easters are nothing new. Even before climate numptys like Cohen and Francis tried to carbon-spin the reason for them, they were bad. For example:
Ash Wednesday is remembered by some on the East Coast as more than a Christian holy day. In 1962, it brought the most extreme nor’easter on record to the mid-Atlantic states.
The March 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm pounded the mid-Atlantic coast for nearly three days, battering the shoreline, sweeping beach homes, hotels and boardwalks into the ocean, while bringing near-blizzard conditions to inland areas.
“The Ash Wednesday Storm … was probably the largest East Coast winter storm in terms of land loss and number of homes damaged or destroyed,” the U.S. Geological Survey says.
The nor’easter reached the mid-Atlantic coast on Tuesday, March 6, 1962, and continued into Thursday, March 8, with huge waves and ferocious winds up to 60 mph. Protective dunes and sea walls crumbled because they could not withstand this storm’s fury, and that left the coastline unprotected.
High-pressure systems have a clockwise circulation, while low-pressure systems have a counter-clockwise circulation, so this setup allowed for a long path of the air over the ocean before reaching the coast, better known as the fetch. As a result of this disastrous setup, water and high waves were driven toward the shoreline.
TWC’s Stu Ostro seems concerned that the 1-2-3 effect might be a sign….
— Stu Ostro (@StuOstro) March 13, 2018
Joe Bastardi gets the last word: