Record -50°F confirmed for Maine; is this inconsistent with global warming?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:41 PM GMT on February 13, 2009

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The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state of Maine, a -50°F reading taken on January 16, has been confirmed as real, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Weather Service this week. The new record occurred at 7:15 a.m. Jan. 16 at a remote river gauge in Big Black River (see USGS image at right), about four miles from the Canadian border. It ties the record set in 1933 for New England's lowest temperature, set at Bloomfield, Vermont. The old Maine record was -48°F, set in 1925 at Van Buren. All-time state records are difficult to break. The last time a state record low was set occurred January 5, 1999, when Congerville, Illinois recorded -36°F. Only one state record high temperature has been set in the past the decade--the 120°F temperature measured in Usta, South Dakota on July 15, 2006.

All-time record lows are inconsistent with global warming, right?
An impressive cold wave hit the northern and eastern portions of the U.S. January 11-18, with 17 states reporting record daily lows. In addition to the coldest temperature ever measured in Maine, one station, Waterloo, Iowa, tied its 1962 record for all-time coldest temperature, when the mercury hit -34°F on January 16. If global warming is occurring, we should not expect to see very many all-time city or state records being set. The nation's January-December average temperature has increased at a rate of 0.12°F per decade since 1895, and at a faster rate of 0.41°F per decade during the last 50 years. This 2°F rise in temperature has undoubtedly allowed more high temperature than low temperature records to be broken. However, this is a low enough amount of warming that there should still be a few cold temperature records being set, since the weather is so highly variable.

The statistics support this position. The Waterloo, Iowa mark was only the second time this decade that an all-time record cold temperature has been set at a major U.S. city. The cities I consider are the 303 cities author Chris Burt tracks in his excellent Extreme Weather book. The cites chosen were selected based primarily on their length of weather records (all the records go back to at least 1948, with most going back to the 1800s), and include all the largest cities in the U.S. The only other all-time coldest temperature record set at these cities this decade was the -44°F recorded in Grand Forks, North Dakota on 1/30/2004. By contrast, 49 all-time high temperature marks have been set this decade (Figure 1).

Perhaps a better judge of the impact of global warming on extreme temperatures, though, is to look at record warmest and coldest months. Month-long records are more reflective of the climate than an extreme event lasting just a few days. No all-time coldest month records were at any U.S. cities during January 2009, and it was not even close. Despite the cold blast of Jan. 11-18, the month of January finished out above average in temperature for the lower 48 states. So far this decade, no U.S. major city has set an all-time coldest month record. The last time a coldest month record was set occurred in January, 1994 when Caribou Maine and Bayfield, Wisconsin recorded their coldest month. By contrast, there have been 61 all-time warmest month records set in those same 303 cities between 2000 and 2008 (Figure 1). The summer of 2007 alone saw 42 all-time high (or warmest month ever) records. Just one record was set in the summer of 2008.


Figure 1. Minimum and maximum temperatures records for the U.S. for 303 major stations. The image has been updated through January 2009 to include the one record low set that month. The original version of this image was for 2007, and I modified it to update it for four changes made in the 2008 data. The numbers for the decade of the 2000s are correct, but there are four (out of 606) records that need to be subtracted off some of the earlier decades. Note the the 1930s were the most extreme decade for total number of records set, but the 1920s were the least extreme. U.S. weather has a high degree of variability from decade to decade. Image credit: Chris Burt, Extreme Weather.

Are the pattern of U.S. temperature records due to the Urban Heat Island effect?
There have been 110 all-time high temperature or all-time warmest month records set at the 303 major U.S. cities this decade, and only two such low temperature records set. Is this disparity due to global warming, or the Urban Heat Island effect? The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect occurs when development of former natural areas into pavement and buildings allows more heat to be trapped in cities, particularly at night. During the day, the UHI effect often leads to a slight cooling, since it can increase the amount of turbulence, allowing cooler air to get mixed down to the surface. For example, Moreno-Garcia (1994) found that Barcelona, Spain was 0.2°C cooler for daily maxima and 2.9°C warmer for minima than a nearby rural station.

