Brrrr! -135.8°F Measured at Earth's New Coldest Spot

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:23 PM GMT on December 10, 2013

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I’m in San Francisco this week for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest climate science conference. Over five thousand of the world’s top climate scientists are here, giving a staggering 10,000 talks and poster presentations. It’s total information overload, and I will only be able to offer this week but a small sampling of the incredible amount of science being presented here.

What is the coldest place in the world? It is a high ridge above 13,000 feet in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92.2 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night, announced polar scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, at a Monday press conference at the AGU conference. The official world cold record of minus 128.6 F (minus 89.2 C), set in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica will remain intact, though, since official records have to be measured by ground-based instruments. How cold is -135.8°F? That’s so cold that it would hurt to breathe, said Dr. Scambos in an AP interview. That’s also well below the -109°F temperature that dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) begins to sublimate into gaseous carbon dioxide. But don’t get your hopes up that we can use the newly-found record cold spot to take CO2 out of the air and solve global warming—you need a temperature of -220°F (-140°C) to freeze CO2 out the air into dry ice “snow” at the concentrations that CO2 exists at in our atmosphere (about 398 ppm.) Still, it is an intriguing concept to build giant refrigerators in Antarctica to do just that—something that has been proposed by Purdue climate scientist Ernest Agee, in a research paper titled, CO2 Snow Deposition in Antarctica to Curtail Anthropogenic Global Warming, published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology .


Figure 1. With remote-sensing satellites, scientists have found the coldest places on Earth, just off a ridge in the East Antarctic Plateau. The coldest of the cold temperatures dropped to minus 135.8 F (minus 93.2 C)--several degrees colder than the previous record. Image Credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Video 1. The coldest place on earth. Data from NASA-USGS Landsat 8 satellite, and NASA's MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite. Image Credit:  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Figure 2. In this spectacular photo from Antarctica taken by a NASA scientist on November 24, 2013, we see a lenticular cloud over a pressure ridge in the Antarctic sea ice. Lenticular clouds are a type of wave cloud. They usually form when a layer of air near the surface encounters a topographic barrier, gets pushed upward, and flows over it as a series of atmospheric gravity waves. Lenticular clouds form at the crest of the waves, where the air is coolest and water vapor is most likely to condense into cloud droplets. The bulging sea ice in the foreground is a pressure ridge, which formed when separate ice floes collided and piled up on each other. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total)--will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access. You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.
 
Amusing story: Metallica Has Officially Rocked on Every Continent Following Antarctica Gig on Sunday

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 428. StormTrackerScott:


We usually get a good solid 2 weeks or so of cold weather in January but that was years ago and lately it seems to be heating up come January so who knows.


Who knows... Maybe FL will get some snow if another one of these forms.... FL panhandle got 4 inches of snow from this system..... which broke a record holding since the late 1800s.

1993 STORM OF THE CENTURY:

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Quoting 429. eddye:
storm tracker scott it not normal 2 be in the 80 in december it should be high in the upper 60


I've been looking for hope in the long range models and there is hope that mid and late December could really cool off around here but that is mainly due to clouds and rain.

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
431. eddye
i think if it going 2 stay like this were going 2 have a bad hurricane season next year
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Quoting 426. eddye:
keeper it shouldnt be 85 degrees in deceber in fl that not normal it should be high in the low 70 and upper 60


85 heck it's been closer to 90 across the interior.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
429. eddye
storm tracker scott it not normal 2 be in the 80 in december it should be high in the upper 60
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Quoting 425. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
may cool off for a night or too north of say tampa but that's it nothing big showing for now

maybe after the new year eddye that's normally when fla gets a cold shot or two


We usually get a good solid 2 weeks or so of cold weather in January but that was years ago and lately it seems to be heating up come January so who knows.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
Quoting 424. ricderr:
just a little



livin in the dessert....a little is a lot :-)
well that's all the cactus needs to stay alive is a little they don't like a lot

lol
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426. eddye
keeper it shouldnt be 85 degrees in deceber in fl that not normal it should be high in the low 70 and upper 60
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may cool off for a night or too north of say tampa but that's it nothing big showing for now

maybe after the new year eddye that's normally when fla gets a cold shot or two
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just a little



livin in the dessert....a little is a lot :-)
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21746
Quoting 421. eddye:
keeper of the gate do u see any of the cold air fl been waiting for
still nothing but warm but that's fla for ya
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421. eddye
keeper of the gate do u see any of the cold air fl been waiting for
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Quoting 418. ricderr:
nam sure dioes flare up for the south towards the latter part of its run



Meh.

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Quoting 416. ricderr:
12Z NAM SIM RAD





nam has some love for el paso
just a little
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nam sure dioes flare up for the south towards the latter part of its run
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21746
On a side note... look at that purple in the north Atlantic at 192 hours. interesting.

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12Z NAM SIM RAD





nam has some love for el paso
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21746
12Z NAM SIM RAD

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GEM looks the worst. That "98" for pressure is actually 988, btw.

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woke up to a balmy 27 this morning however we should top out in the mid 50's.........front from la area is moving now and is expected to tap into some mexico moisture and gives us about a 40 percent chance of rain tomorrow.....will be too warm for snow...much to the chagrin of snow day wishing children everywhere
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21746
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411. eddye
HurrMichaelOrl it shows 85 degrees for next sat i hope that is wrong that is 2 hot
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Let's hope this stays out to sea.

