Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Flannel-lined Jeans are Really Nice

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 10, 2009

It was not the coldest we’ll see here today, but it was 1 degree above zero (Fahrenheit for you foreigners) this morning, and despite our valued Wisconsin toughness, that’s still cold enough to give one a jolt in the morning.

In the past, I have worn long underwear in times of particular wimpiness, but I’ve tried to avoid it. First of all, my jeans are comfortable for normal wear, but you throw in another layer and it feels a little bulky. Second, most of these long underwear things fit snug enough where it creates this annoying feeling of discomfort on two levels: (1) the need for an occasional, um, “male adjustment” if you know what I mean, and (2) that weird sensitive feeling you get when something fits a bit too tightly and presses down the hairs on your legs all day.

Too much info? OK, sorry.

Well, enter my birthday this year, where I knew I was getting old when I was actually excited to get a pair of flannel-lined jeans. Visions of swinging an axe while wearing the jeans danced in my head, making me feel like a real man.

But now I realize that I can’t not wear them. They are comfy and warm at all times. I love them. Especially today.

At least they’re jeans. You won’t see me promoting the snuggie. Though, I do favor hot chocolate with peppermint. So sue me for being comfortable with my masculinity…


Posted in Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Giving Thanks for my 15 MPG (on a good day) F150 4-Wheel Drive

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 9, 2009

Well, they weren’t kidding with the winter weather projection here.

We’re being blasted…

The first major winter snowstorm of the season made life miserable throughout much of the Upper Midwest and the governor of Wisconsin has already declared a state of emergency.

As someone who lives in Central Wisconsin, the Governor’s declaration isn’t an exaggerated response. While we have had high-volume snowfalls aplenty in the last couple years, this is one of the worst overall blizzards I can remember. We’re at a foot or so and counting right now, with windy conditions that are playing havoc. Despite our generally swift ability to clear roads, the wind makes it impossible to keep up, and makes driving dangerous.

And so it is that I was thanking God for my Ford Climate-Changer this morning. I don’t need the 4-Wheel drive all that often, and more often than not the truck is not my vehicle of choice. But given my rural location relative to my place of employment, I only had one choice. As it turned out, even that was touch and go, as I traversed through a half-mile stretch of a side road that had not been plowed at all, with open fields on either side. This created a 2-foot-plus deep area that I honestly thought I would not pass through. Some other poor sap had actually tried to make it with a sedan. As I was calling him or her a fool, I realized that I may suffer the same fate despite my 4WD. But, fortunately, I made it through and on to work.

Why do I relay this? Well, it’s an interesting little anecdote relating to this weather, for one thing. But it highlights another thing that bugs me about this whole climate debate and the cars we drive. Some of us need to have certain vehicles on hand that are not what the talking heads call “green.” Granted, I don’t need this truck most of the time, and if I drove it every day I’d burn through more gasoline than I need to. I pay for that choice (which is why I don’t use it on a daily basis). But more often than not, the users of certain products are labeled as selfish consumers. Oh, sure, that can be true. But all this finds an equilibrium. Supply and demand and all that stuff. Eventually, those spending a lot more than they need to on vehicles and gasoline alike will feel the pinch and this self-corrects as long as we let the market work.

Posted in Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Today We Installed Our Wood Stove – Just in Time

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 7, 2009

As I type this, a pipe is being fit through the newly-created hole in our ceiling and roof. For some time, we’ve wanted to put a wood stove into our house to keep it a little warmer. We have an all-season porch off our living room area that is nearly all windows. Between the cost to put plastic up on those windows every year, the undesirable residual odor from so much plastic, and the fact that it is still cooler than we’d like out there – and then in our living area – we decided to take the plunge this year.

It’s just a small thing, meant to heat a few hundred feet. It’s not enough for the entire house, though in an emergency it could get us through.

And what do I see? This coming week’s forecast!

The coldest air of the season is expected to surge southward behind the storm. By midweek, the storm could bring temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below normal and and dangerous, life-threatening wind chills across the northern United States.

“High temperatures will struggle to make it out of the single digits,” Morris said.


Oh, well. It’s not like I’ve never dealt with it before. But I never look forward to this.

Posted in Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Another Cold Week on the Way…

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 10, 2009

From AccuWeather:

Coming this week...  Weather that sucks.

Coming this week... Weather that sucks.

This is about as bad as it gets folks. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it since 1994. Sure its been very cold at times over the past 14 years, but the total area impacted by this cold wave will be huge. By next Thursday and Friday, extremely cold air will chill the entire area from the Great Plains to the Eastern Seaboard, and the cold is also going to reach the Deep South. Only the far West will be unscathed.

From the central Plains to the Northeast temperatures are going below zero; there is no question about it. Meanwhile, the Upper Midwest and northern New England could experience readings lower than 30 below zero!

