Snow, ice paralyze South; Nor'easter aims at New England; deadly floods in Australia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:49 PM GMT on January 11, 2011

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Much of the nation's South remains paralyzed today by a major winter storm that left up to a foot of snow and dangerous ice accumulations in its wake. Six states have declared states of emergency, and travel is extremely hazardous in the affected region, including Atlanta, where at least five closures of major interstates occurred this morning due to severe icing. The storm began Sunday in northeast Texas and tracked eastward, bringing snow amounts as high as 7 - 8 inches to northeastern Texas and southern Arkansas, 9 - 11 inches to northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and southern Tennessee. As of 3am CST, the heaviest snow as reported in the NOAA Storm Summary occurred at Cashiers, North Carolina, 12.5 inches. The worst freezing rain was reported in central Georgia at Wrightsville, which received 1.5" of ice. Aiken, South Carolina received 1" of ice, and numerous locations in South Carolina, Central Georgia, and Central Alabama received over 1/2" of ice. Freezing rain amounts of 1/4" were also reported in northern Louisiana, central Mississippi, and western Arkansas. Dangerous travel conditions will persist across the affected region the rest of today, as temperatures will struggle to reach 40°.


Figure 1. Snow and ice at North Carolina's Charlotte airport caused travel delays yesterday, and thousands of flights were canceled Sunday and Monday across the Southeast U.S. due to the severe winter storm that hit the region. Image credit: wunderphotographer robb04047.

Major Nor'easter expected for New York City and Boston
Today's snow storm has pushed off the coast of North Carolina, and is expected to "bomb" into a classic Nor'easter off the coast of New England tonight through Wednesday. Up to a foot of snow is possible for New York City, Boston, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The heaviest snow--up to 16 inches--will likely fall across central Massachusetts, eastern Connecticut, western Rhode Island, and Long Island. Today's Nor'easter will not be as intense as the December 26 blizzard, however. The winds from today's storm are expected to remain less than 35 mph, resulting in only minor coastal flooding and an absence of blizzard conditions (frequent wind gusts over 35 mph or sustained winds over 35 mph, plus visibility less than 1/4 mile for at least three consecutive hours.)

Deadly flash flood hits Australia
Flood-weary Queensland, Australia suffered a new flooding disaster yesterday when freak rains of six inches fell in just 30 minutes near Toowoomba. The resulting flash flood killed nine people and left 59 missing. The flood waters poured into the Brisbane River, causing it to overflow, and significant flooding of low-lying areas in Brisbane, Australia's third largest city with some 2 million people, is expected on Thursday. As I discussed last week, Australia had its wettest spring (September - November) since records began 111 years ago, with some sections of coastal Queensland receiving over 4 feet (1200 mm) of rain. Rainfall in Queensland and all of eastern Australia in December was the greatest on record, and the year 2010 was the rainiest year on record for Queensland. The ocean waters surrounding Australia were the warmest on record during 2010, and these exceptionally warm waters allowed much higher amounts of water vapor to evaporate into the atmosphere, helping fuel the heavy rains. The record warm ocean temperatures were due to a combination of global warming and the moderate to strong La Niña event that has been in place since July. Queensland typically has its rainiest years when La Niña events occur, due to the much warmer than average ocean temperatures that occur along the coast. Beginning in December, the Queensland floods have killed at least 19, and done $5 billion in damage. Queensland has an area the size of Germany and France combined.


Figure 2. Remarkable 5-minute YouTube video showing the sad fate of a row of parked cars when a nearby small stream experiences a flash flood, sweeping away dozens of the cars. A note to the wise: Two minutes into the video, we see a man enter the flash flood to save his car. He is successful, but his actions were extremely risky--most flash flood deaths occur when cars with people inside get swept away. I would not have attempted to save my car in that situation.

Jeff Masters

Snow on Poinsett Highway in Greenville (DevLady)
Snow on Poinsett Highway in Greenville
Sunny, warm South Carolina? Not! (kemnken)
Sunny, warm South Carolina?
Sunny, warm South Carolina? Not!
Icicles for Treats (dixiedaughter)
Icicles for Treats

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Quoting Neapolitan:

The Arctic is an ocean in the heavily-populated norther hemisphere, while Antarctica is a continent in the relatively lightly-populated southern hemisphere. So, not, the dynamics are not the same at all. Not even close.


okay, saying that global warming is the ONLY reason there is ice loss in the artic, but saying there are many reasons why the Antarctic sea ice is gaining. Is very unfair, and very unscientific.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Ummm... ok...



