Halloween Shivers Were No Treat

My daughters went trick-or-treating on Halloween, but thanks to the frigid air, driving sleet, and spitting snow they only hit a few houses before scurrying home to get warm. There was a better chance of frost bite than vampire bite. Moreover, their costumes were covered by coats, scarfs, hats, and mittens. They looked like they were artic explorers from Transylvania.

This may just be the tip of the iceberg this winter. Ironically, the weather here in the Midwestern USA is getting colder in winter because the rest of the globe is heating up:

Abnormally warm waters in the tropical Atlantic travel up the Gulf Stream toward Europe in the late summer and fall months, motivating exceptional sea ice melt in the Barents-Kara seas north of Scandinavia. When that area is ice free, the open water releases heat into the atmosphere during November and December, and sets up an anomalous blocking pattern over the Ural Mountains. By midwinter, as more and more heat is being transferred to the Arctic, the troposphere and stratosphere can link up, destabilizing the polar vortex, weakening the jet stream, and sending waves of cold air southward.”

Fun times.

The good news is that there is at least a chance this winter won’t be as bad as the frozen hell of last winter. Maybe. it depends on what the El Nino does. It looks like the Gulf Coast states are in for it either way, though. In fact, it may be colder in Texas than Alaska this year. Frankly, the Southwest needs all the moisture they can get so they’ll just have to put on their big-state pants and be grateful for the precipitation … even if it’s ice.

You could even say that the winter forecast is downright … stark.


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