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2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/25/2012 04:28 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
So any news yet about where this is going soon. Need a BC Canada Forecast.

Your the best weather man around. Marry Christmas and God Bless you. Were lucky to have you.
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12/25/2012 04:29 PM
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Da fuq

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Speaking of the weather and Galactic Cosmic Rays, the IPCC's (the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Assessment Report has been leaked worldwide on the internet. The leaker's evaluation of the data points to a bigger Solar/GCR influence on climate than man-made fuels or cow farts.

*The IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s) 5th Assessment Report due for release in September of 2013, has now been leaked publicly over 9 months in advance on an internet publication called “Stop Green Suicide“.
One of the reports 800 expert reviewers, a man by the name of Alex Rawls, apparently leaked the report and is backing it with written evidence that cosmic rays are actually the cause of climate change and warming patterns, thus possibly blowing the lid off the whole entire global warming fraud pushed by figureheads such as Al Gore and others.


This is from the Leaker's analysis:

**Lead story from the Second Order Draft: strong evidence for solar forcing beyond TSI now acknowledged by IPCC

Compared to the First Order Draft, the SOD now adds the following sentence, indicated in bold (page 7-43, lines 1-5, emphasis added):

Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

The Chapter 7 authors are admitting strong evidence ("many empirical relationships") for enhanced solar forcing (forcing beyond total solar irradiance, or TSI), even if they don't know what the mechanism is. This directly undercuts the main premise of the report, as stated in Chapter 8 (page 8-4, lines 54-57):

There is very high confidence that natural forcing is a small fraction of the anthropogenic forcing. In particular, over the past three decades (since 1980), robust evidence from satellite observations of the TSI and volcanic aerosols demonstrate a near-zero (–0.04 W m–2) change in the natural forcing compared to the anthropogenic AF increase of ~1.0 ± 0.3 W m–2.

The Chapter 8 authors (a different group than the Chapter 7 authors) are explicit here that their claim about natural forcing being small compared to anthropogenic forcing is based on an analysis in which the only solar forcing that is taken into account is TSI. This can be verified from the radiative forcing table on page 8-39 where the only solar variable included in the IPCC's computer models is seen to be "solar irradiance."

This analysis, where post-1980 warming gets attributed to the human release of CO2 on the grounds that it cannot be attributed to solar irradiance, cannot stand in the face of the Chapter 7 admission of substantial evidence for solar forcing beyond solar irradiance. Once the evidence for enhanced solar forcing is taken into account we can have no confidence that natural forcing is small compared to anthropogenic forcing.

The Chapter 8 premise that natural forcing is relatively small leads directly to the main conclusion of the entire report, stated in the first sentence of the Executive Summary (the very first sentence of the entire report): that advances since AR4 "further strengthen the basis for human activities being the primary driver in climate change" (p.1-2, lines 3-5). This headline conclusion is a direct descendant of the assumption that the only solar forcing is TSI, a claim that their own report no longer accepts.

The report still barely hints at the mountain of evidence for enhanced solar forcing, or the magnitude of the evidenced effect. Dozens of studies (section two here) have found between a .4 and .7 degree of correlation between solar activity and various climate indices, suggesting that solar activity "explains" in the statistical sense something like half of all past temperature change, very little of which could be explained by the very slight variation in TSI. At least the Chapter 7 team is now being explicit about what this evidence means: that some mechanism of enhanced solar forcing must be at work.

Complete Leaked 5th Assessment Report w/ analysis:

[link to stopgreensuicide.com]

This is pretty huge! This should be a page one pinned thread. In brief, they're saying (on one hand) that Global Warming is still our fault; while (on the other hand) their evidence is proof that unknown solar and cosmic factors are a much bigger influence. Oh well, now the cover-up can begin, LOL.


**** Notice the rise in cosmic ray density on the 23rd!!!! [link to neutronm.bartol.udel.edu] byekitty

Last Edited by Da fuq on 12/25/2012 04:30 PM
Anonymous Coward
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12/25/2012 05:53 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
bump
Anonymous Coward
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12/25/2012 05:56 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
chilly
DUCM900

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12/25/2012 07:00 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
3 days ago in my city it was -25C
now its +3C
can someone explain ?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1419878


And what about the sideway moon even on the northern regions since months?


-
Anonymous Coward
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12/25/2012 09:16 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
3 days ago in my city it was -25C
now its +3C
can someone explain ?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1419878


And what about the sideway moon even on the northern regions since months?


