Top Ten Global Weather Events of 2012

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:34 PM GMT on January 11, 2013

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It was another year of incredible weather extremes globally during 2012. The year featured two of the most expensive weather disasters in world history--Hurricane Sandy and the Great U.S. Drought of 2012, which will both cost more than $50 billion. Thankfully, no disasters had a death toll in excess of 2,000, though the 1,901 people dead or missing due to Super Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines may rank as that nation's 2nd deadliest typhoon ever. Twenty-six weather disasters costing at least $1 billion occurred globally, according to insurance broker AON Benfield. Eleven billion-dollar weather disasters hit the U.S., a figure exceeded only by the fourteen such disasters in 2011. Nine billion-dollar weather disasters hit China, their highest total in a decade of record-keeping. I present for you, now, the top ten global weather stories of 2012, chosen for their meteorological significance and human and economic impact:



1) New Record Minimum for Arctic Sea Ice (September 16)
Sea ice extent in the Arctic fell to 3.41 million square kilometers on September 16, breaking the previous all-time low set in 2007 by 18%--despite the fact that 2012's Arctic weather was much cloudier and cooler than in 2007. Nearly half (49%) of the icecap was gone during 2012s minimum, compared to the average minimum for the years 1979 - 2000. This is an area approximately 43% of the size of the contiguous United States. And, for the fifth consecutive year--and fifth time in recorded history--ice-free navigation was possible in the Arctic along the coast of Canada (the Northwest Passage), and along the coast of Russia (the Northeast Passage or Northern Sea Route.) "We are now in uncharted territory," said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze. "While we've long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur. While lots of people talk about opening of the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic islands and the Northern Sea Route along the Russian coast, twenty years from now from now in August you might be able to take a ship right across the Arctic Ocean." Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system. The polar ice caps help to regulate global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. White snow and ice at the poles reflects sunlight, but dark ocean absorbs it. Replacing bright sea ice with dark ocean is a recipe for more and faster global warming. The fall air temperature over the Arctic has increased by 4 - 6°F in the past decade, and we could already be seeing the impacts of this warming in the mid-latitudes, by an increase in extreme weather events. Another non-trivial impact of the absence of sea ice is that is causes increased melting in Greenland, contributing to sea level rise.


Figure 1. A sunny, slushy day near the North Pole on September 1, 2012. Webcam image courtesy of the North Pole Environmental Observatory. It won't be many years before Santa's workshop needs pontoons in the summer to stay afloat.

2) Agricultural Drought in the U.S., Europe, and Asia (Summer)
Drought is civilization's great enemy, and the most dangerous threat from global warming. Drought impacts the two things we need to live--food and water. When the rains stop and the soil dries up, cities die and civilizations collapse, as people abandon lands no longer able to supply them with the food and water they need to live. In a harbinger of things to come, severe droughts affected important agricultural regions across the globe during summer 2012, including eastern Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and central North America. Wheat, corn, and soybean crops were among those heavily impacted; global food prices rose by 10 percent during July. While it will be several months before the costs of America's worst drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl are known, the 2012 drought is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 - 1 percentage points, said Deutsche Bank Securities. Since the U.S. GDP is approximately $15 trillion, the drought of 2012 represents a $75 - $150 billion hit to the U.S. economy. This is in the same range as the estimate of $77 billion in costs for the drought, made by Purdue University economist Chris Hurt in August, and the Great U.S. Drought of 2012 is going to be one of the top-five most expensive weather disasters in world history.


Figure 2. Corn in Colby, Kansas withers in the Great Drought of 2012 on May 27. Image credit: Wunderphotographer treeman.

3) Superstorm Sandy (October 29)
Hurricane Sandy was the most powerful and second most destructive Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Ten hours before landfall, at 9:30 am EDT October 29, the total energy of Sandy's winds of tropical storm-force and higher peaked at 329 terajoules--the highest value for any Atlantic hurricane since at least 1969, and equivalent to more than five Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. At landfall, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds spanned 943 miles of the the U.S. coast. No hurricane on record has been larger. Sandy's huge size prompted high wind warnings to be posted from Chicago to Eastern Maine, and from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Florida's Lake Okeechobee--an area home to 120 million people. Sandy's winds simultaneously caused damage to buildings on the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore, and toppled power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada--locations 1200 miles apart! Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on October 29, with sustained winds of 80 mph and a central minimum pressure of 946 mb--the lowest pressure on record along the Northeast coast. The Battery, in New York City Harbor, had an observed water level of 13.88 feet, besting the previous record set by Hurricane Donna in 1960 by 3 feet. Sandy's catastrophic storm surge was responsible for the majority of the 131 deaths and $62 billion in damage in the U.S. Sandy also brought torrential rainfall in excess of 12 inches to the mid-Atlantic, and blizzard conditions to the central and southern Appalachians. Sandy's late-season show of unprecedented strength, unusual track, and exceptionally damaging storm surge were made more likely due to climate change, and the storm helped bring more awareness and debate about the threat of climate change to the U.S. than any event since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Figure 3. Hurricane Sandy at 10:10 am EDT October 28, 2012. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