Watch out, that chart uses an averaging period that ended three decades ago...
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Quoting atmoaggie:
You do know that the whole nuclear winter businesses is a gross exaggeration, right?

Which part? And can you please define "gross"? \

Here's a link to a 2007 paper:

Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences

At any rate, no one (with the possible exception of Dr. Strangelove and his allies) would claim that detonating 32,000 nukes--or half that many, or a quarter that many, or 1% of that many--would be harmless to the atmosphere.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13509
but got attacked by my comments

just eaxactly how did your comments attack you?
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:

Writing this down on my notepad.... Stop posting my opinions, whether right or wrong.
"OK,, Got it"

I have an opinion on something. When is it ok to say it.... In the words of Fire Marshall Bill "Let me show you something"
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Nea, would you care to share a cup of chamomile tea with me?
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I was pointing this out earlier, but got attacked by my comments.

it's called Tough Love.....
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Rainbow

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Quoting MichaelSTL:


If only people would stop posting their own opinions on a subject they don't understand... well, that isn't going to happen anytime soon so unfortunately for people like you, you'll have to put up with it (no, I don't start these useless arguments masquerading as scientific "debates").

Writing this down on my notepad.... Stop posting my opinions, whether right or wrong.
"OK,, Got it"
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


If they used a more recent base period, the trend would stay the same, but it would make all of the years cooler, including past years (so it would look darn cold in the past). It doesn't matter at all what base period you use - only deniers claim that it is important (because a more recent base period makes recent years look "cooler"*).

*When the NWS goes to a 1981-2010 base period soon, I bet that we will see a whole lot of nonsense over how it is now only 1 degree warmer than "average" instead of 3.7 degrees (or however much warming occurred between 1971-2000 and 1981-2010, some areas of course cooled over this period).


So you're saying that choice of the averaging period has nothing to do with the trend, but everything to do with the presentation.

If a more recent base period would make recent years appear "cooler", then the choice of earlier base periods makes recent years appear "hotter".

Right?
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from NOAA

or the Source for the SCIENCE as it stands today

Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center


Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.
How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Ummm... ok...



Even HadSST2, which has very sketchy data in the polar regions, shows no significant trend since 1980 in the data it does have for the Southern Ocean.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26611
Quoting MississippiWx:
Wow, I can never look on this blog without global warming talk. There are plenty of winter storms to talk about, but it's just a constant bickering for global warming. Hate to break it to you, but neither side is ever going to budge toward the other.


I was pointing this out earlier, but got attacked by my comments.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

No. Jeez, I wish. Nah, the celebrities with whom I'm most often compared are Michael Berryman and Jocelyn Wildenstein. Or their kid, if they unfortunately happened to hook up one night. ;-)

But thanks!

I guess it can be a "Beauty and the Beast" scenario... Joyelyn made her self that way, but I am sure Michael Berryman is a wonderful guy... I do know he is a great actor watching "One Flew Overe the Cuckoo's Nest"
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


okay so the gaining of sea ice is caused by other factors that are over riding global warming, however theres only one way the artic could be losing ice right? it cant be an explanation like the one you just gave for the Antarctic gaining it?

The Arctic is an ocean in the heavily-populated norther hemisphere, while Antarctica is a continent in the relatively lightly-populated southern hemisphere. So, not, the dynamics are not the same at all. Not even close.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13509
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Ummm... ok...



sweet 1950-1981 map there STL, those satellites are so much more reliable than the 2000 models...
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360
Wow, I can never look on this blog without global warming talk. There are plenty of winter storms to talk about, but it's just a constant bickering for global warming. Hate to break it to you, but neither side is ever going to budge toward the other.
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Reynolds V2 SST data, aided by satellite observations, also shows a general decline in Southern Ocean SST anomalies since the late 1980s.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26611
Quoting Levi32:


Actually, the Southern Ocean has been getting colder during the last 20-30 years according to the most recent SST data sets.





Levi stop making graphs that obviously are bad... and should be outlawed... cmon only AGW believers can use incorrect graphs to drive there point home!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360
NASA'S Kepler Mission Discovers Its First Rocky Planet



Artist concept of Kepler-10b.
Credit: NASA.


NASA's Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Measuring 1.4 times the size of Earth, it is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system.

The discovery of this so-called exoplanet is based on more than eight months of data collected by the spacecraft from May 2009 to early January 2010.

