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Kirkintilloch, Scotland
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18 Jul 2009
From Mark Vogan http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com

126 degrees makes for hottest temperature in the world yesterday......
Bring it on Death Valley!!

Where would you rather be?

Today's Forecast for Death Valley, California: Sunny, High 126, Low 95

Today's Forecast for Minneapolis, Minnesota: Partly Sunny High 71, Low 55

Actually 71 isn't bad today for Minneapolis compared to yesterday's record cold "high" of 65 degrees under a low hanging drizzly cloud deck, bring a little wind into the mix and it felt like the upper 50s much of yesterday.... Sure that would be ok for October but not July 17!! My good friend Paul Douglas of WeatherNation made an interesting statement. He said in a weathercast yesterday "It feels like central Manitoba". Sure, basically all the weather has shifted several hundred miles south these days. Minnesota's weather is down in Tennessee where 84 was recorded at Memphis, that 84 would in fact be normal for Minneapolis! For a time of year when air masses are normally hot, sticky and easy to get warm has been stunningly cold. It is a major achievement to get high's in the 60s across a huge swath of the Northern Plains into the Great Lakes for mid-July. So why the cold? It is very tough to put down an exact reason behind this, but Canada has been abnormally chilly, in a normal year, this type of air hanging over the Twin Cities would be over the permafrost region closer to the Arctic Circle, not the US/Canada border where highs were in the 50s, nights dropping into the 40s. Recent summers have displayed remarkable warmth even way up across northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba into the Arctic regions. But it's different this summer and I did fully anticipate cooler air this year that will struggle to get this far north in 2009 given the pattern of the past 2-3 years.

For me, I would look at why that cold of air is there in the first place.. My reason, is the type of winter across Canada, why the type of winter in Canada which was very cold and stretched into early summer? Blame the PDO turning cold, which won't change the atmosphere overnight but what I think has show evidence of large-scale change was when the Nina went strong in 2008, which casted a shadow of cold across western North America, forcing intense cold to form over Alaska and the Yukon (coldest in over 10 years when it got to -72 in Chicken, AK). The cold of 07-08 matured and progressed east after a cool summer in 08 from Alaska into the upper Great Lakes region. 08-09 winter cold went from where 07-08 left off and with a rebuilding of Arctic ice (despite melting now which is normal) has created a strong feed to the Arctic atmosphere making it remain frigid. The Hudson Bay ice and lingering cold made for an air mass to sit where it normally wouldnt as recent years has led to earlier than normal melting off the Bay, this year that didn't happen, therefore explaining why this year has in stark contrast to recent years. A nice cold air mass has lingered over the Bay and surrounding areas after a cold May kept ice almost covering Hudson Bay through mid-June. A building western ridge 1) that is in a normal heat/high pressure breeding ground and 2) possibly enhanced by the warming of the equatorial Pacific has pumped warm air way up into the Arctic region of Alaska and eastern Russia, forcing a strong amplification of the jet stream, a near "cross polar flow" has pushed or pulled colder than normal air over northern Canada way south into the Great Lakes and all the way down towards the Gulf. The sheer force of hot air lifting north and forcing this downward migration of real chill into the eastern half of the US, nature balancing out it's heat budget??

The colder Pacific of the last 2 years I believe has brought colder waters back up into the Arctic Ocean between Russia and Alaska as the strong southerly flow has been persistent since the end of last winter. Hot air has melted off much of the ice surrounding Alaska and 74 degrees has been recorded at Barrow, AK and 91 across the interior at Fairbanks, but lots of ice is still evident further east and quite possibly where winter will be toughest in 09-10...

The reasoning for such unusually cold air so far south is because we've seen the coldest winter in years up in Arctic and central Canada, perhaps even the warming Pacific in a cold PDO has pumped up the Pacific ridge.

Interesting stuff. Watch Death Valley the next few days. I'm routing for 128 whilst the wall of warmth does finally push east erasing the Midwest and eastern Plains chill in coming days..
Thanks for reading.
- Mark
17 Jul 2009
From: http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com

A very interesting weather map is shaping up as we see heat surge north from the cauldron of heck centered over the Desert Southwest. As this high expands and bulges over the Arizona Desert where high's are likely to soar towards 120 degrees in areas not far from Phoenix we are seeing the spread of heat northbound towards Western Canada. Death Valley yesterday was 125 degrees for it's warmest so far. When you support a 100 degree air mass all the way to the interior Northwest and 90s into the heart of western Canada, you put pressure on the entire atmosphere across North America, the flexing this brutal blowtorch is causing the atmosphere to essentially swell into the upper reaches of the atmosphere and wrickles are created outward, similar to throwing a stone into water, causing changes upstream. Problem is, the same blob of cold over eastern Canada that has been refridgerating the Northeast and Lakes all summer needs to now get shunted somewhere and the atmosphere's path of least resistence is south into the heart of the eastern US. Amazingly all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico.