4) Greenland Ice Sheet melt and Glacier Calving (July)
Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. But during four consecutive days July 11 - 14, temperatures rose above freezing at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is 10,551 feet (3216 meters) above sea level and 415 miles (670 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Melting of the ice sheet dramatically accelerated, and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. This was the greatest melt since 1889, according to ice core records. On July 16, an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan calved from the Petermann Glacier in Northeast Greenland. This was the second huge ice island to calve from the glacier since 2010. The glacier's margins have now retreated to the farthest point in the last 150 years. The record melt in Greenland caused the highest loss of ice mass observed in the satellite era, and melting from Greenland is now thought to cause about 0.7 mm/year of global sea level rise, which is about 20 - 25% of the global total.


Figure 4. The massive 46 square-mile iceberg two times the size of Manhattan that calved from Greenland's Petermann Glacier on July 16, 2012, as seen on July 21, 2012, using MODIS satellite imagery. Image credit: NASA.

5) Super Typhoon Bopha (December 3 - 4)
The deadliest weather disaster of 2012 was Super Typhoon Bopha. Bopha was the strongest typhoon ever hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, making landfall as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead or missing, mostly on the island of Mindanao. If the missing people are presumed dead, this total would make Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. Bopha affected over 5.4 million people and left over 700,000 people homeless. With damages estimated at $1.04 billion, Bopha is the most costly typhoon ever to hit the Philippines. The previous record was the $600 million price tag of 2009's Typhoon Parma.


Figure 5. December 7, 2012: rescuers and residents look for missing victims amongst toppled tree trunks and coconut shells after flash floods caused by Super Typhoon Bopha hit Compostela Valley on Mindanao Island in the Philippines on December 3 - 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jay Morales, Malacanang Photo Bureau, HO)

6) Northern Hemisphere Warmth (throughout 2012)
Land areas in the Northern Hemisphere reached record warm monthly values for four consecutive months (April - July). Much of the unusual warmth occurred in North America; Canada was 3rd warmest on record for the period January- September, and the United States had its warmest year on record. Many European countries and Russia had record to near-record warm summer temperatures in 2012.


Figure 6. This young lady chose to cool her heels in the Fox River on June 28, 2012, as the temperature was topping 102 degrees in Carpentersville, IL imag credit: wunderphotographer pjpix.

7) Eurasian Continent Cold Wave (January 24 - February 17)
Europe's worst cold snap in at least 26 years hit central and eastern Europe hard during a 3-week period in late January and the first half of February. The 824 deaths being blamed on the cold wave made it 2012's second deadliest weather disaster. Parts of the Danube River froze over for the first time in 25 years, and Northeast China through eastern Inner Mongolia recorded extremely cold minimum temperatures ranging between -30°C to -40°C.


Figure 7. Snow falls in Trogir, Croatia on February 3, 2012. Image credit: wunderphotographer antoniomise.

8) China Floods (July 21 - 22)
Torrential downpours on July 21 - 22 affected Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, with several stations recording their highest daily precipitation on record. Mentougou recorded an impressive 305.2 mm (12 inches) of precipitation in one day. The floods killed 129 people and did $4.8 billion in damage, one of a record nine billion-dollar weather disasters to affect China in 2012.


Figure 8. A Chinese man uses a signboard to signal motorists driving through flooded street following a heavy rain in Beijing Saturday, July 21, 2012. China's government says these were the heaviest rains to hit Beijing in six decades. The torrential downpour left low-lying streets flooded and knocked down trees. (AP Photo)

9) Pakistan Floods (August 21 - September 30)
Torrential monsoon rains caused deadly floods in Pakistan, with Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh provinces the hardest hit. Over 5 million people and over 400,000 hectares of crops were affected by the floods, with more than 460,000 houses and infrastructures damaged or destroyed. The death toll of 455 made it Earth's 3rd deadliest weather-related disaster of 2012.


