Group facilitator:- Nick Ricketts
The groups meet on the third Wednesday and Thursday of the month and look at various topics ranging from local weather events to climate change. During the present lockdown for Covid-19, charts and diagrams will be sent to Weather Group members by email.
A recent report from the British Antarctic Survey states that the extent of summer sea ice in the Weddell Sea has decreased by about a third in recent years. Sea ice grows around the Antarctic continent during the austral winter, effectively doubling its area. Nearly all the sea ice melts during summer, apart from over the Weddell Sea. There are usually few storms over the area during the austral summer, but December 2016 was an exception. The combination of strong winds and the advection of warm air led to significant melting of Weddell Sea ice and a rise in ocean temperatures, which persist to this day. This reduction in sea ice is expected to have significant ecological effects.
A large plume of dust from the Sahara is heading across the Atlantic towards the Caribbean and is expected to reduce the likelihood of hurricane formation for at least a week. The reason is not just the presence of the dust, but the atmospheric conditions that generated the plume. The air will be dry and there will be considerable vertical shear, both conditions that will inhibit tropical storm development.