Canada Takes The Edge Off Our Heat and Humidity
You know that annoyingly-persistent friend or family member who gives you updates from Phoenix during January, gloating about blue sky and "perfect golf weather"? Now might be a good time to touch base.
An Excessive Heat Watch is in effect for Phoenix, for highs from 110-115F with a heat index topping 120F. "But it's a dry heat Paul!" Uh, my oven is a dry heat - I still wouldn't stick my head inside.
Send a note to your Florida friends, too. It's been 11 years since a major (category 3 or stronger) hurricane has struck the Sunshine State. La Nina cool phases tend to favor more hurricanes in the Atlantic. Remind them Minnesotans don't track "storms with names".
The inevitable cold fronts are looking better. Canada leaks cooler, fresher air south of the border, meaning highs in the 70s into the weekend, with a welcome dip in dew point. A lonely instability T-shower may sprout later this afternoon, but Thursday looks stunning. More widespread T-storms arrive Friday with a cool wind and nagging shower risk on Saturday.
No sizzling heat until mid-June at the earliest. Whew.
If You Build It They Will Come - Hurricanes, That Is. Meteorologist John Morales from Miami has a timely post at WXshift; here's the intro: "In the classic baseball movie "Field of Dreams," a baseball diamond was built in a cornfield. In what could be a disaster movie-in-production, Florida has built enough housing and infrastructure in the past decade to accommodate 2.5 million new residents. It’s clear that a lot of building has been going on in the Sunshine State lately. But not one has come! Not a single hurricane has reached Florida since major Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. When this year’s Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, it’ll mark a record 10 years, seven months and eight days since the last landfall..."
Image credit: "Satellite image of Hurricane Wilma over Florida." Credit: NOAA.
Tornado Sirens, An Old Technology, Still Playing a Vital Role. Remember that sirens were created for outdoor alerting - just don't rely on them when you're in the house, office or shop. Here's a clip from a New York Times article: "...For out-of-the-way places, such as golf courses, lakes and hiking trails, where cellphone service might be spotty or nonexistent, sirens are an “important redundancy” to alert the public, said Bill Bunting, the chief of forecast operations at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. Mr. Shelts said social media can be ineffective in delivering warnings because there is no true management or vetting of what gets posted. Incomplete, inaccurate or outdated information could be shared..."
Photo credit: " Credit Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press.
Republicans and Democrats Agree On At Least One Thing: Wildfires Are a Major Threat. Here's the intro to a story at Grist: "A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is teaming up to do away with preordained spending caps on emergency fire recovery efforts as the American West braces for another wildfire season. Drier conditions, likely driven by climate change, have turned vast swaths of the continent into veritable tinderboxes; last summer, for example, five million acres of Alaska and 1.7 million acres across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho burned. “We need to call mega-fires what they are — disasters,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), in a press release..." (Image credit: REUTERS/Noah Berger).
Image credit: "Slices of cucumber and a tomato slice are pictured in this illustration photo taken in Berlin May 30, 2011." Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski.
Weather and Mood: Rainy With a Chance of Depression. Are you "weather-sensitive"? It would appear that there's considerable data to suggest that some of us are more prone to ups and downs triggered by changes in the weather. Here's an excerpt from Everyday Health: "...Weather is going to affect you more if you are a highly-sensitive person, as defined by Elaine Aron, PhD, in her best-seller, The Highly Sensitive Person. If you answer yes to these and most of the questions on Aron’s website, you’re probably in the club, which holds 15 to 20 percent of human beings. Are you easily overwhelmed by bright lights and noise? Do you startle easily? Do other people’s moods influence you? Does caffeine have a great effect on you? Research has indicated that hypersensitive people are genetically different from folks who have a normal degree of sensitivity. This might explain why the rain or cold or heat affects some of us much more than others, and why some people would thrive in a humid, hot climate, while others would wilt. Your response to weather would depend on your sensitivity type..."
THURSDAY: Sunny and spectacular. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 74
FRIDAY: Warmer with strong PM T-storms. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 59. High: near 80
SATURDAY: Cool wind, lingering showers. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 58. High: 68
SUNDAY: Slightly better. Sunny AM, late PM shower? Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 53. High: 73
MONDAY: More sun, less wind. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 52. High: 74
TUESDAY: Sunny, turning warmer. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: near 80
Photo credit: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters. "A damaged car is pictured Monday after floods in the town of Braunsbach, Germany."
If Climate Scientists Are In It For The Money, They're Doing It Wrong. Here's an excerpt from Ars Technica: "...It's also worth pointing out what they get that money for, as exemplified by a fairly typical program announcement for NSF grants. It calls for studies of past climate change and its impact on the weather—pretty typical stuff. This sort of research could support the current consensus view. But it just as easily might not. It's impossible to tell before the work's done. And that's true for pretty much every scientific funding opportunity—you can't dictate the results in advance. So, even if the granting process were biased (and there's been no indication that it is), there is no way for it to prevent people from obtaining data that poses problems for the current consensus..."
Record-Breaking Heavy Rainfall Events Increased Under Global Warming. Professional climate deniers will tell you otherwise, but the data suggests an increase in extreme rainfall events, worldwide. Here's an excerpt from PIK Research Portal: "Heavy rainfall events setting ever new records have been increasing strikingly in the past thirty years. While before 1980, multi-decadal fluctuations in extreme rainfall events are explained by natural variability, a team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research detected a clear upward trend in the past few decades towards more unprecedented daily rainfall events. They find the worldwide increase to be consistent with rising global temperatures which are caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Short-term torrential rains can lead to high-impact floodings..."
Graphic credit: Lehmann et all, 2015. Climate Crocks has more on global rainfall trends here.