With the few days of ‘eastern heat’ taking all the headlines, the anomalous and long-lasting cold infecting vast swathes of North America is again being swept under the sustainably-sourced non-synthetic-petroleum-derived-fiber carpet. Record cold hit Montana over the weekend with several cities and towns setting new all-time record lows, but I’ll bet my diesel-guzzling L200 you never heard about it.
I’ve listed a few of the new record lows below:
- Utica set a new record low of -1.1C (30F) on Saturday July 20.
- Kalispell’s 2.2C (36F) busted the previous record of 3.3C (38F) set in 1996 (solar minimum of cycle 22).
- Great Falls set a new record low of 3.3C (38F) over the weekend, beating the old 4.4C (40F) set back in 1926 (exiting solar min of cycle 15).
- Livingston broke it’s previous all-time record with a low of 3.9C (39F).
- While Helena tied its previous record low set way back in 1898 (entering solar minimum of cycle 13) with a reading of 6.1C (43F) on Saturday.
In addition, Missoula’s low of 39F on Saturday was the first time since 1995 (solar min of cycle 20) that a temperature in the 30s has been observed in the last two weeks of July, and only the fifth time in the last 50 years.
Record Heat in a Cooling World
The sun, the oceans and a wavy jet stream are the main drivers of earth’s climate.
Extreme heat and extreme cold will always occur, it’s the averages that matter.
Global warming was a thing, it did happen — it was called the Grand Solar Maximum and lasted from approximately 1980 up until very recently. Global average temperatures rose by around 0.7C during this time, though the rise was natural, driven entirely by historically high solar activity, and would have occurred even if humans had never evolved to invent coal-fired power-plants and L200s.
The coin has now flipped however, and solar activity is waning fast (NASA, see below) with global average temperatures responding, falling at least 0.3C since the start of 2016. This drop is expected to now pick-up-the-pace as the most up to date CFSv2 forecast for region 3.4 of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean reveals that a dramatic flip from the current El Niño setup (warming) to a La Niña one (cooling) is on the cards, beginning mid-to-late summer (NH) 2019 (click here for more on that).
A few daily heat records may have tumbled in the US and Europe of late, but 1) those heat records are more often than not occurring at airports — all that tarmac and jet engines, a terrific unbiased location for a thermometer station (for more on the UHI effect, click here), and 2) as touched on above, both anomalous heat as well as cold is to be expected with a meridional (wavy) jet stream flow:
During a solar minimum, the jet stream’s usual Zonal Flow (a west–east direction) reverts to more of a Meridional Flow (a north-south direction) — this is exaggerated further during a Grand Solar Minimum, like the one we’re entering now, and explains why regions become unseasonably hot or cold and others unusually dry or rainy, with the extremes lasting for an extended period of time (for more, click the link below).
NBC Montana on Twitter asks, “Do you remember [Missoula’s] horribly hot summer of 2007?”
The year 2007 occurred during the previous solar minimum, of cycle 23.
Missoula’s record warmest-low temperature was set in the July of that year, before the winter months rolled around and dished-out one of the coldest seasons on record.
A wavy jet stream –associated with low solar activity– brings extremes at both ends of the temperature scale. While all the while, average temperatures slide ever-cooler:
The cold times are returning, in line with historically low solar activity.
NASA’s latest forecast for the next solar cycle (25) is for it to be “the weakest of the past 200 years” (www.nasa.gov):
This NH is on course for an incredibly severe winter.
Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift