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Another amazingly snowy winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:18 PM GMT on February 11, 2011

As northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas dig out from the two feet of snow dumped this winter's latest epic snowstorm, it's time to summarize how remarkable the snows of the past two winters have been. So far this winter, the Northeast U.S. has seen three Category 3 (major) or higher snow storms on the Northeast Snowfall Impact (NESIS) scale. This scale, which rates Northeast snowstorms by the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm, runs from Category 1 (Notable) to Category 5 (Crippling.) This puts the winter of 2010 - 2011 in a tie for first place with the winters of 2009 - 2010 and 1960 - 1961 for most major Northeast snowstorms. All three of these winters had an extreme configuration of surface pressures over the Arctic and North Atlantic referred to as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this situation, the band of winds that circles the North Pole weakens, allowing cold air to spill southwards into the mid-latitudes.

In the past twelve months, we've had six major Category 3 or stronger storms on the NESIS scale, by far the most major snowstorms in a 12-month period in the historical record. Going back to 1956, only one 12-month period had as many as four major snowstorms--during 1960 - 1961. New York City has seen three of its top-ten snowstorms and the two snowiest months in its 142-year history during the past 12 months--February 2010 (36.9") and January 2011 (36.0"). Philadelphia has seen four of its top-ten snowstorm in history the past two winters. The Midwest has not been left out of the action this year, either--the Groundhog's Day blizzard nailed Chicago with its 3rd biggest snowstorm on record. According to the National Climatic Data Center, December 2010 saw the 7th greatest U.S. snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, and January 2011 the 5th most. December 2009 had the greatest snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, January 2010 the 6th most, and February 2010 the 3rd most. Clearly, the snows of the past two winters in the U.S. have been truly extraordinary.


Figure 1. The six major Category 3 Northeast snowstorms of the past twelve months. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A cold January in the U.S.
January 2011 was the coldest January in the contiguous U.S. since 1994, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and ranked as the 37th coldest January in the 117-year record. Despite the heavy snows in the Northeast U.S., January was the 9th driest January since 1895. This was largely due to the fact that the Desert Southwest was very dry, with New Mexico recording its driest January, and Arizona and Nevada their second driest.

A cold and record snowy winter (yet again!) in the U.S. does not prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming, as we must instead focus on global temperatures averaged over decades. Globally, January 2011 was the 11th warmest since 1880, but tied for the second coolest January of the past decade, according to NASA. NOAA has not yet released their stats for January. The cool-down in global temperatures since November 2010, which was the warmest November in the historical record, is largely due to the temporary cooling effect of the strong La Niña event occurring in the Eastern Pacific. This event has cooled a large portion of the surface waters in the Pacific, leading to a cooler global temperature.

Some posts of interest I've done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)

Have a great weekend, everyone, and enjoy the coming warm-up, those of you in the eastern 2/3 of the country!

Jeff Masters
Snow and icicle sun
Snow and icicle sun
Cardinal City
Cardinal City
Another exciting day for me, shooting the Cardinals in the Snow!

Winter Weather

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting Orcasystems:


I see BF had ice on the bayou again... you guys can keep that cold stuff in the deep south where it belongs. We are back to golfing weather up here.


The world is upside down, LOL.
Quoting Patrap:
SH132011 - Tropical Cyclone BINGIZA

2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

Looks like it's happening now. Wonder how bad the storm surge is in that bay whose name I used to know but have now forgotten [gotta read up my Madagascar stuff again]. I know the winds blowing right up into its mouth, which might prevent whatever surge they do get from receding as quickly as possible.... Isn't there some kind of nature preserve on that peninsula?
It is stupid of me to waste time on that kind of thing. I was on that new account that I cant seem to get ignore to work on. You guys should say "what are you doing wasting time like that" especially as a typhoon is hitting.

Quoting Grothar:


You didn't like mine?
I would if it was actually of ND..... lol
Quoting Cochise111:


Help my case? I will never bite my tongue when someone attacks me personally. Sure, they can disagree with what I write, but when they insult me through the anonymity of the internet it pisses me off.


Was it aimed directly at you? NO
I threw the bait out there, and you bit.

It was actually aimed at all the "know it all's" that seemed to have taken over the blog.
Quoting Cochise111:


Help my case? I will never bite my tongue when someone attacks me personally. Sure, they can disagree with what I write, but when they insult me through the anonymity of the internet it pisses me off.


Help your case.....

Right now, a lot of people have not put you on ignore.. myself included. You will probably get a 24 for your outburst, and its deserved... and yes they can be worth it sometimes (I know, I have got 2 and don't regret either of them)

if you continue to just start pinging off people.. then other people, myself included.. just lump you into a certain group (PIA)... and put you on ignore.

You may actually have something to contribute to the Blog.. but people will never know as they have put you on ignore.

ergo: back off a bit, and live and let live.




Quoting Grothar:


Yo, Dan. I wented to college too. And I am not an egotist, either. I go to church. LOL

How you doing stranger?


Hey Gro, watching the Grammy's and realizing I'm not missing much in the music industry. LOL

BTW, is that for the church of the big heads? ;)
Quoting Grothar:


Yo, Dan. I wented to college too. And I am not an egotist, either. I go to church. LOL

How you doing stranger?


Hey Grothar !! How ya like my new avatar.....?
1509. Patrap
..the thing about Science,it does not care if one Believes, it just is..

a recent quote from a name that escapes me.
Quoting PcolaDan:


The world is upside down, LOL.


I sent BF some mittens.. tempted to send her some figure skates. Snake had snow the other day... you guys weather is just FUBAR.

Quoting BahaHurican:
I would if it was actually of ND..... lol


WHAT! you mean that's not the ND mountains?!?!?!?! ;)
1485 Xyrus2000:

What? Conduction HELPS get the heat energy into the water. Waters ability to heat up fairly quickly and hang onto heat is due in part to it's absorption properties


Wrong and wrong.