However, temperature records are typically taken in parks and airports removed from the main heat-trapping areas of cities, and are not as strongly affected as one might expect. There are several reasons for this. One is that when tall buildings are present, they tend to block the view to the sky, meaning that not as much heat can escape upwards. In addition, the presence of moist vegetation keeps the atmosphere moister in park-like areas (which include the grassy fields near airports where temperature measurements are taken). This extra moisture helps cool the atmosphere on a local scale of tens of meters, due to latent heat effects (the energy required to convert liquid water to water vapor). Peterson (2003) found that "Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures." The study used satellite-based night-light detection to identify urban areas. Recent research by Spronken-Smith and Oke (1998) concluded that there was a marked park cool island effect within the Urban Heat Island. They found that parks in typical cities in the U.S. have temperatures 1 - 2°C cooler than the surrounding city--and sometimes more than 5°C cooler. While the Urban Heat Island effect probably has contributed to some of the reduction in record low temperatures in the U.S. in the past decade, research by Parker (2004, 2006) and Peterson (2003) theorizes that Urban Heat Island effect is a factor ten or more less important than rising temperatures due to global warming.

Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?
Global warming is affecting the entire Earth, including rural areas far from cities, and the 70% of the world covered by ocean. Thus, the Urban Heat Island effect--if not corrected for--can cause only a small impact on the global temperature figures. Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

References
Parker, D.E., 2004, "Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", Nature 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a, 2004.

Parker, D.E., 2006, "A Demonstration that Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", J. Climate 19, pp2882-2986, 2006.

Peterson, T.C., "Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found", Journal of Climate, 16, 2941-2959, 2003.

Spronken-Smith, R. A., and T. R. Oke, 1998: "The thermal regime of urban parks in two cities with different summer climates. Int. J. Remote Sens., 19, 20852104.

The surface temperature record and the urban heat island, realclimate.org post, 2004.

My next post will be sometime Tue-Thu.

Jeff Masters

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LOL, Good one, Pat.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Skyepony -- it is pretty obvious what is happening here. The bias for climate researchers to use RED to indicate above normal temperatures has caused for a warming bias in and of itself. If they would just do the graphs in a neutral color, say green or beige, I'm quite sure that the data would correct to trendlines back near historical norms. We have to be thankful they aren't using hot pink to show above mean temps -- I think both Greenland and the polar ice cap would be completely melted already. Can we start a lobby on this? (Oh no -- I can already feel the wrath of the NGW crowd coming!)
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UNYSIS 6.5day GFSx SL Pres/Prec Plot

LO: 963.5

VALID 12 Zulu FRI 20 FEB 09 Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Quoting Skyepony:


deleted
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting BahaHurican:
I don't know why I find posts like this so offensive. Maybe it's the gratuitous attack on ALL meteorologists and the denigrating of their education, study and work ethic, not to mention their intelligence. I have to ask: what have YOU studied? Are you a PHD in math? Have you studied as much meteorology and climatology as the people you so nauseatingly ridicule?

I'm tired of two-bit ignoramuses sneering at educated hardworking people they don't even know.


Well said Baha, well siad!!
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Hurricane Preparation 2009 Link

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Good evening my friends here in Dr Master's Blog and of course to Dr Master's himself.

Just stopping by to wish you all a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day.

I think we are having delightful weather here in SE Florida, which is good and I hope it stays awhile!

Take care,
Gams

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day - Graphics for Myspace, Hi5, Friendster
Comments for Myspace, Hi5, Friendster : CoolMyspaceComments.com
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181. Skyepony (Mod)
Jan global numbers are coming out.
No wunder Maine got a record..


The Northern hemisphere snow cover extent was actually a little less then normal... For all the whine here I thought the North America would have had a huge positive snow extent anomily. Nope just a tiny one..


In the end January was the 7 warmest globally when considering both land & sea.



