Top U.S. weather event of 2010: Snowmageddon

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:44 PM GMT on January 05, 2011

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As we ring in the new year, it's time to look back on 2010 and reflect upon what a remarkable weather year it was. Today, I'll focus on the U.S. While 2010 certainly had its share of violent and destructive weather events in the U.S., I am thankful for two things:

1) The sustained period of northerly winds needed to blow oil from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe into the Loop Current never materialized, and the Florida Keys and U.S. East Coast were spared oil damage.

2) The 3rd busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record resulted in minimal damage to the U.S., with only one minimum strength tropical storm (Bonnie) making direct landfall in the U.S.

Here, then, is my list of the top three most significant weather events in the U.S. in 2010:

#1: Snowmageddon
The top U.S. weather story of 2010 has to be "Snowmageddon", the remarkable February blizzard that buried the mid-Atlantic under 2 - 3 feet of snow. Snowmageddon set the all-time record for heaviest snowfall in Delaware history, thanks to the 26.5" that fell in Wilmington (old state record: 25" in the President's Day storm of 2003). "Snowmageddon" dumped the second heaviest at Philadelphia 28.5"), second heaviest at Atlantic City (18.2"), third heaviest at Baltimore (24.8"), and the 4th heaviest at Washington D.C. (17.8"). Several locations in Maryland saw over three feet of snow, with the northern Washington D.C. suburb of Colesville receiving 40", and the southern Baltimore suburb of Elkridge receiving 38.3". While the blizzard was not an exceptionally strong storm--the central pressure was a rather unimpressive 986 mb at the height of the blizzard--it was an exceptionally wet storm. The melted equivalent precipitation for the blizzard exceeded three inches along its core snow belt. That's an phenomenal amount of moisture for a winter storm. The blizzard formed a very unstable region aloft where thunderstorms were able to build, and there were many reports of thundersnow during the height of the storm. These embedded thunderstorms were able to generate very heavy snow bursts of 2 - 3 inches per hour.

"Snowmageddon" was followed just three days later by a second massive snowstorm which dumped another 1 - 2 feet of snow on the mid-Atlantic. By the time the flakes stopped flying, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City all had their snowiest winters on record. The February snowstorms killed 41 people and did up to $2.4 billion in damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.


Figure 1. There's a car under here somewhere! Maryland resident digs out after Snowmageddon. Image credit: wunderphotographer chills.

#2: The Tennessee and Nashville floods
An atmospheric river of moisture originating in the East Pacific subtropics surged northwards into the southeast U.S. during the first two days of May, unleashing unprecedented rains that caused a 1000-year flood in Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Mississippi. The floods killed 31 people, making it the deadliest non-tropical storm or hurricane flood disaster in the U.S. since the October 1998 Central Texas floods that killed 31 when a cold front stalled over Texas. The 2010 flood did more than $1.5 billion in damage, much of it in Nashville, Tennessee, where ten fatalities were reported. The city had its heaviest 1-day and 2-day rainfall amounts in its history. A remarkable 7.25" of rain fell on May 2, breaking the record for most rain in a single day (6.60", set September 13, 1979.) Nashville's third greatest day of rainfall on record occurred on May 1, 2010, when 6.32" fell. Nashville also eclipsed its greatest 6-hour and 12-hour rainfall events on record during the May 2 deluge, with 5.57" and 7.20", respectively. By the end of May 2, it was already the rainiest May in Nashville's history. Rainfall records were smashed all across Tennessee and Kentucky, with amounts as high as 17.73" recorded at Camden, TN, and 17.02" at Brownsville, TN. According to Christopher C. Burt, the author of the excellent book Extreme Weather, the 13.30" that fell on Camden in 24 hours just missed eclipsing the state's all-time 24-hour precipitation record, the 13.60" inches that fell on Milan on September 13, 1982.


Figure 2. Parking via Mother Nature. A scene in Nashville after the May, 2010 flood. Image credit: wunderphotographer jannash.

#3: May 10 tornado outbreak
On May 10, a massive tornado outbreak affected large areas of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, with the bulk of the activity in central and eastern Oklahoma. Over 60 tornadoes, including two violent EF-4 twisters and six strong EF-3s, hit the region. The tornadoes and associated severe thunderstorms caused approximately $2 billion in damage, according to Swiss Re Insurance Company. The most destructive tornadoes caused severe damage in southern suburbs of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and just east of Norman, Oklahoma. Three people were killed by the tornadoes.