Figure 9. A driver makes his way on a street flooded from heavy rain in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

10) African Floods (July - October)
Heavy rains in Nigeria killed at least 431, making it Earth's 4th deadliest weather disaster of 2012. Over 3 million people were affected by flooding across 15 countries in Africa, most notably Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Chad. The floods destroyed farmlands, homes, and schools, and caused outbreaks of cholera and other diseases.

Other Top Ten Weather Lists of 2012
My Top Ten U.S. Weather Events of 2012.

Wunderground's Angela Fritz's has a list of Top Climate Events of 2012.

A group of seventeen climate scientists and climate bloggers created a Climate Disruption: Critical 2012 Events and Stories list of 19 key climate change events that occurred in 2012.

TWC's Stu Ostro has his annual post showing his pick for top weather images of 2012.

Climate Central has a top-ten most striking images of 2012 post.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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1174. beell
Quoting LargoFl:
GFS still has my area in the 70's at 150 hours......


You have to go out about 240 hrs on the GFS for the real cold ADDED: for your part of the world. Based on 850mb temps alone, Upper 30's for the lows Thurs/Fri after next.

Cold air advection and breezy conditions would be a couple of factors to consider in dropping the temps a few more degrees.
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Do I get to pick which of these forecasts I want? I'll take the warmer one. :D Lol good morning all.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT ONCE THE UPPER LOW MOVES NE OF THE REGION
THU AFTERNOON...THE END OF THE PRECIP WILL BE HERE!!! COOLER AND
DRY WX IS EXPECTED FOR FRI INTO THE WEEKEND.



Thursday-Sunday the sun returns to Southeast Texas with warmer temperatures each day.

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1172. LargoFl
Quoting AussieStorm:

We are in our 2nd month of Summer. It was predicted to be hot but no one thought it would be this hot for this long, it's been brutal.
ok thanks aussie..yeah the weather has been strange alright this year
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Quoting LargoFl:
Good Morning..err evening to you down there..say aussie..is it summer now by you?..I have no idea

We are in our 2nd month of Summer. It was predicted to be hot but no one thought it would be this hot for this long, it's been brutal. Summer is December 1 -> February 28.
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1170. LargoFl
1 week from today still in the 70's..cold front where?..
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Seems like the north and south have switched temperatures for a day. Aussie, hope you guys have cooled down a bit.

Kori, had a friend drive down to Opolousas this weekend, said the sides along 49 are really under water. You guys down there have had even more rain than we have.

Everyone have a great Monday and Aussie, have a great Tuesday.
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1168. LargoFl
GFS still has my area in the 70's at 150 hours......
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1167. LargoFl
Good Morning..err evening to you down there..say aussie..is it summer now by you?..I have no idea
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1166. LargoFl
Gee Mississippi cant catch a break huh..seems like a month now same thing...................THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOBILE HAS ISSUED A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE
FOLLOWING RIVERS IN MISSISSIPPI...

CHICKASAWHAY AT LEAKESVILLE AFFECTING GEORGE...GREENE AND WAYNE COUNTIES.

.HEAVY RAINFALL IS FORECAST TO OCCUR OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. AS A RESULT...RIVER
LEVELS ARE FORECAST TO RISE AND A FLOOD WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT. IT IS
EMPHASIZED THAT THE FOLLOWING FORECAST IS BASED ON THE EXPECTED RAINFALL DURING
THE NEXT 24 HOURS. IF LESS RAINFALL OCCURS... IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO REVISE
THIS STAGE FORECAST DOWNWARD.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
G'eve Aussie. Still frying?

Not the past few days here in Sydney but other places yes, very much so. I have seen temps up to 48C/118F in SW Queensland. Also in the next week the Monsoon trough is supposed to head south. It's quiet late and normally comes south just before Christmas. As you can see, there hasn't been very much.



This is the next 8 days forecast.
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1164. LargoFl
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Will do.
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1162. LargoFl
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM MONDAY TO NOON CST
TUESDAY...