The bold part, along with the next phrase, is just flat out wrong, as water has one of the highest specific heat capacities of almost anything in nature. Specific heat capacity has nothing to do with absorption properties, but is a measure of how much thermal energy is required to raise or lower the temperature of a substance. Water also has a ridiculously high heat of fusion and heat of vaporization compared to many other substances.


The italic part is wrong, because we can test this. I have videos of it being demonstrably, provably false, which you continue to ignore.
1513. Ossqss
Quoting Patrap:
Was she a white G.Shepherd? I had a solid black one who lived for 11 years.....still miss him very much., as I know you miss Nova.

AKC ,yes..and from a Line I had since 89',she was the last of that line,Nova was.


I have a new one Now,Nola Roux


She sure has grown up! I still remember you convincing me to get a dog too. We ended up with Zeus, but you forgot to let me know what happens when they grow up, and to check the feet thing. Everything got (100 lbs) bigger all the way around :)
Quoting Orcasystems:


I sent BF some mittens.. tempted to send her some figure skates. Snake had snow the other day... you guys weather is just FUBAR.



This is the second winter in a row too. Couple of my plants that survived last year, barely with some TLC, look like they not be able to survive this year on top of last year.
1516. Grothar
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Hey Grothar !! How ya like my new avatar.....?


I like it, the other one was kind of scary. Reminiscent of Dali.
1517. Patrap
Quoting Ossqss:


She sure has grown up! I still remember you convincing me to get a dog too. We ended up with Zeus, but you forgot to let me know what happens when they grow up, and to check the feet thing. Everything got (100 lbs) bigger all the way around :)


Yeah,,but the Lub dey give is well worth it.
Give Zeus a nice pat on the Head for me.

Im Grammied out.

G'night, and stay classy wunderground.

Quoting Grothar:


I like it, the other one was kind of scary. Reminiscent of Dali.


LOL...got crossed looking at the crossed eyes....this is Igor and Julia....I thought this was the most fascinating sight....still do
1519. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


Hey Gro, watching the Grammy's and realizing I'm not missing much in the music industry. LOL

BTW, is that for the church of the big heads? ;)


Watching it too. Just don't understand the words in the songs. Perhaps it's best if I don't. And no, it is the church of the big hats.
Quoting Orcasystems:
t

Since we now know that almost anyone can be termed a "Scientist" you going to have to come up with a better definition as to what you call a "Scientist"

Here is what I have found...

If you study a system, collect verifiable data, form testable hypotheses about the system's properties, and evaluate those hypotheses objectively, then you are arguably practising science . Usually "scientists" are associated with the study of naturally-occurring physical and biological systems, but it is commonly assumed that human cultural systems (such as religion, politics, society, or business) can be studied scientifically as well.

Of course, it is also widely believed that "social" scientists have generally been much less successful than "natural" scientists, and the principles that govern human cultural systems remain poorly understood at best.

In practice, the title of "scientist" is almost completely unregulated, and anyone can legally claim it, regardless of education or profession. In some states, you could be restricted from using titles like "soil scientist" or "wetlands scientist" due to licensing rules.


Going by this definition... "anyone" working with the data, could be called a "Scientist"




Yes. Just like anyone can be a carpenter, or electrician, or doctor, or any other profession you'd care to name.

However, unlike carpenters, electricians, doctors, and other such professions, "scientist" is not a profession with a board certification. Typically, you are not considered a professional scientist in your field unless you have published peer reviewed research in that field. This typically happens while pursuing a graduate degree in your particular field, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to have letters after your name to be a "professional" scientist.

Also, just because someone is an expert in one field doesn't imply they are an expert in another field, even if those fields are related. For example, just because someone has a Ph.D in astrophysics that doesn't make them an expert in heliospherics. Just because someone is a world renowned meteorologist doesn't make them an expert in climate. And just because someone is an expert at open-heart surgery doesn't make them an expert on open spine surgery.

A scientist who is published in their field is someone I listen to when it comes to their field. Someone claiming to be a scientist in their field who has not published in that field (or have had their claims discredited repeatedly by the larger scientific community) is someone I do not listen to. If that person is also someone who openly disparages, harasses, and/or insults that science community as well, then that person also becomes someone I do not respect.

Of course, this is mainly just my opinion. There is no official standard to what a professional scientist "is".
So I did look, and what I have of the Fargo area is too dark or too blurred... the best I have are from Rugby and Willison. Not exactly the same place... lol
1522. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


This is the second winter in a row too. Couple of my plants that survived last year, barely with some TLC, look like they not be able to survive this year on top of last year.


If you lived in the right part of Florida, that wouldn't happen.
1523. Sergej7
US feb. 1-11 (2011, -feb. 5)

All Link
1524. Ossqss
Quoting Grothar:


Watching it too. Just don't understand the words in the songs. Perhaps it's best if I don't. And no, it is the church of the big hats.


You gotta work on that translation stuff. Just don't look it up on that Youtube thing :)


I better go......... out>>>>>>>>>>>>
Quoting BahaHurican:
So I did look, and what I have of the Fargo area is too dark or too blurred... the best I have are from Rugby and Willison. Not exactly the same place... lol


OK I found this one.. are you sure its not just like Saskatchewan?



Fargo ND Blizzard by Jerry Reynolds

You have to be tough to live in Fargo North Dakota. Extreme Blizzards, -40 degree lows with -80 degree windchill. During the winter someone usually dies in or outside of Fargo when they get stranded in their cars. If you live outside the city, your best mode of transportation is dog sledding or as they say in Alaska, Mushing. Photos by Jerry Reynolds
Quoting Grothar:


If you lived in the right part of Florida, that wouldn't happen.


Umm I thought all of Florida was to the right?
1527. Grothar
Quoting BahaHurican:
So I did look, and what I have of the Fargo area is too dark or too blurred... the best I have are from Rugby and Willison. Not exactly the same place... lol


Do be upset. From what I remember, that is what Fargo looks like in the winter.
Quoting Grothar:


If you lived in the right part of Florida, that wouldn't happen.


