April in the U.S. came out colder than normal (despite what NOAA say), which has extended the nation’s stark cooling trend observed over the past five years. And now, into the second week of May, the Arctic is still refusing to abate as it delivers record low temperatures and record mid-spring snow to many states. A fresh round of unseasonable polar chills is plunging southward as I type… The MSM is blaming this rare phenomenon on blocking in Greenland, which, although true, isn’t the full story. CBS News writes: “You may have noticed that cool temperatures have been slow to lessen their grip this spring. That’s because there is an atmospheric condition that meteorologists call a blocking pattern near Greenland. This is when a ridge of high pressure — you can think of it as a mountain of warm air in the atmosphere — gets stuck over the Polar regions of eastern Canada and the North Atlantic. The result is cold pockets of air that would normally be way up north get pushed out and displaced south across the northern U.S. This stubborn pattern has been around since the beginning of April. In fact, we can trace this pattern all the way back into winter when Texas and the Central U.S. suffered with historic cold. In climate, these blocky patterns are sometimes tough to break down, especially when they are as robust as what we saw this past winter.” Research shows “blocking persistence” increases when solar activity is low, and that this blocking can lead to weather patterns becoming locked in-place at high and intermediate latitudes for prolonged periods of time. During a Solar Minimum — such as the one we’re still struggling to escape from now (of SC24) — the jet stream’s usual Zonal Flow (a west–east direction) reverts to more of a Meridional Flow (a north-south direction). This pattern exaggerated further during a Grand Solar Minimum, and explains why regions become unseasonably hot or cold and others unusually dry or rainy for extended periods of time.