Here's NOAA's the world~ jan in review.
Here's NASA's by the numbers totaled review.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Just thought I'd stop in tonight and wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! Just wish my girl wasn't under the weather so that we could have enjoyed this special day.
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So. . . . does it really look like another cold front will be hitting the east coast next weekend? (21st). I'm supposed to be in either Jacksonville, Savannah, or Charleston next weekend.
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Quoting reasonmclucus:
Do meteorologists ever study math? If they did they would understand that the numbers used for an average or mean temperature are mathematically worthless. Averages in general are of little or no scientific value.

The averages used for temperatures are mathematically worthless. You cannot average the high and low numbers in an irregularly distributed set of numbers and get a result that has any meaning. Average temperatures for winter are particularly questionable because the temperature may be at or near the high for an hour or less, but may be at or near the low for several hours. This situation occurs in part because the dew point sets a floor under the temperature which limits how far the temperature can fall even though the temperature may fall to near the dew point early in the evening.

A single all time record low in Maine might not be significant, but it is part of a pattern of colder weather including last winter's freezing temperatures in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam and snowfall last September on tropical flowers in Brazil.

Incidentally, airport temperatures may be higher than rural temperatures because pavement converts solar radiation into heat and warms the surrounding area if winds are light.

Many of the sites used for temperature measure of very dubious value.
I don't know why I find posts like this so offensive. Maybe it's the gratuitous attack on ALL meteorologists and the denigrating of their education, study and work ethic, not to mention their intelligence. I have to ask: what have YOU studied? Are you a PHD in math? Have you studied as much meteorology and climatology as the people you so nauseatingly ridicule?

I'm tired of two-bit ignoramuses sneering at educated hardworking people they don't even know.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Sailing..... hmm is like fishing.. like se... nope, better pick another one...

Sailing is like Fishing.... like Military & Intelligence.. just not the same things

Sailing and fish are like HONEST/POLITICIAN

Sailing and Fishing are Like GW and -50 in Maine.
..

Not quite what I meant Orca - i MEANT whether you're fishing OR sailing - either one is better than work.

My we're all touchy in here lately...I think it's about time for hurricane season so we can stop sounding like my teenagers on a rainy day stuck inside.

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176. Skyepony (Mod)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Quoting Squid28:
I just had to drop by and share this real quick, for those who were here before, during, and after the storm...

Today will go down as one of those days I will remeber with vivid clarity until the day I die. My family and I are finally moving back into our house five months to the day after hurricane Ike forever changed our lives. I have worked on it every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas and finally put the last piece of flooring in last night at 3 a.m. Gotta go unload my SAM and see what is left of our possessions from the second floor. I wil be the second one to return to my immediate neighborhood, other than those who are living in FEMA trailers on their driveways. Shore Acres, TX is coming back....
Good to hear you guys are able to get back to "normal". Congratulations!
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174. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression Ten-F (1004 hPa) located at 18.0S 172.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35-45 knots within 30 to 120 NM of the center in the northern semi-circle. The depression is reported as moving west at 5 knots. Position FAIR based on Multispectral infrared/visible with animation and latest Quikscat Pass. Sea surface temperatures is around 28-29C.

System lies to the north of a 250 HPA anticyclonic circulation and under an upper trough. Deep convection has been persistent for the last 24 hours to the north of the exposed low level circulation center. Associated cyclonic circulation extends to 500 HPA. TD Ten-F is being steered by east to northeast deep layer mean winds. A northwesterly surge associated with a convergence zone lies to the north. Latest water vapor imagery shows dry air entrainment from the south. CIMMS indicates 20 knot environmental shear over the system. However, on its forecast track TD TEN-F is expected to move into an area of low shear.

Global models (UK/EC/GFS] has picked up the system and gradually moves it west then southwest with slight intensification

POTENTIAL FOR 10F TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS IS LOW
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45223
Quoting Beachfoxx:
and I agree w/ Orca, it my be considered safe but it is not a comfortable seat!
Bahamasair flies a number of them for the shorter-range targets in the archipelago. They have held up pretty well, considering the hard use they get. I guess I'm used to the props, given that the local pilots don't even turn them off to load and offload passengers and baggage . . . :) However, the seats can get uncomfortable for [ahem] size-challenged passengers (or the persons sitting beside them) lol

I have rarely seen them outside S. Florida airports, so I really didn't think of them as "cold-weather craft". . .
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Quoting Gustavike:
After a very cold January with average temperature of 20.55 ºC in Boca de Jaruco, Cuba lives a warm february and not expect the arrival on another cold front in next 10 days.
Hi. Eres cubano?

