Since the beginning of the 21st century the Northern Hemisphere (NH) has seen an increasing number of extreme events both in summer and winter. This coincides with the rapid Arctic warming which leads to decline in the ice extent and decrease in the NH surface temperature gradients. Changes in global temperature gradients between tropics and polar regions can impact the large scale atmospheric circulation in the midlatitudes and, thereby, affect the weather patterns in the NH.
Here we focus on the temperature extremes in the densely populated regions of the NH and assess the role of Rossby waves in those events. Particular attention will be given to what extent the stationary and low-frequency waves can ‘escape’ the sea ice regions to be able to influence climate in the midlatitudes. The aim of this study is to find the teleconnection patterns that cause temperature anomalies in Europe, North America and China, as well as find out what areas outside the polar regions are most sensitive to the latest Arctic warming. Our analysis is performed on a synoptic time scale (ranging from a few days to two weeks) rather than using monthly or seasonally averaged data and, hence, better addresses the nature of extreme events.