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LMAO






:-)
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21746
408. ARiot
Quoting 370. washingtonian115:
Here is the forecast for Thursday:
Tomorrow (Thursday): Behind the overnight cold front, daytime winds from the northwest continue to bring in colder and drier air. The result is an even colder day than today, with highs probably only in the mid-to-upper 20s, and wind chills in the teens thanks to 10-20 mph winds. Skies should be partly to mostly sunny, but when it’s this cold that won’t make much of a difference.
Kids just don't like using their imaginations these days :(.Now my sons want nothing but tablets and games.My daughter has grown out Christmas gifts for the most part.Clothes and some cash will do for her.


We may have another round of mid-Atlantic snow to dampen the shopping this weekend.

Also note there are many games available (console or PC) that are exceptional and can help kids think through complex, multi-layered problems. But, I agree, you can't just put a box out there, stick Call of Duty in it, and leave them to it.
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407. eddye
praying for some cold air for orlando for dec 20 through 22 because im geting tired of the hot weather it shouldnt be 85 degrees in december were not in june.
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LMAO
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2 to 6 more inches of snow? Make it next week, please...

Saturday:
Periods of snow. High 29F. Winds light and variable. Chance of snow 80%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.

Saturday Night:
Snow in the evening will become a mix of wintry precipitation overnight. Low 25F with temps rising to near freezing. Winds light and variable. Chance of precip 90%. Snow and ice accumulating 1 to 3 inches.

Sunday:
Light freezing rain early...becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon. High around 35F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precip 50%.
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Quoting 380. StormTrackerScott:
SUNDAY NIGHT IN CHICAGO, MAY BE AS COLD AS IT GETS THIS EARLY

Temps on the ECWMF are forecasted to 10 to 15 below 0 in Chicago Sunday night.. The coldest its been before Dec 16 is -14
Left Sun night lows Middle chicagoland inset right Mon night


The NWS must be going conservative for now as the lowest low currently forecast for Chicago is 3F. Definitely unusual for the first half of December.

As for Orlando, it has been oddly warm, I'm over it. I'll even just take some good, soaking rain. It just does not feel like the holidays.
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TCFP of the somewhat active Indian Ocean.

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What did I just walk into......

Anyways...

92P looks rather interesting.

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12Z NAM

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Quoting 399. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
checking models 6z seems to have backed off for big snow for me keeps system a little south and further east

have to see what 12 z shows I guess
I was trying to figure out what will happen if the NAO goes negative, what the impacts would be on the current pattern`. Me thinks it would be extremely bad for many folks located east of the Mississippi River. So far, the NAO has been at or near neutral.
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checking models 6z seems to have backed off for big snow for me keeps system a little south and further east

have to see what 12 z shows I guess
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Quoting 392. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cold here as well hydrus

watching the models looks like we got some snow on the way after flurries for the rest of the week

Yep. Another inch of rain is forecast here before the flurries..We really dont need the rain.
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this weekend!!! big storm
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big storm this weekend!!! wow!!
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Quoting 393. pcola57:


I have him on ignore now..
No prob..
If I were at fault I would certainly apologise..
Thanks for your input Keep..
the back and forth makes either one of ya look good

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Quoting 393. pcola57:


I have him on ignore now..
No prob..
If I were at fault I would certainly apologise..
Thanks for your input Keep..


Thank you!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
Quoting 390. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
both of ya give it up god damit yer adults and should set an example for our younger readers

now stop or I will stop it for you's


I have him on ignore now..
No prob..
If I were at fault I would certainly apologise..
Thanks for your input Keep..
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Quoting 389. hydrus:
Greetings Keep..A toasty 15 degrees here with freezing fog..It looks like someone spray painted everything white out ther..
cold here as well hydrus

watching the models looks like we got some snow on the way after flurries for the rest of the week

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Quoting 390. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
both of ya give it up god damit yer adults and should set an example for our younger readers

now stop or I will stop it for you's


Sorry Keeper.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
both of ya give it up god damit yer adults and should set an example for our younger readers

now stop or I will stop it for you's
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Quoting 385. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well whats everyone up too this morning
Greetings Keep..A toasty 15 degrees here with freezing fog..It looks like someone spray painted everything white out ther..
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Quoting 387. StormTrackerScott:


Please come on and attack me post just as you always do and if people want to attack me on here then I'm dishing it back.


You have mis understood me..
For the last time..
Please stop attacking me..
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Quoting 386. pcola57:


Please show my attack..
In no way was I attacking you..
I quoted what you said..
Please stop..


Please come on and attack me post just as you always do and if people want to attack me on here then I'm dishing it back.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
Quoting 384. StormTrackerScott:


You started attacking me so if can't take it then get out the kitchen.


Please show my attack..
In no way was I attacking you..
I quoted what you said..
Please stop..
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well whats everyone up too this morning
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Quoting 382. pcola57:


Look..
Personal attacks are forbidden on WU..
Stop attacking me..


You started attacking me so if can't take it then get out the kitchen.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
Quoting 379. pcola57:


Please don't insult me or my intelligence..
I did not say "EVER"..
You did..
Lets keep it clean Scott..
Not looking for a fight..
EVER.. :)


Don't insult mine either
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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