Interesting that Cuba experienced the cool temperatures as well. It was definitely colder than it has been for some time here in the Bahamas in January.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I associate Dash-8s with tropical flying, for some reason. I didnt' realize they were using them that far north.


Umm they are built up north :)
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Quoting DrMickey:


CMIIW, but I don't think the DeHavilland
DASH-8 is equipped with wing heaters.
I associate Dash-8s with tropical flying, for some reason. I didnt' realize they were using them that far north.
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Quoting aspectre:

"
Las Vegas is just as bad as the city continues to grow and more expansion of concrete and asphalt has occurred since in the 1960s.

"
Replacing the desert scrubland and hardscrabble around LasVegas with concrete and asphalt would barely affect temperatures. Heck, concrete wouldn't absorb as much light from the sun, so that'd probably more than make up for any extra heat produced by the light absorbed by asphalt.

The real growth has been in the number of lawns*, golf courses, country clubs, and suburban parks; which would COOL the city if the regional climate weren't warming.


Have you ever been to Las Vegas? If you have, you'd realize this comment is insane. The temperatures over concrete and asphalt is MUCH higher during the day. And Vegas at night is one giant heat island, I don't care how deep in a park you put your thermometer. It is still near 100 deg F in the middle of the night during hot stretches of the summer. This is not happening in the deep Mohave.

And here's another thought-experiment. Imagine New York City in July if the forests had never been chopped down and the city built. Do you think it would be the unbearably hot and sweaty oven that it is today? Of course not.

Chris
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Quoting mfount:
Living in Central Wisconsin, this winter and the last winter have been quite severe with Dec and Jan being quite cold. Global warming would invariable change weather patterns. Could we be in one area where the change results in colder weather? I have heard the stopping of the Gulf Stream could cause this.

When did the Gulf Stream stop?
Last time I was out it was doing quite fine.
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Quoting RTLSNK:


Somehow I knew you would say that, Hmmm, you were a "Navy" guy were'nt you? Well, there it is then.

tsk, tsk
Can't you boys just get along?
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Living in Central Wisconsin, this winter and the last winter have been quite severe with Dec and Jan being quite cold. Global warming would invariable change weather patterns. Could we be in one area where the change results in colder weather? I have heard the stopping of the Gulf Stream could cause this.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Sorry buds, but since I have been in both during my career.. I will have to stick with that one as fact.



Somehow I knew you would say that, Hmmm, you were a "Navy" guy were'nt you? Well, there it is then.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Sailing..... hmm is like fishing.. like se*... nope, better pick another one...

Sailing is like Fishing.... like Military & Intelligence.. just not the same things

Sailing and fishing are like HONEST & POLITICIAN (RTLSNK's Pick)

Sailing and Fishing are Like GW and -50 in Maine.
Quoting RTLSNK:


I beg your pardon? Suggest you modify that second comment and again pick another one.


Sorry buds, but since I have been in both during my career.. I will have to stick with that one as fact.

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Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

Only a small part of the globe, but a huge part of the temp records.

"There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks"
Really. Did Dr M go there? Did ya have to use the word attacks?

Well, there are new peer-reviewed published reports about how to "correct" for UHI. How about we get privy to Hansen's method? Are the mean global temp guys adjusting as we actually learn more about UHI?

Night light satellite obs...could someone please post the satellite obs for O'Hare from 1950? I cannot seem to find it.

OK, I am done. No comment about it until the next blog.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Sailing..... hmm is like fishing.. like se... nope, better pick another one...

Sailing is like Fishing.... like Military & Intelligence.. just not the same things


I beg your pardon? Suggest you modify that second comment and again pick another one.
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Quoting melwerle:
Orca - youre too funny! Sailing, not fishing. Same thing though - rather be out sailing that working...


Sailing..... hmm is like fishing.. like se... nope, better pick another one...