.SUB FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE ALREADY IN PLACE ACROSS THE
MIDSOUTH WITH LITTLE WARMING DURING THE DAY TODAY. RAINFALL IS
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE AREA BY MIDDAY TODAY WHICH COULD
RESULT IN FREEZING RAIN ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE MIDSOUTH. THE
HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION AND POTENTIAL FOR MINOR ICE ACCUMULATION
WILL BE FROM MIDDAY MONDAY THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.
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1161. LargoFl
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Good MorningKori.
Good Morning Largo.
Warm and humid here this morning.
70F on da bayou.
Good Morning Pensacola..let us know how it is when you get that cold front ok..supposed to stall out later in the week near northern florida
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G'eve Aussie. Still frying?
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1159. LargoFl
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Good MorningKori.
Good Morning Largo.
Warm and humid here this morning.
70F on da bayou.
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Morning, folks,

62 on the back porch this morning in central VA. Looks like winter will arrive next week but now we're basking in April/May temps.

Have a good day.
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TC Narelle


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Morning everyone and evening Aussie
After 3 days... this fog really needs to go away.... I'd rather have snow
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Good morning everyone, it finally feels more like January with the temperature in the mid 20s instead of the low 40s for a low. I got a good amount of rain the past two days, over an inch probably. I am ready for cold air and snow.
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Good morning. Can't tell if its January or May up here, 51 degrees this morning, and rising! Stuck in the clouds and fog again though, third day in a row.
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Morning everyone, evening Aussie. It's 41 degrees today so far, but the forecast is it will be in the upper 30s for a high. I'm kind of glad it's too wet to take the kids out to recess. And there are people who think it never gets cold in Louisiana...
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1151. LargoFl
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1150. LargoFl
GFS at 48 hours, rains still here...
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1149. LargoFl
wow look at that fog in the NE.............
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1148. LargoFl
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1147. LargoFl
7-day for the Tampa area,cool down coming though...
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1146. LargoFl
Good Morning Folks!..another warm day ahead for us here..
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That huge non-tropical low in the central Atlantic that we were all fantasizing about is taking shape. Water vapor imagery shows that it is collocated with an upper low and embedded in a region of high ambient cyclonic vorticity. This is typical of extratropical cyclones, and all of the models continue to suggest that it will not acquire a warm core.

Sure does have a large circulation envelope though, as per scatterometer and satellite data. A lot of gale force winds being generated, too.


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TC Emang well sheared...

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Quoting AussieStorm:

Evening mate!


how's the day there...

Im up still, it's 4:50 AM here
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1142. whitewabit (Mod)
Wave Model - NE Pacific Surf Height
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


ouch....

Hey mate

Evening mate!
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look at that huge pink area extending for hundred of miles... waves over 21 FEET
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An extratropical low situated east of Japan is taking shape. It is quickly moving away from Japan as it is heading towards northeast. It is expected to become a more powerful extratropical cyclone.

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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
SUBJECT: Extratropical Low In Sea East Of Japan

At 15:00 PM JST, Extratropical Low (976 hPa) located at 33.0N 141.0E. This low is reported as moving east northeast at 40 knots.


976mb??!! It was at 997 about 12 hours ago...

expected to be in the 930s in 36 hrs
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1137. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
SUBJECT: Extratropical Low In Sea East Of Japan

At 15:00 PM JST, Extratropical Low (976 hPa) located at 33.0N 141.0E. This low is reported as moving east northeast at 40 knots.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47041
Quoting AussieStorm:




ouch....

Hey mate
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1135. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
A TROPICAL CYCLONE ALERT REMAINS IN FORCE FOR TONGA


At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression 08F (1000 hPa) located at 17.3S 177.2W has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. The depression is reported as moving east at 9 knots. Position good based on hourly GMS visible imagery and peripheral surface reports.

System has become slightly disorganized in the past 24 hours. Deep convection displaced to the east of low level circulation center. System lies under an upper unidirectional westerly flow in a moderate sheared environment. Cyclonic circulation extends up to 500 HPA. Sea surface temperature is around 29C. Dvorak analysis based on 0.25 wrap on LOG 10 spiral giving DT=1.5, MET and PT agree. Final Dvorak number based on DT.

Dvorak intensity: T1.5/2.0/W0.5/24 HRS

Most global models agree on a southeastward movement with some intensification.

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 18.3S 175.8W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
24 HRS: 19.9S 173.9W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
48 HRS: 21.8S 169.2W - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47041
1134. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #8
DEPRESSION TROPICALE, FORMER EMANG (06-20122013)
10:00 AM RET January 14 2013
========================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression, Former Emang (999 hPa) located at 12.5S 79.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving southwest at 5 knots.

