Intense New England Hurricanes Much More Numerous 340 to 1800 Years Ago

By: Jeff Masters , 6:43 PM GMT on February 17, 2015

Numerous Category 3 and 4 hurricanes frequently pounded New England during the first millennium, from the peak of the Roman Empire into the height of the Middle Ages, said a study accepted for publication this month in the open-access journal Earth’s Future, Climate Forcing of Unprecedented Intense-Hurricane Activity in the Last 2,000 Years. These prehistoric hurricanes were stronger than any hurricane documented to hit the region since the mid-1800s, and would be catastrophic if they hit the region today, according to Jeff Donnelly, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts and lead author of the new paper. In a press release, Donnelly said, “We hope this study broadens our sense of what is possible and what we should expect in a warmer climate. We may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so rather than every 100 or 200 years.”


Figure 1. The storm surge from Category 2 Hurricane Carol in 1954 batters New England's Edgewood Yacht Club near Providence, Rhode Island. Image credit: NOAA Photo Library.

The paper is the latest contribution to the field of paleotempestology--the study of past tropical cyclone activity by means sediment deposits, cave speleothems, tree rings, coral deposits, as well as historical documentary records. In this case, the researchers took sediment cores from Salt Pond near Falmouth on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The pond is separated from the ocean by a 1.3- to 1.8-meter (4.3- to 5.9-foot) high sand barrier. Over hundreds of years, storm surges from Category 2 and stronger hurricanes have deposited sediment over the barrier and into the pond. The scientists were able to calibrate the timing of the intense hurricane strikes by dating the layers from Category 2 Hurricane Bob of 1991, the 1675 (September 7) New England hurricane, and the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635, which passed across southeastern New England and caused widespread damage consistent with a category 3 hurricane.


Figure 2. Scientists collect a sediment core from Salt Pond in Falmouth, Massachusetts, to study hurricane overwash deposits placed there by storm surges from intense hurricanes. The aluminum tube was vibrated into the muddy sediment at the bottom of the pond and then extracted with a hoist. Image Credit: WHOI

The prehistoric sediments showed that there were two periods of elevated intense hurricane activity on Cape Cod--from 150 to 1150, and from 1400 to 1675. Previous paleotempestology studies also found evidence of high hurricane activity during 150 - 1150 A.D. from the Caribbean to the Gulf Coast. Both time periods had unusually warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Main Development Region for hurricanes, from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa. Warm ocean temperatures in this region have been linked to increased intense hurricane activity by a number of recent research papers. In recent decades, ocean temperatures in the Main Development Region have surpassed the warmth of prehistoric levels, and these waters are expected to warm further over the next century as the climate heats up, suggesting that intense hurricane activity in New England may return to the levels of 340 to 1800 years ago. However, other factors besides warming SSTs will also shape what happens in the North Atlantic. For example, the pattern of ocean warming could bring more El Niño-style wind shear to the Atlantic, reducing hurricane activity. Still, New England would be wise to take heed of Donnelly's advice that we may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so rather than every 100 or 200 years.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Snow bands developing out west. Snowfall rates will be quite high as this system is fairly dynamic.


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Quoting FLWaterFront:
Several things. First off, Florida, per se, is not "swamp land." Check out post #202 and you can see on the map that only a small portion of Florida is shown in purple, depicting wetlands, which is the polite term for swampland. Saying "I know it's swamp land" when describing Florida would be like saying that"( New York state) is skyscrapers." I think you get the point.

Secondly, Florida is as much southern as any other state in Dixie. Yes there are millions of transplants in Florida from outside the south but nowadays, that is happening very rapidly throughout the South. The South, just like all areas of the world is evolving as time passes. So stereotypes that are thought to be typically southern may have applied more accurately in the past but not as much today and even less so tomorrow. But still and due to geography, the South will always be the South and Florida is certainly a part of that.

