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Arctic heat wave brings puddles to the North Pole

The temperature readings were made using satellites, and weather scientists acknowledged there is a range of uncertainty.

By Brooks Hays
Bizarre winter weather has seemingly touched all corners of the globe this week; most recently, a heat wave pushed temperatures at the North Pole above freezing. Photo by FloridaStock/Shutterstock
Bizarre winter weather has seemingly touched all corners of the globe this week; most recently, a heat wave pushed temperatures at the North Pole above freezing. Photo by FloridaStock/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Not even the North Pole has been spared from early winter's wacky weather. That's the thing about weather, a regional system can have global repercussions.

Early this week, a large storm -- likely encouraged by El Nino and the violent system that swept across the United States over the holidays -- began to form in the North Atlantic. The hurricane-force low pressure system pushed warm air into the Arctic, resulting in a heat wave that thrust temperatures above freezing at the North Pole this week.

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As the Washington Post reported, temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday breached 32 degrees at the North Pole -- 50 degrees higher than historical late-December averages.

The temperature readings were made using satellites, and weather scientists acknowledged there is a range of uncertainty.

"As the North Pole is over the Arctic Ocean (which is frozen most of the year), NOAA does not have land-based temperature gauges there," an NOAA spokesman told The Telegraph.

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The system that caused the brief heat wave, dubbed Storm Frank, has seen the British Isles hit with a barrage of rain -- with rivers overflowing and coasts flooded by storm surges.

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