Are We Entering a New Period of Rapid Global Warming?

By: Bob Henson , 5:04 PM GMT on February 24, 2015

Residents of New England may understandably look back at 2015 as the year of their never-ending winter. For the planet as a whole, though, this year could stand out most for putting to rest the “hiatus”— the 15-year slowdown in atmospheric warming that gained intense scrutiny by pundits, scientists, and the public. While interesting in its own right, the hiatus garnered far more attention than it deserved as a purported sign that future global warming would be much less than expected. The slowdown was preceded by almost 20 years of dramatic global temperature rise, and with 2014 having set a new global record high, there are signs that another decade-plus period of intensified atmospheric warming may be at our doorstep.

The most compelling argument for a renewed surge in global air temperature is rooted in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). This index tracks the fingerprint of sea surface temperature (SST) across the Pacific north of 20°N. A closely related index, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), covers a larger swath of the entire Pacific. Both the PDO and IPO capture back-and-forth swings in the geography of Pacific SSTs that affect the exchange of heat between ocean and atmosphere (see Figure 1). We’ll use PDO as shorthand for both indexes in the following discussion.

The PDO typically leans toward a positive or negative state for more than a decade at a time. The positive phase, which features warmer-than-average SSTs along the U.S. West Coast, was dominant from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. The PDO then flipped to a negative phase between about 1999 and 2013, with cooler-than-average SSTs along the West Coast. Figure 2 shows that even when a particular mode is favored, the PDO can still flip back to its opposite mode for periods of a few months or so.


Figure 1. Departures from average sea-surface temperature (degrees C) and wind (arrows) that typically prevail when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in its positive mode (left) and negative mode (right). Image credit: University of Washington.


It’s not clear exactly what drives the PDO, but in some ways it can be viewed as a geographically expanded version of the SST patterns created by El Niño and La Niña, averaged over a longer time period. (See Figure 2.) It’s well-established that El Niño can raise global temperature for a few months by several tenths of a degree Celsius, as warm water spreads over the eastern tropical Pacific and mixes with the overlying atmosphere. Likewise, La Niña can act to pull down global average temperature, as cooler-than-average water extends further west than usual across the tropical Pacific. The PDO mirrors these trends, but over longer periods. When the PDO is positive, there are more El Niño and fewer La Niña events, and heat stored in the ocean tends to be spread across a larger surface area, allowing it to enter the atmosphere more easily. When the PDO is negative, SSTs are below average across a larger area, and global air temperatures tend to be lower.


Figure 2. Typical warm and cool anomalies in sea-surface temperature during positive PDO years (left) and El Niño years (right). The patterns are similar, though with differences in intensity over some regions. The anomalies are reversed for negative PDO and La Niña years. Image credit: University of Washington Climate Impacts Group.


Figure 3 shows a striking connection between favored PDO modes (top) and global air temperature anomalies (bottom). The vast majority of atmospheric warming over the last century occurred during positive PDO phases, with negative PDOs tending to result in flat temperature trends. It’s easy to see how an atmospheric warming “hiatus” could occur during a negative PDO phase.


Figure 3. PDO values (top) and global air temperature anomalies (bottom). Gray shading indicates positive PDO periods, when atmospheric warming was most evident. The NOAA PDO values shown here vary slightly from those discussed in the article, which are calculated by the University of Washington. Image credit: Jerimiah Brown, Weather Underground. Data sources:NOAA (top) and NOAA/NCDC (bottom).


From the AMS meeting
The hiatus was discussed at length in a series of talks during the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society last month in Phoenix. Jerry Meehl, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (my former employer), gave a whirlwind 15-minute overview of hiatus-oriented research conducted over the last six years. Meehl’s talk can be viewed online. More than 20 papers have studied the hiatus and its links to the PDO/IPO, according to Matthew England (University of New South Wales). Most of the flattening of global temperature during the hiatus can be traced to cooler-than-average conditions over the eastern tropical Pacific, which pulled down global averages. An emerging theme is that natural, or internal, variability in the tropical Pacific can explain at least half of the hiatus. NCAR’s Clara Deser presented new modeling evidence along these lines (see video online). Other factors may be involved as well, including a series of weak volcanic eruptions that could explain a small part of the hiatus, according to a recent analysis by Ben Santer (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory).

One crucial point is that global warming didn’t “stop” during the hiatus: the world’s oceans actually gained heat at an accelerated pace. Trade winds blew more strongly from east to west across the Pacific, consistent with the tendency toward La Niña conditions, as described in this open-access article by NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo. Over parts of the central tropical Pacific, trade winds averaged about 3 mph stronger during 1999-2012 compared to 1976-1988. These speeds are higher than for any previous hiatus on record, bolstering the idea that other factors may have joined this negative PDO/IPO phase. The faster trade winds encouraged upwelling of cooler water to the east and helped deepen and strengthen the warm pool to the west—enough, in fact, to raise sea level around the Philippines by as much as 8 inches. Other parts of the deep ocean warmed as well. A new study led by Dean Roemmich (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) maps the areas of greatest ocean heating from 2006 to 2013 and finds that significant warming extended to depths of greater than 6600 feet.