Sailing is like Fishing.... like Military & Intelligence.. just not the same things

Sailing and fish are like HONEST/POLITICIAN

Sailing and Fishing are Like GW and -50 in Maine.
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wow no post in 3 hrs
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
I hope everyone has a great VD...lol
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Orca - youre too funny! Sailing, not fishing. Same thing though - rather be out sailing that working...
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Ref: -50 degrees new record low for Maine.
In the "consensus science" Newspeak, cold air means warming and record high temps have nothing to do with the eratic nature of wx. but is considered absolute proof of AGW.
Keep throwing bags of taxpayer money at "futher research required". What a scam!

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Quoting melwerle:
thanks Skyepony...just kind of waffling back and forth right now - want to head out but then again, don't really want to get caught on the water in tstorms...ugh. Guess I'll gear up and drive that way and if it looks iffy, I'll call and bail on my skipper.

Have a great day everyone!


A bad day fishing is always better then a good day ashore.
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Strong storms near FL panhandle

Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
thanks Skyepony...just kind of waffling back and forth right now - want to head out but then again, don't really want to get caught on the water in tstorms...ugh. Guess I'll gear up and drive that way and if it looks iffy, I'll call and bail on my skipper.

Have a great day everyone!
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151. Skyepony (Mod)
Aussie~ Thanks for adding the hero story.. the 1st was pretty hard to stomach. Absolutely horrific.

RMM~ By the earth/moon planting calender 14-16th are great flower planting days. I'd go for it. If you couldn't stand to loose them plant in flats. They'll be ready to set by no chance of freeze.

mel~ look out.. Think ya'll have 90% chance of T-storms.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Thanks Tampa! No sunshine this morning though - steady rain so far. Just don't feel like dying on the boat being struck by lightning. Looks like we're going to give it a shot - the first rumble and I'm not stepping foot on the boat!

Happy Valentines Day!
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Gotta run. Have a good day everyone and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
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Quoting melwerle:
Hey Tampa - do you think we'll be getting tstorms up this way? Supposed to go out on the water - don't mind getting rained on, not doing lightning.
Thanks, M


Yes, Strong Storms will be likely coming in your area. Especially if you get some sunshine first for a prolonged period.
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I just did quick update on my Weather blog....Severe Weather possible from a Strong Sub-Tropical Jet Stream....

TampaSpin's Weather Blog Link
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Hey Tampa - do you think we'll be getting tstorms up this way? Supposed to go out on the water - don't mind getting rained on, not doing lightning.
Thanks, M
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Quoting RMM34667:
Hey Tampa, I got spring fever. Thinking of planting some flowers today. Do you think it's safe? Are we done with cold fronts and freeze warnings? thanks


HOLD on LOL. I just looked at long term forecast Models and a very strong cold front is coming far South next Friday or Saturday! Don't know where the freeze line will be yet its too far out. But, a cool down will be coming.
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Quoting RMM34667:
Hey Tampa, I got spring fever. Thinking of planting some flowers today. Do you think it's safe? Are we done with cold fronts and freeze warnings? thanks


Plant away! I think we have seen are Last long term cold front. We might get something briefly yet.
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Quoting RMM34667:
Hey Tampa, I got spring fever. Thinking of planting some flowers today. Do you think it's safe? Are we done with cold fronts and freeze warnings? thanks


You have Mail! Sorrry!
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Nine bodies huddled in horror

Article from: Herald Sun

Matt Johnston

February 14, 2009 1:00am

DISASTER identification teams combing bushfire-damaged Victoria have found groups of up to nine bodies in the same building.

There grisly finds have included one where eight bodies were huddled together to protect a baby.

Australians have been warned to brace for more bad news about the bushfire death count as shocking details of the tragedy are revealed.

Identification experts are still combing the worst affected areas and Det Insp Bob Sitlington said patience was needed to collect accurate records of victims.

"We would like the public to understand it is slow but we want to positively identify victims, the last thing we would want to do is misidentify," he said.

Det Insp Sitlington said he had been with team members in Kinglake yesterday, where earlier in the week experts found horrific casualties, including eight bodies huddled around a baby's body.