That's not what I'm hearing from others down that way. Think most of it was earlier though.

What are you talking about?

You made the statement that water doesn't respond to any EM radiation. I disproved this by using a microwave, which uses the fact that water absorbs microwave radiation and converts it to heat. I don't think this is too hard to understand.


Nope. I said that "most" of the radiation passes through, or elsewhere that the water absorbes "almost none" etc.

I don't recall anywhere saying that "none" of the radiation was absorbed.




What? No they're not.

A material doesn't change it's spectral response just because its state has changed. In fact, it's that very property that makes spectral analysis so useful to begin with.


Emission and absorbtion are different things from properties such as transparency, refraction, and reflectivity.




Maybe you missed this part, but water is TRANSPARENT to the visible spectrum. Visible light will pass on through water. Other EM radiation will be blocked, absorbed, reflected, or changed depending on the wavelength, but visible wavelengths will just zoom on through.

Therefore, concentrating a beam of intense visible light onto a substance that reacts to visible light by converting it to heat can catch on fire even if shone through several feet of water.

Now if you were attempting to concentrate an intense beam of IR radiation though water and assuming you are using materials that can work in that wave band, then the wood wouldn't catch on fire as the water would absorb about 60-70% of the incoming radiation (well, eventually it would if you focused enough energy on it but you'd flash boil the water first).


UH.

Nice ignorant, "text book" description.

Unfortunately, I've already posted several videos as evidence that you are 100% wrong.

He burns saturated wood floating on water, and leaves SUBMERGED in water.

youtube.com/watch?v=500u8Zavyyk

The temperature of spontaneous combustion of dry wood with no flame is 1110f.

He burned submerged leaves using light.

I can't even find any information on how hot wood or leaves needs to be in order to burn while submerged in tap water or rain water. Probably not many people have ever tried to do it.

This is only a 22 inch diameter circular lense, with the handle stick partially covering the lense.

If the water was absorbing as much radiation as you claim, then why isn't the water flash boiling, since the boiling point of water is a hell of a lot lower than the burning point of dry wood? Nevermind the fact that the wood was saturated and even submerged?

If the water was absorbing much of anything it should flash boil. It can't be absorbing more than a few watts. It absorbs "something" but obviously not a "significant" amount. If it did, it would flash boil under this lense. The wood obviously flash burns, as the temperatures in the focal point are AT LEAST 1110f...

1530. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


That's not what I'm hearing from others down that way. Think most of it was earlier though.


No, Don't believe a word of it. It was just a left-wing-ultraconservative, elitist "conspiracy" to keep the tourists away, so they could raise our taxes. The temperatures never dropped below 85 deg all winter. Don't believe in what you read.
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm I thought all of Florida was to the right?


I remember when, if you wanted a voice in who the governor was going to be, because they were always picked in the Democratic primary. It was a shoe-in after that.
Quoting Grothar:


No, Don't believe a word of it. It was just a left-wing-ultraconservative, elitist "conspiracy" to keep the tourists away, so they could raise our taxes. The temperatures never dropped below 85 deg all winter. Don't believe in what you read.


oxymoron ;)
Quoting BahaHurican:
So I did look, and what I have of the Fargo area is too dark or too blurred... the best I have are from Rugby and Willison. Not exactly the same place... lol


here's a pic of Downtown in summer:

Link

and here is a pic of a Fargoan shoveling snow:



And an aerial pic in the fall:

Link
1534. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


oxymoron ;)



That is just plain oxy to you! Where is GeoffWPB when you need him?
Quoting PcolaDan:


oxymoron ;)
I havn't like seen you in ages.I was wondering when an old member was gonna show up.
Quoting Grothar:


If you lived in the right part of Florida, that wouldn't happen.
LOL u r sooo right.... lol

As a case in point:
Quoting Sergej7:
US feb. 1-11 (2011, -feb. 5)

All Link


Note on this map [ty, Sergej7] the part of FL that is one the few parts of the CONUS 2 be ABOVE average this past decade???? lol
Quoting Grothar:



That is just plain oxy to you! Where is GeoffWPB when you need him?
Yes where is he as well.And DestinJeff.I know they don't come during the off season(and for good reason)but damn they could at least pay a visit.
Quoting washingtonian115:
I havn't like seen you in ages.I was wondering when an old member was gonna show up.


Old would be Grothar :)
Umm unless your talking about just being a Member :)
Quoting Grothar:


No, Don't believe a word of it. It was just a left-wing-ultraconservative, elitist "conspiracy" to keep the tourists away, so they could raise our taxes. The temperatures never dropped below 85 deg all winter. Don't believe in what you read.
LOL, you owe me a new keyboard, I spewed my pop all over it!!! (j/k!!!)
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm I thought all of Florida was to the right?
Yeah... to the right of the Bahamas on the map.... :o)

Quoting washingtonian115:
I havn't like seen you in ages.I was wondering when an old member was gonna show up.
As opposed to one who's been a member for a long time.... lol

@ Taylor... thanks for the pics. Particularly the aerial one gives a greater scope of the town... and as 4 the snow shovelling... feel free to keep all that cold white stuff 2 urself.... no, really! :o)
1541. Grothar
Quoting washingtonian115:
I havn't like seen you in ages.I was wondering when an old member was gonna show up.


Dan has given us some of our funniest moments here. I for one have stayed away a lot due to the 'take-over of the blog by a few during peak hours. We never hogged the blog, did we Dan??
1542. bappit
Quoting PcolaDan:


I remember when, if you wanted a voice in who the governor was going to be, because they were always picked in the Democratic primary. It was a shoe-in after that.

Yep, back when the Republican party was verboten (can I say "verboten") in the South. The John Rarick think-alikes left the Democratic party when they realized people had forgotten why they were boycotting the GOP. Less competition for them over there.
Quoting Grothar:



That is just plain oxy to you! Where is GeoffWPB when you need him?


Sounds like something my wife would say. You know, when I tell her how witty I am, and she says I got it half right. ;)
Quoting Grothar:


Dan has given us some of our funniest moments here. I for one have stayed away a lot due to the 'take-over of the blog by a few during peak hours. We never hogged the blog, did we Dan??


Never happen, and since I have hit my quota tonight.....

TTFN

:)
1545. Grothar
Quoting Orcasystems:


Old would be Grothar :)
Umm unless your talking about just being a Member :)


I knew you couldn't pass that one up! Probably couldn't hit those keys fast enough. And for the last time, I am not OLD, just extremely mature.
Quoting Orcasystems:


Old would be Grothar :)
Umm unless your talking about just being a Member :)
Ha!.As in old I meant a member.Even thouh some Newbies are all right.
Quoting Grothar:


Dan has given us some of our funniest moments here. I for one have stayed away a lot due to the 'take-over of the blog by a few during peak hours. We never hogged the blog, did we Dan??
Oh! and let us not forget the funny pictures they posted of the sites number one infamous bloger.And I remember the time cyclone oz posted the clown pic.To hilarious.
Quoting BahaHurican:
Yeah... to the right of the Bahamas on the map.... :o)

As opposed to one who's been a member for a long time.... lol

@ Taylor... thanks for the pics. Particularly the aerial one gives a greater scope of the town... and as 4 the snow shovelling... feel free to keep all that cold white stuff 2 urself.... no, really! :o)
Yes that and the fact that they havn't shown themsevles very often.
Quoting washingtonian115:
I havn't like seen you in ages.I was wondering when an old member was gonna show up.


Wait, just saw this. Who you calling ....


excuse me


Okay, had to read back to see what you called me.

Yea, who you calling old?!?!?! :)

And now, really

exit, stage >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
1548. bappit
Quoting JohnTucker:
Proxy records Levi, are like the gnat study on that One lake in Alaska you tried to extrapolate the entire climatological history of earth (source - "WUWT" ironically enough) from last night.

Sorry, can't help it. Levi did that?
1549. Grothar
Quoting TaylorSelseth:
LOL, you owe me a new keyboard, I spewed my pop all over it!!! (j/k!!!)


Actually, I froze this winter. Reminded me of Norway in summer. LOL
A weather note of no interest to anyone but me, lol...

Cold dry air mass has been slow to moderate over Gulf South, but certainly rising to above avg temps by late week as broad ridging builds overhead... Will be interesting to see how much the warmth will spike up our February mean temperature value by month's end - currently one of the coldest with 41F MT locally thru today, running 15F below avg...

Note: Had an unusual (for SE LA) combination early Sunday morn of freezing temps, heavy frost AND freezing fog! The freezing fog was the 2nd in past 3 days here - and I doubt I've witnessed it but maybe 5-6 times in my 6 decades observing wx... It lifted out by daybreak...

Houma LA KHUM obs Sunday Feb 13 2011 -

5:50AM 28.4F 30.41" / 30.42" clear 7.00 miles /
4:40AM 30.6F 30.39" / 30.40" ice fog < 0.25 miles / 200ft ceiling
4:00AM 31.1F 30.40" / 30.41" ice fog < 0.25 miles / 200ft ceiling
3:40AM 31.1F 30.40" / 30.41" ice fog 0.25 miles / 200ft ceiling

This was Houma area's 25th Frost, 19th Freeze this season, both well above avg numbers... Last year set the record on frosts with 28 (personal obs), while all-time daily freeze record is 22 set in Winter 1995-96...
Quoting PcolaDan:


Wait, just saw this. Who you calling ....


excuse me


Okay, had to read back to see what you called me.

Yea, who you calling old?!?!?! :)

And now, really

exit, stage >>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>
Didn't mean old in that way xD!.As in..Oh wait now I know what to..yes I'll say that.A long term member!.Yes!.
Quoting washingtonian115:
Didn't mean old in that way xD!.As in..Oh wait now I know what to..yes I'll say that.A long term member!.Yes!.


I think you were right the first time.. he is old... Grothar is just ummm really really mature.. one could say ancient.

I have to hide over here for awhile... I just called RTLSNK a SNAG.
1553. Grothar
Quoting Orcasystems:


I think you were right the first time.. he is old... Grothar is just ummm really really mature.. one could say ancient.

I have to hide over here for awhile... I just called RTLSNK a SNAG.


Not a wise thing to do. Those old vets can get mean. LOL
1554. JRRP
1555. beell
Hey, Doc,
What happened to the KHUM dp measurement for 16 hrs when ya'll had this alleged frzfg?
(j/k)

Link
Bingiza made landfall. Looks like during an eyewall replacement. Still around 100-110kts Here's on MIMIC.
Quoting bappit:

Sorry, can't help it. Levi did that?


I dont know what he was thinking - something about Alaska not having temp records - it does they are just in the literature. It actually has quite an abundance of proxy records.


The actual extension to global temp was made when Watts posted re-graphed data.

No one should be using Watts without verifying it first.
6.6 2011/02/14 03:40:11 -35.433 -72.739 25.4 OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE
Quoting RecordSeason:
Again, we find that the water itself absorbs almost no EM radiation.

He has a heat sink submerged in the water as a "target" for the concentrated solar radiation.

Video


Floating wood and underwater leaves burn in water

These leaves are about an inch or two under water, and they experience conflagration when the beam hits them. The water is largely unaffected.

Same lens melts glass (~2700f) after 25 to 30 seconds exposure

Anyway, the one with burning wood on the other side of the aquarium I haven't been able to find again.

However, the one burning saturated wood and leaves submerged in water is even more impressive and demonstrates my point even better.


Now you've pretty much convinced me that you don't know what you're talking about.

The water is steaming and boiling in those videos. Why? Because the wood converts the light to thermal energy, and the water in contact with the hot wood steams and boils.

The leaves under the water begin to sinter (which heats up the water). Why? Because the light passing through the water is UNIMPEDED by the water. The water doesn't begin to heat up until the visible light encounters something that converts visible light to heat.

The fresnel lens is NOT focusing IR radiation, it is focusing VISIBLE radiation which has NO IMPACT ON WATER.

Experiment: Four class 4 or higher lasers. Laser goggles. Laser shield capable of withstanding high heat. Two thermometers. Three lasers should be from the visible spectrum. The other laser should be from the IR spectrum (a CO2 laser will work).

BE CAREFUL WITH THESE LASERS. CLASS 4 LASERS CAN IGNITE WOOD AND EVEN THE REFLECTED LIGHT CAN PERMANENTLY BLIND YOU.

Set up two IR transparent containers of water. Set up the laser shield behind them. For one container, set up the three visible lasers to fire through it. For the other container, set up the single IR laser to fire through it. Put in the thermometers, but keep the thermometers out of the beam.

Once everything has been safely set up, turn on the lasers. Can you guess what will happen?

The container being bombarded by the visible lasers won't be effected. If you don't have an appropriate laser shield behind the container, you may notice that the wall may be smoking. The one being hit by the IR laser however will heat up, as it will absorb 60-70% of the incident radiation.

You can just use a class 4 IR laser to do the experiment, however it's not nearly as dramatic.

If water did not respond to IR radiation, then we would be living on a permanent snowball. It is due precisely to the fact that water IS a green house gas that strongly absorbs thermal radiation that this planet isn't a block of ice. This is even very simple mathematically prove. Earth's naked black body temperature with no atmospheric effects is between -18 and -19C. That's not the arctic, that's what the global temperature average would be. The atmosphere and all those lovely green house gases (water vapor being the biggest one) is what brings our global temperature up to it's balmy average of around 16 C.

So if water does NOT react to IR as you claim, then what is your explanation for the warmth of our planet?
South Africa

Flash floods in the Karoo heartland at the weekend have caused millions of rands in damage to roads and dams, while disaster management officials are on high alert and ready to evacuate residents in low-lying areas. In and around the historic town of Graaff-Reinet and nearby Nieu Bethesda, more than 100mm of rain fell in 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Some farmers reported 75mm falling in just 30 minutes – knocking out cellphone and landline communications, causing dams on farms to burst and tearing up dirt roads, rendering many areas inaccessible. In Graaff-Reinet, police, disaster management and traffic officials are poised to evacuate residents in low-lying areas after the town‘s Nqweba Dam swelled to its highest level in more than 36 years yesterday. Disaster management officials said the dam, which lies above the town, rose to 116% capacity early yesterday morning – its highest level since devastating floods in 1974 – following weeks of rain in the area and heavy thunderstorms late on Saturday. Extra police and traffic officials are on standby in case residents need to be evacuated – particularly the Huis Van De Graaff old age home and the Union High and Prep school hostels.

The area‘s disaster management head, Christopher Rhoode, said he had had about five hours of sleep the entire weekend. “It is very humid and it looks like more rain is on the way.” Formerly Van Ryneveld‘s Dam, the Nqweba has only overflowed once since 1974, briefly – and mildly – three years ago. Rhoode said a heavy downpour saw 70mm of rain fall on Saturday in the dam‘s catchment area of Nieu Bethesda. He said the SA Weather Service had warned of “unpredictable weather” over the summer season because of the La Nina weather phenomenon, which typically brings higher rainfall in the form of heavy downpours. The dam is fed by the Sundays River and Gatsrivier and forms the Lower Sundays River, which runs around the town‘s historic centre. Emergency services were on tenterhooks following the collapse from heavy rains of a major dam in the area, Coloniesplaas near Nieu Bethesda, earlier last week. The N2 between Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg also had to be closed due to flooding, but was reopened for the weekend.

Union Prep School mother Bronwyn Kingwill said the school had been SMSing parents since Friday when the dam was close to overflowing, saying the situation was being monitored “by the hour”. Nieu Bethesda farmer Peet van Heerden said the rains had caused serious damage to infrastructure. “We estimate that the damage to the various farms runs into millions of rand,” said Van Heerden, whose farm dam has burst. “It was a flash flood and knocked out all cellphone and landline communications.” Cellphone reception was restored late yesterday, while landlines remained down.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Jeez, another one? I wonder if it's just going to keep traveling up the fault line.
South Africa has had a time this year with floods. Africa in general has too. Some drought this year also But lots of crop loss from floods lately in contrast with lower predicted losses earlier in the year.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
6.6 2011/02/14 03:40:11 -35.433 -72.739 25.4 OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE
Talk about bad luck.It's like the same area that keeps getting hit.
Quoting beell:
Hey, Doc,
What happened to the KHUM dp measurement for 16 hrs when ya'll had this alleged frzfg?
(j/k)

Link


LOL Beell,
I was wondering about their hygrometer when I viewed those reading from this site earlier...

KHUM still has reportage issues (and usual suspect obs as all do from time to time), but it's an improvement that it finally has a 24 hr AWOS, since May 11 2010... Sometimes they actually report on the hour properly, lol...

BTW, I saw the freezing fog early this morn... and also on Fri morn...
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Jeez, another one? I wonder if it's just going to keep traveling up the fault line.
For some odd reason I think a biger one will come.....
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Now you've pretty much convinced me that you don't know what you're talking about.

The water is steaming and boiling in those videos. Why? Because the wood converts the light to thermal energy, and the water in contact with the hot wood steams and boils.

The leaves under the water begin to sinter (which heats up the water). Why? Because the light passing through the water is UNIMPEDED by the water. The water doesn't begin to heat up until the visible light encounters something that converts visible light to heat.

The fresnel lens is NOT focusing IR radiation, it is focusing VISIBLE radiation which has NO IMPACT ON WATER.

Experiment: Four class 4 or higher lasers. Laser goggles. Laser shield capable of withstanding high heat. Two thermometers. Three lasers should be from the visible spectrum. The other laser should be from the IR spectrum (a CO2 laser will work).

