The strongest summer jet stream ever observed over the Pacific Northwest.

Reposted from the  Cliff Mass Weather and Climate Blog

An extraordinary weather event has been occurring above our heads during the past 24-hour.   A record that was not only broken, but shattered to little pieces.

The strongest summer jet stream ever observed over the Pacific Northwest.  

The jet stream is a narrow current of strong winds in the upper troposphere (roughly 25,000 ft to 35,000 ft above sea level).   It is often the conduit for storms and is associated with a large temperature gradient (change in temperature with horizontal distance) in the middle and lower troposphere.   Winds in the jet stream are westerly (from the west) and aircraft like to fly in the jet stream going east, while avoiding it going west.   You are now Jet Steam certified!

The ECMWF 12-h forecast for 5 AM this morning for the wind speed at the 250 hPa pressure level (about 35,000 ft) clearly shows the jet stream, with the orange/red colors being the strongest winds.

This is a HUGE and very zonal (east-west oriented) jet stream…as shown by the next map at the same time.  This looks like January, not July.

But now I will really impress you. 

The wind this morning at the radiosonde site at Quillayute (UIL) was 140 knots (161 mph) at the 250 hPa level (again around 35,000 ft).   This is amazingly fast for this time of the year.

The plot below shows the climatology of the winds at this level throughout the year at this location, with the red lines being the all-time record for each date (the black lines are average winds for the date, blue lines, the record low winds).   Vertical soundings at Quillayute go back to the late 1960s…so we are talking about a half-century of observations.   The previous record was around 110 knots…so the 140 knots observed today absolutely shattered the record.     In fact, the wind over us right now is greater then the records for any date from April 1 to mid-October.

Record, but lesser winds, are being observed at the next upper air station to the south:  Salem, Oregon (see below)

A truly unusual event.   And one that should not be pinned on global warming.  In fact, several of the global warming jet stream papers (e.g., by Jennifer Francis and others) suggest that global warming will bring a weak and wavy jet stream.  This is just the opposite.

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Reading climate history during Grand Minimums, there is a plethora of stories, journal entries and letters written about unusual climate activity.  This could just another example.  We just have better detection tools today, than the speed of the clouds moving over head.
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Cosmic Ray Update: New Results from the Moon

By Dr Tony Phillips

July 16, 2019: Note to astronauts: 2019 is not a good year to fly into deep space. In fact, it’s shaping up to be one of the worst of the Space Age.

The reason is, the solar cycle. One of the deepest Solar Minima of the past century is underway now. As the sun’s magnetic field weakens, cosmic rays from deep space are flooding into the solar system, posing potential health risks to astronauts.

NASA is monitoring the situation with a radiation sensor in lunar orbit. The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) has been circling the Moon on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft since 2009. Researchers have just published a paper in the journal Space Weather describing CRaTER’s latest findings.

lro

“The overall decrease in solar activity in this period has led to an increased flux of energetic particles, to levels that are approaching those observed during the previous solar minimum in 2009/2010, which was the deepest minimum of the Space Age,” write the authors, led by Cary Zeitlin of NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center. “The data have implications for human exploration of deep space.”

This always happens during Solar Minimum. As solar activity goes down, cosmic rays go up. The last two Solar Minima have been unusually deep, leading to high cosmic ray fluxes in 2008-2010 and again in 2018-2019. These are the worst years since humans first left Earth in the 1960s.

“It’s a bit counterintuitive,” says one of the authors, Nathan Schwadron, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire. “Solar Minimum may actually be more dangerous than Solar Maximum.”

In their paper, Zeitlin, Schwadron and co-authors describe an interesting experiment by NASA that highlights the relative peril of solar flares vs. cosmic rays. In 2011, NASA launched the Curiosity rover to Mars. Inside its spacecraft, the rover was protected by about as much shielding (20 gm/cm^2) as a human astronaut would have. A radiation sensor tucked inside kept track of Curiosity’s exposure.

The results were surprising. During the 9-month journey to Mars, radiation from solar flares (including the strongest flare of the previous solar cycle) accounted for only about 5% of Curiosity’s total dose. The remaining 95% came from cosmic rays.

Why the imbalance? “Solar flares of the size we’ve seen during the Space Age can be largely mitigated by achievable depths of spacecraft shielding(1),” explains Zeitlin. “We can’t stop the highest energy cosmic rays, however. They penetrate the walls of any spacecraft.”

Proton_F180_red-1_crop

Solar flares are still a concern. If an astronaut were caught outside on EVA during an intense, unexpected flare, acute effects could include vomiting, fatigue, and low blood counts. A quick return to Earth might be required for medical care. Cosmic rays are more insidious, acting slowly, with maladies such as cancer or heart disease showing up years after the exposure.

