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Anonymouse

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Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:22:34 AM »
For stories, links, etc. about what you are seeing, or what you are hearing about.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 04:02:11 AM by Anonymouse »

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:09:28 AM »
I am wondering if everyone would like to have a thread that discusses the new(ish) and emerging weather weirdness.  A place to put ideas about things that might just be weird variations up to things that might be somewhat cause for concern.  If Neven is agreeable, things from sea ice to unusual clouds or animal movements would be welcome.  For example, it has been very windy in the last week where I live, and that is unusual for this time of year, at least the constant wind.  I worry that it will augment the drought we are in.
In short, what are you seeing in your own life that is starting to freak you out (if it hasn't already)?

What would be useful (or at least nice) is if some context was available - that puts the weather in the context of historic data, previous records, or statistical probability.

I feel somewhat cynical when people start to associate every weather event with climate change - it's too tempting and easy to fall into that track and somewhat like worshipping some arbitrary nature spirit. For example, I didn't think anything much about tornadoes in the US until I watched this:
Jeff Masters on Tornado Extremes


The quoted probabilities (1 in 62,000 year and 1 in 3,000 year) made me sit up and take notice, as well as illustrating a hint of a climate change link.

I think it would also be educational to understand what the consequences of incidences of extreme weather are, especially in terms of:
- damage to infrastructure
- adverse agricultural aspect

With so much happening now, the media isn't especially informing (were they ever?). Seems to me there is the chance to crowd source interesting and useful information?

Anonymouse

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 08:29:48 AM »
This thread is not meant to be a peer-published thread, ccg.  Context is HELL YES useful and informative, but not required.

Artful Dodger

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 01:51:32 PM »
The U.S. National Weather Service estimates the chances of an American's home being destroyed by a tornado as 1 in 10 million.

On May 3, 1999 a home in Moore, Oklahoma was destroyed by an F4 tornado. The owner subsequently rebuilt on the same site.

On May 20, 2013 that rebuilt home was destroyed by an (est'd) EF4 tornado.



The chances of this occurring randomly? 1 in 100 Trillion. (1 : 1014)

That's not just 'weird'. That's suspicious.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 05:47:36 AM by Artful Dodger »
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wili

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 01:53:54 PM »
Thanks to prokaryotes at cp for this link:

Humid air and the Jet Stream help to fuel more intense thunderstorms/tornadoes

http://climatestate.com/2013/05/21/humid-air-and-the-jet-stream-help-to-fuel-more-intense-thunderstormstornadoes/
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 03:48:21 PM »
Hi Anonymouse,

If it's "anecdotal" evidence you're after I first noticed (comparatively minor!) weather weirdness in my neck of the woods (the north coast of South West England) in the summer of 2008. Back then I described it as follows:

If you're a regular surfer off the coast of North Cornwall or North Devon you know in your bones that something is changing.


and I started blogging about it.

It was several years later when I discovered what happened to the sea ice in the Arctic in 2007. In between I'd started blogging about hurricane induced flooding in the Caribbean, not anticipating that 5 years later I'd also be blogging about hurricane induced flooding and power outages in New York City, as well as newly built flood defences being overwhelmed a few months later right here in Soggy South West England:

http://econnexus.org/tag/floods

If you're into that sort of thing you may also wish to check out:

http://econnexus.org/tag/storm-surge/ 

Jim
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 05:25:56 PM »
The U.S. National Weather Service estimates the chances of an American's home being destroyed by a tornado as 1 in 10 million.

On May 3, 1999 a home in Moore, Oklahoma was destroyed by an F4 tornado. The owner subsequently rebuilt on the same site.

On May 20, 2013 that rebuilt home was destroyed by an (est'd) EF4 tornado.

The chances of this occurring randomly? 1 in 100 Trillion. (1 : 1014)

That's not just 'weird'. That's suspicious.

Lies, damn lies and statistics? I have a feeling if you moderate it by:
- the number of households in the USA
- the varying probability by region

Then you could produce a statistic that shows it isn't so massively improbable that it happens somewhere sometimes?

