Just when you thought it was safe to believe in escape velocity GDP growth for the US economy... the weather ruins the party. As Bloomberg reports, the snow in Siberia is piling up, and if it keeps coming, people in New York may have to bundle up this winter as theory suggests that the amount of snow covering Eurasia in October is an indication of how much icy air will sweep down from the Arctic in December and January, pouring over parts of North America. "It's still early in the game," says one forecaster, but warns "the snow has gotten off to an incredible start." Polar Vortex 2.0 here we come... and down goes US GDP...
Last year, the snow level across Eurasia was the fourth highest for the month in records going back to 1967. In January, frigid temperatures dubbed “the polar vortex” slid out of the Arctic to freeze large portions of the U.S.
It was a pattern that repeated itself during the Northern Hemisphere winter and helped make the first three months of this year the coldest in the 48 contiguous states since 1985, according to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
With the snow now piling up across Eurasia, will this winter be a grim reminder of last year’s?
“It’s still early in the game,” said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Massachusetts, a division of Verisk Climate.
While “the snow has gotten off to an incredible start,” Cohen said he needs to see how much covers the area through the entire month before he can make an accurate forecast. The National Science Foundation has sponsored his research into the link between Eurasian snowcover and the severity of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.
According to Cohen’s research, there is a link between the snowcover and how much cold spills out of the Arctic and where it ends up once it escapes.
A big piece of this depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO, which is a pressure differential across the basin. When it’s in its negative phase, cold air can be bottled up across the eastern U.S., and that can also mean more snow both there and in Western Europe.
A good indication of what the negative phase of the NAO can do was the winter of 2009-2010, when 56.1 inches (142.5 centimeters) of snow fell in Washington and the “Snowmageddon” storm halted travel in the U.S. Northeast.
Cohen said we need to wait a few weeks before he’ll predict what the NAO will do.
“Our research has shown that you need all 31 days” of October, Cohen said.
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So it would appear that The Fed needs to print some more warm weather for Eurasia... or else!