Another amazingly snowy winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:18 PM GMT on February 11, 2011

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As northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas dig out from the two feet of snow dumped this winter's latest epic snowstorm, it's time to summarize how remarkable the snows of the past two winters have been. So far this winter, the Northeast U.S. has seen three Category 3 (major) or higher snow storms on the Northeast Snowfall Impact (NESIS) scale. This scale, which rates Northeast snowstorms by the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm, runs from Category 1 (Notable) to Category 5 (Crippling.) This puts the winter of 2010 - 2011 in a tie for first place with the winters of 2009 - 2010 and 1960 - 1961 for most major Northeast snowstorms. All three of these winters had an extreme configuration of surface pressures over the Arctic and North Atlantic referred to as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this situation, the band of winds that circles the North Pole weakens, allowing cold air to spill southwards into the mid-latitudes.

In the past twelve months, we've had six major Category 3 or stronger storms on the NESIS scale, by far the most major snowstorms in a 12-month period in the historical record. Going back to 1956, only one 12-month period had as many as four major snowstorms--during 1960 - 1961. New York City has seen three of its top-ten snowstorms and the two snowiest months in its 142-year history during the past 12 months--February 2010 (36.9") and January 2011 (36.0"). Philadelphia has seen four of its top-ten snowstorm in history the past two winters. The Midwest has not been left out of the action this year, either--the Groundhog's Day blizzard nailed Chicago with its 3rd biggest snowstorm on record. According to the National Climatic Data Center, December 2010 saw the 7th greatest U.S. snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, and January 2011 the 5th most. December 2009 had the greatest snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, January 2010 the 6th most, and February 2010 the 3rd most. Clearly, the snows of the past two winters in the U.S. have been truly extraordinary.


Figure 1. The six major Category 3 Northeast snowstorms of the past twelve months. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A cold January in the U.S.
January 2011 was the coldest January in the contiguous U.S. since 1994, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and ranked as the 37th coldest January in the 117-year record. Despite the heavy snows in the Northeast U.S., January was the 9th driest January since 1895. This was largely due to the fact that the Desert Southwest was very dry, with New Mexico recording its driest January, and Arizona and Nevada their second driest.

A cold and record snowy winter (yet again!) in the U.S. does not prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming, as we must instead focus on global temperatures averaged over decades. Globally, January 2011 was the 11th warmest since 1880, but tied for the second coolest January of the past decade, according to NASA. NOAA has not yet released their stats for January. The cool-down in global temperatures since November 2010, which was the warmest November in the historical record, is largely due to the temporary cooling effect of the strong La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. This event has cooled a large portion of the surface waters in the Pacific, leading to a cooler global temperature.

Some posts of interest I've done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy the coming warm-up, those of you in the eastern 2/3 of the country!

Jeff Masters

Snow and icicle sun (emilinetdd)
Snow and icicle sun
Cardinal City (dypepper)
Another exciting day for me, shooting the Cardinals in the Snow!
Cardinal City

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Quoting Patrap:
.."I aint gonna work on Maggie's farm no mo"..


" Gloom, despair, and agony on you "...like your new avatar, Pat.
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1447. Patrap
.."I aint gonna work on Maggie's farm no mo"..
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1446. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
The only RSMC that does not retire names is the southwestern Indian Ocean. (from 40E-90E)

They have a new list every year.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Well if that's the case the Mai is one canidid on the list.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


They do retire names.


TY..see there...learned that:}
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1441. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)

I wonder?.Do they retire storms in the western pacific?.Wikipedia is full of trash when it comes to that department.



1435. EYEStoSEA 2:20 AM GMT on February 14, 2011


You know, I don't know...I have much to learn, but I AM learning, more and more


They do retire names.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


Too bad you chose to ignore validated research on the topic. Link

I already know your response too: conspiracy and lies.

At which point the discussion will dissolve into another fruitless dialog with people posting relevant research and links on the topic and you dismissively waving them away, claiming it's all tainted by the global climate conspiracy.

No meaningful discussion can take place with a conspiracy theorist.


Validated by whom? The same 100 people "peer-reviewing" each other's fraudulent data?
Member Since: February 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 318
Quoting KoritheMan:

It's not unreasonable to assume we'll see more early season activity this year because there will be no "lag time" like last year, where the atmosphere was still largely in El Nino territory during the early season.
I have a feeling at least some of our "lag time" in 2010 had to do with the atmospheric set-up involving that unusually persistent high over Russia.

Quoting Patrap:

Fly Your Face in Space

NASA Updates Target Launch Date for STS-133 and STS-134. Click here for new dates.

NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit. To launch your face into space and become a part of history, just follow these steps:
etc.....
I dunno, Pat.... that seems kinda creepy to me somehow.... lol

Quoting 1900hurricane:
Getting pretty close to landfall now:

Nice image from EUMETSAT... it's about time... darned storm has been dawdling for 24 hours.... at least it looks like it's not going to make those high-end forecasts numbers...

Quoting Orcasystems:


Me.. not playing nice... I always play nice :)
Well fair anyway.
Obviously he did not see the halo, Orca... lol

Quoting washingtonian115:
Is the blog working?.It doesn't seem to be moving at all.
This sometimes happens when pple break for dinner....

Quoting MississippiBoy:
I know this can be a very touchy subject but what do some of you think of (gw)global warming.It sure has been cold down here in MS?
Oh no u dittent.... lol u were just playin', right???
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Quoting Neapolitan:

So--an "independent group" of non-scientists? I'd look forward to their findings...if I couldn't already find them everyday on WUWT or Fox News... ;-)


Did I say "non-scientists?" It does not take a "scientist" to compile data from weather stations, but it seems it takes a climate "scientist" to manipulate data to conform to his preconceived notions.
Member Since: February 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 318
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I wonder?.Do they retire storms in the western pacific?.Wikipedia is full of trash when it comes to that department.


You know, I don't know...I have much to learn, but I AM learning, more and more
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I'm sick of all the denier conspiracy theories, can we get back to weather?

An extra-tropical cyclone, of the Clipper type, has developed over the Great Lakes and will cool things off here in Fargo, it will be merely in the low 30sF rather than 40sF tomorrow. we are still under a high wind warning. Tuesday and Wednesday will be around 40F.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Goodnight TwinC :)
I wonder?.Do they retire storms in the western pacific?.Wikipedia is full of trash when it comes to that department.
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1431. Patrap




Global Climate Change Indicators


NOAA

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.
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1429. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE 11F
9:00 AM FST February 14 2011
================================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Disturbance 11F located at 18.2S 167.9E is reported as slowly moving. Position POOR based on multispectral visible/infrared with animation and peripheral observations. Sea surface temperature is 30C.

Organization remains poor with deep convection displaced to the south of the system. Cyclonic circulation extends up to 700 HPA. System lies under an upper ridge in a moderately sheared environment.

Global models have picked up the system and are moving it westward with slight intensification.

The potential for this disturbance to form into a tropical cyclone within the next 24-48 hours is LOW.
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Quoting twincomanche:
Good night all. Be informative.


Goodnight TwinC :)
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1427. Patrap
Multiplatform Tropical Cyclone Kinetic Energy and Intensity



Time of Latest Image: 201102140000
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
maybe you have thought wrong

I'm thinking that you might be right. Certainly the folks in Lund and Tofino are very friendly but I've heard that things down in Victoria are a little different.

How are foreigners treated in Toronto?

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1424. Patrap
SH132011 - Tropical Cyclone BINGIZA


Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)animated Loop

Landfall,,now Landfall

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1421. Patrap
Global Climate Change


Events/Reports/Pubs

Data/Images/Climatology

Natural Disasters, etc.

Contact


NCDC is the world's largest active archive of weather data. NCDC produces numerous climate publications and responds to data requests from all over the world. NCDC operates the World Data Center for Meteorology which is co-located at NCDC in Asheville, North Carolina, and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology which is located in Boulder, Colorado.

NCDC supports a three tier national climate services support program - the partners include: NCDC, Regional Climate Centers, and State Climatologists.


