A dramatic greening of the Arctic over the past 30 years

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:30 PM GMT on March 18, 2013

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A remarkable transformation in the vegetation of the Arctic has occurred over the past 30 years, according to a study of satellite data published on March 10, 2013, in Nature Climate Change. The authors found that Arctic vegetation growth and temperatures in 2011 resembled what occurred 250 - 430 miles farther to the south back in 1982. That's the approximate distance in latitude between San Francisco and San Diego, or Washington D.C. and Atlanta. More greening occurred in Eurasia than North America, and the Arctic's new greenness is visible on the ground as an increasing abundance of tall shrubs and trees. Large patches of vigorously productive vegetation now span a third of the northern landscape, an area about equal to the contiguous United States. "Higher northern latitudes are getting warmer, Arctic sea ice and the duration of snow cover are diminishing, the growing season is getting longer and plants are growing more," said co-author Dr. Ranga Myneni of Boston University's Department of Earth and Environment, in a NASA press release. "In the north's Arctic and boreal areas, the characteristics of the seasons are changing, leading to great disruptions for plants and related ecosystems." The changes in the Arctic's vegetation are being driven by human-caused global warming, which is occurring in the Arctic at more than double the rate of the rest of the planet. This so-called "Arctic amplification" is due, in part, to the increased melting of ice and snow near the pole. When ice and snow melt, they uncover darker surfaces underneath, which absorb more sunlight and increase Arctic temperatures in a vicious cycle which melts even more ice and snow. Using 17 climate models, the researchers predicted that a continuation of warming in the Arctic in coming decades could lead to over a 1300 mile latitudinal shift in Arctic vegetation zones by the year 2100, compared to the period 1951 - 1980. That's a distance greater than the north-south extent of the contiguous United States. However, more frequent forest fires, increased pest outbreaks, and summertime droughts due to a warming climate might slow down Arctic plant growth.


Figure 1. Of the 10 million square miles (26 million square kilometers) of northern vegetated lands, 34 to 41 percent showed increases in plant growth (green and blue), 3 to 5 percent showed decreases in plant growth (orange and red), and 51 to 62 percent showed no changes (yellow) over the past 30 years. Satellite data in this visualization are from AVHRR and MODIS. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.


Figure 2. Trees take hold as permafrost thaws near the Altai Mountains in Russia. Credit: Terry Callaghan, EU-Interact/Sergey Kirpotin, Tomsk State University.

Commentary
One often hears complaints that global warming may be greatly overestimated, due to many temperature sensors being located in increasingly urbanized areas where local "urban heat island" effects are not being properly considered. If this were true (and it isn't), then we would not expect to see "nature's thermometers"--plants and animals--change their behavior and ranges much. But plants and animals are responding in major ways to the warming climate, and the greening of the Arctic is merely one more example of "nature's thermometers" telling us that the planet is warming significantly. Some other examples:

Fall is falling back: During 1982 to 1999, the end of the growing season was delayed by 4.3 days in the Northern Hemisphere. During 2000 to 2008, the end of the growing season was further delayed by an additional 2.3 days. In the U.S., fall now occurs ten days later than it did 30 years ago.

Spring is springing forward: Spring events, like bird and butterfly migrations, flower blooming times, and frog mating, have been advancing by about three days per decade over the past 30 years.

Animals are changing migration patterns: New species have colonized previously ‘cool’ regions, including sea anemones in Monterey Bay, and lichens and butterflies in Europe. Over the past 50 years, maximum range shifts vary from 200 km (butterflies) to 1,000 km (marine copepods).

Related blog post: New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for gardeners shows a warming climate

Dr. Myneni's petition to protect Earth from climate change
Professor Myneni of Boston University's Department of Earth & Environment, co-author of the greening Arctic study, has developed a simple one-sentence petition that he hopes one billion people will sign by Earth Day, 2014:

Dear Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon,

We, the People of the Earth, request You to act judiciously and expeditiously to protect the Earth from anthropogenic climate change.

Respectfully,
People of the Earth


The petition, which I have signed, is at: https://yourclimatechange.org/, and was recently featured by Discovery News.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Some friendly advice: I think your words would carry more weight and credibility if you could please link to a science source instead of a heavy-duty denialist site, an idceological trove of illogical and scientifically-baseless blatherings such as, "Environmentalism will be worse for the poor than climate change" and "The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is neither as strong nor as demanding of action as is widely claimed."


You are never ever wrong, I'd bet your not married either!
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ECMWF and GFS both showing a storm for the NE next week.

ECMWF:
Link

GFS:
Link
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789. VR46L
Quoting PedleyCA:


She didn't say CONUS and I was in the Mood to mess with her.... (70.0F)


LOL...

36°F Here sigh
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Quoting VR46L:


I believe she meant CONUS ! But thanks for the info Ped !


She didn't say CONUS and I was in the Mood to mess with her.... (70.0F)
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787. VR46L
Quoting PedleyCA:


Hawaii


I believe she meant CONUS ! But thanks for the info Ped !
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0285
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0519 PM CDT TUE MAR 19 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...SCNTRL THROUGH SERN TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 192219Z - 192345Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT

SUMMARY...STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INITIATE OVER CNTRL/SCNTRL TX AREA
BY 23Z AND SUBSEQUENTLY DEVELOP SEWD TOWARD SERN TX DURING THE
EVENING. ISOLATED LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND WILL BE THE MAIN
THREATS.

DISCUSSION...THE ATMOSPHERE HAS BECOME MODERATELY UNSTABLE SOUTH OF
A STATIONARY FRONT ACROSS CNTRL TX WHERE EML HAS OVERSPREAD AXIS OF
MID TO UPPER 50S BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS IN WARM SECTOR. LATEST
VISIBLE IMAGERY INDICATED CUMULUS INCREASING IN VICINITY OF THIS
BOUNDARY. UPPER JET STREAK ADVANCING FROM NM THROUGH WRN AND CNTRL
TX WILL PROMOTE ASCENT THROUGH A DEEPER LAYER AS IT MOVES ABOVE THE
FRONTAL ZONE. THESE PROCESS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO WEAKEN THE MID
LEVEL CAPPING INVERSION AND PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THUNDERSTORMS
WITHIN THE HOUR. EFFECTIVE SHEAR AROUND 50 KT WILL PROMOTE THE
POTENTIAL FOR SOME SUPERCELL STRUCTURES BEFORE ACTIVITY
CONSOLIDATES. ISOLATED LARGE HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE...AND LARGE
LOW-LEVEL TEMPERATURE-DEWPOINT SPREADS WILL ALSO PROMOTE A THREAT OF
DAMAGING WIND.

..DIAL/THOMPSON.. 03/19/2013
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3743
Quoting PedleyCA:


Hawaii


Exactly. Unless you include US Embassy's in the southern Hemisphere. These are also supposed to be US "territory" as well and enjoy "local" postage and so forth.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
VR... Google southern most point in the USA" There is this big hunk of concrete that people drive, fly, float thousands of miles to get their picture taken in front of...LOL


Hawaii
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Quoting LargoFl:

Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community, or in our national forests, they help fight climate change. [...]

Speaking of trees...

World’s oldest trees dying due to climate change: study

By Agence France-Presse

Scientists Friday warned of an alarming increase in the death rates of the largest living organisms on the planet, the giant, old trees that harbour and sustain countless birds and wildlife.

Research by universities in Australia and the United States, published in Science, said ecosystems worldwide were in danger of losing forever their largest and oldest trees unless there were policy changes to better protect them.

“It’s a worldwide problem and appears to be happening in most types of forest,” said David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University, the lead author of a study into the problem.

“Just as large-bodied animals such as elephants, tigers, and cetaceans have declined drastically in many parts of the world, a growing body of evidence suggests that large old trees could be equally imperilled.”

