Explosive Cylogenesis: Could Storm Frank Make Atlantic History And Set New Pattern Into January?

Written by on December 29, 2015 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland, Winter 2015/16 with 0 Comments

Great hi-res visible satellite view of Storm Frank this morning as the sun came up.

Credit: EUMETSAT ‏@eumetsat

Credit: EUMETSAT ‏@eumetsat

Note the southern extension of the front. It’s this that will bring the bad weather to the UK and not so much the low itself, that will have greatest impact on Iceland but as we’ve seen all too often, it’s the trailing front extending back towards the Azores that will transport subtropical warmth and moisture north leading to steep rainfall totals.

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Heaviest rains will focus on Ireland and down the western side of the British Isles with SSW facing upslopes of England, Wales and SW Scotland likely to see 2-4, locally 5-6 inches which WILL lead to further flooding.

Credit: netweathertv

Credit: netweathertv

Credit: Ian Ferguson

Credit: Ian Ferguson

Storm Frank Undergoes Explosive Cylogenesis

Every so often, meteorological conditions come together just right for a storm system to undergo what’s known as explosive cyclogenesis. Frank is currently undergoing explosive cyclogenesis. This criteria is met when central pressure drops by at least 24mb within 24 hours. Frank could see near double that drop.

Credit: EUMETSAT/MeteoGib

Credit: EUMETSAT/MeteoGib

As of 6z this morning, central pressure was around 969mb and is estimated to be down around 929mb or slightly lower by 0z tonight near the S coast of Iceland.

As stated the main low doesn’t really impact Ireland or the UK but it’s the trailing cold front associated which will cause us issues later today into tomorrow morning with heavy, wind driven rain and severe gales over eastern Ireland and western Britain.

Credit: Met Office

Credit: Met Office

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

12z GFS takes pressure down to 920mb early tomorrow morning. This may approach records if that’s the case.

CXVTW0OWMAAkk70

So why is this system getting so strong, so quick. Firstly, we have a highly active Atlantic storm track, generated by a jet stream which is accelerating to 220 mph over the Atlantic, making for flight times of just 5 hours from New York to London whereas returning flights took up to 7 hours.

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

With mid-tropospheric ridging building towards 1050mb over N Europe, this is a huge boulder in the raging current (jet) above, with nowhere for the air to go in a region between Ireland and Iceland (like a bowl), the air being pile driven by that 220 mph jet piles up, forcing huge pressure falls and tightening into powerhouse storms.

What’s interesting is we seen this exact same scenario play out in the North Pacific just 10 days ago and this did reshape the North America pattern. This time I could have hemispheric consequences and bring the arrival of winter to the entire hemisphere’s mid latitudes.

Could Frank Be Responsible For Bringing Huge Pattern Shift?

GFS 5-day mean 2m temp anomalies.

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

This system will pump tremendous heat energy straight north into the arctic, the trigger to a dramatic pattern shift beyond New Year.

Here’s an interesting read by Andrew Freedman of Mashable. Read full article

Freak Arctic warming event

One of the strangest impacts of the North Atlantic storm will be its effects on the Arctic. On the east, northeast and eventually northern side of the massive circulation, southerly winds will pump mild air all the way from the tropical Atlantic toward the North Pole.

Mild Arctic

Air flow between the intense storm over Iceland and high pressure areas over Central Europe and northwest Russia will propel unusually mild air toward the North Pole by midweek.

Image: Mashable via Levi Cowan/Tropical Tidbits

Computer model projections are showing temperature anomalies of up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year near the North Pole on Wednesday.

So, instead of being around minus-20 to minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit, the air temperature at the North Pole could eclipse the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, possibly approaching the 40-degree mark (above zero). This would make it milder there than in much of Canada and the U.S.

Large temperature fluctuations of 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit are relatively common in the Arctic, where shifts in sea ice cover can make a huge impact on local air temperatures, but a 50 to 60-degree temperature anomaly is extreme.

According to meteorologist Bob Henson of WeatherUnderground, there have only been three instances since 1948 when temperatures have reached or exceeded the freezing mark at the North Pole during December, but none during the months of January through March.

This temperature spike could influence the ice buildup during the winter, which is becoming more critical now that global warming is melting so much sea ice during the spring, summer and fall months.

This animation shows a top level view, looking straight down on the Arctic, showing the anomalously mild air starting out near Greenland and sweeping north to the North Pole.

Arctic Top View

It could also temporarily impact native populations’ hunting and fishing activities by making it unsafe to operate, or by driving populations out of their typical habitat.

This animation shows how the storm could help push a northward pulse of unusually mild air toward the Arctic, shown in bright red colors near Greenland. Another, weaker low pressure area over the Arctic Ocean, along with strong areas of high pressure across Central Europe and northwest Russia, will assist in this rare mild surge toward one of the coldest regions on Earth at this time of year.

Warm Pulse

Temps are currently -40C/F at Summit Camp, Greenland, I wouldn’t be surprised if it warmed dramatically over the next 36 hours as Frank pumps heat north.

webcam

See today’s video for more.

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