Researchers working in the Soudan Mine near Tower, Minn., have discovered a strong correlation between cosmic rays and temperatures in the stratosphere. This research showed that sudden increases in cosmic radiation during the winter corresponded to rapid changes in stratospheric temperatures.
It has been known for years that Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) occurs, but it was always based on balloon or satellite data.
SSW events tend to generate strong surface high-pressure systems near the North Pole that gradually move into the mid-latitudes, leading to strong arctic outbreaks in our area.
If cosmic rays could be used to see a SSW coming, it would give more lead time to the possibility of a severe cold snap. A SSW occurred in the past week, which may lead to bitterly cold weather moving into our area around the middle of February.