Arctic Siberia’s unusual warm spell continues

#Arctic, #Snow & Ice, #Climate change

Published on 16 July 2020

Last month, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported an unusual winter and spring in western Siberia, with higher-than-average surface air temperatures throughout the period; up to 10°C higher than are normal for May. In June, however, the western and southern parts of this region saw mainly below-average temperatures.

Average surface air temperature over Arctic Siberia for each June from 1900 to 2020, relative to the June average for the 1981-2010 reference period. Data source: GISTEMP, ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF.


But Siberia is vast and, many kilometres further northeast, the C3S ERA5 dataset recorded a heatwave during the second half of the month that brought June average temperatures in some parts of Arctic Siberia to as much as 10°C above normal. In addition, the average monthly temperature over the entire area was more than 5°C higher than usual, which breaks the record for the previous two warmest Junes – 2018 and 2019 – by more than a degree. The maximum temperature estimated by ERA5 was also exceptional; on 20 June, it saw its highest ever June temperature in the Arctic, at 37°C. On the same day, a station-based record temperature of 38°C was reported nearby, though the value is yet to be officially confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization.

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