Events, Reports & Publications

* NCDC Climate Monitoring Page
* Evaporation Changes over the US & Former USSR: A Reassessment (Paper, PDF)
* Precipitation Trends Over The Russian Permafrost-free Zone (Paper, PDF)
* Observed Variability & Trends in Extreme Climate Events (Paper, PDF)
* Temporal Changes in the Relationship Between Cloud Cover and Temperature (Paper, PDF)
* Changes in the Probability of Heavy Precipitation (Paper, PDF)
* Recent Changes in Cloud Type Frequency and Convection (Paper, PDF)
* Heavy Precipitation & High Streamflow in the Contiguous U.S. (Paper, PDF)
* The Relationship of Cloud Cover to Near-Surface Temperature and Humidity (Paper, PDF)
* Temperature Time Series for China, India, & the U.S. (Web Page)
* Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions (Web Page)
* A New Perspective on Global Warming--Max/Min Temperature Trends (Published Paper)
* Indices of Climatic Change for the U.S. (Published Paper)
* El Nino/La Nina (Reports, Links, Etc)
* Climatic Extremes & Weather Events (Web System)
* Worldwide Weather & Climate Events (Numerous Special Reports)
* U.S. Billion Dollar Weather Disasters (Special Report)
* Climate Variations Bulletin (Monthly Reports, 1994 to Present)
* NCDC Products & Services Guide
* NCDC Bibliography


Top of page Data, Images & Climatology

* Climatic Extremes & Weather Events (Web System)
* NNDC Climate Data Online (Interactive Selection of Long-Term Climatic Data)
* Storm Events Database (Severe Weather Reports, 1995 to Present)
* Historical Global Extremes
* Long-Term Global Climatic Data (Monthly Data, 1700-present)
* U.S. Historical Climate Network (Monthly Data, 1880-1995)
* Interactive Graphing of Global Climatic Data
* U.S. Radar Composite Images (1995 to Present)
* Get/View Online Climate Data (All NCDC Online Digital Climatic Datasets)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Changed the subject.. worked for me :)
But now they've come back,and continue to argue about the same thing.We need hurricane season to come already.
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1419. Patrap
NOAA Launches Website on Emerging Marine Renewable Energy


February 10, 2011

In response to re-surging interest in renewable energy production, NOAA has launched a website containing legal and licensing information for industries interested in developing Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) capability in the United States.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Sorry Baha but as we all know the blog can't stay peacful.It's like an ocean.One minute it's peaceful,the next it's raging mad!.


+100
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Quoting Cochise111:


It's too bad that NOAA won't abide by their own rules and place temperature stations in areas not affected by artificial heat.


Too bad you chose to ignore validated research on the topic. Link

I already know your response too: conspiracy and lies.

At which point the discussion will dissolve into another fruitless dialog with people posting relevant research and links on the topic and you dismissively waving them away, claiming it's all tainted by the global climate conspiracy.

No meaningful discussion can take place with a conspiracy theorist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1416. Patrap
The Psychology of Climate Change Denial

* By Brandon Keim Email Author
* December 9, 2009


Even as the science of global warming gets stronger, fewer Americans believe it’s real. In some ways, it’s nearly as jarring a disconnect as enduring disbelief in evolution or carbon dating. And according to Kari Marie Norgaard, a Whitman College sociologist who’s studied public attitudes towards climate science, we’re in denial.

“Our response to disturbing information is very complex. We negotiate it. We don’t just take it in and respond in a rational way,” said Norgaard.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared in 2007 that greenhouse gases had reached levels not seen in 650,000 years, and were rising rapidly as a result of people burning fossil fuel. Because these gases trap the sun’s heat, they would — depending on human energy habits — heat Earth by an average of between 1.5 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by century’s end. Even a midrange rise would likely disrupt the planet’s climate, producing droughts and floods, acidified oceans, altered ecosystems and coastal cities drowned by rising seas.

“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future,” said Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, when the report was released. “This is the defining moment.”

Studies published since then have only strengthened the IPCC’s predictions, or suggested they underestimate future warming. But as world leaders gather in Copenhagen to discuss how to avoid catastrophic climate change, barely half the U.S. public thinks carbon pollution could warm Earth. That’s 20 percent less than in 2007, and lower than at any point in the last 12 years. In a Pew Research Center poll, Americans ranked climate dead last out of 20 top issues, behind immigration and trade policy.

Wired.com talked to Norgaard about the divide between science and public opinion.

Wired.com: Why don’t people seem to care?

Kari Norgaard: On the one hand, there have been extremely well-organized, well-funded climate-skeptic campaigns. Those are backed by Exxon Mobil in particular, and the same PR firms who helped the tobacco industry (.pdf) deny the link between cancer and smoking are involved with magnifying doubt around climate change.

