Could Alaskan Volcanic Eruptions Have Impact On Next Winter?

It’s long been known than an increase in high latitude volcanic activity has been linked to an increase in winter blocking and colder winters in the mid-latitude world. We saw an increase in volcanic activity prior to the bitter cold winter of 2009-10 which shivered much of the Northern world including the United States and Great Britain.

We are currently and have for the past couple of months seen yet another increase in high latitude volcanic activity, does that mean anything? It’s likely too early to tell whether the materials and gases being released into the atmosphere over Alaska and the higher latitudes will have impact on next winter.

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While eruptions continue over Alaska with an article released just today in Reuters, there may be other signs of an increase in blocking next winter with both the Japanese and CFSv2 showing a nice North Atlantic tripole of warm-cold-warm in projected North Atlantic water temperature profile during the winter months. If you’ve followed me over recent years, then you’ll be aware of the potential significance with the potential of more Greenland blocking and the blocking over the arctic.

While still very early indeed, there are at least two signs which could portray an increased chance of blocking which would force arctic air south. The positioning of these blocks, if they occur, would be crucial as to where gets cold.

Here are both the Jamstec and CFSv2 SST’s for next winter.





Notice both have a very similar look with a classic North Atlantic tripole. However both are very different with the water temperatures over the eastern and central Pacific. The Jamstec shows a weak La Nina signal while the CFSv2 shows a weak El Nino signal. I don’t agree with the CFSv2 but more the Jamstec.

I will say this much, the way our climate has been unfolding in recent years, the downturn in global temperatures, the abnormally cold and snowy spring the neutral ENSO which is likely to evolve into a weak La Nina, the cold PDO, the warm AMO, without any long range model. I believe we may have quite the winter on the way for 2013-14, especially if the current volcanic activity have influence and if the models are correct with the water temperatures.

I believe both the US and UK are in for a colder winter than last year and perhaps as cold as 2009-10 but this is a hunch with no solid evidence at this early stage.

Lastly, here the Jamstec temperatures for Dec through Feb.


Rather warm look for the US which I don’t agree with but it does have a cold UK which I do agree with. I believe with time, the cold will show on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here’s the CFSv2 which is warm in Scotland, neutral elsewhere while it’s warm over Europe. Again with time, this will likely change in response to the progression of the summer into autumn.

I like what it’s showing for North America!

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