Wondering why the past few months have been cold in the U.S.? This is likely the underlying reason, sudden stratospheric warming. Sudden stratospheric warming results in a splitting of the polar vortex causing cool air to escape the arctic regions. The event is likely related to Arctic Amplification (in simple terms, the fact that temperatures in the Arctic are warming faster than in other areas (which is resulting in changes to weather patterns on a synoptic scale)).
The dynamics of this whole situation has me frothing at the mouth.
If you’re living in the North Eastern US, chances are, you’re complaining about the cold, but check this out. After reaching a low temperature of -35F last night, the workers at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire decided to have fun by turning boiling water into snow.
Pictured here is observer/meteorologist Mike Carmon, and yes, you’re jealous of his job.
A rope cloud marks the demarcation of a cold front currently over the Atlantic ocean. Though it is a weakening front, the feature is still made more visible (by the rope cloud) due to converging winds at the front.
This is a photo of what is called rime ice. Most people know that clouds are made of water droplets, something that is surprising though is that some of those water droplets can be below freezing temperatures and still liquid. Once those super-cooled water droplets touch something, they will freeze to it instantly.
Looks like there’s a storm a brewin’ in the gulf! Expect it to get organised and start to show signs of tropical development more between tomorrow and early tuesday. HOWEVER, there is a cold front that will come down on Tuesday and just kill all tropical development then it will form into a line of storms and go across florida (just ahead of the weather formed by the cold front (mid-latitude cyclone)). After that the stuff going across florida will track up the coast getting to New York area and joining with the weather from the mid-latitude cyclone on Wednesday causing precipitation in New England through early Friday.
Check out this infrared satellite image of a low pressure system that is currently just south of Alaska. From a satellite view, after a frontal system begins to or has occluded, the clouds look kind of like an apostrophe like it does here. (Occlusion is when the cold front meets the warm front from behind).
Cumulonimbus hanging out over Africa. Anybody know why the tops are flat? That’s where the stratopause is, the barrier between the troposphere and the stratosphere. The air actually starts to get WARMER beyond that point which means the clouds can’t rise any higher.
PS: after the stratosphere is the mesosphere which begins to get cold again, then the thermosphere where it gets wicked hot, though there are not many molecules of air to measure temperature off of.
High pressure over Kentucky keeping the skies clear, clouds and rain still working their way out of New England. Cold front working it’s way down over the lakes as a warm front pushes up through the central states. Out west… Rain rain rain.. Florida keep an eye as that stationary front works it’s way north for a wet weekend!