If there are 115 million households in the US the original figure of 1 in 10 million actually sounds questionable anyway - that would imply 12 houses destroyed for the whole of the US? (timescale unclear, one would tend to assume "over the lifespan of the housing stock" which would make tornadoes virtually never destroy a house - perhaps 1 house every 50/12 years?)

If the lifetime risk to be struck by lightning in the USA is 1 in 10,000 (http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/odds.htm) and the population is over 300 million, I suppose the risk to be struck twice by lightning in a lifetime would be 1 in 100 million - and it would happen to slightly over 3 people in the course of their lives? (perhaps a bit less as clearly anyone who dies the first time is exempted from a second lightning strike)

TerryM

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 12:23:52 AM »
A few strange things were noticed when I returned home to South West Ontario after a 40+ yr. hiatus.
The first, and most unnerving was finding that the Grand River no longer freezes through the winter. The local merchants used to have a huge bunch of prizes for whoever could guess the exact time that the ice would break just upstream of town. Since 2004 it usually freezes for a short period before melting again and will repeat this through winter months. The last two winters it simply never froze.
The second was hearing of tornado touchdowns in the area. We didn't used to be in Tornado Alley.
A third feature has been Thundersnow. I'm certain that if it had occurred I'd have noticed, but I don't have as much certainty of this as I do with the first two.
The year before last we had no winter. There was never a week when grass wasn't green. I'd grown to expect this in California - but this is Canada where I skied to school for years.


Terry

Anonymouse

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 03:55:54 AM »
Hi Jim (and TerryM),
Yes, anecdotal stories are exactly the point!  There are a lot of heated arguments everywhere on the interwebs about "weather vs climate", scientists being very reticent in their opinions, etc.  It would be interesting to hear from everyone about what they are perhaps seeing with their "own lying eyes" so-to-speak.  :)  There seem to be more and more anecdotes from the olds about what is making them uneasy, and without badgering about proof or the scientific method, I wanted to create a thread for those of us who want to talk about it.  The youngs may find it interesting too.
Any links, analysis, and whatnot are of course very much appreciated. (ccg, Artful, and wili, thanks much.)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 04:34:43 AM by Anonymouse »

Artful Dodger

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 05:49:50 AM »
I have a feeling if you moderate it by:
- the number of households in the USA
- the varying probability by region

Then you could produce a statistic that shows it isn't so massively improbable that it happens somewhere sometimes?

How long have you had these feelings?
Cheers!
Lodger

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 05:01:13 PM »
How long have you had these feelings?
Since approximately May 21, 2013, 05:25:56 PM? (forum time)

ggelsrinc

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 12:17:11 AM »
I don't recall ever seeing severe storm related tree damage as much as last year and two events were about a week apart. I'm just basing that on the areas I saw and reflecting on an area I've been in contact with or lived in throughout my lifetime, so I wouldn't have missed an important event. Tornados are rare to touch down in this area, because it's a pennisula and other reasons. This damage was widespread and not caused by tornados. These were summer events.

I don't claim it's weird on a scale outside this area, because I've seen worse done in other areas in the South by storms packing tornados. The weirdest similar thing I've seen involved me flying down to Texas and driving back. The airliner experience extreme turbulence on the flight down and the pilot was telling us how he was adjusting course and altitude to keep the ride as pleasant as possible. When I arrived and called home, my wife told me about all these tornados that hit the South, but that happens and I didn't think about it until I left. Going home I had to travel a long distance east on I-10. I came to an area that I travelled through for hours where you could count about 20 yellow pine trees that were snapped in the middle. That area isn't a forest, but there are plenty of tall trees and there were plenty less after that storm. I didn't see signs of other damage, but they could have cleaned it up before I arrived. It wasn't like a tornado tore up trees along the ground, it's like a storm somehow generated winds that repeatedly snapped those trees in half and over a hugh area of land. It was an awesome site.

I was once in freezing rain so bad that everyone had to stop on the highway. I wanted to move my car, a fullsize 4 door sedan, off the highway and discovered I could push it off the road with one finger. The highways are sloped to the shoulders for drainage, but it surprised me that friction was reduced so much. It was hard to even stand.

This mid-Atlantic area of the US is definitely warmer than the way it was when I was a child. I try to make it a habit to follow the timing of the last frost in spring and it's earlier by about a week from what it was in this area. If you want to determine whether the growing season of an area has changed, ask the people who grow gardens and are serious about it or look at the frost record for the area. Serious gardeners want to be the first to harvest crops, but they don't want to have to fight frost to do it. They used to say if you can live here you can live anywhere, alluding to it being very hot in summer and cold in winter. In my younger days it was cold in the winter, but in the past decade plus, I remember times when summer seemed like it wouldn't end, winters that were so mild they were like the weather typically hundreds of miles to the South and early springs that fooled trees. The seasons used to be well defined and now they seem to get mixed up in this area and the changes are towards warming. Records get broken and those new records don't last for long. This may not be weird to someone who believes in global warming and it is only one area of the world, but my understanding is it's that way in many places and the people who have lived there know it's changed. I think everybody who has lived long enough in an area has some story about seeing climate change. 

wili

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 04:10:41 AM »
Thanks for these thoughtful reflections, gge. Perhaps it is the accumulation of stories and reflections like these that will ultimately have more force than all the science and modeling.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Anonymouse

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 10:44:27 AM »
I would also like to add that J. Francis is one of the Cassandras next to Hansen that have a lot of credibility (in my humble opinion.)  Their analyses are startlingly precient and alarming.

Here is the latest: 
Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Prof. Jennifer Francis (2013)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 10:49:44 AM by Anonymouse »

pdjakow

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 10:06:54 AM »
Europe still divided:



GFS forecast.

Neven

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2013, 10:13:38 AM »
Wow, what a beautiful image. Cold War is back!  ;)
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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2013, 08:02:16 AM »
The U.S. National Weather Service estimates the chances of an American's home being destroyed by a tornado as 1 in 10 million.

On May 3, 1999 a home in Moore, Oklahoma was destroyed by an F4 tornado. The owner subsequently rebuilt on the same site.

On May 20, 2013 that rebuilt home was destroyed by an (est'd) EF4 tornado.

The chances of this occurring randomly? 1 in 100 Trillion. (1 : 1014)

That's not just 'weird'. That's suspicious.

i.e. 10X10^6 X 10X10^6 = 100X10^12

I don't think this is sound probability.

And scrolling down the thread I fin Ccgwebmaster has beaten me to it...

Shared Humanity

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2013, 03:21:20 PM »
Yet another stationary front over the Midwest. Iowa and Illinois are getting hammered today with rain.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2013, 11:32:19 PM »
Thanks for these thoughtful reflections, gge. Perhaps it is the accumulation of stories and reflections like these that will ultimately have more force than all the science and modeling.

If someone wanted to make a documentary on climate change that would appeal to those who don't have much concern, they should find people from all over the Northern Hemisphere who have lived around an area long enough to witness the changes. Those "I used to raise reindeer, but now that the permafrost is melting, I'm digging up mammoth ivory" stories are something people can relate more to than the science. It's the farmers noticing changes who will convince others and the stories don't have to be that spectacular. The river that used to freeze and now doesn't is a good enough story. The farmer saying the growing season starts earlier or he can now plant crops that he previously couldn't plant is good enough. Stories requested by the OP are processed by the brain differently than scientific facts. People relate to other people's lives. 

Anne

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 08:47:17 AM »
If someone wanted to make a documentary on climate change that would appeal to those who don't have much concern, they should find people from all over the Northern Hemisphere who have lived around an area long enough to witness the changes. Those "I used to raise reindeer, but now that the permafrost is melting, I'm digging up mammoth ivory" stories are something people can relate more to than the science.

I thought so too until I took a sceptical friend to see Thin Ice. He was contemptuous of the part with the Saami, dismissing it as emotive anecdote, just old people yarning about how things were better in the good old days, things that couldn't possibly be proved. He thought it let the film down. He is a systems engineer so perhaps gives greater credence to science and logic than the average citizen.

I don't agree with him - on the contrary, I find these stories compelling - and I don't know how many people are like him, but it's as well to bear in mind that these personal stories won't resonate with everyone and may even be counter-productive by making some people feel that they are being emotionally manipulated.