Emphasis mine. Yeah. Dandy. This is where I live.

Well, we’re not the only ones, if it makes you feel any better. Europe is cold this week, too. From this link, we read:

A rare, heavy snowfall in central Spain closed Madrid’s airport and paralysed city traffic while several rivers in Germany were frozen as much of Europe endured Siberian conditions Friday.
Russian gas cuts to several European countries this week have aggravated the the effects of the bitter cold which has embraced much of the continent since the end of December.

But not everyone was unhappy about the cold snap, with the Dutch taking the opportunity to rediscover the pleasures of skating along iced-over canals and lakes.

“What I love most is the crunching of the ice under the skates and the sensation of gliding,” said Marie-Therese Sluijters-Rompa, a 62-year-old retiree who came to the iced-over canals of the western Dutch village of Kinderdijk to skate with her husband.

“It is a little piece of heaven,” she added.

Oh, those whacky Dutch… It reminds me of watching “The Silver Skates” and seeing Hans Brinker and his group of friends sprint a marathon on skates, with everyone about three feet apart from each other at mile 13. Skating must get you in good shape.

For more on that whole Russian thing, see this article. That Putin guy doesn’t mess around.

In the “irony can be pretty ironic sometimes” department, comes this little tidbit, which many of you have probably seen: Dog Sled race canceled due to too much snow.

Too much fluffy snow that keeps drifting and therefore made it impossible to maintain a groomed trail.

That poses a safety risk to the dogs, supercharged canines whose mushers need a groomed trail to drop a hook to stop when necessary.

“We can’t pack it,” race organizer Eddy Streeper said Monday. “We just can’t get it packed. We had to speak up on behalf of the dogs.”

That’s because – as you may or may not know – dog’s can’t talk.

Just for fun, I thought I’d end the post with the current 7-day forecast here. That Thursday and Friday just looks like a real hoot, doesn’t it?

I thought I’d show the updated forecast. They have graciously not lowered the low temps, but I’m not liking the trend on the projected high temps…


Posted in Current Events, Earth, News, Severe Weather, Snow, Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | 5 Comments »

More Inconvenient News and Meteorologists

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 23, 2008


That white stuff is snow. Take a good look. We may never see it again because the poles are melting.

As Christmas approaches (Merry Christmas, by the way) I am unsure about whether I’ll have time for any updates, or even if I’ll want to. Family comes first. So, I thought I’d quickly address a number of items I have seen in the news over the last couple days. Make of it what you will.

Link: Inconvenient winter weather hampers holiday travel.

Several thousand travelers remained stranded Monday after a rare weekend snowstorm walloped Seattle.
“We haven’t seen accumulation like this in 12 years,” said Seattle-Tacoma International Airport spokesman Peter McGraw.

Elsewhere, residents and work crews dug out from what many called the worst snows in years.
The 14.5-inch snowfall Sunday in Portland, Maine, surpassed the old record for Dec. 21 of 12.4 inches, set in 1933, according to the National Weather Service.
Marion County, Ore., public works director Bill Worcester said this week’s conditions were the worst he’s seen in four years

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Canada, China, Climate Change, Current Events, Cycles, Earth, Global Warming, News, Severe Weather, Snow, Weather, Winter | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Winter Weather in a Warming Climate

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 20, 2008

Despite warming temps, snow decided to make an unwelcome appearance in Spokane.  The snow has been reprimanded for adding to confusion about the climate.

Despite warming temps, snow decided to make an unwelcome appearance in Spokane. The snow has been reprimanded for adding to confusion about the climate.

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.

Winter storm causing havoc.

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.

Northeast also getting 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.

Too cold to ski in Aspen.

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.

This nutjob deniermeteorologist isn’t applying rational thought to the global warming crisis. He should have his certifications stripped.

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.”

Farming diverts ice age. Ice goes on strike and demands reparations.

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.”

Thank goodness for a voice of reason. Please give a warm welcome to Obama’s new science advisor, a man who speaks the truth, John Holden.

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.

Posted in Current Events, Earth, News, Severe Weather, Weather, Winter | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

It’s Snowing Again… in Vegas!

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 18, 2008

From this link:

A rare winter storm swept through Southern Nevada Wednesday, dumping the most snow on the valley in nearly three decades, grounding flights at the airport, forcing the closure of major highways and closing schools for today.

“This is the most snow we’ve had in Las Vegas in almost 30 years,” said Chris Stachelski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s a significant historical event.”

The heaviest snowfall occurred in the southeast valley, where about 3 inches of snow had accumulated by 7:45 p.m., with unconfirmed reports of as much as 6 inches in Henderson, he said.

