Polar vortex about to blast U.S. with coldest air of the season

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The Siberian Express will ride again next week, as frigid air pushes across much of the U.S. with temperatures in some places dropping to as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit below average for this time of year. 

The cold will come courtesy of two main weather features — a wobble in the upper level polar vortex that will pull cold air out of Siberia, Alaska and Canada, 

While this will be a headline-grabbing event, with temperatures remaining below zero Fahrenheit for the daytime high across the northern Rockies, parts of the Plains and Midwest, it is not likely to equal or beat the severity of the January 2014 Polar Vortex event.  Read more…

More about Winter, Polar Vortex, Extreme Weather, Science, and Climate

This is not normal, people: Arctic and Antarctic hit record low sea ice

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Things in the Arctic are just getting weirder and weirder. And not in a good way. 

Freakishly high air and ocean temperatures during November caused sea ice to trail far behind typical levels, with sea ice extent ending the month at a record low. Sea ice extent averaged 3.51 million square miles for the month, which was 753,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average for the period, according to data released Tuesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. 

The section of missing ice was about the same size as the entire country of Mexico. Or to put it in terms of U.S. states, the missing ice is greater than the states of Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico combined. Read more…

More about Record Warm Year, Extreme Weather, Science, Antarctica, and Arctic

Global warming blowout: Record highs beat record lows by 51-to-1 ratio in November

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As the planet warms in response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ratio of high temperature records compared to low temperature records has become more skewed. If the climate weren’t warming, that long-term ratio should average out to about 1-to-1. 

However, that isn’t the world we’re living in. A 2009 study found that the record highs to lows ratio was 2-to-1 for the lower 48 states during the 2000s, and this disparity has only grown since then. Projections show the imbalance increasing in coming decades as global warming continues.

Keeping in mind that individual months show considerable variability in weather patterns, it’s clear that over the long-term, the ratio of record highs to record lows is now strongly favoring record highs as well as record warm overnight temperatures. This is consistent with computer model projections of a warming world.  Read more…

More about Climate Change, Temperature Ratio, Global Warming, Extreme Weather, and Climate