Summer in March, 2012, draws to a close

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on March 23, 2012

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The most incredible spring heat wave in U.S. and Canadian recorded history is finally drawing to a close today, after a ten-day stretch of unprecedented record-smashing intensity. Since record keeping began in the late 1800s, there have never been so many spring temperature records broken, and by such a large margin. Airports in fifteen different states have set all-time records for March warmth, which is truly extraordinary considering that the records were set in the middle of the month, instead of the end of the month. The 29.2°C (85°F) measured at Western Head, Nova Scotia yesterday was the third warmest temperature ever recorded in Canada in March, according to Environment Canada and weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera (top two records: 31.1°C at Alberini Beaver Creek BC on March 29th 1926, and 29.4°C in 1921 at Wallaceburg.) Michigan's all-time record for March warmth was toppled on Wednesday, when the mercury hit 90°F at Lapeer. The previous record, 89° at Lapeer in 1910, was matched at three stations yesterday--Ypsilanti, Dearborn, and Lapeer. The duration, areal size, and intensity of the Summer in March, 2012 heat wave are simply off-scale, and the event ranks as one of North America's most extraordinary weather events in recorded history. Such a historic event is difficult to summarize, and in today's post I will offer just a few of the most notable highlights.


Figure 1. Clear skies over the Eastern U.S. caused by a blocking ridge of high pressure on March 21, 2012, are apparent in this visible satellite image. The comma-shaped cloud pattern over the Central U.S. is associated with a "cut-off" low pressure system. This low is moving over the Eastern U.S. today through Saturday, and will bring an end to "Summer in March" over the U.S. and Canada. Image credit: NOAA's Environmental Visualization Lab, and modified by Andrew Freedman of Climate Central.

Low temperatures beating previous high temperature records for the date
I've never seen a case where the low temperature for the date beat the previous record high. This happened on at least four occasions during "Summer in March, 2012":

The low temperature at Marquette, Michigan hit 52° on March 21, which was 3° warmer than the previous record high for the date.

The low at Mt. Washington, NH on March 21 (44°) beat the previous record high for the date (43°.)

The low temperature for International Falls, Minnesota on March 20 bottomed out at 60°F, tying the previous record high for the date.

The low temperature in Rochester, Minnesota on March 18 was 62°F, which beat the previous record high for the date of 60°.

Breaking all-time April records for warmth in March
Not only did many locations in Canada set records for their all-time warmest March day during "Summer in March, 2012", a number also broke their record for warmest April day:

St. John, New Brunswick hit 27.2°C (81°F) on March 21. Previous March record: 17.5°C on March 21, 1994. April record: 22.8°C.

Kejimkujik Park, Nova Scotia hit 27.9°C on March 21. Previous March record: 22.5°C on March 30, 1986. April record: 25°C on April 27, 1990.

Yesterday, I reported that Halifax, Nova Scotia hit 27.2°C (81°F) on March 22, 2012. Previous March record: 25.8° set the previous day. April record: 26.3°C, set on April 30, 2004. However, Rob Paola, a meteorologist with Environment Canada's Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, wrote to tell me that Halifax did not break its April record: In fact, Halifax recorded a temperature of 29.5°C on April 28, 2009. For some reason, that stat does not show up on EC's normal/extremes climate site for Halifax, which only has data up to 2006 for extremes. More details on my blog at http://robsobsblog.blogspot.ca/

Breaking daily temperature records by more than 30°F
It is exceptionally rare for a weather station with a 50+ year period of record to break a daily temperature record by more than 10°F. During "Summer in March, 2012", beating daily records by 10° - 20°F was commonplace, and many records were smashed by over 20°. Two stations broke records by more than 30°F, which is truly surreal. Western Head, Nova Scotia hit 29.2°C (85°F), yesterday, breaking their previous record for the date (10.6°C in 1969) by 18.6°C (33°F.) Yesterday's high temperature was 24°C (44°F) above average. Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula--dubbed "Michigan's Icebox", since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state--hit 85° on March 21. This broke the previous record for the date (53° in 2007) by 32°, and was an absurd 48°F above average.

Breaking daily temperature records nine consecutive days or more
It is extremely rare for stations with a 50+ year period of record to break a daily high temperature record for seven or more days in a row. The longest such streak of consecutive high temperature records at International Falls, Minnesota, was a 5-day period March 3 - 7, 2000. The city has tied or broken their high temperature for the date ten consecutive days, as of yesterday. This streak will likely end today, as the high is predicted to be 60 - 65, and the record high for the date is 66. Chicago, Illinois has tied or broken their daily high temperature record the past nine days in a row. This ties the nine-day streak of record highs set on August 26 - September 3, 1953. Other cites that have set daily high temperature records the past nine days in a row include Fort Wayne and South Bend, Indiana. Numerous cities have broken high temperature records on seven consecutive days during "Summer in March, 2012", including Gaylord, Pellston, and Traverse City in Michigan.