BE CAREFUL WITH THESE LASERS. CLASS 4 LASERS CAN IGNITE WOOD AND EVEN THE REFLECTED LIGHT CAN PERMANENTLY BLIND YOU.

Set up two IR transparent containers of water. Set up the laser shield behind them. For one container, set up the three visible lasers to fire through it. For the other container, set up the single IR laser to fire through it. Put in the thermometers, but keep the thermometers out of the beam.

Once everything has been safely set up, turn on the lasers. Can you guess what will happen?

The container being bombarded by the visible lasers won't be effected. If you don't have an appropriate laser shield behind the container, you may notice that the wall may be smoking. The one being hit by the IR laser however will heat up, as it will absorb 60-70% of the incident radiation.

You can just use a class 4 IR laser to do the experiment, however it's not nearly as dramatic.

If water did not respond to IR radiation, then we would be living on a permanent snowball. It is due precisely to the fact that water IS a green house gas that strongly absorbs thermal radiation that this planet isn't a block of ice. This is even very simple mathematically prove. Earth's naked black body temperature with no atmospheric effects is between -18 and -19C. That's not the arctic, that's what the global temperature average would be. The atmosphere and all those lovely green house gases (water vapor being the biggest one) is what brings our global temperature up to it's balmy average of around 16 C.

So if water does NOT react to IR as you claim, then what is your explanation for the warmth of our planet?



Since when does water produce a smokey white cloud from beneath while boiling?

Again, I doubt you even bothered to watch the video.

You can watch the leaf BURN UNDER water.

It is fully submerged, and you can watch a white milky cloud of smoke rise a bit, and then spread out horizontally through the water, below the surface. You can see this to the top of the screen and to the left of the focal point.


Water bubbles (as in flash boiling) do not do that.

Same video

I already showed videos of what flash boiling looks like, and it is nothing like this.

The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by John Tyndall in 1858, and first reported quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.

If an ideal thermally conductive blackbody was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth is, it would have a temperature of about 5.3 C. However, since the Earth reflects about 30% (or 28%) of the incoming sunlight, the planet's effective temperature (the temperature of a blackbody that would emit the same amount of radiation) is about -18 or -19 C, about 33C below the actual surface temperature of about 14 C or 15 C


Wed all be blocks of ice without the greenhouse effect. And the first ice age would have been our last without CO2.
1569. bappit
Quoting Xyrus2000:
So if water does NOT react to IR as you claim, then what is your explanation for the warmth of our planet?

Big electric blankets, at least in my experience.

Decay of radioactive elements is thought to provide some heat. We are riding around on a big nuclear waste container so to speak. There are theories about nuclear fission going on down there, too.

Of course, a heat source inside the earth would not explain tropical cyclones particularly well, baroclinic zones and all that. The earth would be like a big lightbulb more or less evenly heated all around.

Then again, if water does not react to IR then how do clouds keep the surface from cooling at night?
Quoting RecordSeason:
Wrong and wrong.

The bold part, along with the next phrase, is just flat out wrong, as water has one of the highest specific heat capacities of almost anything in nature.


I'm not wrong. You keep changing the discussion.

You are talking about kinetic heating via conduction. I have been talking about heating specifically caused by IR absorption. These are two different things.


Specific heat capacity has nothing to do with absorption properties, but is a measure of how much thermal energy is required to raise or lower the temperature of a substance. Water also has a ridiculously high heat of fusion and heat of vaporization compared to many other substances.


The italic part is wrong, because we can test this. I have videos of it being demonstrably, provably false, which you continue to ignore.


I AM TALKING ABOUT SPECTRAL PROPERTIES OF WATER. I am not talking about specific heats, or vapor pressures, moments of inertia, heavy water concentrations, or impurities. You keep changing the topic, and wandering off down these tangents.

I haven't ignored your videos. You're videos just don't show what you claim.

1571. Levi32
Quoting JohnTucker:


I dont know what he was thinking - something about Alaska not having temp records - it does they are just in the literature. It actually has quite an abundance of proxy records.


The actual extension to global temp was made when Watts posted re-graphed data.

No one should be using Watts without verifying it first.


Ok so first off, I never even gave a link to WUWT. I posted the study and an image that was generated by a web site that was not WUWT.

Secondly, you are again putting words in my mouth. I never said the proxy represented global climate, and I never said it was deadly accurate. No single paleoclimatological record is either of those things. I would appreciate it if you stick to the facts and actually quote me.
Water and liquid water absorption (note units)





But here is the VERY TECHNICAL.

1573. beell
Quoting DocNDswamp:
I saw the freezing fog early this morn... and also on Fri morn...


Ok, I'm a believer! Looks like plenty fog for all of us this week on the gulf coast.
Wow talk about a change in tone in the blog.My avatar mustv'e scared most bloggers away.
Beell, I was gawking in astonishment seeing the frzg fog while checking the ice in my buckets / thick frost coating everything... Heck, if woulda lasted longer mighta had rime icing to boot from the frz fog! LOL...

Yeah, looking nasty with dense fog prospects ahead...
(finally saw the SW wind this aftn here)
G'nite guys! :-)
Quoting RecordSeason:



Since when does water produce a smokey white cloud from beneath while boiling?

Again, I doubt you even bothered to watch the video.

You can watch the leaf BURN UNDER water.

It is fully submerged, and you can watch a white milky cloud of smoke rise a bit, and then spread out horizontally through the water, below the surface. You can see this to the top of the screen and to the left of the focal point.


Water bubbles (as in flash boiling) do not do that.

Same video

I already showed videos of what flash boiling looks like, and it is nothing like this.



You seem to think burning something underwater is something exceptional. It isn't. All you need is either sufficient heat or a sufficient oxidizer. In fact, you can create something that burns quite vigorously under water using nothing more than table sugar and stump remover.

Yes, the water is steaming and boiling in the video when the person is burning the floating wood. I didn't say flash boil, I said normal boiling. The "smoke" is a mixture of wood smoke and water vapor.

