My worst global warming fear: buckeyes in Ann Arbor

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on February 10, 2012

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Last week, I blogged about how wintertime minimum temperatures in the U.S. have risen so much in recent decades, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had to update their Plant Hardiness Zone Map for gardeners for the first time since 1990. The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. I got to looking at the new zone map for Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I live, and saw how we've shifted one 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer. Ann Arbor used to be in Zone 5, but is now solidly in the warmer Zone 6. This got me to wondering, what sort of plants in Zone 6, until now rare or unknown in Ann Arbor, might migrate northwards in coming decades into the city? Then, with a sudden chill, I contemplated a truly awful possibility: The Ohio Buckeye Tree.


Figure 1. Comparison of the 1990 and 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps. Image credit: USDA and Arbor Day Foundation.

Buckeyes in Ann Arbor? The Horror!
For those of you unfamiliar the the buckeye tree, it is the emblem of Ohio State University. The Buckeyes of Ohio State have one of the most fierce rivalries in sports with that "school up north", the University of Michigan. As someone who spent twelve years of my life as a student at the University of Michigan, the thought of Buckeye trees in Ann Arbor is not one I care to contemplate. But the USDA Forest Service has published a Climate Change Tree Atlas which predicts that the most favorable habitat for the Ohio Buckeye Tree can be expected to move northwards with a warming climate. While they give their model for the Buckeye Tree a rating of "low reliability", it is nonetheless chilling to contemplate the potential infestation of Ann Arbor with this loathsome invader. I can only sadly predict that to stem the invasion, non-ecologically-minded University of Michigan students will unleash genetically engineered wolverines that eat buckeye seeds.


Figure 2. Potential changes in the mean center of distribution of the Ohio Buckeye tree. The green oval shows the current center of the range of the Buckeye Tree, well to the south of Ann Arbor. In a scenario where humans emit relatively low amounts of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide (light blue oval), the most favorable climate for the Buckeye Tree edges into Southern Michigan, and marches into Ann Arbor under the medium and high scenarios for emissions (other ovals.) Image credit: USDA Forest Service Climate Change Tree Atlas.

Libyan snowstorm triggered major Saharan dust storm
On February 6, a rare snow storm hit North Africa, bringing 2 - 3 inches of snow to Tripoli, Libya. It was the first snow in Tripoli since at least 2005, and may be the heaviest snow the Libyan capital has seen since February 6, 1956. The storm responsible for the North African snow also had strong winds that kicked up a tremendous amount of dust over Algeria during the week. This dust became suspended in a flow of air moving to the southwest, and is now over the Atlantic Ocean.


Figure 3. Dust storm on February 7, 2012, off the coast of West Africa, spawned by a storm that brought snow to North Africa on February 6. Note the beautiful vorticies shed by the Cape Verde Islands, showing that the air is flowing northeast to southwest. The red squares mark where fires are burning in West Africa. Image credit: NASA.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

BUCKEYE BIRTH (WHIPPME)
NO SILLY NOT THE FOOTBALL TEAM .......THE REAL THING
BUCKEYE BIRTH

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Quoting Grothar:


You could be very close. I don't remember the last time they were hit by a storm of this size. However, I am sure one of the younger bloggers will have the information for us in no time. Come on Jedkins and TropicalAnalyst, or Cyber do your stuff!


March 2011 - Bingiza

Not as strong or as huge, but an ITC nonetheless.



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Quoting CybrTeddy:

Several hours old.
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Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Giovanna:

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Quoting PlazaRed:

Task of the Evening?
They will have some sort of TV station there and they will no doubt be monitoring the landfall for broadcast. Several people will have mobile phones with cameras in them as well."Task," find the name of the station and see if they are on the net, which they probably are.
I think a lot of people there speak French as well as some English. Webcams are probably only in very few locations in the city's but they are hurricane aware to a great extent in Madagascar.


I've only dug up one webcam that's even somewhat close to the projected landfall. No streaming, and it updates every few minutes via F5. :P

Link

This one is located at Andilana beach.
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Quoting PlazaRed:

I'll always cede the wisdom of age to the enthusiasm of youth but I would hazard a guess that this storm will not be far off on track to go over the capital of Antananarivo, which lies roughly in the center of the island. Population of the Madagascar is about 30 million and a lot of construction is of poor quality for resisting hurricanes.


You could be very close. I don't remember the last time they were hit by a storm of this size. However, I am sure one of the younger bloggers will have the information for us in no time. Come on Jedkins and TropicalAnalyst, or Cyber do your stuff!
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Quoting hydrus:
These are Baobab Trees from Madagascar. I wonder how well they handle high winds.


To the North or Madagascar lie the Seychelles Islands. The Coco de Mer grows there. As far as I remember, the only place in the world. This palm species is know to grow the biggest seed or nuts in the world.

From Wiki:

The Coco de Mer is the most interesting species of the six monospecific endemic palms in Seychelles since it is the "only true case of island gigantism among Seychelles flowering plants, a unique feature of Seychelles vegetation" (Proctor, 1984). It is one of the most universally well-known plants and holds three botanical records; the largest fruit so far recorded weighed 42 kg; the mature seeds weighing up to 17.6 kg are the world's heaviest;[2][3][4] and the female flowers are the largest of any palm.[3][4]

Of the six endemic palms it is the only dioecious species, with male and female flowers located on different plants.[5]


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/master_frame_fix.html?http://www.webcamplaza.net /continents/beachcams.

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Quoting hydrus:
I thought that Greek name was long.King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810)


It's good that they invented loin cloths by that time.
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I thought that Greek name was long.King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810)
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Quoting Grothar:
You guys were right. I didn't think she would come back like this. Looks pretty strong.


I'll always cede the wisdom of age to the enthusiasm of youth but I would hazard a guess that this storm will not be far off on track to go over the capital of Antananarivo, which lies roughly in the center of the island. Population of the Madagascar is about 30 million and a lot of construction is of poor quality for resisting hurricanes.
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These are Baobab Trees from Madagascar. I wonder how well they handle high winds.
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You guys were right. I didn't think she would come back like this. Looks pretty strong.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Anyone know of any webcams in the area that Giovanna will make landfall?

Task of the Evening?
They will have some sort of TV station there and they will no doubt be monitoring the landfall for broadcast. Several people will have mobile phones with cameras in them as well."Task," find the name of the station and see if they are on the net, which they probably are.
I think a lot of people there speak French as well as some English. Webcams are probably only in very few locations in the city's but they are hurricane aware to a great extent in Madagascar.
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Manakara is in the bullseye for Giovanna, I hope their huts are up to codeimg src="Manakara Photos
This photo of Manakara is courtesy of TripAdvisor">
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Giovanna is looking a lot better today.
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Found this Madagascar Surf site.. has a nice wind forecast map with 3 hour increments http://magicseaweed.com/msw-surf-charts2.php?regio n=57&res=&type=wind
Link If someone can post the animation it would be great...
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We had the coldest night of the entire winter here in Pinellas County, a low of 33 and a wind chill of 22. I went camping with my friends in the back yard just for the fun of it, was brutally thrilling, getting out of bed was hard lol.

I'm thinking we'll break the freezing mark tonight!

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Anyone know of any webcams in the area that Giovanna will make landfall?


Uh, that's not Japan. There's probably not many people living in Madagascar that have the luxury of keeping the latest electronic devices.

Their per capita GDP is $940, so unless they've stolen computers or cell phones, I doubt most people there have ever heard of one, much less seen one or own one.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Anyone know of any webcams in the area that Giovanna will make landfall?

Nope.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Yeah, that definitely isn't weakening or staying the same.

Nope.
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Anyone know of any webcams in the area that Giovanna will make landfall?
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597. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #15
CYCLONE TROPICAL GIOVANNA (09-20112012)
22:00 PM RET February 12 2012
================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna (962 hPa) located at 18.0S 55.4E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 110 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 12 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
========================
40 NM radius from the center

Storm Force Winds
=================
60 NM radius from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
90 NM radius from the center extending up to 110 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale Force Winds
=====================
110 NM radius from the center, extending up to 120 NM in the southwestern quadrant and up to 150 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0/5.0/D0.5/6 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
========================

12 HRS: 18.4S 52.7E - 85 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
24 HRS: 18.8S 50.3E - 80 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
48 HRS: 21.0S 44.8E - DEPRESSION sur Terre
72 HRS: 23.0S 40.5E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)

Additional Information
=====================

Giovanna is strengthening again ... it is evident when comparing microwave imagery of this morning and this afternoon with a stronger convection within the eyewall and a ragged eye feature on satellite imagery that tends to become better defined on both microwave imagery and radar imagery from la reunion.

3 hourly and 6 hourly averaged DT are respectively at 5.4 and 4.9 with a raw DT at 6.0 since 1730 PM UTC. If this trends continue, it is likely, that the short term intensity forecast needs to be push up.

System is now undergoing the steering influence of the mi-level ridge rebuilding in its south. This deep mid-level ridge would steer the system on a gradually faster westwards track for the next few days.

On and after Monday, Giovanna should undergo a weak to moderate easterly vertical wind shear on the northern side of rebuilding upper level high pressures. Some weakening is likely before the landfall on the eastern coast of Madagascar Monday night. The expected landfall area at this time is located between Fenerive northward to Mahanoro southward including the city of Tamatave.

The residual center should come back over seas in the Mozambique Channel on Wednesday with still some uncertainty about the potential of re-intensification. The current forecast remains in the path of the previous one at this time but could be more aggressive according to latest numerical weather prediction outputs. It should track west southwestwards to southwestwards on the northwestern edge of the subtropical ridge before to be again within a barometric col pattern.

Unhabitants of Mascareignes Islands and eastern coasts of Madagascar (specially people who lived within the threaten area cited previously) should continue to closely monitor the progress of this dangerous system.

The next tropical cyclone advisory on TC GIOVANNA issued by Seychelles Meteorological Services will be issued at 0:30 AM UTC..
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Quoting yqt1001:
She is really beautiful
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TPXS12 PGTW 121803

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE 12S (GIOVANNA)

B. 12/1730Z

C. 18.0S

D. 55.6E

E. THREE/MET7

F. T6.5/6.5/D1.5/24HRS STT: D1.0/06HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 09A/PBO RAGGED EYE/ANMTN. AN IRREGULAR OW EYE
MEASURES 17NM FROM E TO W AND 9NM FROM N TO S. THE W
SURROUNDING RING MEASURES 37NM YIELDING A DT OF 6.5.
INTENSIFICATION FROM THE 24HR FT YIELDS A 6.0. PT AGREES. DBO
DT.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS: NONE


LANZETTA
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TACC's Ranger supercomputer helps researchers predict (hurricane) storm intensity with greater accuracy

TACC Link

(I don't brake for trolls)
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Snowing and Sleeting in South Central Texas, well above freezing though, 60s Monday and 70s by Tuesday what a roller coaster
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Quoting yqt1001:


4 hours ago:



2 hours ago:



now:



It isn't super rapid, but it's quick enough.


Yeah, that definitely isn't weakening or staying the same.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i dont think that is rapid intensifcation, because the dvorak fails to give realisit intensity with a pinhole, or an eye covered with high clouds. its been around category 1 intensity ever since the pinhole started filling in. :D


4 hours ago:



2 hours ago:



now:



It isn't super rapid, but it's quick enough.
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2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve/Loop

Click Image for Loop

ZOOM is Available

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.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think we have a period of rapid intensification occurring.



i dont think that is rapid intensifcation, because the dvorak fails to give realisit intensity with a pinhole, or an eye covered with high clouds. its been around category 1 intensity ever since the pinhole started filling in. :D
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Pretty strong?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



Looks like the eye is clearing a little.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Don't count on any snow at all.


on i dont, it hasnt been consistent. i dont want it anyways lol i want a thunderstorm
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Quoting SPLbeater:




No accumilation. but falling even so...
Link

Don't count on any snow at all.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Lemme see.

Notice the little bitty blue bar showing snowfall. no accumilation.


No accumilation. but falling even so...
Link
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I think we have a period of rapid intensification occurring.

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Well....



Giovanna is getting strong.

It's pretty though.

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Quoting SPLbeater:
GFS has a brief period of snow in ym forecast again....

:/

Lemme see.
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GFS has a brief period of snow in ym forecast again....

:/
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NOLA Parade cam volume mic is Hot as they prepare for the Parade to start.

LIVE webcam, Carrollton Mardi Gras Parade
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Well we got Giovanna last night..old tho, new one pass in few hours :D
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Looks like Giovanna solved its core problems and should now start strengthening. You know, I probably shouldn't hope for RI, but an RI now would make her peak tomorrow which would weaken her a bit for landfall in 2 days. If she slowly strengthens like she is now, who knows how intense she might be for landfall...





Full white band around eye, Dvorak will likely come back with 110-120kts at next update.

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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:


Looks a lot better than yesterday.
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Quoting Grothar:

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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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