That’s extremely important, but my work has been in a different area. It’s been about people who believe in science, who aren’t out to question whether science has a place in society.

Wired.com: People who are coming at the issue in good faith, you mean. What’s their response?

Norgaard: Climate change is disturbing. It’s something we don’t want to think about. So what we do in our everyday lives is create a world where it’s not there, and keep it distant.

For relatively privileged people like myself, we don’t have to see the impact in everyday life. I can read about different flood regimes in Bangladesh, or people in the Maldives losing their islands to sea level rise, or highways in Alaska that are altered as permafrost changes. But that’s not my life. We have a vast capacity for this.

Wired.com: How is this bubble maintained?

Norgaard: In order to have a positive sense of self-identity and get through the day, we’re constantly being selective of what we think about and pay attention to. To create a sense of a good, safe world for ourselves, we screen out all kinds of information, from where food comes from to how our clothes our made. When we talk with our friends, we talk about something pleasant.

Wired.com: How does this translate into skepticism about climate change?

Norgaard: It’s a paradox. Awareness has increased. There’s been a lot more information available. This is much more in our face. And this is where the psychological defense mechanisms are relevant, especially when coupled with the fact that other people, as we’ve lately seen with the e-mail attacks, are systematically trying to create the sense that there’s doubt.

If I don’t want to believe that climate change is true, that my lifestyle and high carbon emissions are causing devastation, then it’s convenient to say that it doesn’t.

Wired.com: Is that what this comes down to — not wanting to confront our own roles?

Norgaard: I think so. And the reason is that we don’t have a clear sense of what we can do. Any community organizer knows that if you want people to respond to something, you need to tell them what to do, and make it seem do-able. Stanford University psychologist Jon Krosnick has studied this, and showed that people stop paying attention to climate change when they realize there’s no easy solution. People judge as serious only those problems for which actions can be taken.

Another factor is that we no longer have a sense of permanence. Another psychologist, Robert Lifton, wrote about what the existence of atomic bombs did to our psyche. There was a sense that the world could end at any moment.

Global warming is the same in that it threatens the survival of our species. Psychologists tell us that it’s very important to have a sense of the continuity of life. That’s why we invest in big monuments and want our work to stand after we die and have our family name go on.

That sense of continuity is being ruptured. But climate change has an added aspect that is very important. The scientists who built nuclear bombs felt guilt about what they did. Now the guilt is real for the broader public.

Wired.com: So we don’t want to believe climate change is happening, feel guilty that it is, and don’t know what to do about it? So we pretend it’s not a problem?

Norgaard: Yes, but I don’t want to make it seem crass. Sometimes people who are very empathetic are less likely to help in certain situations, because they’re so disturbed by it. The human capacity of empathy is really profound, and that’s part of our weakness. If we were more callous, then we’d approach it in a more straightforward way. It may be a weakness of our capacity as sentient beings to cope with this problem.
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Quoting Cochise111:


I wouldn't think of being polite with you. I'd just love to meet you in person. As far as education, I have a degrees in History, Criminal Justice. Also have a Bachelor of Civil Law degree and and a Juris Doctorate. Also a former Marine. Regarding your last post, historical temperatures have been much higher in the past and also much lower. Do you really expect us to believe any temperature record that scientists "reconstruct?" Especially "scientists" who have a predisposition to believe AGW. Until we have an independent group who "reconstructs" such temperatures, I have no faith in those records.


ROFLMAO!!!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Sorry Baha but as we all know the blog can't stay peacful.It's like an ocean.One minute it's peaceful,the next it's raging mad!.
What the hell?.I getting a sunstitude key boards one of these days.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I'm having terrible flash backs.Thank's alot Ocra...


Changed the subject.. worked for me :)
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Quoting Cochise111:


I wouldn't think of being polite with you. I'd just love to meet you in person. As far as education, I have a degrees in History, Criminal Justice. Also have a Bachelor of Civil Law degree and and a Juris Doctorate. Also a former Marine. Regarding your last post, historical temperatures have been much higher in the past and also much lower. Do you really expect us to believe any temperature record that scientists "reconstruct?" Especially "scientists" who have a predisposition to believe AGW. Until we have an independent group who "reconstructs" such temperatures, I have no faith in those records.

So--an "independent group" of non-scientists? I'd look forward to their findings...if I couldn't already find them everyday on WUWT or Fox News... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13442
Quoting BahaHurican:
Yeah, I noticed :o(...

