So. That was something. Don’t remember two big snows in succession like that before – in Ireland anyway. Nor snow at St. Patrick’s Day parade – outside of New York.
Did notice (since I am an Astronomy geek – not a meteorological expert, note) that those two Artic Winters we had in 2010 and 2011, closely followed a sunspot minimum.
And that after a period of several years with no sunspot-free days, last year it was 28% with 104 days sunspot free. And we are batting for 54% free days (42) in 2018 so far:
2018 total: 42 days (54%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Sunspots are like a sign of agitation in the sun. Roughly speaking: the more agitation (the more sunspots and less sunspot-free days), on the sun, the greater radiance of energy. Usually small percentages – but perhaps enough to affect some of Earth’s climate or weather systems – in ocean and atmosphere mechanisms. There are several theories as to how this might happen, and certainly none are
However: below are some science extracts, that may indicate we are headed for another – perhaps harsher – winter at the end of this year or beginning of 2019. Perhaps increasingly so, over the next couple of decades.
Are you winterready.ie ?
Clear link between solar activity and winter weather revealed
October 10, 2011
by Tamera Jones, PlanetEarth Online
Scientists have demonstrated a clear link between the 11-year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere for the first time.
They found that low solar activity can contribute to cold winters in the UK, northern Europe and parts of America. But high activity from the sun has the opposite effect.
The study helps explain why the UK has been gripped by such cold winters over the last few years: the sun is just emerging from a so-called solar minimum, when solar activity is at its lowest.
The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24
Jan-Erik Solheim a,n, Kjell Stordahl b, Ole Humlum c,d
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
This analysis shows significant dependency between the pre- vious sunspot cycle length and the temperature…
short cycles like the one that ended in 1996, have only been observed three times in 300 years. After the shortest cycles, sudden changes too much longer cycles have always taken place, and thereafter there is a slow shortening of the next cycles, which take many cycles to reach a new minimum. This recurrent pattern tells us that we can expect several long cycles in the next decades…
de Jager and Duhau (2011) concludes that the solar activity is presently going through a brief transition period (2000–2014), which will be followed by a Grand Minimum of the Maunder type, most probably starting in the twenties of the present century. Another prediction, based on reduced solar irradiance due to reduced solar radius, is a series of lower solar activity cycles leading to a Maunder like minimum starting around 2040 (Abdussamatov, 2007)…L
Our forecast indicates an annual average temperature drop of 0.9 1C in the Northern Hemisphere during solar cycle 24. For the measuring stations south of 75N, the temperature decline is of the order 1.0–1.81C and may already have already started. For Svalbard a temperature decline of 3.5 1C is forecasted in solar cycle 24 for the yearly average temperature. An even higher temperature drop is forecasted in the winter months (Solheim et al., 2011).
For some balance, this study finds a weaker correlation – as I understand it, between Solar Cycle and weather system direction, rather than temperature as such: