Top global weather story of 2009: drought in the Horn of Africa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:44 PM GMT on January 19, 2010

I'm in Atlanta at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, and the picture I'm getting from the presentations here is that the most significant weather event of 2009 was the failure of the summer rains in the Horn of Africa. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and September 2009 was 2 - 12 inches (50 - 300 mm) below average, leading to a continuation of the region's deadly 6-year drought. This drought has very likely contributed significantly to the ongoing civil wars and high levels of violence in some of the affected countries, as the affected population competes for scarce resources. The Horn of Africa has two rainy seasons, a main rainy season in April/May, and then the "short rains" of October/November. The failure of the 2009 main rainy season was the worst such failure of the past six years. The "short rains" of the secondary October/November were mostly near average over the region, fortunately, but millions of people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania face hunger and poverty due to withered crops, dead livestock, and dried up ponds and streams, according to the aid group Oxfam. Cattle prices have tumbled from $200 to $4 in some areas as families try to sell dying animals to buy food. Over 1.5 million animals have died in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with an estimated net worth to the region of nearly $360 million, Oxfam said. Cattle represent the only wealth for many nomadic families, and the death of these animals can begin a spiral into poverty and dependency that can trap a family for generations. The those areas where the "short rains" failed--like large parts of the Turkana region of northern Kenya, which received just 12mm of rain October through December--almost one person in three is malnourished. This region of Kenya now has the opposite problem to contend with--severe flooding. Massive downpours, probably linked to El Niño conditions, hit the region December 27 - January 5, resulting in heavy flooding that killed at least 34 people and left 10,000 people homeless. The flooding was worsened by the preceding drought, which killed much of the vegetation that ordinarily would have stabilized the soil and absorbed rainwater before it could run off and create destructive floods. Thousands of cattle were killed and large areas of crops were ruined by the flooding.

The current endemic lawlessness in countries such as Somalia and Yemen are very likely due, in large part, to the extreme drought conditions that have gripped the Horn of Africa over the past six years. Thus the continuation of this drought in 2009 likely contributed to hundreds or thousands of deaths. According to the Associated Press, in addition to the war in Somalia, which has killed at least 300,000 people since 1991 and left 1/2 of the nation's 7.2 million people in need of external aid, rebel groups are battling the central government in Ethiopia, which has restricted access to aid agencies. In northern Kenya and parts of Uganda, heavily armed ethnic militias conduct cattle raids and fight over precious grazing ground and water.


Figure 1. Hydrological drought conditions over the Horn of Africa for a 1-year period (left) and 3-year period (right) as computed using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Exceptional drought on a 1-year and 3-year time scale was affecting approximately 20 million people in the Horn of Africa, according to the Global Drought Monitor.


Figure 2. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and September 2009 was 2 - 12 inches (50 - 300 mm) below average, leading to a continuation of the deadly 6-year drought in the region. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Droughts and civil war in Africa
African countries are highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture for both employment and economic production, with agriculture accounting for more than 50% of gross domestic product and up to 90% of employment across much of the continent (World Development Indicators 2009, World Bank). One third of the population of Africa lives in drought-prone areas (World Water Forum, 2000), and about 25% of the population of Africa currently experiences high water stress. Since increased drought in Africa leads to increased competition for life-giving water, and it is logical to assume that reduced rainfall will result in increases in civil war. Several scientific studies have shown this to be true. For example, Raleigh and Urdal (2007) found that "decreasing levels of freshwater are associated with higher risks on conflict". They found this relationship was compounded by higher population densities and therefore more competition for resources. Applying a similar approach, Levy et al. (2005) found that when rainfall was significantly below normal, the likelihood of conflict outbreak was higher the subsequent year. Hendrix and Glaser (2007) also found that water availability increased the chances of conflict, but that large year-to-year changes in rainfall were more important in triggering war. For example, a dry year immediately following a wet year was more likely to cause conflict than two dry years in a row, since societies have trouble adjusting to large changes in water availability.

However, we should not just be looking at precipitation, but temperature as well, since higher temperatures also contribute to drought. Higher temperatures increase crop evapotranspiration and accelerate crop development. The combined effect of these two mechanisms is predicted to reduce the yield of African staple crops by 10% - 30% per °C of warming (Lobell et al., 2008). A 2009 study by Burke et al. titled, "Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa", found a correlation between rising temperatures and civil war in Africa. The researchers found that a 1°C warming--the amount of warming that is expected for Africa by 2030 under some of the typical IPCC climate change scenarios--has historically caused a remarkable 49% relative increase in the incidence of civil war. The authors concluded "this historical response to temperature suggests a roughly 54% increase in armed conflict incidence by 2030, or an additional 393,000 battle deaths if future wars are as deadly as recent wars". While a 1°C warming of temperature will have little impact to societies in many parts of the world, this research suggests that Africa will be very sensitive to global warming. More than two-thirds of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced civil conflict since 1960, resulting in millions of deaths and monumental human suffering. A 3°C warming by 2100 could kill an additional million people in Africa, if the conclusions of this research are correct. It's easy to think of climate change as a long way off, the researchers said in a press release, but their study shows how sensitive many human systems are to small increases in temperature, and how fast the negative impacts of climate change could be felt. "Our findings provide strong impetus to ramp up investments in African adaptation to climate change, for instance by developing crop varieties less sensitive to extreme heat and promoting insurance plans to help protect farmers from adverse effects of the hotter climate," said lead author Marshall Burke of Stanford's Program on Food Security and the Environment. One promising research development is the recent isolation of a "thermometer gene" that helps plants sense temperature. The discovery could lead to the development of food plants able to flower in much higher temperatures.


Figure 3. The forecast change in precipitation for the period 2090 - 2100, as predicted by 21 climate models used to formulate the 2007 IPCC report on climate change. The "A1B Scenario" results here are for a moderate-case warming, with a best estimate temperature rise of 2.8°C with a likely range of 1.7 - 4.4°C (5.0°F with a likely range of 3.1 - 7.9°F). Blue areas show where more than 90% of the 21 models agree that precipitation increases are likely, while orange areas show where more than 90% of the 21 models agree that precipitation decreases are likely. Image credit: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Report.

The future of drought in Africa
Global warming theory predicts that although global precipitation should increase in a warmer climate, droughts will also increase in intensity, areal coverage, and frequency (Dai et al., 2004). This occurs because when the normal variability of weather patterns brings a period of dry weather to a region, the increased temperatures due to global warming will intensify drought conditions by causing more evaporation and drying up of vegetation. However, the models used in the 2007 IPCC report on climate change mostly predict an increase in rainfall over the Horn of Africa and the Sahel region of Africa (the southern boundary of the Sahara Desert) by the end of this century (Figure 3). The increased precipitation may act to limit the length and areal extent of droughts in these regions in coming decades. The droughts that do occur may increase in intensity, though, since temperature are predicted to increase by several degrees Centigrade. Could increased rainfall lead to a re-greening of the Sahara towards the lush conditions that existed 12,000 years ago? It is possible, argues Stefan Kropelin of the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne in Germany. Satellite imagery has shown a greening of some southern portions of the Sahara (the Sahel) in recent years, he points out. However, some climate models show lower precipitation in coming decades for the Sahel and Horn of Africa, leading architect Magnus Lasson to propose building a 6,000 km long wall across the Sahara Desert to stop the spread of the desert. The wall would effectively be made by "freezing" the shifting sand dunes, turning them into sandstone using a bacterium called Bacillus pasteurii commonly found in wetlands. The microorganism chemically produces calcite--a kind of natural cement.

What the future ultimately holds for African climate is highly uncertain at this point. While the models used to formulate the 2007 IPCC report do a reasonable job simulating the the current climate over most of the world, they do a poor job of simulating Africa's current climate. The models put too much precipitation in southern Africa, and displace the band of heavy thunderstorms called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) too far south. The 2007 IPCC report concludes, "the absence of realistic variability in the Sahel in most 20th-century simulations casts some doubt on the reliability of models". In other words, since these models do a poor job simulating the current climate of the Sahel region of Africa, we shouldn't trust their predictions for the future climate.

References
Burke, M.B., Miguel, E., Satyanath, S., Dykema, J.A., and D. B. Lobell, "Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa", PNAS 2009 106: 20670-20674.

Dai A., K.E. Trenberth, and T. Qian, 2004: A global data set of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870-2002: Relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming", J. Hydrometeorol., 5, 11171130.

Hendrix, C.S., and S.M. Glaser (2007), "Trends and triggers: Climate, climate change and civil conflict in sub-Saharan Africa". Political Geography 26:695-715.

Levy, M. A., Thorkelson, C., Vörösmarty, C., Douglas, E., and M. Humphreys (2005), "Freshwater availability anomalies and outbreak of internal war: results from a global spatial time series analysis". Paper presented at the International Workshop on Climate Change and Human Security, Oslo, Norway, June 21-23.

Lobell, D.B. et al. (2008), "Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030", Science 319:607-610.

Raleigh and Urdal, 2007, "Climate change, environmental degradation and armed conflict", Political Geography 26 (6) (2007), pp. 674-694.

Sheffield, J., K. M. Andreadis, E. F. Wood, and D. P. Lettenmaier, 2009, "Global and continental drought in the second half of the 20th century: severity-area-duration analysis and temporal variability of large-scale events", J. Climate 22, pp 1962-1981.

Portlight successfully gets much-needed water filtration systems and medical supplies into Haiti
Portlight.org, the disaster-relief charity that has sprung up from the hard work and dedication of many members of the wunderground.com community, has successfully shipped medical equipment and a water filtration unit capable of supplying the needs of 3,500 people per day to the Dominican Republic. The supplies were loaded on trucks and driven into Haiti, and have reached the earthquake zone. These supplies are targeted to go to those with disabilities, or to those who are living in areas forgotten by the main aid efforts. Portlight is working through the local Catholic Church in Haiti, which is probably best positioned to deliver private aid donations to those in need. Paul Timmons, leader of the Portlight relief efforts, wrote this yesterday:

Thanks to Wunderground blogger Dak Simonton (Dakster) we were made aware of Richard Lamarque, a Haitian expatriate and 15 year veteran of the Miami Police Department who was planning to go back to Haiti this week to look for family members and to help with recovery efforts. Our on scene coordinator, Richard Lamarque, will be leaving for Haiti in a few days. He is from there, is well connected there, and has a skill set and life experiences which will be invaluable to our work there.

He will be traveling by ship. We have committed to purchasing for him a small truck to take with him. The truck will be loaded with supplies. Upon arrival, the benefits of having a vehicle on site are self evident. The truck will cost roughly $3,000 - $5,000. We have already earmarked $2000.00 for this.

We want this to be a uniquely Weather Underground community initiative. We will place WU signage on the truck...and we will be able to post photos of it at work in Haiti.

The Weather Underground community has been the genesis of our efforts. And the WU truck will be a long term, tangible symbol of the generosity of the WU community.

The next $3000 we receive will be earmarked for the WU truck. Please post this announcement to blogs...and forward it to all your WU friends.

So, please visit the Portlight.org blog to learn more and to donate. Floodman's blog has the latest info on Portlight's plan for Haitian relief. The Reeve Foundation, founded by Christopher and Dana Reeve has awarded Portlight Strategies a $10,000 Quality of of Life grant to assist in the relief efforts in Haiti. This is very big and will allow Portlight to pursue more aggressive relief efforts over the course of the next few weeks.

For those of you more interested in helping out with the long-term rebuilding of Haiti's shattered infrastructure from the quake, I recommend a contribution to Lambi Fund of Haiti, a charity that is very active in promoting reforestation efforts, use of alternative fuels, and infrastructure improvements at a grass-roots level in Haiti. I've developed a great respect for the work they do in the country in the five years I've been a supporter.

Next post
My next post will be Thursday.

Jeff Masters


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

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Ike, a couple of Cayman bloggers were on almost immediately after it happened, and kidcayman has a blog up about it.
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299. IKE
I hadn't noticed they had a 5.8 quake close to the Caymans....jeez....only 6.2 miles in depth too...

Magnitude 5.8
Date-Time

* Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 14:23:38 UTC
* Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 09:23:38 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 19.020°N, 80.779°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION
Distances 70 km (45 miles) ESE of GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands
305 km (190 miles) WNW of Montego Bay, Jamaica
345 km (215 miles) S of Cienfuegos, Cuba
750 km (465 miles) S of Miami, Florida
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 4.2 km (2.6 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=234, Nph=234, Dmin=353.6 km, Rmss=0.98 sec, Gp= 36°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
Source

* USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID us2010rrbc
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272. I can't imagine asphalt or concrete production and use would be any better. I advocate using less turf, fertilizer, and chemicals and start planting low maintenance native plants as much as possible.
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Southwestern California Weather
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

You're right. I don't usually call them names, either, but I sure don't understand it.

I have seen folks cut down 200-year-old live oaks to build a little cookie cutter house in a builder-hood (my term for those places where EVERYONE has the same fixtures as they were bought in bulk by a builder, you know "here, you can choose from one of all of these 4 floorplans!")...
I especially love the way they do it here,which is to then go behind, after cutting down all the natural trees, and plant imported trees that fall down in the first tropical storm....
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
anyone heard from kman know if he felt anything?
He was on this morning almost immediately after it happened (check the last blog) and said he was ok and that there had been only reports of minor damage so far...
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Quoting mossyhead:
I have seen individual owners of 1 or more acres clear cut also. I do not call names. I t turns people off who would may listen otherwise.

You're right. I don't usually call them names, either, but I sure don't understand it.

I have seen folks cut down 200-year-old live oaks to build a little cookie cutter house in a builder-hood (my term for those places where EVERYONE has the same fixtures as they were bought in bulk by a builder, you know "here, you can choose from one of all of these 4 floorplans!")...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Never would have seen such a disturbing post without that quote..

LOL
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Quoting RitaEvac:
lmao, what do they want to do pour concrete for lawns so water cant penetrate the ground and so we flood and drown first before global warming kills us, total idiots. 2012 come and rid the world of these morons

The best would be natural landscape and no maintenance. Problem, though, that includes the usual nasties we usually avoid in urban and suburb life.

No one wants to go to a park with waist-high grass, snakes, rats, gators, poison ivy, etc. There are a few places this would work out okay, but not for most of this country.

Plus, you know someone would gripe about leaving the leaves in place and letting them rot, versus cleaning up the place.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting WaterWitch11:
i know this will take up a ton of space but when i posted it last night there was only 12.

They are all on top of each other, i know they are swarms and this area does it from time to time.
Looks like they had a swarm today in the Puerto Rico area also...
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289. IKE
Severe threat for Wednesday.....



For Thursday....

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Quoting IKE:


Crestview......


Wednesday Night
Warmer. Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may be severe. Lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph becoming south 5 to 15 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.
Thanks, Ike. I was being too lazy i guess...lol.
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SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
[Abbreviations and acronyms used in this product]
Geographic boundaries: Map 1- [Color] [B/W Print Version] Map 2 - [Color] [B/W Print Version]


SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
331 PM EST TUE JAN 19 2010

VALID 00Z WED JAN 20 2010 - 12Z THU JAN 21 2010

MULTIPLE STORM SYSTEMS WILL MOVE INTO CALIFORNIA AND ADVANCE
EASTWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY BRINGING LIGHT TO
MODERATE RAIN TO THE WEST COAST AND SNOW INLAND TO THE SIERRAS
THROUGH THURSDAY. AS THE SYSTEMS MOVE OUT OF THE ROCKIES ... THE
STORMS WILL DRAW MOISTURE OFF THE GULF OF MEXICO AND OVERRUNNING A
FRONT EXTENDING FROM VIRGINIA TO THE CENTRAL ROCKIES PRODUCING AN
AREA OF SNOW OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS EXPANDING INTO THE UPPER
MIDWEST BY THURSDAY. IN ADDITION ... SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
WILL DEVELOP OVER THE WESTERN GULF COAST EXPANDING INTO THE
CENTRAL GULF COAST AND THE TENNESSEE VALLEY/SOUTHEAST WEDNESDAY
INTO THURSDAY. ALSO ... A GOOD SIZE REGION OF RAIN AND FREEZING
RAIN WILL DEVELOP OVER THE MIDDLE MISSOURI VALLEY INTO PARTS OF
THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THE STORM S MOISTURE WILL MOVE
INTO THE OHIO VALLEY/MID-ATLANTIC WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY
PRODUCING RAIN WITH A PATCH OF RAIN/FREEZING RAIN OVER PARTS OF
THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS THURSDAY MORNING. MEANWHILE ... A STORM
OVER THE NORTHEAST WILL TRACK EASTWARD TO OFF THE MARITIME
PROVINCES BY THURSDAY. THE SYSTEM WILL PRODUCE LIGHT SNOW OVER
THE NORTHEAST THAT WILL TAPER OFF BY THURSDAY MORNING.

ZIEGENFELDER


GRAPHICS AVAILABLE AT WWW.HPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Likewise. Though I did cut down about 20 small pines so the oaks and maples below could get a little sunlight, but clear-cutting? Dumb.

We find developers that clear out forest, even very old trees, and put in a collection of cookie cutter houses with a few Crape Myrtles moronic...
I have seen individual owners of 1 or more acres clear cut also. I do not call names. I t turns people off who would may listen otherwise.
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285. IKE
Quoting mossyhead:
But I have to admit I have not check either evening forecast for tomorrow.


Crestview......


Wednesday Night
Warmer. Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may be severe. Lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph becoming south 5 to 15 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.
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649
fxus64 klix 192148
afdlix


Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
348 PM CST Tuesday Jan 19 2010


Short term...
temperatures have warmed quite well across the area with upper 60s
to 70 through much of the inland locations. Coastal parishes and
counties are the only exception which is due to onshore flow from
cool Gulf waters. Should only see about a 15 degree drop in temperatures
overnight as increasing moisture and cloud cover keep lows above
normal. Have mentioned potential for fog along MS coast and much of
St. Tammany Parish as this area should have the lightest winds and
least cloudcover.

Long term...
models still seem to be on track for severe weather potential
Wednesday into Thursday morning. Surface low will track from the
Texas Panhandle through the Ozarks. Model soundings indicate good
low level warm air advection as well as cooling aloft and thus steepening lapse
rates. Drying aloft with time will increase the potential for strong
down drafts. Low level jet looks to be significantly increasing after
sunset and reaching 50+ kts by 06z. Nose of a 170+kt jet will be
reaching into the area in the afternoon/evening which will enhance lift.
One difference from more recent severe weather events across this
area is that the wet bulb zero in combination with shear and
instability should be low enough for the potential for large hail.
Additional threats will be bowing segments to produce damaging
winds and isolated tornadoes possibly on bookend vorticies.


One inhibiting factor will be the marine layer near the coast. Near
shore waters are in the 50s. Evidence of this has shown up in highs
along the MS and la coast today. This cooler air will help to
stabilize the air and thus keep severity at a minimum. The question
is how far north these influences will be realized. Right now the
thinking is that I-10 will be the cutoff but it could be farther
north such as I-12. At this time...peak time appears to be during the evening
hours.





Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting mossyhead:
I go with Crestview forecast then with Defuniaks.
But I have to admit I have not check either evening forecast for tomorrow.
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Quoting mossyhead:
When we got our property here in Defuniak Springs, Fl. we only cut down very few trees. I am a conservative, but I do not believe in clear cutting and then planting grass. We love our wildlife.

Likewise. Though I did cut down about 20 small pines so the oaks and maples below could get a little sunlight, but clear-cutting? Dumb.

We find developers that clear out forest, even very old trees, and put in a collection of cookie cutter houses with a few Crape Myrtles moronic...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
anyone heard from kman know if he felt anything?
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280. IKE
Quoting mossyhead:
I would rather have the low as 35, not as the high.


I'll 2nd that.


Quoting mossyhead:
I go with Crestview forecast then with Defuniaks.


That's what I figured. It wasn't in Crestview's forecast.

Wooh! It is in Crestview's forecast.....

"Wednesday Night
Warmer. Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may be severe. Lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph becoming south 5 to 15 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80 percent."
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lmao, what do they want to do pour concrete for lawns so water cant penetrate the ground and so we flood and drown first before global warming kills us, total idiots. 2012 come and rid the world of these morons
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
272: that is a good point to make and spread, so that urban developers have will have the foresight to design green spaces consisting of indigenous 'green' and not fertilized lawn. it would be a tragedy to pervert a statistic like this in order to dissuade developing urban green spaces. Minnesota does very well planting prairie grass in urban design, and there are no countering greenhouse emissions as a result.
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Quoting IKE:


They do have a severe wording in the DFS forecast....

Thursday
Thunderstorms and showers in the morning...then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Highs around 71. Some thunderstorms may be severe in the morning. South winds around 15 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent.
I go with Crestview forecast then with Defuniaks.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Ouch. This has all sorts of bad implications for [snip] LOL.

Urban 'green' spaces may contribute to global warming, UCI study finds
Dispelling the notion that urban "green" spaces help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, new research has found %u2013 in Southern California at least %u2013 that total emissions would be lower if lawns did not exist.

Turfgrass lawns help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as organic carbon in soil, making them important "carbon sinks." However, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices are four times greater than the amount of carbon stored by ornamental grass in parks, a UC Irvine study shows. These emissions include nitrous oxide released from soil after fertilization. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that's 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, the Earth's most problematic climate warmer.


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/uoc--us011910.php
When we got our property here in Defuniak Springs, Fl. we only cut down very few trees. I am a conservative, but I do not believe in clear cutting and then planting grass. We love our wildlife.
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Well, by Feb. 1st...

-AO(-7?)

-NAO

PNA

The model consistency in bringing another Polar Vortex southward(eventual track is another story).

These tellaconnections all point to another Siberian express for the central especially eastern U.S. conus(could it be longer and stronger?) by early Feb.!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Ouch. This has all sorts of bad implications for [snip] LOL.

Urban 'green' spaces may contribute to global warming, UCI study finds
Dispelling the notion that urban "green" spaces help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, new research has found – in Southern California at least – that total emissions would be lower if lawns did not exist.

Turfgrass lawns help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as organic carbon in soil, making them important "carbon sinks." However, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices are four times greater than the amount of carbon stored by ornamental grass in parks, a UC Irvine study shows. These emissions include nitrous oxide released from soil after fertilization. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that's 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, the Earth's most problematic climate warmer.


Effffing idiots
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Looks like it's back to colder weather by the first of next week in the Florida panhandle...

Monday Night
Colder. Mostly clear. Lows around 35.

Tuesday
Mostly sunny. Highs around 52.
I would rather have the low as 35, not as the high.
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Ouch. This has all sorts of bad implications for [snip] LOL.

Urban 'green' spaces may contribute to global warming, UCI study finds
Dispelling the notion that urban "green" spaces help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, new research has found - in Southern California at least - that total emissions would be lower if lawns did not exist.

