>A mild, snowless Christmas for many across Northern Hemisphere who were buried at this time last year

Written by on December 24, 2011 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments


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In Today’s Blog

Latest UK-Europe Discussion @ #UK-EUROPE
Mild, wet and windy from Ireland to Sweden while cold, snowy in East for Christmas Day and next few

Latest Weather from India-Sub-Continent @ #INDIA-SUB CONT
Latest Indian-Sub Continental Weather News from Rajesh Kapadia

Today’s Weather Headlines

Europe Latest

Stratospheric Warming over Asia alters position of Polar Vortex over pole but a largescale warming, what would this mean?

Up until now we haven’t seen the blocking setup across the hemisphere which led to the past two winter’s severe cold outbreaks across North America, Europe and Asia. In order for the return of Arctic air to our mid-latitudial belt we must see warm pools develop and migrate northwards towards the pole. It’s thought that this ‘blocking’ occures when the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) over the polar region warms which in turn draws the extremely cold air down to the surface and the warmth heading from the warmer regions into this harsh, dark environment is the mechanism which dislodges this Arctic air south. Without these ‘blocking highs’ the classic west-east upper level air flow transports not only warm, oceanic air across our continents via a strong 50 to 100 mile wide current of air racing over our heads at 30-45,000 feet known as the jet stream which forms when cold air to the north meets warm air to the south but it gives birth to areas of low pressure which many form over the Pacific which cross North America and over the Atlantic which cross Europe and Asia. The the larger the temperature contrast in which the jet stream flows in between, the stronger it flows and recently, due to a vast thermal contrast between the air over the Azores/Iberia with Greenland, this generated a 230 mph jet which raced over the UK and Ireland. It also harnessed very deep areas of low pressure which intensified as they passed nearby or over the UK.

As for the blocking, well this push of warmth northwards into the Arctic disrupts the fine settled environment in which the coldest air in the world is born and grown (at this time of year) splitting the vast circulation (vortex) of Arctic air up here which is born in late summer and fall, intensifying as the sun grows weaker and eventually drops below the horizon thanks to the earth tilt which points the Northern Hemisphere away from the sun.

What we have seen of late is a positive Arctic Oscillation and this means the polar vortex remains strong over the pole and while this air remains bottled up well north of the mid-latitudes, well the jet, although wavy, won’t become too ‘amplified’, in other words, it won’t push warmth up into the Arctic, therefore transfering this cold south. That lack of blocking means the jet flows relatively flat over our latitude and keeps the cold Arctic air bottled up and ocean air crossing the continents with just ocean modified cold to speak of.

My concern this year as compared to the last two is that because this cold hasn’t been redisributed south across a vast area covering the northern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes, this cold can be allowed to strengthen much deeper and more concentrated. The past two years at this time, the Arctic was relatively cold with it’s reservoir covering a vast region to the south where the sun angle is much higher and therefore this cold air is weakened while this year as we enter the harshest, darkest period, this cold is likely to much have more maturity and thus IF and likely when we see this blocking take place with not only Asian stratospheric warming but a largescale, polar warming, will the cold across North America, Europe and Asia be much more severe? Afterall, we, like the Arctic are at the peak of minimal daytime and therefore this Arctic cold has the best period of winter to experience much less modification as it would have done earlier or later in the season.

Of course, this would truely only be of major concern IF we happened to see STRONG NEGATIVES both in the Arctic Oscillation as well as the North Atlantic Oscillation. If these occur, then I recon we have a very tough time ahead. If it doesn’t happen or much less of an extent than the past two winters, then ‘average’ cold waves would occur, nothing out of the ordinary.

I just wanted to write this in-depth piece to give you more insight into what I see with this pattern and weather patterns in general during the winter months.

Below are two videos I did last night discussing the key elements needed for widespread severe cold and snow across the mid-latitude belt which takes up the USA/Southern Canada, UK and Europe and across Central Asia.

US Latest

New England Looks Coolest for Christmas Day across a Pacific Dominated Lower 48

With a strongly Pacific-Driven pattern across the US, there’s no surprise that not only are we going to see a mild Christmas Day for the majority of the Lower 48 but I will also be snowless in places which are typically white on Christmas Day. Such states as North Dakota and Minnesota as well as much of the Midwest will see bare ground and mild temps in the 30s and 40s.

In stark contrast while Minneapolis will see their first bare Christmas since 2006 and only 8th time since 1967, Chicago’s first bare Christmas since 2007, in stark contrast, El Paso on the Texas-Mexico border will likely experience their first White Christmas since 1987.

The Star is Shining on Texas Christmas Eve

99% of the U.S. Will Have This on Christmas Day…

VIDEO: West Texas White Christmas

Cold start to the day across West and New England this morning!

Canada Latest

The Southern Prairies of Canada which typically have a near 100% chance of seeing a White Christmas, amazingly, won’t this year!!

Where’s all the snow?

New Zealand Latest

Earthquakes and Bad Weather continue to Impact New Zealand

Aftershocks don’t stop for xmas

Severe storms to hit South Island

Australia Latest

Tropical Concerns over Northern Territories Bringing Heavy Rains

Australia Tropical Problems Continue



HIGH: 84° at Fort Myers, FL
LOW: -23° at West Yellowstone, MT


HIGH: 53° (11.7°C) at Kinlochewe (NW Highland)
LOW: 28° (-2.4°C) at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire)


HIGH: 48°
LOW: 29°

Thanks for reading.

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