Figure 3. Video of the May 10, 2010 tornado near Norman, OK. Dr. Rob Carver's blog has many more videos from this spectacular outbreak linked.

I'll be back with a new post on Friday.

Our extreme weather blogger, Christopher C. Burt, has an interesting post on historic episodes where large numbers of dead birds have fallen from the sky.

Jeff Masters

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923. Neapolitan
5:27 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
NEW BLOG POST
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13613
922. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:26 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Through analysis of palaeomagnetic data, it is now known that the Earth's magnetic field has reversed its orientation tens of thousands of times during the history of the Earth since its formation. With the increasingly accurate Global Polarity Timescale (GPTS) it has become apparent that the rate at which reversals occur has varied considerably throughout the past. During some periods of geologic time (e.g. Cretaceous Long Normal), the Earth's magnetic field is observed to maintain a single orientation for tens of millions of years. Other events seem to have occurred very rapidly, with two reversals in a span of 50,000 years. Furthermore, Occidental College geologist Scott Bogue and Jonathan Glen of the US Geological Survey have found evidence in ancient lava rock in Battle Mountain, Nevada that could indicate that a rapid geomagnetic field reversal occurred over a period of four years. Another offered explanation is a rapid acceleration period within the steady movement of the field. The reversal was dated to around 15 million years ago.[3] The last reversal was the Brunhes–Matuyama reversal approximately 780,000 years ago.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
921. Skyepony (Mod)
5:19 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38700
920. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:16 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
That's crazy! I was just stating in the blog that I thought the north pole was shifting toward Russia, which is why Greenland was warming and ice melting there...
maybe its the beginning of the pole shift it would have to start now in order to complete its shift by 2012 if its a gradual process
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
919. Minnemike
5:14 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
There is several "news" articles out today about the migrating magnet north being the cause of the both the birds & fishes mass deaths.
i just don't buy that as a factor. unless it can be proven specifically that the birds or fish died due to the weather of that day, or hour, and not by some other insidious means such as environmental pollutant, then the magnetic pole shift plays no role. i don't think it has been definitively proven that cold weather was to blame.
Member Since: July 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1320
918. Skyepony (Mod)
5:03 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
There is several "news" articles out today about the migrating magnet north being the cause of the both the birds & fishes mass deaths.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38700
917. Minnemike
4:51 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
That's crazy! I was just stating in the blog that I thought the north pole was shifting toward Russia, which is why Greenland was warming and ice melting there...
you know magnetic poles have no bearing on the axis of the earth and the geographic north and south pole, right? it is absurd to relate magnetic poles to climate... and the bird thing could possibly relate, but only when dramatic swings occur like magnetic pole switching. but that is not what is going on, and the drifting of the northern pole really cannot account for the deaths. there may be migratory problems, but that would not cause them to drop dead from the sky.
Member Since: July 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1320
916. Skyepony (Mod)
4:50 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
The fox article about the magnetic polar shift sounds like a small adjustment.. nothing too ground shifting here..

polar motion over the last year..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38700
915. RitaEvac
4:23 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
lol FOX news saying it's just part of nature from what experts are saying about the mass animal kills. Give me an effing break people, if the poles shift too much it throws them off morons.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
914. MagneticCrotchet
4:22 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
A government by the people, of the people, for the people, shall not parish from this earth,

.....unless of course there's money to be made or a conflict of interest makes it easier to do otherwise....

after they read the Constitution yesterday they added this clause to the Declaration of Independence...

the founding Fathers couldn't even considerer that government by us, could falter in the least, by us, letting ourselves off the hook.

Quoting Neapolitan:

Sad but true. With the new GOP majority in the House and the way its beholden to Big Energy interests, progress on global warming mitigation can be expected to come to a dead stop, if not get thrown clear into reverse. It's been going on for years: massive corporations making hundreds of billions of dollars in profits each year--at great expense to both consumers and the environment--don't wish to see any of the money go away, so they delay, stall, obfuscate, manipulate, misinform, bribe, extort--whatever they have to do to keep the current fossil fuel paradigm alive and the rivers of cash pouring in. Of course, it's going to be even worse now with the ludicrously wrong-headed--and, frankly, evil--Citizens United ruling that allows oil, coal, gas (and other) corporations to funnel unlimited and untraceable amounts of money toward both supporting sympathetic candidates and undermining those who aren't so easily bought and sold.