Turfgrass lawns help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as organic carbon in soil, making them important "carbon sinks." However, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices are four times greater than the amount of carbon stored by ornamental grass in parks, a UC Irvine study shows. These emissions include nitrous oxide released from soil after fertilization. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that's 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, the Earth's most problematic climate warmer.


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/uoc--us011910.php
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
271. IKE
Quoting mossyhead:
Here in NW Florida they are calling for heavy rains. Nothing really severe.


They do have a severe wording in the DFS forecast....

Thursday
Thunderstorms and showers in the morning...then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Highs around 71. Some thunderstorms may be severe in the morning. South winds around 15 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent.
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System will be moving rapidly through the plains as a 160mph jet is going to blast overhead so whatever severe weather there is, it aint gonna last long.
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269. IKE
Quoting mossyhead:
We have our windows open and it is very comfortable.


I've got my back door open, going to my screen porch. It's nice downstairs.

Warm up here. It'll cool off once the sun goes down.

It's only 64.6 outside. Beautiful afternoon.
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Quoting ElConando:


There was no thunder and lightning with that system. Quite rainy though! Rained pretty much non stop from Midnight till 6pm. It was fairly light to moderate though with little heavy rain.
Here in NW Florida they are calling for heavy rains. Nothing really severe.
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Water spouts off the coast of san diego aren't that uncommon. Saw several 2 years ago looking out from Encinitas. Never saw them come ashore though
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Quoting tornadodude:


exactly!

We have plenty of warm air here, at least for this week. Next week its back to normal, boo, hiss!
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Quoting IKE:


And that's inside my house. Two-story...heat rises. Don't have my AC on, but it's warm enough in here.... 81.5 now.
We have our windows open and it is very comfortable.
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Quoting Bordonaro:


All that warm air trying to overrun the remnants of the Arctic icebox from last week won't let go of parts of the Midwest!


exactly!
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Quoting tornadodude:


haha its warmer than it has been :P just really foggy


All that warm air trying to overrun the remnants of the Arctic icebox from last week won't let go of parts of the Midwest!
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and yes you can leave comments
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2 Tornado Warnings up in S Cal now. This is extremely unusual!

Link

Link
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guys just reminding you that I have updated my blog Link
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Ah, everyone look, it's our turn to see rain in California:

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i know this will take up a ton of space but when i posted it last night there was only 12.

MAP 3.6 2010/01/19 21:32:31 44.564 -110.976 0.0 15 km ( 9 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 3.6 2010/01/19 21:32:11 44.564 -110.970 8.3 15 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.4 2010/01/19 21:07:05 44.552 -110.975 9.4 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 3.3 2010/01/19 16:48:32 44.566 -110.965 6.7 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.3 2010/01/19 13:39:13 44.559 -110.968 0.9 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.6 2010/01/19 13:26:52 44.561 -110.966 9.9 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.6 2010/01/19 10:36:14 44.567 -110.963 9.8 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/19 09:39:51 44.562 -110.968 10.3 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.1 2010/01/19 04:43:18 44.562 -110.956 10.2 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 3.0 2010/01/19 04:42:14 44.569 -110.968 9.8 15 km ( 9 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 3.4 2010/01/19 03:39:39 44.566 -110.969 10.2 15 km ( 9 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.8 2010/01/18 23:56:32 44.560 -110.971 0.9 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.4 2010/01/18 20:50:49 44.560 -110.966 9.2 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.3 2010/01/18 20:46:03 44.562 -110.961 10.3 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.9 2010/01/18 19:38:42 44.563 -110.963 10.0 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 3.1 2010/01/18 18:03:14 44.560 -110.969 9.7 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.5 2010/01/18 16:00:57 44.564 -110.968 9.9 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.6 2010/01/18 16:00:14 44.560 -110.969 8.5 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.0 2010/01/18 11:40:11 44.812 -111.523 4.5 37 km ( 23 mi) WNW of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/18 10:10:42 44.557 -110.966 7.9 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.9 2010/01/18 10:10:22 44.558 -110.962 8.5 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.4 2010/01/18 02:53:13 44.541 -110.955 13.0 18 km ( 11 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.0 2010/01/18 02:45:33 44.547 -110.958 11.6 17 km ( 11 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/18 02:44:36 44.556 -110.964 8.6 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.7 2010/01/18 02:38:01 44.561 -110.973 9.8 15 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/18 01:04:24 44.559 -110.968 7.3 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.7 2010/01/18 00:02:56 44.557 -110.967 8.8 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.0 2010/01/18 00:02:12 44.543 -110.957 11.8 18 km ( 11 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.3 2010/01/17 23:35:50 44.560 -110.965 9.2 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/17 22:43:33 44.557 -110.966 7.4 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.2 2010/01/17 22:43:04 39.695 -110.707 1.7 13 km ( 8 mi) E of Helper, UT
MAP 2.5 2010/01/17 21:55:59 44.556 -110.965 7.4 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 2.7 2010/01/17 21:04:07 44.557 -110.966 8.7 16 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.2 2010/01/17 21:01:46 44.556 -110.957 9.1 17 km ( 10 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT
MAP 1.5 2010/01/15 09:11:34 44.574 -110.927 4.5 17 km ( 11 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT

They are all on top of each other, i know they are swarms and this area does it from time to time.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Rather surprised no one has posted a "warm fuzzy" hippo yet, honestly.
You just wait til Amy has a gander at that post. There will be "warm fuzzy hippo,s" falling out of you monitor.
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256. GBlet
JEEZ P, my grandma lived over on Burnett st. We were there too. HATED IT!!!
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255. IKE
Quoting ElConando:


81.3?? woah! toasty. a couple (meaning lil over 2) miles down the road it is 65.5.


And that's inside my house. Two-story...heat rises. Don't have my AC on, but it's warm enough in here.... 81.5 now.
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Quoting Bordonaro:


Psst! It helps keep your "Surge" soft drinks cold :0). Maybe someone sent a lil' piece of Norway to you in the box, LOL.


haha its warmer than it has been :P just really foggy
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Quoting tornadodude:
Lafayette, Purdue University Airport
Lat: 40.43 Lon: -86.93 Elev: 623
Last Update on Jan 19, 3:54 pm EST

Overcast

31 °F
(-1 °C)
Humidity: 82 %
Wind Speed: N 6 MPH
Barometer: 29.97" (1015.5 mb)
Dewpoint: 26 °F (-3 °C)
Wind Chill: 25 °F (-4 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.


been just like this for almost a week now :P


Psst! It helps keep your "Surge" soft drinks cold :0). Maybe someone sent a lil' piece of Norway to you in the box, LOL.
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Lafayette, Purdue University Airport
Lat: 40.43 Lon: -86.93 Elev: 623
Last Update on Jan 19, 3:54 pm EST

Overcast

31 °F
(-1 °C)
Humidity: 82 %
Wind Speed: N 6 MPH
Barometer: 29.97" (1015.5 mb)
Dewpoint: 26 °F (-3 °C)
Wind Chill: 25 °F (-4 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.


been just like this for almost a week now :P
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Quoting someone: "I really wish I had saved that post because it showed how wrong NOAA is and exposed them as frauds (for whatever reason they have to do so I have no idea)..."

see now flood, you almost opened 'the' gates..
good for you 'someone', the fraud card. played in the best way it can be, through pure fallacy. conspiracy and fraud, the #1 reason the NOAA are in business today. brilliant.

Obi Wan Kenobi reverberating in my head "Only the Sith deal in absolutes" -America, please come back from the dark side!!
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Quoting IKE:


I'll bet your high today was at least 10 degrees above 52.

I've got 81.3 here...inside my office...right now.


81.3?? woah! toasty. a couple (meaning lil over 2) miles down the road it is 65.5.
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Category 6™

About

Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
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