Hot, then cold!

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:49 PM GMT on April 10, 2007

A long and severe cold snap across much of the Eastern U.S. has caused considerable damage to peach and berry crops, canceled numerous baseball games, and brought up to four feet of snow to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Here in Southeast Michigan, we had our coldest week of April in 25 years, and a new winter storm is likely to bring 2-6 inches of snow on Wednesday. All this wintry weather comes on the heels of the second warmest March in U.S. history. The National Climatic Data Center released statistics showing that March 2007 was 5.6�F (3.1�C) warmer than the 20th century mean of 42.5�F (5.8�C) across the lower 48 states. Only March 1910 was warmer in the 113-year national record. More than 2500 daily record high temperatures were set from the East to the West Coast during the month. On the 13th of March alone more than 250 daily high temperature records were set. The earliest high of 90�F (32�C) occurred in Las Vegas that day and the daily record was broken by 6�F (3.3�C). For the month as a whole more than 200 daily record highs of 90�F or greater occurred in California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and areas of the Southeast. In contrast, Alaska had its third coldest March ever.


Figure 1. Northern Hemisphere departure of temperature from average for March and the week of April 2-9. Note how the pattern of warmer vs. colder than average temperatures reversed over North America between the two time periods. Images are plotted from the NCAR/NCEP daily reanalysis data, which has interpolation porblems over data-poor areas like the Southern Hemisphere and oceans, so these areas are not plotted. Image credit: NOAA/NCEP.

For the year, the U.S. has had an average January (49th warmest), colder than average February (34th coldest), exceptionally warm March (2nd warmest), and now a very cold April. Climate change science really doesn't have much to say about whether sharp temperature fluctuations like this will become more common in a world undergoing global warming. For now, I'm just attributing the past month's wild swing in temperature to natural variability. The jet stream moved to a completely new pattern between March and early April, reversing where above average and below average temperatures occurred over North America (Figure 1). Where will the jet stream set up for this year's hurricane season, determining the dominant hurricane track? I'll have my first discussion of that in late May, since the jet stream position is generally not predictable more than two weeks in advance.

Swindled?
On Thursday March 8th, the UK TV Channel 4 aired a program titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle". In the words of conservative commentator Thomas Sowell, "Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global warming hysteria is." I've been asked by a number of people to review the movie, but haven't found time to do so. It got yanked from youtube.com for violating copyright laws, but is available from UK TV Channel 4. The scientists at realclimate.org reviewed the movie, and call it a fraud with distorted, misrepresented, and incorrect science.

My next blog will be Thursday.
Jeff Masters

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332. HurricaneSurvivor
6:26 PM GMT on April 13, 2007
Dr. Gray disagrees strongly with the alamists. I'm curious as to what Dr. Masters thinks about his recent comments.
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331. hurricane23
10:27 AM EDT on April 12, 2007
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING!


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330. MisterPerfect
2:17 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
I can hear the thunder already...
Link
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20205
329. SMU88
2:08 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
hurricane23 where do you get that map on the oncoming thunderstorms?
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328. hurricane23
9:58 AM EDT on April 12, 2007
Rotation showing up in several areas!


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327. MisterPerfect
1:45 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
Get ready Miami...

Link
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326. hurricane23
9:41 AM EDT on April 12, 2007
Line is not weakend much and will be pushing into miami dade and broward counties!


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325. hurricane23
09:17 EDT le 12 avril 2007
cell with possible large hail!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
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324. thelmores
1:15 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
morning all.....

The rain is gone in Myrtle beach, and lots of sun, already 70f....

hope everybody has a good day! :)
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3832
323. hurricane23
08:50 EDT le 12 avril 2007
Prefrontal trof bringing more heavy into south florida during the next hour or so.Rotation showing up on radar with possible hail.





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322. MisterPerfect
12:41 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
Hey Pat, I think I saw a bum get beat up during Mardi Gras in one of those old alleys...
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321. MissBennet
12:31 PM GMT on April 12, 2007
ok looks like they fixed the TSR link, and not much has changed.
16.7 Tropical storms
9.2 for hurricanes and
4.2 for intense hurricances.
That's acctually down a hair from the March report.
LOL! Here's the link:
Link
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320. Patrap
7:13 AM CDT on April 12, 2007
Tour..1920's Nawlins
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137186
318. lilmax
8:42 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
My weather nose is smelling a significant amount of reports of severe weather the rest of today.
317. cajunkid
9:45 PM CDT on April 11, 2007
LOL..NAwlins aint going No where folks..and heres why..New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1375
316. StoryOfTheCane
8:38 PM PDT on April 11, 2007
weird
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314. SevereWeatherFreak
1:51 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
Hello Everyone. Been a while since Ive dropped by. But with the rumbling and flashing goin on outside here in Largo (Tampa Area). I thought Id stop in and see what the topic of dicussion was and take a look at some of the radars. No hail to report here in Largo jake. Just a nice show.
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313. Ldog74
1:25 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
yea STL, thats not exactly what you call weak..., notice the way above normal temperatures in the GOM just off the coast of the FL Panhandle, if that were to stay at that level it would potentially be a very good aid in strengthening just before landfall of a tropical system. That being said, its a couple months for that to even be an area to worry about something strong hitting, so its not really something to take much notice of now. Just a thought, cause I am bored.
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312. pottery
9:10 PM AST on April 11, 2007
Good evening.
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311. mermaidlaw
1:13 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
I am in hernando county and we are getting hit big time!! Thunder, lightening, and hail!!
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310. JFLORIDA
1:09 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
Orlando is really about to get it.