And finally, your post suggests that swampland is somehow indicative of the South or is Southern in nature or even perhaps exclusively. Swamps exist all over the world and have nothing to do with region, including in the US. There are some famous wetlands in Florida and throughout the South but this is also true in numerous other areas, it is far from being just a Southern thing.


Atlanta is the most de-southernized city in the south imho. A lot of folks from the north(and all over) have moved to the now so-called Dixie City. It's the fastest-growing metropolis in the US. Miami is not far behind. In fact, Miami has an accent very akin to NYC/New England.
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Quoting 404. sanflee76:

Well then if that is your theory then explain how the levels of CO2 rose in the past without industrialization to cause past climate changes? And then how did the levels go down again?


It's called "the carbon cycle."
It's not "nea's theory," either - it's the body of geological & atmospheric science's theory. This isn't new territory.

Humans are taking the carbon cycle and speeding it up orders of magnitude compared to what is seen naturally.

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle

NASA
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/themes/carbon/
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonC ycle/page1.php

EPA
http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/basics/today/c arbon-dioxide.html

IPCC AR4
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/ en/ch7s7-3.html
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Quoting 404. sanflee76:

Well then if that is your theory then explain how the levels of CO2 rose in the past without industrialization to cause past climate changes? And then how did the levels go down again?

Also assumes we know everything about past periods of "industrialization" or similar societal buildups that could have influenced climate events.

One of the frustrating aspects of this climate change situation is that we know so little about the past compared to what we'd LIKE to know.
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Yep...He has even dedicated entire posts on the subject. I typed numerous comments on it , and many others here have discussed the issue. The models have had there own thread for the better part of a day. I have come to the realization that some do not understand how the models actually work and compute or how Mets apply them to there forecast. Therefore I no longer address the issue.


that's because you can channel your "inner peace" better than most.....you are a man to be admired hydrus....



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There might be another storm for the south next week, but time will tell. Another thing I want everyone to answer, do you think I'm a good friend. If not, I understamd.
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From Phys.org:

Study finds more evidence for link between wavy jet stream and extreme weather


Credit: National Weather Service

Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common – the atmospheric jet stream which transports weather systems that's taken to meandering all over North America.

Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth's middle latitudes.

A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves which will lead to more extreme weather across the country.

Read more >>


More information: "Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming." Jennifer A Francis and Stephen J Vavrus 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 014005. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/1/014005
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Afternoon everybody. We are experiencing some pretty decent rain from the front here in New Providence so far, and the temps have already started to tank: 70 now down from 77 at 9 a.m.



Anybody in S FL feeling the chill? I see WU is reporting 62 in Hollywood at this hour, which is not that cold for Feb....
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428. MahFL
Quoting 421. LAbonbon:


This was actually discussed at length on the blog yesterday. The researchers looked for event beds for the historic period, looking for known storms. They only found the three mentioned (Bob, and the two from the 1600s). Other storms were discussed in the paper and in the Supporting Information for the paper. No other storms during the historic period left event beds as these three did, so when they cored deeper, looking for similar event beds, the event beds found would have been from storms similar or stronger than these three.


Science is hard for some people.
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Lam getting sheared,..

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Quoting 408. cRRKampen:


Yes. And a look at the Levant might inspire speculation as to how the near future could look like, there.

Hopefully not...that would be a tragedy.
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I'm just going to let this hurricane season come as it is.



nope....folks..let me help you out as i have rattled the chicken bones......read my tarot cards....checked the alignment of the stars....messaged spirits through a seance.....researched tea leaves.....and of course....looked at the farmers almanac......

THE 2015 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON WILL PRODUCE NO HURRICANES....

that's a fact jack....nothing more needs to be said....subject is closed....next topic please

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Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
300 AM EST Wed Feb 18 2015

Valid 12Z Wed Feb 18 2015 - 12Z Fri Feb 20 2015

***Areas of snow from the Great Lakes to New England***

***Historic cold for the eastern U.S. late this week***

***Remaining mild and dry for the western United States***

The overall weather pattern through the end of the week will continue to
be featured with a pronounced upper level trough over the eastern half of
the country, and a big upper level ridge for the western states. This
will keep the West Coast, the Intermountain West, and the Desert Southwest
warmer and drier than normal, and the central and eastern parts of the
U.S. much colder than normal. Although the weather is pleasant out west,
the drought continues for California and much of the Intermountain West,
and no appreciable rain is in the forecast over the next couple of days.
There may be a few showers over western Washington state, but that is
about it.

