Winter Persists in Northeastern Canada

A fascinating article in the Winnipeg Free Press indicates that conditions in the Arctic are not what you might expect:

Prolonged cold snowy conditions in the Hudson Bay area are expected to obliterate the breeding season for migratory birds and most other species of wildlife this year.

According to Environment Canada, the spring of 2009 is record-late in the eastern Arctic with virtually 100 per cent snow cover from James Bay north as of June 11.

May temperatures in northern Manitoba were almost four degrees C below the long-term average of -0.7, and in early June, temperatures averaged three degrees below normal.

I presume this will make the rounds among the denialists. What I’m not sure is what the right answer is. The referenced report is muddled:

“Such major oscillations are part of a bumpy ride toward global warming,” said Thomas Karl of the National Climate Center. “For awhile at least this will be the shape of things to come.”

Vegetation is also impacted upon by late Arctic springs, with green-up about three weeks late this year. Consequently, herbivorous animals have delayed breeding

“People often confuse climate with weather, and this spring is a weather phenomenon,” said an Environment Canada spokesperson.

Of interest to Canadians is the fact that the nationality of the National Climate Center (American) is not identified. NOAA is also mentioned without reference to its nationality. More important is the coexistence here of two responses, which while in close proximity to each other ( 1) it’s weather, not climate and 2) it’s a bumpy ride ) are essentially different in character. Though the reporter has a doctorate (in zoology) he doesn’t seem to be aware that he has provided two explanations that while not wholly incompatible are different in flavor. One could argue that in a bumpy climatological transition the bumps are weather-like, I suppose. Even so, with all the talk of maximal warming in high latitudes, this is very surprising, bumps and all.

I have to admit that the fact that

Recent late springs in the Hudson Bay area have been more frequent than normal: 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1997.

is not something I for one would have expected. I would have expected the warming by now to have outweighed the bumps. So I’m scratching my head about this one.

Is there some dynamical or climatological explanation beyond handwaving about bumpy rides? Would this have any relationship to the sea ice sweepstakes either as cause or as effect?

Update: In comments David Duff advises me to stock up on longjohns.

Indeed, it looks to be relatively chilly on Saturday. So I appreciate the solicitous advice.

Update: Sure enough Morano takes the bait, links this article. Calls me a “fear promoter”; hrmph. And here I thought I was promoting courage and decency.

It’s amazing how much traffic Climate Depot drives. Quite a spike here. (Not sure Depot readers will have much interest in sticking around, but have a look around anyway.)

Update: Make that Monday. And by the way Thursday’s heat ended up rating its own posting.