It's very sad, really. History's not going to look very kindly upon what we've done.
Member Since: May 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 25
912. RitaEvac
4:05 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
This explains the mass animal kills across the globe folks
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
911. Neapolitan
4:05 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
Republicans have wasted no time in using their new majority in Congress to try to block the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act on climate change.

In their first full day in the new Congress, Republicans outlined three different bills %u2013 encapsulating three different strategies %u2013 aimed at limiting the powers of the EPA. It also shut down a house committee that had tackled energy and climate issues.

The first, introduced by Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, would declare that greenhouse gas emissions are not subject to the Clean Air Act - even though supreme court ruled in 2007 that they are.

The second, introduced by Ted Poe of Texas, would block funding to any government agency associated with cap-and-trade.

The third, introduced by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, is relatively modest, seeking a two-year delay in EPA regulation of carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

But that could make it the most likely to succeed. In the Senate, a Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia, Jay Rockefeller, has been calling for a bill to delay EPA action on climate change.

The EPA began the process of regulating greenhouse gas emissions under new rules for major power plants and oil refineries that went into effect this month. more here

Sad but true. With the new GOP majority in the House and the way its beholden to Big Energy interests, progress on global warming mitigation can be expected to come to a dead stop, if not get thrown clear into reverse. It's been going on for years: massive corporations making hundreds of billions of dollars in profits each year--at great expense to both consumers and the environment--don't wish to see any of the money go away, so they delay, stall, obfuscate, manipulate, misinform, bribe, extort--whatever they have to do to keep the current fossil fuel paradigm alive and the rivers of cash pouring in. Of course, it's going to be even worse now with the ludicrously wrong-headed--and, frankly, evil--Citizens United ruling that allows oil, coal, gas (and other) corporations to funnel unlimited and untraceable amounts of money toward both supporting sympathetic candidates and undermining those who aren't so easily bought and sold.

It's very sad, really. History's not going to look very kindly upon what we've done.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13613
910. RitaEvac
3:55 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
That's crazy! I was just stating in the blog that I thought the north pole was shifting toward Russia, which is why Greenland was warming and ice melting there...
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
909. RitaEvac
3:53 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting P451:
The planet's northern magnetic pole is drifting slowly but steadily towards Russia -- and it's throwing off planes in Florida.

Tampa International Airport was forced to readjust its runways Thursday to account for the movement of the Earth's magnetic fields, information that pilots rely upon to navigate planes. Thanks to the fluctuations in the force, the airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change taxiway signs to account for the shift, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Read more:


...


Bet this is why birds and fish are dying, their senses are getting thrown off where to go
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
908. Skyepony (Mod)
3:50 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Republicans have wasted no time in using their new majority in Congress to try to block the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act on climate change.

In their first full day in the new Congress, Republicans outlined three different bills – encapsulating three different strategies – aimed at limiting the powers of the EPA. It also shut down a house committee that had tackled energy and climate issues.

The first, introduced by Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, would declare that greenhouse gas emissions are not subject to the Clean Air Act - even though supreme court ruled in 2007 that they are.

The second, introduced by Ted Poe of Texas, would block funding to any government agency associated with cap-and-trade.

The third, introduced by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, is relatively modest, seeking a two-year delay in EPA regulation of carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

But that could make it the most likely to succeed. In the Senate, a Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia, Jay Rockefeller, has been calling for a bill to delay EPA action on climate change.

The EPA began the process of regulating greenhouse gas emissions under new rules for major power plants and oil refineries that went into effect this month. more here
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38700
907. RitaEvac
3:17 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Verhojansk -66 °F
Ojmjakon -65 °F
Ust'-Moma -65 °F
Sejmchan -59 °F
Ust'-Maja -55 °F
Ust'-Judoma -54 °F
Amga -51 °F
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
906. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:03 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting calusakat:


Problem.

Does anyone have any idea as to the half life of nuclear waste.

Over 15,000 years in most instances, at the very least.

How on earth can we expect this civilization to still be viable over that length of time. Answer is, we cant. An unexpected extraterrestrial event like an asteroid collision could easily cause a serious disruption in the fabric for mans control of his world.

Imagine having some unsuspecting folks happening upon one of our storage areas fifteen thousand years from now ( 150 centuries ) and not knowing what it was until too late. How much contamination would there be?

Nuclear is a good short term resolution to our problems and short term only. Renewables like photovoltaic are our only long term resolution for future energy needs on this planet.