Lindenmayer, along with colleagues from the James Cook University in Australia and Washington University in America, undertook their study after examining Swedish forestry records going back to the 1860s.

They found alarming losses of big trees, ranging from 100 to 300 years old, at all latitudes in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, South America, Latin America and Australia.

The trees at risk included mountain ash in Australia, pine trees in America, California redwoods, and baobabs in Tanzania.

The study showed that trees were not only dying en masse in forest fires, but were also perishing at 10 times the normal rate in non-fire years.

The study said it appeared to be down to a combination of rapid climate change causing drought and high temperatures, as well as rampant logging and agricultural land clearing.

“It is a very, very disturbing trend,” said Bill Laurance of James Cook University.

“We are talking about the loss of the biggest living organisms on the planet, of the largest flowering plants on the planet, of organisms that play a key role in regulating and enriching our world.”

Large old trees play critical ecological roles, providing nesting or sheltering cavities for up to 30 percent of all birds and animals in some ecosystems.

They also store huge amounts of carbon, recycle soil nutrients, create rich patches for other life to thrive in, and influence the flow of water within landscapes.

“Big trees supply abundant food for numerous animals in the form of fruits, flowers, foliage and nectar,” said Laurance.

“Their hollows offer nests and shelter for birds and animals… and their loss could mean extinction for such creatures.”

The scientists said policies and management practices must be put in place that intentionally grow such trees and reduce their mortality rates.

“Targeted research is urgently needed to better understand the key threats to their existence and to devise strategies to counter them,” they added.

“Without such initiatives, these iconic organisms and the many species dependent on them could be greatly diminished or lost altogether.”
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Quoting Skyepony:
Just dorked a launch.. didn't know anything about it..saw contrail, heard the rumble.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket (AV-037) will launch the U.S. military's second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Moved forward from May. Delayed from March 14.



Thank you for the link ... I did not have that one. Have NASA tv on my Royu 2 but have not checked it out ... need to learn more.

Does not sound good. Will check into it. -happy vernal equinox - rod
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647 RitaEvac: End times huh, the young and clueless are sitting on the tracks and the freight train is coming in like the bullet train

More like the old&careless are tying their young&worried onto the tracks through legislative ensnarlment because "I'm gonna be dead before that happens."
For them, "give me that ol' time religion" means actively working to create an Armageddon due to their fear of facing Judgement alone.
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Updated forecast for West Palm Beach...

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Quoting bappit:

You don't really expect an honest reply, do you? But, I admit, you have performed the ritual correctly.


:)

No, I don't expect a reply. I just can't help myself...

It's like pressing a shiny red button that is clearly not connected to anything... yeah, it's an impotent gesture, but still... Shiny! Red!

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Quoting Skyepony:
Just dorked a launch.. didn't know anything about it..saw contrail, heard the rumble.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket (AV-037) will launch the U.S. military's second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Moved forward from May. Delayed from March 14.



For North Korea. Jives with the supposed intelligence that the N. Koreans have better nuke and rocket tech than we thought.

We know the drill. Aim for civilian leadership first. Do they even have civilians?

We're probably just being deceived by our own government anyway.

We all know our own media, government, and corporations lie to us at least as much as the North Koreans lie to their people, right?

If they lie to you so much about everything you already know, "Brand X better than Brand Y, yadayada, 9 out of 10 doctors prefer," then of course they lie to you about everything you don't already know.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
yeah i know i have no idea how it got there

)
Someone typed green letters..:)
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Quoting Skyepony:
Just dorked a launch.. didn't know anything about it..saw contrail, heard the rumble.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket (AV-037) will launch the U.S. military's second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Moved forward from May. Delayed from March 14.

Dorked...damn thats funny..not the failed rocket of course.
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Quoting MrMixon:


Could you provide a source for the bolded statement above? Thanks in advance!