I'm minusing as I go.
Sorry Baha but as we all know the blog can't stay peacful.It's like an ocean.One minute it's peaceful,the next it's raging mad!.
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Quoting hcubed:
All because of the desire to maintain the "hockey stick" chart (supposedly showing that the form was still there if got rid of the tree ring data)

Which "hockey stick" chart? There are now many different ones using many different data sets, and they all point to the same unavoidable conclusion: CO2 concentrations are rapidly rising, and the planet is rapidly warming. From now on, when you guys talk about a "hockey stick" graph, can you please identify to which one you are referring? That would help us to better help you...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13442
Quoting bappit:

Sorry, not happening.
Yeah, I noticed :o(...

I'm minusing as I go.
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1405. hcubed
Quoting JohnTucker:


No thats just you projecting conspiracy.



More importantly AGW is corroborated by thousands of studies while no standing counter denial theory exists AND every challenge has been unable to falsify the AGW hypothesis.




Hypothetico-deductive model

The hypothetico-deductive model or method, first so-named by William Whewell, is a proposed description of scientific method. According to it, scientific inquiry proceeds by formulating a hypothesis in a form that could conceivably be falsified by a test on observable data. A test that could and does run contrary to predictions of the hypothesis is taken as a falsification of the hypothesis. A test that could but does not run contrary to the hypothesis corroborates the theory. It is then proposed to compare the explanatory value of competing hypotheses by testing how stringently they are by their predictions.



Pathological mistrust aside. I have no other explanation for your statement. Perhaps you could provide one, or at least a SINGLE historical example where conspiracy theory and preconceived beliefs did not become a complete disaster when used against scientific methodology.

Support your theory.


And YOU need to look into Mann's use of the Tiljander proxies in Mann08.

He knew of the original author's caution about recent contamination (as noted in his SI), used it upside down (compared to the original author's paper), and STILL managed to get it "peer reviewed".

All because of the desire to maintain the "hockey stick" chart (supposedly showing that the form was still there if got rid of the tree ring data).

Even then he had to come back in Mann09 and state that one of his conclusions put forth in Mann 08 wasn't supportable.

Mann08: Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used.

Mann09: This additional test reveals that with the resulting extremely sparse proxy network in earlier centuries, a skillful reconstruction is no longer possible prior to AD 1500.

So yes, science moves on. Even when you realize that what you thought before, is not supportable with more study.
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
1404. Patrap
NASAs-Hurricane-Web-Page,FACEBOOK
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I'm having terrible flash backs.Thank's alot Ocra...
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1402. Levi32
Quoting texwarhawk:
Hey Levi, if your still here. I got an Mid-Lat cyclone question. To my understanding in the tropics you want a Upper level high (anti-cyclone) vertically stacked above a surface low to allow the low to vent and continue to strengthen. But in the mid-lat you want an upper level trough located to the west of the surface low because of the Coriolis force (right?) you would want the upper level high to be to the east. If anyone else can help it'll be greatly appreciated.


The difference is because a mid-latitude cyclone is a cold-core, baroclinically-driven system while a hurricane is a warm-core, convectively-driven system.

A tropical cyclone relies first on vertical temperature gradients and then, after maturing, becomes a fully warm-core entity (resulting in high pressure aloft) that maintains itself through low pressure convergence-convection feedback as long as it is over warm water.

Mid-latitude cyclones are driven by horizontal temperature gradients where different air masses are forced into each other. As a perturbation in the jet stream develops into an upper low, the area of surface low pressure will be on the east side because that is where the maximum upper divergence is and is also where the baroclinic zone (where warm and cold air meet) lies.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
After reading a lot of the "information" posted today... I'm really starting to miss JFV :(
How dare you say those three letters?.Those are fihting words.I thought we were never to bring that name up again.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
It looks as though the atlantic has not cooled off since last year.I wonder if this warm water will continue to stay in place until next year??.


Don't know if this has been said yet, but that is probably more related to la nina than this infamous *Global Warming* (even though climate change is the term most college professors use) I have personally read multiple scientific papers released in the past year or so about how strong la nina events cause Atlantic sst's to rise, despite an expected drop in world average temperatures. This is due to water's ability to hold in heat. In layman's terms the heat is transferred to the Atlantic from the pacific.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.