That is the point I was making in post #830. I do not see any immediate answer to this problem and I have not seen any viable work around either. I would love to see us move more to nuclear power, but we still have this one tiny obstacle to overcome. A tiny obstacle that can have a negative impact for centuries. Once again, we would be putting the burden on many future generations so that we can party today. Let us be realistic. When we are not doing the work now to protect future generations then all we are doing is having one long party. A party that future generations will suffer from the hangover. Are we really smart enough now to develop the technology that benefits us now without being a detriment to future generations? I don't think that we are. We may experience that Eureka! moment just as the lights go out forever, or not at all. We must make changes now that helps to preserve our future generations. Should that require less of a party on our part then that is what will be required. No, I do not have the answers on how far back we need to be from the party mode to help assure that there will be future generations. That should not imply that I think we should just continue to party until we do have the answers.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4758
905. calusakat
2:49 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Answer.com Re: Fusion based energy production.

Yes, they are quite different. The deuterium-tritium reaction produces a helium nucleus, which is harmless. There will be an intense neutron bombardment of the enclosure holding the fusion plasma, and this will result in the structure becoming radioactive, but that will be a problem for decommissioning rather than operation.

Scientists originally promised fusion as a clean source of energy, and whilst it is not entirely so, it is far cleaner than fission. The only problem is finding how to make it work in a practical power producing plant.


From Wikipedia...


The large flux of high-energy neutrons in a reactor will make the structural materials radioactive.

The radioactive inventory at shut-down may be comparable to that of a fission reactor, but there are important differences.

The half-life of the radioisotopes produced by fusion tend to be less than those from fission, so that the inventory decreases more rapidly.

Unlike fission reactors, whose waste remains radioactive for thousands of years, most of the radioactive material in a fusion reactor would be the reactor core itself, which would be dangerous for about 50 years, and low-level waste another 100.

Although this waste will be considerably more radioactive during those 50 years than fission waste, the very short half-life makes the process very attractive, as the waste management is fairly straightforward.

By 300 years the material would have the same radioactivity as coal ash




Member Since: October 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
904. Neapolitan
2:37 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
I predict somewhere, sometime, someone will figure out a relatively safe and sane way to generate power through nuclear fusion--that is, one that doesn't rely on detonating a hydrogen bomb. The waste from fusion is more radioactive for several decades than is the waste from fission, but the half-life of fusion byproducts is so short that within 300 years or so, you could practically eat the stuff if you so chose.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, once it comes online, is planned to generate 500mW of power from 50mW of input power for a short time. But even this experiment is a dozen or so years away from being carried out, and then there'll be more years before the technology is viable; some predictions say that'll be as late as--ulp--2080. I hope that's not too long...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13613
903. calusakat
2:35 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
From the NREL

Solar Photovoltaic Technology

Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells by scientists, convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV gets its name from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called the PV effect.

The PV effect was discovered in 1954, when scientists at Bell Telephone discovered that silicon (an element found in sand) created an electric charge when exposed to sunlight. Soon solar cells were being used to power space satellites and smaller items like calculators and watches.

Today, thousands of people power their homes and businesses with individual solar PV systems. Utility companies are also using PV technology for large power stations.

Solar panels used to power homes and businesses are typically made from solar cells combined into modules that hold about 40 cells.

A typical home will use about 10 to 20 solar panels to power the home. The panels are mounted at a fixed angle facing south, or they can be mounted on a tracking device that follows the sun, allowing them to capture the most sunlight. Many solar panels combined together to create one system is called a solar array.

For large electric utility or industrial applications, hundreds of solar arrays are interconnected to form a large utility-scale PV system.


Member Since: October 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
902. MTWX
2:34 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
LET IT SNOW!!
...CONFIDENCE INCREASING FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER EVENT TO
IMPACT THE ARKLAMISS LATE THIS WEEKEND...