Figure 2. All-time high temperature records set in March 2012 for the U.S. The grey icons show locations where the March record was broken on multiple days. Image taken from wunderground's new record extremes page, using data from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

The big picture: the impacts of "Summer in March, 2012"
I've always said living in Michigan would be much more bearable if we could just get rid of March. March weather here is always horrible, with brutal cold, high winds, damaging ice storms, heavy snow, interminable cloudy stretches with no sun, all interspersed with a few teasing warm spells. Well, this year, I got my wish. This March, we started with twelve days of April weather, followed by ten days of June and July weather, with nine days of May weather predicted to round out the month. This has been a huge benefit to the economy--vastly reduced heating costs, no snow removal bills, and far fewer traffic accidents due to icy roads. However, there is major downside to the "Summer in March, 2012" heat wave. The growing season is now in full swing, five weeks early. A damaging freeze that will severely impact the fruit industry and other sensitive plants is very likely. Indeed, the forecast calls for lows in the upper 20s in the cherry-growing region of Michigan near Traverse City on Monday night. The exceptional March warmth has also melted all the snow in the northern U.S. and southern Canada, drying out the soils and setting the stage for a much warmer than average summer, and an increased chance of damaging drought conditions. The early loss of snowpack will also likely cause very low flow rates in the major rivers in late summer and early fall, reducing the amount of water needed for irrigation of crops. Low flows may also cause problems for navigation, limiting commercial barge traffic on Midwest rivers.

Links
Andrew Freedman of Climate Central interviewed a number of climate scientists who are experts in studying the link between extreme weather events and climate change for his post, Global Warming May Have Fueled March Heat Wave Odds.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt will be posting a more comprehensive summary of the "Summer in March, 2012" heat wave this weekend.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I expect I'll be hard at work this weekend, mowing my lawn for the first time ever in March!

Jeff Masters

2012 03 22 Neighbor's Magnolia Tree drops its blossoms (gatyamgal)
Because of our week of record breaking Temps here in Bettendorf, IA, the neighbor's tree bloomed and lost its blossoms 3 weeks early. What will April bring?
2012 03 22 Neighbor's Magnolia Tree drops its blossoms
Spring Landscape (thebige)
Spring Landscape
Jefferson Memorial (KEM)
Cherry blossoms in Washington DC.
Jefferson Memorial

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852. JRRP
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


I have a Caribbean blog where you can visit and post the weather conditions on a daily basis from there.By the way,it's pouring in San Juan as I type this. It has been a wet period when it is supposed to be dry.

Link


aqui en Rep Dom tambien ha llovido mucho y se supone que estamos en el mes mas seco
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


I have a Caribbean blog where you can visit and post the weather conditions on a daily basis from there.By the way,it's pouring in San Juan as I type this. It has been a wet period when it is supposed to be dry.

Link


Thanks much...I'll post when I can
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Maybe try the wunderblog directory, or click on any Handle here and that will take you to that persons entry, if they have one.
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March 24, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Just enjoyed a fresh stalk of asparagus right out of the patch. I've actually been munching them for a little over a week now. Just snip them off, knock any big pieces of dirt off, and down the hatch. Umm, good.

Also wanted to report that the fig bushes are leafing out and have little figs on them. It looks like another delicacy will be on the menu by May, very ,very early.

Finally, before it slips my mind, I grew up on the tip of the boot in SE LA where one ate all the homegrown citrus one wanted. Since moving to VA, I've missed that. No more. We are enjoying lemons and kumquats grown here on the place and in a couple of more years I hope to have both grapefruit and navel oranges. Yes, I put the big pots in my minimally heated greenhouse during the coldest days and nights, but this winter I think they would have had a very good chance of surviving with just a plastic cover.

Occasionally, like in January 1962, we had citrus killing freezes in SE LA. In 2012, 50 years later, we may not have had a citrus killing freeze in the Blue Ridge foothills of central VA. Just another observation.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
You might want to pick another navy to pick on. Those folks got some serious boats and know how to use them. One of the last I chose to tangle with. Royal Canadian Navy

Also last time U.S. invaded Canada things didn't turn out all that well.
rumour was they run away what we did not shoot
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66 days away
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


You might want to pick another navy to pick on. Those folks got some serious boats and know how to use them. One of the last I chose to tangle with. Royal Canadian Navy

Also last time U.S. invaded Canada things didn't turn out all that well.
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Quoting Cyclone2012:
Hurricane Season, =(.

Sigh............
soon enough 20 days my 2012 atlantic hurricane season blog page goes up at that time eastern pacific starts 15 days later and atlantic 31 days after pacific
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837 yqt1001: You might laugh now, but we actually went into WW2 with 14 tanks, 30 anti-tank rifles, 40 aircraft and 20k infantrymen. :P

And WON.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting WxGeekVA:



LOL! That made my day better :D
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For those of you who understand weather better than me (almost everyone on the site)...

The late season Arctic sea ice freeze 'blip' started and stopped at about the same as 'Summer in the Spring'.