What next for the PDO?
The PDO index, as calculated at the University of Washington, scored positive values during every month in 2014, the first such streak since 2003. By December it reached +2.51, the largest positive value for any December in records that go back to 1900. The January value from UW was 2.45, again a monthly record. (NOAA calculates its own PDO values through a closely related methodology.)

Because the PDO can flip modes for a year or more within its longer-term cycle, we don’t yet know whether a significant shift to a positive PDO phase has begun. If trade winds weaken throughout this year, and positive PDO values persist, that’ll be strong evidence that a new cycle is indeed under way. The last time we saw a two-year streak of positive values was in 1992-93. If this occurs, and assuming no spikes in major volcanic activity, we could expect greater rises in global temperature over the next 10 to 15 years than we’ve seen during the hiatus. In addition, we should watch for El Niño to make its presence known more often.

“I am inclined to think the hiatus is over, mainly based on the PDO index change,” NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth told me. While Matthew England isn’t ready to offer such a prediction, he emphasized that any post-hiatus global temperature rise is likely to be fairly rapid. Trenberth also commented on an interesting NOAA analysis (see Figure 4): “If one takes the global mean temperature from 1970 on, everything fits a linear trend quite well except 1998.”


Figure 4. When looking at global temperature over a full PDO cycle (1970s to 2010s), the overall rise becomes evident, despite the flattening observed in the last 15 years. Image credit: NOAA.


A record-strong El Niño occurred in 1998, providing an unusually powerful boost to global temperature and fueling years of subsequent declarations that “global warming stopped in 1998.” The record warmth of 2014 made it clear that global warming has no intention of stopping, and the next few years are likely to reinforce that point. Nevertheless, snowbound New Englanders, and millions of other easterners now dealing with record cold for so late in the year, may be wondering why eastern North America has seen so much cold and snow in the past few winters--especially this one--and how long that climatic quirk might continue. Stay tuned for a separate post on that topic.

Bob Henson


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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Quoting 290. HurrMichaelOrl:


Was there, three times that year and I am beginning to think never again in my lifetime will I have those experiences. Was very windy but nothing traumatic (like the eyewall of Andrew) so no "I hope to never have to experience that again". As unusual as that was for my specific area (2004), I think all three major tropical cyclones one might experience in an average lifetime here in the Orlando area (at most) happened in mine in one single year! I know of no other tropical cyclones that officially caused as high of sustained winds as Charley, Frances or Jeanne's maximum sustained winds in Orlando (in a single year).


Gustav was similar to Charley in terms of extent of inland wind damage. It kind of happens with the fast-moving storms.
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Quoting 285. sar2401:

Opal, I'm going to respond to your post because you've always seemed to be a pretty level headed guy. Did you actually read those e-mails? They were stolen off the university server and then some were picked out to show an alleged attempt at a conspiracy. If you take the time to read them all, I think you'll see that it was a relatively few scientists discussing some things among themselves that really weren't unusual or conspiratorial. I don't know what type of business you're in but God forbid anyone would have stolen the e-mails off my server and started passing them out to customers. I would have looked like a real jerk and, if anything, a couple of those guys looked like jerks.

Here's what convinced me that something was up and humans were most likely the major cause.When I read articles on the non-science sites about things like sun spots and magnetic fields, I kept waiting for the studies that showed them to be right. They never produced any convincing rebuttal, and the few they did use were so flawed that you didn't need to be a scientist to figure it out.

I don't want AGW to be correct. I'd like nothing better than to see it consigned to the trash heap of history. For that to happen, those who think the whole thing is a bunch of hogwash need to provide some scientific explanation of why these hundreds of studies are all wrong or, worse, part of some conspiracy. If it can be done, I'll happily lynch the hockey stick in a public square, but it hasn't happened yet. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but science has to be proven or it doesn't survive.

I appreciate your thoughtful response very much and will consider this. I also want to say that I do agree that it is happening to some extent, just not how most are proclaiming it.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Sar, Ivan was 2004. >_>
Oh, yeah. I even looked at that when I typed it and said to myself, "No, that's wrong, have to change it to 2004". Then I got distracted because the cat walked by. Or maybe it was a loud car that went by. I don't know, I just don't have a good attention span lately. :-)
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Quoting 284. johnmc318:



Raises Hand

Was there, three times that year and I am beginning to think never again in my lifetime will I have those experiences. Was very windy but nothing traumatic (like the eyewall of Andrew) so no "I hope to never have to experience that again". As unusual as that was for my specific area (2004), I think all three major tropical cyclones one might experience in an average lifetime here in the Orlando area (at most) happened in mine in one single year! I know of no other tropical cyclones that officially caused as high of sustained winds as Charley, Frances or Jeanne's maximum sustained winds in Orlando (in a single year).
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Quoting KoritheMan:


haha, right. My bad. That was a faux. :P
It's a good concept though. :-) Man, it is so boring down here. Everyone else is having ice storms, snow storms, blizzards, thunder snow...and all I've had is drizzle bombs. Maybe we'll luck out and see some lightning tomorrow. Ooh, or maybe even some gusty winds. My manhood would be totally revived if we got a severe thunderstorm watch, even if nothing happened.

