Summer in March: more all-time March temperature records in U.S., Canada

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on March 21, 2012

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Summer in March continued for the eighth day yesterday, toppling dozens of records for hottest March day in both the U.S. and Canada. Nearly every major airport in Michigan's Lower Peninsula tied or set records for their hottest March temperature, including Detroit (82°), Flint (84°F), Saginaw (83°F), Grand Rapids (83°), Muskegon (82°), Lansing (83°), Alpena (84°), Gaylord (80°), Pellston (84°), Traverse City (86°), and Houghton Lake (81°). Most of these records will be broken again today or tomorrow. Detroit's current string of six days over 70° is unprecedented so early in the year. One has to go back over 125 years to find an early-season warm spell that compares, and even that streak occurred in April, a full month later (April 16 - 24, 1886.)

Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula is called "Michigan's Icebox", since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state, and in the entire nation. But the past four days, Pellston has topped out at 80° - 84°F, the first 80°F March days in their history. Yesterday's 84° reading broke the previous record for the date (55° in 1976 and 1948) by an unbelievable 29°, and was 44°F above average. Nearby Traverse City hit 86°F yesterday, which was 45°F above the average high for the date, and was the fourth consecutive day with a hottest March temperature on record.


Figure 1. Summer-like temperatures this March in the Midwest have heated up Lake Michigan to record warm levels for this time of year. The average temperature of the lake is characteristic of what occurs in June. Image credit: NOAA. Thanks to wunderground member Neapolitan for posting this image in my blog comments.

Hot times in Lake Michigan
The NWS in Chicago reported yesterday that the Windy City's high of 85°F that day boosted the average temperature for the month to levels that would make March the 7th warmest April in the city's 140-year record. The unprecedented March warmth in the states surrounding Lake Michigan have heated the lake to temperatures never seen before this early in the year. Water temperatures at the South Lake Michigan buoy were 46 - 47°F yesterday (8°C), which is about 10°F above average for this time of year, and typical of early June temperatures.

Record March warmth spreads into New England
Temperatures across much of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine yesterday were the warmest on record for so early in the year. Burlington, Vermont's 80°F was 39°F above the average high for the date, and the earliest 80° reading in recorded history. Concord, New Hampshire (81°) and Bangor, Maine (78°), also had their warmest temperatures for so early in the year. The 73°F recorded in Caribou, Maine tied for that city's highest March temperature on record, and broke the record for the date by a remarkable 23°F.

Record warmth continues in Canada
Numerous all-time warmest March temperatures were recorded in Ontario, Canada yesterday, including Windsor at 27°C (previous record, 26.6°C), Sarnia (26°C, previous record 25.6°C), and London (25°C, previous record 24.8°C). High temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia are likely to break records for hottest March day for most of the major cities in these provinces, including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, St. Johns, and Halifax.


Figure 2. The jet stream pattern features a large, southwards dipping bulge over the Western U.S., creating a trough of low pressure with cold and snow, and a large, northwards looping bulge over the Central U.S., creating a record-strength ridge of high pressure. The Western U.S. trough has cut off into a "cut-off low" that will slowly drift eastwards during the remainder of the week.

Summer in March ends by Friday
The unprecedented Summer in March conditions are due to a loop in the jet stream that has created a large upper-level ridge of high pressure that is stuck in place over the Eastern U.S. Since the jet stream acts as the boundary between cold air to the north and warm air to the south, and the large loop in the jet places its axis far to the north of the eastern U.S., summer-like warmth has developed over the eastern half of the U.S. Conversely, colder than average temperatures have developed over the western third of the U.S. behind the southwards-dipping loop of the jet stream. This jet stream pattern is too extreme to be stable, and the big loop over the Western U.S. has broken off to form a giant eddy. The resulting area of low pressure is known as a "cut-off low", because it is cut off from the jet stream. The cut-off low will drift slowly eastwards during the week, gradually bringing an end to "Summer in March" over the Eastern half of the U.S. by Friday.