I'm assuming that the two are products of the same weather conditions. Can someone explain what happened that created both events? Or explain why they weren't connected?

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
825 BobWallace: That's $72.33 per day to provide housing, food, clothing, transportation and medical care for four people. Actually less than that after you deduct Social Security and Medicare contributions.
How would you like to live on less than $18 per day for all your needs? All your needs.


Noticeably less that $16 per day for all needs after payroll tax. And while entertaining oneself watching television isn't tax deductable, entertaining oneself on ones*yacht is.

* Mortage deduction for purely personal use, plus an operating expenses deduction for anything that can be vaguely labeled as "charitable"use or "business"entertainment and/or part-time rental.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting WxGeekVA:




You might laugh now, but we actually went into WW2 with 14 tanks, 30 anti-tank rifles, 40 aircraft and 20k infantrymen. :P
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
Quoting WxGeekVA:


LOL you guys are too much roflmao
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Quoting trunkmonkey:


Looks like target practice for the Canadian Navy!


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==weather event discussion==

..Summary of the epic hot spell across Ontario..

This will likely be the final summary for this modern day marvel
From mother nature, most of which occurred while it was still
officially winter. The cause was attributed to simply a stationary
abnormally strong high pressure area across eastern North America.

The following are some extraordinary examples from this historic
event to convey a sense of its scale.

It was unprecedented in its duration and aerial scope. It affected
all of Eastern Canada from Manitoba to Nova Scotia, and lasted for
upwards of 10 consecutive days. Windsor recorded a full 10 days in a
row of 20 degrees or more. Kitchener had 8 days at or over 20 c.

There were close to 250 records annihilated in Ontario alone,
(including a precursor warm-up earlier in the month). It was
undoubtedly a record for the most number of records!

Many locales surpassed their previous all-time March highest
temperatures. Several stations even recorded their warmest March
Day, only to break it the next day with even hotter temperatures.
Here are some examples showcasing some new hottest March records
And the dates they occurred:

Toronto 26.0 (March 22 2012)
Windsor 28.4 (March 21 2012)
London 27.5 (March 22 2012)
Hamilton 26.8 (March 22 2012)
Ottawa 27.4 (March 21 2012)
Petawawa 28.8 (March 21 2012)

Daily records were often shattered in dramatic fashion. For example,
Petawawa's 28.8 c on March 21st was almost 17 celcius degrees warmer
than the previous record of 12.2 c.

The warmth was so pronounced that some locales reported nighttime
Low temperatures which handily beat the previous record maximum
temperature. Such was the case in Fort Frances on March 19th which
reported a low temperature of 15.1 c. The previous record high
temperature for the day was 10 c.

There will likely be one final chapter to be added to this weather
story. Many locales are likely to surpass their all-time March
records for warmth, especially in Southern Ontario. Although there
will be one or two colder set-backs before the end of the month,
there are a couple of abnormally warm days expected as well.

END/OSPC


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Quoting caribbeantracker01:
the signs that the hurricane passed are bearly visable sir i live in grenada aka greenz


I have a Caribbean blog where you can visit and post the weather conditions on a daily basis from there.By the way,it's pouring in San Juan as I type this. It has been a wet period when it is supposed to be dry.

Link

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NASA GRACE Data Hit Big Apple on World Water Day

To highlight declines in the world's groundwater supplies, a new visualization of Earth's groundwater reserves, created in part with space data from the joint NASA/German Aerospace Center (DLR) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, debuted on New York's Times Square on March 22, International World Water Day.

The 30-second animation, titled "Visualizing Seasonal and Long-term Changes in Groundwater Levels," will be on display several times each hour through April 22 on Times Square's massive Thomson Reuters and NASDAQ digital signboards. Viewers of the interactive animation are invited to use their mobile devices to submit their city and add a graph to the sign. The animation can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/user10042778 .

Netherlands designer Richard Vijgen developed the animation using GRACE data analyzed by professor Jay Famiglietti, director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling at the University of California, Irvine; and from United States Geological Survey data supplied by Leonard Konikow. Vijgen was the winning entry in an international design visualization competition sponsored by the organization HeadsUP!, in collaboration with Visualizing.org. Founded by digital media artist Peggy Weil, HeadsUp! challenges designers to visualize critical global issues and create a shared sign for the public square.

Groundwater is a critical, but often overlooked, natural resource. According to a U.N. report, more than 1.5 billion people around the world depend on groundwater for their drinking water. It comes from the natural percolation of precipitation and other surface waters down through Earth's soil and rock, accumulating in cavities and layers of porous rock, gravel, sand or clay. Groundwater levels respond slowly to changes in weather and can take months or years to replenish once pumped for irrigation or other uses.

Famiglietti's analyses show that groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates in many of the world's major aquifers. "The GRACE data set is exciting, because it gives us the first global pictures of Earth's changing freshwater," he said.