Gah, how sick is that?
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Quoting 287. sar2401:

Glad to hear things aren't too bad. If was around here, it would be bad. I guess you've had enough storms that the weak soldiers have already been hauled off. Our last really big ice storm was in 2007 and the last hurricane that affected most of the state was Ivan in 2005. In the intervening years, a lot of weak stuff has grown back again. The upside is that Ivan destroyed so much of our utility infrastructure that almost all of it was rebuilt to new standards, and we have far fewer power outages now.


Sar, Ivan was 2004. >_>
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The smaller bushes/trees around our house are just leaning from the weight of the house. I could hear some branches falling off the taller pines behind the house earlier. No power issues around here.
Glad to hear things aren't too bad. If was around here, it would be bad. I guess you've had enough storms that the weak soldiers have already been hauled off. Our last really big ice storm was in 2007 and the last hurricane that affected most of the state was Ivan in 2005 (or 2004, depending on your view of an alternate reality). In the intervening years, a lot of weak stuff has grown back again. The upside is that Ivan destroyed so much of our utility infrastructure that almost all of it was rebuilt to new standards, and we have far fewer power outages now.
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This is from the SHV discussion.. Better tell Cantore....

"ATTM...BELIEVE THAT THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL TOTALS WILL OCCUR ACROSS
EXTREME NE TX/SW AR/EXTREME SE OK...WITH TOTALS OF 4-6
INCHES...WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF 7-8 INCHES POSSIBLE. CLOSER TO
THE I-20 CORRIDOR OF E TX...LOOKING AT SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 3-4
INCHES...WITH AREAS OF NW AND NCNTRL LA POSSIBLY SEEING 3-6
INCHES...WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS. GIVEN THE VERY STRONG
FORCING AHEAD OF THE TROUGH...LOCALLY HEAVY SNOWFALL WILL BE
POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WARNING AREA...WHERE LIQUID EQUIVALENTS LOOK
TO RANGE FROM 0.40-0.80 INCHES /PER THE 00Z WRF/. THE HEAVY
SNOWFALL THREAT SHOULD DIMINISHING FROM W TO E DURING THE
AFTERNOON AS DRY SLOTTING ALOFT SPREADS E BEHIND THE TROUGH. IN
ADDITION...STEEP LAPSE RATES IN THE 700-500MB LAYER MAY RESULT IN
ISOLATED AREAS OF THUNDERSNOW/SLEET...WHICH WOULD ENHANCE
SLEET/SNOWFALL RATES ESPECIALLY ACROSS EXTREME ERN TX AND N LA. EVEN
THOUGH TEMPS SHOULD BE NEAR OR EVEN SLIGHTLY ABOVE FREEZING ACROSS
THE EXPANDED WARNING AREA...THE HEAVIER SNOWFALL RATES WILL OFFSET
MELTING...ALLOWING FOR GREATER ACCUMULATIONS...ESPECIALLY WHERE
THE ICEPACK REMAINS."
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Quoting opal92nwf:
Here is my response to those who say you cannot take people seriously if they are not in tandem with the modern day science boat.

For us, It's called truth mingled with biased skewing of the data to fit an interpretation. And am a qualified scientist to be able to go in and analyze all the factors and determine if this is the case? no! but just like so many more people like me in America/this world, we can perceive the signs of when something phony like a GW phenonenon is crafted and fed into a world that would so generously give grateful allegiance to . And then you have little slip ups like those letters that were leaked, that helps give you an idea.

I believe this position is not deemed valid by some because of a one-way view...
Opal, I'm going to respond to your post because you've always seemed to be a pretty level headed guy. Did you actually read those e-mails? They were stolen off the university server and then some were picked out to show an alleged attempt at a conspiracy. If you take the time to read them all, I think you'll see that it was a relatively few scientists discussing some things among themselves that really weren't unusual or conspiratorial. I don't know what type of business you're in but God forbid anyone would have stolen the e-mails off my server and started passing them out to customers. I would have looked like a real jerk and, if anything, a couple of those guys looked like jerks.

Here's what convinced me that something was up and humans were most likely the major cause.When I read articles on the non-science sites about things like sun spots and magnetic fields, I kept waiting for the studies that showed them to be right. They never produced any convincing rebuttal, and the few they did use were so flawed that you didn't need to be a scientist to figure it out.