Between 6 to 10 inches could fall in that area by the time the storm tapers off Thursday morning, and the northern and western parts of the valley could receive up to 4 inches of snowfall, he said.

Yet another indicator of how serious global warming has become.

Posted in Las Vegas, Severe Weather, Snow, Weather, Winter | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

A Closer Look At the HadCrut 60-Month Trends

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on August 1, 2008

I first presented the above chart in my July 2008 Update on Global Temperature – Additional HadCrut Analysis post. I’d like to take a little closer look at it and ponder the implications of looking at it from a purely technical chart analysis point of view.

It’s important to see the entire chart above, but let’s take a closer look at what has happened to the far right of the chart, during the current trend period.  To get a better look at that, I started the chart at 1945 and added a couple lines for a visual:

Let me digress for a moment and discuss technical chart analysis.  It is a concept used by many traders in the stock and commodities markets.   I have utilized the concept myself in options markets.   I won’t go into great detail, because for our purposes here a general overview will suffice.

There is a theory of perfectly efficient markets where traders believe that ALL available information is already considered in the evaluation of a stock’s price.  Thousands of people every day are scouring the papers, watching the economy, looking at trends, watching company management, and so on and so forth.  This creates a situation where all new information is almost immediately processed and a determination is made as to the impact of earnings, dividends, etc.   A price is established, and other than the inherent discount given for risk/reward, nobody investing in a stock/commodity has an informational advantage.   People who adhere to this idea believe the markets strictly follow a random walk on a general path upward according to the return given due to the risk/reward nature of the stock.  The risk is usually considered based on stock volatility measures.

Then there are a group of traders who basically say “that’s all well and good, and it makes sense, but there are other factors that simply don’t figure into price.”   Those factors are intangible ideas of collective market psyche, profit-taking, and other human factors that are not strictly valuation based.  These traders take a look at historical charts and attempt to identify patterns in the charts that indicate a strong move in one direction or another.   If the chart above were a stock, for example, the trader would consider the red line under the successive troughs a support level.   In other words, when prices swing down, they tend to swing back up before crossing that red line.  The technical trader would watch a falling price, and at the sight of a reversal just before it hit the line, he would assume that the pattern is holding and it’s a good time to buy on the upswing.  Alternatively, if the trader sees a break through a support level, the inclination is to sell or go short, because it may indicate a strong move in the opposite direction now that the support has given way.  There are many other patterns in the charts that traders look for, but that works for now.  I’m not here to argue the merits of that approach, just to present it for understanding.

So, why am I discussing this?   Because I think there’s an interesting parallel in the slope patterns.   While the temperature doesn’t break out of patterns due to human psyche, it does seem to have certain breaks from the norm due to all factors combined, seen and unseen.   So, while a certain pattern seems to hold for a while (increasing support points according to some line), there are times where that trend breaks down and something seems to change. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Climate Change, Current Events, Cycles, Earth, Global Warming, News, Peru, Science, Severe Weather, Temperature Analysis, United Nations, Weather, Winter | Leave a Comment »

Global Warming and the Maligning of Joy

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on April 29, 2008

One of the sad consequences of the continuing bombardment of Global Warming feardom and the incessant promotion of everything green is that I believe it has led to an atrophyism of genuine happiness for those people who have accepted this as a horrific problem that, unless dealt with, will lead to the death of us all.

That may seem like an overstatement of affairs, but I truly believe that we have now permanently stamped fear and guilt into the average American (and perhaps global citizenry’s) psyche that is simply unhealthy.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Balance, Climate Change, Culture, Earth, Global Warming, Opinion, Politics, Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | Leave a Comment »

Blogging Against the Grain, and My Most Recent Diatribe About Global Warming

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 12, 2008

I’m told that, in order to have a successful blog (i.e. one that more than three random people read, and only because they clicked the wrong link after a Google search) you must have a primary focus.  Alas, it looks like I will never have a successful blog.  I can’t help myself.  I have too many random interests.   I enjoy writing, and sometimes I’m trying to use my “entertainer” gene and not trying to make any broader point.   I also love current events:  news, politics, issues of the day…  Thus, my “news of the day” posts.   I love music.   Not just listening to it, but – as any visitors to the blog will know – I have a CD to promote, and the business side of me says that it would just be better to focus on blogging in order to draw attention to that.  (“That” meaning Avant-God, a Catholic/Christian Rock project that you will be sure to want to check out on CD Baby, artist Joe Tritz…  um, sorry about that shameless promotion…)   Then there’s the religious stuff.   I could just have a blog on Catholicism and/or religion in general.    Then there’s the personal stuff…  family, kids, stupid things I do… those kinds of things. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Antarctica, Arctic, Blogging, Climate Change, Current Events, Cycles, Earth, Global Warming, News, Opinion, Science, Snow, Sun, Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | 1 Comment »