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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

12:00 PM | The North Pole Revisited

Paul Dorian


There are some indications that a stratospheric warming event is about to unfold over the North Pole and this could ultimately lead to a reversal of the above-normal temperature pattern that we have experienced here in the eastern US during November and December. The GFS and European computer forecast models now both support the idea of a significant temperature change during the next several days at the highest levels of the atmosphere over the North Pole region. In the past, this type of atmospheric phenomenon has occasionally led to the development of an upper-air blocking pattern over the Arctic which, in turn, led to sustained cold air outbreaks into the central and eastern US. This chain of events, however, can take several weeks to unfold from the time of the initial stratospheric warming over the pole to the time that the temperature pattern actually flips in the eastern US. In fact, in two recent stratospheric warming events, the initial stratospheric polar warming began during the month of November and the temperature pattern in the eastern US didn’t flip until January. [The video called “Stratospheric Warming” in our “Meteorology 101” section details these two events that took place during 1984/1985 and 1998/1999]. We’ll continue to monitor the ever-changing global picture over the next several days here at “”.