Hot, then cold!

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

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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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232. TheCaneWhisperer
12:14 PM GMT on April 11, 2007
Now THIS is what I like to see! Now we just need to get some rain to the worst areas to the south and west of lake 0! They didn't get much at all yesterday!
229. BahaHurican
7:40 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
pottery, are u guys observing daylight savings time, or is it about 7:40-7:45 there?
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228. BahaHurican
7:35 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
Nassau Airport, Bahamas, The (MYNN) 25-03N 077-28W 7M
Apr 11, 2007 - 07:00 AM EDT / 2007.04.11 1100 UTC
Wind: from the NNW (330 degrees) at 18 MPH (16 KT):0
Visibility: greater than 7 mile(s):0
Sky conditions: mostly cloudy
Weather: light rain showers; Cumulonimbus clouds observed
Temperature: 73 F (23 C)
Dew Point: 71 F (22 C)
Relative Humidity: 94%
Pressure (altimeter): 29.94 in. Hg (1014 hPa)

Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, The (MYGF) 26-33N 078-42W 11M
Apr 11, 2007 - 07:00 AM EDT / 2007.04.11 1100 UTC
Wind: from the SSE (160 degrees) at 12 MPH (10 KT):0
Visibility: greater than 7 mile(s):0
Sky conditions: overcast
Weather: light rain
Temperature: 71 F (22 C)
Dew Point: 68 F (20 C)
Relative Humidity: 88%
Pressure (altimeter): 29.81 in. Hg (1009 hPa)

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227. BahaHurican
7:29 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
And a single engined one, too. Unfortunately these are the planes most vulnerable to the sometimes freaky weather that can occur in Bahamian skies. A twin-engined plane can often limp its way to an airport. [sigh]

I have to go to work today. Otherwise I would stay in. Hopefully the roads won't be crammed with fools trying to drive as if we were in the middle of a dry spell . . ..
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226. pottery
7:16 AM AST on April 11, 2007
Morning Baha....
enjoy the rains

Only a damm fool would fly a small plane into that. A real shame though.......
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225. BahaHurican
7:15 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
Sorry I can't make the front hang lower, pottery [smiling]. This is really the best rain we have had all year.
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224. BahaHurican
6:55 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
Wow! Just received another heavy downpour with strong winds from the north, which is an unusual direction. It's still quite overcast, with cloud bottoms visible only a couple hundred feet from the ground.

On a more tragic note, a single-engine private plane from the FL west coast crashed in waters between Nassau and Andros last night. I find it hard to believe anybody who had seen radar or satellite for the northern Bahamas would have even taken off last night, but I guess the pilot figured they could beat the front to Ft. Lauderdale. Unfortunately they didn't make it . . .
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223. pottery
6:57 AM AST on April 11, 2007
Good morning WUBAband Members........

Somebody got rain ????
send some down here please
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222. BoyntonBeach
4:40 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Cool Map H23 ! It's Been Raining for Hours Here Too !
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220. Rodek
4:21 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Just had a thunderstorm a few minutes ago with some gusty winds, few lightning bolts and some much, much needed rain here in Ft. Walton Beach. Any development in the carib?
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219. BahaHurican
12:21 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
Hopefully all will be beneficial rather than harmful. We sure can use the rain.

Anyway, I'm out - G'nite!
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218. hurricane23
12:18 AM EDT on April 11, 2007
Radar indicating rotation offshore with possible waterspouts.Heavy Rain came threw here but no lighting.


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217. weatherboykris
4:06 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Not exactly drought-busting,but this will probably drop KBDIs over south Florida 30-50 points:

Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
215. weatherboykris
4:02 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Thanks Skye.I saw some gusty-very gusty-winds on radar,though.
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214. BoyntonBeach
4:02 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
WaaaHooo !!! Keep it Coming Baby !!!
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213. Skyepony (Mod)
3:53 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Miami NWS storm reports~ it's all hail.
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212. BahaHurican
11:55 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Looks like a squall train is in motion in the area . . .
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211. weatherboykris
3:52 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Wonder if he recorded any good wind gusts.
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210. weatherboykris
3:51 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Speaking of which,a very bad squall line just moved through Miami.
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209. BahaHurican
11:47 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
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208. BahaHurican
11:42 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Currently about 3 minutes into a rather heavy downpour here. It's good to get some precipitation here, though April is not a particularly heavy rainfall month for us on average.

On satellite it looks like Grand Bahama is getting some of those heavy downpours that H23 was getting a couple of hours ago.
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207. StoryOfTheCane
6:53 PM PDT on April 10, 2007
weathergeek, the SAL is significantly weaker than at this time last year. We'll see if this changes as temperatures rise in Africa and the winds shift westward. More than likely it will intensify but probably won't be as strong as last year. We won't have to worry about the SAL til around June, right now all eyes are on the Caribbean and the Gulf.
206. hurricane23
9:15 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Intense line moving towards my area in miami.Hopefully it will weaken before it reaches miami dade and broward counties.


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205. weatherboykris
1:08 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
h23,are you "hurricane29" on flhurricane.com?
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204. BahaHurican
9:07 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Thanks, 23. Have u gotten any rain so far?
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203. hurricane23
9:02 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Bahahurrican the bom update should be out in the next 2-3 hours.


Adrian's Weather
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202. hurricane23
9:02 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
You can always check here for SAL analysis.
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201. BahaHurican
8:54 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Hmmm . .. looks like the NW Bahamas is going to get some of that rain tonight as well.

However, it certainly doesn't look tropical in nature. It's going the wrong way, for one thing LOL.

When is that BOM update coming out? I'd be interested to see it also.
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200. weathergeek5
12:31 AM GMT on April 11, 2007
Is there a lot of Saharan dust out there now? last year the SAL was one of the reasons for a subdued hurricane season. Will this be a factor in '07?
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199. BahaHurican
8:17 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
but if one is coming near your area and you are still sitting here reading the blogs then I am conerened for you...

Well, I guess it might be different if his internet connection is in the basement . . .

LOL
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198. StormJunkie
8:23 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Good to see ya PWSN
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197. hurricane23
8:19 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Bom update in a few hours...
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195. stormhank
11:19 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
hows that constest JP? whats rules n such? guess number of storms? when they will form and where they will go? my guess on season as a whole would be 16 named 9 hurricanes and possibly 4 major// do you agree??
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194. plywoodstatenative
11:21 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
rats, I was hoping for some nice drought busting weather.
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192. plywoodstatenative
11:13 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
what was all this talk about a system near Central America. Will that get swept up my way, so I can get out of these water restrictions of which are set to go into Phase III now on Friday morning
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191. savedbygod
10:57 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Back for a few minutes. I too, hope you all faired well in Florida. Thanks for the welcome,
storyofthecane. I am a fellow Kansan, DocBen, veteran of some the bigger ones. I'm with the majority. Sure looks like a busy hurricane season........& Tornado season. Starting that direction, anyhow.
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189. stormhank
11:12 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Hey JP.. looks like a busy season ahead! I read that the caribbean and gulf may be the highest landfall areas? have you read anything?
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188. StoryOfTheCane
4:09 PM PDT on April 10, 2007
yep, its definitely dropping, just not too quickly, I think we should see a storm in May
186. hurricanetrak6671
11:02 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Nice its sound good to me
185. weatherboykris
11:05 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Yeah.But overall,shear lowers through the whole forecast.We may not see shear like we have now again until November,if the forecasts are correst.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
184. StoryOfTheCane
4:00 PM PDT on April 10, 2007
m/s=1.943kts, so probably just the red and purples, cuz the blue is about 40kts
183. weatherboykris
11:02 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
They're on two different scales, SOTC.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346

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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.