Cold October (and now November) in perspective

Reblogged from

See references to Maunder and Dalton Minimums.

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Starting in January 2019, unusual and at times record cold has been locked in over the north central states.


Though there was heat in late summer in the southeast and eastern Gulf to the Mid-Atlantic, the cold held in the north central. After a very cold spring with late snows, which significantly delayed or prevented grain planting, a cool summer followed and gave way to a very early cold shot in late September that brought early deep freezes and even record snows in the north central leading to significant crop losses.

There have been 90 all-time record lows versus just 44 all-time record highs this year. That included the all time state record low of -38F in Mount Carroll in Illinois on January 31st.

The cold central deepened in October and pushed to the east bringing very early snow into the Midwest. October saw 3680 record daily lows, 32 all time record lows for the month and no all time record monthly highs (NOAA NCEI).


After bringing heavy snows to the Rockies and high plains the cold rolled south with temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below normal.


Temperatures dropped to a record of -35F at Logan County Sink in Utah and -46F in Peter’s sink, record coldest for the U.S. for the month of October.

The temperatures the first 9 months have tracked the last 120 years well with multidecadal cycles in the ocean.


The cold also follows the solar activity. We are currently in a century or more quiet sun.  In the period in and following the last 11 year cycle low (2007-2011), we had brutal cold and snow here in the U.S. and Europe.

December in 2010, the Central England Temperature (longest continuous record going back to 1659), was the second coldest December.  Snow, which was forecast to be a thing of the past, instead buried the UK for long periods reminiscent of the Dalton solar Minimum of the early 1800s as evidenced by Dicken’s novels.


In the US, record cold and snow in the Snowmageddon Mid-Atlantic winter of 2009/10, was eclipsed with the record winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Which brought the coldest and snowiest winter and modern day peaks of Great Lake ice.




The snow in the hemisphere is increasing very rapidly and is above normal, which should expand and enhance the cold. Note how the fall record for snow extent was at record levels last fall.



Given the projection by Russian scientists and many in the west including some at NASA, we could be heading into a deep and long solar minimum like the Maunder Minimum with a major cooling. Whether it is a several decade Dalton like period or a Maunder, this is no time to abandon cheap, available energy.



Even in the warmer interlude we have enjoyed, cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries.



4 thoughts on “Cold October (and now November) in perspective

  1. The Atmosphere Guy November 17, 2019 / 4:00 am

    As I may have said before, one of the problems associated with trying to relate terrestrial climate activity to sunspots alone arises from the concept that the existence of a sunspot does not necessarily imply the existence of any terrestrial impact. Conversely the absence of spots does not imply the absence of any such impact; we have an increasing understanding of the effect that coronal hole activity can have on the Earth.

    The overall effect of solar explosive output – as distinct from baseline TSI – is best understood by monitoring the solar “Ap” index. When we do this we can see a number of interesting behaviour patterns; although the general outline follows sunspot numbers we begin to see interesting and relevant differences and there has been some interesting anomalous behaviour recent years.

    There is a good discussion here :

    Of particular interest is the apparent relationship between high level “Ap” impacts and terrestrial storm activity. It would be interesting to see any other opinions on this connection – and indeed on the decline in “Ap” related to the noted cold over US and Europe.

    • Russ Steele November 17, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      You have generated my interest in the relationship between the “Ap” index and storms.

      I have been watching some Youtube videos produced by the Suspicious Observer. who reports on sunspots, Ap Index and strong storms every day. There are some Pacific Typhoons, but the Ap index is low. I see connections and then no connections. More studies are needed.

      • The Atmosphere Guy November 18, 2019 / 5:50 am

        My current thinking is along these lines: We know that atmospheric/oceanic conditions can and will generate storms without any external influence; it appears that an “Ap” impact occurring during the natural progression of any storm can stimulate the acceleration and rapid growth of that storm.

        The peak in Russell-McPherron effect is coincident with the peak in hurricane activity – around the time of the equinox – aggravating that activity. There is a possibility that other factors associated with the relationship between the heliospheric sheet and the terrestrial magnetic field – similar to R-M effect – may increase or decrease the sensitivity of storm activity to an “Ap” impact.

        As you say, we can see that there are times when there appears to be significant influence just as there are times when any influence is low, delayed or seems completely absent.

        A lot more research is most definitely needed, however if we can see “Ap” activity developing a few days in advance, see the potential for a high risk storm being influenced, then we may gain a useful degree of advance warning.

      • Russ Steele November 18, 2019 / 8:02 am

        An interesting area to study, Ap monitoring might help also help predict volcano eruptions and earthquakes.

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