Dr. Roy’s Earth Today #12: Central Siberian Plateau

October 20th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Lying mostly north of the Arctic Circle, the Central Siberian Plateau is enjoying sunshine today, but in several weeks the sun will fall below the horizon (click for full-size):

Central Siberian Plateau as seen on 20 October 2014 by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite.

Central Siberian Plateau as seen on 20 October 2014 by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Winter has gotten off to an early start in Russia, and many forecasters are calling for an unusually cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere. In the above image, lake-effect cloud streets can be seen to be streaming off a few of the larger lakes. According to the GFS forecast model, mid-day temperatures here are running below 0 deg. F.

5 Responses to “Dr. Roy’s Earth Today #12: Central Siberian Plateau”

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  1. Denis Rushworth says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    Thank you for the photos. The earth is truly beautiful.

    On another issue, perhaps you could consider preparing a chart comparing temperature measurements from the US Climate Reference Network as far back as it goes to those from your satellites, restricted of course to data taken over the same area as the CRN. We could see then whether the trends from these sources are similar or dissimilar. Perhaps that is not possible with the satellite data or perhaps somebody already does this and only a pointer is needed.

    Just a thought for your consideration.

    Yours truly,

    Denis Rushworth

  2. Jerry L Krause says:

    Hello Roy,

    Not sure what the lake-effect cloud streets which can be seen to be streaming off a few of the larger lakes are. I see portions of lakes and streams which are all ready iced over. Are we seeing the same thing and giving what we see a different explanation?

    Have a good day,


    • jimc says:

      I see a streak of white across the middle of the one almost dead center. I think ice would advance from the edges.

      • Jerry L Krause says:

        Hi jimc:

        You could be right but I am familiar with ice on lakes and know that wind can drift a sheet of ice about the lake if it isn’t anchored to the shoreline. What I do not know is that which we both seem to see is that which Roy identified as clouds.

        Have a good day,


  3. Calvin Grier says:

    You frequently cite cloud formation as a negative forcing feedback mechanism.

    That’s excellent, since it appears that it would counteract the greenhouse effect of CO2, methane and H2O water vapor. However, aren’t there significant negative side effects of more clouds in the atmosphere – particularly as it relates to human beings?


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