AN INTENSE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL TRANSIT THE NORTHERN GULF OF
MEXICO SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO SUNDAY NIGHT. WHILE UNCERTAINTY IN THE
DETAILS EXISTS AT THIS TIME...IT APPEARS THAT ACCUMULATING WINTRY
PRECIPITATION WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR A MAJORITY OF THE REGION AS THIS
SYSTEM PASSES. LOCATIONS ALONG AND NORTH OF A MONROE TO YAZOO CITY TO
MACON LINE HAVE THE GREATEST POTENTIAL TO SEE ACCUMULATING SNOW...
WITH CONFIDENCE INCREASING THAT 4 TO 8 INCHES MAY FALL ACROSS THESE
AREAS BY EARLY MONDAY MORNING. JUST SOUTH OF THIS REGION...ROUGHLY
ALONG THE INTERSTATE 20 CORRIDOR...A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION IS
EXPECTED. WHILE CONFIDENCE IS LOW AT THIS TIME...THE POSSIBILITY
EXISTS FOR ICE ACCUMULATION ACROSS THESE AREAS THAT COULD TOTAL ONE
QUARTER TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH. FURTHER SOUTH...MAINLY RAIN IS
EXPECTED WITH 1 TO 2 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE CONDITIONS WILL MAKE FOR
HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON MONDAY.
PLEASE STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR LOCAL MEDIA FOR UPDATES ON
THE WINTER WEATHER SITUATION.
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
901. sonofagunn
2:08 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
A solar panel outputting more energy than was required to make it DOES NOT violate any law of thermodynamics. The energy is coming from the Sun, it is not put into the panel at the time of manufacturing.
Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
900. calusakat
1:57 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting Seastep:


This is true. We only currently need about 400 more. Licenses should be flying out the door. We should already be there.


Problem.

Does anyone have any idea as to the half life of nuclear waste.

Over 15,000 years in most instances, at the very least.

How on earth can we expect this civilization to still be viable over that length of time. Answer is, we cant. An unexpected extraterrestrial event like an asteroid collision could easily cause a serious disruption in the fabric for mans control of his world.

Imagine having some unsuspecting folks happening upon one of our storage areas fifteen thousand years from now ( 150 centuries ) and not knowing what it was until too late. How much contamination would there be?

Nuclear is a good short term resolution to our problems and short term only. Renewables like photovoltaic are our only long term resolution for future energy needs on this planet.



Member Since: October 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
899. biff4ugo
1:08 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
Good Morning!

I love that animated western hemisphere!

There was not non-fossil fuel listed on the energy sources either.
Everything from firewood, charcoal, ethenol, bio-char, oil from algae, etc.

Do most humans cook over an electric or gas oven?
Is the consumption estimate just industrialized countries using electricity or does it include all energy consumption?
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 115 Comments: 1591
898. iceagecoming
12:15 PM GMT on January 07, 2011
GOP bills would curb EPA on global warming battle

Bacteria also removed spilled methane from Gulf
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 24 Comments: 1081
896. IKE
11:25 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
515 AM CST FRI JAN 7 2011

ALZ011>015-017>050-072200-
AUTAUGA-BARBOUR-BIBB-BLOUNT-BULLOCK-CALHOUN-CHAMBERS-CHEROKEE-
CHILTON-CLAY-CLEBURNE-COOSA-DALLAS-ELMORE-ETOWAH-FAYETTE-GREENE-HALE-
JEFFERSON-LAMAR-LEE-LOWNDES-MACON-MARENGO-MARION-MONTGOMERY-PERRY-
PICKENS-PIKE-RANDOLPH-RUSSELL-SHELBY-ST CLAIR-SUMTER-TALLADEGA-
TALLAPOOSA-TUSCALOOSA-WALKER-WINSTON-
515 AM CST FRI JAN 7 2011

...CONFIDENCE IN A WINTER WEATHER EVENT ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA THE
BEGINNING OF THE WEEK CONTINUES TO INCREASE...

A COLD UPPER LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES AND AN
ACTIVE SOUTHERN JET STREAM CONTINUE TO SET THE STAGE FOR ANOTHER
WINTER WEATHER EVENT ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA SUNDAY AND MONDAY. A
SURFACE LOW WILL FORM IN THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO...PULLING
MOISTURE NORTHWARD AND COLD AIR SOUTHWARD AS IT TRACKS TOWARD
NORTHWEST FLORIDA. CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING THAT CENTRAL ALABAMA
WILL SEE A VARIETY OF WINTRY PRECIPITATION STARTING AS EARLY AS
SUNDAY MORNING ACROSS SOUTHWEST ALABAMA...SPREADING ACROSS ALL OF
CENTRAL ALABAMA DURING THE DAY. THE WINTRY MIX IS EXPECTED TO LAST
THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT.

