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.

Reader Comments

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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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Quoting 236. BaltimoreBrian:
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.


Hey Brian thanks so much for continuing on with posting the informative reading. You were gone there a bit and I really missed these. Great info. Great picks.
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Quoting win1gamegiantsplease:


It got pretty warm Saturday which was nice since I got back from Florida that day and didn't have to readjust (when I left Thursday morning it was maybe 20). It might take a minute to stick but once it gets cold it'll go. I've wondered if the slightly inland areas freeze quicker due to the smaller influence from the ocean and the sandier soil which has a smaller specific heat than say peat or clay which is common in the Piedmont down to Georgia/Alabama so theoretically the surface would adjust quicker to the air rather than deeper soil still holding heat from the earth naturally but just a thought.

Edit: higher elevation inland might be a bigger factor
The soil might be a factor. I have a mixed sandy loam type and it sucks in water in nothing flat. When we had the seven inches in five hours last year, everything was flooded for about and hour - and then it vanished. The January storm last year put down only about a quarter inch of ice before it turned to snow but that was a great surface for accumulation. I was lucky I only got three inches, but that was enough to shut everything down for two days. This is the Wiregrass area of south Alabama, which looks more like Florida in terms of it being nearly flat as pancake. Altitude really doesn't come into the picture until north of Birmingham, but it does have a big effect on snowfall totals there. Clear as a bell here and 43. My only hope for excitement out of all this mess is maybe some thunderstorms, which I haven't seen in many months.
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Quoting 237. beell:



Decent read here, Pot. Builds on the theory at post 227. Arctic Amplification is coverd near the end of the piece.
Save it for one of those cold winter nights!

skepticalscience.com

Thanks for that.
Although I do think I'll read it sometime before I get a cold winters night.
Just in case I find some other thing to do, on such an occasion !

Stay safe and warm, all.
I'm out.
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Quoting 228. BaltimoreBrian:

Krispy Kreme free doughnuts: How to get a free doughnut Tuesday
I just threw out 12 dozen chocolate icing Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I forgot they were on the back porch and they became hard and crunchy.
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Quoting 233. Grothar:



I'm only allowed a few minutes a day on the blog now. I wondered what happened to you. You won't see me on the weekends though. I'm partying down.............
I was going to WU mail you yesterday and check on you and then you posted. You know this place is like the Hotel California. 'You can check out any time you like but you can never leave...' Party down my friend and don't forget your dancin shoes!
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237. beell
Quoting 230. pottery:


Nice. Appreciated, too.
I would have thought that the 'loops' would be influenced by mid and upper level pressure variations too ?
Low pressure areas to the south of the jet would encourage southerly migration of the jet ?
And is this the current scenario? I'm not familiar with the overall set up, and I may be being a bit simplistic here...


Decent read here, Pot. Builds on the theory at post 227. Arctic Amplification is coverd near the end of the piece.
Save it for one of those cold winter nights!

skepticalscience.com
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
My car has gone from being covered in snow this morning to encased in ice this evening.




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. :-)
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Quoting win1gamegiantsplease:
Here's a pine tree near a light source. The other I took a picture of earlier looks pathetic now.

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. :-)
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Quoting 222. Wolfberry:

That got me out of lurk mode! Great to see ya Gro and Pottery too..must be slow date night!!


I'm only allowed a few minutes a day on the blog now. I wondered what happened to you. You won't see me on the weekends though. I'm partying down.............
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Krispy Kreme free doughnuts: How to get a free doughnut Tuesday
Oh, man, Brian, it's too late to get one of those sugary delights now. I'm sure they've already had a thousand customers slurping down those round sliders by now. Of course, the closest Krispy Kreme is 50 miles from me but, still, getting a free spare tire would have been OK. :-)
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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 ;)
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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.


Nice. Appreciated, too.
I would have thought that the 'loops' would be influenced by mid and upper level pressure variations too ?
Low pressure areas to the south of the jet would encourage southerly migration of the jet ?
And is this the current scenario? I'm not familiar with the overall set up, and I may be being a bit simplistic here...
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Quoting 215. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yeah, I got my license in October.


Congratulations! Be careful on that ice. I can't believe the little kid I used to tell to shut up and behave is driving.
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Krispy Kreme free doughnuts: How to get a free doughnut Tuesday
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Quoting 219. txjac:
Apologies for the late response to this, but the point I was trying to make was,.. yes, we know the reason for the cold, but do we understand the why we've got this 'wonkiness' in the JetStream ? We can analyse the situation, but I'm not sure we can understand it as yet. What's the cause?


