What Explains our Unusually Cold Weather in the Northeast Right Now

Since 2000, Roger Hill has been forecasting the weather for the listeners of Radio Vermont(WDEV, WLVB, WCVT, and 101 The One). He first learned his trade in the Army in Hawaii and worked for the National Weather Service in diverse stations such as Los Angeles, Montana, Cape Hatteras and Burlington, Vermont.

The very cold weather we are experiencing now is only unusual in the last decade or so. I know a lot of people who are climate change skeptics will shake this off, but the cold weather right now can be explained by the loss of sea ice in the Beaufort and Bering Seas, to the north and west of Alaska and in the eastern part of Siberia.

The loss of sea ice is redirecting the jet stream. I predicted this was going to happen last September. But I thought it would happen later this winter. But it looks like we’re getting to the heart of the beast right now. It’s a direct result from climate change and the loss of sea ice. It’s kind of complicated but here it is in a nutshell. We have this ridge of high pressure that located north and west of Alaska. And what that ridge does disturbs the stratosphere, which weakens the stratospheric polar vortex, which then comes down to the troposphere, the lowest layer of our atmosphere (where weather occurs), and also weakens that, releasing the cold air.

Sometimes the arctic cold will come into Europe. Generally it starts in Siberia. Essentially the climate change is creating ice loss and the ice loss is creating colder continents in the wintertime. That’s what we’re seeing now. The wildfires in California and the western United States are a function of warming in California and the western states. Everywhere in the planet except for North America is warmer than usual.

We live in the Northeast. We tend to be Northeast “centrists.” We think that what we’re experiencing here is what everyone else is experiencing elsewhere. That’s 100 percent wrong. Our science-challenged President Trump think that the weather wherever he is right now is the weather that’s just the same for everyone else in the world. Of course, that’s wrong. If you were to look at weather across the globe, the American Northeast is the only part of the world that’s experiencing this severe cold.

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