October 2020 – Temperature anomalies

No wonder the Arctic Ocean was unable to freeze offshore across the Laptev and East Siberian Sea during October with anomalies as high as 14°C above the 1981-2010 LTA. Anomalies as high as this are a little misleading* because normally by now a large part of the Arctic Ocean would be ice covered which in itself would lower the surface temperature and the magnitude of the anomalies, the lack of sea ice can and does cause massive temperature anomalies. Elsewhere IONA was caught between higher anomalies to the east and lower anomalies to the south and west and hence temperatures across the UK were close to average during October. It was Greenland’s turn to much warmer than average with anomalies as haigh as +7°. Meanwhile the cold wave during the month ensured much of central North America was colder than average whilst the southwest was 3°C above average.

In clarification of a little misleading

  • * This is how I see it. In nearly all the October’s that make up the LTA over the last 30 years sea ice off the Siberian coast had formed during October. This year the sea ice hasn’t had time to reform yet, so the 2M temperature is assumed to be at the temperature of the sea ~0°C when normally it would be many degrees below zero because the sea ice will have effectively turned sea into land and allowed radiative cooling to occur in the Arctic night. And that’s why I believe, at times like these, the anomalies of air over water are so much larger than air over ice and are a little misleading.
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