The next few days will illustrate just how hot things can get in the Southwest deserts and at the same time we will also see how chilly the air is north of the border as we will likely see record cool highs and deffinately record lows. The vast meridional or highly amplified upper air flow is created because of the building heat over the Deserts, but the power of the trough is a side-effect of the actual high that's working against it. But a key element is just how cold the air is over eastern Canada see highs only in the 60s in Minnespolis to Chicago in Mid-July is remarkable to achieve, it's hard to see cool when the atmosphere is molded into a summer-time regime which makes it so much easier to get 85-90 than to acheive 65. There's simply too much hot air around this time of year to push out tropical, deep layered that wants to get as far north as possible. The cooler air is harder to come across and usually the really chilly stuck is that far north, it's often near impossible to pull 50-60 degree air perhaps 3,000 miles without warming it. So to achieve 60s in the Midwest and 100s across a large area of the West is quite amazing.

Another key thought is that when highs only top the mid to upper 60s across a large area from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh and only 70s deep into the Tennessee-Mississippi valleys will be the dry air will be easier to cool sufficiantly that we will likely see areas down into the 30s in the cold hallows and frost formation is a good possibilty afterall it was just on Tuesday when we saw low 40s in central Pennsylvania where Jesse Ferrell of AccuWeather recorded a chilly 43 degrees at his house. Pittsburgh broek a 113-year record with a low of 51 degrees. A remarkable 27 degree low was recorded by a co-op site at Atlanta, Michigan...

I fully expect a stunning display of cold at the same time we see records fall across the West was the blow torch rages on full. I am calling for at least 115 at Phoenix, 114 at Las Vegas and 128 at Death Valley over the next few days as pressures strive to hit 600dm which is about as high as pressures go.... Could we even see a shock 130 at Death Valley? I have seen 128 and 129 but not 130!!! Come on... just this once??
More coming up later today.
Thanks for reading
11 Jul 2009

Reason for such extreme heat is because the stronger the high pressure cell, the higher it reaches into the atmosphere, like a mountain, the greater the depth in which air subsides, compresses and heats! A high of 590 to 600 dec is about as strong as you'll get in this part of the world, what I believe also helped the heating process across Oklahoma is a jet stream running north of the cell, air parcels divide and shoot out under the front right rear entrance region, EXCELLERATING the air movement and further compressing the air downward decent. This kind of high is like the Everest of high pressure systems, the great heat wave producer. The 500mb height level rises and falls depending on air pressure and yeserday that 500 mb line was way, way up at stunning heights within the atmosphere, raising the air temperature aloft. It basically means, that 500mb, which at sea level pressure would be at 5,000 feet above the ground, however when you raise air pressure this level rises, you pump the ridge, you have that 500mb temperature up perhaps at 15,000 feet above the surface rather than 5,000ft when basically all things are considered equal... Most of the time, forecasters will take the temp at 500mb or 850mb, allow for wind, cloud, precip, humidity and they come up with an estimated surface temperature, by raising the 850 or 500mb temp from say 14C to 28C, they allow for warmer surface heating. The stronger the ridge, the more height within the atmosphere the air has fall from, more subsidence = more compressional warmth to the surface. I even wonder does the mountains or even rise of the Oklahoma lanscape as one goes west across the state allowed for some downsloping off the Front Range as an additional heating factor.

What's also interesting is the lack of extreme heat across eastern Oklahoma where there was very sharp temperature differences, this was likely down to humidity and moisture levels in the atmosphere, fluctuating wind flow at the surface, whilst areas where only in the 95-100 degree range in the east, perhaps only 50-100 miles west or northwest where the air was bone dry we saw highs range from 110-117 degrees, a dry line in between sepearated two air masses, one of desert-like origin and the other of hot, reopical-like origin. We also saw a heat low or thermal low develop and park directly over area of maximum heating...

A very interesting day yesterday for Oklahoma for sure and I hope this more technical discussion is useful and of interest, afterall we don't see 117 degrees in Oklahoma every summer.
Thanks for reading.
- Mark

Additional thoughts on OK Heat
Since posting my last piece on the OK heat, I was also doing some think regarding "Large-Scale Pattern influence" that forced a small-scale extreme event..


