Recently in Climate Category

Unreal - the political dogma is strong in those people. From the Washington Examiner:

Former EPA employees find new gigs as Trump protesters
Former Environmental Protection Agency employees are finding new gigs as climate change activists ahead of this weekend's climate protest in Washington.

Nearly 800 former employees, some of them directors and senior staff, sent a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, White House officials and several others, blasting President Trump's "policy of denial" on global warming.

It is not a "policy of denial" if the warming is not happening. Look at the data, not at the computer models.

"As former employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we know that science is at the heart of the bipartisan progress our nation has made toward protecting public health and the environment," the letter read. "Yet as we mark the 47th Earth Day this month, the Trump administration and its supporters in Congress are turning their backs on science and what it tells us about the gravest environmental problem of our times — climate change."

So your precious rice bowl got taken away and now you are confused, hurt and stressed out. Welcome to real life - you now have to go and find a job in the private sector. I can understand why these people are in panic mode; they have zero usable skills.

All that rain - they had just finished clearing Highway 101 in Mendocino County (gorgeous stretch of road). From the North Coast Journal:

101 Closed Until at Least Next Week; Rain Forecast to Return
Caltrans is estimating a possible reopening of U.S. Highway 101 sometime mid-to-late next week and is warning travelers to expect detours of up to seven hours until the roadway can be safely reopened.

The initial slide that closed down both lanes north of Leggett on April 16 was followed a few days later by another that dumped as much — if not more material — than the first one, according to Caltrans. Special equipment is being airlifted into the area next week.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service is forecasting another storm system to move into the area on Monday and Tuesday with 1 to 3 inches of rain expected in Del Norte and Humboldt counties and a half-inch to 1 inch of rain in Mendocino County.

The second slide was caught on video by Wendy Kornberg:

Ho Li Crap - that is a lot of dirt...

Not science, politics being manipulated to make a few people very rich - from The Daily Caller:

Al Gore’s New Group Demands $15 Trillion To Fight Global Warming

Hey Al - STFU - your fifteen minutes elapsed a long long time ago you pompous windbag.

Wet in the forecast

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Checked in at Cliff Mass' blog and HO. LI. CRAP!

Pacific Mega Moisture Plume Approaches the West Coast
It is the JAWS of Pacific moisture plumes. And it is now reaching our shores.

Today's satellite imagery is stunning... a wide plume of moisture stretching across the entire Pacific Ocean and headed for the Pacific Northwest. Let me show you.

First, a visible satellite image --what you would see from space--showing a continuous band of clouds, 1000 miles wide, stretching from the western Pacific to just off our coast. Scary.

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More at the site - we are in for some wet weather for the next while - ten day forecast is pretty grim.

Just wonderful - more rain

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Time to let up a bit doncha think? From Cliff Mass:

A Late April Precipitation Pattern I Have Never Seen Before
The model precipitation forecasts for the next few days is extraordinarily unusual for late April, with some aspects unique for any time of the year.

We are talking about an amazingly long and wide precipitation/moisture band coming from the west that will bring record amounts to some locations from northern CA to southern WA.

Let me show you what I mean and be prepared to be impressed.   I will start with the 24h precipitation ending 4 AM Monday from the UW WRF model (relatively coarse outer domain).  I have never seen anything like this:  a very wide band of precipitation stretching thousands of miles due east into the Pacific.  The width of the precipitation band is extremely unusual (very wide).

Much more at the site - lots of charts. This is not related to any pineapple express phenomenon, this is coming out of the west and headed straight for us. Had just under 0.1" this afternoon. Sky is completely overcast which is a bummer as we are still running a very high planetary K-Index so chances of aurora are good.

Doing his job - Trump and weather

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Just ran into this - an excellent piece of legislation. From Cliff Mass:

Major Weather Bill Signed by the President Today
A major piece of legislation designed to improve U.S. weather and seasonal prediction was signed today by President Trump.

The bill, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, will support a wide range of improvements in U.S. weather prediction, enhance tsunami warning capabilities, and even take on the important task of dealing with weather radar gaps around the nation.

A refreshing aspect about the bill was its overwhelming bipartisan support, including passage by unanimous consent in the Senate.  Sponsors of the bill were from both sides of the aisle.

Good - weather and the forecasting thereof. Not climate change or global warming. Build up a database of empirical data and compare it to the output of the models. Adjust the models to fit reality - not the other way around.

Lettuce in the news - Europe

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I had posted yesterday about the lettuce shortage with the California rains - a head of green leaf is selling for over $4 up here. I just remembered this post from February:

Not just here - poor growing in Europe
From Watts Up With That:

The New Maunder Minimum? Vegetable Shortages Strike London
The Sun reports that in London, some supermarkets are rationing purchases of vegetables like lettuce, which is in short supply due to Southern European crop failures.

