Strange Antarctic Weather Extends to the Edge of Space

Posted: December 3, 2020 by oldbrew in ENSO, ozone, Temperature, Uncertainty

Is La Niña having an effect on Antarctica already?

Dec. 2, 2020: Consider it the tip of the iceberg. Noctilucent clouds (NLCs) over the south pole are AWOL.

“Normally we see the first NLCs of the southern season around Nov. 21st,” says Cora Randall of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). “But this year, it’s already December and we’re still waiting.”

Above: What a different one year makes. NASA’s AIM spacecraft took these pictures of NLCs over Antarctica on Nov. 29, 2019 (left) and Nov. 29, 2020 (right)

Missing NLCs is just one of the curious weather patterns currently underway at the southern end of our planet.

Making a list: (1) Earth’s southern ozone hole is not only open, but also the biggest it’s ever been in December. (2) The air above Antarctica is currently at record cold levels for this time of year–the result of an icy polar vortex that refuses to break…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Not at all like 2019…

  2. oldbrew says:

    Meanwhile in the northern hemisphere…

    London could be set for first snow of winter on Friday say forecasters

    The higher points of the capital like Primrose Hill and Crystal Palace are especially likely to see brief snowfall or sleet, the Met Office said.

    Parts of the south will begin to feel the winter chill, with temperatures dipping down to -1C (30F) in south-west London.

    But the coldest weather is expected in western Scotland overnight when temperatures could drop to an icy -10C (14F).

  3. tallbloke says:

    I wonder if Solar Cycle 25 spluttering into life will make any difference to phenomena such as NLCs and the Ozone hole.

  4. spetzer86 says:

    Wait just a minute. The reduction in the size of the ozone hole has been peer reviewed and demonstrates the primary success of all the Green initiatives. A “remarkable achievement for society” is what that was ( So, since it’s been written, you can’t change the narrative. That hole can not be getting bigger, because it’s a demonstration of how successful all these initiatives can be if you just clap your hands louder (or something).

  5. u.k.(us) says:

    Wanna see the weather in the Southern Ocean ?
    You might want to hit this link:
    There are like 30 single-handed sailors, racing around Antarctica right now.
    The shortest route is prohibited due to icebergs, and the fact that their only hope of rescue lies in the hands of fellow sailors.
    Cool videos at the link.

  6. oldbrew says:

    DECEMBER 3, 2020

    Copernicus satellites keep eyes on icebergs for Vendée Globe
    by European Space Agency

    Spaceborne radar returns images of Earth’s land and sea surface through cloud and rain, and regardless of whether it is day or night—so ideal for monitoring the position of icebergs.

    Satellite altimeters measure differences in the height of the sea surface, therefore also the height of any floating ice. Altimeters have been used to study Arctic and Antarctic ice and experts are able to recognize the signature of an iceberg in altimetry data.
    . . .
    Fabienne Jacq, the European Commission’s policy officer in charge of the Copernicus Marine Service, recalled, “I remember when we started using synthetic aperture data a decade ago and CLS demonstrated to sailors the benefit of space observations for their safety. Now sailors cannot race across waters where they could encounter icebergs without these data. This is the beauty of the Copernicus program: the now sustained and high-quality services including iceberg detection, but also data for forecasts, temperature, waves and currents to support the race.”
    – – –
    If the data is kept, year-to-year seasonal comparisons could be made.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    Record cold in Antarctica? Front page where then?

  8. oldbrew says:

    Phoenix – here…

    ‘Unusual’ Antarctic polar vortex could mean cold wet Aussie summer

    By 9News Staff
    Nov 12, 2020

    The air above Antarctica is currently at record cold levels for this time of year according to meteorologists, and this is behind the fluctuating weather patterns parts of Australia have seen in recent weeks.

    Along with current La Nina conditions, this polar vortex will likely mean above average rainfall and less extreme heat in the coming months.