Near Gale Force Winds
======================
30 NM radius from the center, extending up to 60 NM in the southern-eastern sector, and extending locally up to 140 NM from the center in the southern sector by gradient effect

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0/2.5/W0.5/6 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 13.1S 78.9E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)
24 HRS: 13.6S 78.4E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)
48 HRS: 14.1S 76.9E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)
72 HRS: 14.7S 75.0E - 50 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additional Information
======================
During the past 6 hours, the general structure of the system has remained rather fluctuating with convection only in the western sector. Indeed, the system is suffering from the moderate easterly upper level constraint, and has difficulties to intensify.

System is tracking southwestward on the northwestern edge of a mid-tropospheric ridge, and low geopotentials southwestward. It may keep on this track for the next 24-36 hours, and then and after, it may track west southwestward, on the northern edge of the subtropical high pressure that should rebuild southward.

00z CIMSS data still show an east southeasterly constraint. Upper level environment should remain hostile for the next 18-24 hours and may improve a little beyond. System should intensify slightly during 48-60 hours. At the end of the forecasting period, Thursday evening or Friday, system should weaken, as it may undergo a westerly upper level constraint.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47041
1133. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory
TROPICAL CYCLONE NARELLE, CATEGORY ONE (05U)
2:38 PM WST January 14 2013
=========================================

At 2:00 PM WST, Tropical Cyclone Narelle (987 hPa) located at 26.3S 109.7E or 560 km west northwest of Geraldton has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving south at 11 knots.

Gale Force Winds
==================
80 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
120 NM from the center in southeast quadrant
120 NM from the center in southwest quadrant
80 NM from the center in northwest quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5/3.0/W1.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 28.9S 109.8E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
24 HRS: 31.4S 111.2E - 30 knots (Tropical Low)
48 HRS: 39.4S 122.5E - 30 knots (Tropical Low)
72 HRS: 47.5S 139.9E - 30 knots (Tropical Low)

Additional Information
======================
Tropical Cyclone Narelle continues to weaken. Shear has shifted to the NNW and will increase as the system moves further south into the upper westerlies. Subjective DVK FT/CI is 2.5/3.0 in agreement with ADT. No DT was assigned, FT was based on MET [with PAT not resulting in any adjustment to MET].

Model guidance continues to show a relatively low spread in track forecasts with expected motion generally toward the south during Monday and then accelerating to the southeast but losing coherence during Tuesday. When the remnants pass by the south west of the state the surface winds are not expected to be very strong but stronger winds just above the surface pose a risk to any going fires.

Higher than normal tides are expected along the west coast as a shelf wave moves down the coast.
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weather forecast for my area.... notice the dramatic changes
I live in the NYC area

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So maybe 43 isn't so bad. Lol. From a local met on Facebook.

Kerry Cooper
It is cold here but wind chills are well below zero up north. So yes it could be worse.

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Foggy here again...but not as much as today in the morning

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Preparing for a big event.... 2


I note you cite no source for this. A quick google shows this only appearing on various fairly *ahem* non mainstream "The-End-Is-Nigh" sort of blogs.

Is this information cited anywhere credible?
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so much fog again...
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Preparing for a big event.... 2

January 12, 2013 – CHINA – Yesterday, it was reported that China – not currently suffering from any food shortages – is amassing rice stockpiles. This past year, the country mysteriously imported four times the rice over 2011 purchases: United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012, substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons imported in 2011. The confusion stems from the fact that there is no obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is that China’s own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being stockpiled. Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons of rice for no apparent reason? Perhaps it’s related to China’s aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia. Yesterday’s revelation follows reports over the past several years of the Chinese amassing commodities in warehouses throughout the nation. For example, Reuters reported last year that: At Qingdao Port, home to one of China’s largest iron ore terminals, hundreds of mounds of iron ore, each as tall as a three-storey building, spill over into an area signposted “grains storage” and almost to the street. Further south, some bonded warehouses in Shanghai are using car parks to store swollen copper stockpiles – another unusual phenomenon that bodes ill for global metal prices and raises questions about China’s ability to sustain its economic growth as the rest of the world falters. Several months ago, at least one analyst speculated that a commodities buying spree involving 300,000 tons of metals in another Chinese province was motivated by an attempt to keep local smelters running, thereby ensuring continued tax revenues to government. But that doesn’t explain the rice-buying. What we do know is that the world may be headed – led by the United States – toward a period of significant inflation if sovereign debt crises lead to additional “quantitative easing” and other expansions of the monetary supply.
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Global Events..... Catastrophic Storm? Seems like they are preparing for one...


