" />
Web

NASA explains why there has been so much snow this winter

NASA explains why there has been so much snow this winter
piers.scott@sociable.co'

With temperatures in some parts of the UK and Ireland set to reach as low as 28°C on Monday night, many have been wondering why this winter has been especially harsh. According to NASA the reason is a natural shift the the location of the Gulf Stream called ‘Negative Arctic Oscillation’.

Writing on their Earth Observatory site NASA describes how the Gulf Stream, which usually bring mild air from the Mexican Gulf to the British Isles, has shifted from its usual path due to a belt of high pressure sitting in the mid-Atlantic. This oscillation has forced the stream further north bathing western Canada and southern Greenland in unusually warm weather while leaving Ireland, the UK and Northern Europe freezing cold.

NASA image of frozen Northern Hemisphere
This image was captures by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Click to enlarge.

NASA says,

The Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern that influences winter weather in the northern hemisphere. It describes the relationship between high pressure in the mid-latitudes and low pressure over the Arctic. When the pressure systems are weak, the difference between them is small, and air from the Arctic flows south, while warmer air seeps north. This is referred to as a negative Arctic Oscillation. Like December 2009, the Arctic Oscillation was negative in early December 2010. Cold air from the Arctic channeled south around a blocking system over Greenland, while Greenland and northern Canada heated up.

Accompanying the report NASA also released a Google Earth file which shows in greater detail the cold temperatures which are disturbing Christmas travel across Europe. You can download Google Earth on Google’s website.

This interactive map, from NASA’s Google Earth layer, shows December 2010’s temperatures compared to the average temperatures for the same periods from 2000 to 2009. View this map on Google Maps.

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention NASA explains why there has been so much snow this winter | The Sociable -- Topsy.com

  2. grantlandsmith@yahoo.com'

    Grantland

    December 21, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    Makes no sense. How does air pressure cause water to change direction? Is it the melt ice water pushing it off course, maybe? Global warming causes an ice age – quel ironie.

  3. jamesbr1961@yahoo.com'

    Commondreamer

    December 21, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    LOL very funny, NASA covers up for The BP oil Spill which has killed the Gulf Stream. Very good politically correct science guys.

    And no Global warming does not cause Global cooling.

  4. jeremy@livefyre.com'

    JMattHicks

    December 21, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    I don’t claim to be a science/weather genius, I simply just enjoy the science and genuis behind it. And I must say, whether NASA is right or wrong, that’s very interesting stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Web
piers.scott@sociable.co'
@pdscott

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

More in Web

fbi court

FBI allowed to continue secretly obtaining your data from tech companies: court

Ben AllenJuly 19, 2017
dark web ripple

The Ripple Effect of the Biggest Dark Web Market Take Down Since the Silk Road

Sam Brake GuiaJuly 17, 2017
wifi

Will scrub toilets for Wifi? 22K people accidentally agree to community service for Wifi

Sam Brake GuiaJuly 14, 2017
sharing economy synchronicity

Sharing Economy Synchronicity: A Tale of Lifelong Friendships & Unexpected Connections

Tim HinchliffeJuly 11, 2017
cobrowsing

How CoBrowsing is Key to Quality Conversions When Coupled With CRMs

Tim HinchliffeJuly 3, 2017
help problem drinking

Self-help Platform Adds Meditation to Education With US Launch for Problem Drinking

Tim HinchliffeJune 29, 2017
automation software companies

New Automation Platform For Software Companies Boosts Users’ Life-Time Value

Tim HinchliffeJune 14, 2017
entrepreneurial

How doing one thing really well is the entrepreneurial rug that ‘really ties the room together’

Tim HinchliffeMay 26, 2017

Reconstructing the Great Library of Alexandria and the Digital Quest for Fire

Tim HinchliffeMay 25, 2017