For the second December in a row, the North Pole will be up to 50 degrees above normal for this time of year.
Computer models predict temperatures at the North Pole will be close to the melting point of 32 degrees on Thursday, when the normal temperatures at the pole this time of year are around -20 degrees, according to The Washington Post.
A powerful storm east of Greenland equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane will draw the warm air into the pole region, and depleted sea ice will prevent the air from cooling as it otherwise might, WeatherBell Analytics meteorologist Ryan Maue told the Post.
Arctic sea ice decreased by 19,000 square miles during November when it normally gains ground, an occurrence NOAA calls “almost unprecedented,” according to the Post.
Arctic temperatures have been well above normal since September, with the month of November being an average of 18 degrees warmer than normal in the region,
NOAA Arctic climate researcher James Overland called the warm-up a “rare event,” telling Fox News “in a lot of these extreme events that we see recently, there tends to be more than one factor contributing so they make it worse than if it was just one factor.”
“It is cold and dark in the Arctic so it will revert to its colder temperatures,” Overland said. “But every warm air moving into the Arctic keeps it from getting really cold like it used to. It has a minor, long-term effect, thinner ice and warmer temperatures overall.”
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