2000s: hottest decade on record; dangerous blizzard pounds Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on December 09, 2009

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The end of the decade is upon us, and this decade was the warmest decade on record, according to NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The decade of the 2000s was 0.17°C (0.31°F) warmer than the 1990s, according to NOAA. The "official" scientific assessments on climate change, the IPCC reports, have been predicting that Earth's temperature rise should average about 0.19°C per decade, due to human-caused global warming. Thus, the warming over the past decade is about 10% below predictions--well within the uncertainties that natural variation in the climate can bring. Of course, one can look at shorter time periods and say that no warming is occurring. The hottest year on record globally was 1998, according to the UK's HadCRUT3 data set, and was 2005, according to the data sets maintained by NASA and NOAA. It is apparent from the plot of global temperature anomalies (Figure 1) that the global temperature rise has flattened out since 2005. One can correctly say that global temperatures have not increased since 2005. However, climate is measured on time scales of decades, so it is incorrect to say that the climate has not warmed since 2005. It is meaningless to any statement about climate on any time scale less than ten years. Thirty years is better, since the atmosphere has natural multi-decadal oscillations, and the solar cycle of 11 years is also important. Global average temperature oscillates 0.1°C between the maximum and minimum of the solar cycle, and we are currently in an unusually long minimum.


Figure 1. Change in global surface temperature anomaly as computed by NOAA (NCDC Dataset), NASA (GISS data set) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 data set). Uncertainty in the HadCRUT3 data is shown in gray. Image credit: WMO.

Mass front-page climate change editorial published in 45 countries
An unprecedented joint editorial urging action on climate change appeared in 56 newspapers in 45 countries yesterday. Many of the papers carried the editorial on the front page. The editorial began: "Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.". According to Editor & Publisher, the editorial was published in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by the UK newspaper, The Guardian, in conjunction with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. A number of U.S. papers supported the project and agreed with everything in the editorial, but only one--the Miami Herald--was brave enough to publish it.

Posts on the hacked climate scientists' emails
If you haven't read my posts on the hacked email affair, my attitude on the matter can best be summed up by a highly amusing political cartoon by Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson. While an investigation is needed into whether the scientific data involved was properly withheld from other scientists, there is nothing in the hacked emails that affects the validity of any of the published peer-reviewed science on climate change. "Climategate" is a manufactured scandal designed to take attention away from the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is responsible for most of the observed warming in recent decades, and that this warming will increase dramatically in coming decades. My posts on the affair:

Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. Check out his blog over the next two weeks to hear an insider's view of what's going on.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
It's a bad day to be in Iowa, unless you happen to be a polar bear. I'll back up that startling claim with some hard data: at 4:35 am CST, Carroll, Iowa reported heavy snow, sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 48, visibility 350 yards, a temperature of 9°F, and a windchill of -17°F. The mighty storm responsible was centered over Lake Michigan this morning, and is bringing blizzard conditions to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. The storm has brought very high winds to large portion of the country. Sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 77 mph were reported in Ruidiso, New Mexico yesterday afternoon, and hurricane-force wind gusts were reported in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas yesterday. A peak gust of 105 mph was reported in Texas' Guadeloupe Mountains. Heavy rain from the storm has also brought localized flooding to California, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 7.8 SSW 30.4
JACOB LAKE 24.0
WILLIAMS 0.4 SW 20.0
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM 18.0

...CALIFORNIA...
KIRKWOOD SKI AREA 48.0
ALPINE MEADOWS 45.0
SODA SPRINGS 40.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 37.0
NORTHSTAR 36.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 8 SSW 31.0
MAMMOTH LAKES 14.0

...COLORADO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS 9.1 NNW 33.0
CARBONDALE 8.2 S 24.8
CRESTED BUTTE 6.2 N 24.5
DURANGO 24.0
BAYFIELD 7 N 23.5
DOLORES 22 NE 23.0
GREELEY 2.3 SE 22.0
PAGOSA SPRINGS 3 SE 22.0

...IDAHO...
WESTON 4.0
POCATELLO AIRPORT 3.7
BOISE 6.7 SE 3.5

...KANSAS...
MARYSVILLE 14.0
LINCOLN 5 NE 12.0
CONCORDIA 5 SSE 11.0
HAYS 13 WNW 9.0
SALINA 8.0
ABILENE 5 SSW 7.0
MANHATTAN 7.0

