Brett Anderson

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Arctic Oscillation a Big Factor this Month

December 22, 2010; 12:03 PM ET

The negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation has had a strong influence on the weather across large parts of Canada so far this month.

NASA's Earth Observatory recently posted a story about the impact of the negative Arctic Oscillation on the United States and Canada during the first half of December.

The images below show describe the impact of the positive Arctic Oscillation (first image) and the negative Arctic Oscillation (second image). Image courtesy of the NSIDC.

The NASA map below shows the temperature anomalies from Dec. 3-10 from the U.S. and Canada to Europe.

As you can clearly see, much of northeastern Canada has been unusually mild, while cold conditions prevailed from the U.S. Midwest to the Middle Atlantic region. Much of Europe was in the deep freeze.

The image below shows the model ensemble forecast (red lines) for the Arctic Oscillation going out to the start of the new year. The NOAA forecast predicts a trend toward a more neutral Arctic Oscillation, though still somewhat negative.

The temperature anomaly measurements are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.


A friend of mine from Prince Edward Island sent me some photos of the most recent wind and rain storm around the bay. The pictures are from the north shore and in the Brackley Beach area on PEI.

Image courtesy of google maps.

Rough conditions on the bay.

Road to the beach flooded out.

Close-up bird's eye image of the area courtesy of Bing Maps.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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About This Blog

Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson covers both short-term and long-term weather and storm forecasts for Canada in this blog for