Beijing hardens subways for nuclear, gas attacks January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013 – CHINA - China recently upgraded its subway system in Beijing and revealed that its mass transit was hardened to withstand nuclear blasts or chemical gas attacks in a future war, state-run media reported last month. The disclosure of the military aspects of the underground rail system followed completion and opening of a new subway line in the Chinese capital Dec. 30, along with the extension of several other lines. The subway upgrade is part of an effort to ease gridlocked traffic in the city of 20 million people. According to Chinese civil defense officials quoted Dec. 5 in the Global Times, a newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, the subway can “withstand a nuclear or poison gas attack.” A U.S. official said the disclosure of the subway’s capabilities to withstand attack is unusual, since it highlights Beijing’s strategic nuclear modernization program, something normally kept secret from state-controlled media. The strategic nuclear buildup includes the expansion of offensive nuclear forces, missile defenses, and anti-satellite arms. China is building new long-range mobile missiles, including the DF-41, and plans to deploy up to eight new ballistic missile submarines. Reports from Asia indicate the Chinese military is also planning to build new long-range strategic nuclear bombers. Russia too is expanding its nuclear forces with new submarines and missiles. Moscow announced last year that it is also constructing some 5,000 underground bomb shelters in Russia’s capital in anticipation of a possible future nuclear conflict. By contrast, the U.S. government has done little to bolster civil defense measures, preferring the largely outdated concept of mutual assured destruction that leaves populations vulnerable to attack and building only limited missile defenses that the Obama administration has said are not designed to counter Chinese or Russian nuclear strikes. The Obama administration instead is seeking deep cuts in U.S. nuclear forces as part of President Barack Obama’s policy of seeking the elimination of all nuclear arms. According to the Global Times report, the new subway lines were “designed to be used in the event of an emergency, for underground evacuation from one station to another, emergency shelter, and storage for emergency supplies.” A military engineer identified only as Hu and as part of the Chinese military’s Second Artillery Corps, which builds and deploys China’s nuclear arsenal, helped design the civil defense aspects of the subway. Special steel-reinforced gates installed on all subway tunnels and used to separate stations are one key feature of the reinforced subway. Hu said it is designed to protect people who seek shelter during a heavy storm, toxic gas attack, or a nuclear strike. “The station has three hours of breathable air after the gates are closed, isolating the station from the outside world,” Hu was quoted as saying. “Although each gate weighs around 7 tons, it takes just three minutes for two adults to open or close it manually,” she said. The new blast gates were introduced into subway construction projects in 2007. A second Chinese official, identified in the report as Liang, said each subway also has an air filtration system in case of a chemical weapons gas attack. The system is designed to keep air flowing into the station. “People can actually shelter in the subway for more than three hours because of this system,” Liang said. Above-ground subway exits also can be sealed during an attack, Liang said, using heavy blast doors concealed behind temporary walls. Additional civil defense barriers and doors are being installed in the Beijing subway later, according to Cao Yanping, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Civil Air-Raid Shelter. Jiang Hao, a Chinese military engineer from the 4th Engineer Design & Research Institute of General Staff Department, told the newspaper that blast gates already are in use in cities such as Nanjing, in Jiangsu Province, and Shenyang, in Liaoning Province. “The new facilities also have other defensive capabilities like emergency communication equipment at each station, which makes effective communication possible during a conflict,” Jiang Hao, the engineer, told reporters in Beijing. China’s network of underground tunnels for nuclear weapons and missiles was disclosed only recently, and highlighted in Georgetown University’s Asian Arms Control Project, dubbed it China’s “Great Underground Wall.” –Washington FB

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That extratropical low epected to bomb-out should hook-up with the Alutian Vortex. Once the MJO pregresses into phase 7 or so, the subtropical jet could also hook up with this beast! Which in turn will solidify WPO/EPO/AO/NAO/PNA blocking.

With a massive SSW event ready to dislodge the Polar Vortex to the south, we(eastern 2/3 of US) very well might see a record-shattering(or at least a significant) arctic outbreak by next week or so!
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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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