By Matt Owens April 29, 2013
For at least the next 7 days until next Monday, NOAA's weather model forecast shows high confidence in warmer than normal temperatures right over the central Arctic. The warm temperatures are projected to be about 4 to 8 degrees Celsius higher than usual. This is not too far from normal variation, but the warmer air will make the growing holes in sea-ice cover expand even more rapidly.
Meanwhile, Greenland and Alaska look like they will stay below normal through at least next Monday. Last month, Greenland was showing bare rock on its western coast, and appeared to have had some rain there too - but snow cover has returned. This may or may not be a good thing for the energy balance of the region. Snow cover is a tricky thing. If the ground beneath it was already warmed up far above-normal, then snow will help insulate the ground and keep that heat locked in. Snow can be quite "warm" in the Arctic, where average temperatures regularly sit at minus 30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) in the winter. At this time of year however, temperatures are rapidly climbing.