The January 2018 Fram Strait Cyclones

We’ve covered similar events in the recent past, but this one looks like it will take the proverbial biscuit.

Here’s the 6 hour wave forecast for the Fram Strait from 12:00 UTC this afternoon:

Significant_height_of_combined_w in multi_1.glo_30mext-20180113-12z+6

Mean_period_of_wind_waves_surfac in multi_1.glo_30mext-20180113-12z+6

Look at the scales carefully then compare the wave height and period with previous similar events. Here’s the cause of those giant waves, two powerful cyclones off Greenland pumping heat and moisture northwards from a long way south:

Synopsis-20180113-18Z-Crop

Also bear in mind the current sea ice area around Svalbard:

osisaf_svalbard_plot_20180112

and the current weather forecast for the capital Longyearbyen:

svalbard_forecast_20180113

Note in particular the anomalously high temperatures and the severe weather warnings for both rain and avalanches. In the middle of January.

Finally, for the moment at least, here’s a Sentinel 1B image of the sea ice in the Fram Strait earlier this morning:

S1B_Fram_20180113T063817

 

[Edit – January 14th]

The temperature in Longyearbyen is forecast to drop below freezing point early on Tuesday and then remain there, which I guess counts as good news?

svalbard_forecast_20180114

However the southernmost of the two cyclones off Greenland is now down to a central MSLP of 942 hPa:

Synopsis-20180114-12Z-Crop

 

[Edit – January 15th]

The cyclone now centred near Iceland looks as though it bottomed out at a MLSP of 939 hPa earlier today:

Synopsis-20180115-00Z-Crop

Watch this space!

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