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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82. savedbygod
7:29 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
OOOPS!! I remember now. Thank you. I am afraid my memory is not very good. I do remember watching that!!
81. HurricaneKing
3:29 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Isn't '04, the year that Charlie hit in the Gulf then traveled through the states & built back up & came around again? That was so amazing. I am not very "Weather Educated", but I don't recall ever seeing that happen.
I believe that was Ivan.
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79. catastropheadjuster
7:19 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
WBK: Thank You for taking the time to show me the map. And I see it was busy that year. I remember Ivan very well I lost about 16 Trees in my yard It took us a while to get everything back like it was then a year later Katrina and still recouperating from her. But like i said Thank you very much.
Sheri
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78. savedbygod
7:24 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Isn't '04, the year that Charlie hit in the Gulf then traveled through the states & built back up & came around again? That was so amazing. I am not very "Weather Educated", but I don't recall ever seeing that happen.
76. DocBen
7:16 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Mr Perfect - lousy grammer on my part. That was MY take on Swindle.

http://www.wunderground.com/education/gore.asp
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75. weatherboykris
7:13 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Sheri,here's 04:



Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
74. weatherboykris
7:12 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
If Al Gore had made it...I'm sure he would've made time to watch it,LOL.
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73. weatherboykris
7:11 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I agree MP
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72. MisterPerfect
7:09 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I agree with Dr. Masters that the former is accurate; the LATTER, however, is classic junk.

Dr. Masters didn't even watch it dude. Anyone can call something crap without watching it..

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71. weatherboykris
7:10 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I doubt if there will be any bad storms.Not much shear or instability.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
70. catastropheadjuster
7:06 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
WBK: Don't mean to sound dumb but was "04" a bad year I just can't remember. Was that when Ivan hit around Mobile? I'm sorry sometimes I can't remember. I guess it's with age?
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68. DocBen
7:03 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
thelmores - your reference to "promoting junk science" seemed to imply that those of us who believe that the evidence for GW is overwhelming are doing so - practicing Junk science. I submit that we are not; we are citing the extensive evidence for anthropogenic caused climate change.

I have seen both Inconvenient Truth and Global Swindle. I agree with Dr. Masters that the former is accurate; the LATTER, however, is classic junk.
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67. catastropheadjuster
7:03 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Do you'll think Mobile,Alabama might see any bad storms today? It's gray and raining, well drizzling right know. I'm just wondering. Thanks in advance.
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66. weatherboykris
7:05 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I think a year like '04.
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65. weatherboykris
7:03 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Had a good Easter.
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64. catastropheadjuster
6:37 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Hello: WBK & H23 Hurricane season is getting closer. What's you'll thought about it? Not asking for early predictions just wondering how it's shaping up? I still can't read maps and really understand them still learning at least trying to. Sometimes it's like a foriegn language to me.lol
Did you'll have a good Easter?
Sheri
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63. cloudlover
6:46 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Dr Masters.....PLEASE stop any usage of the words "GLOBAL WARMING". This blog goes crazy when you do....thanks.

Any large hail storms brewing in our future?

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60. MisterPerfect
6:32 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
This is just an information exchange all in fun.

My point exactly. You may continue to ride the bus from whatever seat you wish.
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59. airman45
6:26 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
MisterPerfect, lets please keep this to a minimum bashing level as much as possible. I am not a Global Warming advocate either but everyone is entitled to their opinion, hopefully without getting slammed. That is what makes our country great. Believe me in many countries this is not allowed. Trust me I know, Ive been there! This is just an information exchange all in fun.
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57. airman45
6:15 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Those clips from the Great Global Warming Swindle were terrible. But you must understand the British press and news agencies tend to use alot of sensationalism, whether it is accurate or not. I lived there for six years and the most widely read paper is "The Sun". This is the most sensationalistic piece of trash you will ever see. It is ten times worse than "The Enquirer" in the States. The Sun is the main basher of the Royal family.
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56. weatherboykris
6:19 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
h23,are you "Hurricane29" on flhurricane.com?
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54. geographerguy
6:16 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Thelmores, I agree with you that the most important thing is to find common ground and clean up our act. Kudos.

I got a good laugh about the cow flatulence thing. :-) While there have been studies on that. This is what I was talking about, and yes, be skeptical, we all need that too.

http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/02/01/global_warming_methane_could_be_far_worse_than_carb on_dioxide.htm

More to the point of this blog. I remember reading back in 2004 that if global warming were to occur, we'd have more shearing winds and less hurricane activity as a result. The next two years proved interesting. What's next? I'll be reading here with interest.