Over the eastern half of the nation, we all know that it has been quite
cold over the past week. Get ready for an even more impressive surge of
arctic air later this week as another cold front drops south from Canada.
There are indications that this could be some of the coldest weather since
the mid-1990s for parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central
Appalachians. An eddy of the polar vortex will add to the potency of the
surface cold front, thus creating a deep layer of bitterly cold air.
Highs on Thursday and Friday will struggle to get out of the teens for
many of these areas, and overnight lows could reach zero degrees or even
lower in some areas!
After Friday, temperatures are forecast to moderate
and become more tolerable.

In the precipitation department, no major areas of rain or snow are
expected over the next 48 hours. There will be periods of light snow and
snow showers from the Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic and New England as
shortwave energy with the arctic front moves across the region. Some lake
effect snow showers will be possible as well. Lingering showers and a few
thunderstorms will be possible for the Florida peninsula before the cold
front clears the state by later Wednesday.

D. Hamrick


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Quoting 418. weathermanwannabe:

Dr. Masters has made the point several times that the "models are not gospel" and particularly when they are applied in a longer-term setting. A great forecast tool but this is why folks like Gray/Klotzback "tweak" their forecast between May and August to account for real time conditions as we approach the peak of the Atlantic season. Lots of small and large scale synoptic factors can change in the Atlantic between May and August and the Enso cycle is one of the big-ticket items in this regard/time-frame.
Yep...He has even dedicated entire posts on the subject. I typed numerous comments on it , and many others here have discussed the issue. The models have had there own thread for the better part of a day. I have come to the realization that some do not understand how the models actually work and compute or how Mets apply them to their forecast. Therefore I no longer address the issue.
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Here is the big picture headline from NWS for the next few days. Goes without saying with all the hard freeze warnings for parts of the S-SE that folks need to take care of pets, plants, and check on exposed pipes (drip faucets) before turning in tonight. Gonna be lots of busted pipes in the South over the next few days. A "duh" tip; if you do the faucet drip precaution, make sure you drip the faucet with "hot" water and try to run the faucets which are furthest way from the water heater so you get the warm flow going through as many pipes as possible in the overnight hours.


Cold air continues across eastern U.S., records threatened

Exceptionally cold air will dominate the eastern half of the U.S. on Wednesday as an arctic cold front makes its way toward the East Coast. Many records will be threatened as temperatures plummet to as much as 25-30 degrees below normal for this time of year, with highs in the single digits across the Upper Midwest on Wednesday and overnight lows forecast below zero from Bismarck to Buffalo. 

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Quoting 419. nickharger:

How did they assume it was a Category 3? The storms could have been monstrously sized Category 1s.

This was actually discussed at length on the blog yesterday. The researchers looked for event beds for the historic period, looking for known storms. They only found the three mentioned (Bob, and the two from the 1600s). Other storms were discussed in the paper and in the Supporting Information for the paper. No other storms during the historic period left event beds as these three did, so when they cored deeper, looking for similar event beds, the event beds found would have been from storms similar or stronger than these three.
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I'm just going to let this hurricane season come as it is.
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How did they assume it was a Category 3? The storms could have been monstrously sized Category 1s.
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Dr. Masters has made the point several times that the "models are not gospel" and particularly when they are applied in a longer-term setting. A great forecast tool but this is why folks like Gray/Klotzback "tweak" their forecast between May and August to account for real time conditions as we approach the peak of the Atlantic season. Lots of small and large scale synoptic factors can change in the Atlantic between May and August and the Enso cycle is one of the big-ticket items in this regard/time-frame.
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Quoting sanflee76:
Well then if that is your theory then explain how the levels of CO2 rose in the past without industrialization to cause past climate changes? And then how did the levels go down again?
Well, much as I'd like to take credit, it's not *my* theory; it's the theory supported by tens of thousands of scientists and veritable mountains of observational data. But to answer your question: here's a great primer on the subject.
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GFS MOS is forecasting a low of 26 in Daytona Beach for Friday morning, which would break the record low of 27 on that date set back in 1958. Impressive if it verifies. Sky conditions look clear on that morning, however winds still look high which would cause mixing to occur and keep the temperatures up a little.

