Barents Sea Grows Ice in May

Certainly bears watching

Science Matters

Something surprising is happening with Arctic ice.  It is May and ice should be melting, but instead it is growing and in the unlikely place of Barents Sea.  The images above show the ice positions since April, and you can see on the left how ice refused to leave Newfoundland, and on the right how Barents is not backing down but increasing.

The graph below shows how in recent days 2017 NH ice extents have grown way above average, even including the exceptionally low amounts of ice in the Pacific, Bering in particular.

Much of the growth is due to Barents adding 85k m2 in the last 5 days to reach 572k km2, an extent last seen two weeks ago.

The graph below shows Arctic ice excluding the Pacific seas of Bering and Okhotsk.  This provides an even more dramatic view of this years ice extents.  Mid April Arctic ice was…

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Finland Is Worried That It Is As Warm As 1939!

https://weatheraction.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/t_anom_2017_04_en.png

Positively sweltering in April

Finland: Is it fall, winter or spring?

https://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/finland-is-it-fall-winter-or-spring/

Meanwhile record cold causes a spike in Norwegian energy prices;

Nordic power prices soared as record cold weather in parts of the region delayed the seasonal melting of snow into water needed to generate electricity.

The coldest night on record dating back to 1859 this week helped electricity prices on Wednesday jump 34 percent so far in May from a year earlier…

https://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/norwegians-take-skis-out-of-storage-after-freak-snowfall-coldest-night-on-record/

I’m sure they’d appreciate some warmth right now

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Patsy Lacey

From the Guardian, via Yahoo:

image

Finland, the new chair of the Arctic council, has appealed to climate change scientists to fight the threat of the US and Russia tearing up commitments to combat global warming.

The Nordic country takes up the two-year chairmanship of the body, increasingly a forum where arguments about climate change play out, at a ministerial meeting on Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, will represent the Trump administration.

The meeting is due to set targets to reduce black carbon in the Arctic, a pollutant that traps atmospheric heat, but comes amid fears the US is poised to downgrade its commitments made at the 2015 Paris conference on climate change.

Harri Mäki-Reinikka, the Finnish ambassador for northern policies, called for the Paris treaty to be respected.

“We hope there will be no deals over…

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Finland: Is it fall, winter or spring?

Image via Finish Meteorological Institute

No need to take out the sunscreen just yet. The weather forecast for next week calls for great October weather… in May.

Southern Finland will face the beginning of the week in chilly conditions. Cold breezes from the Arctic Ocean will sweep through the country on Monday and Tuesday, which could develop into, we’re sorry to say, sleet and hail showers.

Yle meteorologist Kerttu Kotakorpi says this cold spell is in stark contrast to previous years.

”With temperatures at five degrees at best in the south, we can definitely talk about an exceptionally cold period for this time of year.”

This time last year Finland basked in sunshine and temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees.

More here

Image via AAMULEHTI

Thursday’s press review begins with an article from Aamulehti out of Tampere, asking a meteorologist for a reasonable explanation for the unreasonably cold weather Finland has had to endure this spring. Erik Saarika of the Finnish Meteorological Institute says the reason lies one kilometre above us in the atmosphere, where temperatures have been colder in April and May than they were last winter.

“Atmospheric temperatures are topsy-turvy. At this time of the year, the warmth of the sun is so abundant that it compensates for the air’s coolness, but the cold has still made itself manifest as snow, even in the afternoon. In the winter it was so warm that it rained instead,” Saarika told the paper.

This strange situation has led to it being impossible to tell what time of the year it is by looking out the window. Is it fall, winter or spring? In Tampere, the paper states, the average temperature on New Year’s Eve was 3.6 degrees Celsius, and on May 8, it was 1.7 degrees.

And even if the sun can potentially warm things back up, heavy clouds have persisted in blocking the sun in the last few months. Saarika says that many mornings have started off clear, but the skies have turned more overcast as the days have progressed, often bringing precipitation.

Sunshine statistics from the Institute show that Finland had 20 hours less sunshine in April 2017 than the 30-year average. But the weather service assures the shivering masses that things will get better: next week should see daytime temperatures of over 15 degrees Celsius in the south.

Reason for May snow

A late spring is better than an early summer – if you’re a bird…or a blueberry bush

Unseasonably cold weather is keeping birds from nesting and delaying the blossoming of wild berry bushes in Finland’s north…

There is still plenty of snow in the forests of Lapland, and there is ice on many of its lakes and rivers. Spring has inched forward slowly and temperatures, especially at night, are frigid. Right now, the weather in Lapland is 4C-5C below the long-term average.

The cold is being reflected in the late arrival of migratory birds. According to Jukka Jokimäki, a researcher at the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre, the institution’s annual count of migratory birds is now on hold because so few have come as far north as the Arctic Circle.

“At the beginning of April it looked like we’d have an early spring, but migration has been at a standstill and is around a week and a half late. Wagtails are the only insect eaters being seen. Wading birds are missing altogether, which is understandable since all of our ponds and lakes are still covered by ice,” reports Jokimäki.

“If we consider this in a positive light, a late cold snap is unlikely to be a problem because the birds haven’t yet started nesting. It’s been winter-like all spring and, for example, game fowl haven’t been able to start nesting because there is still over 50cm of snow in the forests in the Rovaniemi area,” Jokimäki points out.

Cold temperatures have also impacted vegetation, delaying the start of the growing season. On the other hand, this may result in a more bountiful crop of wild berries come the autumn, says Rainer Peltola of the Natural Resources Institute.

“This is not a bad thing at all. The later that [berry bushes] start blooming, the less the risk of frost, and the greater the probability that the crucial phase of pollination takes place.”

YLE

Norwegians take skis out of storage after freak snowfall. Coldest night on record

It seems the late winter is still biting hard (bold added);

Norway is currently under an amount of snow extremely rare for late spring, with up to half a metre of snow falling in areas outside of Oslo.

Snowfall during Wednesday night caused traffic delay Thursday, and so much snow has fallen that Oslo residents have returned to ski slopes in the off-season, reports NRK.

Oslo’s municipality told the broadcaster that it was reopening ski slopes.

“Preparing ski slopes after Easter is completely abnormal. But we have never prepared them in May before,” Knut Johansson of the city authority said.
The Vestmarka area outside of the capital is one of the areas that has seen heavy amounts of May-time snow.

“We have 25cm at Solli in Vestmarka, where we are going out with an ATV quad bike to make ski slopes,” ski run manager Hege Blichfelt Sheriff of the local skiers’ association told NRK.

Just under a centimetre of snow was measured this morning outside the Norwegian Institute for Meteorology (Meteorologisk Institutt) at Blindern in the capital, according to NRK’s report.

Snow has not been seen at Blindern at this time of year since 1967, according to the institute.

It is something very rare for the snow to settle as far down as Blindern,” said meteorologist Terje Alsvik Walløe.

Even though snow further north is less uncommon for the time of year, Walløe said the amount that had fallen was “unusual”.

Read the rest here

Story here

Nordic power prices soared as record cold weather in parts of the region delayed the seasonal melting of snow into water needed to generate electricity.

The coldest night on record dating back to 1859 this week helped electricity prices on Wednesday jump 34 percent so far in May from a year earlier and they are headed for the highest average level for the month since 2013 on the Nord Pool AS exchange in Oslo. The unseasonably cold weather is also driving up demand for the commodity.

”It’s what we call a spring pinch,” Sigbjorn Seland, chief analyst at StormGeo’s Nena Analysis in Oslo, said by phone. ”Unusually high spot prices and very low inflows due to the cold.”

While temperatures were colder in the north in absolute terms, they fell as low as minus 7.8 Celsius (18 Fahrenheit) during the night to Thursday at Visby airport on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. It was the coldest May in the area on record. Uppsala, a town just north of Stockholm, had its coldest May night since 1947 on Wednesday.

More here

UK braced for drought after ‘excessively dry’ April 

Tim Channon did warm of this;
https://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/drought-2017-s-central-and-se-england/
The upcoming cool phase of the AMO will not do us many favours.

See also Paul Homewood’s take;

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/fears-of-a-summer-drought-in-britain

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Credit: BBC / Met Office
Contrasting weather situations for the UK and the US, post El Niño. Even the wettest place in England is ‘bone dry’.

There are fears the UK could be braced for widespread drought this summer after “excessively dry conditions”, says ITV News.

The Environment Agency said the UK saw just 35% of its normal rainfall in April and farmers have been warned crops could fail.The unusual weather spell follows the driest winter since 1995-1996.

Minette Batters, Deputy President of the National Farmers’ Union, told ITV News: “I think many of my farming colleagues in East Anglia, in the south east are seeing excessively dry conditions.”

Farmer James Winslade told ITV News: “Arable farmers, grass farmers, dairy farmers – it doesn’t make any difference. They’re all worried. They’ve all cut grass earlier than they normally would have done and we haven’t had the rain to get…

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