Thursday, December 24, 2020

Northern heat flow takes a break for the holidays


We'll go over the importance of these 'atmospheric rivers' of heat energy.  Much is summarized in my backgrounder which can be clicked on the right.  

We have great physics which limits the highest surface temperature of the ocean to about 30C.  If more heat energy is thrown in to try to get higher, then the atmosphere goes unstable.  If there is a 'swirl' to the winds, then we have a hurricane, cyclone, or typhoon.  This is a marvelous construction that curls in on itself and can maintain it's form as long as it is going over 30C water.  As it goes over, the low pressures in the middle can extract 10 times more heat energy because it increases heat transfer by evaporation.  I have to fantasize a little because nobody does the physics.  If they did do the physics, then they would have to keep quiet.

Anybody who does physics has to throw in a sop to keep off the warmie wolves.  

A recent article on atmospheric physics declined to throw a fish.

“The re-emergence of this large-scale PDO pattern tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean,” Patzert added. “These shifts can trigger decade or longer droughts in some regions and damaging floods elsewhere.”

I am amazed.  They decline to say that this overwhelms any carbon influence.  But, still, it's progress.

Okay, the cyclone is the most efficient way to dump heat for the ocean, but if there is no curl in the winds, then we have the generation of an atmospheric plume.  We can consider this a non-swirling hurricane.  They won't be flying in drones for this any time soon.  This big mess of churning atmosphere soon throws out a jet of hot, wet air.  The pressure is still low, evaporating more heat, and the plume/jet goes on to give us warmth at the polar extremes.

Right now, we only have two plumes in the North, which is a record low.  The Atlantic one is missing the UK.

Good for them!  Of interest to Toronto is the big plume hitting Alaska.  That gives us extreme cold for the beginning of January.

Today Rain. Wind south 30 km/h gusting to 60. High 9 with temperature falling to zero this afternoon.

Tonight Rain mixed with snow changing to snow this evening. Risk of freezing rain this evening. Snowfall amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. Temperature steady near minus 1. Wind chill near minus 8.  (forecast for Christmas)

Big, illegal, toboggan fest tomorrow!  You'll have to wear a scarf over you face anyway.

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