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      Summer Here, Winter Down There: July 23, 2013

      A strong trough over east-central South America brought the snow and cold.

      Despite our recent cool days, we have reached the height of summer in Upper Michigan and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. Last week, it certainly felt like we reached the height of summer with our extended heat wave. The National Weather Service (NWS) did a recap on the heat wave. It was impressive. For those who prefer â??U.P. Summer Weatherâ??, we appear to be headed for an extended period of near to below average temperatures that will probably take us at least into the first few days of August. During this time, we may see some more well below average dips.

      South of the equator on the other hand, it is winter. Right now parts of South America are gripped by extreme cold (at least in relation to their averages). There was even snow in parts of southern Brazil (Image 1 above). While not unprecedented, it is unusual, especially for some of the low elevation locations. The upper-air map last evening showed the reason for the cold (Image 2). A deep trough dug into east-central portion of the continent from the south bringing in Antarctic air.

      Speaking of the Antarctic, sea ice cover is running well above average and has been increasing during the satellite era (Image 3 & 4). This has nothing to do with more precipitation falling as snow. It has everything to do with cold. Intense cold at the bottom of the world makes lots of ice on the Southern Ocean surrounding our coldest continent. You may not have heard of this heavy ice cover. The media in our country and the rest of the Western World seems to avoid mention of this. Apparently it does not fit into their â??preferred narrative.â??