Europe February 2020 Outlook (thoughts on winter so far & global warming)

Written by on January 31, 2020 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

Whether we blame the burning of fossil fuels, sun, oceans or nature cyclical variability, if we trust the graphs and data shown to us, then there’s no denying that our global temperature continues to rise.

Recent years certainly ‘appear’ to be producing more heat than cold globally. There appears to be less global cooling following the last Super El Nino of 2015-16 compared to 1997-98 and before that, 1982-83. There have been 3 ‘super El Nino’s since 1980. 1982-83 and 1997-98 was followed soon after by a strong counter balancing La Nina which brings our earth’s temperature back down.

The below graphic shows the continuation of warming with the threshold of heat rising with it.

If the lagging global warmth on the heels of the last Super Nino isn’t enough, we’re in the midst of the quietest or weakest solar cycle in some 200 years. Weak solar cycles correlate to a cooler global atmosphere.

CO2 or not, I believe a lot of the warmth is part of a long term, largely natural cycle which can be attributed to our warm oceans and not CO2. Warm oceans releases more water vapour than cool oceans and so an increase in water vapour is a more plausible cause of global warming in my opinion.

The frequency and possibly intensity of ‘extremes’ appear to be on the up in the past few years but I’m not convinced we haven’t seen countless periods of increased extremes in weather and climate in the pre industrail era. We simply have the technology to record everything that goes on now.

The issue I have with the CO2 caused global warming theory is that we’ve recorded proof that intense heat as well as cold has been present hundreds, even thousands of years ago. We have greater atmospheric fight these days because cold is constantly fighting against the dominance of warmth which results in drier, wetter, stormier weather in the mid latitudes.

While media states that earth’s climate is ‘warmest ever’. keep in mind that accurate record keeping is brief and barely covers a fraction of time. While seemingly out of control heat waves hit summer after summer and winters are milder, there are heat records set over 100 years ago which still stand today and cold records which stood since the early 1900s which have been broken in recent years.

There is scientific proof through tree ring studies, soil samples and fossils which undisputedly show that our planet was warm before. So much so that Scotland was once a full 2 to 4C warmer than today and even may have had a semi tropical climate. Greenland wasn’t always covered by ice.

All that being said, despite the weakest solar cycle in 200 years, our planet’s oceans and atmosphere is warm. Following the extreme heat of 2019, at least the first half of winter 2019-20 could be one of our warmest of the last 10 years and in a decade which has been warm overall.

The tweeking of data by scientists is concerning. They’ve ultimately removed the mideavil warm period to make out that THIS is warmest the earth has ever been. Complete lies if you ask me.

Credit: Dr Robert Fagan

Did hot summer 2019 help produce coldest polar vortex in 40 years and ruin winter 2019-20 for coldies?

The reason for such a mild winter to date? It could well to attributed to the hot summer of 2019 and a lag. The built up and northward progression of heat may have helped strengthen the stratospheric polar vortex in late December to the coldest levels in 40 years A reading of -96C was measured at 10mb over Reykjavik, Iceland.

This level and depth of cold has led to screaming westerlies which blew at over 300 mph at 10mb and 200 mph at 500mb, driving a strong positive Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillation and flood of warm Atlantic/Pacific air across Europe and North America.

The strong +AO/NAO has produced a very deep Iceland low and Europe high in the means pretty much from December 1 through January 31 which has kept the southwesterlies as the dominant mean flow.

Nice illustration on the setup by Stuart Markham.

The super strong polar vortex has led to further extremes across the mid latitudes with a new UK December heat record followed by the UK’s strongest anticyclone since 1957. This enormous high was caused by a deep storm system exiting Canada which essentially pumped that high beyond 1050mb. Underneath that atmospheric boulder above the UK was one of the strongest storms in years to batter the Iberian peninsula.

The storm which aided the strengthening of both high and low was a record breaker over Newfoundland.

The below pressure charts show the evolution of that setup.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits/Capital Weather Gang

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: NOAA

Credit: Met Office

Will warm and wet continue?

As of today, January 31st, February looks to turn somewhat cooler but closer to average. Modelling waxes and wanes on the possibility of the polar vortex weakening and stretching. As we’ve seen in recent years, even a full blown sudden stratospheric warming event doesn’t mean we will turn colder for a prolonged period of time.

The CFSv2 does indicate a weakened and displaced PV in the means for February. This would suggest a -AO and possibly -NAO. If this occurs and we see true downward propagation from stratosphere to troposphere then there would be an increased chance at a colder month ahead.

CFSv2 10mb temperature anomaly for February 2020

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

CFSv2 500mb height anomaly for February 2020 below sees a cold Eastern US. Unfortunately without a blocking high over Greenland, this suggests an enhanced Atlantic jet stream and further storms for the UK rather than cold from the Arctic or Siberia.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

CFSv2 2m temperature anomaly for February 2020 has another warm month ahead, especially for eastern and northern Europe.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

As it stands and based on the type of winter we’ve had an model projections. I believe the Atlantic will continue to rule February with some quite stormy times. However, unlike December and January, colder air driving out of the Arctic into eastern North America may aid ‘colder lows’ crossing the pond and bringing us more snow than we’ve seen.

With the coming of the next solar minimum, the next few winters are likely to be harsher. Some of the warmest winters have been almost immediately followed by some of the coldest. Remember the warm, snowless winters of 1997-98 and 1998-99 which was followed by the cold, snowy winter of 2000-01 and the warm winters of 2006-07, 2007-08 and what followed? 2009-10. The back end to 2008-09 was cold, could the back end to this winter be the same and next year be a 2000-01 or 2009-10 repeat as we hit the next solar minimum??

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