Extreme Temperature Diary-September 29, 2019/The Other Side Of This Weeks’ Warm Coin…Can A Winter Storm Get More Intense Because of Climate Change?

Sunday September 29th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

The Other Side Of This Weeks’ Warm Coin…Can A Winter Storm Get More Intense Due To Climate Change?

Well, today’s main topic is a bit odd. I haven’t seen any good attribution studies on winter storms and climate change, but the one currently in the northwestern U.S. might be a good candidate. I’ll show you what I mean. 

Here are a couple of social media messages that go to the heart of today’s topic in relation with a strong current winter storm:

First, as of Sunday we already have a strong contrast in temperatures at low levels across North America. Record heat has been located over the Southeast U.S. for the better part of a week. Some of this warm air is feeding into the northwestern winter storm system from the southeast, and moisture is getting squeezed out in the form of snow as that air interacts with cold upper air dynamics. As we know, warmer air has the capacity to hold more moisture:

Now aloft, here is what was analyzed this morning over the Northern Hemisphere:

A big ball of cold air aloft has been “pinched off” over the western U.S. Notice all of the warm pockets, including a summer-like heat dome parked over the Southeast, that surround the cold pocket. I would argue that overall global warming has led to A) the pinching off of the jet in this case, and B) thermodynamics and physics related to the rotating Earth have led to “more spin,” or the formation of a closed low over the Pacific Northwest rather than an open wave. Both factors A and B have led to a stronger winter storm (not necessarily colder) than what we might have seen otherwise in the Northwest on an alternative overall colder Earth with a similar long wave synoptic pattern.

From all my experience over 30+ years of weather forecasting this cold upper level low looks very intense by late September standards and should produce record snow amounts at many locations in the northern Rocky Mountains area. Here is a close up view of the above chart for the United States:

I’ll be adding more notes in this interesting weather pattern of extremes as Sunday progresses. Enjoy my snow scenes!

Oh…And this system is raising some eyebrows:

Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)


Here are some “ET” reports from over this weekend (These lists, unfortunately, are getting more impressive with each passing day during September 2019.):

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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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