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Why March Was So Cold

April 24, 2013

By Paul Homewood


For the UK, as well as much of Europe and Asia, last month was one of the coldest March’s on record. In the UK, for instance, it was the second coldest since 1910, just pipped by 1962.

The cold weather has, in simple terms, been the result of the position of the jet stream, which throughout the month fed in easterly winds. But does this explain why it was as cold as it was? A look at the GISS temperature map for the month, shown below, gives a clue.





Just look at how much colder than normal Siberia and the Russian Arctic have been. This is where the weather has been coming from, and this is why, even allowing for “Siberian winds”, it has been so cold.

Forget about claims that it has all been caused by a missing ice cube six months ago. The freezing weather has been the result of the Arctic being much colder than normal.

There is actually an interesting comparison with the map from March 1962, below. The cold Arctic air was slightly further west in that year, but it is noticeable that similar “warm” conditions existed over Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. Also note the almost identical conditions over North America.




It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same!



One More Thing

On the top right hand corner of the March 2013 map is the global temperature anomaly for the month, against the baseline of 1981-2010 – a tiny 0.13C.

And this is what all the fuss is about?

  1. April 24, 2013 2:36 pm

    What an interesting North Sea SST anomalies map for today, the 24th April 2013;

    How it is possible that such a pronounced stripe of sub-low temperature anomalies strech from the English Channel, along the Belgian and The Netherlands’s coast up the German Bight. The water temperature throughout the North Sea is still very low Any human activities will exchange already warmed-up surface water with colder water from lower levels. The unusual SST anomalies today could just be the proof of anthropogenic change in SST and consequently a change of regional air temperatures. The record cold March 2013 in West Europe was presumably partly caused by human activities as well. Only Met Office does not know.

    More “Met-Off loose talk on cold March 2013? North and Baltic Sea should not be ignored!”

  2. April 24, 2013 2:50 pm

    Just to play “Devil’s Advocate”,(as a sceptic myself):

    1. In 2013, only part of the Arctic was colder than 1981-2010, most of the remainder was warmer.

    2. In 1962 most of the SH and Antarctic was below 1981-2010, whereas in 2013, large parts were warmer.

    3. While the global anomaly in 2013 was +0.13c, in 1962, it was -0.36c, which is an increase of 0.49c, despite the “cold” March in the NH.

    • F. Guimaraes permalink
      April 28, 2013 6:43 am

      The oceans were colder in 1962, specially in the SH, that’s the big difference. There was a powerful La Nina back then, but the PDO anomaly looks colder now and with the Antarctic icecap reaching its highest levels in more than 3 decades, I believe the oceans in the SH should start to get colder also from now on. Also the AMO should start to naturally descend into its negative phase, cooling the North Atlantic.
      Another important point to consider, I believe, is the very low level of solar radiations we’re having now, even in comparison with cycle #20, as an intensifier of the entire cooling process.
      The analogy of present climate with those times seems very appropriate, see for example this interesting comment of Joe Bastardi,

      and this comparison NASA’s data for last March with 1962 seems to indicate the same.

  3. John F. Hultquist permalink
    April 24, 2013 3:34 pm

    The default map projection in these images exaggerates the area of the high latitudes. Visual interpretation is difficult. A projection based on the Arctic Circle or even 70 N. Latitude would be a better visual.

    Then there is the question of where and how well the temperature was being measured in those orangish (warm anomaly) areas in 1962. This might be what folks today call a WAG.

  4. April 24, 2013 10:50 pm

    To compare the above shown “” for 2013 and 1962
    here is the global T°C map for March 1942: (vs. 1900 -1939)

  5. david permalink
    May 4, 2013 9:32 am

    Why does the extreme end of the the 1962 and the 2013 charts change scale? The “62”, same color as 2013, goes from -4 to -6.8 vs “13” from -4 to -8.2. Possibly 2013 could have been colder in those areas, but look the same visually. (Visually warming the present?)

    Going the other way the 62 warm goes from + 4 to + 8.5 where as the “13” chart goes from +4 to + 7.1. Possibly 1962 could have been warmer then represented in those areas as compared to 2013 chart. (Visually cooling the past?) (I know they do not get there averages from the colors, but visually this could be distorting a comparision)

    • May 4, 2013 9:38 am

      That’s just the way GISS do it. I assume that the system automatically adjusts it self when there are bigger variations, otherwise they would need too many colours!

  6. david permalink
    May 4, 2013 9:58 am

    (-; Well then, it looks like it was more extremely cold in 2013, and more extremely warm in 1962.

  7. pizzo permalink
    May 17, 2013 2:40 pm

    just get use to it , the cold weathers here to stay . for about 50 to 70 years hello to the new maunder minimum & world wide starvation !!!!

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