-
 Quoting: DUCM900


Tilt. Wobble Wobble Wobble

Tilt. Wobble. Wobble. Wobble

Our Magnetosphere is taking hits and the Earth is starting to list around. This will get worse. There is a disturbance in the force. There was a severe compression of the Magnetoshere today.
DUCM900

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12/25/2012 10:35 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Imagine if the ice age went down and everyone ran to the equator. Just as the last of the survivors show up the poles then proceed to shift.

trolled
 Quoting: Da fuq


1011
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12/25/2012 10:40 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
bump
Da fuq

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12/25/2012 10:44 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Thread: THIS IS IT ... The reason for all the extreme weather across the world, plus every other anomaly currently happening.
Crazy Harriet

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12/26/2012 01:26 AM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Want to keep an eye on this thread cause not exactly sure what a polar vortex would look like if it exploded and maybe we'll find out....
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Charles Mackay
Anonymous Coward
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12/26/2012 01:59 AM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
bumpbumpbump Whats Happening...?
Anonymous Coward
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12/26/2012 04:33 AM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Want to keep an eye on this thread cause not exactly sure what a polar vortex would look like if it exploded and maybe we'll find out....
 Quoting: Crazy Harriet


It could look like "the Day After", certainly less spectacular, but the model used for the scenario wasn't totally fictive.
SkinnyChic

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12/26/2012 11:16 AM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
bump
Anonymous Coward
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12/26/2012 12:59 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
bumpbumpbump
beeches

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12/26/2012 02:03 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
No winter last year,i say bring it !
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11193967


I'm with you! So hungry for snow and cold here -
bring on the freeze pleeze!!
 Quoting: beeches


Dam fools!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27211004


How is it foolish to wish for normal weather in the winter?
When you need TP, a wigwam just won't do.
Luisport (OP)

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12/26/2012 03:02 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

While Lower-48 is ~2°C above normal for December, looks like Russia is 3 or 4 times colder, -20°C below norm in KZ [link to twitter.com]
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
[link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted Today, 16:53

Not really much of the vortex left on the GFS 12Z: [link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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12/26/2012 04:05 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted Today, 08:53

Zonal winds at 1 hpa heading through the floor,10 hpa and 30 hpa already low and falling.




Let the games begin! (somewhere)


edit.

just groping around in FI at 100mb seems to show a split vortex,with one chunk over siberia
and the other west of greenland with big height rises to our north.

Possible easterly solution for mid month?



Edited by Cloud 10, Today, 09:12.
[link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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12/26/2012 04:07 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
sebastiaan1973, on 26 December 2012 - 07:47 , said:


If I'm right (?), I see almost a SSW. The winds are almost negative (1.88 m/s)


Its reversed at 7 hpa! Presumably technical SSW forecast at jan 5th on todays ecm. The zonal wind chart shows how close the blue area of reversal is to 10hpa.

The same chart also shows this general drop in winds in the upper strat pushes some slightly stronger winds into the lower strat which might explain why we are currently seeing a lack of trop response in the latter part of ncep output.

The wave 1 acivity enormous in the 7/10 day period which would indicate a displacement SSW. However, at the same time, we see some wave 2 appear and although nothing like the strength of the wave 1, it seems it maybe enough to split the weakenng vortex.

wonderful xmas watching and large parts of the NH mid latitudes are sure to see a frigid back end jan and feb. others will not. [link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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12/26/2012 04:13 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted Yesterday, 17:42


POPULAR

Well Christmas has presented us with the first SSW forecasts as far as I can make out from the last two GFS runs. Two different types as well, which highlights the difficulty the models have in determining how exactly the warming will effect the mid stratospheric vortex.

Firstly the 06Z run has a displacement SSW at 10 hpa



followed by the 12Z which suggests a split in the vortex - probably some wave two activity following the wave 1 activity (with still further warming programmed on this one) :



We are now seeing the warming entering a more reasonable timeframe with an incredible 11.2ºC forecast at T+204 at 10 hPa:



Will the ECM start to show this tomorrow?

I think that the differences in how the warming affects the vortex in the consecutive runs suggest that it is too early to work out how this could filter down to the troposphere. Presently, I see no favourable displacement or split forecast at lower levels - but this could change dramatically over the next week or two. We would much rather have the vortex disruption programmed rather than not at this point! [link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted 30 September 2012 - 00:42


POPULAR

Welcome to the new season stratosphere thread for the 2012/2013 stratospheric NH winter.