The underwater "smoke" isn't smoke. The heat, water, plus decomposing leaves is most likely creating crude mixtures of nitrate compounds and lye (sodium hydroxide). That lens isn't generating enough heat to split water, and there isn't enough dissolved oxygen in that water for any sort of real combustion, nor is there a catalyst or oxidizer present. However, some decomposing organic material, rainwater, and heat is all you need to create some caustic chemicals.

And none of this has any bearing on the conversation, which is about water's ability to absorb IR radiation.


EDIT:

Since you're so fond of YoutTube videos, I found one demonstrating how water does indeed absorb IR radiation.

Link

This is a short video that uses a 30 Watt CO2 laser (IR band laser) in an attempt to burn the wood underneath the cup. As you can see, all the laser does is start to boil the water.

For reference, a 30 watt laser is capable of burning through wood instantly and is capable of engraving metals.
1578. bappit
Wikipedia factoids:

Water is transparent in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. Thus aquatic plants can live in water because sunlight can reach them. Ultra-violet and infrared light is strongly absorbed.

In physics, absorption of electromagnetic radiation is the way by which the energy of a photon is taken up by matter, typically the electrons of an atom. Thus, the electromagnetic energy is transformed to other forms of energy for example, to heat.

The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.[1][2]

The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by John Tyndall in 1858, and first reported quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.[3]

If an ideal thermally conductive blackbody was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth is, it would have a temperature of about 5.3 °C. However, since the Earth reflects about 30%[4] (or 28%[5]) of the incoming sunlight, the planet's effective temperature (the temperature of a blackbody that would emit the same amount of radiation) is about −18 or −19 °C,[6][7] about 33°C below the actual surface temperature of about 14 °C or 15 °C.[8] The mechanism that produces this difference between the actual surface temperature and the effective temperature is due to the atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect.

Notice that difference between the earth's effective blackbody temperature and the earth's actual surface temperature. If a greenhouse effect were not occurring then we would not have a tropical weather blog. No way.

Now we get to the "interesting" part.

Global warming, a recent warming of the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere,[9] is believed to be the result of a strengthening of the greenhouse effect mostly due to human-produced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases.[10]

The first factoid is really off on a tangent from the rest. Whatever. Bottom line: the greenhouse effect is real. Homo sapiens probably would not exist without it--not at -18C average temp. We certainly would be hairier I think. The stage is set for the CO2 story to unfold.
Quoting JohnTucker:
What is this leaf boiling you tube about? You know thats not far IR passing through the water. Right? And particles in fluid suspension are technically not "smoke" although sometimes they are referred to as such.



Liquid - nearly 100 percent of the IR I THINK let me check.

But here is the VERY TECHNICAL.

Actually its rather interesting - I didn't know ice was so different.


Forget it. You can show him all the spectral analysis you want, but he still won't be convinced that IR is a broad spectrum absorber of IR radiation.

As much as I hate linking to you tube videos, I even found a video of someone firing a 30 watt CO2 laser at a cup of water. It starts to boil the water, but does not burn the cup or the wood
underneath, thus proving that water does indeed absorb IR radiation.

But that probably won't be good enough either.
Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow talk about a change in tone in the blog.My avatar mustv'e scared most bloggers away.


Naw...I was off doing my other addiction (I am so ashamed) I was playing Farmville :(

But, I do keep track of the Blog while I am doing it :)
Climate Change is part of life, deal with it.

1582. bappit
Re-reading these factoids, this one stands out.

The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.[1][2]

This factoid reminds me of the posts I often read on here proclaiming that the sun is like an Aristotelian prime mover of the earth's weather. Well, not so fast.

First, of course, the rotation of the earth and the more or less spherical shape of the earth are equally important to the weather. Ask yourself what the weather would be like if the earth did not rotate on its axis? Borrrrring. What would the weather be like if the earth's surface did not slant away from perpendicular to the incoming solar radiation due to the earth's spherical shape? A lot different. The difference of course would depend on what other shape the earth had. Then there are seasons, the elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun and the Milankovitch cycles that affect those geometries. All of these factors are critical, but even they are not close to being the whole story.

What the factoid points out is that the atmosphere modifies the effect of solar radiation on the earth. Modify the atmosphere and you modify the effect the sun has.

The sun is not directly in control of the earth's climate. It never has been and never will be. The sun has its variations, but the geometry of the earth in relation to the sun also varies. Additionally, and what is to the point, the optical/thermal properties of the earth in relation to the sun's light also vary.

The king is dead. Long live factoids! If you don't know what an Aristotelian prime mover is, look it up in Wikipedia.
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
TROPICAL CYCLONE OUTLOOK
Forecast for area south of 10S between 90E-125E
12:03 PM WST February 14 2011
=====================================

At 11am WST a low was located near 16S 119E, about 480 kilometres north of Port Hedland and moving towards the west southwest. Over the next three days the low is expected to move towards the west southwest and so by Thursday is expected to be located to the northwest of Exmouth. The low may develop into a tropical cyclone on Thursday or later in the week.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
====================================

Tuesday: Low
Wednesday: Moderate
Thursday: High
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Darwin
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
FORECAST NORTHERN TERRITORY AREA BETWEEN 125E-142E
2:15 pm CST February 14 2011
================================================= ===

A weak Tropical Low, 1005 hPa, is located over the western Top End approximately 60km northwest of Katherine. The low is expected to move slowly west during the next few days and may move into the Timor Sea later in the week.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
========================================

Tuesday: Very Low
Wednesday: Low
Thursday: Moderate
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
TROPICAL CYCLONE OUTLOOK
Forecast for area south of 10S between 90E-125E
12:03 PM WST February 14 2011
=====================================

At 11am WST a low was located near 16S 119E, about 480 kilometres north of Port Hedland and moving towards the west southwest. Over the next three days the low is expected to move towards the west southwest and so by Thursday is expected to be located to the northwest of Exmouth. The low may develop into a tropical cyclone on Thursday or later in the week.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
====================================

Tuesday: Low
Wednesday: Moderate
Thursday: High
Hey HGW.... they been posting forecast maps to this effect since... Friday??? I know I saw it yesterday 4 sure...