Link
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Quoting 412. GTstormChaserCaleb:

I think using current sst charts, vertical instability, and shear maps to get a general idea of what the hurricane season will be like is a little too soon, maybe check back in April.


I am interested in the sst anomalies and vertical instability. While I agree that you can't assume that certain patterns in those areas now will persist into the summer, it's at least interesting to look at and track the pattern as we get closer to hurricane season. If someone chooses to assign a prediction for the season based on these charts now, why does it annoy you so much? Just ignore it. There are a lot of people on this blog and they won't always post things exactly to your expectations. When hurricane season comes, you are free to wishcast every tropical wave and give your thoughts.
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Quoting 412. GTstormChaserCaleb:

At this point we will probably see a La Nina, who knows anything is possible. Two things I am finding annoying is predictions for an El Nino to occur which should have occurred last year, but did not and the second thing is the quiet predictions for this upcoming hurricane season that is like 4 months away and as we have seen in the past conditions change as we get closer to the season. I think using current sst charts, vertical instability, and shear maps to get a general idea of what the hurricane season will be like is a little too soon, maybe check back in April. Remember we are still in winter and of course the conditions will still look like crap in the Atlantic, especially with the winter time Jet Stream pattern along the east coast providing shear throughout the Atlantic and the ITCZ being suppressed down near the equator, this is climatologically to be expected. Again, to echo Cody's voice there is little skill in forecasting months out in advance when it comes to El Nino/La Nina episodes and predictions for the hurricane season.
Greetings Caleb..I have a theory why Nino never came to be..If I can ever find time to type it.
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Quoting 399. weathermanwannabe:

Getting tired of the El Nino debate that has been championed now for the last 9 months; if it had happened by now (and certainly the "super" El Nino that was championed at one point), then someone would have talked about how they saw it coming before anyone else as if they had a crystal ball or were a forecast savant............There is no way to predict a long term weather event, and certainly with the Enso cycle, several months out in advance.

I don't of anyone (Pro or Amateur) that predicted that we would have Enso Neutral conditions for the Atlantic season for three years in a row (4 years ago) but it happened.................There is no way to know the exact outcome but the models help us try to make a reasonable forecast in the short-term; long-term is often a coin flip.


yes, the whole "boy who cried Niño" schtick is kinda wearing thin.
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At this point we will probably see a La Nina, who knows anything is possible. Two things I am finding annoying is predictions for an El Nino to occur which should have occurred last year, but did not and the second thing is the quiet predictions for this upcoming hurricane season that is like 4 months away and as we have seen in the past conditions change as we get closer to the season. I think using current sst charts, vertical instability, and shear maps to get a general idea of what the hurricane season will be like is a little too soon, maybe check back in April. Remember we are still in winter and of course the conditions will still look like crap in the Atlantic, especially with the winter time Jet Stream pattern along the east coast providing shear throughout the Atlantic and the ITCZ being suppressed down near the equator, this is climatologically to be expected. Again, to echo Cody's voice there is little skill in forecasting months out in advance when it comes to El Nino/La Nina episodes and predictions for the hurricane season.
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This would be quite remarkable if it were to verify.
Below zero temperatures all the way down to N.E. Texas in late February.
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Skies are clearing out in C FL.
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wow 12 inches of snow!!
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Quoting 397. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

its gonna get ugly there real ugly and soon

Yes. And a look at the Levant might inspire speculation as to how the near future could look like, there.
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Thank you Dr Masters.
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snow for the northeast
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Quoting 404. sanflee76:

Well then if that is your theory then explain how the levels of CO2 rose in the past without industrialization to cause past climate changes? And then how did the levels go down again?

The oceans most likely absorbed most of the C02....Link

How plankton helps..Link



Flickr/NASA Goddard Photo.
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Well then if that is your theory then explain how the levels of CO2 rose in the past without industrialization to cause past climate changes? And then how did the levels go down again?
Quoting 361. Neapolitan:

Perhaps it wouldn't be so "Amazing!" to you if you'd taken the time to study the science. The thing is, the climate doesn't just change because it feels like it. Through researching past climatic changes, we know that greenhouse gasses--mostly CO2--have been the catalyst for most of those previous climate changes. And that's why most scientists are certain that the current climate changes we're seeing are indeed man's fault.
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Well the models start the ramp up in May which is only 10 weeks away.


hmmmmmmm.........

may is spring.......

spring is "springtime barrier".......

we expect the models to be wrong because of the springtime barrier.....

nuff said
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Frankly, I don't care what any of the models show with regard to ENSO. It's become clear at this point -- at least, to any reasonable person -- that there is little skill in forecasting such several months in advance, especially as we progress toward the spring barrier.

i think we have all seen that in many cases....when a blogger....can only make their assertions of upcoming events by referencing a model...they have little understanding of the subject
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The model i posted is the CFSv2 and it updates every 6 hours on Weatherbell and yes it does show a strip of 3C to 4C anomalies with a average of likely 2C for the area as a whole. Again good try to you as well.


thanx for the clarification scott.......but here is where i have the problem....

you're using a model that has been highly innacurate long range in the past....

you're in the time of the spring barrier when the models cannot be trusted....

you're ignoring the means and only looking at a specific segment of outlier models......


most important though...you're only looking at models...not asking the important question of why....and yes...what i learned most from last years failure to produce an el nino...was to ask why......let me give you two recent incidences of how that can make you look foolish....

a month ago...you posted the daily SOI value of below -.40...and made the ascertation that signified how an el nino event was heating up.....now while that figure is impressive...if you had asked why...and dug a bit deeper...you would have seen that it was in direct correlation of tropical cyclones in the tahiti area....and not a reflection of the ENSO conditions.....as a matter of fact...yesterdays daily value was above 17 (la nina territory) and more importantly the 30 day value is now above -.8 (neutral territory)

also....two months ago...you were touting the CFSV2 model...and showing that the means was above a 2.0 anomaly....once again though.....digging deeper produced the fact that the pro mets were explaining that this was an error due to the model having a bias with the current produced kelvin wave...






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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Getting tired of the El Nino debate that has been championed now for the last 9 months; if it had happened by now (and certainly the "super" El Nino that was championed at one point), then someone would have talked about how they saw it coming before anyone else as if they had a crystal ball or were a forecast savant............There is no way to predict a long term weather event, and certainly with the Enso cycle, several months out in advance.

I don't of anyone (Pro or Amateur) that predicted that we would have Enso Neutral conditions for the Atlantic season for three years in a row (4 years ago) but it happened.................There is no way to know the exact outcome but the models help us try to make a reasonable forecast in the short-term; long-term is often a coin flip.
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Quoting 387. LAbonbon:

From the New York Times, a very sobering piece on the water woes in Brazil.

Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil's Largest City
Sao Paulo Water Crisis Linked to Growth, Pollution and Deforestation
By SIMON ROMERO, Fe. 16, 2015

Excerpt:

"Behind closed doors, the views are grimmer. In a meeting recorded secretly and leaked to the local news media, Paulo Massato, a senior official at Sao Paulo's water utility, said that residents might have to be warned to flee because "there's not enough water, there won't be water to bathe, to clean" homes."


its gonna get ugly there real ugly and soon
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Quoting 393. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Frankly, I don't care what any of the models show with regard to ENSO. It's become clear at this point -- at least, to any reasonable person -- that there is little skill in forecasting such several months in advance, especially as we progress toward the spring barrier.


