We created a new animation that shows the observed evolution of temperature anomalies throughout the Northern Hemisphere landmasses based on snow cover alone. We composited daily temperatures (using a five day filter) of years with observed high Eurasian October snow cover minus low Eurasian October snow cover. The animation runs from September 1 through February 28. You can view it on the Arctic Oscillation blog toward the bottom of the page.
Given the high snow cover observed this past October, the animation may provide insight into periods and regions when strong temperature anomalies are favored based on snow cover alone. This is not a temperature forecast and of course many other factors influence observed temperature anomalies including global sea surface temperatures, the stratosphere, sea ice and the random nature of the atmospheric circulation.
The Arctic Oscillation is the climate mode most highly correlated with surface temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere continents. Drs. Judah Cohen and Jason Furtado from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER is a division of Verisk Climate) are analyzing and predicting the variability in the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Northern Hemisphere, in a new blog series. AER’s published research shows that October Eurasian snow cover is a leading indicator of the mean winter Arctic Oscillation.