The twin GRACE satellites, which celebrated their 10th year in orbit this week, measure minute changes in Earth's gravity field by measuring micron-scale variations in the separation between the two spacecraft, flying in formation 137 miles (220 kilometers) apart in low Earth orbit. These variations in gravitational pull are caused by local changes in Earth's mass. Masses of water, ice, air and solid Earth can be moved by weather patterns, seasonal change, climate change and even tectonic events such as large earthquakes. GRACE was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The depletion of groundwater from large aquifers due to drought and human activities affects gravity enough to provide a signal that GRACE can measure, in concert with other remote sensing data. After accounting for other mass variations, such changes in gravity can be translated into an equivalent change in water. GRACE has been used to detect major depletion of groundwater in northern India, California's Central Valley and elsewhere around the globe.

Groundwater levels are monitored by local sensors as well as from space with GRACE, but the data are formatted for expert hydrologists, rather than concerned citizens. Underground and out of sight, the public lacks a clear indicator of changing groundwater levels. By using the GRACE satellite data, HeadsUP! offered designers the chance to visualize the water under the surface of Earth, as "seen" from space.

For more on the HeadsUP! project, visit: http://www.pitchengine.com/headsup2012/data-visual ization-comes-to-times-square-transforms-19k-sq-ft -ad-space-wsatellite-data--design-reaching-million s

World Water Day is an annual event created by the United Nations in 1992 to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. For more information, visit: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/ .

GRACE is a joint NASA mission with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin. For more on GRACE, visit: http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/ , http://www.nasa.gov/grace , and http://grace.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

For more on NASA's work to improve global water security, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/world_wa ter_day_2012.html .



Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
alan.buis@jpl.nasa.gov

2012-086
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Quoting pottery:
Greetings.
I was in Grenada last week for a few days.
The destruction from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 is still apparent all over the Island.
Here are some images and video taken during the worst of the storm.
Found on UTube.

the signs that the hurricane passed are bearly visable sir i live in grenada aka greenz
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0359
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1131 AM CDT SUN MAR 25 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...NERN SC...ERN NC

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 251631Z - 251900Z

SCATTERED TSTMS SHOULD DEVELOP FROM NERN SC INTO ERN NC THIS
AFTERNOON. DESPITE WEAK SHEAR...MODERATELY STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE
RATES WILL SUPPORT A RISK OF MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL IN PULSE TO
LOOSELY ORGANIZED MULTICELL CLUSTERS. THE PROBABILITY OF A SEVERE
TSTM WATCH ISSUANCE IS 20 PERCENT.

16Z SURFACE ANALYSIS PLACED A 1006 MB CYCLONE AROUND 35 NE FLO.
LOW/MID-LEVEL CIRCULATION IMMEDIATELY W IN THE PEE DEE REGION WAS
QUITE APPARENT IN VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY WITH THIS FEATURE
EXPECTED TO TRACK NEAR THE NC/SC BORDER DURING THE AFTERNOON.
ISOLATED SHOWERS AND A THUNDERSTORM HAVE FORMED INVOF THIS
CIRCULATION...WITH ADDITIONAL AREAS OF AGITATED CU ACROSS ERN NC.
CONVECTION-ALLOWING AND SREF MODEL GUIDANCE ARE CONSISTENT IN
INCREASING TSTM COVERAGE THROUGH THE DAY AS SURFACE HEATING
CONTINUES...CONTRIBUTING TO POCKETS OF MLCAPE REACHING 600-1200
J/KG.

MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES AROUND 7 DEG C/KM WILL SUPPORT A RISK FOR
HAIL. BUT FLOW FIELDS WILL REMAIN VERY WEAK INVOF THE MID-LEVEL LOW
WITH EFFECTIVE SHEAR AOB 10 KTS. STRONGER SLYS AOA 600 MB SHOULD BE
CONFINED TO COASTAL NC. AS SUCH...PULSE CONVECTION WILL BE THE
DOMINANT MODE NEAR THE CIRCULATION CENTER WITH PRIMARILY SUB-SEVERE
HAIL...WITH A GREATER RISK FOR A FEW MARGINALLY SEVERE EVENTS INTO
FAR ERN NC.

..GRAMS.. 03/25/2012
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Scattered showers throughout NC today with this low passing south of me...

evenin all
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Weather again glorious here. Third successive warm and dry spring - not so good for the gardeners and farmers as it exacerbates the drought conditions in the South East, but hey - for a visitor or tourist, it's really becoming the time to visit.

"Sunday spring sunshine has set temperatures rising to a new record for Scotland in March.

Fyvie Castle, in Aberdeenshire, recorded a temperature of 22.8C shortly after 15:30, edging past the previous high of 22.2C.

This had been set in March 1957 at Gordon Castle, in Moray, and again at Strachan, in Kincardineshire, in 1965.

Forecasters said the top temperature for Sunday could still rise higher and could be reached again on Monday."

Link

74F in Scotland (and NE Scotland, no less) in March. Remarkable.