With the excitement building and expectations high for the coming winter, the role of the polar stratosphere will play an important part in determining what type of winter we shall have.

As ever for those new to the stratospheric input I will include in this post a basic guide to how the stratosphere may influence tropospherical weather systems before looking at what we can expect this winter.

The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere situated between 10km and 50km above the earth. It is situated directly above the troposphere, the first layer of the atmosphere that is directly responsible for the weather that we receive. The boundary between the stratosphere and the troposphere is known as the tropopause. The air pressure ranges from around 100hPa at the lower levels of the stratosphere to around 1hPa at the upper levels. The middle stratosphere is often considered to be around the 30hPa level.

Every winter the stratosphere cools down dramatically as less solar UV radiation is absorbed by the ozone content in the stratosphere. The difference in the temperature between the North Pole and the latitudes further south creates a strong vortex – the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex. The colder the stratosphere, the stronger this vortex becomes. The stratospheric vortex has a strong relationship with the tropospheric vortex below. The stronger the stratospheric vortex, the stronger the tropospheric vortex becomes.

The strength and position of the tropospheric vortex influences the type of weather that we are likely to experience. A strong polar vortex is more likely to herald a positive AO with the resultant jet stream track bringing warmer wet southwesterly winds. A weaker polar vortex can contribute to a negative AO with the resultant mild wet weather tracking further south.



The stratosphere is a far more stable environment then the troposphere below it. However, there are certain influences that can bring about changes - the stratospheric ozone content, the phase of the solar cycle, the Quasi Biennial Oscillation ( the QBO), wave breaking events from the troposphere and the autumnal Eurasion/Siberian snow cover to name but a few.

The ozone content in the polar stratosphere has been shown to be destroyed by CFC's permeating to the stratosphere from the troposphere but there can be other influences as well. Ozone is important because it absorbs UV radiation which creates warming of the stratosphere. The Ozone is formed in the tropical stratosphere and transported to the polar stratosphere by a system known as the Brewer-Dobson -Circulation. The strength of this circulation varies from year to year and can in turn be dictated by other influences.

One of these influences is the QBO. This is a tropical stratospheric wind that descends in an easterly then westerly direction over a period of around 28 months. This can have a direct influence on the strength of the polar vortex in itself. The easterly (negative ) phase is though to contribute to a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex, whilst a westerly (positive) phase is thought to increase the strength of the stratospheric vortex. However, in reality the exact timing and positioning of the QBO is not precise and the timing of the descending wave is critical throughout the winter.

The direction of the QBO when combined with the level of solar flux has been shown to influence the BDC. When the QBO is in a west phase during solar maximum there are more warming events (increased strength BDC) in the stratosphere as there is during an easterly phase QBO during solar minimum. ( [link to strat-www.met...-et-al-2006.pdf] )

The QBO is measured at 30 hPa and has been in an easterly phase since August 2011 ( [link to www.esrl.noaa...lation] The easterly phase is likely to come to an end at 30 hPa over the coming winter, however, even after this we are likely to see easterly winds descend the stratosphere spreading polewards for some time yet.

The easterly QBO winds can be demonstrated on the following zonal wind stratospheric profile chart:





One warming event that can occur in the stratospheric winter is a Sudden Stratospheric Warming ( SSW) or also known as a Major Midwinter Warming (MMW). This as the name suggests a rather dramatic event. Normally the polar night jet at the boundary of the polar vortex demarcates the boundary between warmer tropical and cooler polar stratospheric air (and ozone levels) and is very difficult to penetrate. SSWs can be caused by large-scale planetary waves being deflected up into the stratosphere and towards the North Pole, often after a strong mountain torque event. These waves can introduce warmer temperatures into the polar stratosphere and can seriously disrupt the stratospheric vortex, leading to a slowing or even reversal of the vortex. This can occur by the vortex being displaced off the pole – a displacement SSW, or by the vortex being split in two – a splitting SSW.

The effects of a SSW can be transmitted into the troposphere as the propagation of the SSW occurs and this can have a number of consequences. There is a higher incidence of northern blocking after SSW’s but we are all aware that not every SSW leads to northern blocking. Any northern blocking can lead to cold air from the tropospheric Arctic flooding south and colder conditions to latitudes further south can ensue. There is often thought to be a time lag between a SSW and northern blocking from any downward propagation of negative mean zonal winds from the stratosphere. This has been quoted as up to 6 weeks though it can be a lot quicker if the polar vortex is ripped in two following a split SSW.