Hi Pott ...good question. One I ask myself quite frequently. Wish I had more time and knowledge to research this. I wonder how much this "wonkiness" is impacted by the earth's magnetic field? I know that the magnetic field is wandering ...wonder if the jet stream is impacted by this?
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.
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Presslord is in Sneaux in Va.

Cussing'



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we now have Winter Storm Remus:
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Quoting 222. Wolfberry:

That got me out of lurk mode! Great to see ya Gro and Pottery too..must be slow date night!!

LOLOL, yes indeed.
Plus, I had to do the cooking.
Doesn't seem fair, somehow.....

:):))
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Quoting 219. txjac:



Hi Pott ...good question. One I ask myself quite frequently. Wish I had more time and knowledge to research this. I wonder how much this "wonkiness" is impacted by the earth's magnetic field? I know that the magnetic field is wandering ...wonder if the jet stream is impacted by this?

Could be.
I'm not in a position to say much on that though.
But hopefully, we will be Enlightened soon !

Fantastic stuff, our weather and our climate.
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Quoting 184. Grothar:



I'm going to take a leap here and say that winter Storm "Quantum" could cover a lot of territory.



That got me out of lurk mode! Great to see ya Gro and Pottery too..must be slow date night!!
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Remember that storm, I was north of the eye. East Coast Of Florida-Space Coast.
Quoting washingtonian115:
Raise your hand if you were inside this!
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220. txjac
Quoting 218. 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.


Nothing crazy about that ...it's nice to experience different types of weather that aren't "usual". I find myself wishing for snow every season here in Houston ...saw it before here and it was beautiful.
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219. txjac
Quoting 214. pottery:


Apologies for the late response to this, but the point I was trying to make was,.. yes, we know the reason for the cold, but do we understand the why we've got this 'wonkiness' in the JetStream ?
We can analyse the situation, but I'm not sure we can understand it as yet.

What's the cause?



Hi Pott ...good question. One I ask myself quite frequently. Wish I had more time and knowledge to research this. I wonder how much this "wonkiness" is impacted by the earth's magnetic field? I know that the magnetic field is wandering ...wonder if the jet stream is impacted by this?
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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.
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Raise your hand if you were inside this!
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Here's a pine tree near a light source. The other I took a picture of earlier looks pathetic now.

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Quoting 211. Grothar:



TA, do you drive???

Yeah, I got my license in October.
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Quoting 105. SeriouslySushi:


I disagree. I think we do know the driving force of the current cold weather in parts of the US- it's the wonkiness of the jet stream. Indeed we know that this wonkiness is resulting in extraordinary warmth elsewhere in the US and the world. It's a redistribution of cold air, rather than an increase in areas that are extremely cold. Indeed, some of the worst heatwaves in US history have been preceded by winters with intense cold snaps.
The projections aren't conjecture, they're realistic probable outcomes of the physics and chemistry experiment we're conducting in the sky.

Apologies for the late response to this, but the point I was trying to make was,.. yes, we know the reason for the cold, but do we understand the why we've got this 'wonkiness' in the JetStream ?
We can analyse the situation, but I'm not sure we can understand it as yet.

What's the cause?
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Quoting 211. Grothar:

TA, do you drive???

I'm glad it's not a jacked-up truck with a spit-cup holder! Wait, that was me in high school ;)

Boston doom
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Thursday storm update: The afternoon model forecasts for the southern storm that may brush us Thursday have not changed much from earlier. Most still predict just light snow in the area very early Thursday morning, though it remains the case that just a slight move north in the storm track would result in a more meaningful snowfall for the area. We’ll be watching it closely.
Looks like CWG still wants the storm to shift north....
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Quoting 206. TropicalAnalystwx13:

My car has gone from being covered in snow this morning to encased in ice this evening.







TA, do you drive???
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Quoting 208. tc1120:

Would hate to hear about damage to those beautiful Long Leaf Pine in the ILM region. Over the 6 years I spent studying in the area, I came to truly love the Long Leaf Pine and LLP Savanas, especially the Green Swamp region.

Hope the ice is limited and short lived.


Good thing you weren't here last February. Quite a few fallen soldiers. It was funny to see the sabal minors face down because they looked like starfish.
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Quoting 175. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

I would love a few days of rain I am about ready to send old man winter packing till next winter I am just about done not much more


Can't imagine the severe, dry cold of Canada Keep (Michigan at 0F lows was an experience itself) but today's multiple rounds of pointless hail-sleet showers rattling across Glasgow in a driving wind has ended my enthusiasm for the season too. The damp, relative 'cold' of another grey 40F day is pointless, as it's clearly just too warm now in the season to deliver lasting low-level snow. The lack of crisp, sunny days that should make a nice winter hasn't helped.

Hopefully a quick spring warm-up will be on the way.
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Would hate to hear about damage to those beautiful Long Leaf Pine in the ILM region. Over the 6 years I spent studying in the area, I came to truly love the Long Leaf Pine and LLP Savanas, especially the Green Swamp region.

Hope the ice is limited and short lived.
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Quoting 205. sar2401:

Yeah, thankfully, it looks like this is not going to be a major ice storm for you but I think probably a bit more than originally forecast. Tomorrow into Thursday is still a big question mark in my mind, so we'll see what really happens. The high here was 55, and it got up into the 40's all the way up to Huntsville. The cold air is not going to be in place when this next much warmer system come through. I'm just glad I don't have to decide on an official forecast.


It got pretty warm Saturday which was nice since I got back from Florida that day and didn't have to readjust (when I left Thursday morning it was maybe 20). It might take a minute to stick but once it gets cold it'll go. I've wondered if the slightly inland areas freeze quicker due to the smaller influence from the ocean and the sandier soil which has a smaller specific heat than say peat or clay which is common in the Piedmont down to Georgia/Alabama so theoretically the surface would adjust quicker to the air rather than deeper soil still holding heat from the earth naturally but just a thought.

Edit: higher elevation inland might be a bigger factor
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My car has gone from being covered in snow this morning to encased in ice this evening.



Quoting 190. sar2401:

I don't know. It's kind of hard to tell with a sideways iPhone picture but I'd guess more like a tenth of an inch tops. A quarter inch is when big limbs come crashing down and power lines fail. If you haven't seen (or heard) any of that then you're probably not near a quarter. How long is it forecast to last? Only two more hours there? Hmm. Seems like it's just hanging right along the coast in no hurry to go swimming. :-)

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Quoting win1gamegiantsplease:


You're correct. It looks to be about .10-.15 in the picture, that was taken 2-3 hours before I posted it so it's gotten a bit thicker by now. A quarter is probably too much but it's probably closer to that inland. Haven't heard anything crash I don't think, last year not only did I hear it every few minutes I got to see branches fall first-hand. The biggest threat out of this will likely be black ice and refrozen puddles for the morning commute.
Yeah, thankfully, it looks like this is not going to be a major ice storm for you but I think probably a bit more than originally forecast. Tomorrow into Thursday is still a big question mark in my mind, so we'll see what really happens. The high here was 55, and it got up into the 40's all the way up to Huntsville. The cold air is not going to be in place when this next much warmer system come through. I'm just glad I don't have to decide on an official forecast.
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Quoting txjac:


I wouldnt say that so much ...check out who "owns" the trains ...
That is kind of the elephant behind the curtain with the whole Keystone deal. The BNSF railway is the major carrier of North Dakota and Canadian tar sands oil. The BNSF Railway is owned lock, stock, and barrel (good pun, huh?) by Berkshire Hathaway, which in turn is owned lock stock and barrel by Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha. He has poured a huge amount of money - about 30 billion - into upgrading and building new rail lines out of North Dakota to efficiently transport oil. Building the Keystone pipeline would deeply hurt the profits of the BNSF and possibly plunge Buffet from the third richest man in the world to maybe only sixth. Warren doesn't like that idea. While he was acquiring complete control of the BNSF, he became President Obama's new best friend. He had never shown any particular affection for progressive Democrats previously, but I'm sure his campaign contributions were just because he thought Obama would be a good president. Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. I'm sure it's because Obama thought he deserved it. During a bruising hostile take over bid for what's now RJR Nabisco but was Reynolds Tobacco, he said "I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty." I'd give him a medal for that.

