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I had a nightmare about snowfall last night, although we haven't seen any yet.  So what's strange about dreaming of snow?

We are in Mexico in a place which has never seen snow.  But this year El Nino and La Nina are going loco, to put it mildly.

The entire world is experiencing bizarre weather, and it may relate to the oil gusher in the Gulf.  Experts said the Gulf Loop Current was broken last June, and that there would be freezing weather this winter.  

Various links for your consideration under the fold.

First off, Italian scientific paper shocked everyone last June:

The Gulf Stream importance in the global climate thermoregulation processes is well assessed. The latest real time satellite (Jason, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-On, ERS-2, Envisat) data maps of May-June 2010 processed by CCAR 1,2 (Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research), checked at Frascati Laboratories by the means of the SHT congruent calculus 3 and compared with past years data, show for the first time a direct evidence of the rapid breaking of the Loop Current, a warm ocean current, crucial part of the Gulf Stream.

update II

Here is an interview with this scientist, whose English is passable:  

Here's another take from England on the Gulf Loop crisis:

The freezing conditions that have blasted Britain are being blamed on a series of weather patterns that are bringing Arctic temperatures to much of western Europe, California and even Australia.

One of the main factors is a change in the position of the jet stream - the fast-moving current of air that moves from west to east, high in the atmosphere.

Changes in the jet stream's path can cause massive changes in weather conditions across the globe and may be why Australians are now shivering their way through summer and the current freezing conditions in California.

How cold is it?  In the sensationally-titled article "Christmas Day set to be the coldest ever with temperatures plummeting to MINUS 10" we learn:

...motorists had to contend with icy roads and air passengers were beset by more delays and cancellations.

A number of train companies ran amended timetables, with some services axed on the main London to Scotland routes up the east and west coast.

To add to the misery, union militants announced cynically-timed strikes designed to hit the post-Christmas high street sales. They involve London Underground workers demanding ‘triple time’ bonuses, Northern Rail, which serves the North East, and Arriva Trains Wales.

And as travellers endured yet another bitterly cold morning, weathermen said that should the icy weather continue, the UK could be heading for its coldest December since 1890.

Australians normally are getting ready to go to the beach this month, but instead - per the previously-linked article:

Australians expecting to bask in early summer sun this Christmas are instead shivering as icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean have blanketed parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria with up to four inches of snow.

Troubles in the middle East:

BEIRUT : Winds, rain and hail on Sunday battered the eastern Mediterranean for a second day, killing at least four people and wreaking havoc as a months-long drought came to a sudden, drastic end.

Drought-stricken countries across the Middle East had been praying for rain for weeks when the weather turned violent at the weekend, with at least four people killed as gale-force winds and torrential rain pounded the coastline.

Winds topped 100 kilometres (60 miles) per hour and waves reached 10 metres (32.8 feet) in height as cities in Lebanon and Israel suffered power cuts.

At least three people were killed in Egypt when a factory collapsed in heavy rain in the densely populated northern port city of Alexandria

Germany is battered:

Blizzards and heavy snowfall struck large parts of Germany after a brief respite and caused renewed chaos on the roads, railways and at the airports as the Christmas holiday travel edged towards its climax.

Hundreds of holiday travellers were stuck on the highways across northern and eastern Germany till late in the evening after freezing rains and icy roads resulted in a number of accidents and blocked several roads.

Traffic disruptions were “massive” in the states of Schleswig Holstein, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg Pomerenia and North Rhine Westphalia, according to the German Motorists Club (ADAC).

So it goes in the US too:

The driving early snowstorms and piercing cold winds blasting the Midwest, South, and East Coast – throwing commutes, air traffic, and football schedules into chaos – are the result of poorly understood atmospheric dynamics that may upset predictions of a milder winter for the eastern half of the US.

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison are among those trying to understand the mysterious interplay between Pacific and North Atlantic weather phenomena that threaten to dunk the Eastern US into a second year in a row of 1970s-style blizzards and cold snaps.

"At this point, this winter looks similar to last winter," says Jonathan Martin, an atmospheric scientist at Wisconsin. "The next question is, why does it look similar, and we're currently not in a position to say definitely what's going on. There are some interrelationships between big pieces of circulation anomaly that feed into one another, including an anomalous pattern over Greenland that's tied into convection in the tropical Pacific Ocean."

There was a lot of talk last summer during the Gulf Oil Disaster about the Gulf Loop Current being broken.  Here is a youtube which examines the images of the scientific paper linked above.


I've gone back through the Navy's snapshot library of the Gulf Loop Current, and I see how it looks different.

Here is the Navy's snapshot library.  If you go through month by month in previous years, you will see something like a large warm "gear" of a current circling high inside the Gulf.

In reviewing things since June, that is not visible at all.  

In effect, the loop appears not to be penetrating as deeply into the Gulf as it did before since around last June.  This appears to be in striking contrast with the appearance of previous years.  

If I can find the library of GIFs - motion pictures of the Gulf Loop Current, I'll update the diary again.

(sorry for being an almost-senior citizen who's not necessarily up-to-date on this, and if anyone can help me out I'd be obliged).

Originally posted to stonemason on Fri Dec 24, 2010 at 10:45 AM PST.


What is the truth about the health of the Gulf of Mexico?

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