One noticeable aspect of the recent previous winters is how the stratosphere has been susceptible to wave breaking from the troposphere through the lower reaches of the polar stratosphere - not over the top as seen in the SSWs. This has led to periods of sustained tropospheric high latitude blocking and repeated lower disruption of the stratospheric polar vortex. This has coincided with a warmer stratosphere where the mean zonal winds have been reduced and has led to some of the most potent winter spells witnessed in recent years.

So the question to be asked is are we able to predict how the stratosphere is likely to behave this year. The real answer is not yet, though there are some aspects that we can use as a guide looking at previous years.

The most useful of these is the easterly descending QBO. We know that the stratospheric polar vortex is a lot weaker in easterly years and more susceptible to disruption. Combine this with what is in effect a low solar maximum then this may enhance this effect. See post from GP in last thread regarding analogue year 1968-69

I have been collecting relavent papers regarding the role of the stratosphere and other influences and they can be found here - [link to forum.netweat...nective-papers]

I am starting this thread earlier than normal because of the increased importance that has been placed on the role of the stratosphere since I first monitored a few years back. Rather than being viewed as a small piece in the jigsaw, it is being realised that the state of the stratosphere can/may overrule all other teleconnective pieces. Last years cold stratosphere demonstrated this only too well.

So it is eyes down (or up!) in the coming weeks to monitor how the polar stratosphere cools and what affect this has on the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex.

There are a number of sites that provide information regarding this.

Firstly, the two important sites that can be used to look at the temperature profiles are:

[link to acdb-ext.gsfc...t]

and

[link to www.cpc.ncep....re]

Graphically and previous years information :

[link to www.cpc.ncep....ere]

and

[link to www.geo.fu-be...pole]

Forecasts:

[link to wekuw.met.fu-...]

and

[link to www.cpc.ncep....here]

and not forgetting!

[link to www.netweathe...atosphere;sess=] (more available on nw extra!)


So, as ever, we have a lot to keep an eye on. Early indications suggest that the polar stratosphere is cooling pretty much as expected. I am happy to report that there are already signs that this cooling is not uniform, with a Canadian warming a possibility this autumn. It's early days to see a slightly warmer area, but the GFS forecast does suggest this-



An early heartener!

Happy strat watching fellow strat watchers!

c [link to forum.netweather.tv]

Last Edited by Luisport on 12/26/2012 04:22 PM
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
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DUCM900

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12/26/2012 04:38 PM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
this ----> Thread: The Moon Contiunues To Be Seen Often In Sideway Mode Even in the Northern Latitude Regions



/
Luisport (OP)

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted Yesterday, 23:09

Thanks Chiono for those charts. Last few runs were really over the top, to put it that way. And I agree with Chiono, that this could in fact be classified as an SSW. No doubt about it. The thing that bugs me at the moment is the classified type of the SSW. I have heard people saying its a split SSW on the GFS. Of course its a split after the vortex is getting beaten down and basically getting ripped apart. But the way I see it, this should be classified as a displacement SSW, because the SSW and the "lethal blow" is supposed to come with the strong wave 1 and the displacement. For me, a split type SSW is by definition and by an example, the Jan/Feb 2009 SSW. So feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but how would you personally classify this upcoming event? Or maybe I missed something here.


The upper strat. looks like its going to get literally overpowered by the High.



p.s.: Now we just need the ECM to kick things up a notch or two. [link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted Today, 03:19


zoey, on 27 December 2012 - 02:30 , said:


I'd like to introduce myself, my name is chris, I'm from across the pond in Langhorne, Pa which is about 30 mins north of Philadelphia. I have 3 questions I would like to ask:
1. what affects will the warming of the stratoshere have on my area?
2. will the warming have any affect on the mjo, i've noticed the european model has it going into phases 4 and 5 (which does not look good for cold in the east coast)
3. will the warming affect the ao and the nao?

I've enjoyed reading your posts

thank you
Chris


I would like to take a stab at some of these questions if you don't mind. I'm also from the Philly metro area...small world I guess .