...NEBRASKA...
TECUMSEH 13.5
ORD 12.0
OMAHA 3 N 8.6
KEARNEY 8.0
INDIANOLA 6.0

...NEW MEXICO...
LAS VEGAS 8.4 NW 8.0
SANTA FE 3.3 NE 5.5
TAOS PUEBLO 2.8 NW 5.2
GALLUP 8.1 NNW 4.8

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 34.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
RENO 7.1 N 13.7
SUN VALLEY 0.9 N 10.5

...SOUTH DAKOTA...
SIOUX FALLS 6.0

...UTAH...
VERDUE 8 WNW 25.0
SPRINGDELL 23.0
ORDERVILLE 19.0
SPRINGVILLE 10.0

...WYOMING...
SAND LAKE 11.0
DIVIDE PEAK 9.0
LARAMIE 27.3 WSW 6.0
CHEYENNE 26.7 NE 4.3

Next post
I'll have a new post Thursday; there's a lot going on.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Angels Camp. (Isolino)
Woke up this morning to snow. We don't get snow in Angels Camp very often. It made for some difficult driving.
Snow in Angels Camp.
Frost (thebige)
More frost on our car. This photo wasn't cropped or edited.
Frost

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1fullDeck, JFLORIDA: "I'm just wondering how these guys/ladies plan to get the Earth into a "static" state where the climate never changes. "

IMO that isn't the real purpose - once again, look at what the leaders say, not what they do. And especially look at what lurks in the shadows.

I may disagree with JFlorida on AGW, but I don't question his sincerity or motives, and he obviously has done his own homework (and then some). I just simply disagree with his conclusions, since I approach this from a paleoclimatological viewpoint (I was studying to be a geologist in college until the job market for such soured in the early eighties).

But cap and trade? It stinks to high heaven. Politicians love it because there is no clear cost that can be assessed at the front end, unlike a straight carbon tax. And it creates countless opportunities for their campaign donors and patrons - some of what I have seen sets up opportunities for the well-connected to hoover billions from consumers. And just wait till outfits like Goldman Sachs worm their way into things.

It is a bit odd how Dr. Masters rails against corporate influences but doesn't see how many corporations have now lined up in favor of regulations such as cap and trade - for precisely the same reason - all the money that can be made from it. And it's a zero-sum economic game - for them to make it, consumers will have to fork it over - with the governments providing the muscle to make us cough it up.

I personally am in favor of a long-term (50-60 year program) to diversify energy sources, which will by its very nature significantly reduce our energy consumption and carbon generation, so in a way I can find common ground with a lot of the sincere folks who are concerned about AGW. I just ask them to step back and take a good, hard look at those who are leading the AGW parade.
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Do any of the separately maintained data sets have anything in common, data wise? :)


Here is an interesting letter on consensus :)

Open Letter to Secretary-General of United Nations
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The equipment of storm prognosis of the State University of Colorado indicated Wednesday that season 2010 of hurricanes in the Atlantic will produce between 11 and 16 tropical storms, including of 6 to 8 hurricanes. " We anticipate one season of hurricanes in the Atlantic river basin a little on promedio" , it commented through an official notice William Gray, meteorologist of the university. The famous center assured that from 3 to 5 of storms 3 category hurricanes of or superior in the scale of intensity of Saffir-Simpson would become great.
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JFLORIDA: "ACTUALLY THE DATA SAY THAT. REFERENCES WERE ABOVE."

Really.

Dr. Master's own graph shows a downward trend since 1998. By his own stated standard of needing at least a decade to analyze climate trends, we have a decade of decline, which clearly shows up on his own graph. And this is not predicted by the CO2 models, so it goes back to the larger question - is the increase in CO2 causing the increase, or is it natural (such as tied to changes in solar activity, which do correlate roughly to global climate changes over the past few hundred years), or is it a combination of factors? If it is a combination, how significant is the human factor?

And Obama is so serious about fighting climate change that he has the thermostat in the Oval Office cranked up to hothouse levels. At least Carter turned down the White House thermostats and put on a sweater before talking to the country about energy conservation.

And Obama's adminstration sent Air Force One and some fighter jets on a photo op over Manhattan (which scared the bejabbers out of the locals as well as spewing carbon). And loves to serve fatty wagyu beef at functions where he invites Congresscritters over for Wednesday drinks. Serve 'em chicken instead if you are so concerned about AGW.