"All of Kepler's best capabilities have converged to yield the first solid evidence of a rocky planet orbiting a star other than our sun," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler's deputy science team lead at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and primary author of a paper on the discovery accepted by the Astrophysical Journal. "The Kepler team made a commitment in 2010 about finding the telltale signatures of small planets in the data, and it's beginning to pay off."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Quoting MichaelSTL:
Maybe I should just put Levi on ignore because he is obviously one of those eggheaded denialists who think that science fiction trumps real science.

By the way, imagine if gravity, which is a theory like global warming, ceased to exist at this moment - we'd all fly off into space at up to 1,000 mph (the rotational speed of the Earth at the equator*)!

*Of course, Levi thinks that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was the biggest hoax ever, behind global warming. And the Sun orbits the Earth.

Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on. Including people threatening him (probably including death threats).
Keep this up and you'll go the way of MichaelSTL a couple of years back...

The one you attack is a quality individual with a good nose for science. And has the respect of many.

Just sayin'
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Quoting MichaelSTL:
Maybe I should just put Levi on ignore because he is obviously one of those eggheaded denialists who think that science fiction trumps real science.

By the way, imagine if gravity, which is a theory like global warming, ceased to exist at this moment - we'd all fly off into space at up to 1,000 mph (the rotational speed of the Earth at the equator*)!

*Of course, Levi thinks that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was the biggest hoax ever, behind global warming. And the Sun orbits the Earth.

Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on. Including people threatening him (probably including death threats).


Greetings and good day;

Levi made a personal observation. He did not name call, or describe, in a rather unprofessional way, what he thinks other peoples beliefs are. You mentioned that perhaps, and I quote: “Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on.”

Your right. No member of this blog, including Levi, should be insulted either. Comments such as yours violate the community standards of this blog. Perhaps the moderators should enforce these standards on your comments. Resorting to personal attacks indicates one is perhaps too emotionally attached to an issue, and does nothing to boost ones credibility. As a member of this blog as well, I would ask for a little more civility when addressing the posts of other members. Take care, and have a better day.

Very Respectfully,

Jon
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Quoting Neapolitan:

No. Jeez, I wish. Nah, the celebrities with whom I'm most often compared are Michael Berryman and Jocelyn Wildenstein. Or their kid, if they unfortunately happened to hook up one night. ;-)

But thanks!

Ah yes.The cat lady...But what is really scary, "She thinks she looks good"
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Quoting MichaelSTL:
Something interesting that shows the importance of greenhouse gasses:

The Huronian glaciation extended from 2400 Mya to 2100 Mya, during the Siderian and Rhyacian periods of the Paleoproterozoic era, triggered by the oxygen catastrophe, which oxidised the atmospheric methane (a greenhouse gas). It was one of the most severe and longest ice ages in geologic history, similar to the Snowball Earth ice ages that happened in the neoproterozoic era.



Indeed:

CO2: The Thermostat that Controls Earth's Temperature



Zonally averaged annual-mean surface temperature change following the zeroing out of non-condensing greenhouse gases.



Ouch...


Nice fictional picture to drive your point home, kinda like gore, using Day After Tomorrow footage in his scientifically factual "documentary".
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360
Quoting MichaelSTL:


More denier nonsense:

Is Antarctica losing or gaining ice?



If the Southern Ocean is warming, why is Antarctic sea ice increasing? There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere (Gillet 2003). This strengthens the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent (Thompson 2002). The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas lead to increased sea ice production (Turner 2009).

Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007).

In summary, Antarctic sea ice is a complex and unique phenomenon. The simplistic interpretation that it must be cooling around Antarctica is decidedly not the case. Warming is happening - how it affects specific regions is complicated.


Actually, the Southern Ocean has been getting colder during the last 20-30 years according to the most recent SST data sets.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26611
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Nea....Anyone ever tell you that you lool like Victor Newman?

No. Jeez, I wish. Nah, the celebrities with whom I'm most often compared are Michael Berryman and Jocelyn Wildenstein. Or their kid, if they unfortunately happened to hook up one night. ;-)

But thanks!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13509
Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
Special Weather Statement
Statement as of 1:09 PM EST on January 11, 2011


... Dangerous driving conditions continue across north Georgia...

A winter storm that tracked through Georgia Sunday night and Monday
dumped snow... sleet... and freezing rain across the state. With the
cold temperatures and low level moisture in place... freezing
drizzle and light snow persisted through Tuesday morning.
There is still a slight chance for light snow to continue into
tonight across extreme north Georgia... and accumulations... if
any... will be light. Driving conditions will remain treacherous
across north and much of central Georgia through Wednesday.