1. The affects of the warming are highly dependent on what happens to the polar vortex as a result of the warming. Most of the charts we see on the GFS show a split vortex by the end of the long range. This split will have to be monitored since one piece may setup over Canada/Greenland and will create quite a problem if we wish to see a -NAO. We would prefer to see the split where one piece heads to Siberia and the other to Europe which would allow HP over Greenland and a -NAO. For now we understand a warming is coming but the exact details of what happens to the PV remain a mystery and won't be really understood until middle January.
2. The MJO is a tropical atmosphere model which is dependent on deep tropical convection. The general principle is that the MJO affects large scale patterns in both the tropical and subtropical latitudes but is not as influential when it comes to high latitude patterns, although to say it has no affect would be erroneous. In fact, there have been numerous instances where the MJO was in an unfavorable phase and directly opposed to cold in the E US but the warming affects were dampened due to the more favorable Atlantic/NAO blocking. This is certainly a possibility if we can get blocking established prior to the MJO reaching phases 3-4 but at the moment this doesn't appear so and I do think we will warm up a bit come mid-january. It's the old battle of Atlantic vs Pacific and which one is more important for the E US in the winter.
3. Pretty much the same answer as 1 except the AO will almost certainly drop strongly negative as high pressure pushes away the PV from the North Pole. The fragmentation of the polar vortex is still uknown and details are hard to come by at this range. Right now if we were to take the GFS at face value in the 2+ week range we would likely see an east based -NAO which is better than positive NAO but would favor above average snow into the Great Lakes instead of I-95.

Hopefully this clarified a few things.
[link to forum.netweather.tv]
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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Wednesday, December 26, 2012Polar Vortex Breakdown Will Lead To Frigid January-February
By Andrew at 12:38 PM
Confidence is growing that the polar vortex will sustain enough damage to break down in some levels of the atmosphere and lead to a pretty darn cold January into February.

We'll start out with observations. Above is the observed temperatures in the 70mb layer of the stratosphere, known as one of the lower layers in the stratosphere. We are looking on the far right side of this picture to see current values. If we do so, we see that two warming events have already taken place. The first warming event brought temperatures well above normal in the 70mb layer, and there is an ongoing warming event taking place that is leading temperatures to skyrocket in the lower stratosphere.

This animation of observed temperatures in the 50mb layer also shows such recent warming (for those unfamiliar with the millibar scale, lower numbers = higher height in the atmosphere). Both warming events previously described on the first graph are shown in this animation, with the first warming event propagating from East Asia into the North Pole. That warming event then died down and slipped back into East Asia. From there, that warm body of air moved across the North Pacific and is now in Canada, where it may be trying to make a move into the Arctic Circle. If such an event happens, this warming will become much more significant than the last.

The main subject of this post is something called the 'Polar Vortex', or PV for short. The Polar Vortex is a low pressure system stationed over the Arctic, with varying strengths. The PV is actually what drives the well-known Arctic Oscillation. When the vortex is weak, the AO is negative. When the vortex is strong, the AO is positive. We'll talk more about the AO later on. But it is important to note that the polar vortex is weakened when significant warming events, like the two shown above, happen.

Now, let's go back to the first chart. See how we are already well above normal for this time of year? That means that the polar vortex is theoretically weaker than normal at the moment. If that warming in Canada continues and/or strengthens, the polar vortex will only get weaker and weaker. As long as those above normal temperatures continue, the polar vortex is indeed vulnerable to collapse, if the right parameters come together.

There is something else used to see how the stratosphere is being impacted by warm air, and it is called the Eliassen-Palm Flux, or EP Flux for short. The EP Flux measures the strength by which air from the lower atmosphere is being forced into the stratosphere. Considering the word 'flux' means movement, one can think of the EP Flux as showing the strength of movement of warm air into the stratosphere. Shown above is an 8 day observation of the EP Flux. In recent days, we have seen the EP Flux strengthen, as the second warming event continues to hold its ground. Note the new presence of colorful arrows in the area above the number '10' on the lefthand side of the Dec. 24 image. This means that warm air is now penetrating the upper stratosphere, effectively infiltrating the entire stratosphere. This is a major blow to the polar vortex, as warm air is now pushing into the entire vortex, not just the lower part.

