This week, temperatures around the North Pole were 27C higher than usual for this time of year — and today, they rose above the freezing point. That’s right: In the middle of what’s supposed to be winter, the NORTH POLE was registering temperatures you’d expect to feel in New York around New Years, according to the GFS Forecast Model, which collates data from satellites and weather stations to produce global weather predictions.
It’s only the second instance in which we’ve seen above-freezing temperatures at the North Pole this time of year — -28C is more typical.
GFS analysis time series of North Pole temps: +0.71°C so above freezing for < 6 hrs— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) December 30, 2015
ECMWF 12z analysis: -6°C (…) pic.twitter.com/5UPzimWYPd
To what do Santa’s elves owe the unexpected heat wave? The same nasty storm that slammed the southern US with tornadoes and blizzards this weekend, leaving millions of dollars of property damage and widespread flooding along the Mississippi in its wake. As that storm continues to punch its way north through the Jet Stream, it’s forcing warm air over the Arctic Circle, causing the mercury to rise to the kind of double digit numbers you’d expect in mid-summer.
Of course, winter in New York has been feeling like summer lately, so perhaps we shouldn’t be that surprised.
Did we mention it’s the hottest year in recorded history?
Top: The hot, weird storm currently sitting above the North Atlantic, via earth.nullschool.net