ALTHOUGH UNCERTAINTY EXISTS WITH THE EXACT PATH AND STRENGTH OF THIS
SYSTEM...BOTH SNOW AND FREEZING RAIN ARE EXPECTED. BASED ON CURRENT
FORECAST INFORMATION...THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION WILL BE
NORTH OF INTERSTATE 20...WHERE ONE TO TWO INCHES IS POSSIBLE.
ELSEWHERE...A DUSTING TO ONE HALF INCH IS POSSIBLE WITH ICE
ACCUMULATION OF LESS THAN ONE TENTH INCH. ANY CHANGE IN TRACK AND
STRENGTH COULD RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO PRECIPITATION TYPE
AND ACCUMULATION TOTALS.

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THIS UNFOLDING EVENT...PLEASE
VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX AND LISTEN TO
THE MULTIMEDIA BRIEFING OR READ THE HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK.


$$

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
895. BahaHurican
10:55 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Morning all. We had some hefty thunderstorms overnight as this latest front moved through. The rain was only about .2 inches, but that is more than we normally average in early January. I'm glad it looks like it's clearing, and hopefully today won't be too cold or wet....

Have a good one!
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22585
894. Neapolitan
10:51 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Things will change with next week's blast expected to bring below zero temps to much of the upper Midwest, but so far January has been relatively nice. According to HAMweather, record daily highs in the CONUS have outnumbered record daily lows for the first six days of the new year by 158 to 94 (1.68 to 1).

If I were to guess based on the models I see, next week should see record lows outnumbering record highs by probably 3 to 1. It's going to be a cold one...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13613
892. gatorojo
9:13 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting EnergyMoron:


Um... my panels are over producing the promise (the PV, not the hot water, which are TURKEYS).

They will eventually degrade.

The second law is a LAW and not a suggestion.

There is no perpetual motion machine.

Seastep is correct about the science; you are not.

You are arguing apples when the subject is oranges. A solar power infrastructure could be built using solar power, this doesn't constitute an offense against the second law nor would it be an attempt to build a perpetual motion machine.
I do agree with you, however, that this would be pretty impractical, at least currently, and the most viable transition to an alternative energy infrastructure will be fueled by the usual suspects.
Member Since: April 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 32
891. xcool
8:52 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Climate Prediction Center January Update

No change from the December one,which means,La Nina holding thru the Northern Hemisphere Spring.After that,is uncertain if La Nina will mantain at least in a weaker stage,or Neutral ENSO dominates thru the Summer months.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/a ... odisc.html

Synopsis: La Niña is expected to continue well into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011

A moderate-to-strong La Niña continued during December 2010 as reflected by well below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). All of the Niño indices were –1.5oC at the end of December, except for the easternmost Niño-1+2 region (Fig. 2). The subsurface oceanic heat content (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3) continued to reflect a large reservoir of below-average temperatures at depth in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (Fig. 4). Convection remained enhanced over Indonesia and suppressed over the western and central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 5). Also, enhanced low-level easterly trade winds and anomalous upper-level westerly winds continued over the equatorial Pacific. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the ongoing La Niña.

The current ENSO model forecasts have not changed significantly compared to last month (Fig. 6). La Niña is currently near its peak and is expected to persist into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011 at a lesser intensity. Thereafter, there remains considerable uncertainty as to whether La Niña will last into the Northern Hemisphere summer (as suggested by the NCEP CFS and a few other models), or whether there will be a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions (as suggested by the CPC CON and a majority of the other models).

Likely La Niña impacts during January-March 2011 include suppressed convection over the west-central tropical Pacific Ocean, and enhanced convection over Indonesia. Impacts in the United States include an enhanced chance of above-average precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies (along with a concomitant increase in snowfall), Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley. Below-average precipitation is favored across the southwestern and southeastern states. An increased chance of below-average temperatures is predicted for much of the West Coast and northern tier of states (excluding New England), and a higher possibility of above-average temperatures is forecast for much of the southern and central U.S. (see 3-month seasonal outlook released on December 16th, 2010). While seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns in the U.S. are strongly influenced by La Niña, these signals can be modified by other factors, such as the Arctic Oscillation (AO)/ North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
890. Guysgal
8:25 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Anyone who thinks we are going to work ourselves out of this corner is delusional. We are now about 7 billion in number and we are a doomed species. Read overshoot by William cattron. Oh and ny the way, oil has been so cheap because we have stolen it fromfuture generAttions. Sorry about bad capitalization, smart phone isn't very sometimes !
Member Since: May 9, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 218
889. hcubed
7:50 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting JFLORIDA:



Svante August Arrhenius (19 February 1859 2 October 1927) was a Swedish scientist, originally a physicist, but often referred to as a chemist, and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry.

Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the ice ages, and in 1896 he was the first scientist to speculate that changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. He was influenced by the work of others, including Joseph Fourier. Arrhenius used the infrared observations of the moon by Frank Washington Very and Samuel Pierpont Langley at the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh to calculate the absorption of infrared radiation by atmospheric CO2 and water vapour. Using 'Stefan's law' (better known as the Stefan Boltzmann law), he formulated his greenhouse law. In its original form, Arrhenius' greenhouse law reads as follows:

if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.


This simplified expression is still used today:

%u0394F = %u03B1 ln(C/C0)

Arrhenius' high absorption values for CO2, however, met criticism by Knut Angstrom in 1900, who published the first modern infrared spectrum of CO2 with two absorption bands. Arrhenius replied strongly in 1901 (Annalen der Physik), dismissing the critique altogether. He touched the subject briefly in a technical book titled Lehrbuch der kosmischen Physik (1903). He later wrote V%uFFFDrldarnas utveckling (1906), German translation: Das Werden der Welten (1907), English translation: Worlds in the Making (1908) directed at a general audience, where he suggested that the human emission of CO2 would be strong enough to prevent the world from entering a new ice age, and that a warmer earth would be needed to feed the rapidly increasing population. He was the first person to predict that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and other combustion processes would cause global warming. Arrhenius clearly believed that a warmer world would be a positive change. From that, the hot-house theory gained more attention. Nevertheless, until about 1960, most scientists dismissed the hot-house / greenhouse effect as implausible for the cause of ice ages as Milutin Milankovitch had presented a mechanism using orbital changes of the earth (Milankovitch cycles). Nowadays, the accepted explanation is that orbital forcing sets the timing for ice ages with CO2 acting as an essential amplifying feedback.


PLEASE look at this site, about the SORCE satellite.

Its instrumentation is observing the SPECTRAL output of the sun, and it's picking up unexpected variations in the infrared portion.

"...We have never had a reason until now to believe that parts of the spectrum may vary out of phase with the solar cycle, but now we have started to model that possibility because of the SIM results," said Robert Cahalan, the project scientist for SORCE and the head of the climate and radiation branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Cahalan, as well as groups of scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Johns Hopkins University, presented research at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December that explored the climate implications of the recent SIM measurements.

Cahalan's modeling, for example, suggests that the sun may underlie variations in stratospheric temperature more strongly than currently thought. Measurements have shown that stratospheric temperatures vary by about 1C (1.8F) over the course of a solar cycle, and Cahalan has demonstrated that inputting SIM's measurements of spectral irradiance into a climate model produces variations of that same magnitude.

Without inclusion of SIM data, the model produces stratospheric temperature variations only about a fifth as strong as would be needed to explain observed stratospheric temperature variations. "We may have a lot more to learn about how solar variability works, and how the sun might influence our climate," Cahalan said..."

"...However, SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 -- by ten times as much as the total irradiance did -- while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall..."

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solarcycle-sorce.html

This unexpected increase in infrared may account for a portion of the observed warming.
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
887. hcubed
6:36 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Hmmm... I guessed you missed my comment about erroneous SST readings in the 1940s during WWII (and recently, in the Hadley dataset, but in the other direction, leading them to show less warming).

Of buckets and blogs

This last week has been an interesting one for observers of how climate change is covered in the media and online. On Wednesday an interesting paper (Thompson et al) was published in Nature, pointing to a clear artifact in the sea surface temperatures in 1945 and associating it with the changing mix of fleets and measurement techniques at the end of World War II. The mainstream media by and large got the story right – puzzling anomaly tracked down, corrections in progress after a little scientific detective work, consequences minor – even though a few headline writers got a little carried away in equating a specific dip in 1945 ocean temperatures with the more gentle 1940s-1970s cooling that is seen in the land measurements. However, some blog commentaries have gone completely overboard on the implications of this study in ways that are very revealing of their underlying biases.


(rolls eyes)


So the "spike" in observed temps is due to faulty record keeping/faulty data gathering in the late '40's?

And record keeping/data gathering has advanced since then, right?
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
885. hcubed
6:28 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Right, only if you cherry-pick and use the warmest reconstructions (black line is the average of all of the ones shown; 2004 wasn't the warmest year either):



Using your average (black line, not "cherry-picking" one), still shows a declining average, and puts "recent" below "zero".