There has been plenty of mobilization of forces to fight Keystone. That takes money. Just like with people funding the denier lobby, I'd like to see some bright investigative reporter take on where the money leads for the anti-Keystone fight. Seems only right.
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Quoting 193. islander101010:

it always deluges over storm tracker nothing here no fog either twc e cen fl.
I'm In Zephyrhills fl and I got .26 today. so yes some of us got some rain today.
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Quoting 71. Patrap:


ahem,

Is this on ?

When a employer tells you he is going to pay you min wage, what He really is saying, "I'd pay you less,but the Gub'ment won't let me"

Thank you,





So, ah,... the graph implies a roughly 40-year cyclic period and we're starting the 'blue period' now... maybe five or tens years into it already.

And the prediction/observation/conclusion is ????
Thanks.
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Quoting 187. LargoFl:

Jedkins..stay alert up there tomorrow etc..could be some mean storms around your area up there


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.
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Quoting 185. Jedkins01:




I hated doing those problems in physics. Just tried to memorize the formulas of which Gaussians to use in each situation but had to give in and actually do the work.
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wednesday weather rain and snow in the south and warm weather in miami,fl around 80F
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Quoting 195. hurricanes2018:

a quarter of an inch on several branches is not bad over 1 inches of ice will be very bad for the branches on the tree how is the wind over there


At the coast a quarter of an inch can cause issues. Most of the trees here are very tall long-leaf pines, which are top-heavy. The branches aren't as thick as say an elk or an oak and ice isn't as common here as it is in places like the Tennessee Valley or lower Midwest so they're more likely to snap with less weight.
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watch the snow off the southeast coast maybe some snow hits the northeast tonight to new haven to boston for 2 inches of snow
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Quoting 190. sar2401:

I don't know. It's kind of hard to tell with a sideways iPhone picture but I'd guess more like a tenth of an inch tops. A quarter inch is when big limbs come crashing down and power lines fail. If you haven't seen (or heard) any of that then you're probably not near a quarter. How long is it forecast to last? Only two more hours there? Hmm. Seems like it's just hanging right along the coast in no hurry to go swimming. :-)


You're correct. It looks to be about .10-.15 in the picture, that was taken 2-3 hours before I posted it so it's gotten a bit thicker by now. A quarter is probably too much but it's probably closer to that inland. Haven't heard anything crash I don't think, last year not only did I hear it every few minutes I got to see branches fall first-hand. The biggest threat out of this will likely be black ice and refrozen puddles for the morning commute.
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Quoting 171. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Just went out and measured ice accretion of a quarter of an inch on several branches. We're still seeing freezing rain here, but it should begin to wind down over the next hour or two. I can hear some trees cracking out back, but everything is faring a lot better than last February when we picked up just under three quarters of an inch of ice.
a quarter of an inch on several branches is not bad over 1 inches of ice will be very bad for the branches on the tree how is the wind over there
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Pay attention to what Birmingham is saying. The Southeast WSO's have pretty much decided to stay on the Euro bandwagon, but the NAM is really good with North American winter storms. As you can see, a little doubt is starting to creep in.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
325 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015

.DISCUSSION...

ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT FORECASTS IN RECENT MEMORY RESTS ON OUR
PLATE THIS AFTERNOON WITH AN IMPENDING WINTER STORM SET TO MOVE
INTO THE REGION TOMORROW. TO PUT IT BLUNTLY...IF THE NAM
VERIFIES...OUR FORECAST IS GOING TO BUST BADLY ON THE SOUTHERN
EDGE OF THE WINTER STORM WARNING. I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE
THE RAIN/SNOW LINE END UP FARTHER NORTH THAN OUR CURRENT FORECAST
INDICATES...BUT I CANNOT IGNORE THE MUCH AGREED UPON AND LESS
AMPLIFIED SOLUTION FROM THE GLOBAL MODELS. THE ENTIRE I-20
CORRIDOR...INCLUDING TUSCALOOSA...BIRMINGHAM...AND THE ANNISTON
METRO AREAS...IS LIKELY TO BE NEAR THE TRANSITION ZONE. A FORECAST
ERROR OF 25 MILES MAY RESULT IN SOME AREAS RECEIVING LITTLE TO NO
SNOW...OR UP TO 6 INCHES OF SNOW. IF THE 00Z GLOBAL MODELS TREND
CLOSER TO THE NAM SOLUTION...THE SNOW ACCUMULATION ZONE WILL HAVE
TO BE SHIFTED NORTHWARD.
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it always deluges over storm tracker nothing here no fog either twc e cen fl.
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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