The ECMWF forecast for EP Flux is at the bottom of this multi-image forecast. Looking at that EP Flux, we see that the European model is forecasting the flux to rapidly strengthen as the New Year approaches. This would mean warm air from the troposphere would be shooting into the stratosphere at a rate more than triple the strength we saw with our first warming event in early December. That first warming event is shown as a cluster of arrows above the word '1DEC' in that same bottom image. Should such a forecast verify, it would be the highest EP Flux values we have seen this winter season, and would certainly induce very heavy stratospheric warming- even more than we have seen to this date. If any further warming occurs (and if the EP Flux forecast shown above verifies), we have a shot at breaking the warmest value in the 70mb stratosphere on that date (shown in the first graph as the top light gray line)- something that means chaos in the polar vortex.

Continuing with observations, we visit an index called 'Mountain Torque'. The Mountain Torque, also called MT, is a fairly challenging index to decipher. However, I have come to understand it as a component that can help warm the stratosphere and weaken the polar vortex. In high values of mountain torque, it is expected that the stratosphere will warm rapidly in a phenomenon called the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW). (The Sudden Stratospheric Warming got its name due to the rate at how the stratosphere warms, hence the word 'Sudden'. There is also a weaker sudden warming event called a Major Stratospheric Warming event.) Considering the mountain torque values are at values not seen since late fall, I find it very plausible that the next 5-15 days will bring another good warming to the stratosphere, a crippling blow to the vortex as the current warming continues.

Now we get to the forecasts of what the models say will happen.

We start with the GFS model and what it says about warming in the stratosphere. Forecasters commonly use two types of graphs when dealing with the stratosphere: Temperature forecasts and pressure forecasts. The former option shows warmings in the atmosphere, the latter shows the strength of the polar vortex (remember, the polar vortex is a low pressure system just like ones we see in the US, just bigger and more permanent). We'll start with the temperatures. Below are 5 images of 5 layers of the stratosphere; I'll annotate each image appropriately.

30 millibar 10 day forecast
You might be wondering why you should care about a bunch of reds and blues and fancy colors. Well, in each of these images, significant warming in the form of very warm colors is shown next to very cool colors, a.k.a. the polar vortex. Anytime you see those reds and grays, that defines very warm air finally reaching the upper stratosphere.

Something very interesting I saw in those 5 images, something you may have noticed as well, is the steady westward progression of the warm colors with each image. If you can picture 3-dimensional things in your head, you may have thought of a spiral, in the sense of the warmest areas of each respective stratospheric level rotated as each image showed a lower level of the stratosphere. If you want to compare it to material objects, think of rotini pasta or how you get bubblegum from the gumball machine; how it goes down the spiral to your waiting hand.

That spiral analogy leads us into the next significant forecast piece- displacement. You may hear this word and think back to 8th grade chemistry and water displacement, or even high school, but this is a different displacement. This is the displacement of the polar vortex.

1 millibar 10 day temperature and pressure forecast
Shown above are two pressure and temperature forecasts from the ECMWF model. The letter 'L' defines the center of the polar vortex for each level in the atmosphere, and the letter 'W' shows the warmest values in each respective layer of the atmosphere. If you notice a plus symbol, that is the center of the Arctic, quite literally the North Pole. And if you happen to see the letter 'H', that symbolizes the highest pressure for that atmospheric level.

I said we were looking for displacement here, and that is what we will do. We are trying to find how far apart the letter 'L' is from the 1mb image to the 100mb image. If we look in the top image (100mb), we see that the polar vortex is centered just to the south of the North Pole, a.k.a. just north of Europe. The 1mb image on the bottom has the polar vortex just east of Greenland, and high pressure building in over Eurasia.
While this is not a classic example of extreme displacement, it is apparent that there is some good displacement. The top image shows two apparent centers of low pressure- one with the 'L' that I described in the above paragraph, and one not marked but still shown in the top right corner of the image in what appears to be East Asia. On the 1mb chart, high pressure has built in right over that second low pressure area that I told was in East Asia. As for the deepest centers of the polar vortex, they are relatively close to each other, meaning the displacement is not that extreme, but far enough apart for me to introduce my Jenga analogy:


Think of the game Jenga. You must try to take out pieces of the tower to get as many pieces out, but still have it standing. The more pieces you take out on one side, the more unstable that side becomes, and eventually the tower falls down because of the difference in stability of the tower (a.k.a. where more blocks are placed). In a similar situation, when you have the polar vortex far apart in different levels, like what is forecasted above, the polar vortex becomes more unstable and weakens, possibly to the point of collapse.

