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Old 08-31-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMI View Post
I agree with Mac15.

Prevailing winds blow west to east, that is the key.

Eastern areas of continent have a more "continental climate", even at of near the coast.

As for North America being the "coldest" continent after Antarctica, I say no, Asia is.

Here are two prime example to prove my point...

For example: Philadelphia and Beijing, both are slightly south of 40N

Philadelphia....Beijing , average highs and lows in F

JAN 40/26 JAN 35/17
FEB 44/28 FEB 41/22
MAR 53/34 MAR 53/33
APR 64/44 APR 69/46
MAY 74/54 MAY 79/57
JUN 83/63 JUN 86/66
JUL 87/69 JUL 88/72
AUG 85/68 AUG 86/69
SEP 78/60 SEP 78/59
OCT 67/48 OCT 66/46
NOV 56/39 NOV 50/32
DEC 45/30 DEC 39/22

Another example farther south at slightly north of 31N

Shanghai.....Brunswick, Georgia USA

JAN 47/34 JAN 63/42
FEB 49/36 FEB 66/46
MAR 55/42 MAR 72/51
APR 66/52 APR 78/57
MAY 75/61 MAY 85/65
JUN 82/69 JUN 90/72
JUL 89/77 JUL 92/74
AUG 88/75 AUG 91/74
SEP 81/69 SEP 86/70
OCT 73/59 OCT 79/61
NOV 63/48 NOV 72/52
DEC 52/37 DEC 64/45

Let's just say I'd rather take my winter vacation in Brunswick,GA than Shanghai, China
Beijing has a colder January average low than even where I live in Canada
Pyongyang, North Korea is actually slightly farther south than Beijing but has an even colder January!

As for the Rocky Mountains being a big factor on the climate of eastern North America, I'm not so sure.
For me removing the coast mtns. (or farther south the Cascades/Sierra Nevada) is a bigger deal, if they weren't there, then oceanic influence on climate in the west would be spread more inland east to the Rockies.
Moscow is warmer than Minneapolis. Moscow is pretty far inland from the N. Atlantic.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:57 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Considering Asia is a much larger continent, you'd expect to have more severe winters on the east side. Northern Asia is different than North America that the coldest winter temperatures are far more to the eastern edge of the continent in Asia than in North America, where they're in the middle.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:58 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
the same author posted somewhat technical presentation slides on the subject. Starting at about page 24, is a number of slides showing a computer model result with and without the Rockies (actually all western mountains, the Rockies are the eastern part of the chain with a larger area and higher average though not peak elevation)

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div...GulfStream.pdf
see page 4 of the above pdf to compare winters in North America with Asia
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:12 PM
BMI
 
Location: Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Moscow is warmer than Minneapolis. Moscow is pretty far inland from the N. Atlantic.
However, IMO it is mainly due to Moscow being in Europe, if it was farther east in Russia in Asia,
Moscow would be a lot colder.
I still stand by eastern Asia being colder than North America in winter.

As for Moscow being warmer than Minneapolis.....

IMO Russia east of the Urals (European Russia) still benefits from the extreme winter mildness
of western Europe with prevailing west to east winds that's where a lot of their weather is coming from.
Once you get east of the Urals it's a whole different ball game, a real deep freezer

Minneapolis does have a very cold winter for 45N, even Calgary, Alberta
6 degrees farther north has a warmer average january.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Anaheim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Came across and interesting article by a British Scientist that explains why England is so much milder than eastern N. America at the same latitude.

The Source of Europe's Mild Climate American Scientist


The article starts off with this:


"I arrived in the Big Apple just before a late-summer heat wave, at a time when the temperature soared to around 35 degrees Celsius. I had never endured such blistering temperatures. And just a few months later I was awestruck by the sensation of my nostrils freezing when I went outside. Nothing like that happens in England, where the average January is 15 to 20 degrees warmer than what prevails at the same latitude in eastern North America. So what keeps my former home so balmy in the winter? And why do so many people credit the Gulf Stream?"


The climate thread for St. Petersburg got me thinking about why is Russia relatively mild given the latitude. When you look at a map of the world, N. America has much more water around it with two giant oceans, and the Eurasian Continent has a huge amount of land between it and the eastern part of its landmass. Beijing is warmer than Chicago in winter. Moscow is warmer than Minneapolis in winter. It is amazing to me how relatively mild the winter nights are in interior Russia given the latitude. Only when you get to the Korean Peninsula do the averages seem to equal out per latitude. Pyongyang at the same latitude as Chicago is slightly colder in winter and around the same in summer.

The Rocky Mountains are one of the main reasons for this. That huge north-south chain combined with the Coriolis effect forces the Jetstream into the large buckles that sweep down really cold arctic air in winter. It is the reason N. America has the highest number of frontal passages of any other continent. Once you move west toward Wyoming and Utah it gets warmer. Salt Lake city at the same latitude and yet over 4,000 ft in elevation is warmer than Chicago. Using climate models if you remove the Rocky Mountains the temp diff in winter between eastern N. America and Western Europe is cut in half.


Another quote from the article:

"Topographically forced atmospheric waves contribute significantly to the large difference in winter temperature across the Atlantic. When Battisti and I removed mountains from our climate models, the temperature difference was cut in half. Our conclusion was that the large difference in winter temperature between western Europe and eastern North America was caused about equally by the contrast between the maritime climate on one side and the continental climate on the other, and by the large-scale waviness set up by air flow over the Rocky Mountains."