1) Colder than normal Canada 2) Warmer than normal South-central states 3) stronger jet stream results and therefore atmospheric dynamics are in place for pumping of ridge as stronger than normal July jet ripping across northern tier pumps up the ridge south of the jet but also forces enhanced subsidence from highspeed dispersel of jet speed maxes (front right rear entrance region) other areas of jet stream support enhanced lift, caused by vast temp contrast between warm and cold as well as differing pressures.

I was curious as despite 105-110 across north Texas and western Oklahoma, there was a relatively small pocket in the 115-117 range and wondered does all the large scale pattern features, and the result stronger jet stream, which had been forced further south for time of year have an impact to a small-scale extreme heat event....
9 Jul 2009
Article from my blog at http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com/

With articles now floating across the net these days, shouting cool summer = lack of solar activity. Hurricane Katrina was caused by Global Warming, or the floods in the Midwest last summer......

Folks, we look for the easy reasoning. El Nino is a good one, but Global Warming is an even better one. Lately it's sunspots. Thats getting to become the new one. Let me just say that, personallu solar activity is becoming better researched and it is likely to have a factor is the cooling of recent years, however there's other factors involved and it's much more complex than just blaming one or two features out there. Fluctuations in ocean currents and temperatures these days for me is playing a major role in cooling North America as we see the Pacific return to a cold mode having major implications is bringing colder waters back into the Arctic Ocean and recovery of the Arctic Sea Ice pack is showing signs of growth and therefore this sea-ice feedback to the atmosphere across the pole is keeping Canada and northern North America in the fridge this summer. The Northeast, thanks to a strong and persistent trough is allowing the Canadian cold to drop with ease into the Northeast. "The Hudson Bay refridgeration effect" is what I refer to as slow ice melt and this keeps the air above cooler, blow a northwest wind across this vast body of icy water and you get a chill in the Northeastern US. THAT IS VERY SIMPLISTIC but we need to follow the pattern nature is showing us. Winters, Summers of the past tell a story. Your not going to get the gist of the story and understand what's going on if we haven't been paying attention to the first part of the story.

My thoughts our very simplistic but in saying that, I like to look at something in several different angles to get a better grasp at something. The media and public, look for the quick and easy answer and scientists out there studying for 40, 50 even 60 years on something likely don't have the complete answer to what their researching. Global Warming is a subject that will be mentioned often of this blog. I for one will be open to every opinion and comment and will take all the information out there before making an opinion, we can't base our opinion on one or two people but look for yourself, try to understand it for yourself. We are too judgemental and critical and more often than not we critisize and redicule without having a clue about it ourselves. For those fighting the global warming bandwagon, before you stand up and speak, make sure you know what your taking about, ask yourself... What do I know? Do I understand this BETTER than those 19.000 scientists that have studied earth's atmosphere for years and understand better than most on this earth, they have scientific EVIDENCE that suggests otherwise, that our earth has been cooling for longer than we think. The average person out there will always make judgement without any sort of knowledge of the subject but please, please try to understand before shouting out!! Weathermen have the toughest job sometimes. I checkout the comments on Accuweather every day and most of the time it's critisisms, well let me tell you something.. Id love to see those who moke and shout negativity do a better job.

Henry Margusity posted one of my articles recently and I happened to check the comments, one of which jumped onto the fact that EL NINO ONLY PRODUCES WARM WEATHER ACROSS THE USA..... AGAIN.... BEFORE EMBARRASSING YOURSELF... RESEARCH YOURSELF, LOOK IT UP BEFORE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING AND CRITISISNG SOMEONE WHO KNOWS A HECK A OF A LOT MORE ABOUT THE WEATHER THAN YOU DO.... I am no meteorologist and never will be, however, for my work to be publicly displaced for all to see, well I must know something eh...

OK, I've got that off my chest. I'm off now to spend a little time with my wife whom I haven't seen all day. She deserves more attention than this right now.

Thanks for reading.

- Mark
6 Jul 2009
Questions surfacing about cool summer and sunspot linkage

from... http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com/

Jul 6, 2009

Today, AccuWeather released an article on whether this cool summer in the Northeast could be linked to Solar sunspot activity.

Personally I believe there is 1 of many factors responsible for this cool, wet weather this summer and sunspot activity may be one of them.

Ok, why so cold... Mark Vogan's explaination..

I believe the PDO being cold, the vast reaction to a strong La Nina in 2008, produced a vast cool off of western and Central North America and ...

READ MORE at http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com/

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