Record Cold in a Warming World

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:58 PM GMT on March 04, 2014

Share this Blog
59
+

An impressive blast of Arctic air has toppled more records for all-time March cold over the Eastern U.S., in the wake of the major snowstorm that brought 4 - 8" of snow from Missouri to Maryland. Fresh snow is very efficient at radiating heat to space, and the 3.8" of snow that fell in Baltimore on Monday helped drive the temperature down to 5°F on Monday night, tying the city's all-time March low temperature record set on March 4, 1873. The temperature eventually dipped down to 4°F Tuesday morning, breaking the March record. Atlantic City, NJ, which got 5.5" of snow on Monday, also set a new all-time cold record for the month of March on Monday night, when the temperature fell to 2°F. The previous all-time low for the month of March was 3°F set on March 4, 2009. Official records for the Atlantic City area date back to 1874.

At least five other cities have set or tied all-time March cold temperature records during the current cold wave:

Charlottesville, Virginia set an all-time March low of 1°F Tuesday morning (previous record: 7°F on March 4, 1943.)

Billings, Montana set an all-time March low of -21° on March 2, 2014 (previous record: -19°.)

Pierre, South Dakota set an all-time March low on both March 1 and March 2, dipping to -20° (previous record: -19°F on March 11, 1998.)

Flint, Michigan set an all-time March low of -16° on March 3 (previous record: -12°.)

Rockford, Illinois tied its all-time March record low of -11° on March 3.

At least five U.S. cities have set records for their coldest winter on record, as detailed by wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt in his latest blog post. He has not yet compiled a list of cities that have set a record for their warmest winter on record during 2013 - 2014, but I know of at least two: Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tucson, Arizona.


Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from average as diagnosed by the GFS model at 00 UTC March 4, 2014. A negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) allowed cold air to spill southwards out of the Arctic over the Eastern U.S., bringing temperatures up to 36°F (20°C) below average. Compensating warm air flowed northwards into the Arctic underneath a ridge of high pressure over Europe. Data/image obtained using Climate Reanalyzer™ (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.

How can a planet that is warming experience record cold?
This week's impressive cold blast brings up the question: How can a planet undergoing "global warming" experience record cold? Well, it's a big planet, and the weather has naturally crazy extremes. We expect to see many locations experience all-time daily and monthly cold records each month. It's just that the number of these cold records will be outnumbered by all-time heat records, when averaged over the globe, and over decades. It is called Global Warming for good reason! A 2009 study led by Dr. Jerry Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO found that in the U.S., the ratio of the number of record daily highs to lows was near 1:1 in the 1960s and 1970s, but had increased to more than 2:1 during the decade of the 2000s, due to our warming climate. The ratio for the 2010’s was approximately 2.4-to-1 for daily records, for the four years 2010 - 2013, as explained in detail at Guy Walton's wunderblog. If "business as usual" emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide continue this century, this ratio of record highs to record lows is expected to increase to 20:1 by the year 2050, and 50:1 by 2100. So, even on planet experiencing extreme global warming, we will still see a few record low temperatures in the 22nd Century.


Figure 2. Ratio of record daily highs to record daily lows observed at about 1,800 weather stations in the 48 contiguous United States from January 1950 through September 2009. Each bar shows the proportion of record highs (red) to record lows (blue) for each decade. The 1960s and 1970s saw slightly more record daily lows than highs, but in the last 30 years record highs have increasingly predominated, with the ratio now about two-to-one for the 48 states as a whole. ©UCAR, graphic by Mike Shibao; data from a 2009 study led by Dr. Jerry Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.

Two Years Ago: Summer in March
When we do break all-time heat records in the current warming climate, we should expect that some of these new records will crush the old records in phenomenal ways. That was the case during the astonishing U.S. record-breaking "Summer in March" heat wave just two years ago, in 2012. It was the warmest March on record for the contiguous U.S., 8.6°F above the 20th century average for March, and 0.5°F warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began in 1895, only one month, January 2006, had a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012. Every state in the nation experienced a record warm daily temperature during March, and 25 states east of the Rockies had their warmest March on record. An additional 15 states had monthly temperatures ranking among their ten warmest. All-time March records were broken at 290 stations, with some stations breaking their all-time March record four times. There were 21 instances of the nighttime temperatures being as warm, or warmer, than the existing record daytime temperature for a given date. Four stations broke daily records by 30°F or more.