I don't want AGW to be correct. I'd like nothing better than to see it consigned to the trash heap of history. For that to happen, those who think the whole thing is a bunch of hogwash need to provide some scientific explanation of why these hundreds of studies are all wrong or, worse, part of some conspiracy. If it can be done, I'll happily lynch the hockey stick in a public square, but it hasn't happened yet. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but science has to be proven or it doesn't survive.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Raise your hand if you were inside this!


Raises Hand
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Quoting 279. sar2401:

I've decided to be 25% prepared 20% of the time unless I get some extra money, and then I move it up to 35% prepared 30% of the time. Being 100% prepared 100% of the time is tough on the pocket book - and your nerves. :-)


haha, right. My bad. That was a faux. :P
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Quoting 280. TropicalAnalystwx13:


The smaller bushes/trees around our house are just leaning from the weight of the house. I could hear some branches falling off the taller pines behind the house earlier. No power issues around here.


Between Irene in 2011 and that bad ice storm last year, hopefully most of the weak trees and branches that'd be most likely to contribute to outages are already gone
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Quoting 276. opal92nwf:

Here is my response to those who say you cannot take people seriously if they are not in tandem with the modern day science boat.

For us, It's called truth mingled with biased skewing of the data to fit an interpretation. And am a qualified scientist to be able to go in and analyze all the factors and determine if this is the case? no! but just like so many more people like me in America/this world, we can perceive the signs of when something phony like a GW phenonenon is crafted and fed into a world that would so generously give grateful allegiance to . And then you have little slip ups like those letters that were leaked, that helps give you an idea.

I believe this position is not deemed valid by some because of a one-way view...


Data, statistics and facts ….. vs. what someone who admits they aren't a qualified scientist "believes". Hmmm. I wonder which is more likely to be correct?
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Quoting 275. sar2401:

Pretty impressive. Have you seen much tree damage? How about power lines? You're in the neighborhood that usually sees some damage from ice accumulation.

The smaller bushes/trees around our house are just leaning from the weight of the house. I could hear some branches falling off the taller pines behind the house earlier. No power issues around here.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


You can also just kinda be prepared annually. >_>
I've decided to be 25% prepared 20% of the time unless I get some extra money, and then I move it up to 35% prepared 30% of the time. Being 100% prepared 100% of the time is tough on the pocket book - and your nerves. :-)
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Link

Very interesting article on the role of climate variation for the outbreak of European plague, as recently referred to in the press. Surely we have the health knowledge to avoid a new Black Death in society, but it's fair to say that more extreme changes in weather conditions, and habitats for wildlife, would only increase the risk of new diseases or its carriers transferring onto an increasingly prominent human vector.
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ROFLMAO, thanks for the laugh Patrap and Nick rest your University brains you'll need it for tomorrow and the rest of the week don't waste your time on replying to anymore nonsense.

Have a good night everyone. You hear that? That's the sound of bedtime.
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Here is my response to those who say you cannot take people seriously if they are not in tandem with the modern day science boat.

For us, It's called truth mingled with biased skewing of the data to fit an interpretation. And am a qualified scientist to be able to go in and analyze all the factors and determine if this is the case? no! but just like so many more people like me in America/this world, we can perceive the signs of when something phony like a GW phenonenon is crafted and fed into a world that would so generously give grateful allegiance to . And then you have little slip ups like those letters that were leaked, that helps give you an idea.

I believe this position is not deemed valid by some because of a one-way view...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Just went outside with a flashlight to get a final total. Measured 0.36" on several branches.
Pretty impressive. Have you seen much tree damage? How about power lines? You're in the neighborhood that usually sees some damage from ice accumulation.
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Quoting 270. ScottLincoln:


Just because the average recurrence interval (ARI) of an event may be xx years, does not mean that the next one will be in xx years and that you are not at risk until that time. That is one of the most misleading things that people assume about ARIs. The chance of said event happening this year is basically the same as it was last year

A far more useful way to utilize that information would be to convert to an annual exceedance probability (AEP). Take 1 / ARI. So for an event with an ARI of about 4 years, you can estimate roughly a 1 in 4 chance in any given year, or about 25%. Of course this is very very generalized, but is a better way to look at it.


You can also just kinda be prepared annually. >_>
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Quoting DCSwithunderscores:


Do you think that major food shortages would be alarming? On January 19, 2015 (GMT), a link that you posted in comment 197 of the then current blog post stated "Global cooling or the mini ice age will bring about a major food shortages and also increased energy consumption." [The grammar error was in the original. That link was clearly not a science source.)
I can kind of see his point however. If I remember correctly, Mr Henson has some background in journalism as well as meteorology. A headline like "Are We Entering a New Period of Rapid Global Warming?" will generate a lot more clicks than one like {Are we entering}
"another decade-plus period of intensified atmospheric warming"? Mr. Henson correctly states that in the article. "Rapid" anything in weather means something different than how it was used in the headline. It's almost guaranteed to get the hackles up from any denier reading it. I would have chosen a different headline, but it's not my blog.
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Quoting 265. Naga5000:

I think it is really interesting that all the people who took exception to the blog topic today had absolutely no rebuttal for it. No links to any science, no rational debate or argument to be seen, only drive by expressions of rage, conspiracy, denial, and name calling...

Good night, WU.


....we call it,

The Monkey Red Butt method du jour' effect.

G'nite Graci



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Quoting 235. sar2401:

That's purdy, Cody. What do you think it is? Looks like more than a quarter now. If you need to go somewhere, a pan of lukewarm, not hot, water on the windshield will get rid of the ice long enough for the defroster to keep it off. A disposable lighter to heat up the key for the lock is a big help sometimes also. Don't forget, too, that your wallet already has a small size ice scraper in it. :-)

Just went outside with a flashlight to get a final total. Measured 0.36" on several branches.
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Quoting 250. WeatherBAC:



Exactly, what I have noticed is that south Alabama typically gets a REAL winter storm threat about once every 5 years, and a definite winter storm event once every 10 years, considering we just had one last year, I'd say it probably won't happen again for at least 3-4 years...

Just because the average recurrence interval (ARI) of an event may be xx years, does not mean that the next one will be in xx years and that you are not at risk until that time. That is one of the most misleading things that people assume about ARIs. The chance of said event happening this year is basically the same as it was last year

A far more useful way to utilize that information would be to convert to an annual exceedance probability (AEP). Take 1 / ARI. So for an event with an ARI of about 4 years, you can estimate roughly a 1 in 4 chance in any given year, or about 25%. Of course this is very very generalized, but is a better way to look at it.
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Might I remind some folks some of the most destructive and famous hurricanes occurred during the warm phase of the PDO:
Andrew (1992), Gilbert (1988), Elena (1985), Gloria (1985), Allen (1980), David (1979), Miami Hurricane (1926), Lake Okeechobee Hurricane (1928), Dominican Republic Hurricane (1930), Belize Hurricane (1931), Freeport Hurricane (1932), Bahamas Hurricane (1932), San Ciprian Hurricane (1932), Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane (1933), Cuba-Brownsville Hurricane (1933), Tampico Hurrricane (1933), Central America Hurricane (1934), Labor Day Hurricane (1935), Long Island Express (1938), Great Atlantic Hurricane (1944), Florida-Cuba Hurricane (1944), Homestead Hurricane (1945).

In addition, the second most active Atlantic Hurricane season on record (1933) occurred during the warm phase of the PDO.
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NAM appears to be initializing with surface temps being way to warm. Starts out at 36F in Atlanta and keeps it above freezing. This is not even close to the reality on the ground as it is currently 30F at PDK and with clear skies so more cooling could occur. It's foggy in some areas so that may limit cooling for those areas to around 29F. Regardless having temps already off by 6F has me thinking a warm bias with the NAM regarding to this system.

Can't wait to see the 00z GFS/Euro.
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Quoting Naga5000:
I think it is really interesting that all the people who took exception to the blog topic today had absolutely no rebuttal for it. No links to any science, no rational debate or argument to be seen, only drive by expressions of rage, conspiracy, denial, and name calling...

Good night, WU.
They never do, Naga. They just post to express their frustration. It didn't work too well for them today. Nice to see for once. Have a pleasant sleep.
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Quoting evilpenguinshan:


hahaha I remember a few years back when Minnesota changed their drivers licenses to this floppy soft plastic, there was an uproar - WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO USE TO SCRAPE OUR WINDSHIELDS?!
LOL indeed. I first saw it in California when people went to the slopes or over the hill to Reno. They never owned a windshield scraper in their lives, and a driver's license or credit card made and acceptable, if really slow, substitute. California had these cardboard like licenses when I first moved there in 1966, and people were all excited when they shifted to credit card size plastic. People who couldn't get a credit card were thrilled because now the State of California was giving them free windshield scrapers. :-)
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I think it is really interesting that all the people who took exception to the blog topic today had absolutely no rebuttal for it. No links to any science, no rational debate or argument to be seen, only drive by expressions of rage, conspiracy, denial, and name calling...

Good night, WU.
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Quoting win1gamegiantsplease:


In Greensboro the first week of March last year they got it good and it all happened from about 2-8 AM. http://thevane.gawker.com/photos-major-ice-storm-i n-north-carolina-leaves-300k-w-1538817980

We're at 29-30 now so I'll get a picture when it's light out in the morning of the other one. It's definitely less than last February but I think they've had enough for two winters.

edit: forgot to answer the other, it slowed down around 7.
Boy, it looks like there's still a little ice hanging on right on the northeast coast. Looks like it will be at least midnight before the rest finally leaves. Those lows that hang onto stalled fronts off the Carolinas coast are really tenacious.

I'm more than a little confused about the evolution this low tomorrow. This surface map issued at 0127z (which is about two hours ago) shows a pretty good 998 mb low wrapping up over northern Mexico with another 1006 mb low just over the border in New Mexico.



This is the prediction for 0600z, about three hours from now. What happened to the 998 mb low? Is the 1006 mb low the one that was over New Mexico? 998 mb lows don't usually vanish in the space of six hours.



This is for 1200z tomorrow, about 8.5 hours from now. The 1006 mb low is now 1009 mb as it gets into the Gulf from Texas. I thought this low was going to start intensifying before that. That's also quite a good distance for the low to cover in six hours.



Now it's 6:00 pm CST tomorrow evening. The low has whizzed all the way across the Gulf in 12 hours and is now sitting south of Panama City. I guess it's dropped to 1003 mb from 1009...or maybe it was really 1006 when it came into the Gulf. The entire evolution doesn't make a lot of sense from those maps. We will know by this time tomorrow what the real forecast was, or should have been. I still live in this fantasy world from when we used to be able to forecast 24 hours ahead and get it mostly right. Good luck on that concept now.

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Quoting 257. opal92nwf:

Rapid global warming??? I think we needed another injection to fuel the dying alarmism.


On the topic of alarm, on January 19, 2015 (GMT), a link that you posted in comment 197 of the then current blog post stated "Global cooling or the mini ice age will bring about a major food shortages and also increased energy consumption." [The grammar error was in the original. That link was clearly not a science source.)
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Quoting 253. snow2fire:



lol - I never saw anyone use a credit card to scrap a windshield until after I moved to North Carolina (from Illinois). I had to do a double take - wow! - that really is a credit card!

Good luck with your power - be careful driving in the snow - it is the South!


hahaha I remember a few years back when Minnesota changed their drivers licenses to this floppy soft plastic, there was an uproar - WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO USE TO SCRAPE OUR WINDSHIELDS?!
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The "Pacific Decadal Oscillation" (PDO) is a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability. While the two climate oscillations have similar spatial climate fingerprints, they have very different behavior in time. Fisheries scientist Steven Hare coined the term "Pacific Decadal Oscillation" (PDO) in 1996 while researching connections between Alaska salmon production cycles and Pacific climate (his dissertation topic with advisor Robert Francis). Two main characteristics distinguish PDO from El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO): first, 20th century PDO "events" persisted for 20-to-30 years, while typical ENSO events persisted for 6 to 18 months; second, the climatic fingerprints of the PDO are most visible in the North Pacific/North American sector, while secondary signatures exist in the tropics - the opposite is true for ENSO. Several independent studies find evidence for just two full PDO cycles in the past century: "cool" PDO regimes prevailed from 1890-1924 and again from 1947-1976, while "warm" PDO regimes dominated from 1925-1946 and from 1977 through (at least) the mid-1990's. Shoshiro Minobe has shown that 20th century PDO fluctuations were most energetic in two general periodicities, one from 15-to-25 years, and the other from 50-to-70 years.
http://ingrid.ldeo.columbia.edu/%28/home/alexeyk/ mydata/TSsvd.in%29readfile/.SST/.PDO/

Major changes in northeast Pacific marine ecosystems have been correlated with phase changes in the PDO; warm eras have seen enhanced coastal ocean biological productivity in Alaska and inhibited productivity off the west coast of the contiguous United States, while cold PDO eras have seen the opposite north-south pattern of marine ecosystem productivity.

Causes for the PDO are not currently known. Likewise, the potential predictability for this climate oscillation are not known. Some climate simulation models produce PDO-like oscillations, although often for different reasons. The mechanisms giving rise to PDO will determine whether skillful decades-long PDO climate predictions are possible. For example, if PDO arises from air-sea interactions that require 10 year ocean adjustment times, then aspects of the phenomenon will (in theory) be predictable at lead times of up to 10 years. Even in the absence of a theoretical understanding, PDO climate information improves season-to-season and year-to-year climate forecasts for North America because of its strong tendency for multi-season and multi-year persistence. From a societal impacts perspective, recognition of PDO is important because it shows that "normal" climate conditions can vary over time periods comparable to the length of a human's lifetime .

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Just thought I'd post this here before I shut down for the night.

********************Storm total snowfall********************

Location storm total time/date comments
snowfall of
/inches/ measurement

North Carolina

... Columbus County...
Evergreen 6 E 0.5 927 am 2/24 amateur radio

... New Hanover County...
ilm Airport 0.3 900 am 2/24 NWS office

... Pender County...
Watha 1.4 1013 am 2/24 amateur radio
Burgaw 1.1 531 PM 2/24 public
Hampstead 2 NNW 0.4 818 am 2/24 NWS employee

... Robeson County...
St. Pauls 3 ENE 1.0 1104 am 2/24 amateur radio
St. Pauls 1.0 435 PM 2/24 amateur radio
Lumberton 0.5 844 am 2/24 public
lumber river sp 0.3 800 am 2/24 co-op observer
Lumberton 3 se 0.2 700 am 2/24 co-op observer

