According to Bloomberg, a low-pressure area above the North Pole, together with the constant winds circulating in that area and masses of air moving north and colliding with those winds, created a barrier to the cold.
An area of extremely low pressure hanging above the North Pole turned out to be the cause of the abnormally warm winter. The collision between air masses moving north and the constant winds circulating in that area created an impenetrable barrier to the cold, concluded the Bloomberg agency. The summary of a conversation they had with meteorologists was published on February 21.
As Bloomberg’s publication suggests, the phenomenon might have been caused by a mixture of a temporary weather factor and the consequences of global warming. The current air temperature in the USA exceeds the 20th-century winter average by three degrees. If the situation does not change by February 29 inclusive, this winter will become the warmest in the USA for the last 141 years. “What stands out here is we aren’t talking about a standalone point of warmth but a wide wave of it,” said Bob Hanson, a meteorologist from IBM.
November 2019 was exceptionally warm and was rated the second-warmest November on record, giving way to November 2016, reported the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), emphasizing that the fall of 2019 and the January–November period were also ranked second. The January 2020 air temperatures in Russia, a number of regions in Scandinavia, and eastern Canada were five degrees higher than average. The last month was also ranked the warmest in Europe, the agency reminded us.
This is not the first time a cold-blocking wind barrier like the one mentioned above has occurred. This year, however, it does not weaken nor intensify as it usually does, depending on the pressure, but stays the same for long periods. This circumstance should pique scientists’ interest since it might be related to climate change. In addition, the fact that January temperatures have been record-high for four years straight might also be worth mentioning, Bloomberg explained.
According to a report published by the WMO at the beginning of December, the 2010–2019 period is highly likely to be ranked the warmest decade ever observed, with 2019 becoming the third-warmest year ever. These preliminary prognoses by the WMO are based on their January–October weather observations. In March, they will announce their conclusions regarding the state of the climate in 2019.