Maria brushes Bermuda; 24-hour blitz by Climate Reality Project underway

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on September 15, 2011

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Tropical Storm Maria is roaring past Bermuda, bringing winds near tropical storm force. At 11 am local time, winds at the Bermuda airport were sustained at 36 mph, just below the 39 mph threshold of tropical storm strength. Outer spiral bands of Maria have brought a few brief heavy rain squalls to the island, as seen on Bermuda radar. The core of Maria is now at its closest point of approach to the island, about 150 miles (240 km) to the west, and the island may yet see an hour of two of sustained winds of 40 - 45 mph. Maria is headed north-northeast, and will brush Newfoundland, Canada on Friday afternoon. Since Newfoundland will be on the weak (left) side of a rapidly weakening Maria, I'm not expecting much in the way of wind damage from the storm in Canada, though heavy rains may cause isolated minor to moderate flooding. Top sustained winds in St. Johns will probably be in the 25 - 35 mph range Friday afternoon, though a few hours of tropical storm force winds of 40 - 45 mph are possible if Maria ends up tracking farther west than expected.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Maria taken at 10:13 am EDT September 15, 2011. Image credit: Bermuda Weather Service.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Even the busiest of hurricane seasons have lulls, and we're hitting one this week during what is traditionally the busiest week of hurricane season. A westward-moving tropical wave a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa, has a modest amount of poorly organized heavy thunderstorm activity. This wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, is in a moist environment, and is over warm waters, so has the potential for some development, though NHC is currently not mentioning it in their Tropical Weather Outlook. The UKMET and NOGAPS models predict this wave could develop into a tropical depression 5 - 6 days from now. The NOGAPS model continues to predict the Western Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua could see the development of a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now, but the other models are showing little support for this scenario.


Figure 2. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central introduces Boulder, Colorado teacher John Zavalney, one of the presenters of the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour live streaming special.

The Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project (climaterealityproject.org) is a little more than halfway through their live, 24-hour streaming video effort that features 24 different presenters for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe. The presentations began last night at 7 pm EDT, and will end tonight at 7 pm EDT. It's worth checking out; there have been some interesting presentations and some dull ones. Interspersed with the presentations are panel discussions with some slick Google Earth graphics; last night's discussions were led by Heidi Cullen of Climate Central, who is a rarity--a very personable and well-spoken scientist, and someone you'll be seeing on TV much more in coming years. The Climate Reality Project showed one excellent video tracking the history of industry-funded denial of science that began with the tobacco industry, something I've discussed as well in post called The Manufactured Doubt Industry and the hacked email controversy. Also shown were two cute 15 - 30 second comedy videos. But while the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour blitz has already gotten 3 million people to tune in, its documentary-style tone and Powerpoint lectures will not be engaging enough to keep most visitors around for more than a few minutes. Ph.D. oceanographer Randy Olson, who left a tenure-track professorship to become a Hollywood film maker, has written an excellent book called Don't be Such a Scientist, about the failure of scientists to communicate in way that will engage people (I thought so highly of the book that I bought 20 copies of the book to give away to students at the University of Michigan's Department of Atmospheric Science this year.) In the latest post in his blog, The Benshi, Olson outlines how the climate community has failed in the main way needed to engage an audience: create a likable voice through the effective telling of stories, which is a less literal means of communication and is less cerebral and thus reaches a mass audience. Future efforts at communication by the climate science community really need to work on using the telling of stories by likable voices in order to get their message across, and I highly recommend that all climate scientists who do public outreach read Olson's book "Don't be Such a Scientist."

Jeff Masters

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Quoting hurricanejunky:


No, we sunk a half billion dollars NOT trillion. That would be 500 million dollars. Let's not get into cherry picking money squandered in Washington. There are many green energy success stories that didn't get showcased on last night's news but they're out there. If your post wasn't so partisan, you might have mentioned that as well.