"There was a multiple death in a group, and from what I understand they were trying to protect a baby," he said.

"We don't know exactly what happened. Imagine what people naturally do, they tend to cuddle each other and to protect each other, and with the intensity of the fire we do find sometimes bodies are fused together."

Det Insp Sitlington said just down the road from this horrific scene the fire had passed and left some land almost untouched.

"It's a bit hard to understand," he said, how some areas were taken and others were spared.

Search teams will inspect about 1800 homes in the coming weeks, and Det Insp Sitlington said it would be a difficult task for his team, and more hardship for the public would follow.

"I'm sure among that there's probably going to be some further bad news for the community of Victoria.

"There's reason to believe there's still bodies to be found . . . in Kinglake and other areas," he said.
Asbestos is causing problems for victim identification teams, and residents have been warned against going through suspicious areas of their homes. All residents have also been given gloves and masks to ensure safety.

Det Insp Sitlington said teams were doing their best in the circumstances.

"Having 1800 houses, all those deceased that were found in cars or in the open have been dealt with, and now it's a slower way of moving around," he said.

"I was at a scene today where (officers) were on their hands and knees underneath some roofing and they were moving through everything that's been turned into rubble."

Det Insp Sitlington has been with Victoria Police for 35 years and was in Thailand in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster.

But he said the scenes he had been confronted with at Kinglake and other Victorian disaster zones were unlike any other. "It's been something I have never seen in my life," he said.

The community reaction to the tragedy had been amazing, and support would be needed in the coming weeks and months.


Search for mystery cop who 'saved 200'

Article from: Sunday Herald Sun

Wendy Hargreaves

February 15, 2009 1:00am

FAMILIES who escaped the Marysville inferno with seconds to spare want to thank a mystery policeman who saved 200 lives.

They say the unknown police officer ordered people gathered on the football oval to flee moments before fire destroyed their town last Saturday.

Marysville gardener and State Emergency Service volunteer Mark Peart reckons the brave cop is his town's "unsung hero".

"That policeman saved about 200 people on the oval that day," Mr Peart, who fled the oval with his wife and children as his family home burned to the ground, said.

"So I'd like to thank him. He hasn't had any accolades, but I noticed his bravery and I've been singing the bloke's praises ever since."

Mother-of-five Kerry McFadzean also owes her life to the officer.

Mrs McFadzean, husband Glenn and children Daniel, 7, Jonathon, 14, and Stephen, 17, followed the policeman's orders and left town.

"That police officer saved all of those lives," she said.

"We put our lives in his hands and he saved our family.

"As we were leaving town, it looked like somebody had turned the lights out. Things were exploding all around us."

Like most Marysville residents, the McFadzeans lost their home.

"The home can be replaced . . . the worst thing is losing several close friends. My kids have lost friends too," Mrs McFadzean said.

"It's been a nightmare, but I feel very blessed that I've got my children.

"If this was done on purpose, we can't let that person get to us. We have to rebuild the town."

Mr Peart, wife Jan and their children Amanda, 12, and Melissa, 10, have been staying with family in Box Hill while police sift through the ashes of their home town.

The Pearts have also lost many close friends, including their daughters' school friends.

"We honestly thought we had half a chance in our cars on the oval," he said.

"But we had no chance if we'd stayed. The CFA did the best they could, but even if they had 100 trucks they didn't have a hope.

"We're just thankful that we're alive and the kids are healthy."

The Pearts joined families from Marysville Primary at a survivors' meeting at a restaurant in Croydon during the week. Every family said they would return to Marysville to rebuild.

"As soon as the school is back, we'll go back, even if we have to live in a tent," Mr Peart said.

"Marysville isn't about buildings. It's about people."
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Hey Tampa, I got spring fever. Thinking of planting some flowers today. Do you think it's safe? Are we done with cold fronts and freeze warnings? thanks
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At 3:49 AM Atlantic Standard Time on February 14, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 5.0 occurred 125 miles/201 Km west of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
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Happy Valentines day. 108 Days till Hurricane season.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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