Winter Weather in a Warming Climate
Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 20, 2008
I just came in from using the roof rake to clear snow off the roof of my house. It’s the second time this year already I’ve needed to do that. I just checked the weather, and we are expecting between 5 and 7 inches of snow over the next day and a half. This will be followed by extreme cold with dangerous wind-chills.
This is an anecdote. So is the weather in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Houston, and Malibu – all of which have received snow this winter. So is the foot of snow and the ice storms that took out power in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. So is the cold weather and snow expected in New York.
The entire freakin’ country is an anecdote this winter.
It’s an anecdote because, of course, when there is evidence to support that the last 11 years and 8 months of no warming is something that is manifesting itself in certain areas of the globe in wintry weather or cooler summers, it is an anecdote. But when there is a wildfire in California or a week-long heat wave in France or a period of warm temperatures in Russia (we’ll consider Siberia this week an anecdote), it is evidence of global warming.
This is a truth we must all accept.
So, please remember that all the following stories picked from today’s news is anecdotal, and that we really are warming. Really… just accept it.
A winter storm packing snow, freezing rain and biting wind cut power to tens of thousands of customers Friday, disrupted travel and gave schoolchildren from Iowa to New England an early start on their holiday break. “One thing about it, you’re going to have a white Christmas this year,” said Lee Longdyke, as he shoveled a sidewalk in Pontiac, Mich., for the third time Friday morning.
More than 300 flights were canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and more than 650 at three New York City-area airports. Many remaining flights had hourslong delays.
Runways at Milwaukee’s airport were closed for much of the morning because snowplows could not keep up with “whiteout conditions,” airport spokeswoman Pat Rowe said.
Snowfall affected a large region, but the worst of the ice storm – and resulting power outages – was in a band across northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Power companies reported 60,000 customers in Illinois without service Friday, more than 35,000 in Ohio, and a whopping 180,000 in Indiana, where the area around Fort Wayne was particularly hard-hit.
A major winter storm that has created chaos from the Midwest to the Northeast will slam Boston and southern New England with heavy snow tonight. A second storm will follow close behind this weekend, while a blast of arctic air and a third storm will cross the country in the days leading up to Christmas.
ASPEN — The snow in Aspen just keeps on coming, but it may be too cold to enjoy it by Saturday.
A winter storm that dumped up to a foot of snow on local ski slopes over the past two days has moved out, but another system is headed for Aspen Friday night. So are plummeting temperatures and a brutal wind chill.
On the heels of the winter storm warning that expired Friday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the northwest mountains of Colorado, including Aspen and Snowmass, starting Friday evening. It extends until Saturday evening.
The weather service is predicting 3 to 5 inches of new snow in Aspen on Friday night, with lows of 5 below to 5 above and wind-chill readings of 8 to 18 below.
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers had never bought into the notion that man can alter the climate and the Vegas snowstorm didn’t impact his opinion. Myers, an American Meteorological Society certified meteorologist, explained on CNN’s Dec. 18 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that the whole idea is arrogant and mankind was in danger of dying from other natural events more so than global warming.
“You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant,” Myers said. “Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”
The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate.
But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world’s most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe.
What’s more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.
“This challenges the paradigm that things began changing with the Industrial Revolution,” says Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Climatic Research and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. “If you think about even a small rate of increase over a long period of time, it becomes important.”
Spokane, your record snowfall is an aberration.
SPOKANE — The winter storm that has paralyzed Spokane set a record for the amount of snow dumped in a 24- hour period, the National Weather Service said Thursday.
The weather service recorded 17 inches of snow at Spokane International Airport in the 24 hours that ended at 4 a.m., 4 inches more than the record of 13 inches set in 1984. Records have been kept since 1881.
More than 3 inches of additional snow had fallen on the city since 4 a.m., the weather service said, driving the total to more than 20 inches.
Phew. I wonder what will all happen tomorrow.