Like I said, they say one thing and do another. No leading by example nowadays - by doing without themselves.
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Good one Trinigal! On topic alright:)
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Yeah, it's funny how Gore sets an example of green living isn't it? I'm just wondering how these guys/ladies plan to get the Earth into a "static" state where the climate never changes. That would be a neat "trick" as they say. When coming out of a "Little Ice Age" one might expect the temps to rise. Maybe that's just my backward thinking though...
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Quoting Grothar:


Oh, my TD. Did I use the expression "polite conversion on this blog. What was I thinking?
Jööö, I canät believe I said that, well, a pox on me!


LOL funny thing is, is that my friend Heidi said it to me :P she said it was just like saying "ohhhh" haha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
LOL Awake! Sorry about the loss of 54 years of that!
But yeah, you are prob. correct. The entire world was tuning into As The Wheel Turns, and this has caused a Tsunami of change in Media.
Oh, Well!!
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Quoting RTLSNK:


Don't know if they have everything that you need but try: www.elnino.noaa.gov

VAbeachhurricanes: And what yearly rainfall? A single location, a region? How far back?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting tornadodude:


ah ok, makes sense now, thanks!


Oh, my TD. Did I use the expression "polite conversion on this blog. What was I thinking?
Jööö, I canät believe I said that, well, a pox on me!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
ok guys I need a favor. I am doing a science project for school and I need to find a website that can give me yearly el nino / la nina statistics. As well as yearly precipitation data. If anyone knows a site that can help it would be greatly appreciated!!


Don't know if they have everything that you need but try: www.elnino.noaa.gov
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Quoting Grothar:


It is not found really in written German. It is an expression found in Southern Germany and Switzerland, which roughly translanted means "Oh, my goodness" It is an expression of surprise. Not really used in polite conversation. Similar to the American expression, YO!, before making a statement.


ah ok, makes sense now, thanks!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:
Hey Grothar,

what does jööö mean?


It is not found really in written German. It is an expression found in Southern Germany and Switzerland, which roughly translanted means "Oh, my goodness" It is an expression of surprise. Not really used in polite conversation. Similar to the American expression, YO!, before making a statement.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
1fullDeck: "When speaking of climate (the study of LONG TERM weather conditions), I'd like to see scales in the 1000's of years."

Well, the problem is, we are being told that we have to act anywhere from within the next couple of months to the next couple of years to prevent an ecological catastrophe, depending upon which AGW proponent is speaking.

So they are drawing analysis down to that level of scale. And it doesn't fit their own models over the last decade. So they instead say the last decade was the warmest ever, while burying the fact that the warming has topped off and is either level or declining, depending upon what you are looking at.

I've learned to look at what they say, not what they do (like all things political in nature nowadays). Copenhagen is producing as much carbon as a small country. Why not telecommute instead? Think of the carbon savings. But what's the fun in that when you can travel to a fun city like Copenhagen on your government's dime?

The head of the IPCC flew from London to India for a cricket practice, and then flew that trip again for a cricket match. Apparently saving the planet doesn't involve a curtailment of his fun, that is what the little people should be doing.

How many celebs are like John Travolta, who flies his own private energy-hogging 707 about? Or like Streisand with a large energy-hogging mansion. Or Oprah with, what, five mansions? I don't begrudge them their wealth. Just don't lecture the rest of us about saving energy.

Compare Al Gore's massive energy bill for his home to the energy-efficient design of Bush's Crawford ranch home - including a geothermal system (no, Al, the temperature in the Earth does not reach millions of degrees). But Bush is the AGW demon while AlGore is sainted. I say a pox on both of them, but the double-standard is clearly there.

I believe that leaders should lead by example, instead of acting like royalty, telling the little people to eat cake as they gorge themselves on the very substance they tell us we should be cutting back on - energy.

Unfortunately, we have precious few leaders - and that applies to both left and right political parties around the world, because instead of making them pay for their hypocrisy, we keep re-electing them.
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Even though temps have been the warmest on record for the decade, it sure has snowed more in this decade along the gulf coast
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
POTTERY -- After 53 years, As the World Turns has been cancelled from TV! I'm not joking, not that I ever watched it; I only indulge in "All My Children" as my soap vice.

Do you think it's my fault, egging you on to keep putting out episodes of "As the Wheel Turns...Pottery's Diary"?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Earth looks frozen to me, where's all the heat
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Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
559. CUTE puppy in avatar! What is s/he?

