The animation of this storm moving into the Bering Sea and displacing the Arctic air is absolutely spellbinding:
Click here for the animation:
Air Temperature Animation
(the Bearing Sea is on the left side of the map)
As remarkable as this phenomenon is to watch, the effects of this storm could have 3 potential serious impacts:
1) Any damage that the storm itself may inflict upon the lands surrounding the Bearing Sea.
2) The deleterious or hazardous impacts of the unseasonably cold air upon the lands, agriculture, people, and ecosystems – including much of the US – where the arctic air is being displaced to.
3) Perhaps most significantly, the freeze up of the Arctic Ocean could be seriously disrupted, which has knock on effects on the animals, such as walrus and polar bears, that depend upon the arctic ice that their lives are adapted to. After years of seriously critical declines in arctic ice extent and volume, this year and last year there was a bit of respite, with a bit more ice surviving the summer melt season – though still well below historical norms. I can’t help but wonder how this storm might slow down the freeze up, by pushing the cold air out of the arctic, and also break up the ice that has newly been forming since the melt ended in September. But perhaps my concerns are unfounded. I’ll share graphs of this info if a serious disruption actually occurs.
Here’s more info on the storm:
Alaskan storm that could be stronger than Hurricane Sandy
The brunt of the storm — the remains of Typhoon Nuri — is expected to pass into the Bering Sea and weaken, but it will still push unseasonably frigid air into much of the US next week, the National Weather Service said.
Forecasters said waves could be as high as 50 feet (15 meters), prompting ships and fishing vessels to get out of the storm’s path or seek protected harbours.
The storm was expected to surpass the intensity of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and has the potential to be one of the most intensive to ever hit the North Pacific, meteorologists said.