You don't really expect an honest reply, do you? But, I admit, you have performed the ritual correctly.
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Quoting goosegirl1:



Link

That is a cool link. Who'd a thunk it?
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.
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Quoting dutchessweather:
Just remember, a warmer Earth is a better Earth for all but a few percent of the world! It's too bad the man-made global warming theory proved to be false, because it would have been nice to accelerate what has been happening for 18,000 years. As it is, we have to be content with greater crop production (from increased CO2), longer growing seasons (associated with the 18,000 year warm up), and higher-latitude farming (like what occurred during the medieval warm period). (and now, countdown to the flags for stating the truth)


Could you provide a source for the bolded statement above? Thanks in advance!
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Quoting dutchessweather:
Just remember, a warmer Earth is a better Earth for all but a few percent of the world! It's too bad the man-made global warming theory proved to be false, because it would have been nice to accelerate what has been happening for 18,000 years. As it is, we have to be content with greater crop production (from increased CO2), longer growing seasons (associated with the 18,000 year warm up), and higher-latitude farming (like what occurred during the medieval warm period). (and now, countdown to the flags for stating the truth)
Thanks for the laugh! That was funny! Completely illogical, thoroughly debunked, and entirely untrue--but funny!
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Quoting hydrus:
Science still cannot prove exactly how that caterpillar turns into the butterfly either..Which is interesting to me.



Link
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769. Skyepony (Mod)
Just dorked a launch.. didn't know anything about it..saw contrail, heard the rumble.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket (AV-037) will launch the U.S. military's second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Moved forward from May. Delayed from March 14.

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Quoting RitaEvac:


You always have a green (Mod) to the right of your name
yeah i know i have no idea how it got there

)
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Just remember, a warmer Earth is a better Earth for all but a few percent of the world! It's too bad the man-made global warming theory proved to be false, because it would have been nice to accelerate what has been happening for 18,000 years. As it is, we have to be content with greater crop production (from increased CO2), longer growing seasons (associated with the 18,000 year warm up), and higher-latitude farming (like what occurred during the medieval warm period). (and now, countdown to the flags for stating the truth)
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Someone succeeded somewhere. Loooks like the subject is bear farming.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


You always have a green (Mod)to the right of your name
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Look up the word "Phenotype" and in particular as it regards plant species.


Further, just to be a jackass, a caterpillar and a butterfly have almost nothing in common in morphology, yet they are simply different life stages of the same creature with the same DNA.

Oh yeah, midgets and giants can both impregnate the same woman.
Science still cannot prove exactly how that caterpillar turns into the butterfly either..Which is interesting to me.
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Quoting LargoFl:
key west must be really beautiful way down there....
Very beautiful...Must learn how to crawl on all fours before a visit...
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5863
After catching up from a day at the home office I've decided on dinner after enjoying some of the discussion/debate going on in here.

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Good night all. Talk to you tomorrow.
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758. VR46L
Quoting LargoFl:
nam keeps the rain in north florida..we'll see what happens..


Both the Nam and the GFS look kind to Texans on the Gulf
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well gotta feed the dogs lol..have a great afternoon folks..see ya later.
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Tall Cumulus clouds really building now. Maybe thunderstorms popping over the next couple of hours.

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Quoting kwgirl:
Actually, we are used to very little rain until June. I have trained my plants to grow on watering once a week. That is summer and winter. And I never water anything in the ground. Since we are three feet above sea level, there is a lens of brackish water plants tap into. We are lucky to have our water pipeline that runs down the length of the keys 150 miles. It taps into the Biscayne acquifer. I hope we get some rain as well, but as long as it lands on the mainland, we will be fine.


Our unexpected rain in Key Colony started around 4am. My "backyard" 2000 gallon cistern added roughly 800 gallons today and is 2/3's full. Happy here!! I'm 5 feet above sea level btw.
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Quoting kwgirl:
It is. It is considered an American Caribbean Island. In fact, going to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and I am sure Cuba, we have much the same climate and plants. The only thing we are missing is the mountains that make Cuba and Puerto Rico so special. So come on down Largo. You aren't that far away.
lol i was just watching a tourist video on key west..wow what a great place that is,your very lucky to live there.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Kinda like going to Graceland.