Only close friend I have from New Hampshire just bought into a retirement community in Venice, FL. Flight of the "snowbirds."


Darn right I'm jealous. New England in the summer, Florida in the winter, and twixt and tween to see fall foliage or white sand, and blue waters (on the good days.)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
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It's not like summer, but it's humid enough. Humidity is 79% here right now.


Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


But is it humid or a dry heat? (j/k)
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Had to reference this in something I am writing for work and remembered how good it is. Downbursts, supercells, severe wx forecast discussion by Mr. Severe WX, himself.

RH Johns, CA Doswell III - Weather and Forecasting, 1992

I think everyone with an interest should read this paper: http://193.26.129.71/trainer/Documents/Resources_articole/John_and_Doswell(1992).pdf
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559. CUTE puppy in avatar! What is s/he?

Only close friend I have from New Hampshire just bought into a retirement community in Venice, FL. Flight of the "snowbirds."
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting 1fullDeck:
Soooo, jokes about Tiger are "on-topic" and will garner no complaints, but a cartoon from someone with the dirty "NRA" in their name making a joke about CO2 is "Off-topic" and will garner complaints from users. Interesting to know...


Clearly Tiger Woods CAN be tied to climate change:



So we're still on topic. Thank goodness this blog is about so much more than the weather :)
Member Since: August 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
Cool. I guess that would speak volumes about their political positions if they were to flag & ban for something that wasappropriate, and was along the lines of the AGW/CO2 conversations throughout the day. Very sad. I've been reading this blog for years, but haven't posted. It was good to get on here & see conversations without all of the hard-core name-calling going on, so I thought I'd register. I'm really a hurricane/weather geek, but am highly interested in the AGW happenings. Thx!
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And here from Miami NWS:
THREE RECORD HIGH MINIMUMS WERE EITHER TIED OR BROKEN THIS
MORNING (MIAMI, FORT LAUDERDALE AND NAPLES), AND THE RECORD HIGH
FOR TODAY HAS BEEN TIED SO FAR AT MIAMI. THURSDAY`S HIGHS ARE
EXPECTED TO BE ONE OR TWO DEGREES WARMER THAN TODAY, THREATENING
THE DAILY RECORDS AT EAST COAST SITES BELOW:

CITIES THURSDAY THURSDAY
FORECAST HIGHS RECORD HIGHS

MIAMI8886 - 1896
FORT LAUDERDALE8786 - 1997
WEST PALM BEACH8786 - 1997

Margarita-nog, anyone?
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Dr Masters may want to consult Paul Hudson who
works for the Met Office in the UK. He was sent
some of the emails in question and can affirm the authenticity. Of particular concern to Hudson was the witholding of the data from
Freedom of Information requests. Don't look at
the man behind the curtain! He must be a wizard.
By the way, Paul Hudson concludes we have a cooling trend since 1998. Read the Blog, very
interesting. Third Snowfall here in NH. We use to wish for a white Xmas in the 80's.
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Quoting mikatnight:



Record Report
Statement as of 3:35 PM EDT on December 09, 2009


... Record daily high temperature set at West Palm Beach...
... All-time monthly record high temperature tied...

The high temperature at West Palm Beach reached 90 degrees today.
This breaks the record high for the date of 87 which was set in
1948. This reading also ties the all-time warmest temperature for
the month of December, last reached in 1941.


But is it humid or a dry heat? (j/k)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918



Record Report
Statement as of 3:35 PM EDT on December 09, 2009


... Record daily high temperature set at West Palm Beach...
... All-time monthly record high temperature tied...

The high temperature at West Palm Beach reached 90 degrees today.
This breaks the record high for the date of 87 which was set in
1948. This reading also ties the all-time warmest temperature for
the month of December, last reached in 1941.
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Quoting 1fullDeck:
Soooo, jokes about Tiger are "on-topic" and will garner no complaints, but a cartoon from someone with the dirty "NRA" in their name making a joke about CO2 is "Off-topic" and will garner complaints from users. Interesting to know...

I think the vibe was more about warning her that others would flag and admin would wield the ban stick...

These folks have been friends for at least 3 years.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
AGW, I thought the set-up of that graph was interesting too. As a person who has had a great deal of experience with graphs, I know that they can be made to look just about any way you want them to simply by adjusting scale. When speaking of climate (the study of LONG TERM weather conditions), I'd like to see scales in the 1000's of years.
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Strange weather in NC today.