Matching IR sat pic...


Current.


Forecast for next 4 days... til Thurday night our time.
They've got the more westerly of the two lows down to 984 or so by Thursday....
So anyway, the sunlight passed through the water, in the aquarium, did not heat the water, and burned the particle board on the other side, below the aquarium.

It's really kinda funny, because he practically said the same things I have been saying for two days in this video...


So now let's all say it together:

Water is NOT significantly heated in nature by directly absorbing EM radiation.

The solar constant isn't a microwave oven set to the perfect frequency to heat water. Water in nature is heated because suspended particles and other surfaces, such as the bed of a lake or river, absorb radiation, converting it to thermal energy. The water is heated by physical contact with those objects.



The water in the infrared laser video boils PRIMARILY because the infrared light is absorbed by the plastic and the wood BEHIND the water, then the heat enters the water through conduction by physical contact, and convection within the fluid. The plastic and wood do not burn because a pathetic 30 watt laser can't deliver heat to the plastic and wood fast enough to burn them while the heat is being carried away by the water. The water boils long before the burning point for the wood or plastic.


The leaf in the submerged burning video burns because it is in a several thousand degree conical focal point of a spot fresnel lens, at over 300 watts (based on lens dimensions). This causes it to achieve the spontaneous combustion temperature instantaneously, before the heat can be carried away by the water.

We saw this same lens melt brown glass in another video, which is at least 2700f to melt glass, as well as melt a cinder block in open air, and a similar lens vaporize stainless steel (~3000K) in another video in open air.

Your pathetic 30 watt laser isn't going to heat wood or plastic to spontaneous combustion temperature in the pressence of water...no matter how much you try...
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #21
CYCLONE TROPICAL BINGIZA (05-20102011)
10:00 AM Reunion February 14 2011
=====================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Bingiza (953 hPa) located at 15.9S 49.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 8 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
=====================
20 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
==================
30 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
===============
60 NM from the center

Near Gale Force Winds
======================
90 NM from the center extending up to 180 NM in the southern semi-circle and 240 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T4.5/5.0/W0.5/12 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
============================
12 HRS: 16.2S 47.6E - (Depression sur Terre)
24 HRS: 16.5S 46.2E - (Depression sur Terre)
48 HRS: 18.2S 43.6E - 25 knots (PERTURBATION Tropicale)
72 HRS: 20.2S 42.9E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Moderée)

Additional Information
======================

The center of the tropical cyclone has quickly made landfall on the southern part of the peninsula of Masoala, it has come back over seas on the Antongil Bay. It is expected to continue to track westward towards the eastern coastline of Madagascar and is going to make landfall north of Manambolasy. In relationship with the overland Madagascar track, winds are expected to rapidly decrease near the residual circulation center but heavy rain activity should still exist on the northern part of Malagasy. Bingiza's remnants are expected to come back over sea over the Mozambique channel at a weakened stage on Wednesday. In relationship to good environmental conditions over Mozambique channel, re-intensification is then expected.

The next tropical cyclone advisory from Seychelles Meteorological Services will be issued at 12:30 PM UTC..
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey HGW.... they been posting forecast maps to this effect since... Friday??? I know I saw it yesterday 4 sure...

Matching IR sat pic...



ya. They been mentioning that low for awhile now along with Tropical Low 15U (14S) until today.
Xyrus I told you earlier you're wasting your time on RecordSeason. I meant it lol

He literally doesnt listen to anything anybody tells him.

And RecordSeason, nice personal attack, reported.
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE 11F
18:00 PM FST February 14 2011
================================================= ==

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Disturbance 11F (1004 hPa) located at 18.5S 166.0E is reported as slowly moving. Position POOR based on multispectral infrared with animation and peripheral observations. Sea surface temperature is around 30C.

Organization remains poor. Deep convection presists in the southeastern quadrant of the system. Cyclonic circulation extends up to 500 HPA. System lies to the south of an upper ridge in a moderately sheared environment.

Global models have picked up the system and are moving it westward with slight intensification.

The potential for this disturbance to form into a tropical cyclone within the next 24-48 hours is LOW.
Am I ever going to be able to read this blog without climate change arguments within the blog. I thought this was a weather blog not a climate blog... can we please stick with the current weather so that we sont have the same arguments.
1595. tkeith
Am I ever going to be able to read this blog without climate change arguments within the blog.

yep, as soon as the first hurricane forms this season.
Just a comment regarding that February 23-28, 2010 storm that is pictured above.

That storm was way over rated (Where i live in the mid hudson valley, NY). from the 23 thru the 25 we got about 10.5 inches of snow that pretty much melted the day that it fell.. never more than 7 inches on the ground at a time... so really it was like 2 or 3 seperate systems. Granted that the mountains did get 3 feet, but down here it seemed much more like just a 5 inch snow opposed to us being solidly in that 10-20 inch band of blue.
Quoting tkeith:
Am I ever going to be able to read this blog without climate change arguments within the blog.

yep, as soon as the first hurricane forms this season.


One can only hope :)
1598. Patrap
Tropical Cyclone BINGIZA has its core/eye back over water after being inland only a few hours,


Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)




Time of Latest Image: 201102141300
1599. Patrap
I highly doubt yer wanton wants of not seeing any Global Climate Change discussion in this authors Blog will be granted.

Id say you dont know the authors passion for truth and His position on the Warming issue.

Its clearly his entry and what anyone wants to post in regard to climate change,pro or con wil always be welcomed here,..

Oh,by dee way,

NEW BLOG ENTRY
i dont know why dr masters doesnt ip ban record season. he NEVER adds anything of value to the debate and hes a troll.

place him on ignore and be done with him.