Figure 3. "This is the kind of sunset that you can expect to see in July, not in March. 77°F when I took this," said the caption on this wunderphoto taken on March 17, 2012 in Windom, Minnesota by wunderphotographer sally.

Jeff Masters

Apostle Islands Ice (walcek)
You drive on 3-ft. minimum thick ice for a couple miles out to these islands on frozen Lake Superior. (Saves on kayaking workout)
Apostle Islands Ice
Frozen Silence (RevMac)
No one else was out walking a very popular Nashville park on a frozen ice and snow storm day in early March.
Frozen Silence

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 983 - 933

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Quoting pcola57:


Hey sar..
For some reason the formatting on this blog changed..
Messed up my posting as well..
The best answer I can give you now is to Go to Dr. Rood's blog and check out the explanation..
The Graph is from NOAA..
And can be found @National Climatic Data Center
Hope this post comes through..

No problem, your post came through fine, Doug. Have you tried restarting from a cold shutdown? When I was still using IE I'd have occasional formatting problems, but I haven't seen any since I switched to Chrome. Naga gave me the information about the source of the original graph. I still don't understand why the graph would show back to 1880 with a 1901-2000 baseline but that's a minor point compared to the data the graph shows. I really can't understand how anyone who can read a graph or look at average temperatures can deny we are in a period of historically rapid warming. I remain a skeptic as to exactly how much man contributes and the eventual outcome, but the temperature data is undeniable.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mar .5, 2014 1:17 pm ET

South |


- Thursday will be a wet one across much of the region.

- Rain will fall, mainly from the Mississippi Valley eastward to coastal South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

- Rain falls into colder air at the surface Thursday night so ice is possible from parts of the western Carolinas to southern Virginia.

- Icy conditions could last well into the morning hours Friday.

- Highs in the 30s across most of Virginia and 40s from North Carolina into Georgia and eastern Alabama.

Highs in the 50s from Arkansas and Louisiana to western Alabama.

- Highs from the upper 50s to the upper 60s across Texas.

- Florida highs will range from near 60 to the low 80s Thursday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks everyone for the input..

I think it was from an image from the previous page as I closed that tab..
Signed out and signed back in..
Seems ok now..
Using Firefox here..


Hey sar..
Did you checkout the NCDC link in #559??
It's very useful in answering questions..
Hope you take the time..
I'm trying to be helpful..
Being honestly skeptical is not a bad thing..
I was for along time..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 979. sar2401:

I use Chrome and classic and all appears normal. As far as I can tell, WU has stopped doing updates to classic. Since it works perfectly, that's an excellent plan. Kind of like XP and all subsequent versions of Windows. :-)


LOL....

I use Chrome, IE, and FireFox. The log is a little glitchy at times - IMHO, that is mainly because this is a high demand website and there is lot to load. Sometimes it slows my computer down and I have to reboot to get things back to normal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Not for me. Were you on classic?

I use Chrome and classic and all appears normal. As far as I can tell, WU has stopped doing updates to classic. Since it works perfectly, that's an excellent plan. Kind of like XP and all subsequent versions of Windows. :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 963. Dakster:


Hey Ped. How is the weather your way. Hot here, mid 80s during the day.


We got 78.5F....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5796
Quoting 961. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I wouldn't worry much about the PDO for the next 2-3 weeks, it typically loses a lot of its amplitude around this time. If you remember, it got very muddled around this time last year as well.

This is true. Just one factor that won't necessarily prohibit an El Nino if we were to swing that way over the next month or two.

Looking at all of the typical factors that are monitored in forecasting a hurricane season, thus far, 2014 has the exact opposite characteristics of what you would see in an active Atlantic season; a Negative AMO Tripole, a good likelihood of an El Nino, and very low instability.



Utterly Pathetic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 972. beell:


It was cutting off the right side of the text for me (Chrome). It appears normal now.
everything is fine here
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53767
Quoting 968. pcola57:
Has the format here changed for anyone else?
Anyone?

Not here; still using IE7.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 968. pcola57:Has the format here changed for anyone else?
Anyone?
Not for me. Were you on classic?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 950. PedleyCA:


Let the good times roll.....
they will soon next saturday I start to wipe out winter on my blog and go with spring severe format till april 15 then start the switch to tropical format by may 15th for the summer
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53767
972. beell
Quoting 968. pcola57:
Has the format here changed for anyone else?
Anyone?


It was cutting off the right side of the text for me (Chrome). It appears normal now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:
Has the format here changed for anyone else?
Anyone?

I use classic and it looks the same to me. If you use the new site, you'll have to wait for someone to chime in who used the version. What are you seeing that's different?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Naga5000:


That's Dr. Rood's site. The graph did originate from the NOAA using the NCDC plotting feature.

LOL. Thanks, I rarely visit his blog but, while hunting around the subdirectories, I did find a lot of pictures of him. He looks like a fun guy. :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think we managed to reach 40 degrees today; it rained from sunrise to sunset. The wet and cold looks to continue for the Carolinas through most of Friday.

With cold air damming in place, the piedmont/mountains of North Carolina and southwestern Virginia could see significant accumulations of freezing rain. 18z NAM radar simulation valid 1am ET Friday:


Yuk! It looks like the Georgia Wedge is going to set up for us tomorrow. I think (hope) that it will not advect enough cold air to gives freezing precipitation problems, but it will be a cold, dreary day no matter what form the precipitation takes. Winters in Cleveland were like this. Well, obviously a lot colder with more snow, but the gray, gloomy skies were a constant feature. I left Cleveland to get away from this and Cleveland followed me here. :-(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Has the format here changed for anyone else?
Anyone?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 929. Grothar:


You're getting as corny as I am. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 958. sar2401:

Ah, OK, but that graph didn't come NOAA. It came from a site called ClimateKnowledge. The site looks almost like an FTP site with subdirectories of various graphs and pictures with no explanation of what they are or the data source. If the base is 1901-2000, there would be no reason, at least from a statistical point of view, to include years back to 1880. I don't know if the image is the same as what NOAA produced, although it has a NOAA watermark.


That's Dr. Rood's site. The graph did originate from the NOAA using the NCDC plotting feature.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Warm Up.
Member Since: September 24, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 4072
Quoting 691. maxcrc:
There is not any "historical" record cold .
Most of these records are biased because stations have moved to MUCH colder locations than before.
This cold blast is nothing compared to what happened in March 1885.
Atlantic City station was two steps from the ocean and it was moved miles inland, same thing for Baltimore and most of other stations.
Data from March 1885 shows much colder conditions in these areas than now, in the same points.
Obviously, if we compare pears with apples, so we can draw different conclusions.


I remember the winter, 1977? When the back bays froze over and the Atlantic City beaches were silent because ice jammed up the surf. Millions of dollars in damage to the docks and piers when the tide pushed up the ice and popped the bulkheads out like corks.

If that didn't happen this winter in AC then it wasn't that brutal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 950. PedleyCA:


Let the good times roll.....


Hey Ped. How is the weather your way. Hot here, mid 80s during the day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 949. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



average for this time of year is Max:37°F Min:21°F


Wow! We didn't even reach your average high yesterday. Only got to 47 today. Our average high is supposed to be 70 low of 50. I thought I read this wrong earlier. But nope!

US National Weather Service Lake Charles Louisiana
13 hours ago ·

How cold was it yesterday? Very, for the month of March. In addition to the freezing rain and sleet, area high temperatures ran 32 to 34 degrees below normal for the day. All climate stations recorded record low max temperatures for the day with some sites setting record low max temperatures for the month.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 953. TylerStanfield:
ENSO Update: March 5th, 2014
Significant warming can be noted in the Nino 1 2 region.




The cool signal across the eastern equatorial Pacific is decaying at a quick rate. Along with the warming in the equatorial Pacific, the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) is beginning to favor a more positive phase. This can be noted by the cooling of the northern central Pacific waters, while the ring along the western coast of North America is beginning to warm. If these trends continue along with the push from the MJO and Kelvin Wave, an El Nino will be highly likely to commence for the Summer of 2014.