Ummm.. Could you list those government green programs. Being someone, who actually pays taxes, I am curious.
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Quoting hcubed:


And we just sunk half a trillion dollars into a "green" energy company that has now gone bankrupt.

Think about how many billion dollar weather disasters we could have covered for the price of supporting one failed company.

Assuming you're talking about Solyndra, as many others have noted, the figure is $535 million. A lot, but far from half a trillion (and you shouldn't try to pretend those are just numbers; you were off by a factor of nearly 1,000 to 1). But those wishing to politicize this case should know a couple of things:

1) The Solyndra loan request was filed during the previous presidential administration;

2) The Solyndra loan represents just 1% of the DOE's $40 billion clean energy portfolio;

3) Though the US is the largest, there are many other creditors left holding the bag, include several well-known VC firms;

4) Most importantly, Solyndra's failure, while unfortunate, should not be construed in any way as a failure of solar energy or the solar industry, both of which are doing very well right now.

Just saying...
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Quoting blsealevel:
can a Tator Tot get you banned in a GW forum



Don't tease us with tater tots...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32818
Quoting hydrus:
I remember you saying a while back that conditions have to be abolutely perfect to generate a cat-5..Someone posted that in the future there may be more cat-5 hurricanes, but less storms overall. And while I am thinking about it, if global warming affects ocean temps, and warm ocean waters spawn tropical cyclones, why is the subject not tolerated on this blog. I do understand the dispute about it being man-made should be debated elsewhere, but it is relevent to what we are studying here..jmo


Yes, it pretty much has - but as some storms do not intensify to that extent even in what we perceive to be perfect conditions, are we missing an ingredient?

And I think you kinda answered your own question, hydrus. You're right, climate is inexorably tied to the weather, but some dislike the conversation about the anthropogenic factor in climate alteration which inevitably creeps in.

Quoting JLPR2:


I'll agree with your hunch, but I do have a hunch that a strong hurricane could form and affect land, just not a cat5.


I think that could well be a good hunch. Even if the season only adds one to three more storms, one of those could be a dangerous and potential landfalling hurricane. While it's a worn cliche by now, it is still correct: 'only takes one'
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, hydrus. I hope they get it. We are still very dry here. I lost a lot of plants. It is really smokey here today, because of the fires.
Our Future forecast here shows a Less than 20 percent possible in the next 2 weeks here before we reach October but no higher in chances and amounts should be very light according to NWS and local weathermen. Today it is not 100 yet but the humidity is up, I have not seen any improvements here since May as far as weather goes. I am out in this heat several hours a day and i see no change in South Central Texas weather.
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can a Tator Tot get you banned in a GW forum

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Quoting txjac:
I apologize for reposting. i asked the other day but then had to take off shortly there after. Has anyone seen AtHomeInTexas on the blog lately?


The other day IIRC.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32818
guys i hope you enjoy seeing all this activity in 2010 and now 2011 due to the fact that el nino hasnt formed. most models show a very good chance (its far out but still could be reliable) that la nina will strengthen just like last years and weaken in the end of the winter, just like last years. cfs model shows la nina get down to -2 C same like last year only last year's "peak" of la nina was -1.5C. if this pattern played out then possible for year 3 el nino wont be around to stop the numbers from growing so if you love to track hurricanes, especially in the atlantic then you might be happy although poor texas will be posioned with more drought conditions :(
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308. txjac
I apologize for reposting. i asked the other day but then had to take off shortly there after. Has anyone seen AtHomeInTexas on the blog lately?
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2617
We have done exceptionally well in the past few hundred years at progressing our species and breeching our atmosphere to land on the moon. We did it all with global warming. I think it's rather arrogant that people suppose that another hundred years or so of warming is bad when global warming is the very reason we have lived so well over the past several thousand years - since the last ice age. I know that I might be oversimplifying it, but I think that we're staring at the models too much and not living as we should and adapting to this changing world. Lets give it some time and see how it goes? Besides, right now, our economy is far too low to absorb the kind of costs the AGW lobby is asking for. And with global terrorism and rogue nation dangers reaching heights never imagined before, it's too risky to be spending billions on what's effectively a climate experiment. An experiment that would have broad ranging ramifications for all people on earth. I know some people want to risk the lives of people so that we might go forward with this experiment, but me, I am not willing to assume that risk just yet.

Thanks for listening. Peace.
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Quoting hydrus:
Hello Gro..There is some hope for Texas getting rain. Mid range models are hinting at lower barametric pressures there in a couple of weeks.


Hey, hydrus. I hope they get it. We are still very dry here. I lost a lot of plants. It is really smokey here today, because of the fires.
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304. txjac
Quoting cmahan:


There were some sprinkles north of Dallas yesterday, but our official total for the day was still zilch. Definitely cooler temperatures, now, there just isn't enough moisture in the atmosphere for the front to wring out.



Nothing, nothing, nothing here in WSW Houston...
And our temps havent gone down as much as I would like.
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2617
Quoting cmahan:


Solyndra was given $535 million in federal loans. For those following along at home, that is half a BILLION, not half a TRILLION.


My bad. When you talk about gov't expenditures, the million/billion/trillion lines get kinda fuzzy.

You're right, the loan was for $535 million - and was part of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

Considering that Solyndra had received at least $475 million of the loan, and created just 585 jobs (according to Recovery.gov), I guess the taxpayers got their money's worth.

Just think, now those 585 workers are eligible for the 99 week unemployment benefits.
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302. JLPR2
Quoting Cotillion:


Yeah, absolutely. It is difficult to get a hurricane into a Cat 5 even with perfect conditions.

Still, what makes me think there could be some bizarre cycle or side effect is that Cat 5s seem to occur in bunches and then a period of none even if conditions are favourable/unfavourable (delete accordingly). It's not a smooth progression as you'd expect.

'course, it's just a personal hunch, no science. ;)


I'll agree with your hunch, but I do have a hunch that a strong hurricane could form and affect land, just not a cat5.
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Quoting hcubed:


And we just sunk half a trillion dollars into a "green" energy company that has now gone bankrupt.

Think about how many billion dollar weather disasters we could have covered for the price of supporting one failed company.


No, we sunk a half billion dollars NOT trillion. That would be 500 million dollars. Let's not get into cherry picking money squandered in Washington. There are many green energy success stories that didn't get showcased on last night's news but they're out there. If your post wasn't so partisan, you might have mentioned that as well.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I my blog entry from June 1, I gave my predictions for this season and my thought process of why I thought we would see that activity. Here is the sentence from it:

"I am predicting that the Atlantic basin will experience 15-18 named storms, 8-12 hurricanes, and 4-7 major hurricanes, 1-3 of these becoming the major Category 5 hurricanes."

Now?

19-22 named storms, 5-8 hurricanes, and 3-5 majors.


You really nailed that one. :)
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Quoting hydrus:
Water is not to warm there. I wonder how strong she can get.


Water temperatures are about 27-28 °C, and should stay that way for about another 12 hours, before dropping down into 26-27 °C for 12-18 hours afterwards, which would probably be enough to strengthen very slightly.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32818
Quoting ncstorm:
Well, I just read Levi's blog and Atomaggie has left WU too, if anyone know of any weather blogs without GW, please WU mail me.


What a way to kill a blog! It has been almost as effective as killing a couple of bloggers and hanging their mutilated bodies from a bridge.

It is a shame, this was such a great place to come for information on the weather.
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Quoting AegirsGal:
There are some very deep concerns here about food supply. No rain for hay, wheat, or corn, and the dropping water table rules out meaningful irrigation. Since there is very little to feed livestock, they are going to market earlier. Grain and meat prices will rise further, and with La Nina settling back in, there seems to be little to hope for in the way of gaining back the water we've lost to evaporation and record shattering temps.
My best friend lives a few miles from me. Her property borders a wildlife preserve. Normally, this is a great place to go if you want to feel like you are out in the boonies, but since the extreme drought, her yard has been attacked by the deer, and her animals have to be protected against starving coyotes crossing the dry creek-bed.