South Carolina

... Marion County...
Mullins 1 SSE 0.1 700 am 2/24 co-op observer


***********************storm total ice***********************

Location storm total time/date comments
ice of
/inches/ measurement

North Carolina

... Brunswick County...
Leland 6 WSW 0.25 511 PM 2/24 trained spotter
Calabash 0.20 538 PM 2/24 Carolina Shores

... Columbus County...
Whiteville 6 NNW 0.12 350 PM 2/24 amateur radio

... New Hanover County...
Wilmington 0.40 700 PM 2/24 ASOS
Masonboro 1 N 0.30 701 PM 2/24 public
Wilmington 2 WSW 0.25 701 PM 2/24 public
Seagate 1 NE 0.25 633 PM 2/24 public
Smith Creek 0.25 509 PM 2/24 Kings Grant
Myrtle Grove 1 NNW 0.25 547 PM 2/24 monkey Junction
Ogden 0.19 508 PM 2/24 public
Masonboro 1 ENE 0.12 615 PM 2/24 NWS employee


... Pender County...
Currie 0.27 600 PM 2/24 public
Hampstead 0.25 517 PM 2/24 NWS employee
Burgaw 0.25 531 PM 2/24 public

... Robeson County...
Lumberton 0.12 700 PM 2/24 ASOS
St. Pauls 0.10 435 PM 2/24 amateur radio

South Carolina

... Florence County...
Florence 0.21 700 PM 2/24 ASOS

... Horry County...
North Myrtle Beach 0.11 700 PM 2/24 ASOS

... Williamsburg County...
Hemingway 0.16 633 PM 2/24 public
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 255. Patrap:


You really should brush up on yer reading/comprehension skills.
The entry isn't written by Dr. Masters.
Plus, yer tardy too.

: P


I love it when I can make people disappear. I think that one was number 260-something lol
Honestly, global warming deniers are equivalent to spammers these days .
I'm sure this was already posted sometime this week, but here's a postscript:
Soon 'climate denier guru' Discredited
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Quoting 227. CaneFreeCR:

Jennifer Francis is pretty sure it's closely tied to Arctic warming -- the polar jet stream is driven by the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, so the less temperature difference, the slower the jet stream flows. Like any river (it's a river of air, just another fluid) when it slows down it tends to meander (think the Mississippi River or any large, or even small, river flowing on basically flat land) and the more it slows the more it meanders. Thus the large wonky loops. For a reason not fully understood, the location of the loops is influenced by land masses, mountains, etc., so the loops can get stuck on terrain and bring the same cold Arctic air South to the same places for long periods of time -- like to the Northeastern USA for a couple of months. To me the logic is impeccable. And as the Arctic warms some more the problem will get worse.



The slight problem with that analogy is that a weaker jet in one region allowing a bulge of Arctic air to sink south - over the eastern US and Canada in the last two years - can also supercharge the jet, generally on a more standard track, downstream of the cold outbreak. This is especially the case when the cold air hits the much warmer ocean. The extreme cold blast in the eastern US has just recently started a predictable parade of deep lows quickly rattling across the Atlantic on a strong, zonal jet aimed at Europe; this thankfully isn't as bad as last winter's storms caused by the same pattern, but 970mb lows in the UK and 950mb readings in Iceland show a powerful jet at work again over a significant portion of the northern hemisphere. Why this apparent feedback mechanism doesn't seem to correct weaknesses in the polar jet across the entire hemisphere in winter seems to be part of the issue. Given the extreme temperature readings observed in recent seasons I suspect that parts of Siberia and the state of Alaska offer the most likely places in which to find an explanation: perhaps in the Alaskan case it's also connected to the PDO...
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Rapid global warming??? I think we needed another injection to fuel the dying alarmism.
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Quoting 45. StormTrackerScott:

Latest CFSV2 is joining the Euro again with Strong El-Nino this Fall infact at moderate levels during the peak of Hurricane Season come September.

September (Moderate El-Nino)


October heading for (Strong El-Nino)



Tired of those models showing potentially very boring weather all year long ...
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Quoting 251. gulfbreeze:

Dr. Masters New period of rapid G/W really you must be joking!


You really should brush up on yer reading/comprehension skills.

The entry isn't written by Dr. Masters.

Plus, yer tardy too.