Well the models start the ramp up in May which is only 10 weeks away.
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Quoting 381. HaoleboySurfEC:

Looks like some more rough weather on the way to you. How bad is the ice damage in your area? Level 3 or greater? Any talk of a federal disaster declaration?

Best of luck. Ice storms are no fun.


Not yet , but this next system will make things worse..Hoping Saturdays forecast come to fruition. I have considerable tree damage , and fence is preety messed up...If we can hold this way until the middle of the weekend , we will be o.k.
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Quoting 346. TropicalAnalystwx13:

If you're in southern California/Arizona/Florida, just know that the rest of the United States hates you.




Hey. Don't you think we get bored with sunny days and warm tropical breezes?
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Quoting 384. StormTrackerScott:



That's why just about all the models have now followed the CFSv2 with a few now showing a warmer signal than the CFSv2 but good try TA13. People are not happy looking at all these models showing El-Nino as that would tend to mean a less active hurricane season. Again good try though.

Frankly, I don't care what any of the models show with regard to ENSO. It's become clear at this point -- at least, to any reasonable person -- that there is little skill in forecasting such several months in advance, especially as we progress toward the spring barrier.
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Quoting 388. weathermanwannabe:

Good Morning. These type of bitter cold outbreaks are usually followed by some of type of retirement community ads up north (from Florida) letting the older folks know they can retire to sunny Florida to beat the cold................ :)

Did you happen to see this WU news article?

Ithaca to Visitors: Go to Florida Instead
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Quoting Tazmanian:




35 is nothing now try -30 be low 0 now that cold


Yeah, I know. I've become a cold weather wimp since moving to S.W. Florida about 18 years ago.

For several years when I lived in central Oklahoma, I drove a motorcycle all Winter as my only form of transportation.
Doing 70 mph on the highway when it was only 8 degrees outside about killed me.

That had to be a wind chill of about -30. I just know my body would be shaking violently trying to stay warm.
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Quoting 384. StormTrackerScott:



That's why just about all the models have now followed the CFSv2 with a few now showing a warmer signal than the CFSv2 but good try TA13. People are not happy looking at all these models showing El-Nino as that would tend to mean a less active hurricane season. Again good try though.

As I stated earlier several other models now are as strong or stronger with El-Nino than the CFSv2 with one being the one that NASA uses.


Is not because the el nino the reason he's not happy. The issue here is the obsession you have with and El nino since early 2012 and the models have all fail their forecast.
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Good Morning. These type of bitter cold outbreaks are usually followed by some of type of retirement community ads up north (from Florida) letting the older folks know they can retire to sunny Florida to beat the cold................ :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
From the New York Times, a very sobering piece on the water woes in Brazil.

Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil's Largest City
Sao Paulo Water Crisis Linked to Growth, Pollution and Deforestation
By SIMON ROMERO, Feb. 16, 2015

Excerpt:

"Behind closed doors, the views are grimmer. In a meeting recorded secretly and leaked to the local news media, Paulo Massato, a senior official at Sao Paulo's water utility, said that residents might have to be warned to flee because "there's not enough water, there won't be water to bathe, to clean" homes."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Actually I was referring to Tennessee and Hydrus' ice storm woes.

But, yes, the snowpack refrigerator can wreak havoc with a marginal rain event. With you there.

I don't think flooding will be the issue this time around as just not going to get warm enough for rapid melt. I could see much of the liquid precip this time around being absorbed by the snowpack. Of course, that changes if you're talking a lot of rain in a short time.

Quoting 383. Methurricanes:

I would be nervous of the snow pack preserving cold surface temps in Mass, most worried about slightly inland, and North of the Mass Pike.
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Category 6™

About

Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather