All Weather News

Thin Ice – Drought Emergency – Wildfires – Thick Smoke Blankets Southeastern USA

Very Poor Ice Fishing Conditions Northern States – Drought Worsens for Southeastern USA

Remember Walter Matthau in the movie “Grumpy Old Men”? He and his buddies were ice fishing in Minnesota around Thanksgiving. When’s the last time THAT happened? At the rate we’re going there may be open water on lakes into mid-December across many northern tier states, from Montana to Minnesota, Michigan and Maine.

“May you live in interesting times” the Chinese proverb goes. And I don’t think that’s a compliment. Temperatures are running 10-25F warmer than average across much of the USA. Many towns have enjoyed the rough equivalent of 3 Septembers in a row!

Residents of the southeastern USA could argue that autumn weather has been TOO NICE. Too sunny, too windy, and much too dry. The result is a Drought Emergency, lakes and reservoirs drying up,  and wildfires impacting 7 states with a pall of smoke that shows up on weather satellites.

A slight La Nina cool phase in the Pacific may favor a colder, snowier winter for the northern USA, but odds favor a warmer, drier winter for the southern states. The drought gripping Birmingham, Huntsville and Atlanta may get worse before conditions improve. Metro Atlanta may soon receive mandatory water conservation orders due to the drought, local officials confirm. We’ll keep you posted here at

An amazingly quiet weekend from coast to coast gives way to a Pacific storm taking a more southerly track next week, preceded by a swirl of rain, followed by a blast of cold and wind – probably the first snow flurries and snow showers of the season for many northern states. It’s going to get colder – you will get a chance to show off your favorite coats and jackets within a week or two. Enjoy the weather honeymoon. Deep in our guts we all know this can’t last.

Headline image: Andrey Flickr

La Nina Arrives, Likely to Exacerbate Southern Drought

Most (but not all) La Nina cooling phases in the Pacific result in drier winters for the southern USA. Here’s an excerpt from Climate Central: “La Niña is here. But unlike the El Niño that preceded it, this climate event is expected to be weak and short-lived, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t see some of the typical impacts of a La Niña; forecasters expect it to tilt the odds in favor of warmer, drier conditions across the already drought-stricken southern portions of the country and wetter, cooler conditions across some of the northern regions. “The weak La Niña is likely to contribute to persisting or developing drought across much of the southern U.S. this winter,” Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement...”

Map credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

Tracking The Smoke

Seven states are being impacted by severe to extreme drought capable of generating significant wildfires; the result of very little rain over the last 2 months.

North America is Flooded in Warmth and There Is No Sign of Real Winter

Here’s an excerpt of a summary from Jason Samenow at Capital Weather Gang: “…Vancouver set a record high just two days before CBC News reported, and said much of British Columbia had been “extraordinarily warm” in November. Many areas of Canada which normally have snow at this time of year have bare ground. As Canada is the source region for cold air over the Lower 48, it’s no surprise snow is lacking there as well. Snow covers a mere 0.4 percent of the Lower 48 states — the smallest area on record for Nov. 10 (dating to 2003).  On average, about 10 percent of the nation has snow on the ground as of this date…”

Map credit: U.S. snow cover on Nov. 10, 2016.” (NOAA)

November 2016 La Nina Update: Hello, Lady!

Yes, it’s official – a (mild) La Nina cooling of equatorial Pacific Ocean water. Here’s an excerpt of a post at NOAA’s that explains the conditions that need to be present before it can be (officially) called La Nina: “…Is the sea surface temperature in the Niño3.4 region more than half a degree cooler than average? Yes! (It was about -0.7°C below average during October.) Do forecasters think it will stay cooler than that threshold for several overlapping three-month periods? Yes! (But just barely.) Finally, are there signs that the atmospheric circulation above the tropical Pacific is stronger than average? Yes! This all means that La Niña has officially arrived…”

3rd Warmest October for U.S. – On Track For Second Warmest Year To Date

Here are a few highlights from October, courtesy of NOAA: “…Other notable climate events in October: 

  • Drought: The total area of drought increased from 19.4 percent to 26.8 percent of the Lower 48, mainly from expansion in the South and Southeast.
  • Hurricane Matthew, a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph, made landfall in South Carolina on October 8, causing widespread flooding in the region.
  • New Mexico experienced record warmth in October, with an average temperature increase of 5.8 degrees.  
  • Alaska had its driest October on record.  
  • Pacific Northwest: Idaho, Montana and Washington each had their wettest October on record, while Oregon experienced its second wettest...”

How To Survive Being Caught Up In a Flash Flood

Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles, at night, when estimating water depth is nearly impossible. Here are a few suggestions of what to do in the unlikely event you ever find your car or truck being transformed into a boat, courtesy of Times LIVE: “…If your car is swept into the water and submerged‚ DON’T PANIC! Stay calm and wait for the vehicle to fill with water. Once the vehicle is full‚ the doors will be able to open. Hold your breath and swim to the surface. If you are swept into fast moving floodwater outside of your car‚ point your feet downstream. Always go over obstacles‚ never try to go under...” (Image credit: Virginia Department of Transportation).

Solar Power Proponents Hopeful Trump Sees Benefit of Growing Industry

Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times: “…As part of his larger economic agenda, Trump has proposed lifting environmental regulations, tapping coal and nuclear power, and opening federal lands to oil and natural gas production. But despite his campaign rhetoric, experts and industry players say, Trump’s energy policies as president will bump into market realities. The challenge Trump faces is that increasingly the economics in the energy sector favor renewable technologies such as solar and wind, which are reducing costs quickly. Increased fracking has produced natural gas at prices that are cheaper than coal. And a worldwide oil glut has reduced petroleum profits to the point where reducing regulation and opening federal lands to drilling is unlikely to bring a drilling boom...”

Photo credit: “A large-scale solar panel project sits atop warehouses No. 9 and 10 at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, which have been converted into retail space for shops and a microbrewery.” (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times).

The Tiny Kentucky Town That Eclipse Fans Are Obsessing Over

Interested in hearing more about the total eclipse of the sun next summer? Check out this story at Atlas Obscura: “Go ahead. Try to book a hotel room online in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, for the third weekend in August next summer. You can’t. The rooms appear to be booked solid from August 19th through August 22th. And the same goes for hotels and motels in nearby Cadiz, Hardin, Oak Grove, or any other interchange along Interstate 24. Demand is so high that you have to personally call to make a reservation, and be willing to pay between $400 to $800 a night. You could say the stars have aligned for Hopkinsville. Or, more precisely, the Earth, sun and moon will be perfected aligned. Next summer will be the first time a total solar eclipse—when the moon completely blocks out the sun—can be witnessed in the continental United States since 1979...”

File image: NASA.

Image Of The Day

I came across this image on Twitter, showing Miami and the Bahamas from the vantage point of the International Space Station, courtesy of NASA. Spectacular.

Climate Stories

Record Hot Years Could Be The “New Normal” by 2025

So reports Huffington Post: “Following in the blistering footsteps of 2014 and 2015, this year is on track to be the warmest on record. And we probably need to get accustomed to this sweltering heat. If carbon emissions continue to rise at their current rate, these record hot years will be the “new normal” by 2025, new research shows. Even if we take action to curb emissions, the damage has already been done, warns the study, published Friday in the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society. Human activities have already ensured that the global annual average temperature of 2015 will be the norm “no later than 2040,” the researchers said…”

Michael Bloomberg Has a Plan To Shift The Conversation on Climate Change

Business Insider reports: “…Bloomberg and Pope firmly believe that fixing those flaws will allow the entire global economy to grow. When they researched current technologies and initiatives that could address some of the biggest environmental problems, Pope says they “found that each one had a pretty attractive set of solutions and that collectively, solving climate will make a lot of money for the world.” That wasn’t true 20 years ago, when solar and wind power were vastly more expensive, electric cars were not yet a reality, it was difficult to monitor and track illegal deforestation, and far less was known about how to make agriculture more sustainable. The world’s approach, according to Bloomberg and Pope, is still stuck in that era...”

Growing Link Between Global Warming & Extreme Weather, Finds World Meteorological Organization

A warmer, wetter atmosphere is turning up the volume on extreme weather, especially record heat and flooding rains. Clean Technica connects the dots related to attribution: “…The new report, The Global Climate 2011-2015, investigated the warmest five-year period on record, 2011 to 2015, which was also the warmest on record for every single continent except Africa. These record temperatures were accompanied by rising sea levels, as well as major declines in Arctic sea-ice extent, continental glaciers, and northern hemisphere snow cover. As the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) notes, “All these climate change indicators confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases.” The WMO also points to the awkwardly historic milestone, which we reported back in June, that carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in 4 million years…”

Map credit: “Results of studies on attribution of extreme events to anthropogenic climate change.” (Sources: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and various other publications)

How To Tell When The Arctic Ocean Will Be Ice Free

Here’s a clip from a story at Pacific Standard: “…The estimates also suggests, based on current sea-ice coverage, that it will take another trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions before Arctic summer sea ice more or less vanishes. Given global greenhouse gas emissions of around 35 trillion metric tons per year, that suggests there won’t be any Arctic sea ice in September by mid-century.”

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Paul Douglas

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