SALAD SHORTAGE What is the 2017 vegetable shortage, which supermarkets are rationing broccoli and lettuce and what’s the cause of the crisis?
Tesco and Sainsbury’s are rationing iceburg lettuces and broccoli as cold weather in the Med causes a vegetable shortage.

Some more:

Read more: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2774614/vegetable-shortage-2017-supermarkets-rationing-broccoli-lettuce-crisis/

Why do I describe this as a possible early taste of Maunder Minimum like conditions? As WUWT has reported, solar activity has been unusually low this cycle, and appears to be trending downwards, leading to predictions we are entering a new solar grand minimum.

While the connection between solar activity and weather is controversial, in Europe, Solar Grand Minima appear to be associated with cold, rainy weather, and growing season difficulties.

Our Sun is a variable star and the regular solar cycles are at an all-time low when looking at the last 200 years or so. We need to address the idea of a 30-50 year period of abnormally low temperatures. This will have an impact on agriculture as well as energy costs. I am sitting here looking at a perfect example of this problem.

I am sticking with my story - the primary climate driver is our sun and CO2 is just a bogeyman brought out by people who are in this for political and financial gain.We need to concern ourselves with climate cooling much more than climate warming.

Scattered outages so far

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The wind has yet to materialize - I am not discounting it and still have my candles and LED table light ready to roll. Checked the Puget Sound Electric website and so far, there are only a couple hundred customers without power in the Blaine and Custer areas - both near the coast with very flat terrain.

A lot more customers down south are without power - 1,200 in Lake Tapps, about 1,000 in Puyallup, 3,900 in Bothell, 800 in Lacey, 1,600 in Olympia, and 2,300 in Oak Harbor. All told, 62 reports of areas with power loss. All of these areas are in the South Sound near Olympia.

Batten down the hatches - wind storm

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From Cliff Mass this morning:

Major Wind Event About to Hit Western WA
All hell is about to break loose around western Washington as a very strong April storm moves into our coastal waters.

The 10 AM infrared satellite image shows the swirl of the huge storm, with its center just offshore of the WA/OR border.

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More at the site. Wish I was in Seaside, Oregon with my video equipment right now.

I wish I was on the Oregon coast right now - going to be some gorgeous waves. From Cliff Mass:

Major Windstorm Heading for Pacific Northwest Coastal Waters
Confidence is now very high that an unusually strong coastal storm will move northward over the Pacific Northwest coastal waters on Friday morning before it makes landfall on northern Vancouver Island.

The Oregon coast will get hit particularly hard, with gusts reaching 50-70 mph. The latest European Center model forecast for 11 AM (below), shows a large low center due east of Astoria with a central pressure of 973 hPa (or mb). This is extraordinary low pressure for April and a rare event. Gusts are shown in color and reach 60-70 knots along the Oregon/southern WA coast. This means power outages along the coast.

Friday afternoon - prepare for power outages.

Our weakening sun

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Our sun is a variable star and goes through cycles of high output and low output. An example of low output was the Maunder and Dalton Minima when severely colder temperatures were recorded in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. We are currently in the Modern Maximum which began in 1914.

As the sun's output weakens, the magnetic field around it decays and this doesn't deflect charged cosmic rays as much. Here are some numbers from NASA:

Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High
Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high.

"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."

The cause of the surge is solar minimum, a deep lull in solar activity that began around 2007 and continues today. Researchers have long known that cosmic rays go up when solar activity goes down. Right now solar activity is as weak as it has been in modern times, setting the stage for what Mewaldt calls "a perfect storm of cosmic rays."

"We're experiencing the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, "so it is no surprise that cosmic rays are at record levels for the Space Age."

So looking at 30-50 years minimum of significantly cooler weather. As more people die from cold than from heat, it is time for some rational decisions to be made and soon. I have firewood stacked up and a lot of trees on my property. City dwellers do not have that option.

Weather forecasting and not climate change. From the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:

UCAR PRAISES PASSAGE OF WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION ACT
With the unanimous passage of legislation to improve weather research and prediction, Congress has taken a major step today toward strengthening the nation's resilience to severe weather and boosting U.S. economic competitiveness.

"This landmark legislation will save lives and property while providing business leaders with critical intelligence," said Antonio J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). "Today's bipartisan vote underscores the enduring value of scientific research to our nation."

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act is the first major weather legislation since the early 1990s. It calls for more research into subseasonal to seasonal prediction, a priority for business and community leaders who need more reliable predictions of weather patterns weeks to months in advance. The bill also will strengthen short-term weather forecasts and smooth the way for research findings to be adopted by forecasters and commercial weather companies.

