Storm system heats up the North Pole
The same massive storm system that spawned Christmas-time tornadoes and flooded rivers in the U.S. sent temperatures skyrocketing at the North Pole on Wednesday.
The powerful winter cyclone increased temperatures to 50 degrees above average for this time of year, around the freezing point, according to the Washington Post.
From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for "bomb" cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm. A "bomb" cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours.
Temperatures in the Arctic are usually around 20 degrees below zero this time of year but will likely reach the freezing point with this storm.
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Buoy data from near the North Pole reported a record high temperature of 33 degrees Fahrenheit, not quite the 40 degrees Fahrenheit forecast, but definitely far warmer than the average late-December highs which are typically around -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Experts predict wind speeds would top 100 miles per hour in Iceland as the storm makes landfall.
Researchers at National Weather Service say this storm is on path to be one of the top five strongest storms the region has ever seen.