How rare is this Summer in March heat event?
One measure of how record-breaking this "Summer in March" heat wave has been is the impact it had on NOAA's National Climatic Data Center web site. The extremes section of the their web site has been down since last Friday, since their software has been unable to handle both the huge number of records being set and the huge demand from people wanting to see these records. The web site came back on-line this morning with software re-engineered to handle the load, but only with data through Sunday.

We can also quantify how rare a meteorological event is by looking at statistics of past years. By averaging together at least 30 years of data to take a representative snapshot of the climate, we can generate a mean and a standard deviation of the data. The standard deviation gives a measure of how much the data fluctuates around the mean.

In comparing deviations from normal across wide regions, it helps to normalize the deviations. A temperature deviation of 3 degrees C may be not that unusual in one region, but may be very significant in another. The solution is to use climatological anomalies (which we often refer to by the Greek letter, sigma.) Calculating the climatological anomaly is a two step process. First, we calculate the difference between a quantity (i.e., temperature) and it's 30-year average value. Then we normalize the difference by dividing it with the 30-year standard deviation. From statistical theory, we know how unusual climatological anomalies are by value:

Odds of a deviation > 1 climatological anomaly=31.7%
Odds of a deviation > 2 climatological anomalies=4.5%
Odds of a deviation > 3 climatological anomalies=0.27%
Odds of a deviation > 4 climatological anomalies=6.34/1000%
Odds of a deviation > 5 climatological anomalies=5.7/100000%
Odds of a deviation > 6 climatological anomalies=1.9/1000000%

So, if we have a 30-year history of high temperatures for a particular date, we'd expect 20 of those years to be 1-sigma years, when the temperature is plus or minus 34% of average (ten colder years, and ten warmer years.) Rare 2-sigma events occur 4.5% of the time, so we should have about 16 of these per year. Even rarer 3-sigma events occur just 0.27% of the time, or just one day per year, on average. Truly extreme 4-sigma events should only occur once every 43 years. Much of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Northeast Iowa, and the eastern Dakota have experienced multiple 4-sigma days over the past week.

Wunderground is computing 30-year means of the weather for each day of the year using data from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) (NOMADS data repository). Here is a description how a reanalysis works. CFSR is notable because it is the first reanalysis to use a coupled atmosphere-ocean model. As a result, CFSR has physically consistent estimates of the conditions of the atmosphere, ocean, and land. CFSR has data from 1979 (When polar-orbiting satellites became able to estimate vertical profiles of temperature) to 2010. We can take the mean and standard deviation for each calendar day using this history, and compare it to the current forecast from the GFS model. The result is an image showing how far from average the temperatures are. Yesterday, the analysis showed that Michigan experienced temperatures that were 4 - 5 climatological anomalies warmer than average (4-sigma to 5-sigma), the type of extreme that occurs between once every 43 years and once every 4779 years. Of course, using 30 years of data to estimate extreme events with a return period of centuries is a sketchy proposition. However, keep in mind that had we used a century-long climatology instead of using the past 30 years, yesterday's warmth would have been classified as much more extreme, since the climate has warmed considerably in the past 30 years. It is highly unlikely the warmth of the current "Summer in March" heat wave could have occurred unless the climate was warming.


Figure 3. Climatological anomalies for March 20, 2012. Michigan experienced temperatures that were 4 - 5 climatological anomalies warmer than average (4-sigma to 5-sigma), the type of extreme that occurs between once every 43 years and once every 4779 years. Wunderground plans to make these plots available in real time on our web site later this year.