I think the hernando stuff is headed my way. I got to go put tools away!

Sky you might get some of this too.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
309. jake436
7:07 PM CST on April 11, 2007
There's more coming, and the one that looks as though it will pass just north of Tampa (M7) has some decent hail with it.

Link
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308. JFLORIDA
12:57 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
Boy that swath of storms crossing Florida come out of nowhere. I just checked back and it looks like a different day.

Station 42021 - C14 - Pasco County Buoy, FL

GRAPH
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
307. cloudlover
12:51 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
WOW...4" Hail in Phenix City, Alabama.....mann, that size will come through the roof. Hope everyone has their helmets on.
306. MichaelSTL
7:48 PM CDT on April 11, 2007
I can't get into it either, although there are news articles everywhere that mention their forecast, like this one:

Experts see active hurricane season
Forecasters say breakup of El Nio could bring plenty of named storms and a few big ones.

By CATHY ZOLLO


H-T SCIENCE WRITER


cathy.zollo@heraldtribune.com

Top hurricane forecasters say the reprieve that the 2006 hurricane season brought is over, and that 2007 has a flurry of storms in store for the United States.

The William Gray-Phil Klotzbach team at Colorado State University and the British group Tropical Storm Risk on Tuesday both increased the numbers from their December forecasts, and are now calling for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes.

Five of those storms will be Category 3 or stronger, with winds of at least 111 mph, Gray-Klotzbach predicted. Tropical Storm Risk predicted that four hurricanes will be severe.

The groups also are predicting a higher likelihood that hurricanes will strike the U.S. coastline, with the Colorado State team calling for a 50 percent chance that a hurricane will hit Florida. That is up from 31 percent in an average year.

Overall, they say, there's a 74 percent chance of a hurricane hitting the U.S. coast has a 74 percent compared with 52 percent in an average year.

Mark Saunders and his team at Tropical Storm Risk expects five tropical storms to hit the U.S. coast, of which two will be hurricanes.

Both groups have been among the most accurate forecasters and are used by the insurance industry in analyzing risks for upcoming storm seasons.

The forecast groups say the increased numbers are largely due to a disintegrating El Nio.

A strong El Nio brings heavy winds to Atlantic that knocks down storms trying to build. But by January, El Nio forecasters predicted the warming of Pacific equatorial waters was waning.

"The El Nio conditions present since September 2006 dissipated rapidly during February," Saunders said. "This has increased the expectation since (February) that weak La Nina conditions will occur during the summer."

That means trade winds in the Caribbean will be weaker than he had expected.

"This factor will increase cyclonic vorticity and cause more storms to be spun up," he said.

Vorticity is swirl in the atmosphere, much like a whirlpool in water.

Saunders also considers ocean temperatures in the region where most hurricanes form because because hurricanes feed on heat. Water that is warmer than usual -- what they expect -- means more fuel for more storms.

Gray, who was among the first to predict storm activity months ahead of a coming season, uses a similar method and looks at ocean temperatures for the same reason.

He and lead author of the forecast Phil Klotzbach also look at atmospheric pressure at sea level in the Southern Atlantic and ocean temperatures in the Southeastern Pacific. Those give them some idea about winds in the Atlantic during the coming hurricane season.

Right now, those indicate light winds during the season, another indicator of a busy year.

"The combination of these three predictors is calling for an active season this year," Klotzbach said.

The predictions announced Tuesday are higher than ones the teams put out in December. At that point, Gray and Klotzbach were calling for 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, three of them intense.

Tropical Storm Risk was expecting 16 named storms, nine hurricanes, of which it expected four to be intense.


Speaking of ENSO, I am surprised that they haven't noticed this:


Weak La Nina conditions???
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
305. TheCaneWhisperer
12:39 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
Not sure what is up MissBennet! I can get to the TSR and click on the forcast and times out the download because it is going too slow! Maybe they are having problems with thier site.
304. thelmores
12:14 AM GMT on April 12, 2007
hey...... what good is a picture with no commentary! :D
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303. StoryOfTheCane
5:09 PM PDT on April 11, 2007
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302. thelmores
12:06 AM GMT on April 12, 2007


Yea that tornado near Columbus does look nasty!

Looks like a stormy nite for Fla./Ga./Sc heck the hole east coast!

everybody stay safe!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3832
301. Rodek
11:49 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Just got off the phone with my brother (police officer) in Valley Alabama... He said a tornado with large hail passed south of him near Smith's Station.
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300. MissBennet
11:20 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Does anyone have the numbers from the latest TSR report that came out April 3rd? Either the link is broken or my computer is!!! so frustrating!

I just want to know if it changed much from March.

Thanks!
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299. Hellsniper223
11:24 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Thanks Sky and WBK. :)
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298. savedbygod
10:51 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Jake & INYO, I'm a plains girl, all my life so I didn't really understand the reasons for NO dropping, I stand corrected. About the rebuilding laws though, I still stand on that because of what you just said, the flooding is necessary. I do understand that the port needs to be there. But people commute all the time to jobs, so I still don't believe that it should be allowed to repopulate as heavily. At most, those necessary to sustain the port. Changes should be made now, not after thousands more lose their lives & everything else. At some point, the tourism, etc. will need to move further inland.
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297. Skyepony
10:22 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Hellsniper223~ weak shallow systems can escape the effects of shear higher up (200-500). As a storm gets stronger it rises higher in the atmosphere where effects of higher shear can take a toll.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 42540
296. Inyo
10:19 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
like others said, the area is sinking, because sediment is compacting and organic matter is decaying. it was only able to sustain itself with many sediment-rich floods. Its impossible to keep a permanent city on a delta like that... at best they could maybe keep new orleans as an island and turn the best into marsh as a buffer. The only options are: keep the area as a marsh, or let it wash away and have a new marsh form inland, probably in your city or farm field.

The same thing is happening in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California. It doesnt have quite as many people living in it, but if it floods, much of the water supply in southern California will be threatened, including the southern half of the Central Valley. You think the droughts are bad now? Try it without the California Aqueduct.
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295. jake436
3:38 PM CST on April 11, 2007
SBGod, NOLA isn't dropping because of coastal erosion. IMHO, it's dropping FASTER since 1929 because of the fact that the river hasn't been allowed to flood the area with sediment. But NOLA was built basically on a swamp, and the land sinks, period. The coastal erosion problem that we were discussing has really nothing to do with NOLA being below sea level, or NOLA sinking. It is a different problem altogether.

Just like Patrap posted earlier, NOLA HAS to exist, because without the port and the energy that comes from the area, the nation as a whole would suffer. Therefore, I think some allowance would be made for rebuilding, whether there are laws on the books or not.
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293. savedbygod
8:43 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Looks like the storm chasers & weathermen get no rest for today or tonight. My prayers go out to everyone in the path of these storms.
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292. JFLORIDA
8:31 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
850-200 lol! thats very thorough!!!

Hey check out the hail in Ala now

Chance of Severe Hail / Chance of Hail / Max Hail Size
100% / 100% / >4.00 in.

Ga is in line next:

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 124 CONTINUES.

NEW DOWNSTREAM WW WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED ACROSS PARTS OF ERN AL
INTO WRN/CENTRAL GA BY 21-22Z.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
291. weatherboykris
8:13 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
850-200 hellsniper.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
290. savedbygod
8:00 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Correction, NO has dropped an additional 5 feet below sea level since 1929. Sorry.
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289. savedbygod
7:23 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Stopped in for a few minutes & would like to ask a couple of ??'s about NO. I find all of your comments interesting & informative. What puzzles me is 2 things. First, NO has dropped 5 feet below sea level since 1929. Because of that, how can one see anything but inevitable destruction for NO unless some of the erosion,etc., is addressed & in a major way. The second ? is: Didn't the government declare that there would be no building or rebuilding in natural flood plains & wetlands, after all of the 100 & 500 year floods on the Mississippi several years ago? I know that we even had those issues here in Kansas in some areas with some flooding we had & people were not allowed to rebuild. I understand that an entire city is more serious than a few homes here & there but that also means more lost lives.
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288. JFLORIDA
7:49 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Well I think we may be in for another shot for rain in N central and NW fla. And the South East as the approaching cold front interacts with low pressure and a warm front in the gulf. If we dont get any then there is always this weekend that is looking like its going to be quite a show in the Entire SE.


NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT WED APR 11 2007
GULF OF MEXICO...
A COLD FRONT IS APPROACHING THE TEXAS COAST. INTERESTING CLOUD
SIGNATURE/GRAVITY WAVES ARE OUT AHEAD OF THE MAIN FRONT BETWEEN
BROWNSVILLE AND SE LOUISIANA...THAT LED TO THE RECENT SW TO NW
WIND SHIFT AT BUOY 42019. HAVE OPTED WITH A PREFRONTAL TROUGH
WITH THIS ON THE 1500 UTC MAP PER COORDINATION WITH HPC. A WARM
FRONT EXTENDS SE FROM THE FL/ALABAMA BORDER TO THE NE GULF NEAR
29N84W...WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE RECENTLY LIFTED N ALONG THE FL
PANHANDLE WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS/TSTMS DEVELOPING JUST S OF THIS
BOUNDARY NOTED FROM TALLAHASSEE RADAR IMAGERY. MORE NUMEROUS
SHOWERS/TSTMS NOTED AROUND THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA...ASSOCIATED
WITH DYNAMICS AHEAD OF A FLATTENING MID TO UPPER SHORTWAVE
TROUGH...ALONG WITH LINGERING LOW LEVEL BOUNDARIES FROM ALL THE
RECENT CONVECTION. THE COLD FRONT MOVING INTO THE NW PORTION
WILL BECOME DIFFUSE DURING THU AS IT HEADS SE. ANOTHER COLD
FRONT...THIS ONE EXPECTED TO BE MUCH STRONGER...IS FORECAST TO
MOVE INTO THE NW GULF EARLY SAT INCREASING THE CHANCE OF RAIN
AHEAD OF IT AND BRINGING ABOUT A MUCH COOLER AIRMASS THIS
WEEKEND. WINDS/SEAS WILL ALSO BE STRONGER BOTH IN ADVANCE AND
BEHIND THIS NEXT FRONT.

There are a few areas they are watching for bad weather this afternoon. Alabama and the midsection


Looks like one possibly TWO tornadoes on the ground in Alabama now
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
287. Hellsniper223
7:48 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
What level Shear affects tropical systems? 850-500?
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286. airman45
7:30 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Sorry it posted twice. It didnt show the first time.
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285. airman45
7:24 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Good evening from sunny Portugal (although there is a thunderstorm in progress in nearby Lisbon). Sorry to get off the subject for a moment but I just read this article in the April 9th issue of TIME Europe. Just thought it interesting that global warming was thought of as far back as the 1890s!!
Svante Arrhenus was a little-known Swedish chemist who in the 1890s issued a remarkable warning: Keep pumping carbon dioxide into the air the way humanity has been doing since the dawn of the industrial age (around 1750), he said, and you can double the level of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, raising temperatures dramatically.

Few people listened to Arrhenius then, as few people listened in the next century to others who issued the same warning, a little louder each time. TIME came late to global warming by the standards of the Swedish chemist, but early by most measures. We published our first cover story on the topic in October 1987. "It is too soon to tell whether unusual global warming has indeed begun," wrote Michael D. Lemonick. But if the climate did begin to change, we could expect "dramatically altered weather patterns, major shifts of deserts and fertile regions, intensification of tropical storms and a rise in sea level."

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284. airman45
7:20 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Good evening from sunny Portugal (although there is a thunderstorm in progress in nearby Lisbon). Sorry to get a little off the subject right now but I just read this article in the April 9th issue of TIME Europe. Just thought it was interesting that global warming was thought of as far back as the 1890s!!

Svante Arrhenus was a little-known Swedish chemist who in the 1890s issued a remarkable warning: Keep pumping carbon dioxide into the air the way humanity has been doing since the dawn of the industrial age (around 1750), he said, and you can double the level of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, raising temperatures dramatically.

Few people listened to Arrhenius then, as few people listened in the next century to others who issued the same warning, a little louder each time. TIME came late to global warming by the standards of the Swedish chemist, but early by most measures. We published our first cover story on the topic in October 1987. "It is too soon to tell whether unusual global warming has indeed begun," wrote Michael D. Lemonick. But if the climate did begin to change, we could expect "dramatically altered weather patterns, major shifts of deserts and fertile regions, intensification of tropical storms and a rise in sea level."
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283. hurricane23
1:41 PM EDT on April 11, 2007
plywoodstatenative miami's 24 hour rain totals were impressive with 2.90 inches falling.Today's weather looks to be on the cloudy side with peaks of sun.The florida keys have been getting some rain during the moring hours but in my opinion this rain will stay to our south as the area of rain will push off the coast.A cool down is expected this weekend into sunday-monday time frame with temps falling in the range of 60-65 degrees overnight.For the remainder of this week temps look quite hot across south florida with temps approaching 85-87 degress.Adrian

Adrian's Weather
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282. fredwx
1:41 PM EDT on April 11, 2007
There was a good rainfall over the past 2 days in the Tampa Bay area and some rain made it down across southern Florida last night.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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