I wonder what the climate of eastern N. America would be like if there were no mountains at all? I know we discussed before placing the Rockies east-west, but I never thought before about what our climate would be like if they were completely removed. Turns out it would be significantly warmer. Seems North America really is the coldest continent outside of Antarctica.

Cold pole of the the Northern Hemisphere is in Russia (Siberia, between Ojmjakon and Verkhoyansk).

Only Dwd and Dfd climates (humid cold climates with VERY cold winters but warm enough summers to keep the climate from being classified as tundra) in the world are on the Eurasian landmass in Asiatic Russia (Siberia, again!)

It's a much larger land mass than North America's, from Gibraltar to Vladivostok, and from Kamchatka to Norway.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Anaheim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMI View Post
However, IMO it is mainly due to Moscow being in Europe, if it was farther east in Russia in Asia,
Moscow would be a lot colder.
I still stand by eastern Asia being colder than North America in winter.

As for Moscow being warmer than Minneapolis.....

IMO Russia east of the Urals (European Russia) still benefits from the extreme winter mildness
of western Europe with prevailing west to east winds that's where a lot of there weather is coming from.
Once you get east of the Urals it's a whole different ball game, a real deep freezer

Minneapolis does have a very cold winter for 45N, even Calgary, Alberta
6 degrees farther north has a warmer average january.
Um, Russia east of the Urals is Asiatic Russia. I imagine you meant to say "west".
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Came across and interesting article by a British Scientist that explains why England is so much milder than eastern N. America at the same latitude.

The Source of Europe's Mild Climate American Scientist

Another quote from the article:

"....eastern North America was caused about equally by the contrast between the maritime climate on one side and the continental climate on the other, and by the large-scale waviness set up by air flow over the Rocky Mountains."
.
Haven't read it yet but will over coffee tomorrow. Sounds very interesting. Not sure I can add anything to the conversation because you guys are better at climate regarding geography than me.

But wanted to comment on the "waviness" they mention here. It's true about how the Jet "buckles" and is wavy across the U.S/Canada but not sure the mountains are causing it.

We see these waves anywhere across the globe. There's so many other keys involved. Sometimes the flow is flat and zonal. Mountains do have an affect on weather.. but I don't think the Rockies thousands miles away would affect the weather in the East. Appalaicians will though.

I also don't think if we took away the mountains we would have a warmer continent. Back to what actually causes a buckle.. its not just the mountains so that means it would still get cold in spots, in fact maybe more so since the mountains aren't there to "break apart" the Jet?

Maybe this might help in some way... It's the flow at 500mb in the 8-10 day range. Flat across the U.S but maybe it might help you guys figure out why Asia is different? Do the waves/buckles not reach there as much to send the polar air down?

That's the other thing... the way polar air bleeds down into the U.S is we need that trough... the buckle. I don't think the Rockies are the cause of this buckle.

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Old 08-31-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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One thing I find really fascinating about the continental climates in Eastern North America vs. East Asia is the fact that even though latitude for latitude, the continental climates in Asia are colder (sometimes considerably so), the standard deviation from the norm in winter these climates isn't that great.
For example, Shanghai has an average high/low of 47/34F in January and a record low of 10F. Brunswick, GA has an average high/low 63/42 in January which is much warmer on average than Shanghai but has a colder record low at 5F.
It makes sense why Shanghai is colder on average than Brunswick due to the Siberian anticyclone but why does Brunswick have a colder record low? The Siberian anticyclone is much colder and stronger than the North American equivalent. Do the Rockies have something to do with this?
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
Deneb is talking about the arctic fronts that move thru Savannah and Charleston and cause unbelievably cold record lows compared to many other subtropical climates. Sydney is humid subtropical but doesn't get nearly as cold in winter (at times).

Almost every time we have a severe arctic outbreak you see on the weather maps the jet stream going way up over the western US, then sweeping down over the eastern US and Canada, and then abruptly shooting back up north over the Atlantic. Then the UK gets hit with SW winds predominately in winter which are pretty mild. Remove the Rocky mountains and these scientists claim the jet levels out over N. America. When that happens our winters are very mild. I really doubt Savannah or Charleston would go much below 25F ever without those huge dips in the stream.
But thats the way it is world wide.

Where there is a trough there will be a high.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:53 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You missed the point of the article. Yes, Europe would be naturally milder than the US, but the Rockies add to that substantially. Prevailing winter airflow across the eastern US in the winter isn't due west. It's northwest. The author breaks down the difference causes. I've definitely posted that article before. And here's something else from the same thread:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/21931467-post53.html

the same author posted somewhat technical presentation slides on the subject. Starting at about page 24, is a number of slides showing a computer model result with and without the Rockies (actually all western mountains, the Rockies are the eastern part of the chain with a larger area and higher average though not peak elevation)

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div...GulfStream.pdf

Only the northernmost portion of the US east of the Rockies shows drastic warming, as well as Canada. And true, Europe isn't on a plateau, but neither is the eastern half of the US. For example, the very cold Fargo, North Dakota is at only 900 feet.
Well yes I just noticed that. I got confused about the rockies.

I just don't get it though, because even if the troughs went really far south in North america that doesn't explain why the same latitudes of russia are just as cold.
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