Artful Dodger

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2013, 10:06:49 AM »
i.e. 10X10^6 X 10X10^6 = 100X10^12

I don't think this is sound probability.

And scrolling down the thread I fin Ccgwebmaster has beaten me to it...

... or you could try Google

ABC "Oklahoma Town Devastated by Tornado Razed Before in 1999"
That same study put the odds of that same house getting hit twice at one in 100 trillion.

According to NOAA, Moore, Oklahoma was hit by an EF2 tornado in 1998. And hit again in 2003. Sound like a trend?

The point of using statistics is to identify events that are extremely unlikely to occur by random chance. If you reject that null hypothesis, then you accept that the event has an identifiably cause.

BTW, the study said the 1:100 trillion chance of a house being hit twice by an EF4 tornado. Both the 1999 and 2013 Moore tornadoes were EF5 scale events.

Want to compute the odds of that?

:P
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:23:02 AM by Artful Dodger »
Cheers!
Lodger

ggelsrinc

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2013, 11:06:20 AM »
If someone wanted to make a documentary on climate change that would appeal to those who don't have much concern, they should find people from all over the Northern Hemisphere who have lived around an area long enough to witness the changes. Those "I used to raise reindeer, but now that the permafrost is melting, I'm digging up mammoth ivory" stories are something people can relate more to than the science.

I thought so too until I took a sceptical friend to see Thin Ice. He was contemptuous of the part with the Saami, dismissing it as emotive anecdote, just old people yarning about how things were better in the good old days, things that couldn't possibly be proved. He thought it let the film down. He is a systems engineer so perhaps gives greater credence to science and logic than the average citizen.

I don't agree with him - on the contrary, I find these stories compelling - and I don't know how many people are like him, but it's as well to bear in mind that these personal stories won't resonate with everyone and may even be counter-productive by making some people feel that they are being emotionally manipulated.

I believe the accumulation of the knowledge of anything becomes science and that includes how people respond and think. I know scientists can become focused on a project so much that other parts of their world become myopic. I believe our analysis of the human brain is sophisticated enough to bank on people hearing and gather more information from a personal story than raw data proving an analysis. If the language of science needs to be translated to human language to be understooed, then translate it and stop focusing on the limitations of humans to understand! Have a little faith and just because the deniers own that game of manipulation doesn't mean they own the title. There is a way to make the truth prevail.

I've never seen "Thin Ice", so I can't comment on it. I think I know enough about human nature to know you can't appeal to people with doomsday forecasts.

If it isn't clear, the reason I say I is it's a personal opinion of my knowledge of the subject. I try to form scientific opinions on the best data available and never let bias dictate the results. 

Shared Humanity

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2013, 02:20:41 PM »
Regarding tornadoes, while there is evidence that global warming is increasing the frequency in the U.S. there is little to support there is an increase in severity.


ivica

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2013, 02:41:37 PM »
Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog:
Tornadoes and Climate Change: Huge Stakes, Huge Unknowns. Posted: 4:05 PM GMT on May 23, 2013

Anne

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2013, 04:19:31 PM »
Straying OT here...
I've never seen "Thin Ice", so I can't comment on it. I think I know enough about human nature to know you can't appeal to people with doomsday forecasts.

Thin Ice is worth seeing. It's not a doomsday forecast type thing like Earth 2100 or the various apocalyptic BBC programmes about rising sea levels. It opens by asking if climate scientists can be trusted, and basically takes the viewer to meet them. Its thesis is that climate scientists are a diverse bunch from many disciplines who are committed to and passionate about what they do and far removed from the gravy-train liggers of denialist imagination. It proceeds by way of interview and description, and it's unstuffy and accessible.

Personally, I found the Saami testimony moving and convincing. I could imagine a documentary consisting of many such accounts (I know I know, the plural of anecdote =/=anecdata) like the National Geographic film of the man who makes a living from extracting mammoth tusks from permafrost, the Chinese ice-breaker Snow Dragon preparing for the polar route, and so on.

Anyway, back to the weird weather. The sun is shining here today. We had practically forgotten what it looked like.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2013, 07:15:43 PM »
Straying OT here...
I've never seen "Thin Ice", so I can't comment on it. I think I know enough about human nature to know you can't appeal to people with doomsday forecasts.

