Monday, 3 March 2014

Sodankylä, the cloudiest place on Planet Earth?

The Sodankylä winter 2013-2014 has been characterised by relatively high temperatures, soft grey skies and snow/sleet/rain/... One peculiar thing is that we have not really seen the Sun this year. It has been only during couple days with nice February/March weather. Of course the positive point is that we have not had any really cold weather (like -30 C).

Today, I asked one of our FMI colleagues, how many hours of sunlight we had in February. We briefly checked the FMI databases and found out that during 1/2-3/3 we only had 4 days with some sunshine!!! Otherwise it has been grey! 

The fabulous thing about FMI Sodankylä, is that they have lidar measurements of the cloudiness, hence the next step is to analyse cloudiness ratio in Sodankylä for whole winter. And I say, it has been extremely cloudy! From the atmospheric science point of view, we could ask why we have had so cloudy winter! Is it due to jet streams or something else? In addition, we know that in the North America, the winter has been really cold (the opposite of the European winter). What is the reason for this extremely boring weather phenomenon?

The brief moments, when we have seen the Sun in February 2014.

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