Heavy rains create flash flood concerns in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma
Widespread rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches have fallen over the past two days in Eastern Texas, Eastern Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, and Louisiana over the past two days, creating a serious flash flood hazard. So far, no major river flooding has been reported, and it appears the damage from this flood event will be limited. A few rainfall amounts from the event, from 7 pm CDT Sunday - 3 am CDT Wednesday, taken from the latest NWS Storm Summary:

...TEXAS...
ORANGE 9.68
WACO 6.17
FORT HOOD AAF/KILLEEN 5.43
DALLAS LOVE FIELD 4.49
NWS FORT WORTH 4.13

...OKLAHOMA...
LANGLEY 7.16
NORMAN 5.55
TULSA 4.52
MCALESTER 4.02
OKLAHOMA CITY 3.18

...LOUISIANA...
FORT POLK 6.14
SHREVEPORT 4.06
LAKE CHARLES 2.11

...ARKANSAS...
FORT SMITH 3.49
BENTONVILLE 3.09
LITTLE ROCK 2.22
FAYETTEVILLE 2.08


Jeff Masters

Hot Hot Hot (llpj04)
wait ......we are suppose to play this in the summer
Hot Hot Hot
HOT !!!!!!!! (emixam101)
5h05 PM today, the Local Weather Station in Beauceville reported 22C, (73F) ! An ALL TIME RECORD ALL MARCH MONTHS CONFUSED SINCE 1871 ! The previous record was 20.6C (69F) recorded on March 30th 1977.We also broke the daily record of 12C (54F) recorded on 1970.On local thermomethers with sun sensation, put them up to 29C (84F) ! Guys in Arizona, DON'T SEARCH THE HEAT ! IT IS IN QUEBEC AS INSANE AS I LOOKS !!!!!! I LOVE IT, KEEP THE SNOW !!! :)))P
HOT !!!!!!!!
Happy Spring! (gardner48197)
Happy First Day of Spring everyone!
Happy Spring!

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335. Patrap
10:49 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
334. drought
10:49 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU, ME
0427 PM EDT WED MAR 21 2012

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT HOULTON ME...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 79 DEGREES WAS SET AT HOULTON ME
TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 61 SET IN 1979. THIS IS ALSO A
NEW MONTHLY RECORD FOR MARCH...THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 75 DEGREES
SET IN 20TH OF MARCH IN 2012. THIS RECORD IS PRELIMINARY...THE
OFFICIAL WILL BE RELEASED WITH THE MORNING CLIMATE REPORT.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU, ME
0427 PM EDT WED MAR 21 2012

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT CARIBOU ME...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 75 DEGREES WAS SET AT CARIBOU ME
TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 57 SET IN 1946. THIS IS ALSO A
NEW MONTHLY RECORD FOR MARCH...THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 73 SET ON
MARCH 30 1962 AND TIED YESTERDAY. THIS REPORT IS PRELIMINARY...THE
OFFICIAL REPORT WILL BE RELEASED WITH THE MORNING CLIMATE REPORT.

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU, ME
0427 PM EDT WED MAR 21 2012

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT BANGOR ME...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 83 DEGREES WAS SET AT BANGOR ME TODAY.
THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 64 SET IN 1946. THIS IS ALSO A NEW
MONTHLY RECORD FOR MARCH...THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 79 DEGREES SET IN
29TH OF MARCH IN 1946. THIS RECORD IS PRELIMINARY...THE OFFICIAL
WILL BE RELEASED WITH THE MORNING CLIMATE REPORT.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
333. JNCali
10:49 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


I know you're trying to be helpful, but off in which direction?
puce-esque perchance?
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
332. aerojad
10:48 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting drought:
Aerojad those are great pics!

What's the building with the wavy exterior?

That's one of our newest skyscapers, the 86-story Aqua Building. Opened in 2010. It's one of my favorites :)
Member Since: June 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
331. BobWallace
10:47 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


Off-puce


I know you're trying to be helpful, but off in which direction?
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
330. PlazaRed
10:45 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting aerojad:
Getting there, yeah. The trees are exploding to life around here - playing catch up with the weather, really. Some of the hardier trees are starting to give the parks some shade, yes. Lots of this over the weekend:



(took that one in Millennium Park on Saturday)

Looking at these photos some people are posting I cant help but see a sort of mirror image of what we were seeing posted in the fall, 2011, with the trees still in leaf covered in snow from the early autumn, Nor Easter, which we speculated might bring the mother of all bad winters.
How wrong again!
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
329. drought
10:45 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Aerojad those are great pics!

What's the building with the wavy exterior?

Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
328. JNCali
10:43 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting DDR:
Good evening from Trinidad.
Its supposed to be the heart of the dry season,but our rainfall in most areas is 600% or more above average,with 154mm(6 inches)@ my location and 5 inches at the airport.The rainfall average for March is 1 inch.
the mangoes will be bountiful this year!
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
327. aerojad
10:42 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting drought:
Thanks for the info aerojad. Good picture too.

I hope Chicago doesn't have a nasty early April freeze that ruins the trees!
I hope so too, that'd be pretty crappy.

And thanks, it's a habit of mine :)
Member Since: June 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
326. Patrap
10:40 PM GMT on March 21, 2012



Magnitude 4.9 - OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
2012 March 21 21:43:59 UTC




This event has been reviewed by a seismologist

Magnitude 4.9

Date-Time
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 21:43:59 UTC
Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 07:43:59 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
37.713°N, 142.791°E
Depth
34.7 km (21.6 miles)
Region
OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
177 km (109 miles) ESE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
184 km (114 miles) ENE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
204 km (126 miles) E of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
352 km (218 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan
Location Uncertainty
horizontal +/- 20 km (12.4 miles); depth +/- 8.9 km (5.5 miles)
Parameters
NST= 34, Nph= 34, Dmin=428.6 km, Rmss=1.46 sec, Gp=130°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=5
Source
Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID
usc0008mxu
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
325. drought
10:38 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Thanks for the info aerojad. Good picture too.

I hope Chicago doesn't have a nasty early April freeze that ruins the trees!
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
324. DDR
10:38 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Good evening from Trinidad.
Its supposed to be the heart of the dry season,but our rainfall in most areas is 600% or more above average,with 154mm(6 inches)@ my location and 5 inches at the airport.The rainfall average for March is 1 inch.
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1695
323. Ameister12
10:37 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
On an unrelated note, I'm "free" from school. We have no project due, no essays due, no assignments due, no nothing due.

Bearing that in mind, I'll get six essays and projects tomorrow. =P

Lucky! I have a history fair on Friday that I've been working my butt on the last couple of days. >:(
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4908
322. Patrap
10:36 PM GMT on March 21, 2012



Magnitude 6.7 - NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
2012 March 21 22:15:05 UTC





This event has been reviewed by a seismologist
Magnitude 6.7

Date-Time
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 22:15:05 UTC
Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 08:15:05 AM at epicenter
Location
6.244°S, 145.959°E
Depth
105.9 km (65.8 miles)
Region
NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Distances
63 km (39 miles) ESE (107°) from Goroka, New Guinea, PNG
111 km (69 miles) S (173°) from Madang, New Guinea, PNG
128 km (80 miles) WNW (296°) from Lae, New Guinea, PNG
384 km (238 miles) NNW (339°) from PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea
Location Uncertainty
horizontal +/- 13.6 km (8.5 miles); depth +/- 5.9 km (3.7 miles)
Parameters
NST=138, Nph=141, Dmin=489.8 km, Rmss=1.13 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=5
Source
Magnitude: NOAA West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, Palmer, Alaska, USA
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID
usc0008mye
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
321. Grothar
10:36 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Hi, Grothar. Should the southern tip of that system hang below the 25th, you may get some of that rain you have been wanting. ;-)



The blob does look a little omniferous:

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25555
320. aerojad
10:35 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting drought:
You're from Chicago right? I thought I saw you say that.

Are the deciduous trees leafing out yet?

Maybe we will see some subtropical thingie in the Great Lakes this year. At this point I wouldn't rule anything out.


Getting there, yeah. The trees are exploding to life around here - playing catch up with the weather, really. Some of the hardier trees are starting to give the parks some shade, yes. Lots of this over the weekend:



(took that one in Millennium Park on Saturday)
Member Since: June 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
319. drought
10:35 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
There has been some cold weather in the west.

Euegene Oregon has had their heaviest snow so late in the season last night and this morning.

Eugene had 7" of snow. The most snow this late or later in the year has been 2"

...RECORD SNOW EVENT IN AND AROUND EUGENE...

A FRONT STALLED OVER SOUTH LANE AND NORTH DOUGLAS COUNTY LAST NIGHT.
PRECIPITATION INCREASED ALONG THE FRONT DURING THE NIGHT INTO THIS
MORNING. THIS COMBINED WITH VERY CHILLY AIR TO THE NORTH OF THE
FRONT RESULTED IN AREAS OF HEAVY WET SNOW OVER NORTHERN LANE COUNTY
INTO BENTON AND LINN COUNTIES...WITH LIGHTER SNOW ACROSS YAMHILL AND
MARION COUNTIES.

THE LOWER ELEVATIONS ALONG THE COAST FORK OF THE WILLAMETTE...THE
MCKENZIE AND SANTIAM RIVER VALLEYS...AND THE SOUTH WILLAMETTE VALLEY
INCLUDING EUGENE RECEIVED SIGNFICIANT SNOWFALL OVERNIGHT INTO THIS
MORNING. MANY HAVE EXPERIENCED DOWNED POWER LINES AND BROKEN TREE
BRANCHES CAUSED BY THE WEIGHT OF THE WET SNOW.

AT THE EUGENE AIRPORT...
AS OF 10 AM... 7 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND.


NOW...LET US PUT TODAYS STORM INTO HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE (LOOKING
FROM 1890 TO TODAY)...

THIS IS THE BIGGEST SNOWSTORM TO STRIKE THE EUGENE AREA THIS LATE IN
THE WINTER SEASON. HERE IS HOW IT COMPARES TO THE PREVIOUS RECORD
LATEST SNOWFALLS...

** 2012 MARCH 20-21 TOTAL 7.0 INCHES (AND STILL COUNTING)
1951 MARCH 5-7 TOTAL 7.6 INCHES
1916 MARCH 3-4 TOTAL 13.7 INCHES

BUT IS NOT THE LATEST MEASURED SNOWFALL.

THE LATEST MEASUREABLE SNOW EVENTS IN EUGENE...
1911 APRIL 13 0.3 INCH
1911 APRIL 12 0.3 INCH
1911 APRIL 11 2.0 INCHES
1920 MARCH 31 1.8 INCHES
1917 MARCH 30 1.3 INCHES
1972 MARCH 25 0.5 INCH
1994 MARCH 22 0.3 INCH
** 2012 MARCH 21 7.0 INCHES (AND STILL COUNTING)

ON AVERAGE...
EUGENE WILL RECEIVE A HALF (0.5) INCH OF SNOW IN MARCH...OFTEN
OCCURING WITHIN THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF THE MONTH. THIS EVENT WILL BE
ONE THAT LOCAL RESIDENTS WILL NOT SOON FORGET.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
318. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:35 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
On an unrelated note, I'm "free" from school. We have no project due, no essays due, no assignments due, no nothing due.

Bearing that in mind, I'll get six essays and projects tomorrow. =P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31587
317. PlazaRed
10:34 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Here's one for Pat:-

MAP 6.7 2012/03/21 22:15:06 -6.244 145.959 105.9 NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Only a few hours to go to the 22 of March, if that has any significance to those who are waiting for the bit " Rattle."
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
316. Patrap
10:34 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
315. MAweatherboy1
10:34 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
6.7 earthquake Papua New Guinea
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7643
314. Patrap
10:32 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
GOM Sea height Anomaly



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
313. drought
10:32 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Green Bay report on heat.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
312. Grothar
10:32 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


Sorry, could you please be more specific?

Puce ranges from reddish-brown to purplish-brown.


Off-puce
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25555
311. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:31 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting JNCali:
doooh! give it a week and we'll be seeing lots of blues..

I doubt it. A little cooler? Maybe, but not by that much.

Next Tuesday:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31587
310. JNCali
10:28 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Current USA temperature map:

doooh! give it a week and we'll be seeing lots of blues..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
309. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:27 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Current USA temperature map:



Pretty bad when it's March and the CONUS is predominantly in the red, orange, and yellow colors as opposed to the green, blue, and pink colors.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31587
308. Jedkins01
10:26 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


Here's where a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid/PHEV, makes sense.

Let's suppose you have only one car in the household, your normal day's drive is ~30 miles or less, but you do take frequent longer trips.

Then you could get a PHEV, run on electricity most of the time, but still be able to stretch it out with gas when you need to go distances.

--

Aside from that, a non-electric hybrid like the Prius can get you 50MPG which is a great improvement over the average US car (25MPG). And if you drive distance every day a hybrid would make a lot of sense.


Well, I admit, I shouldn't have said no point, it sounds as if I said that they serve no purpose to anyone, however what I should have said is that they don't serve interest to me personally. Mainly because I'm a poor college student and I won't be able to buy a newer vehicle for about 4 years or so. Technology for electric cars is improving really fast recently, which is good, because I believe oil is running out fast and turmoil in the middle east will cause a fuel panic within the next several years. By the time I can afford an electric car the battery life will be plenty good enough to drive a fully electric car. In fact, there are alreadly fully electric cars that can drive a long distance on a charge and can charge fast as well as the ability to hook up to virtually any outlet. Granted they are too expensive for the average person right now, but there are plenty of Americans that can still afford one even now. Give it several more years and I think that technology will be available for a more average person. Will the average person buy one, probably not, but I sure will.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7310
307. drought
10:24 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
You're from Chicago right? I thought I saw you say that.

Are the deciduous trees leafing out yet?

Maybe we will see some subtropical thingie in the Great Lakes this year. At this point I wouldn't rule anything out.


Quoting aerojad:
I'm wondering if a warmer lake could help support one of these guys:



"Hurricanes in Michigan??"
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
306. drought
10:21 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
That Gulf of Mexico blob may be wringing out rain from the moisture feed and cut down on flooding rains on the land.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
305. aerojad
10:20 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting drought:
I wonder about the warming of the great lakes this March. Will that mean thunderstorms will not be hindered as much by cool air off the lakes this spring? And maybe fueled by more moisture evaporating from the lakes?
I'm wondering if a warmer lake could help support one of these guys:



"Hurricanes in Michigan??"
Member Since: June 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
304. JNCali
10:17 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
That blob in the GOM is a little disconcerting..

Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
303. drought
10:16 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
The cherry trees thrive in Macon GA which is over an hour south of Atlanta. I think the Washington DC cherry trees will be safe from warming for a while. Sea level rise may overflow the Tidal Basin before it gets too warm for them.

Quoting aspectre:
282 drought "There was a segment about the Washington DC cherry blossom festival on CNN today...I don't think the Washington DC cherry blossom festival is in danger from global warming yet."

It's the yet part that bothers me.
Discomfiting to imagine Tokyo ever being without a CherryBlossumFestival. And even more discomfiting to imagine that it might happen within my lifetime.

Still haven't found out whether cherry trees need to have a minimum number of near-freezing-or-below days in order to blossum as lushly as we've come to expect.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
302. dogsgomoo
10:16 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
Quoting drought:


They're well past peak. I was down weekend before last. Washington DC's cherry trees are peaking today and tomorrow.


Boourns. :(

Should have known that. The one's in northern GA are pretty ripe as well. At this rate I'll pencil in a trip to see them for mid Feb 2013.
Member Since: March 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 316
301. aspectre
10:13 PM GMT on March 21, 2012
282 drought "There was a segment about the Washington DC cherry blossom festival on CNN today...I don't think the Washington DC cherry blossom festival is in danger from global warming yet."

It's the yet part that bothers me.
Discomfiting to imagine Tokyo ever being without a CherryBlossumFestival. And even more disturbing to contemplate that it might happen within my lifetime.

Still haven't found out whether cherry trees need to have a minimum number of near-freezing-or-below days in order to blossom as lushly as we've come to expect.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
This is an edited repost of my comment #261 because the temp was actually a degree higher:

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, reached 82 83 today, breaking its record for the day by 25 26 degrees, and breaking the all-time March high temperature record there by seven eight degrees. In fact, only six four days in April have seen a higher record high temperature. It's never been so warm there before April 16th, and, in fact, today was the only time Sault Ste. Marie has hit the 80-degree mark in the months from November through March.

(To give you an idea how cool that location is, consider this: the record high there on May 14 is 82, the same as a degree lower than today's high.)

Temperature records in Sault Ste. Marie go back to 1888.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13474
Quoting dogsgomoo:


Oh cool! How did I not know about this after all these years down here!? Do you think they will they be blossomed out by this weekend?


They're well past peak. I was down weekend before last. Washington DC's cherry trees are peaking today and tomorrow. The Macon festival didn't start until the 16th but the cherry trees were early. There are still a lot of events though. And there are still some blooms but not peak.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting drought:
The Macon Georgia Cherry Blossom Festival. 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees. It's something to see!


Oh cool! How did I not know about this after all these years down here!? Do you think they will they be blossomed out by this weekend?
Member Since: March 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 316
Quoting drought:
Chicago's O'Hare airport has reached 87 today and Midway airport 86.



Amazing. These are warmer in many instances than what they would see during the summer months.
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Chicago's O'Hare airport has reached 87 today and Midway airport 86.

Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting drought:
I wonder about the warming of the great lakes this March. Will that mean thunderstorms will not be hindered as much by cool air off the lakes this spring? And maybe fueled by more moisture evaporating from the lakes?

In my opinion, yeah. The Great Lakes are like the Gulf of Mexico, except smaller. So, if the Gulf of Mexico can provide more moisture to the atmosphere due to the fact that it is well above average, why can't the Great Lakes supply a lesser amount?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31587
I wonder about the warming of the great lakes this March. Will that mean thunderstorms will not be hindered as much by cool air off the lakes this spring? And maybe fueled by more moisture evaporating from the lakes?
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
My local forecast...


(Click image to enlarge...if needed)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31587
Quoting bappit:

Boy, there's a semantic trap, but a lot of work has been done to remove teleological reasoning from scientific explanations. Read the wikipeida article on teleology if you want to know more.

"In modern science, an explanation that relies on teleology is avoided, because whether they are true or false is argued to be beyond the ability of human perception and understanding to judge. But using teleology as an explanation style, in particular within evolutionary biology, is still controversial."
I was thinking more along the lines of cause and affect..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Slowly heading for TN..

Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Storms are really starting to fire up around Tampa.
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I thought weather was chaotic, bound by normal distributions with stochastic probabilities.
Member Since: March 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

Don was smaller.


and Don was more pathetic, which was the point of my comment.
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Quoting JNCali:
so your postulating that storms are random acts of nature?

Boy, there's a semantic trap, but a lot of work has been done to remove teleological reasoning from scientific explanations. Read the wikipeida article on teleology if you want to know more.

"In modern science, an explanation that relies on teleology is avoided, because whether they are true or false is argued to be beyond the ability of human perception and understanding to judge. But using teleology as an explanation style, in particular within evolutionary biology, is still controversial."
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Quoting Neapolitan:
It's been raining steadily in Bonita Springs for the past two hours or so. Not heavily--but steadily.


Rain went all around me today. Hopefully we can get some tomorrow.
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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.