Thin Ice is worth seeing. It's not a doomsday forecast type thing like Earth 2100 or the various apocalyptic BBC programmes about rising sea levels. It opens by asking if climate scientists can be trusted, and basically takes the viewer to meet them. Its thesis is that climate scientists are a diverse bunch from many disciplines who are committed to and passionate about what they do and far removed from the gravy-train liggers of denialist imagination. It proceeds by way of interview and description, and it's unstuffy and accessible.

Personally, I found the Saami testimony moving and convincing. I could imagine a documentary consisting of many such accounts (I know I know, the plural of anecdote =/=anecdata) like the National Geographic film of the man who makes a living from extracting mammoth tusks from permafrost, the Chinese ice-breaker Snow Dragon preparing for the polar route, and so on.

Anyway, back to the weird weather. The sun is shining here today. We had practically forgotten what it looked like.


I thought the purpose of discussing weird weather was to make a statement about climate change and I agree the personal imput will be more convincing to people than the science. I think most people have some story about their experience with climate change.

Where I live, there is no doubt to someone of my age that it is warmer than it once was. When I was a child, the winters were cold here and it could stay in the teens for weeks, even into my middle age period. It isn't that way now for what I call a decade plus which is closer to two decades. In my youth, the seasons in this area were well defined and now, for sometime, they aren't. My statement is more about climate than weather, but it took a lot of weird weather to make our climate change.

weatherintel

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2013, 07:35:48 PM »
As an FYI - Oklahoma City is the 'Tornado Capital' of the world!  149 Tornadoes have touched down in the immediate vacinity of OKC since 1890 - with over 100 causing significant damage.  (Moore is technically within the 'city limits'). A fairly complete chart of these tornadoes (not including this year) can be found here:
   www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=tornadodata-okc-figure5

A 1 in 10 million chance of a home being struck by a tornado does NOT apply to OKC.  Just as the chances of being struck by lightning (1 in 7mil) does not apply to the state of Florida where 700 people/yr are struck.

SteveG
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Anne

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »
Here is a compelling essay in words, photo and video, just published on the Guardian site, about the the Tasmanian bushfire in January.  It contains a lot of personal testimony from families and firefighters. The fire was "weird" because of its sheer ferocity.

Some points leapt out at me that are relevant to this thread:

The Australian summer of 2012-13 broke 123 weather records. Six of Australia's hottest summers have occurred in the past eleven years. On 4 January Hobart experienced its hottest day on record. The average summer sea temperature was more than half a degree above normal - all this in a year in which neither El Nino nor La Nina affected the weather.

Extreme temperatures increase fire risk, and also affect the way fires burn.  The Bureau of Meteorology's climate monitoring manager says that since 2003, experienced firemen have witnessed bare paddocks burn, meaning that fires spread fast even across land with a low fuel load.  One possibility is that in temperatures into the 40s centigrade organic material in the soil vaporises and then explodes. In Dunalley and at Medunna the fire leapt clean across two bays, crossing 3km of open water as if it wasn't even there. No one had seen this before.

The essay concludes with suggestions on how communities might adapt to live with fire risk, arguing that whatever is done about carbon emissions, people are already right now living with the increased and ever-present risk.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2013, 03:28:31 PM »
As Chicago continues to have cold damp weather (most of the last 6 weeks), here is some weird weather for you.

http://local.msn.com/WeatherArticle.aspx?cp-documentid=258000341

LurkyMcLurkerson

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 02:39:31 AM »
Just wanted to add that I find the anecdote vs. data-with-context thing sort of endlessly interesting as an exercise in how people think of the whole thing. I mean, we don't have a "control" planet that could possibly allow us to know whether particular events would have unfolded differently absent the current trajectory of the climate. Context is useful, but I've personally decided at this point that the idea that any event, any detail of the system, could possibly _not_ be effected in probably a bunch of different ways is likely silly.

Yeah, weird weather always happened, and probabilities can be teensy and still happen from time to time.

But what we're seeing at this point is weird all over the place at the same time, pretty much most of the time. And while you certainly can't say that it's clear, scientific evidence, it's also what most people actually live with and have hit home.

Here -- Sacramento, CA -- we just got through our driest winter on record, hardly a drop fell between late fall and early spring, which is generally most of CA's only wet season; we survive from May to October or so on the snow pack feeding our rivers, and the reservoirs we've built. If the reservoirs weren't reasonably full this year, we would be so screwed I don't even know how to express it; there would be no water. If next winter is anything like this one, we won't have enough water for most basic function, much less our ag.

It was cold, though. Unusually cold for here, on and off. We seldom get a very long freeze; we had several major, long, hard freezes this winter. And dry.

Spring here is also often fairly breezy, from time to time, but this spring has been the windiest in my memory, a cold, dry, north wind for sometimes weeks on end. Last summer, we got traces of what was essentially monsoonal moisture, wrapping back around from the east side of the Sierra -- a rare thing here, maybe once a decade -- it happened five times. It was humid in August. It's never humid here in August. Spring has felt more like August, not quite as hot but everything covered in dust and grime from no rain, and periods of intense heat mixed in with periods of strange, cold winds to advisory criteria.

Yesterday was rainy (a mere sprinkle, here) and chilly, and by the weekend, it may hit triple digits.

That's been sort of the overall picture, honestly, just a constant flipping between extremes. Everybody I know has noted it, it's a constant topic of conversation even with my many friends who don't pay much attention to any of it.

Artful Dodger

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2013, 01:40:32 AM »
As Chicago continues to have cold damp weather (most of the last 6 weeks), here is some weird weather for you.


Hi S.H.

Yes, it has been a remarkably swift turnaround in the upper mid West from record drought to record flooding.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEqQoY_X8nU
Cheers!
Lodger

ritter

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2013, 05:59:28 PM »
Here -- Sacramento, CA --

Hey Lurky,

From the northern Bay Area, I'll second your observations. Weather these days is just plain off. The wind is horrible. I'm used to the marine influence winds, but this is different. As you say, days to weeks on end and temperatures all over the place. 

Anonymouse

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2013, 09:35:03 PM »
Here is a link to a heartbreaking story describing the plight of a small village forced to relocate within the next COUPLE of years due to climate change.  A quote from one of the residents regarding strange patterns in animal behavior is right below the graph on the first page.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/05/americas-first-climate-refugees-newtok-alaska?page=1

Shared Humanity

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2013, 11:15:41 PM »
Violent thunderstorms with high winds, hail and tornadoes are firing up across the midsection of the U.S. from Texas to Wisconsin. The violent weather is forecast to continue for the next 4 days. This pattern has been unrelenting for the past two weeks as a blocking high continues to sit on the eastern seaboard.

LurkyMcLurkerson

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2013, 02:32:17 AM »
Here -- Sacramento, CA --

Hey Lurky,

From the northern Bay Area, I'll second your observations. Weather these days is just plain off. The wind is horrible. I'm used to the marine influence winds, but this is different. As you say, days to weeks on end and temperatures all over the place.

Yeah, the north winds have had a really weird quality that's almost impossible to describe. Been driving me crazy this year, though. Most of our weather and wind here is still fairly marine, usually, coming up the river from the north bay; the evening delta breeze is our savior all summer, we hope for it all afternoon when it hits triple digits here.

There were times earlier in this spring where that wind was so cold and dry I felt like my skin was going to peel off in sheets, and it would just go for days and days at ~30 mph, gusty to 40 here (but we have a lot of flat for it to play around with when it comes from north, unlike the bay.) Not enough to cause too much damage, but just... constant, cold, parching.

I've lived within an hour or so of here for most of my life, I've never experienced anything like this last 12 months here. It had already been weird for a few years, I garden a lot and any gardener will tell you it has been bizarre since somewhere around 2007, but this is just completely moreso, and I suspect we're in for a lot more dramatic weird coming soon.

I just really hope we get better snow next winter. I can't imagine what this place will all be like if we don't.