Improved short- and long-term weather predictions have major implications for public safety and the economy. The nation experienced 15 weather and climate disasters last year that cost $1 billion dollars or more, including tornadoes and widespread flooding that left dozens dead. Even routine weather events can affect transportation, supply chain management, consumer purchasing, and other sectors, with a collective impact of hundreds of billions of dollars on the U.S. economy.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is managed by UCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation, have estimated that weather forecasts provide an annual benefit to the American public of more than $30 billion, compared with about $5 billion spent on generating U.S. weather forecasts.

This is very good - the European forecasting model is a lot better than ours and we need to adopt it - from Ars Technica:

The European forecast model already kicking America’s butt just improved
The European forecast model already outperforms all of the world’s other global forecasting systems, including the North American GFS model. The most overt demonstration of the European model’s superiority came in the week before Hurricane Sandy’s devastating landfall in 2012. Out of more than a dozen computer forecasts, only it showed the storm veering along a path toward the East Coast of the United States instead of staying harmlessly out to sea.

Now the world’s best forecast model is getting better, and not just by a little bit. An upgrade that went live this week provides dramatic improvements to the resolution of the model, both for its deterministic forecast as well as the ensemble model runs that are used for forecasting conditions a week or more in the future. “What the European modeling community is doing is just amazing,” Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell, told Ars. “This is the golden age of weather forecasters. It’s an absolute wonder of computer modeling technology.”

Only issue is that this model deals with a lot more data and needs a supercomputer to run - unfortunately, from Cliff Mass, February 25, 2014:

Where is the National Weather Service's New Supercomputer?
It is nearly a year since the U.S. Congress supplied the money for a new cutting-edge National Weather Service weather supercomputer, using Superstorm Sandy supplemental funds.

The computer promised to greatly improve weather prediction in the U.S. and was cited as a "game changer" by the head of the National Weather Service.

It offered the U.S. a chance to finally catch up with or exceed the state-of-the-art predictions of the European Center, resulting in saved lives, improved warnings, and large economic benefits for the United States.

Now a year later, the computer has not even been ordered, while the the European Center has just secured a brand-new American computer to push the envelope of weather prediction far beyond that practiced in the U.S.

Politics as usual - some politician thinks that the computer manufacturers in their district are so much better than the manufacturers in any other districts that they stall until they get their slice of pork. Another example of the swamp that needs to be drained.

It is time for another bowl of popcorn - from Judicial Watch:

Climategate Update: Judicial Watch Sues for Records between Key Obama Administration Scientists Involved In Global Warming Controversies
Judicial Watch today announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to compel the U.S. Department of Commerce to turn over all records of communications between a pair of federal scientists who heavily influenced the Obama administration’s climate change policy and its backing of the Paris Agreement (Judicial Watch v. Department of Commerce (No. 1:17-cv-00541)).

The suit was filed after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), a component of the Department of Commerce, failed to respond to a February 6 FOIA request seeking

    • All records of communications between NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren.
    • The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.

Karl, who until last year was director of the NOAA section that produces climate data, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), was the lead author of a landmark paper that was reported to have heavily influenced the Paris Agreement.

Holdren, a former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and long-time proponent of strong measures to curb emissions.

John Holdren is a buffoon - I am seriously surprised that anyone out there still takes him seriously. The guy has made claim after claim about Global Warming for the last 30 years and not one of these claims have ever come - even remotly - to pass.

Putin gets it - global warming

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From Russia Insider:

Putin Tells Arctic Forum: Climate Change Real, But Not Man-Made
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that global warming is real but has been going on long before the "man-made effects" that climate science points to as its primary cause.

Speaking at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk on Thursday, Putin said (rushed transcript):

"What I’m about to say may be unpopular. But we will respect the various agreements and Russia will do just that, just like we abided by the Kyoto protocols. Yesterday I visited the French archipelago and back in 1930s I think, an Austrian pioneer and researcher visited that place and issued a description of the glacier and twenty years later an Italian king visited and found that ice cover had melted. This warming started back in the 1930s. And back then, we did not have not have these man-made effects, but the warming was already there. It's not a question of prevention, I agree with those who say it's not a matter of prevention because you can't prevent it. [Global warming] may be a global trend, a global cycle. A planetary cycle. You just need to adjust to that. "

Exactly - natural causes. The idea that we could influence the earth's climate is pure hubris.

Yikes - we are not in Kansas anymore

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From The Seattle Times:

Tornado touches down in Monroe, topples RVs
The National Weather Service says a weak tornado touched down in Monroe, Snohomish County, Thursday morning, toppling at least two RVs, throwing a trampoline in the air and damaging a car.

No one was injured.

The storm was reported about 10:30 a.m. in the area of West Main Street and 170th Drive, causing minor property damage, officials said.

Law enforcement and meteorologists quickly headed there to investigate, looking for clues to determine whether a tornado touched down, including whether the winds created a “swirling vortex” that caused damage in every direction, said Andy Haner, a weather service meteorologist. Surveillance video captured the event.

20170330-tornado.jpg

Photo by Mike Siegel - The Seattle Times

Goes to show, it is not IF, it is WHEN

Crap - doing what they loved

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Sad news from AccuWeather:

3 storm chasers die in car wreck
A fatal car crash occurred on Tuesday afternoon near Spur, Texas, involving three storm chasers amid a severe weather outbreak.

Kelley Williamson, 57, Randy Yarnall, 55, and Corbin Jaeger, 25, were killed upon impact, according to police. Williamson and Yarnall, both of Cassville, Missouri, were contractors for The Weather Channel, featured in the network's special program Storm Wranglers.

The two cars collided at a rural crossroad as the chasers were in the middle of a livestream. Investigators believe that one of the two vehicles ran a stop sign.

No word on who the other vehicle's driver was - these guys were major stars in the extreme weather community. Pushing the boundries of weather photography - they left behing an awesome body of work and they went out doing what they loved. I only hope it was fast.

Heh - President Trump's EPA rollback

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From Springer's blog - somebody's rice bowl is being taken away and they are not happy:

20170328-gore.jpg

And the lamentations begin

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From Anthony Watts:

And, the wailing begins over Trump killing Obama’s overreaching climate regs
From SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY and the “department of lost funding” comes this gloomy prediction.

Trump Action on Clean Power Plan threatens air quality, health, and economic benefits
The Trump Administration signed an executive order on Tuesday March 28, 2017, directing the EPA to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

In response, Dr. Charles Driscoll, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering at Syracuse University & member of the National Academy of Engineering, made this statement:

“Our research shows that a power plant standard like the Clean Power Plan could save thousands of lives in communities across the United States every year. The health gains from a standard like the Clean Power Plan yield net economic benefits that would far outweigh the costs. The economic benefits tend to be greatest in highly populated areas near or downwind from coal-fired power plants that experience a shift to cleaner sources with the standards. If we overturn the Clean Power Plan we will forfeit important health benefits and undermine the longstanding American tradition of energy innovation and clean air progress, at a time when we need it most.”

Dr. Driscoll led a 2015 study on air quality and health benefits of carbon standards similar to the Clean Power Plan, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

I just love the comment about "department of lost funding" - that is really what this is all about after all. Global Warming is a political agenda and not a scientific one. Look at the actual numbers being gathered by reliable sources and you will see a completeley different story compared to the numbers produced by the computer models and projections of the climate grifters scientists.

Rain again

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Got another 0.2" last night - it is wet out there. Winter Weather Advisory for Mt. Baker - more snow. They have had 20" in the last 24 hours - great time for skiing!

About California's snowfall

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We all know about the Oroville Dam and the intense rainfall - California has also had some problems with snow. From the Los Angeles Times:

Mammoth got so much snow this winter it called in the National Guard for help
Hey, Mammoth Lakes, add this group shot of the National Guard to your winter scrapbook.

Burdened with removing the 44 feet of snow that had fallen this season, the village of 8,200 called in the National Guard earlier this month to help cart 4,000 tons of it away. The five-day offensive, involving 17 air and Army troops, will be just one of the many memories in this winter of monster, record-setting snows.

The SOS — shovel our snow — was issued after the village and Mono County declared a state of emergency to seek help in handling the piles that lined homes and streets. A request for snow removal assistance was passed along to the state Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), which then called in the Guard.

Though not unheard of, it’s highly unusual for the National Guard to race to rescue towns socked in by snow.

Wonder what will happen next year. This snowfall still only comes to less than one half of what the record snowfall at Mt. Baker ( 1,140 inches or 95.0 ft) in the 1998-1999 season. That particular snowfall followed a large El Niño pattern the previous summer. Hmmmm...

From The Weather Channel (which has been beating out the National Weather Service for forecasts for my area):

El Niño's Odds to Return By Late Summer or Fall Increasing
The odds of El Niño's development by the late summer or early fall have increased, according to the latest output from forecast model guidance.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) officially declared La Niña's end in early February as sea temperatures have steadily warmed in the equatorial region of the central and eastern Pacific, and we're now in the neutral phase of the oscillation. Neutral means that neither La Niña or El Niño conditions exist.

As shown below, models currently suggest we'll be in the neutral category through the spring and into the early summer months (April-May-June, or AMJ), but after that, sea temperatures could be warm enough for El Niño conditions to take over.

More at the site - our greater than normal snow and precipitation was caused by last summer's El Niño - two in a row?

In other astronomy news

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Our sun is in a marked quiet phase - no sunspots. From Watts Up With That:

Solar Slump: The Sun has been blank for two weeks straight
Over the weekend, we reviewed the state of the solar data for March 2017. Now, there’s a two week straight lack of sunspots, the longest stretch since 2010.