: P






Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherBAC:


Exactly, what I have noticed is that south Alabama typically gets a REAL winter storm threat about once every 5 years, and a definite winter storm event once every 10 years, considering we just had one last year, I'd say it probably won't happen again for at least 3-4 years, but its the weather we are talking about, so we don't truly know until the event is about 48 hours out or less.
I downloaded all the snow from a trace up that we've had since 1900 and put it in a database. I'm sure I'm not calculating the return period in the NWS approved method but I was surprised we had at least a trace on average every 4.9 years. Where things started to get rare was an inch to two inches . That was only once every 11.2 years. We've only six instances of more than two inches including last year, so a really good storm is on the order of every 19 years or so. However, our second biggest was in March of 1993, and that storm was a whopper snow producer over the entire state, with Birmingham setting their modern snowfall record of 13 inches. Now, if we all form a big circle, join hands and wish really really hard... :-)
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Quoting 235. sar2401:

That's purdy, Cody. What do you think it is? Looks like more than a quarter now. If you need to go somewhere, a pan of lukewarm, not hot, water on the windshield will get rid of the ice long enough for the defroster to keep it off. A disposable lighter to heat up the key for the lock is a big help sometimes also. Don't forget, too, that your wallet already has a small size ice scraper in it. :-)


lol - I never saw anyone use a credit card to scrap a windshield until after I moved to North Carolina (from Illinois). I had to do a double take - wow! - that really is a credit card!

Good luck with your power - be careful driving in the snow - it is the South!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


I'm actually not too worried, the SPC only issued it because shear values will be high and upper level energy will be impressive, but all model guidance and the NWS keeps us in the cold sector north of the warm front. Because of all the energy, we should get plenty of heavy rain and possibly some thunderstorms. But even if the thunderstorms will look bad around here they probably won't be due to the cooler air.

They will probably be just elevated thunderstorms that will be fun in terms of lightning and heavy rain, but the cool stable air near the surface should keep us from having any severe weather.

I think the only reason the SPC out up the risk for us is just in case we somehow do get into the warm sector, because if we got into the warm unstable zone, then severe thunderstorms would be a good bet with all the shear and energy.

It's just that is very unlikely, but the SPC threw in the marginal just in case. Further southeast of here down the big bend into the nature coast probably has a higher shot of isolated severe weather.
I'd be happy just to see a few strokes and hear thunder. Even Radar Dog isn't excited when storms come through now. First we have a pretty significant tornado drought and now we're having a thunderstorm drought. We don't have as much convection as you do in central Florida but we do have a fair amount, especially in January-February, which is our secondary severe weather season. Nothing at all this year, and even our pathetic total of six so far for the year had none near me, and the biggest was barely an EF 2. I don't know if this is just some natural variation or global warming, but the weather has certainly undergone a change in the last couple of years.
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Quoting 243. sar2401:

It would be nice to get a little white stuff down our way. I was a little hopeful a couple of days ago but it now looks like even the current warned areas may be too far south. Even with the constant cold this year, it's just not our turn for a snow repeat.


Exactly, what I have noticed is that south Alabama typically gets a REAL winter storm threat about once every 5 years, and a definite winter storm event once every 10 years, considering we just had one last year, I'd say it probably won't happen again for at least 3-4 years, but its the weather we are talking about, so we don't truly know until the event is about 48 hours out or less.
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Quoting 231. BaltimoreBrian:

Did you drive to school today Cody?

Also, the Massachusetts snow severity index for this winter is now 10,859. The product of Worcester's and Boston's seasonal snow totals.

Thankfully my blog comment count is less than that ;)

No school today or tomorrow. Roads were slushy last time I checked, and temperatures should be going into the mid/upper 20s tonight.

Quoting 235. sar2401:

That's purdy, Cody. What do you think it is? Looks like more than a quarter now. If you need to go somewhere, a pan of lukewarm, not hot, water on the windshield will get rid of the ice long enough for the defroster to keep it off. A disposable lighter to heat up the key for the lock is a big help sometimes also. Don't forget, too, that your wallet already has a small size ice scraper in it. :-)

Didn't get to remeasure after my earlier report. I was racing against the sun to take pictures. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 245. owenowen:

LOLOLOL, the "hit's keep coming. Fake some more data like the last set. It's beyond pathetic now. I'm guessing it's time to get your new batch of grant money?

See post #52
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
These are a few years old, but interesting.





Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code
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Quoting 234. sar2401:

Really. That definitely looks like a quarter inch now, maybe more like three-eighths. Has it stopped there yet? The radar looks like it's still hanging on the coast. At least it's not going to continue all night. I hate it when I'm trying to sleep and everything is going thump and making those crashing noises. :-)


In Greensboro the first week of March last year they got it good and it all happened from about 2-8 AM. http://thevane.gawker.com/photos-major-ice-storm-i n-north-carolina-leaves-300k-w-1538817980

We're at 29-30 now so I'll get a picture when it's light out in the morning of the other one. It's definitely less than last February but I think they've had enough for two winters.

edit: forgot to answer the other, it slowed down around 7.
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Welcome Wolfberry. I am back for the present.
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Quoting WeatherBAC:
Call me crazy, but i'm just sitting here wishing that winter storm in North Alabama was traveling 350 miles closer to the gulf, so the Alabama gulf coast could get in on the action.
It would be nice to get a little white stuff down our way. I was a little hopeful a couple of days ago but it now looks like even the current warned areas may be too far south. Even with the constant cold this year, it's just not our turn for a snow repeat.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather