Atmosphere And Weather
Great Britain: A historic snowfall blanketed Great Britain on Jan. 7 this year.

Northern Europe to Face Winter Superstorm Chaos



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Great Britain: A historic snowfall blanketed Great Britain on Jan. 7 this year.
Terrence Aym's image for:
"Northern Europe to Face Winter Superstorm Chaos"
Caption: Great Britain: A historic snowfall blanketed Great Britain on Jan. 7 this year.
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Image by: NASA, MODIS Rapid Response Team.
© This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GreatBritain.A2010007.1150.1km.jpg

When the polar vortex over the Arctic strengthens, superstorms appear. French climatologists call them "weather bomblets" and are warning northern Europe to prepare for the worst.

Scientists, scientific organizations, and agencies like NASA, the ESA and CERN have demonstrated a link between increased solar activity, the magnetosphere, and the geomagnetic fields of the Earth: all combine to affect climate in the long run and can also create conditions for superstorms. Gigantic storms are especially likely when the polar vortex strengthens.

And French scientists claim the vortex driving the weather over northern Europe, Russia and northern North America has strengthened due to a significantly greater drop in polar temperatures during the fall of 2011.

A scientific technical explanation for the French scientists' observations and extrapolations appears at the Météoconsult website. The article, "Tempêtes en Europe ces prochains jours" lists the reasons for the warning.

Superstorm cycle already here

According to Météoconsult, Norway, Iceland, and parts of the British Isles are already experiencing the first superstorms. Massive blizzards are the hallmarks of winter superstorms, areas farther south are mostly damaged by record-breaking winds.

The high-velocity windstorms that smashed into parts of California, Nevada and Utah during the Fall of 2011 are part of the superstorm weather system. Some regions clocked surface winds exceeding 140mph.

French meteorologists and climate experts see more of the same and predict superstorms that will wreak havoc on parts of Northern Europe leaving destruction and death in their wake.

One such early storm named "Berit" that struck Norway caused millions of euros in damage. Winds were clocked as high as 95mph and cumulative rainfall close to four inches. That amount of rainfall converted to snow would be a blizzard dropping four feet, add 95mph winds and snows could drift as high as 10 feet in some areas.

And that's just the first such storm. The superstorms ahead are expected to be stronger, more violent, more devastating.

How the polar vortex affects the Northern Hemisphere

As fall takes hold in the Northern Hemisphere, stratospheric temperatures naturally drop. The polar vortex—weakened during the summer months by the sun's radiation—begins to strengthen again.

As hurricanes and cyclones become more powerful by feeding off warmer waters; conversely, the North Pole vortex strengthens the more the stratospheric temperatures drop.

The drop in temperatures affecting the polar vortex are far below the norm. Because of the unusually frigid air, French scientists expect "a strong enhancement of the vortex." This unusual strength will generate a series of massive superstorms. They are like polar hurricanes of wind, ice and snow.

Arctic Oscillation

The strength of the vortex is also partially determined by the path of the jet stream. According to the report on Météoconsult: "There is a persistent anomaly in the equatorial stratosphere winds since last winter. This anomaly is associated with the quasi-biennial oscillation mentioned above which, as its name suggests, at a frequency of about 24 to 30 months. During this period, winds in the middle stratosphere are now accelerating towards the west…and sometimes [reverse] accelerating to the east.

Arctic oscillation occurs in wind patterns generated by stratospheric temperatures. The oscillation pushes the jet stream farther south and sometimes decreases its altitude.

Such an oscillation occurred during January 2010 and plunged the British Isles into a deep freeze encased in ice and relentlessly lashed by brutal gale force winds.

As Météoconsult points out, climate is rife with anomalous events and aberrations in its perceived cycles. Anomalies occur from month to month and decade to decade. Aberrations due to oscillations (primarily from the sun) can last up to a century.

Looking at the climate over the centuries, change is the norm. The Northern Hemisphere experienced the Medieval Warming Period from the 10th to 14th Centuries, followed several hundred years later by the mini-Ice Age that lasted from the latter part of the 16th century into the mid-1800s.

The increased violence of the sun—predicted by NASA to reach intensity during 2012—will most likely exacerbate both the polar vortex and the hurricane season affecting the more southerly latitudes.

The superstorms expected during the winter of 2011-2102 do not presage the coming climate change into a mini-Ice Age, however, but are merely a reaction to geomagnetic storms, and a slightly cooler sun. The decreased radiation strengthens the storms and can cause catastrophic surface winds, paralyzing blizzards, and deadly cold snaps.

For those living above 45° North it may be a very long winter.

Tempêtes en Europe ces prochains jours (in French)

English translation

Geomagnetic field going wild: Winter superstorms likely

Why Earth may be entering a new Ice Age

Prepare for new Ice Age now says top paleoclimatologist

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