Overview
The sun is currently blank with no visible sunspots and this is the 14th straight day with a blank look which is the longest such stretch since April 2010 according to spaceweather.com. Historically weak solar cycle 24 continues to transition away from its solar maximum phase and towards the next solar minimum. In April 2010 – the last time there was a two week stretch with no visible sunspots – the sun was emerging from the last solar minimum which was historically long and deep. There have already been 26 spotless days in 2017 (34% of the entire year) and this follows 32 spotless days last year which occurred primarily during the latter part of the year. The blank look to the sun will increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading up to the next solar minimum – probably to be reached in late 2019 or 2020. By one measure, the current solar cycle is the third weakest since record keeping began in 1755 and it continues a weakening trend since solar cycle 21 peaked in 1980. One of the impacts of low solar activity is the increase of cosmic rays that can penetrate into the Earth’s upper atmosphere and this has some important consequences.

The sun is a key driver in our climate and sunspots are an excellent proxy for solar output. Fewer sunspots = less warmth. This also means more clouds with a higher albedo (reflectivity) of the Earths atmosphere and correspondingly more cooling. The solar wind is comprised of charged particles streaming against the Earth's magnetic field. This creates a barrier which deflects incoming cosmic rays. When this barrier is weaker, more cosmic rays reach the atmosphere, collide with atoms of oxygen and water releasing charged particles. These particles form nucleation sites for water vapor - hence, more clouds.

Time to lay in a stock of firewood and bundle up.

El Niño in the news - Peru

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Peru is having a rough time with flooding from the remnants of last winter's El Niño. From FOX News:

Death toll rises to 72 in Peru rains, flooding, mudslides
The intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding being experienced in the country are the worst seen in in two decades, Peruvian authorities said Saturday, affecting more than half the nation as the death toll since the beginning of the year hits 72.

Prime Minister Fernando Zavala on Saturday updated the number of dead to 72 in comments to local radio station RPP.

The government says 374 people were killed in 1998 during a similar period of massive rains and flooding caused by rains blamed on the El Nino climate pattern.

A bit more:

Even Peru's capital city of Lima, where a desert climate seldom leads to rain, police on Friday had to help hundreds of residents in an outskirt neighborhood cross a flooded road by sending them one-by-one along a rope through choppy waters. The muddy current channeled down the street after a major river overflowed. Some residents left their homes with just a single plastic bag carrying their belongings.

The 1998 event was related to severe weather up here too - 1998-9 was the season that saw  the world's greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches (95.0 ft; 29.0 m) at our local mountain: Mt. Baker. You can see the remnants of El Niño at the ENSO website - more at NOAA: What are El Niño and La Niña?

I told you it was wet - Cliff Mass

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Cliff Mass has an excellent post on our wet weather at his blog: Cliff Mass Weather Blog

A Year's Worth of Water in 5 Months
Meteorologists and hydrologists call it the water year, the period between October 1 and September 30. Each year the cumulative precipitation for the water year is totalled starting October 1.

The water year is a natural precipitation measure along the U.S. West Coast because we typically get very little precipitation over the summer and precipitation generally is not significant until October.

Thus, there is a hydrological reset each summer, with the soils dried, the snowpack melted, and the rivers dropping to low early fall levels. So October 1 is a good date to start the new water season.

Now the amazing thing. Five and one-half months into the 2016-2017 water year, many Northwest stations have ALREADY received their total water year amounts. You got that right....if there was not another drop of rain or flake of snow for the next 6.5 months, these stations would have their full normal precipitation for the water year.

Yep - wet!

From AccuWeather:

Nor'easter to shut down travel, unleash blizzard conditions in at least 8 states
A major nor'easter threatens to shut down travel due to heavy snow and strong winds from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston early this week. Blizzard conditions will develop in part of the northeastern United States.

The storm will first continue to bring snow and travel problems in the Midwest through Monday.

The new storm will strengthen rapidly and hug the east coast of the U.S. early this week.

Snow will then rapidly spread northward spanning Monday night to Tuesday night.

For many areas in the Northeast, this will likely be the biggest and most impactful storm of the winter.

Yikes - I hope that people are prepared. I know some bloggers in that area that are but this is going to shut down transportation for a few days. Grocery stores are going to be vast wastelands for a week.

This from the Associated Press:

AIRLINE CANCELLATIONS PILE UP AS STORM DISRUPTS TRAVEL PLANS
U.S. airlines have already canceled more than 6,000 flights Monday and Tuesday as a late-winter storm is expected to dump enough snow to disrupt travel in the Northeast.

That is going to mess up people's plans. A friend of mine is flying out of Seattle tomorrow to Denmark - I hope she is not transferring in New York.

Stepped outside to find an inch of snow on the ground and more coming down. Worst case scenario, I can take Buttercup to tomorrows meeting but still...

Title of this post - the ever great Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Live in Montreal 1977.

A lot of water

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Back at 4:52PM, I measured about 0.25 inches in six hours - now at nine hours, it is a bit over 0.6 inches. Not exactly a Pineapple Express but a good soaking - get the soil ready for spring and replenish the aquifers.

A nice long soak

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The rain has settled in for a nice long fall - snow level is about 3,000 feet - I can see solid snowfall on the mountain near my house. About 0.25 inches have fallen in the last six hours with much more forecast through the next ten days.

There is an interesting event being held at Mt. Baker - The Future of Ice. They held a similar event last year and it was interesting. I had to bite my tongue a few times during the talks as two of the presenters showed slides of data that I recognized as coming from computer models and not actual measurements (the actual data told a different story entirely).

Might mention to them if they would be interested in an alternate view for next years presentation. I can think of a few people who might open some eyes...

Is too thick to measure - from Nevada's Reno Gazette-Journal:

Snow data confirm drought-busting Sierra Nevada winter
One sure sign the Sierra Nevada is experiencing a historic winter is the snowpack is getting too deep for devices scientists use to measure it.

It’s a problem that cropped up Wednesday when researchers sought to confirm snow depth at a data site on Slide Mountain at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe near Reno.

“We’re not even close,” hydrologist Jeff Anderson said after jamming an aluminum tube more than 16 feet into the snowpack hoping to reach the ground below.

The snow-measuring snafu provided real life confirmation of what scientific instruments on the site already showed.

The Sierra Nevada is wrapping up a historic winter and that’s huge news for Nevada and California, states that have spent the past several years mired in drought.

“Who would have thought this two years ago when we were measuring the worst snowpack on record,” Anderson said.

The snowpack is 212 inches deep at the Slide Mountain SNOTEL site. Water content at the site was 74.6 inches, meaning there’s more than six feet of water in the 17-foot snowpack. It’s a record for March 1 at the site.

The SNOTEL website can be found here at the Natural Resources Conservation ServiceSnow Telemetry (SNOTEL) and Snow Course Data and Products - a nicely done clickable map for the Western States, Canada and Alaska.

The Oroville Dam - a few days ago

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The California Department of Water Resources sent a helicopter to the Oroville Dam on February 27th - this is what was left of the spillway (no audio):

I wonder just how long it is going to take them to fix this. The state has no money - it is being spent on entitlement programs for immigrants and a shiny new train to nowhere.

Environmentalism gone too far - bread

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This is just nuts - from The Beeb:

Bread's environmental costs are counted
The environmental impact of producing a loaf of bread has been analysed in depth from the farm to the shop shelf.

The biggest single factor is the use of fertiliser to grow wheat, which accounts for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions, say experts.

Emissions arise from energy needed to make ammonium nitrate fertiliser and from nitrous oxide released when it is broken down in the soil.

Around 12 million loaves are sold each day in the UK.

Consumers need to be more aware of the environmental costs of their food, say researchers at the University of Sheffield.

A bit more:

Lead researcher Dr Liam Goucher said that in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertiliser farmers use to increase their wheat harvest.

I think that Dr. Goucher has too much time and money on his hands if he is fooling around with tripe like this. Maybe he would be ripe for a budget cut - after all, running the lights and heading in his lab probably outputs a lot of CO2 as well - what is his lab's carbon footprint? But wait, there's more:

Prof Peter Horton, a co-researcher on the study, added: "With over 100 million tonnes of fertiliser used globally each year to support agricultural production this is a massive problem, but environmental impact is not costed within the system and so there are currently no real incentives to reduce our reliance on fertiliser."

What a maroon - your proposal is for people to starve? Also, it is a well documented fact that crop yields per acre have increased 4% to 7% from 1980 to 2006 solely due to the increase in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. From Nature: How much has the increase in atmospheric CO2 directly affected past soybean production?, from The National Academies Press: Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide Levels and Climate Change on Plant Growth, Evapotranspiration, and Water Resources 

Something that people fail to grasp is that CO2 is plant food - without it, there would be no photosynthesis and therefore, no plant life.

Talking about snow - Reykjavík, Iceland

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The snow is not just here - from Iceland Review Online:

Record Snow in Reykjavík
When the residents of Reykjavík woke up yesterday morning, their cars were gone. Upon closer inspection, they could be detected under the thickest blanket of snow to cover the capital since 1937, or 51 cm (20 in). The record from January 18, 1937, is 55 cm. This was also the largest snow accumulation on record for February in the capital area.

