Saturday, January 23, 2016

More wild weather for the USA

Sou | 2:58 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
A couple of days ago I mentioned the big storm that was threatening the east of the USA. At the time, most weather forecasters were giving a cautious warning, saying it was a bit soon to know for sure when and whether it would hit. However Bob Henson wrote at wunderground.com: "computer models were in remarkable agreement late Tuesday". Today he wrote:
Everything from tornadoes to paralyzing ice to blizzard conditions will be unfolding over the next several days as a massive storm system, dubbed Winter Storm Jonas by the Weather Channel, takes shape over the eastern half of the United States. Computer models have doggedly pointed to this scenario for the better part of a week, and the model consensus on the big picture continues to be unusually strong. The crosshairs for the heaviest urban snow appear to be on the Washington, D.C., area; more than two feet are possible there and nearby. Blizzard warnings were in effect Thursday afternoon in and near the Washington, D.C., area. The crystal ball is cloudier on where the storm’s north edge will end up--and that location is crucial, since it could be near New York City.
Turns out that the models were right and the storm is already making its mark. From what I hear, people have been skidding off the roads and clearing out the supermarket shelves. The weather is going to be nasty, with:

  • Freezing rain and ice across mid-South - take care on the roads
  • Severe weather along the Gulf Coast with the possibility of strong wind, hail, heavy rain and tornadoes
  • Coastal flooding along the mid-Atlantic, waves of up to 15-20 feet, winds gusting to 50-60 mph or more, and
  • Lots of snow for the Northeast urban corridor.

I don't know how Anthony Watts missed this storm. He's not said a word about it. Not a whisper. Not a murmur. He's too busy accusing scientists of faking data and hyperventilating because he thought he'd found an inconsistency at NOAA. He was wrong, so his article is full of cross-outs. (I don't know why he didn't just delete it). When there was some rain and snow in California recently he could wait to spread the news, even though he was way, way out in his prediction of snow.

This storm would be helped by the very hot seas. Here is a chart showing the sea surface temperature anomalies, from NOAA. Look at all that red and yellow. Global warming is really making its mark!

Below is the snow forecast for Saturday, showing the probability of more than 18" of snow. The further you go into the shaded area the higher the probability, with the very centre having 70 to 80% chance of a dump of more than 18" on Saturday, US time.

The USA has certainly been getting more than its share of horrible weather lately.

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  1. In fact that article was so wrong I was just laughing. The explanation sat right at the very top of the NOAA report and said that they used to use a warmer baseline estimate of global temperature than they do now. Oops. I wasn't going to wade through the whole thing. I notice that last time I looked, it still ended up with an accusation of fraud from Lindzen.

  2. My son is a resident physician at a hospital in Baltimore. There's a pizza delivery business on the 1st floor of his building. He has stockpiled no food. He says he can survive the blizzard by eating undeliverable pizzas.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I'm about halfway between DC and Annapolis, Maryland. It's been going for about 4 hours and we're just above 2", with an expectation of 18 - 24" total. This is actually a little early for this much snow. It normally doesn't happen until February.

  4. Did anyone else notice?"


    1. The Climate Change Discussion facebook group?

      My advice is: avoid.

  5. Oh, this is just fantastic. 18 - 24" of snow forecast for the DC area? That will give Inhofe another 2 years of mileage *at least*.

    Meanwhile, Rome burns...

    1. OTOH, we just had lots of cherry blossoms there in December. But I suppose if the penny didn't drop then, it never will. Once a flippin' denier, always a flippin' denier.

    2. Actually, DC could see anywhere between 18 - 30". They're right on the edge of the zone between two different forecasts (18 - 24, 24 - 30).
      And Inhofe? Meh. I'm more worried about Lamar Smith.

  6. 18 inches of snow!!!!???

    Well, that proves it, then.

  7. "deniers" and "alarmists" are birds of the same feather. Hot weather makes alarmists on the attack and deniers on defensive and in cold weather vice versa.
    I sit on the fence and wait for 2030 to see who will be baking in the sun or left out in the cold.

    1. ...and swallowed up by the sea.

      Watch out for the barbed wire...(This is what I think of fence-sitters. There's more than enough information for you to make up your mind.)

    2. @ Sarmiento Apple

      I do not think of myself as an alarmist. But you would probably categorize me as one. So this "alarmist" certainly does not jump into the attack in hot weather or defensive in cold. I look at the trends and patterns over time like all sensible people do and try and understand what is happening.

      Whereas your "denier" friends - can I call them your friends? - will attack anything and everything all the time. I do not think they are ever defensive.

      The same holds for all "alarmists" I know. OK, the odd one goes OTT. But there is a whole lot more sense on the "alarmist" side of the fence.

    3. Sarmiento writes: "I sit on the fence and wait for 2030..."

      The science has been aware of CO2's effect for over 100 years. There were probably similar sentiments expressed all along the way. If you cannot read and understand the science then why not accept the advice of experts?

      If you can read and understand the science and *still* sit on the fence, then what part of it don't you accept?

      I smell pseudoskeptic.


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