South Pole Has Most Severe Cold Season on Record

Bill's Blog

Above is a screen grab from the South Pole webcam this Tuesday AM (10/5). Skies were mostly clear and the sun was shining, albeit at a low angle here in early October.

It’s spring in the S. Hemisphere, but it still looks like mid-winter at the pole, where the temperature is a frigid 85 below zero (°F) and the wind chill stands at 120 below zero (°F).

I came across this article in (of all places) the Washington Post. The headline says: “South Pole posts most severe cold season on record…” The average temperature at theAmundsen–Scott South Pole Station from April through September was a bone-chilling -7°8 (minus-61 Celsius), This was the coldest on record, dating back to 1957.

The frigid air over Antarctica helped push sea ice levels surrounding the continent to their fifth-highest level on record in August, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Here’s ice extent for the Arctic. It’s currently well below the 30-year average, but well above the record low ice extent set 9 years ago in 2012.

North American Snow and Ice Cover

Here’s current North American Snow and Ice Cover. There’s already a snow cover over a good portion of Alaska, far northwest and northern Canada and Siberia. There seems to be a correlation between early snowcover in Siberia and cold winters in the Eastern U.S. We usually look at Siberian and N. American snow cover in more detail in late October. I went on record back in July forecast warmer than average temperatures for Sept. and Oct. – and an earlier winter this year, with December likely to be the coldest December in at least 4 years.

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