Shared Humanity (and etc) -- I've been watching the midwest weather, it's nuts out there. And yeah, nothing is moving. Good thoughts to everybody dealing with it right now, it's a long stretch to be so persistently full of big storms. Even without the tornadoes, flooding over formerly drought-stressed soils is going to be seriously rough on a lot of folks.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2013, 04:14:29 PM »
At 57 years old, I have lived in the Chicago area for nearly 50 years. I am an avid gardener; urban ecosystems and organic gardening. Because of the early spring, I planted seeds about a week earlier than usual (May 9). Since then, we have had nearly continuous cold and wet weather. Much of the garden did not germinate (first time ever). I am going to have to reseed this weekend.

Here is a picture of last year's garden which required constant watering because of the drought.


silkman

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2013, 03:03:49 PM »
Here on the edge of the Peak District in the North of the UK it's warmed up a little (14C) today but we're weeks late in the vegetable plot, with everything still under cover.

Meanwhile in Murmansk it's 29C. Weird, but everything seems to point to this becoming the norm in the near term, thanks to the warming Arctic.

John Batteen

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2013, 08:01:31 PM »
Continued cold and wet pattern in Minnesota due to blocking high to our east.  I've seen the sun maybe three times in the last three weeks.  Some farmers still haven't been able to plant some of their land because it's too wet.  My friend has fungus problems with his tomatoes from continued cool, wet weather.  It's ugly.  If this keeps up it will be a year without a summer.  June is starting out with highs in the mid 60s, lows in the mid 40s!

weatherintel

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2013, 11:10:38 PM »
For quite some time, I along with other collegues here in Chicago have been thinking this will be a summer more reminiscent of the 1980's.  Summers that never really stuck around, with numerous cold frontal passages and heavy T-storms ahead of them.  There is nothing in the ensembles, or ocean temp patterns that indicate any change for the next 3-4 weeks.  Indeed, La Nina has re-appeared over the past month (not offically, as it takes 3 straight months of ONI values beloww -0.5) but it's there for the moment.

Steve
No Regrets: We all get exactly what we always really wanted...

Neven

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2013, 11:47:55 PM »
I'm a bit busy with other stuff than the world around me, but it's been raining here (on and off) in the southeast of Austria for quite a while now, and it seems to be the same for most of Europe. It's wet and feels cold for the time of year. I was in a place with a TV this evening and on the news it said that there's heavy flooding in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. It appears that some places in Germany are having their second Jahrhunderthochwasser (1-in-100-years flood) in one decade.

Can anyone who knows about weather put this in context/perspective?
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icebgone

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2013, 03:21:56 AM »
The polar jet and the subtropical jet are so weak and disorganized weather has become a regional disaster.  A blocking high in the Atlantic has formed early and further north than historical average.  Both central North America and Europe are wet and cold while western North America and eastern Europe are dry and hot with high fire danger.  Burn or flood seems to be the new weather and there is no change in the forecast future.  From a year without a winter to one without a summer back-to-back.  It's all about change.  I would not be surprised if we have an Atlantic hurricane that lasts for a month this year.




ClimateChange

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2013, 04:50:31 AM »
As Chicago continues to have cold damp weather (most of the last 6 weeks), here is some weird weather for you.

http://local.msn.com/WeatherArticle.aspx?cp-documentid=258000341


Your perception has been skewed due to global warming. It may be very wet, but it certainly hasn't been cold in Chicago. It's been mild. May was 1.9 degrees above the "1981-2010 globally-warmed normal" (which is the warmest thirty year period in recorded weather history). April was 2.0 degrees below the "1981-2010 globally-warmed normal" (so a little cool based on the most recent 30 globally warmed years but nothing crazy). Since May has one more day than April, this would mean temperatures in Chicago have essentially average right around the "1981-2010 globally-warmed normal" since April 1st. March was colder than the "1981-2010 globally warmed normal," but nothing extreme compared to the historical record. There have been many Marches that were much colder. In the absence of global warming, this March likely would have been much colder too.

Note I refer to it as the "1981-2010 globally-warmed normal" because it's a misnomer to call the temperatures experienced over that period "normal" since they are by definition abnormal in the context of the longer temperature history, having been artificially inflated due to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.


