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Canada Is Spamming Us Again (travel mess D.C. to Philadelphia to New York City today)

10 Dec 2013, 8:49 am

Southern Daydreams

Canada is spamming us with more arctic air, and it’s getting harder to mock the snowbirds who flee south every winter. I get regular calls & e-mails from Florida friends, sharing the predicted high temperature for the day. Very thoughtful. I return the favor by sharing coordinates of major hurricanes during the summer months.

With a son in the Navy near Pensacola we’ve had a chance to explore the Sunshine State, and I’m going to let you in on a secret. If you’re tired of the congestion & traffic gridlock consider 30-A, South Walton County, on the Panhandle. Not as warm in January. Not as crazed either.
Sometimes the thought of a sunny, southern vacation is almost as good as the getaway itself. Right now I’d settle for Dubuque, IA.

Models show a subzero swipe early next week for the Upper Midwest, followed by a Pacific reprieve next week as steering winds turn more westerly. That should mean 30s within 8-9 days. NOAA’s 45-day CFS model hints at a mild bias returning much of January.

Perhaps that’s wishful thinking. At least we’ll have a (very) white Christmas this year.


The Big Leak. Harsh air of Siberian origin continues to lap south of the border in waves, skirting the northern USA in the coming days. The solid green line shows the 0F isotherm; unusually chilly weather impacting the entire USA (even Florida) by midweek. Hard Freeze Warnings are posted as far south and west as Las Vegas and Phoenix. NAM 2 meter temperature guidance courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.

Ill-Timed Snow Burst Out East. Today’s clipper sparks a stripe of accumulating snow from Iowa into Illinois, and a second, stronger wave of low pressure rippling along the leading edge of bitter air drops plowable snow from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia and Wilmington. Not a good day to be traveling out east. 4 km. NAM Future Radar product courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.

Football – Winter Rules. Did you see any of the Eagles-Lions NFL game on Sunday? Watching these guys trying to play with white-out conditions and 5″ of snow on the field was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. At one point they brought a snowblower onto the field to be able to see the goal line. Never seen THAT before. I saved the frame grabs above on my smart phone, courtesy of FOX and (sorry Oprah), one of PD’s favorite things, DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket.

Climate Stories….

Extreme Summer Weather In Northern Mid-Latitudes Linked To A Vanishing Cryosphere. It turns out all that melting ice in the arctic may, in fact, be having a domino effect at our latitude. Here’s an excerpt of a technical, but fascinating paper at Nature: “The past decade has seen an exceptional number of unprecedented summer extreme weather events in northern mid-latitudes, along with record declines in both summer Arctic sea ice and snow cover on high-latitude land. The underlying mechanisms that link the shrinking cryosphere with summer extreme weather, however, remain unclear. Here, we combine satellite observations of early summer snow cover and summer sea-ice extent with atmospheric reanalysis data to demonstrate associations between summer weather patterns in mid-latitudes and losses of snow and sea ice. Results suggest that the atmospheric circulation responds differently to changes in the ice and snow extents, with a stronger response to sea-ice loss, even though its reduction is half as large as that for the snow cover...”

Arctic Ice Melt Tied To Heat Waves And Downpours In U.S., Europe And Elsewhere, Study Suggests. Following up on the new research findings above here’s an excerpt of a good summary at Reuters: “A thaw of Arctic ice and snow is linked to worsening summer heatwaves and downpours thousands of miles south in Europe, the United States and other areas, underlying the scale of the threat posed by global warming, scientists said on Sunday. Their report, which was dismissed as inconclusive by some other experts, warned of increasingly extreme weather across “much of North America and Eurasia where billions of people will be affected”. The study is part of a drive to work out how climate change affects the frequency of extreme weather, from droughts to floods. Governments want to know the trends to plan everything from water supplies to what crops to plant. But the science of a warming Arctic is far from settled…”

Solar Would Be Cheaper: U.S. Pentagon Has Spent $8 Trillion To Guard Gulf Oil.Here’s an eye-popping number. Trillions of dollars and the lives of too many members of our armed services. Here’s an excerpt from Informed Consent: “…It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976. According to Roger Stern, a Princeton economist, the US has spent as much on Gulf security as it spent on the entire Cold War with the Soviet Union! In recent years through 2010 it has been $400 billion a year, though the US withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011 and the gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan this year and next presumably means that the figure is substantially reduced. Still, we have bases in Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere, and a Naval HQ in Bahrain, none of which is cheap. If it were $200 billion a year, that is a fair chunk of the budget deficit the Republican Party keeps complaining about. And if we could get that $8 trillion back, it would pay down half of the national debt…” (Photo: Wikipedia).

Solar Panels Could Destroy U.S. Utilities, According To U.S. Utilities. Here’s an excerpt of an April post from Grist, which is just as relevant as ever: “Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground. That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves. Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press…” (Image;

What We Owe Our Kids On Climate. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has the Op-Ed at CNN; here’s an excerpt: “…Carbon emissions will decline only if the price of fossil fuels begins to include their costs to society: their effects on human health and climate. Economic analysis shows that a rising carbon fee collected from fossil fuel companies would swiftly drive market innovations and investments in clean energy. (Indeed, many companies are preparing for such a fee.) Courts cannot tell the government how to reduce emissions. But they can require that the government provide a plan: How will emissions be reduced to assure that the rights of young people are protected?…”

One response to “Canada Is Spamming Us Again (travel mess D.C. to Philadelphia to New York City today)

  1. I don’t understand why electric companies are so scared of solar energy. Why don’t they get in on the ground floor and produce it themselves? That way they would still retain control…I just shake my head at stupid…guess you can’t fix stupid! Back in 1979, my biology teacher told us that by now, (I am 50) we’d be totally reliant on solar and wind power….why the delays?

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