Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Warming Doesn't Stop in Winter

By now you probably heard they had to add a new color to the weather maps in Australia to account for temperature above 50oC (122oF). Here in the Northern Hemisphere things also are not as cold as they ought to be.

Snowless Heartland
Chicago set a record for most consecutive days without snow (320 days). Omaha set a record as well at 295 days. While both cities have gotten some snow there is currently nothing on the ground. The total snowfall in Omaha this season is only 7.4 inches to date, half normal. The lack of snow in the winter means drought in the summer.

Mudless Mississippi
The Mighty Mississippi River has gotten so shallow continuing barge traffic is a day-to-day concern. Rainfall upstream of St. Louis (when it should be snowing) is cheered for raising the river a few inches. The Army Corps of Engineers is frantically dredging the river but that is at best a temporary fix. Water level is water level, lowering the bottom of the river does not increase the water in the river.

Arctic Ice
Things are no better to the far north. Winter sea ice is at its second lowest level in history. The Labrador coast is ice free. Apparently (re:DailyKos) stratospheric warming has shattered polar weather systems causing bizarre weather from Japan to Greenland.

Warm winters, hot summers. The new normal.

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