--

UKMET providing new products for hurricane season:

'22 March 2012 - The Met Office has launched a new independent report which provides a transparent and authoritative view of hurricane landfall rates in the United States.

Made specifically for the insurance markets, the report is designed to support industry professionals who manage hurricane risks.'

Link
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826. wxmod
Air travel creates haze that supresses lift. That prevents puffy cumulus from forming thereby increasing temperatures on the ground and exaserbating airmass stagnation. Ireland and Wales today. MODIS




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"A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero."

That's $72.33 per day to provide housing, food, clothing, transportation and medical care for four people. Actually less than that after you deduct Social Security and Medicare contributions.

How would you like to live on less than $18 per day for all your needs? All your needs.

You're upset that these folks are paying a big hunk of their abundance in federal taxes?

Come off it. Turn your attention to the ultra rich like Mittens who are using their power to avoid paying a fair share.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting pottery:

True.
Missed you and hit Cayman.
Big damage done on Tobago as well, but mostly from the rainfall.

I also saw some of the damage in cayman...it was beyond unbelievable. We have been generally fortunate here in Jamaica...it has been 23 years since a direct impact
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting ilovehurricanes12:
last years summer hurricane hit the east coast bad!!

Fortunately Irene weaken before landfall
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting nigel20:

Yeah...the damage in Grenada was unbelievable...luckily here in Jamaica we didn't get a direct impact from hurricane Ivan.

True.
Missed you and hit Cayman.
Big damage done on Tobago as well, but mostly from the rainfall.
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Quoting pottery:
Greetings.
I was in Grenada last week for a few days.
The destruction from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 is still apparent all over the Island.
Here are some images and video taken during the worst of the storm.
Found on UTube.


Yeah...the damage in Grenada was unbelievable...luckily here in Jamaica we didn't get a direct impact from hurricane Ivan.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Good morning all
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
He is talking about Fed income taxes. Its true that 46% of americans dont pay the income tax. A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.Low incomes (or, if you prefer, the standard deduction and personal exemptions) account for fully half of the people who pay no federal income tax.The second reason is that for many senior citizens, Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes. That accounts for about 22% of the people who pay no federal income tax.The third reason is that America uses the tax code to provide benefits to low-income families, particularly those with children. Taken together, the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account for about 15% of the people who pay no federal income tax.Taken together, those three factors — incomes that fall below the standard deduction and personal exemptions; the exemption for most Social Security benefits; and tax benefits aimed at low-income families and children — account for almost 90% of the Americans who pay no federal income tax. And that is pretty much what makes up the 50% that do not pay the Fed income tax.

Well, he didn't specify income tax, of course, just like most who spout that "50% of Americans don't pay taxes" bit of nonsense. The thing is, even those who pay no federal income tax still have Medicare and SS money withheld, and they still have to pay sales taxes, along with property taxes, and state and local income taxes. (Not to mention, people who are self-employed--as I am--have an additional 7.65% in "payroll" taxes taken from them.)

The bottom line, then: simply to survive with the basics--rent, utilities, groceries, transportation to and from work, etc.--a low-income earner pays a far greater percentage of his or her income in taxes than higher earners do. There are some who think it should remain that way, and perhaps become even more imbalanced with still a greater burden imposed on low-income types. If they succeed, I can promise you that great things we Americans have done in the past--huge, Hoover Dam, moon shot sorts of things--won't ever happen again.

(Too, you failed to address the "Hispanics on the welfare role" bit brought up by trunkmonkey. As I noted, of those receiving public assistance, a greater percentage is white. To be honest, then, that comment sounds a bit bigoted, does it not?)
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Quoting percylives:
These numbers are phenomenal and show why the Germans cut their fossil fuel use by 5% last year while running Europe's primary industrial economy. Hat's off to them. And for the US. How much further behind the rest of the industrialized world must we fall to fill the coffers of BP, Exxon, Pittston, and the Koch Brothers?

From www.renewableenergyworld.com

German Policy Could Make Solar in America "Wunderbar"
By John Farrell

The Germans are debating significant revisions to their landmark renewable energy policy, and instead of declaring the death of the German solar market, Americans should focus on why solar still costs so much on this side of the Atlantic.

After a significant step-down this month, revisions to the German feed-in tariff will require utilities to buy electricity from solar projects 10 kilowatts or smaller for 19.5 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on a 20-year contract. Larger projects (over 1 megawatt) will get just 13.5 euro cents per kWh. Using insolation data for Munich, these prices translate to installed costs of approximately $2.24 and $1.55 per Watt, respectively.

For comparison, in the U.S. in the 3rd quarter of 2011 the average installed cost of solar was $5.20 per Watt with residential-scale projects costing $6.40 per Watt.

What would German installation costs mean for the U.S. solar market, where sunshine is 29% (in the cast of Minneapolis) to 70 percent (Los Angeles) more abundant? Americans could buy solar on long-term contracts – with no subsidies – for 18.6 cents per kWh in Minneapolis, and just 15.4 cents in Los Angeles. Factor in the federal 30 percent solar tax credit and Minneapolitans could get solar for 14.3 cents per kWh, Los Angelenos for 11.8 cents.