North Georgia still has snow... sleet and ice on the ground. With
temperatures remaining below freezing across the area... this will
allow for any moisture on the sidewalks and roadways to freeze and
remain frozen. Temperatures across north Georgia will struggle to
reach above freezing through Thursday and this will provide little
chance for the ice to melt and conditions to improve.






You got it Chillin..Sassafras
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Nuke Totals.

Those are estimates I have from number of cited DoD sources.

China,,and France have debatable numbers,..as delivery systems like MIRVED and other Intercontinental systems skew the actuals.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
123. JRRP
Quoting MichaelSTL:


More denier nonsense:

Is Antarctica losing or gaining ice?



If the Southern Ocean is warming, why is Antarctic sea ice increasing? There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere (Gillet 2003). This strengthens the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent (Thompson 2002). The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas lead to increased sea ice production (Turner 2009).

Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007).

In summary, Antarctic sea ice is a complex and unique phenomenon. The simplistic interpretation that it must be cooling around Antarctica is decidedly not the case. Warming is happening - how it affects specific regions is complicated.

do you have the artic graph ?
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Quoting scottstraley:
Looks like a 3-4" liquid equiv bullseye for central Long Island. If that is even remotely right, they'll need to find a new catchy phrase for call this next storm. But, for now, it's just model fiction.


Link

~ Scott "Long Time Reader, First Time Poster"


Welcome to Wunderground :)
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Look's like the blog is in melt down mode.

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Quoting Patrap:
Control it?

well,were modifying it on a Grand scale sport.


We have the Power to destroy all Life on the Planet in a Matter of Hours with 32,578 Nukes ,,

On any Given day.

Food for thought.......



Patrap, Don't know where you got the total nukes, but I do agree with you... Lot's of crazies out there, not only on a local level, but some of these are rulers of countries. Did I mention the name "Kim Jong"?
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Now the real edgy stuff will flow...


I think atmo,,,u musta missed da pernt.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Looks like a 3-4" liquid equiv bullseye for central Long Island. If that is even remotely right, they'll need to find a new catchy phrase for call this next storm. But, for now, it's just model fiction.


Link

~ Scott "Long Time Reader, First Time Poster"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Special Weather Statement
Statement as of 1:09 PM EST on January 11, 2011


... Dangerous driving conditions continue across north Georgia...

A winter storm that tracked through Georgia Sunday night and Monday
dumped snow... sleet... and freezing rain across the state. With the
cold temperatures and low level moisture in place... freezing
drizzle and light snow persisted through Tuesday morning.
There is still a slight chance for light snow to continue into
tonight across extreme north Georgia... and accumulations... if
any... will be light. Driving conditions will remain treacherous
across north and much of central Georgia through Wednesday.

North Georgia still has snow... sleet and ice on the ground. With
temperatures remaining below freezing across the area... this will
allow for any moisture on the sidewalks and roadways to freeze and
remain frozen. Temperatures across north Georgia will struggle to
reach above freezing through Thursday and this will provide little
chance for the ice to melt and conditions to improve.




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Quoting Patrap:
Control it?

well,were modifying it on a Grand scale sport.


We have the Power to destroy all Life on the Planet in a Matter of Hours with 32,578 Nukes ,,

On any Given day.

Food for thought.......


You do know that the whole nuclear winter businesses is a gross exaggeration, right?
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
oh goodness... here comes religion
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Control it?

well,were modifying it on a Grand scale sport.


We have the Power to destroy all Life on the Planet in a Matter of Hours with 32,578 Nukes ,,

On any Given day.

Food for thought.......


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Quoting MichaelSTL:


More denier nonsense:

Is Antarctica losing or gaining ice?



If the Southern Ocean is warming, why is Antarctic sea ice increasing? There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere (Gillet 2003). This strengthens the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent (Thompson 2002). The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas lead to increased sea ice production (Turner 2009).

Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007).

In summary, Antarctic sea ice is a complex and unique phenomenon. The simplistic interpretation that it must be cooling around Antarctica is decidedly not the case. Warming is happening - how it affects specific regions is complicated.


okay so the gaining of sea ice is caused by other factors that are over riding global warming, however theres only one way the artic could be losing ice right? it cant be an explanation like the one you just gave for the Antarctic gaining it?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360
Quoting Bordonaro:

At least the biggest slice of Arctic air will by pass FL. You have already had your two good shots so far this year.

And, oh, by the way, thanks for sharing, the cold air with us :O)


Until next week that is lol
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interesting... above average.. shocker.
this should be thrown out though right? this doesn't matter, but declining sea ice does.
..Yes VAbeach.Sea lice a a big problem here in south Florida

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oh goodness... here comes religion
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6360

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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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