As 2019 unfolds, Solar Minimum appears to still be deepening. Cosmic rays haven’t quite broken the Space Age record set in 2009-2010, but they’re getting close, only percentage points from the highest values CRaTER has ever recorded.

“No one can predict what will happen next,” says Schwadron. “However, the situation speaks for itself: We are experiencing a period of unusually weak solar cycles. We have to be prepared for strong cosmic rays.”

END NOTES:

(1) According to Zeitlin, “achievable” shielding depths will be at least 20 to 30 gm/cm^2. “Vehicles carrying humans into deep space will likely have storm shelters that will provide this much shielding or more, and that would indeed be sufficient – even for an event like the great solar flare of August 1972 during the Apollo program – to keep the accumulated dose below the 30-day limit.”

REFERENCE:

“Update on Galactic Cosmic Ray Integral Flux Measurements in Lunar Orbit With CRaTER”, by C. Zeitlin, N. A. Schwadron, H. E. Spence, A. P. Jordan, M. D. Looper, J. Wilson, J. E. Mazur, L. W. Townsend. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019SW002223

Link to the original post is HERE

 

Another Sunspot From The Next Solar Cycle

Spaceweather.com:

Solar Cycle 25 is coming to life. For the second time this month, a sunspot from the next solar cycle has emerged in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Numbered “AR2744”, it is inset in this magnetic map of the sun’s surface from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Solar_cycle25_start

How do we know this sunspot belongs to Solar Cycle 25? Its magnetic polarity tells us so. Southern sunspots from old Solar Cycle 24 have a -/+ polarity. This sunspot is the opposite: +/-. According to Hale’s Law, sunspots switch polarities from one solar cycle to the next. AR2744 is therefore a member of Solar Cycle 25.

Solar cycles always mix together at their boundaries. Right now we are experiencing the tail end of decaying Solar Cycle 24. AR2744 shows that we are simultaneously experiencing the first stirrings of Solar Cycle 25. The transition between Solar Cycle 24 and Solar Cycle 25 is underway.

Shortlived “ephemeral sunspots” belonging to Solar Cycle 25 have already been reported on Dec. 20, 2016; April 8, 2018; Nov. 17, 2018; May 28, 2019 and July 1, 2019. Today’s sunspot is more important than those earlier examples because it has lasted long enough to receive a numberical designation: AR2744. Record-keepers will likely mark this as the first official sunspot of Solar Cycle 25.

This development does not mean Solar Minimum is finished. On the contrary, low solar activity will probably continue for at least another year as Solar Cycle 24 decays and Solar Cycle 25 slowly sputters to life. AR2744 is an important sign, however, that the solar cycle is progressing.

http://spaceweather.com

New Evidence Cosmic Rays Impact Climate

cosmic-ray-shower
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect.” –Kobe University, Japan, 3 July 2019

Intensified East Asian winter monsoon during the last geomagnetic reversal transition
Yusuke Ueno, Masayuki Hyodo, Tianshui Yang & Shigehiro Katoh
Scientific Reportsvolume 9, Article number: 9389 (2019) | Download Citation

Abstract

The strength of Earth’s magnetic dipole field controls galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux, and GCR-induced cloud formation can affect climate. Here, we provide the first evidence of the GCR-induced cloud effect on the East-Asian monsoon during the last geomagnetic reversal transition. Bicentennial-resolution monsoon records from the Chinese Loess Plateau revealed that the summer monsoon (SM) was affected by millennial-scale climate events that occurred before and after the reversal, and that the winter monsoon (WM) intensified independently of SM variations; dust accumulation rates increased, coinciding with a cooling event in Osaka Bay. The WM intensification event lasted about 5000 years across an SM peak, during which the Earth’s magnetic dipole field weakened to <25% of its present strength and the GCR flux increased by more than 50%. Thus, the WM intensification likely resulted from the increased land–ocean temperature gradient originating with the strong Siberian High that resulted from the umbrella effect of increased low-cloud cover through an increase in GCR flux.

Details HERE

 

Sunspots from Solar Cycle 25?

Spaceweather.com has the details:

SUNSPOTS FROM THE NEXT SOLAR CYCLE: Solar Minimum is here, but it won’t last forever. In fact, the next solar cycle made a brief appearance this week. On July 1st, a small sunspot materialized in the sun’s southern hemisphere (S21W02), then, hours later, vanished again. The polarity of its magnetic field marks it as a likely member of Solar Cycle 25:

magnetogram_inset_strip

More HERE.

If they do not hang around and get a number do they really count as cycle 25 spots?