Guess we don't always think of the ramifications of a single event. They can be long-lasting and devastating. Thanks for the info.
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...LARGE FIRE IN PALM BEACH COUNTY CONTINUES TO PRODUCE ASH...

THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE IS PERFORMING A PRESCRIBED BURN IN THE LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AND LOW LEVEL NORTHERLY WINDS ACROSS THE REGION ARE BRINGING SMOKE AND ASH INTO PORTIONS OF PALM BEACH AND BROWARD COUNTIES. ADDITIONAL REPORTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND ASH IS NOW AS FAR SOUTH AS LAUDERHILL. SO RESIDENTS IN SOUTHEAST PALM BEACH COUNTY AND NORTHEAST BROWARD COUNTY COULD EXPERIENCE PERIODS OF ASH OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS.
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Quoting Birthmark:

I'll start simply.

The evidence that the Earth has warmed is conclusive.
GISS
HADCRU
NCAR
UAH

The evidence that it is primarily GHGs that is responsible for the current warming is overwhelming.
More warming at night than during daylight
Stratospheric cooling

The evidence that human activity is the primary cause for the current warming is also very strong.
CO2 trends
C13/C12 and O18/016 analysis

Just this little bit of evidence --which is the tip of the tip of the iceberg-- that I have presented here makes the case clear. The science says that warming is occurring and that human activity is primarily responsible for the current warming.

The anti-AGW side has little to no scientific evidence to bolster their claims. The few scientific papers they have tell no story and do not stand for long after publication.


Whole lotta data to digest in just a few minutes.Easiest one was the "Mauna Loa: Co2 data. Volcanic activity, has NOTHING to do, with mankind. Nice try. I may, or may not, be able to refute these claims. Nor, can you defend them. Prove me wrong, by explaining them, so that a novice may understand.
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Interesting lil feature around 22N/55W
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:
our 3rd hurricane! Wooh! man to be honest i didnt expect 2011 to be like this.. my predictions were pretty far off. gotta do better next season: April 1 2011 predictions: 16 tropical storms 9 hurricanes 4 major
Now: 20 tropical storms 7 hurricanes 4 major. what about you?


I my blog entry from June 1, I gave my predictions for this season and my thought process of why I thought we would see that activity. Here is the sentence from it:

"I am predicting that the Atlantic basin will experience 15-18 named storms, 8-12 hurricanes, and 4-7 major hurricanes, 1-3 of these becoming the major Category 5 hurricanes."

Now?

19-22 named storms, 5-8 hurricanes, and 3-5 majors.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32818
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Good Afternoon all.

Hurricane Maria is looking good, quite the turn around from the beginning of the week. Hard to believe that messy Maria has turned into a decent looking cyclone. Thankfully, it is now pulling away from Bermuda at a fast pace, and conditions should dramatically improve throughout the afternoon and evening.

Water is not to warm there. I wonder how strong she can get.
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Quoting DJMedik91:
So I go into the grocery store and I've seen it with my own eyes. Rain in the produce section and there's even thunder!!! The fish are all dead, and something terrible has happened to the chickens. I know mankind is behind this, I just can't prove it because I'm not a scientist.


Dont you know that weather is suppose to constantly be the same every year. If it moves up or down a little the only explanation possible could be man, the little dots on the earth. It couldn't possibly be that there is a big fireball up in the sky.
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Quoting twincomanche:
Check out the fate of Galileo. Get back to me please.


Well, unless the Catholic Church moved the Earth into the centre of the universe and I hadn't noticed, then the science hasn't been affected by the politics, has it?
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Quoting quasigeostropic:


A blogger and a MET myself, I've been here on the blogs since 2005 but have taken a long break. Many longtime bloggers(with good reputations) from here have left because this site is out of control with their "rating system" which the AGW crowd loves to use against the skeptics. Also the egotism that pervades the blogs is irritating. I've watched this blog evolve for more than 5 yrs. Used to be the BEST place on the web to blog. With that, I will not contribute to WU getting anymore free advertisement by me(when you blog or make a blog here, WU is advertised!)


That is huge crock of crap. I personally know of three people on here who have been astro-turfed by the skeptics simply because of political or ideological differences not because of the content of the post. There are bots on here doing that to people. I don't think anyone on either side should click minus on every post by a particular user because you don't like them. Those ratings should be based solely on the content of the post.
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Quoting Grothar:


I think I am too insignificant to ban. I hope Texas does get some relief. That is really a terrible situation. I have so many friends and family in those areas. We should really be concerned about the food supply if this continues too long.
Hello Gro..There is some hope for Texas getting rain. Mid range models are hinting at lower barametric pressures there in a couple of weeks.
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Afternoon all!
AL, 14, 2011091518, , BEST, 0, 338N, 666W, 65, 987, HU

14-3-2.
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Quoting Grothar:


I think I am too insignificant to ban. I hope Texas does get some relief. That is really a terrible situation. I have so many friends and family in those areas. We should really be concerned about the food supply if this continues too long.
There are some very deep concerns here about food supply. No rain for hay, wheat, or corn, and the dropping water table rules out meaningful irrigation. Since there is very little to feed livestock, they are going to market earlier. Grain and meat prices will rise further, and with La Nina settling back in, there seems to be little to hope for in the way of gaining back the water we've lost to evaporation and record shattering temps.
My best friend lives a few miles from me. Her property borders a wildlife preserve. Normally, this is a great place to go if you want to feel like you are out in the boonies, but since the extreme drought, her yard has been attacked by the deer, and her animals have to be protected against starving coyotes crossing the dry creek-bed.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Good Afternoon all.

Hurricane Maria is looking good, quite the turn around from the beginning of the weak. Hard to believe that messy Maria has turned into a decent looking cyclone. Thankfully, it is now pulling away from Bermuda at a fast pace, and conditions should dramatically improve throughout the afternoon and evening.

our 3rd hurricane! Wooh! man to be honest i didnt expect 2011 to be like this.. my predictions were pretty far off. gotta do better next season: April 1 2011 predictions: 16 tropical storms 9 hurricanes 4 major
Now: 20 tropical storms 7 hurricanes 4 major. what about you?
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Quoting seflagamma:


This has probabaly already been answered but just in case... there is a "controlled burn" going on in Palm Beach County and the wind is just right and blowing ash into ne Broward..
I saw it at my house, looks like snow flurries..



Getting it all the way down in my office in Oakland Park. Looks like snow.
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2:00PM Advisory
*Click image to magnify (image can also be magnified in Link Window by clicking anywhere on it)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Good Afternoon all.

Hurricane Maria is looking good, quite the turn around from the beginning of the week. Hard to believe that messy Maria has turned into a decent looking cyclone. Thankfully, it is now pulling away from Bermuda at a fast pace, and conditions should dramatically improve throughout the afternoon and evening.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32818
Quoting Cotillion:


Yeah, absolutely. It is difficult to get a hurricane into a Cat 5 even with perfect conditions.

Still, what makes me think there could be some bizarre cycle or side effect is that Cat 5s seem to occur in bunches and then a period of none even if conditions are favourable/unfavourable (delete accordingly). It's not a smooth progression as you'd expect.

'course, it's just a personal hunch, no science. ;)
I remember you saying a while back that conditions have to be abolutely perfect to generate a cat-5..Someone posted that in the future there may be more cat-5 hurricanes, but less storms overall. And while I am thinking about it, if global warming affects ocean temps, and warm ocean waters spawn tropical cyclones, why is the subject not tolerated on this blog. I do understand the dispute about it being man-made should be debated elsewhere, but it is relevent to what we are studying here..jmo
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Quoting twincomanche:
Sorry, it always has according to the history books.


No, it hasn't.

Scientists may come from either side and good scientists will not allow their own opinions or undue influence (like funding) affect their work in any way, shape or form. (non-)Implentation of their work may be political.

But science itself is not.
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255 hcubed "And we just sunk half a trillion dollars into a "green" energy company that has now gone bankrupt. ... Think about how many billion dollar weather disasters we could have covered for the price of supporting one failed company."

Half a billion dollars. Do you think that Dubya and Congressional Republicans would have passed the legislation to fund the project if Solyndra Inc hadn't guaranteed its failure?
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276. jpsb
Nobel prize winner for physics in 1973 Dr. Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society (APS) on September 13, 2011 in disgust over the group's promotion of man-made global warming fears. Climate Depot has obtained the exclusive email Giaever sent titled "I resign from APS" to APS Executive Officer Kate Kirby to announce his formal resignation.

Dr. Giaever wrote to Kirby of APS: “Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I cannot live with the (APS) statement below (on global warming): APS: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.'
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1276
Quoting nymore:
You better do some research where are all the rare earth and heavy metals gonna be mined and the pollution that comes with them. Clean energy is not as clean as people think. Solar panels need heavy metals, wind turbines need rare earths, hydro power requires damming of a river altering it and has a huge sediment problem. So far there is no real answer fossil fuels pollute one way green energy pollutes another.


Really? Did you REALLY post a comment comparing nuclear waste to solar, wind and hydro? Uh, maybe renewables require those items in manufacturing but there is no pollution that comes from them in operation. I was referring to Hydro turbines which are being successfully used in the Hudson river (and other places) with no damming required or pollution or even harm to fish for that matter! Facts are stubborn things so quit grasping at straws.
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Why insert this nut job ,political blog in the middle of hurricane season.We here this global warming crap daily,politican's latch on to this for the money they can squeeze out of us thru taxes on anything energy.This has become a standing joke,thru fraud and science people forced to resign because thy do not agree.
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Its just under 80 degrees in Fort Worth, a marked change from yesterday or even the 'cool' front that went through last week. The local mets are calling for a 20% chance of rain this evening, but so far everything on radar seems to be hot footing it to the NE toward OK, with very little moisture to the W. Sigh.
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:

link doesnt work :(


Works fine for us in Chrome.

Just google Hurricane Potential,,its the first one
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting twincomanche:
good one. You are the last on here with a sense of humor that has not been banned.

I think at least part of Texas will get some relief.


I think I am too insignificant to ban. I hope Texas does get some relief. That is really a terrible situation. I have so many friends and family in those areas. We should really be concerned about the food supply if this continues too long.
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Quoting quasigeostropic:

Many longtime bloggers(with good reputations) from here have left because this site is out of control with their "rating system" which the AGW crowd loves to use against the skeptics.)

I saw where you wrote this over on Levi's blog, and I have to say that the facts don't seem to bear you out. Anyone coming to this blog without logging in, or with their filter set high, won't see comments from the most vocal supporters of the overwhelming science behind AGWT, including Some1Has2BtheRookie, Xyrus2000, yonzabam, greentortuloni, and myself. By the same token, comments by many of the most outspoken deniers of that science are completely visible to one and all. (Most of the others hidden are simply those who've engaged in enough trollish behavior that they've offended everyone equally.)

I hate to see anyone leave because they feel slighted. I'll say this: my comments have been hidden for months, and I have often been ridiculed openly by contrarians--but I'm still here. This blog and the comments are mostly a great source of valuable information, if you ask me.
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Quoting hcubed:


And we just sunk half a trillion dollars into a "green" energy company that has now gone bankrupt.


Solyndra was given $535 million in federal loans. For those following along at home, that is half a BILLION, not half a TRILLION.
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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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