Then, only after the scientists graft on the temperature records, do we see the alarming rise.
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
884. sunlinepr
6:20 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting EnergyMoron:


What are you doing other than whining?


Hey, I'm not winning, I'm expressing my opinion, that we are being left behind in developing Renewable Energy technologies... Anyhow If that's the situation, look who is also whining... by saying that "We are being left behind"




WINSTON-SALEM -- In a talk today at Forsyth Technical Community College, President Barack Obama warned of a new Sputnik moment, in which the United States is in danger of being left behind in sciences and technology just as the Russians had bypassed America in the space race in the 1950s.

Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to put aside their partisan wrangling, and focus on preparing the country for foreign economic competition from such countries as China, Korea and India

"I believe right now there are bigger issues at stake for our country than politics, Obama told a private gathering at the college. These issues call on us to respond not as partisans but as Americans.

Link


After considering your post 878, my question is :
Do you consider Obama (like you classified yourself) - a nominal United States del Norte type American?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
883. sunlinepr
6:09 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting EnergyMoron:


What are you doing other than whining?


I'm participating in the different programs that are established locally by the Estado Libre Asociado de PR as a US territory..... Though This year we will receive improved Tax exempt benefits by implementing clean energy technologies... Also I'm being questioned by a nominal United States del Norte type American - (What about This phrase?? sounds like it has some racist/supremacist connotation??)
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
882. EnergyMoron
6:03 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting sunlinepr:


Are you pleased with the actual energy programs, with the technologies being developed by we the United States del Norte?? When will be the next Gom oil spill and it's consequences?


What are you doing other than whining?
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
881. sunlinepr
6:01 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting EnergyMoron:


I am not left behind and I am a nominal United States del Norte type American

What are you doing?


Are you pleased with the actual energy programs, with the technologies being developed by we the United States del Norte "type" American?? When will be the next Gom oil spill and what will be the cost of it's consequences?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
880. EnergyMoron
5:58 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Ohh... right!

This proves to me that you don't know what you are talking about!

So solar cell don't actually produce energy from sunlight - they put the energy into them when they are made, like a battery - all a big scam!

OK, so it takes energy to make a solar cell - they can then produce a lot more energy in operation, as much as you want. Theoretically, an infinite amount of energy (limited by practical lifetime; I have heard that they can degrade, but then I hear people saying that their 30 year old (old technology) panels are still working like new, and they even measured their output to prove it).

So they are initially expensive. Sure, but then calculate the costs over its lifetime. Just like those who shied away from CFLs because they cost more - but saved more in energy costs (as with global warming, it is always a matter of NOW, not the future).


Um... my panels are over producing the promise (the PV, not the hot water, which are TURKEYS).

They will eventually degrade.

The second law is a LAW and not a suggestion.

There is no perpetual motion machine.

Seastep is correct about the science; you are not.
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
878. EnergyMoron
5:55 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting sunlinepr:
The real is that we keep on with old technologies, while many countries are experimenting, developing and implementing new Renewable energy technologies. We are being left behind...


I am not left behind and I am a nominal United States del Norte type American

What are you doing?
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
877. sunlinepr
5:54 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
The real is that we keep on with old technologies, while many countries are experimenting, developing and implementing new Renewable Clean energy technologies. We are being left behind...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
876. EnergyMoron
5:54 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting Seastep:


Yes, there is a reason. It is not viable. Always more energy in than out. Always.


You forget we can shovel instead of using tools.

Energy sources in years past were laborers, who were practically slaves (at least in England... think coal).

While it would be possible in theory (theorists like the current DOE head) to use solar to move to a solar future....

How many slaves does this require?

I prefer to use fossil fuels to get there :). Fossil fuels (which have brought about a level of nice prosperity) last hurrah.
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
874. EnergyMoron
5:47 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting Seastep:


Yes, there is a reason. It is not viable. Always more energy in than out. Always.


that darn second law.

And U = Q + W

silly rabbits who insist upon this
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
873. EnergyMoron
5:46 AM GMT on January 07, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Right - to make solar cells and wind turbines we MUST use fossil fuels! No reason why we can't run a solar cell factory off of, well, solar cells! Maybe we can even make a self-replicating solar cell factory (just kidding, that'd be a bad idea - gray goo).


Pratical reality time.

How many solar panels are on your house?

I have removed 1 of mine for safety reasons.
Member Since: December 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3

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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.