Good Evening Everyone.

I wouldn't worry much about the PDO for the next 2-3 weeks, it typically loses a lot of its amplitude around this time. If you remember, it got very muddled around this time last year as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.



Long-run evolution of the global economy: 1. Physical basis

Too Much Propane Could Be a Factor in Exploding Oil Trains

Highest Minimum-Wage State Washington Beats U.S. Job Growth Interesting

Ferocious dinosaur was European giant



Costly plan to reduce Somerset floods (UK)

Satellites track turtle 'lost years'

* Drought 'makes Amazonia emit carbon'

*** Chandra and XMM-Newton provide direct measurement of distant black hole's spin



!!! Standard-candle supernovae are still standard, but why?

!!! Study suggests non-uniform climate warming globally

*** Team models photosynthesis, finds room for improvement

* Solution to planet-clogging plastics? Fully compostable bioplastic made from shrimp shells used to make objects


!!! How apes and humans evolved side by side

!!! Largest-ever study of mental health risk, resilience in army personnel releases findings

*** Blasts may cause brain injury even without symptoms: Veteran study

*** Warm rivers play role in Arctic sea ice melt

*** Q&A on Chinese Premier's pollution vow

Iceland environmentalists protest as China joins Arctic oil race

Microbes, some from Philadelphia, to battle in space

Texas lake welcomes back paddlefish gone for years The article says this is Texas' only natural lake. Texas has only ONE natural lake?

*** Marshall Islands says climate change behind floods

This is your brain on cannabidiol Many cool animated brain images!

*** Researchers aim to resolve inequity in Miami's flood
preparation


Was evolution inevitable? (video) I disagree with this, since life on Earth was prokaryotic microbes for billions of years. Could have stayed that way. Discuss!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 946. sar2401:

Doug, I'm a little confused by that graph. What is the base year used to determine the anomaly? It looks like it must be about 1950. It's clearly impossible for every year from 1880 to almost 1940 to run a negative anomaly. If the base year was after 1880, why show the years before, since it presents a fals picture of how cold it was then compared to after the base year.


Hey sar..
For some reason the formatting on this blog changed..
Messed up my posting as well..
The best answer I can give you now is to Go to Dr. Rood's blog and check out the explanation..
The Graph is from NOAA..
And can be found @National Climatic Data Center
Hope this post comes through..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Naga5000:


I believe that NOAA uses the 20th century average as a baseline for that chart.

Edit: Yep, 20th century average. "The global and hemispheric anomalies are provided with respect to the period 1901-2000, the 20th century average. "Link

Ah, OK, but that graph didn't come NOAA. It came from a site called ClimateKnowledge. The site looks almost like an FTP site with subdirectories of various graphs and pictures with no explanation of what they are or the data source. If the base is 1901-2000, there would be no reason, at least from a statistical point of view, to include years back to 1880. I don't know if the image is the same as what NOAA produced, although it has a NOAA watermark.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think we managed to reach 40 degrees today; it rained from sunrise to sunset. The wet and cold looks to continue for the Carolinas through most of Friday.

With cold air damming in place, the piedmont/mountains of North Carolina and southwestern Virginia could see significant accumulations of freezing rain. 18z NAM radar simulation valid 1am ET Friday:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks El Nino
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



average for this time of year is Max:37°F Min:21°F

{Sigh}

Eufaula Al
Average high : 64
Average low: 46

March 6, 2014
Forecast high: 44
Forecast low: 37

Not as bad as up your way, Keep, but pretty crummy for me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have posted Weatherbell images to tinypic and posted them here except the Euro which we can't do..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15265
ENSO Update: March 5th, 2014
Significant warming can be noted in the Nino 1 2 region.




The cool signal across the eastern equatorial Pacific is decaying at a quick rate. Along with the warming in the equatorial Pacific, the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) is beginning to favor a more positive phase. This can be noted by the cooling of the northern central Pacific waters, while the ring along the western coast of North America is beginning to warm. If these trends continue along with the push from the MJO and Kelvin Wave, an El Nino will be highly likely to commence for the Summer of 2014.



Good Evening Everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 946. sar2401:

Doug, I'm a little confused by that graph. What is the base year used to determine the anomaly? It looks like it must be about 1950. It's clearly impossible for every year from 1880 to almost 1940 to run a negative anomaly. If the base year was after 1880, why show the years before, since it presents a fals picture of how cold it was then compared to after the base year.


I believe that NOAA uses the 20th century average as a baseline for that chart.

Edit: Yep, 20th century average. "The global and hemispheric anomalies are provided with respect to the period 1901-2000, the 20th century average. "Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

He said one could share them, not openly give the bare link out. Scott needs to start uploading the images to imgur, imageshack, etc. or else people can just take the direct link and modify it to get the images they want without paying.

No, they'd still get an error if they just modified the link. I just took a look at the code. It appears that images for the maps you can see from the front page (where you don't have to log in) can be linked with no error. It appears that the images behind the log-in are protected from hot linking. The Terms and Conditions are not only draconian but pretty clear:

Except as expressly provided in this T&C, you may not use, download, upload, copy, print, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, post, transmit, distribute or redistribute any information or Products from this Site in whole or in part without our prior written permission. Requests to reprint or re-distribute Products and other materials accessed from this Website should be directed to the originator of the Products or materials.

I don't know how much of the day to day operations Ryan controls but it looks like the business model is different than what he says on Twitter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 949. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



average for this time of year is Max:37°F Min:21°F


Let the good times roll.....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5796
Quoting 934. PedleyCA:
Got up in the teens? Here's to waiting on Friday, looks good for a few days on the high side of 32 °F/0 °C



average for this time of year is Max:37°F Min:21°F
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53767
Quoting 947. sar2401:

He may not care but his web site does. Every image includes code, upon linking to another site, you get a 403 error.

He said one could share them, not openly give the bare link out. Scott needs to start uploading the images to imgur, imageshack, etc. or else people can just take the direct link and modify it to get the images they want without paying for the site. That's a big no (that most do anyways).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Ryan doesn't care (he's said it repeatedly on Twitter) if you share any of the images from WeatherBell as long as they're not of the ECMWF.

He may not care but his web site does. Every image includes code, upon linking to another site, you get a 403 error.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


This may help..
A simple explanation is..
Picture the Climate as a gyro..
It has been un-balanced and is now wobbling..
Waaay to simplistic explanation but seems to help folks trying to get a grasp on it..

There's also this data chart that is straight forward..


Doug, I'm a little confused by that graph. What is the base year used to determine the anomaly? It looks like it must be about 1950. It's clearly impossible for every year from 1880 to almost 1940 to run a negative anomaly. If the base year was after 1880, why show the years before, since it presents a fals picture of how cold it was then compared to after the base year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 944. sar2401:

Weatherbell locks images so they can't be linked on another web site, Scott. You need to copy it to your hard drive and then upload it to a photo sharing site like Photobucket or Picasa. You can then copy if from there to here. However, the TOS at Weatherbell is that you agree not to post their images anywhere else, and they can terminate your membership if they catch you. I've heard of it happening with some folks here, since the management of Weatherbell does troll web sites looking for violations. This is obviously one of the first sites they'd check. Seems totally silly to me but just wanted to warn you.

Ryan doesn't care (he's said it repeatedly on Twitter) if you share any of the images from WeatherBell as long as they're not of the ECMWF.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Here's the latest WRF model for tomorrow. Looks nasty for sure.


Weatherbell locks images so they can't be linked on another web site, Scott. You need to copy it to your hard drive and then upload it to a photo sharing site like Photobucket or Picasa. You can then copy if from there to here. However, the TOS at Weatherbell is that you agree not to post their images anywhere else, and they can terminate your membership if they catch you. I've heard of it happening with some folks here, since the management of Weatherbell does troll web sites looking for violations. This is obviously one of the first sites they'd check. Seems totally silly to me but just wanted to warn you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 902. Wildcat11:
It just seems disingenuous to refer to warm winters as confirmation of global warming while referring to cold winters as anomalies that can be ignored.