- Winds over 50mph in the cities reported

- Winds brought 60 degree weather over ski resorts in western NC with sunshine while east of the mountains down in elevation remained in the 40s/clouds

- 2 inches of rain at my house caused flooding this morning

- mountains woke up with freezing rain that got the trees icy then warmed up over 60 and it had snow there last Saturday 3 inches

- 1dead from wind blowing over tree on car

- thousands without power from high winds




County Customers Out in North Carolina:

ALAMANCE 1,055
CABARRUS 584
CATAWBA 33
CHEROKEE 456
CLEVELAND 798
DAVIDSON 171
DURHAM 116
FORSYTH 2
GASTON 389
GRAHAM 216
GUILFORD 6,487
HENDERSON 1,631
IREDELL 35
JACKSON 1,232
LINCOLN 37
MACON 1,660
MCDOWELL 92
MECKLENBURG 1,949
ORANGE 655
RANDOLPH 63
ROWAN 934
RUTHERFORD 871
STANLY 38
SWAIN 275
TRANSYLVANIA 132
UNION 123

County Customers Out in SC

ANDERSON 569
CHEROKEE 103
GREENVILLE 1,898
GREENWOOD 465
LANCASTER 58
LAURENS 81
OCONEE 37
PICKENS 745
SPARTANBURG 2,138
YORK 482


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Soooo, jokes about Tiger are "on-topic" and will garner no complaints, but a cartoon from someone with the dirty "NRA" in their name making a joke about CO2 is "Off-topic" and will garner complaints from users. Interesting to know...
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Dr Masters: "It is meaningless to any statement about climate on any time scale less than ten years."

Well, if you average out your own posted graph's trend from 1998, it sure looks like a decline to me.

If that trend had been upwards, the AGW movement would have been trumpeting it non-stop.

You can't have it both ways.

And beyond that, the CO2 models don't predict what has happened over the last ten years, which does not bode well for their accuracy.
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Quoting calusakat:

Actually they already are.

Ask any longshoreman about what is being offloaded at the docks.

Oil companies are a very secretive lot, they be doing a whole bunch of stuff on the QT.

Do you actually believe that they aren't neck deep in this hoax?


Actually, as I work in the maritime shipping industry, I can tell you that oil companies are still importing oil. They are also importing (and exporting) quite a bit of oil field equipment. They aren't importing stuff like wind turbines, solar panels, or any other exotic forms of alternative energy.
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Quoting Grothar:


It is what Santa Claus says when he is in Europe. You know he actually lives in Drøbak, in Norway, not the North Pole.


ha alright, did not know that,

but what does it mean?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:
Hey Grothar,

what does jööö mean?


It is what Santa Claus says when he is in Europe. You know he actually lives in Drøbak, in Norway, not the North Pole.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


Well, not quite near the Arctic at the moment, but close. It is probably the first time I wish we were closer to Hurricane Season, so we could post our nice little images and yell at reedzone and Drakoen and others. Boy, those were nice days. It's an eye, not it's a swirl, not it's a blob, no, I can see it forming. Look at the inflow, look at the outflow. We certainly could talk about storms, remember Bord?????


Yes, it was lots of fun. O, Dr Gray expects a busy, busy 2010 Hurricane Season, 11-16 named storms, 6-10hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes. Hopefully we do not have a repeat of 2005 or 2008.

For the winter, I'm having "fun" watching the PAC NW storms wreak havoc across Canada, and the "Pineapple Express" will be busy over the next 7-10 days having fun with CA and the entire US :0).
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Quoting Bordonaro:


Doing well! Here in Arlington, TX, with my 2 adult daughters and my drand daughter. No hurricanes in the CONUS till mid Aug 10, my guestimate! Enjoying life near the Arctic Circle, aren't ya!!


Well, not quite near the Arctic at the moment, but close. It is probably the first time I wish we were closer to Hurricane Season, so we could post our nice little images and yell at reedzone and Drakoen and others. Boy, those were nice days. It's an eye, not it's a swirl, not it's a blob, no, I can see it forming. Look at the inflow, look at the outflow. We certainly could talk about storms, remember Bord?????
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Hey Grothar,

what does jööö mean?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting hurricanejunky:
501. Bord, appreciate the info but couldn't you post a link to it? That REALLY stretches the blog.


Ok, I'll post a link instead next update, about 9:20pm CST
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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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