Barry Lynn
Intersection of Science and Policy

Hot is cold

Our Dog White Sock in Better Times (courtesy)

We last discussed a number of topics, including the weather.  If you read my previous post, you may be wondering what will be the weather at the end of the month.

Rather than leaving our readers in suspense, we can say that we’re pretty sure that it will get quite chilly and rainy as we move into the last week of January.  But, will it snow?  That depends on just how much stratospheric warming occurs, which would tend to shift the atmospheric wave pattern in a way that would preclude our temperatures from getting cold enough for snow.  At the moment, there is disagreement between the global models about the potential evolution of our winter weather at the end of this month (January).

Yet, as noted by Yaakov Cantor of our “Israel Winter Weather” group,  some of the higher resolution global models are more positive about our chances for snow.  He wrote that “the Korean KMA and Australian ACCESS [Forecast] models have for the past few days agreed that the ne EU/N-Russia ridge will begin to break down by late next week with first impulse (a piece of the slow moving upper low near Italy) making it to us around next Shabbat (Jan 27-28), and [then] a deeper trough digging from [the Eastern European Union] toward Turkey and [the Eastern Mediterranean [will arrive] around Jan 29-30.”  This mean that our best chance for snow will be right when January turns into February.

Based on the GEFS alone, there is about a 20% chance of snow at the end of the month.  While this is not very high, it’s the first time this year that snow is a possibility in the global ensemble forecasts.  Mr. Cantor also noted that he expects the second and third weeks of February to stormy and cold.  So, perhaps, winter — which is yet to arrive — will arrive.

One might wonder: where has winter gone? As noted in The Washington Post: “The coldest and highest parts of the Greenland ice sheet, nearly two miles above sea level in many locations, are warming rapidly and showing changes that are unprecedented in at least a millennium, scientists reported Wednesday.”  The scientists claim that their analysis of ice cores show that parts of Greenland are 1.5 degrees Celsius then they’ve been in the 20th Century.

In other words: differential warming in the northern latitude implies that the Greenland ice sheet is melting at a greater rate than might be expected if the warming of the world was distributed evenly.  It also means that our potential for cold air outbreaks is reduced.  And, for us, it also means that a shift northward in the polar Jet Stream means a greater possibility of winter drought, as colder winter storms pass us to the north.

I’d like to switch gears and point out that our leading politicians are blowing a lot of hot air. Unfortunately, in their world hot is cold and cold is hot.  For instance, in response to the Supreme Court Ruling that Mr. Deri should not be allowed to be a minister, our Justice Minister Yariv Levin said that the coalition will “do everything necessary to fully repair the terrible injustice done to Rabbi Aryeh Deri, Shas and Israeli democracy.”  I am still trying to figure out how it is an injustice for the court to rule that a person recently convicted of financial crimes would be denied the opportunity to be a minister, including the Finance Minister  I can only think that Mr. Levin feels that if the people want to legalize criminality it’s perfectly fine.  Might he be known, hence forth, as the “INJustice Minister?”

Lastly, our son put together a video  for the first year since the passing of our dog, “White Sock.”  When children grow up with pets, they’ve lost more than a friend when that pet passes away.  They’ve lost their lifetime of experiences, which become only memories. Someone once told me that the only negative characteristic associated with dogs is that they don’t live long enough.  That could possibly be said for all of us.

About the Author
Dr. Barry Lynn has a PhD in Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology. He is a researcher/lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the CTO of Weather It Is, LTD, a weather forecasting and consulting company.
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