You are absolutely correct. There are some people who use individual seasons in a specific location as an argument one way or the other. The smart thing to do would be to compare either the global temperatures over many years to see the trend. Or, you could compare the frequency of warm/cold anomalies like Dr. Master did in his post to see if one is happening more than the other.

What would really be disingenious would be to try and attribute some statements to Dr. Masters (or others) that he never made.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 902. Wildcat11:
It just seems disingenuous to refer to warm winters as confirmation of global warming while referring to cold winters as anomalies that can be ignored.


This may help..
A simple explanation is..
Picture the Climate as a gyro..
It has been un-balanced and is now wobbling..
Waaay to simplistic explanation but seems to help folks trying to get a grasp on it..

There's also this data chart that is straight forward..

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 936. PedleyCA:
Toronto Pearson, CA (Airport)
Updated: 6:00 PM EST on March 05, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
19 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Windchill: 10 °F
Humidity: 46%
Dew Point: 1 °F
Wind: 8 mph from the ENE
Pressure: 30.54 in (Rising)
Visibility: 15.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 3000 ft
Scattered Clouds 4500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 24000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 568 ft

Did ya make it to 20?
tomorrow
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53767
Louisiana coastal authority approves $725 million 2015 plan for levee and restoration work




Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday approved a $725 million plan for fiscal year 2015 that includes $477 million for construction of levees and coastal restoration projects.

The unanimous vote moves the plan to the Legislature for approval.

The biggest expenditures in 2015 will be aimed at rebuilding barrier islands and headlands and beginning the design and construction of sediment diversions, using money the state will receive from settlements involving the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The plan calls for $72.6 million of that money to be used on the second phase of rebuilding the Caminada Headland beach and dune south and east of Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish, and $22 million on planning the proposed Mid-Barataria sediment diversion near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish.

The budget also includes $56 million for engineering costs for ongoing projects, $70 million for project planning, and $26.3 million for operation, maintenance and monitoring of projects that are already built. It also includes $42.1 for a variety of state initiatives overseen by the CPRA, and $53.8 million for operating costs of the CPRA and levee and restoration planning programs.

The annual plan acts as a financial update of the state’s 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which was adopted by the Legislature to guide restoration and coastal flood control decisions.

This year's update includes a major reduction in state money for levees because post-Katrina New Orleans area levee improvements already are nearing completion. But next year's plan will include the first of 30 payments of $73.3 million each to the federal government, which constitute the state's 35 percent share of the cost of those levee projects.

The 2015 plan lists numerous projects that the state will either continue to plan or build or thinks might be ready for planning or construction in the upcoming fiscal year.

Those items include $144.6 million for an expansion of a project to rebuild the Cheniere Caminada headland beach and restore dunes in Plaquemines Parish. Money for the project comes from federal criminal fines paid by BP and Transocean stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project is overseen by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The plan approved Wednesday also includes $108.3 million for construction of the Caillou Lake Headlands barrier island project, also in Plaquemines Parish. The project is one of several funded by part of $1 billion set aside by BP as an early payment under the Oil Pollution Act's Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

Also in the plan is BP and Transocean money through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for engineering and design of the proposed Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, totaling $40.4 million; another $13.6 million for early planning of several other lower Mississippi River sediment diversions, and $4.9 million for a project that would increase the flow of Atchafalaya River water into the Terrebonne basin.

The sediment diversions are controversial because oyster and shrimp fishers contend that their fresh water will destroy catches dependent on saltier water, which now normally occupies wetlands on the east and west sides of the Mississippi River. They have urged the state to instead focus on projects where sediment is dredged from the river and pumped by pipeline to build new marshes or land.

State officials, however, argue that while the diversions are likely to cause some problems for existing fisheries, they are a less expensive way to build wetlands, though they are likely to take much longer for enough sediment to be deposited in open water to create land.

During Wednesday's meeting, Louisiana State University biologist Andrew Nyman also discounted other criticisms of using the diversions. He said a review of recent and older research shows that diversions built to capture sediment loads during high river events can build land, and that even freshwater diversions that are not designed to capture sediment have helped existing wetlands survive for longer periods.