Neven

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2013, 05:29:41 PM »
Passau, a Bavarian town where I have lived for 2 years, saw it's highest river level since 1509, the year of the Jahrtausendhochwasser (1000-year flood). So another 1000-year flood after 500 years. It's crazy to see how high the Inn and Danube are!
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ritter

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2013, 05:51:19 PM »
Much of the US Midwest has flipped from drought to flooding this spring. Here on the west coast, we are definitely descending into drought. If our reservoirs weren't in good shape from last year, we'd be in serious trouble. With a bit of luck, we'll get normal rainfall next winter.

CraigsIsland

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2013, 07:47:25 PM »
Much of the US Midwest has flipped from drought to flooding this spring. Here on the west coast, we are definitely descending into drought. If our reservoirs weren't in good shape from last year, we'd be in serious trouble. With a bit of luck, we'll get normal rainfall next winter.


Drought Monitor product for May 28th, 2013:

Drought Outlook in PDF: http://www.drought.gov/media/eventfiles/National%20Drought%20Outlook%20May%202013%20FINAL%205%2015%202013.pdf

Nice blog entry from Wunderground's Dr. Ricky Rood if some people haven't paid attention to what has happened recently in the US: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/comment.html?entrynum=265
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 07:52:46 PM by CraigsIsland »

LurkyMcLurkerson

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2013, 12:07:34 AM »
Neven, I only just am catching up on world news for the last few days, the flooding in Passau and elsewhere in the region looks _awful_. Flooding like that can cause so much damage, and now I hear there are at least 12 or so confirmed dead. Very sad. Best wishes to all folks there in it.

Meanwhile, here in California's interior, we're now forecast to hit somewhere between 105 and 115 this coming Saturday, in early June. That's 15 to 25 degrees above normal for this time of year; if it works out as predicted, records will not just be broken, they will be gutted and left to die by the side of the (hot, dusty) road. I'm genuinely worried for our homeless and our elderly or otherwise vulnerable folks. Usually, when it's that hot, at least the city establishes public "cooling stations" for people -- a surprising number of folks here have no air conditioning.

And in the gardening vein, my tomatoes will undoubtedly have to stop flowering for a while -- they can't maintain it for long with temps above 95 F. While my possibly lower tomato yields this year are mostly devastating only for my taste buds (Good lord, not the Black Krims! Take my Early Girls, take my Lemon Boys, but nature, you're playing dirty with my heirlooms!), I also worry more seriously about farmers in that kind of heat -- quite a few crops will be impacted at that level of hot, and farmworkers here often drop like flies when it gets up that high, out working in the sun, sometimes with too few breaks for water.

If nobody notices me lurking about for a while, I've probably locked myself in my freezer and won't be out until fall. :P

mati

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2013, 03:44:45 AM »
hehe it was 4 C last night here in Central Ontario Canada (around lat 45 degrees)
200 km to the north in Timmins they had snow... in JUNE...
I have yet to put my plants out due to frost warnings.
total opposite from last year
and so it goes

Anonymouse

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2013, 11:20:19 AM »
I recently stumbled upon a VERY LARGE powerpoint authored by a meteorologist by trade, courtesy of Motherjones.com

 http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/06/one-meteorologistss-come-jesus-moment-climate-change

Stu Ostro's focus is on extreme weather events, and he does talk about sea ice and how it has impacts on weather etc.  My favorite quote [sic] : "Climate is a book, weather is the chapters."  He has a great sense of humor and also draws lines between extreme weather since 2005. 
Warning: this powerpoint is 61.70 MB.

http://i.imwx.com/web/multimedia/images/blog/StuOstro_GWweather_latestupdate.pdf


EDIT: He will be speaking along with Jennifer Francis today at Climate Desk Live.
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/climate-desk-live-climate-change-extreme-weather

« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 11:37:08 AM by Anonymouse »

pikaia

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Re: Weird Weather
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2013, 12:04:28 PM »
Temperatures in Pakistan have been over 50C, with no respite expected for another month when the monsoons are expected to arrive.

http://www.trust.org/item/20130604105605-6fcrq/?source=hptop

Here in Liverpool 25C is a heat wave, and I find 35C hard to take, so anything over 50 doesn't bear thinking about.