Thanks




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53. Pieman2
6:05 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
The Great Global Warming Swindle would not be worth your time watching to review. It was very poor quality and even some of its participants have disowned it. Unfortunately the channell allowed a few dissidents to bash their drum ignoring the views of the vast majority of climate scientists and that there is in any case a lot of genuine healthy debate as evidenced by the discussions at the climate change conference this weekend.
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52. hurricane23
1:59 PM EDT on April 10, 2007
Good afternoon...

Temps in the mid 80's across most of south florida today with 90 degree readings in some places by the end of week.Rain chances are there but nothing to crazy.Adrian

Adrian's Weather
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51. TheCaneWhisperer
5:31 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
It has been stuck here for a very long time! Hard to say about where it will set up right now! Trend says further west, but that can change before and during Hurricane Season!
50. Crisis57
5:12 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I know i am off subject but does anyone have any information on the bermuda high's location and whats the thinking of its placement
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49. weatherboykris
4:53 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
h23,are you "Hurricane29" on flhurricane.com?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
48. thelmores
4:40 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
I certainly hope once Cane season starts, we can lay this stuff to rest! :)

Some say black, some say white, I say gray! LOL
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47. Skyepony (Mod)
4:31 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
All good Thel, emotions were getting the best of ya. & so true, the global market to make cheaper has done everything from the atmosphere, ground & humanity a disservice. Somethings are impossible to buy local made. Just learned to do without alot of the materal crap. I sew & grow stuff so that takes care of some. This country used to be huge in textiles, USA made there is getting harder to find.

Hey SJ:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
46. thelmores
4:22 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
"Posted By: DocBen
"Instead of promoting Junk Science"

The only people promoting Junk Science are the GW deniers."

another emotional response, instead of a fact based response!

I you have read my post's, you will never find where i have "denied" anything!

FACT is, there are mis-truths on both sides.....

once again, I ask that we get away from the "debate", and agree we need to reduce pollutants, clean up the air, clean up the water.....

what's so hard about that concept? I don't give a flip about how you "feel" about global warming!
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45. TheCaneWhisperer
4:27 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Easiest way to clean up the Heaviest Polluting Country (USA)and get the finger off you, is to ship all of your industry to other contries and blame it on them, lol.
44. Tazmanian
9:25 AM PDT on April 10, 2007
lol gulf
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43. Tazmanian
9:24 AM PDT on April 10, 2007
dr m you get my WU e mail?
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41. thelmores
4:17 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Skye, my apologies for throwing out the Baby with the bath water! No disrespect was meant, I was merely trying to make a point, and could have probably done a better job......

I too try to by American when I can.... but to be honest, there are lots of goods that you cannot buy made in America, because it's not made in America anymore.

Sad that most of our industries have been imported, and the car mfg's are in sad shape! I worry about the country/ world we leave our kids!
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40. DocBen
4:19 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
"Instead of promoting Junk Science"

The only people promoting Junk Science are the GW deniers.

"The Inconvenient Truth = FACT

The Great Global Warming Swindle = FICTION"

Happens to be true. Go up to "education" and read Dr. Masters' review of Gore's movie.
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39. Skyepony (Mod)
4:10 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
the same one's who complain about global warming, are the first one's at wal-mart to buy cheaply made Chinese goods.

This is completely untrue. I haven't been in Walmart in over 8 years & buy American, particularly local when I can. Try it life will be happier.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
38. thelmores
4:08 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
"Posted By: StSimonsIslandGAGuy
We don't know "all the facts" about the JFK assassination, but he is still dead."

that's exactly my point! lets work together to reduce pollutants....

But to have the US sign the Kyoto treaty, while China gets a waiver??? meantime I lose my job because of unreasonable caps on emissions????

If I can spend 100 million dollars to reduce polltants on my plant by 95%, I should do it.... but don't tell me I have to spend 500 million more to reduce it to 97%..... this is unreasonable.....

but i guess reason is thrown out the window when emotion is involved.

I keep calling for reduced emissions, clean water, clean air..... but do I get credit??? nope, I get bashed!

well have at it!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
37. franck
4:04 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
whew guys..thought the Rutgers basketball team had preempted the The Weather Channel there for a minute.
By the way, since Imus is gone, anybody got any P Diddy or Fiddy Cent CD's I can download.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
35. franck
4:02 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
shanghai pollution is mostly about making US corporate stuff, Barbie Dolls to Black & Decker.
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33. lilmax
4:01 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
Good morning evry1. Should be getting stormy across most of the central and eastern US.
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32. StormJunkie
4:02 PM GMT on April 10, 2007
We were close if not there SSIG. 32-34...Crazy. Alll in the same year we had a little snow before Thanksgiving...

Back to work.

See y'all later.

ps I would love any input any one has on the SST comparison maps in my blog.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472

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About JeffMasters

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