Atlantic Arctic cyclones and the mild Siberian winters of the 1980s



The winters of the 1980s were among the warmest on record over northern Siberia. Daily and monthly sea level pressures, 500 mb heights, and an index of Atlantic storm track extent (toward the northeast) and intensity, are used to examine atmospheric circulation variability during extremely warm and cold winter months in Siberia. In recent years, the comparatively warm months are associated with an increased frequency in the passage of intense Atlantic cyclones that enter the extreme northeastern Atlantic and traverse the Barents and Kara Seas. These arctic cyclones bring strong westerly flow into Siberia along with passages of extensive cyclone warm sectors. Conversely, the surface mean Siberian anticyclone and large-scale features such as the North Atlantic Oscillation appear to have little effect on warm Siberian winters.