Arctic air has dipped deep into Europe of late, delivering record low temperatures and snow to many nations. From as far north as Sweden to as far south as central Spain, all-time cold records have been tumbling.
Portugal is also on the list, with its complex temperate maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic, the Continent AND the Mediterranean.
Last week, Portugal’s electricity consumption broke its all-time record high with natural gas consumption also exceeding historical benchmarks, according to data from REN (National Energy Networks).
The influx of polar cold is to blame for the record increase in energy consumption, according to Portugal’s manager of the energy networks. And I personally can vouch for the cold. Over the weekend, I recorded a low of -4.1C (24.6F) on my land in central Portugal. The nearest official weather station to me is located just a few miles away –situated at a higher elevation– and has an all-time record low of -3.9C (25F).
The maximum daily electricity consumption reached 185.1 GWh on Wednesday, January 13, surpassing the previous record set on January 11, 2010. Also, the highest peak in electricity consumption was also busted last week: 9,887 MW surpassed the old benchmark of 9,403 MW set in 2010.
In addition, a new all-time record for the highest consumption of natural gas was set this month. On Jan. 5, 299.1 GWh was logged, which comfortably beat-out the previous record of 269.9 GWh on Dec. 5, 2017. The highest peak in natural gas consumption was also broken, with a new reading of 14,874 MW.
This pattern of record-high energy consumption due to historically-low temperatures is being repeated across much of Europe, and across the majority of Asia as well. Across many nations, emergency production is being called upon, including the re-opening of sidelined coal-fired power plants.
See below for more:
“Beast from the East 2” Incoming
Looking ahead, Europe’s recent chill will likely pale in comparison to the monster currently brewing to the north.
Stratospheric conditions over the Arctic are developing in such a way that cold records could not only be broken but utterly annihilated over the coming weeks. Looking at the North Pole’s 10hPa temperature chart (shown below), we can temps above the Arctic have risen sharply of late:
Basically, temperatures over the North Pole rise like this when the Zonal winds in the stratosphere weaken (and vice-versa). This weakening of the Zonal winds occurs when the jet streams are loose — loose-flowing jets effectively unlock the frigid air usually trapped within the Arctic: the westerly Polar Night Jet (PNJ) is disrupted which can lead to a complete reversal of its flow and, after a few weeks lag, send Arctic air spilling southwards into the mid-latitudes:
This loose (meridional) jet stream flow occurs more frequently during times of low solar activity. The pattern also becomes more pronounced, meaning Arctic cold descends much further south than usual.
The historically low solar activity we’re currently experiencing fully explains why these cold outbreaks are becoming more common. Furthermore, it is this forcing, along with increased cloud-cover due to an influx of Cosmic Rays, and oceanic influences such as the Beaufort Gyre, that are thought to be the immediate players in the onset of Ice Ages (Little or otherwise).
Looking at the North Pole’s 10hPa Zonal wind strength chart (shown below), the colored lines (turquoise & pinks) represent the four individual GFS runs taking us through to the middle of April — all four runs are predicting a sharp reduction in the Zonal winds at the end of January:
More importantly though, a full blown SSW event already occurred this month: see the plunge at the beginning of January, and also note how it aligns with the sharp spike in temperatures in the North Pole’s 10hPa temp chart (shown 3 images up).
The impact of this event should be felt across the northern Hemisphere in the coming weeks, and latest GFS runs are picking up on a brutal invasion of polar cold as the calendar flips to February, particularly over Europe, ALL of transcontinental Russia, and western Canada:
Stay tuned for updates.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift