Warmer In The Arctic Than In Texas? What Is Wrong With This Picture?
It’s Warmer In Alaska Than In Texas Right Now
That’s according to the National Weather Service, which reported highs in the lower 30s Fahrenheit for Barrow, AK — the northernmost city in the country — but only in forecasted highs in the low 20s for Amarillo, TX.
The unusual weather kicked off last weekend with the formation of a “bomb cyclone” in the Bering Sea, which rammed into the polar jet stream and sent a cold air mass streaming from the Arctic south through the United States. The abnormal jet stream pattern, known as an “omega block,” has caused an outbreak of premature winter weather across the lower 48, even as far south as the Gulf Coast, while giving the normally frigid Alaska a bit of a break.
Meanwhile, Winter Storm Bozeman, which crept into the Pacific Northwest yesterday, continues moving east, dumping snow and ice as it goes.
This map, produced by the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, shows average temperatures across North America today. Blue and purple temperatures are below freezing, and you can see that most of the country is getting an early taste of winter.
Most of the central US is seeing temperatures more than 20F below their averages for this time of year. Alaska, meanwhile is more than 20F WARMER than usual in some regions.
This map shows how much temperatures have differed from their average levels today. Orange and red regions are warmer than usual, and blue and purple regions are colder. White regions are getting more or less their typical temperatures for this time of year.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who writes for Slate, has reported that these strange conditions could last through Thanksgiving. For many of us, that means stocking up on the hot cocoa and bundling up — it’s going to be a cold November.