One more analogy for you: Think of the polar vortex like a cylinder full of cold air. If you cut the cylinder in half and move one half away from the other, the cold air will sink. That is exactly how the stratosphere. If you have displaced parts of the stratosphere, the cold air that is held in the polar vortex will be released and flow down into lower latitudes. If the PV is displaced enough, it may collapse altogether, leading to an icebox solution over parts of the world.

The GFS model shows a similar situation as far as that high pressure/low pressure difference in Asia, but has a lot more displacement in the actual polar vortex as shown below:

100mb 10 day pressure forecast
The GFS dislocates the polar vortex far away from itself in between these two levels, which theoretically would enhance the probabilities of a weaker polar vortex and thus higher potentials for a strong cold snap in January and February.

So, we have big warming in different levels of the atmosphere per the GFS big pressure differences in the polar vortex in the GFS, as well as good displacement of the vortex in the ECMWF. But there is something else showing up in the GFS- complete collapse of the upper stratosphere polar vortex.


10mb 384 hour pressure forecast
This is where you will need to read these images closely. We'll start with the top image at the 1mb level. In this top image, we see a large circle covering much of the Arctic. If you read closely, you will see that the numbers go up as the lines get smaller, meaning that this is a gigantic high pressure system. The polar vortex has collapsed in the 1mb layer at Hour 384! The 5mb layer shows a big high pressure system over the Bering Sea splitting up the polar vortex into two pieces, and a similar forecast resides in the 10mb image.

You weather aficionados are most likely wondering why I'm showing forecasts at Hour 384, the longest of the the long range, and the high point for forecast failure rates. The reason is simple: Trends. I went back across several GFS runs for the 1mb forecast and found that the high pressure system was still covering the Arctic in as many as 5 other forecasts. That said, my faith in this forecast increases dramatically, and, while it's still quite a ways out, I am encouraged by this forecast of a polar vortex collapse in the very upper stratosphere.

Remember how I said the polar vortex is the driving force behind the Arctic Oscillation? Let's keep that front and center. This is a multi-model (and ensemble) forecast of the Arctic Oscillation. In this forecast, we see that the GFS, GFS Ensembles and GGEM Ensembles project the AO to be in the positive range come the 2nd week of January. Based on all the evidence I reviewed above, do you think that will actually happen?

This 8-10 day 500mb height anomaly forecast from the ECMWF (left) and GFS (right) shows no striking presence of a positive Arctic Oscillation, which would be shown as below normal height anomalies across the Arctic Circle. While we do see some low pressure anomalies creeping into the North Pole, nothing defined is showing up, meaning I believe this positive AO forecast is bogus. Considering the warming already happening, the warming forecast to happen, and, potentially, the collapse of the upper stratospheric polar vortex, I have a hard time believing the models are correct with a +AO in the future.

In summary:
-Significant warming is already ongoing in the stratosphere.
-EP Flux values are now pushing warm air into the entire stratosphere.
-EP Flux forecasts show dramatic and significant warm air being forced into the stratosphere.
-Mountain torque highlights more stratospheric warming in the future.
-Model forecasts support heavy damage being sustained to the polar vortex.
-The positive AO forecast does not look correct in my opinion.

All in all, what I have described here today bodes well for a cold episode that may span the months of January and February. If the polar vortex has a collapse, severe cold could very well overtake the nation. Prepare for cold times ahead.

Andrew [link to theweathercentre.blogspot.de]
Luisport (OP)

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12/27/2012 08:35 AM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Posted 11 minutes ago


Luisport, on 27 December 2012 - 13:12 , said:


Can anyone tell me what we in europe will have? And to the south like Portugal and Spain? Cold temp to us too? Thank's!

You can never tell the tropospheric response at this stage (-10d from SSW), but the overall outcome would be more conductive to northern blocking, with vortex energy moving elsewhere, potentially away from northern latitudes- the crux of the current warming will be how the vortex responds (and to a lesser extent, where the polar high and associated ridge puts itself)-

Right now, I couldn't tell you, but the chances of cold will increase for Iberia as we progress through January. Ask back in perhaps a week or so and confidence will be higher as the NWP comes to grips with the energy 'spill' from the initial warming. [link to forum.netweather.tv]
Luisport (OP)

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12/27/2012 09:03 AM

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Re: 2013 Polar Vortex Collapsing; Complete Disintegration Possible!!! US, North Europe, Midle East Hit!!!
Joe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

Major stratwarm getting ready to start precursor to major US cold outbreaks. Plenty of winter this year [link to twitter.com]

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