Linkage Between Solar Minimum & Cool Pacific, Warming Atlantic… Best Chance of Real Winter Since 2010?

Written by on October 14, 2021 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

In this article I wish to focus on some interesting shifts in the global SST profile and what possible bearing this may have or have not on the approaching winter.

Below is the global SST for around Oct 20th back to 2010. One aspect I wish to particularly hone in on is the cooling of the North Pacific and warming of the North Atlantic. Is the warming of the North Pacific and cooling of the North Atlantic a response of the solar maximum? Has this led an increase in west QBO’s, stronger Atlantic jet stream and greater frequency of +NAO winters with milder, wetter and windier conditions for the UK? In my option there’s a real connection.

Remember, west QBO tend to lean towards a stronger jet stream, greater likelihood of a +AO/NAO or certainly NAO, easterly QBO can ‘help’ cause friction and a weaker jet stream which increases the chance for mid to high latitude blocking.

As you can see from the below charts, we appear to be back close to the global SST of this time in 2010. Interestingly, the sun too is in a similar state to then coming off a solar minimum, coincidence?

Close to the time the Pacific warm pool or ‘warm blob’ was at it’s peak, the QBO in 2016 developed an unusual ‘new band’ of west winds which disrupted what was expected to be an east QBO winter.

The warm North Pacific most certainly strengthened ridging over Alaska and led to a downstream Midwest, Eastern trough. A ‘stratosphere penetrating’ Alaska ridge also helped disrupt the polar vortex leading to frequent waves of polar air into the US. These waves of polar air increased the temperature GRADIENT over EASTERN North America which then drove a stronger than normal jet stream across the Atlantic, forcing a +NAO despite the AO being negative.

In other words A WARM NORTH PACIFIC does not favour a -NAO and cold for the UK. Any strat warming that does occur tends to be on the OTHER SIDE OF THE POLE while the Iceland trough is enhanced.

Projected 500mb height anomaly for Oct 20th.

Tropical Tidbits

Projected temperatures within the upper stratosphere!

Credit: wxcharts

When you look back, our last true sustained cold was November and December 2010 when the North Pacific was cold and North Atlantic warm.

It’s interesting to see how the previous solar minimum coincided with cold Pacific/warm Atlantic, east QBO and -A0/NAO and blocking which was focused over Greenland and not Alaska.

Is the strengthening ridge currently over NORTHERN CANADA creating ripples up into the stratosphere helping slow the zonal winds and warming the stratosphere closer to Greenland rather than Alaska?

Coinciding a highly likely east QBO, cold Pacific, warm Atlantic, this supports a greater chance of a Greenland ridge this winter compared to the previous 10 winters which on the whole have been mild when there’s been warmth present in the N Pacific.













The above is no guarantee that this winter will be a 2009-10 or December 2010 repeat but this year is probably looking like the most favourable since 2010.


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