Church ministers in many churches in Reykjavík had to cancel mass, because no one would have been able to attend. Skiers, who have been deprived of snow most of the winter, were on cloud nine. Children were delighted to get a chance to go sledding, make snowmen and play in the snow. Teenagers with a driver’s license, known to sleep in every Sunday, miraculously jumped out of bed long before noon, eager to test their driving skills in the deep snow. Mothers who ventured for a ride with their young drivers had their nerves tested as the vehicles took some unexpected turns.

We could use some global warming about now...

Horsing around

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The farrier just left - Rocky is in great shape for his age - a little arthritis but nothing unexpected. We had been overfeeding him and he was about 400 pounds overweight - he still has a hundred pounds to lose but he is doing a lot better.

Snow is really coming down now - there is a good six inches on the ground.

Seattle is getting hammered - from Cliff Mass:

Surprise Snowstorm in Seattle
3:30PM Update
THUNDERSNOW HAS HIT SEATTLE!
As predicted, a strong convergence zone has formed over Puget Sound, producing heavy precipitation and lightning.

The heavy precipitation is driving the freezing/snow levels towards the surface and there is mixed rain/snow here at the UW. Did you notice how the snow was associated with the heaviest precipitation? Hopefully, the lightning won't get near the overturned truck on I5 loaded with butane....

It was quite a surprise for many as heavy snow started falling in Seattle around 6:30 AM this morning. The National Weather Service did talk about the potential for rain and snow showers, but the this morning the snow was quite substantial with .5-2.5 inches around Seattle and neighboring communities.

Australia and alt.energy

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South Australia and the island of Tasmania have gone all-in for alternative energy and they are paying the price for it. For some background go here and here for the most recent troubles. For Tasmania go here and read.

Today's post comes from the UK Guardian:

Coca-Cola to close South Australia factory with loss of nearly 200 jobs
Coca-Cola Amatil has announced the closure of its South Australia factory in the latest employment blow to hit the state.

Around 180 workers will lose their jobs when the bottling operation in the inner-city Adelaide suburb of Thebarton closes in 2019.

South Australia has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country – 6.4% – and will this year see the closure of the Holden car factory in Elizabeth with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.

Coca Cola boss Alison Watkins said it had reviewed its supply chain to maintain “competitiveness in the market” and decided it was not viable to update the Thebarton factory.

But the defence minister, Christopher Pyne, said on Wednesday the company was leaving his home state because of high business costs and concerns about the reliability of the power supply.

We can’t keep going on as a high-tax, highly expensive place to do business with the highest electricity prices in the country and the most unreliable electricity supply in the country and this is where the rubber starts to hit the road for businesses,” Pyne told FiveAA radio.

The Labor premier, Jay Weatherill, has been fiercely criticised by the Coalition for closing down the state’s last coal-fired power station.

Emphasis mine. The article goes on to say that Coca-Cola is not leaving Australia, it will be expanding production at other Australian plants. It is leaving the state of South Australia specifically because of the high energy cost and the unreliable supply.

It is possible to burn coal cleanly, the enviros do not like it and unfortunately, they have the upper hand at this time. The only way that any form of alternative energy will be profitable at a reasonable price is with very large government subsidies - these subsidies come directly from our taxpayer dollars or from Government Debt.

Reproducibility in Science

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Great editorial in Investor's Business Daily:

Is Global Warming Science Just A Fraud?
Climate Change: We're often told by advocates of climate change that the "science is settled." But in fact, "science" itself is in a deep crisis over making claims it can't back up, especially about climate.

As BBC News Science Correspondent Tom Feilden noted last week, "Science is facing a 'reproducibility crisis' where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests." This isn't just his journalistic opinion, but the conclusion of the University of Virginia's Center for Open Science, which estimates that roughly 70% of all studies can't be reproduced.

And this includes the field of climate change, by the way. It's a disaster. Being able to reproduce others' experiments or findings from models is at the very heart of science. Yet, radical climate change advocates would have us spend 2% of global GDP, or roughly $1.5 trillion a year, to forestall a minuscule amount of anticipated warming based on dubious modeling and experiments.

Meanwhile, the federal government spends literally billions of dollars a year on climate change, with virtually none of the money funding scientists who doubt the climate change threat. There is no serious debate. This is a problem for all of science.

And a ray of hope:

It's time for some science Glasnost. New EPA Director Scott Pruitt has called for an open debate on climate science, rather than the name-calling and outright dishonesty of the past. Real science has nothing to fear from more openness and discussion, but everything to fear from more politicized dishonesty.

Good - let us look at the actual measured data and not the output from some computer models. Let us take a look at all of the natural sources of greenhouse gasses instead of trying to cripple our economy by killing carbon dioxide - without which plant life would be impossible.