Completely pointless waste of time, but nobody said humans were rational creatures.
Yes, that ugly buoy is not worth looking at, but the rest of the town is worth it. The city fathers made that buoy because our Southernmost sign stating it is 90 miles to Cuba kept getting stolen. They were bound and determined that no one would steal this buoy. Someone save us from politicians!LOL
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Experts know things like this can work...the problem is companies and people can't get rich off of it since it's free energy out of thin air. No profits, means not in mans interest.


The profits are still there for the manufacturers and the supporting industries. Even every person that sends/receives deliveries would not see the added surcharges for fuel costs that are associated with the sometimes rapidly rising prices at the pumps. The "losers"? The fossil fuel industries. Perhaps they too should get on the band wagon before they price themselves out of their own markets?
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Quoting LargoFl:
key west must be really beautiful way down there....
It is. It is considered an American Caribbean Island. In fact, going to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and I am sure Cuba, we have much the same climate and plants. The only thing we are missing is the mountains that make Cuba and Puerto Rico so special. So come on down Largo. You aren't that far away.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
VR... Google southern most point in the USA" There is this big hunk of concrete that people drive, fly, float thousands of miles to get their picture taken in front of...LOL


Kinda like going to Graceland.

Completely pointless waste of time, but nobody said humans were rational creatures.
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key west must be really beautiful way down there....
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Quoting VR46L:


Will do in a minute PBW


For KWGIRL If this forecast by the GFS Holds true you are in for alot of rain

12Z GFS Precip
Okay by me. We are used to feast or famine. We had 23 inches in 24 hours one time. Something to see!
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nam keeps the rain in north florida..we'll see what happens..
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7 day for Tampa bay area..changed again..we'll see....
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745. VR46L
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
VR... Google southern most point in the USA" There is this big hunk of concrete that people drive, fly, float thousands of miles to get their picture taken in front of...LOL


LOL Will do in a minute PBW


For KWGIRL If this forecast by the GFS Holds true you are in for alot of rain

12Z GFS Precip
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743. txjac
Quoting AGWcreationists:
Actually, they can interbreed and produce viable offspring.

Pizzly Bears
When polar bears and grizzlies breed, they can produce fertile offspring. Why can't other species?

Why can polar bears breed with grizzlies?

Scientists confirmed last week that a bear shot by an Inuvialuit hunter in the Northwest Territories is a second-generation grizzly-polar bear hybrid—a "pizzly" or "grolar" bear. Why can some interbreeding species produce fertile offspring, while others—like horses and donkeys—cannot?

Because they have more recent common ancestry.

[much more at link]


Oh my ...that's a cute bear
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stay a lil alert tonight Rita................THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...TONIGHT

AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO THE AREA
TONIGHT AND INTERACT WITH A STATIONARY FRONT. THERE IS A SLIGHT
RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS GENERALLY WEST OF A COLUMBUS TO
HUNTSVILLE TO CROCKETT LINE TONIGHT. THE MAIN THREAT IN THIS AREA
IS LARGE HAIL BETWEEN 10 PM AND 5 AM WEDNESDAY. ELSEWHERE...A FEW
STRONG STORMS ARE POSSIBLE TONIGHT CAPABLE OF SMALL HAIL...BRIEF
HEAVY RAINFALL AND LIGHTNING.
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Quoting VR46L:


I didnt stop to think how far south you are !


Sorry .. but still hopeful that you will get a bit more rain over the next few days
Actually, we are used to very little rain until June. I have trained my plants to grow on watering once a week. That is summer and winter. And I never water anything in the ground. Since we are three feet above sea level, there is a lens of brackish water plants tap into. We are lucky to have our water pipeline that runs down the length of the keys 150 miles. It taps into the Biscayne acquifer. I hope we get some rain as well, but as long as it lands on the mainland, we will be fine.
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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.