90 days until Christmas...
Indian Summer: unusually warm weather following first frost of the season.
Driest year on record for Houston, Texas.
241 consecutive days since the last 1"+ rainfall in Houston (January 24). Longest streak in Houston history.
100 days above 100 F. this summer at Wichita Falls, Texas.
Average first freeze is September 7th in Fairbanks - they have not had a freeze yet. This is the 6th year in a row this has taken place after September 20th.
"...I feel like we need to take a stand on this and the stand need not be political -- it needs to be scientific," he said. Panelists said there's no question among scientists that climate change is real, but there are those who deny it because they profit from fossil fuels." - article on climate change in Maine's Morning Sentinel below.
* A cooler front arrives Thursday of this week, but a northward bias to the storm track over the next 1-2 weeks should result in a milder, drier than average pattern into the first, possibly even the second week of October. The weather is all about give and take. That early frost/freeze on September 15 (flurries in Duluth!) was one extreme - increasing the likelihood of a few unusual warm spells into October. No, winter is not right around the corner. Not yet.
Sunday Record Highs:
Austin Camp Mabry, TX 99 Houston, TX 95 Abilene, TX 99
Miami, FL 92
Reno, NV 93 Elko, NV 89 Winnemucca, NV 93
Douglas, AZ 97
Sheridan, WY 90 Lander, WY 84
Meacham, OR 88 Redmond, OR 93
RECORD RAIN from September 24:
Baltimore, MD 3.19″
Montgomery, AL 2.17″
Danville, VA 2.62″
Mt. Pocono, NJ 3.06″
Islip, NY 1.24″
When Storms Rush In, A Waiting Game Begins. Have you noticed more baseball and football games being cancelled or postponed lately? There's a good reason for that, as the New York Times explains in this article: "In the old days, nothing delayed or postponed a college football game. Athletes played through blizzards, 60-mile-per-hour winds and pounding rain......Notre Dame Stadium was evacuated twice during the team’s season opener, the first evacuations in the building’s 80-year history. Games in Michigan, Iowa, Tennessee, New Mexico, West Virginia and elsewhere have been delayed or shortened, often with stadium evacuations. Hampton and Bethune Cookman were delayed in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Thursday night, and with rain in the forecast Saturday for much of the country, there could be more disruptions to come. The 2011 season has become the Year of the Weather Delay, but the root causes are easy to understand. The N.C.A.A. and its member universities have become more cognizant of the dangers posed by severe storms. Weather forecasting technology has improved. And a post-Sept. 11 emphasis on emergency planning and evacuation procedures has made clearing a stadium a safer, easier choice for event organizers."
An Unsettled Sunday. It started out promising enough with cool sunshine, but a nagging storm in the upper atmosphere (centered over the Great Lakes) took a jog to the west, enough cold air aloft to leave our sky unstable and irritable by afternoon. A few sprinkles and showers popped up - mainly over Wisconsin (.15" rain at Eau Claire), only a trace of showers in the Twin Cities. Highs ranged from 62 at Eau Claire (more clouds) to 64 in St. Cloud, 67 in the Twin Cities and 69 at Redwood Falls, where the sun was out most of the day.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Home Runs And Climate Change: A Sports Analogy. What does Barry Bonds have to do with climate change? Think weather (on steroids), as described by the Huffington Post: "Meehl used a sports analogy to explain the linkage between climate change and extreme weather. His example was as follows: climate change is to extreme weather what steroids were to Barry Bonds' home runs. Bonds was able to hit home runs before steroids, but after the steroids he was hitting more of them. You could not say that any particular home run was specifically due to the steroids because he was hitting home runs before the steroids. But his home run numbers sure went up. The same thing with extreme weather and climate change: no single event can be specifically linked to climate change, but the frequency of extreme weather events is sure going up. " (graphic credit above here).
Global Warming: Why Americans Are in Denial. A story at Huffington Post: "The desire to disbelieve deepens as the scale of the threat grows," concludes economist-ethicist Clive Hamilton. He and others who track what they call "denialism" find that its nature is changing in America, last redoubt of climate naysayers. It has taken on a more partisan, ideological tone. Polls find a widening Republican-Democratic gap on climate. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry even accuses climate scientists of lying for money. Global warming looms as a debatable question in yet another U.S. election campaign. From his big-windowed office overlooking the wooded campus of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., Broecker has observed this deepening of the desire to disbelieve. "The opposition by the Republicans has gotten stronger and stronger," the 79-year-old "grandfather of climate science" said in an interview. "But, of course, the push by the Democrats has become stronger and stronger, and as it has become a more important issue, it has become more polarized." The solution: "Eventually it'll become damned clear that the Earth is warming and the warming is beyond anything we have experienced in millions of years, and people will have to admit..."
Climate Change May Turn Mt. Everest Climb Ice-Free. I did a triple-take after reading this post from the U.K. Guardian and zeenews.com: "Growing evidence from climbers and local people suggests that climate change is making a strong impact even well above the 8,000-metre line, with signs of melting ice on the southern approach to Everest. “When I climbed Mount Everest last year I climbed the majority of ice without crampons because there was so much bare rock,” the Guardian quoted John All, an expert on Nepal glaciers as saying. “In the past that would have been suicide because there was so much ice,” he stated. All said that the terrain he crossed was very different from the landscapes described by earlier generations of climbers and that historic photographs of the Everest region also showed a longer and deeper covering of ice. " (photo above courtesy of The Guardian).
George Mitchell: Climate Change Skepticism Will Not Last. The story in the Bangor Daily News: "PORTLAND, Maine — Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and world diplomat George Mitchell called upon President Barack Obama — and everyone else who backs stiff environmental protection laws and the science behind climate change — to be bold and persistent in the face of opponents Friday. Mitchell touched upon a wide range of topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in his keynote address and subsequent press conference during the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s annual membership meeting, held Friday afternoon at the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center. Mitchell told those in attendance Friday that politics and scientific sentiment are cyclical throughout human history, and said he’s confident “reason and logic” will ultimately “prevail.” As the latest sign of the political controversy surrounding the issue of global warming, Republican presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann, a U.S. Congresswoman from Minnesota, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have disparaged the prevailing scientific belief that humans have contributed to climate change as false. “We’ve all seen environmental protection used as a scapegoat for whatever society’s problems are, but it will not last,” he said during his keynote address. “I believe this anti-science movement will fade away over time. Remember, it took a long time for people to realize the world is not flat.”
Perry's Climate Views Take Heat. A post from mysanantonio.com: "Gov. Rick Perry wasn't anywhere near Texas on Saturday, but that didn't stop climate scientists and politicians from poking a bit of fun at his position on global warming during an event on the subject at the Pearl Brewery. Perry, who's seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said on the campaign trail last month that he questions whether humans have caused global warming. The basis of Moving Planet, the Saturday event that was one of 2,000 across the world, is to push beyond fossil fuels because the atmosphere contains too much carbon dioxide, the product of all combustion, which has caused the temperature on Earth to increase. One of the first laughs of the day came at Perry's expense when Dr. Gerald North, Texas A&M University's distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography, projected on the wall a recent cartoon from the New Yorker magazine. The drawing depicts a mother polar bear and her cub floating on a tiny chunk of ice, completely surrounded by ocean. The caption reads, “Momma? Is Rick Perry real?” Gerald North, Texas A&M University's distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography, and A&M colleague Gunnar Schade said the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear that global warming is occurring. “The impulse of everyone out there is to kill the messenger,” Schade said. “We have to face the truth.”
Common Ground Panel: It's Time To Act On Climate Change. Here's a post from Maine's Morning Sentinel: "Climate change is real, it's serious and it must be addressed now. That was the message from a panel of experts Saturday at a public policy teach-in at the Common Ground Country Fair. "It's really important to understand the science, I think," said Unity College President Stephen Mulkey. "I think the science is often minimalized or lost in translation." Mulkey was one of five panelists who urged people to take a stand on climate change. He said he never has seen a topic so well-understood by scientists but so poorly understood by the public. "The divide is enormous," he said. Mulkey challenged every college president to speak out about climate change. "We're out of time -- we need to act now," he said. Unity College is building sustainability as part of its curriculum. "I feel like we need to take a stand on this and the stand need not be political -- it needs to be scientific," he said. Panelists said there's no question among scientists that climate change is real, but there are those who deny it because they profit from fossil fuels."