California flooding

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Things are bad down there - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

San Jose mayor: Clear ‘failure’ led to record flooding
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and blamed the sudden breach of Coyote Creek on bad information about its capacity.

The flooding followed a series of heavy rains that filled Anderson Reservoir to capacity. Downstream, Coyote Creek quickly swelled to four feet above flood level, cresting at 14.4 feet around 3 p.m. Tuesday and breaking a 95-year-old record of 12.8 feet set in 1922.

For many, the flooding came with no warning. Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged residents should not have first learned of the danger when rescuers arrived by boat to evacuate them. Hundreds remained displaced Wednesday, with the city and Red Cross offering two high schools that are closed for spring break as overnight shelters that drew about 275 people.

Officials have yet to begin assessing damage to the neighborhoods, where the city has already issued health warnings about the dangerously polluted floodwaters, and it may be weeks before life is back to normal for residents in some of the most badly damaged homes.

Three places I would never live - adjacent to any large body of water, especially the coast of Oregon or Washington, near a potential landslide or on a flood plain. These areas may have spectacular scenery but the danger is just too great.

From a magazine that used to be really good - Scientific American:

California Dam Crisis Could Have Been Averted
By now we have all seen the spectacular images of volumes of water crashing down the Oroville Dam spillway in California and blasting upward into the air as they hit an enormous crater in the spillway floor, flooding down the adjacent hillside, threatening people in towns below. Those images reveal a big mistake: failure to update infrastructure to defend against climate change.

The menacing floodwaters last week forced the emergency evacuation of 188,000 residents. Yet the impending disaster came as no surprise to officials in Butte and Plumas counties. The rural counties, which surround Lake Oroville, had challenged the state’s environmental review of dam operations in a 2008 lawsuit, arguing the state "recklessly failed" to properly account for climate change in its long-term dam management plan.

The dam was built in the 1960s when temperatures were cooler and more precipitation was stored in a greater snowpack in the mountains of the Feather River watershed, which drains into Lake Oroville. Today warming temperatures are bringing more rain as well as melting the Sierra Nevada snowpack earlier in the spring. As the counties’ attorneys predicted, among the results is a rush of downhill water much faster than in the past. “We anticipated that this crisis might come about,” says Tony Rossmann, special counsel to Butte County.

So many logical flaws, so little time.

Warm weather does not necessarily bring more rain - warm air holds more water by volume than cool air so if it is warm, there is less chance of rainfall. The real cause was lack of maintenance and it looks like the concrete spillway was not built well to begin with. The dam was built in the 1960's when it was cooler - yes, so cool that the climate scientists were yammering about global cooling - the next ice age. Here is the rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877 - see for yourself. There are ten years or so of minimal rainfall and then a year or two of well above average. This is called climate and there is nothing unusual in this pattern - it is normal for the Los Angeles area.

From the National Weather Service:

201 PM PST Sun Feb 19 2017
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS EVENING...
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow...which is in effect until 10 PM PST this evening.

    • SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6 to 11 inches are likely through this evening.
    • SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...The volcanoes will receive the highest amounts. Less will fall in the highway passes.
    • TIMING...Most snow will fall this afternoon and evening.
    • MAIN IMPACT...Travel will be affected.

From Associated Press:

FLOOD FEARS RENEWED AS ANOTHER STORM AIMS FOR CALIFORNIA
Residents returning to homes damaged by flooding should be prepared to evacuate again as yet another powerful Pacific storm takes aim at Northern California, officials warned Sunday.

The San Joaquin River was reaching flood stage, and residents of Manteca were told to be ready to evacuate in case it hit dangerous levels.

Meanwhile, the water level was decreasing at Lake Oroville dam, where a damaged spillway had raised major flood concerns.

Water was also receding in the farm community of Maxwell, where dozens of people sought higher ground after creeks topped their banks and inundated houses on Friday, said Colusa County Assistant Sheriff Jim Saso said.

Nothing unusual - a couple years of drought and then whammo - this site has rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877

If I was into panning for gold, I bet that now would be an excellent time to visit some streams - a lot of the streambeds have been washed over and new gold exposed.

After the deluge - California

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California is cleaning up after the monster storm - from the Los Angeles Times:

Cleanup begins after powerful storm slams Southern California
Cleanup was beginning across Southern California on Saturday after a storm that forecasters billed as the most powerful in years caused flooding on multiple freeways, triggered dramatic mudslides and downed hundreds of trees and power lines.

The storm was moving out Saturday morning after dumping record rain in some areas and leaving havoc in its wake.

Thousands of Los Angeles County residents remained without power early Saturday, while road crews scrambled to repair sinkholes throughout the area, including one in Studio City that swallowed two vehicles Friday night. No one was injured in the incident.

Four fatalities known so far. The Times is also maintaining a Live Updates page with streaming news reports.

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