Nyman said the research he reviewed also indicates that concerns that nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients flowing into wetlands through freshwater diversions are responsible for hurricane-related destruction of wetlands also is overblown.

He said recent research indicates that the river carries only a small percentage of the nutrients that were used in laboratory tests of scientists who said the nutrients would weaken marsh grass roots, making them vulnerable to hurricane surges.

And while there clearly has been damage caused by hurricanes to wetlands, the nutrients have helped speed regrowth of those wetlands, he said.

The authority Wednesday also heard the first report from the chairman of a scientific advisory panel created by the Water Institute of the Gulf to review issues facing the sediment diversion projects before they are built. John Wells' report recommended more research into the effects of diversions on both social and economic issues, such as fisheries.

Wells is dean of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences at the College of William and Mary. His report points out that there remains quite a bit of uncertainty in the ability of the diversions to work, since there are no similar land-building diversions that can be used for comparison.

Wells' report recommends doing at least two years of monitoring in the area where a diversion will be built, while also conducting studies of rates of land-building in locations where natural diversions or crevasses existed in the past.

The report also recommends giving high priority to ensuring that models and other data used to design and build diversions include both biophysical and socioeconomic elements, including information gathered from other diversions and restoration projects.

It also recommends that the diversion development program include a program of regular communications of its findings with affected communities, as well as other stakeholders, policymakers and politicians.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Birthmark:

I believe the back end of the horse is known colloquially as "Birthmark"...at least in these parts.

LOL. That would depend on the location of the "birthmark' on the horse. But really, for a left wing atheist environmental whack job, you're a pretty good guy. :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
938. etxwx
Louisiana's Coastline Is Disappearing Too Quickly for Mappers to Keep Up
by Stephanie Garlock Mar 04, 2014 The Atlantic Cities
Excerpt: Twenty-five years ago, miles of marshy land and grasses separated the small fishing outpost of Buras, Louisiana, from the Gulf of Mexico. But years of erosion – along with the one-two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – have washed away much of that barrier. Today, the islands, inlets, and bays that once defined the coastline of Plaquemines Parish have begun to melt together.

Like all coasts, the land around the Mississippi River is constantly evolving. In past centuries, that process was slowed by the annual flooding of the River's vast delta, which brought new sediment to replace what was lost.

But climate change, coupled with better engineering (which brought effective channeling and stronger levees), have turned this coastline into one of the most rapidly eroding areas of the U.S. In the area around Buras, gone are the formerly distinct waterways of English Bay, Bay Jacquin, and Scofield Bay, leaving a vast expanse of water between the mainland and the barrier islands.


Article (with maps) continues here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 926. GTstormChaserCaleb:
If you're bored and feel like Aiming a Hurricane at someone, lol.

Link


lol. an early bday gift for someone I know... only way I'd send him one. He lives a little too close to me. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Toronto Pearson, CA (Airport)
Updated: 6:00 PM EST on March 05, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
19 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Windchill: 10 °F
Humidity: 46%
Dew Point: 1 °F
Wind: 8 mph from the ENE
Pressure: 30.54 in (Rising)
Visibility: 15.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 3000 ft
Scattered Clouds 4500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 24000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 568 ft

Did ya make it to 20?
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5796
935. beell
Quoting 875. Thrawst:
This is from 4am this morning from the NWS Miami WFO. That's a pretty detailed analysis of the severe weather threat of the upcoming week if you asked me LOL.



Probably the worst forecast discussion I have seen in a while. It' s an incoherent list of a few severe parameters with little if any analysis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Got up in the teens? Here's to waiting on Friday, looks good for a few days on the high side of 32 °F/0 °C
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5796
MesoWest Jurupa Valley CA US SGXWFO, Riverside, California (PWS)
Updated: 2:49 PM PST on March 05, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
79 °F/26.11 °C
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 35%
Dew Point: 49 °F/9.44 °C
Wind: 4 mph from the West
Wind Gust: 10.0 mph
Pressure: 29.95 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 79 °F/26.11 °C
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 2 out of 16
Pollen: 8.30 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 20000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 794 ft

78.5F/25.83 °C
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5796

Viewing: 983 - 933

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
67 °F
Overcast