North Pole set for December ‘heatwave’

Monster storm over Iceland likely to push warm air over Arctic, sending temperatures soaring from -30C to freezing

By Ed King

Santa would be advised to keep his clothes on, but the mercury is set to rocket at the North Pole on Wednesday.

It’s down to what is being variously described as a ‘freak’, ‘monster’ or ‘bomb’ storm in the Atlantic above Iceland.

Winds over 230 miles per hour are set to rip across the North Atlantic, gaining power from other storms in the vicinity.

As Mashable’s Andrew Freedman explains here, this will have a number of effects.

One will be to shower the UK with yet more rain, exacerbating flooding in the north of the country.

The other will be to “pump mild air” up to the polar regions.

“This temperature spike could influence the ice buildup during the winter, which is becoming more critical now that global warming is melting so much sea ice during the spring, summer and fall months,” he writes.

Jason Samenow at the Washington Post puts it in even starker terms.

“It’s as if a bomb went off. And, in fact, it did. The exploding storm acts a remarkably efficient heat engine, drawing warm air from the tropics to the top of the Earth,” he says.

As meteorologist Ryan Maue points out below, this ‘heatwave’ is all relative. But it’s an extraordinary way for a a year packed with record-breaking weather events to end.

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