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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Polar Plunge 2.0

Polar Plunge 2.0

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, March 2, 2019/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, environment, climate change


         Temperature Anomalies, March 2-5, 2019  (credit: Capital Weather Gang & Pivotal Weather)

It has been barely a month since a plunge of polar air descended on the USA from the far north. A second plunge of Arctic air has now arrived. States East of the Continental Divide, into the Midwest and the Northeast, and towards the Gulf Coast of Texas will feel the affects of the massive cold. In some places temperature anomalies of -30F to potentially greater than -40F below normal will be felt from this second blast.

                          Urban Snowfall, Bozeman, Montana  2-27-2019  (credit: Jenni Lowe-Anker)

The Rocky Mountains have received multiple snowstorms that preceded this new blast of Arctic cold. In Bozeman, Montana 30+ inches has falled and adding in the predicted extreme temperatures makes for potentially dangerous situations there and elsewhere in Montana. Weather advisories from the Rockies through the Midwest and the South are being posted. The National Weather Service issue a Special Weather Statement as for Texas regarding the new fridig blast.


Winter Advisory Warning (credit: National Weather Service, Billings, MT)

The effects of the extreme weather produces unpleasant conditions not just for people but is also dangerous for pets and farm animals. Shelters like Chain of Hope in Missouri offer protection for animals that might not survive the extreme weather. In situations such as these compassion becomes the 'name of the game' however it can be offered.

While the immediate needs are to protect against the weather, the basis for these recent plunges in temperatures needs addressing. Research is underway to identify the 'climate signals' that can be attributed to amplifying weather events and connecting them to atmospheric data. In the Arctic the increase variability or oscillation of the jet stream, producing steeper plunges of Arctic air into more southern latitudes, could be one such signal of climate change in progress.



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