The holidays were hardly a winter wonderland this year, with December being one of the mildest winters for some time. While the U.K. and U.S. certainly had their fair share of spring-like warmth mixed with stormy wetness, not even the North Pole has been safe from freakishly unseasonable weather.
Early Wednesday morning, the North Pole’s temperature climbed to 0°C (32°F), teetering on melting point. That’s a substantial 10°C (16°F) higher than the average for this time of year.
According to Brandon Miller, CNN’s senior meteorologist, these conditions were created by two powerful weather systems: a low pressure mass, which has moved through the U.S. and Europe, and a high pressure mass around Siberia, Russia. In conjunction with this, there have been particularly harsh winter cyclones over the Atlantic that have been churning and sweeping warm air up from the south.
These circumstances have allowed warm air from Africa and Europe to draw up more northerly than it otherwise would.
As you can imagine, this is not particularly good news for the North Pole, which is already facing massive threats against rising temperatures. While big melts are common during the summer months, the North Pole relies on the winter to allow the ice to “recover” and rebuild.
Hope you enjoyed the North Pole heat-wave -- now back to normal programming down to -25°F ... warm up next week pic.twitter.com/HGPygsAiUt
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) December 30, 2015