Already, the trajectory of solar costs and electricity prices suggests that 100 million Americans will be able to get cheaper electricity from their rooftops than from their utility in the next decade (see ILSR’s new report - Rooftop Revolution: Changing Everything with Cost-Effective Local Solar).

But if Americans could install solar at the same price as the Germans, 47 million Americans in the nation’s largest cities would be at solar grid parity – without subsidies – right now. By 2015, assuming no change in the cost of solar and a modest 2 percent per year inflation in retail electricity prices, 100 million Americans in major cities could beat grid prices with rooftop solar.

Yes, Germany is cutting their solar contract prices. But this is in a market that installed 7,000 megawatts of solar per year in the past two years – 20 times the U.S. pace on a per capita basis. And they are doing it at half the cost (or better). That’s the benefit of a decade of consistent renewable energy policy – the feed-in tariff – that provides a low-risk, long-term contract for solar project owners. Compare that to America’s hodge-podge of fifty individual state policies, stacked on top of federal incentives that can only be used by businesses with big tax liability (or their Wall Street partners).

The irony is that Americans point to Germany and say, “they pay too much for electricity,” while a majority of Germans continue to say, “we’re willing to pay more for clean power,” because they can (and do) own it. In fact, over half of Germany’s renewable energy capacity is locally owned, multiplying the economic benefits of their renewable energy policy and reinforcing political support for clean energy (while support for clean energy has declined in the U.S.).

Quite a few folks have decried the price cuts to the German solar feed-in tariff as “the end is nigh,” but especially in comparison to American solar policy, it’s more appropriate to declare, “mission accomplished.”

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's New Rules Project.
good post, ty
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
He is talking about Fed income taxes. Its true that 46% of americans dont pay the income tax. A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.Low incomes (or, if you prefer, the standard deduction and personal exemptions) account for fully half of the people who pay no federal income tax.The second reason is that for many senior citizens, Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes. That accounts for about 22% of the people who pay no federal income tax.The third reason is that America uses the tax code to provide benefits to low-income families, particularly those with children. Taken together, the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account for about 15% of the people who pay no federal income tax.Taken together, those three factors — incomes that fall below the standard deduction and personal exemptions; the exemption for most Social Security benefits; and tax benefits aimed at low-income families and children — account for almost 90% of the Americans who pay no federal income tax. And that is pretty much what makes up the 50% that do not pay the Fed income tax.



Yeah, but at the same time the Fed Income Tax only makes up a portion of the overall tax burden. Certain groups have a tendency to gloss over this rather important fact, since spending any time on it would show that their arguments don't really make any sense.
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:
The Global Warming debate itself seems to me to be an indicator that Science itself is in danger. It (Science) had already become heavily agendized in as much as most real study only gets funded by corporatia or government. But now, most of what a person hears or reads concerning much of 'Science' has the implicit feel of Public Relations promotional gumbo. Anyone who is connected with and who tries to preserve what was 'Science sans agenda' finds him/her self hollering louder and and louder just to be heard. The result is two fairly polarized sides screaming, and the audience loses all hope of making sense or finding any real truth. Meanwhile, as junk science makes its way into the common fund of knowledge, a 'pollution of the commons' event is occurring that may not be rectifiable. Ever.

I know that I can't open a science related magazine, no matter how prestigious, without the first thought being "M'okay ... what's the PR agenda behind this article/study?". I can't prove it, but I am convinced absolutely that PR operatives are paid even to blog and comment on even the most out of the way websites.

The Global Warming debate, serious as it is, is but one example of a much larger issue. If ways are not found to effectively handle this issue, 'Science', in just a very few years, is going to look like a super-market tabloid.


Science journals don't have PR. Publicly funded scientists also do not have PR groups working for them; they cost way too much and science funding is already very limited.

The PR companies who normally get their hands dirty in this arena are funded by corporations and private interest groups. In fact, the same PR firms who fought on the side of big tobacco, asbestos, etc. are now fighting against climate science.

This always happens when some well-monied interest is threatened by new scientific findings. This usually results in a delay of at least a decade or two before anything is done about the problem, since science budgets can't come anywhere close to what multi-billion dollar corporations can dish out to "make their case to the public".

Unless something truly astounding happens, I don't expect any serious measures to be taken with regards to climate change for at least the next 10-20 years, and possibly longer.
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Greetings.
I was in Grenada last week for a few days.
The destruction from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 is still apparent all over the Island.
Here are some images and video taken during the worst of the storm.
Found on UTube.

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I think I'll see hail today with this upper level low.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting MontanaZephyr:
The Global Warming debate itself seems to me to be an indicator that Science itself is in danger. It (Science) had already become heavily agendized in as much as most real study only gets funded by corporatia or government. But now, most of what a person hears or reads concerning much of 'Science' has the implicit feel of Public Relations promotional gumbo. Anyone who is connected with and who tries to preserve what was 'Science sans agenda' finds him/her self hollering louder and and louder just to be heard. The result is two fairly polarized sides screaming, and the audience loses all hope of making sense or finding any real truth. Meanwhile, as junk science makes its way into the common fund of knowledge, a 'pollution of the commons' event is occurring that may not be rectifiable. Ever.

I know that I can't open a science related magazine, no matter how prestigious, without the first thought being "M'okay ... what's the PR agenda behind this article/study?". I can't prove it, but I am convinced absolutely that PR operatives are paid even to blog and comment on even the most out of the way websites.

The Global Warming debate, serious as it is, is but one example of a much larger issue. If ways are not found to effectively handle this issue, 'Science', in just a very few years, is going to look like a super-market tabloid.


Wonderful post.
Sad. But true.
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These numbers are phenomenal and show why the Germans cut their fossil fuel use by 5% last year while running Europe's primary industrial economy. Hat's off to them. And for the US. How much further behind the rest of the industrialized world must we fall to fill the coffers of BP, Exxon, Pittston, and the Koch Brothers?

From www.renewableenergyworld.com

German Policy Could Make Solar in America "Wunderbar"
By John Farrell

The Germans are debating significant revisions to their landmark renewable energy policy, and instead of declaring the death of the German solar market, Americans should focus on why solar still costs so much on this side of the Atlantic.

After a significant step-down this month, revisions to the German feed-in tariff will require utilities to buy electricity from solar projects 10 kilowatts or smaller for 19.5 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on a 20-year contract. Larger projects (over 1 megawatt) will get just 13.5 euro cents per kWh. Using insolation data for Munich, these prices translate to installed costs of approximately $2.24 and $1.55 per Watt, respectively.

For comparison, in the U.S. in the 3rd quarter of 2011 the average installed cost of solar was $5.20 per Watt with residential-scale projects costing $6.40 per Watt.

What would German installation costs mean for the U.S. solar market, where sunshine is 29% (in the cast of Minneapolis) to 70 percent (Los Angeles) more abundant? Americans could buy solar on long-term contracts – with no subsidies – for 18.6 cents per kWh in Minneapolis, and just 15.4 cents in Los Angeles. Factor in the federal 30 percent solar tax credit and Minneapolitans could get solar for 14.3 cents per kWh, Los Angelenos for 11.8 cents.

Already, the trajectory of solar costs and electricity prices suggests that 100 million Americans will be able to get cheaper electricity from their rooftops than from their utility in the next decade (see ILSR’s new report - Rooftop Revolution: Changing Everything with Cost-Effective Local Solar).

But if Americans could install solar at the same price as the Germans, 47 million Americans in the nation’s largest cities would be at solar grid parity – without subsidies – right now. By 2015, assuming no change in the cost of solar and a modest 2 percent per year inflation in retail electricity prices, 100 million Americans in major cities could beat grid prices with rooftop solar.

Yes, Germany is cutting their solar contract prices. But this is in a market that installed 7,000 megawatts of solar per year in the past two years – 20 times the U.S. pace on a per capita basis. And they are doing it at half the cost (or better). That’s the benefit of a decade of consistent renewable energy policy – the feed-in tariff – that provides a low-risk, long-term contract for solar project owners. Compare that to America’s hodge-podge of fifty individual state policies, stacked on top of federal incentives that can only be used by businesses with big tax liability (or their Wall Street partners).

The irony is that Americans point to Germany and say, “they pay too much for electricity,” while a majority of Germans continue to say, “we’re willing to pay more for clean power,” because they can (and do) own it. In fact, over half of Germany’s renewable energy capacity is locally owned, multiplying the economic benefits of their renewable energy policy and reinforcing political support for clean energy (while support for clean energy has declined in the U.S.).

Quite a few folks have decried the price cuts to the German solar feed-in tariff as “the end is nigh,” but especially in comparison to American solar policy, it’s more appropriate to declare, “mission accomplished.”

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's New Rules Project.
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Wow... What an awful day up here. Cold, windy, raw :(
I guess we're due for it since it's been so nice lately.
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The Global Warming debate itself seems to me to be an indicator that Science itself is in danger. It (Science) had already become heavily agendized in as much as most real study only gets funded by corporatia or government. But now, most of what a person hears or reads concerning much of 'Science' has the implicit feel of Public Relations promotional gumbo. Anyone who is connected with and who tries to preserve what was 'Science sans agenda' finds him/her self hollering louder and and louder just to be heard. The result is two fairly polarized sides screaming, and the audience loses all hope of making sense or finding any real truth. Meanwhile, as junk science makes its way into the common fund of knowledge, a 'pollution of the commons' event is occurring that may not be rectifiable. Ever.

I know that I can't open a science related magazine, no matter how prestigious, without the first thought being "M'okay ... what's the PR agenda behind this article/study?". I can't prove it, but I am convinced absolutely that PR operatives are paid even to blog and comment on even the most out of the way websites.

The Global Warming debate, serious as it is, is but one example of a much larger issue. If ways are not found to effectively handle this issue, 'Science', in just a very few years, is going to look like a super-market tabloid.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Wrong on so many levels, friend. For instance, anyone who works and/or buys anything pays taxes, and at a higher percentage of income, so that 50% thing is just an ugly myth; the US has one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the world; and I'm not sure why you singled out "Hispanics on the welfare role", as that ethnic group makes up just over a quarter of all families receiving some form of public assistance, with white families making up a larger percentage. Seriously, dude: you gotta stop watching only Fox. It's bad for your brain. ;-)

Nice batch of moderate showers with some muted morning thunder rumbling in the distance right now. Pleasant way to wake up...

Actually, Hispanics are probably some of the hardest working folks in America. Many of them married with families, dual minimum wage incomes, even working two jobs. Most complain because that population has a high work ethic and are grateful to have any job, no matter how hard they have to work (or little they are paid).

Anyway, a beautiful day here in ECFL. Going out to hit a few tennis balls, then work in a garden. Have a great day, everyone. Don't worry, be happy. Every day's a new beginning.
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Well, all traces of the warmth are completely gone now and we are back in a normal early spring pattern, at least for my area.

The forecast:
Monday: 36F, 25F
Tuesday: 46F, 19F
Wednesday: 37F, 26F
Thursday: 45F, 36F
Friday: 45F, 25F
Saturday: 46F, 25F

Normals today: 41F, 25F


I'm a little worried. Will these frequent, below freezing night-time temperatures damage budding trees in the area? All trees have buds around here (some of them are already leafing!) because of the ridiculous warmth last week.\

The average time buds start to appear is in mid to late April after the last freeze which is usually in mid-April.
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When will all the costs of our addiction to fossil fuels be factored in and charged to the users?

From Climate Progress.

Warming-Fueled Texas Drought Cost Farmers $7.6 Billion: ‘No One Alive Has Seen Single-Year Drought Damage To This Extent’

By Stephen Lacey on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Texas Agronomists have revised estimates for the cost of Texas’ devastating drought, finding that it cost the agricultural sector $2 billion more than originally thought.

According to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas drought has caused $7.62 billion in damages to crops and farming operations. That’s up from $5.3 billion reported last August.

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon explained last September:

Warmer temperatures lead to greater water demand, faster evaporation, and greater drying-out of potential fuels for fire. Thus, the impacts of the drought were enhanced by global warming, much of which has been caused by man.

Nearly every single agricultural sector in the state was hammered by the record-breaking drought that began in 2010, causing a ripple effect through global commodity markets. With livestock, cotton, peanut and even pumpkin crops hit hard, shortages of product is driving prices up and putting a squeeze on farmers in the state

“When you are one of the biggest agricultural producing states in the nation, a monumental drought causes enormous losses,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said in a statement this week after the new damage figures were released. Other agricultural experts weighed in on the devastating impact to Texas farmers:

“2011 was the driest year on record and certainly an infamous year of distinction for the state’s farmers and ranchers,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock economist. “The $7.62 billion mark for 2011 is more than $3.5 billion higher than the 2006 drought loss estimates, which previously was the costliest drought on record. The 2011 losses also represent about 43 percent of the average value of agricultural receipts over the last four years.”

“No one alive has seen single-year drought damage to this extent,” said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist and a member of the Governor’s Drought Preparedness Council. “Texas farmers and ranchers are not strangers to drought, but the intensity of the drought, reflected in record high temperatures, record low precipitation, unprecedented winds coupled with duration – all came together to devastate production agriculture.”

Like a baseball hitter on steroids, climatologists say that the likelihood of the Texas drought was increased due to the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Scientists at NASA, including climatologist James Hansen, said in January that analysis of 50 years of temperature data show that the Texas drought was “a consequence of global warming because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming.”

Texas A&M, climate scientist Andrew Dessler asserted last August, “there is absolutely no way you can conclude that climate change is not playing a role here. I’m quite surprised that anyone would even suggest that.” Texas climatologist Katherine Hayhoe recently explained, “our natural variability is now occurring on top of, and interacting with, background conditions that have already been altered by long-term climate change.”
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Quoting KoritheMan:


No, it's just that you've been on edge lately when it comes to climate change debates.




Well, I was just trying have a little joke, how that becomes being on edge is beyond me :)
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Quoting SteveDa1:


There's a simple explanation to the fact that they still label it as dry. The overall average rainfall (over an amount of time unknown to me) is still below normal.
You want to take anouther look at that map?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
Quoting trunkmonkey:


Crap like this is why I don't trust the guvment, Arkansas and east Texas has flooding last week, so did Louisiana, this map shows dryness!


There's a simple explanation to the fact that they still label it as dry. The overall average rainfall (over an amount of time unknown to me) is still below normal.
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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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