Everyone Talks About the Weather

Everyone talks about the weather, but I only write about it when it’s really weird!

“That’s just wrong,” said a friend of mine today: it’s raining in December here in Western Colorado. As I write this at about 7:00 p.m., the weather station at my house* notes it’s 45 degrees out (F, or about 7C).

I don’t really mind rain that much, but I hate wind. The big storm that whacked California is coming in with very high and sustained winds: for the first time, we have damage to the house from it. (Some torn-off siding, and a floodlight was torn from its mount!)

Shrill Bureaucrats

But the real point of this is how the National Weather Service announced this storm for this area: we were told to prepare for “HEAVY HEAVY SNOW OF EPIC PROPORTIONS”. (The all caps is normal for them: they’re still stuck in the teletype days. Hey guys? We’re well into the 21st century. Can we try a little lower case now and then?)

I just love that — epic! They’ve been terribly wrong all season about how much snow we can expect, but they want us to really, REALLY know that we’re about to be whacked! From the look of the satellite shot, we are. I’ll let you know later if it turns out to be “epic.”

Here’s that satellite shot:

20 December 2010 weather satellite

The yellow “X” just to the right of center marks where we are.

* When I moved here, there were no online weather stations in this county, so I put one up for public use. Be sure to scroll down to the “Average Wind Speed” panel. Yeesh! The barometer is finally coming up, so maybe we’ll settle into a “normal” (epic?) snow storm soon. I’m ready for the wind to die down….

And if you didn’t see this in time to catch that wind speed panel, here’s a shot from this evening:

20 December 2010 wind snapshot

So Was It ‘Epic’?

OK, it’s Wednesday and we’re in the middle of our EPIC snowstorm now.

Here’s a shot out my office window (toward the other mountain range I can see from here, behind the nearby hill), so you can see how the local wildlife is suffering:

Epic storm in full swing

Um, yep: those are indeed blue skies you see there.

At least there’s a little snow on the mountains …which has been there for a couple of months now….

Sorry for the reflections: I took this through the window. Hey: you don’t expect me to go out there, do you? Heck, it’s only 48 degrees out there!

Thursday, it started snowing! I checked, and sure enough, the NWS had reduced the chance of snow to 40%. Ah, no wonder! But we only got a minor dusting: just nature thumbing its nose at the forecasters; when the sun came up it was gone within minutes.

As of Friday, we never got any real snow, “epic” or otherwise. Yet another boy crying wolf again. Sheesh.

The Weather Report

For those of you who have asked to see the full report and warning from the National Weather Service, here it is in all its glory. I get these emailed to me whenever there’s an alert included for my county (in this case, Ridgway) — one of the (ahem) “benefits” of being on the county’s Emergency Management Team.

HEAVY HEAVY SNOW OF EPIC PROPORTIONS EXPECTED TO LAST INTO THURSDAY ABOVE 9000 FEET.

HEAVY SNOWFALL OF EPIC PROPORTIONS WILL CONTINUE & PROJECTIONS INDICATE THAT THE STORM WILL LAST THROUGH THURSDAY. VERY MOIST AND MILD SW TO WEST FLOW WILL BRING A PROLONGED PERIOD OF HEAVY SNOW TO THE HIGHER MTNS OF EASTERN UT & WESTERN CO.WITH PERIODS OF SNOW FOR COLD VALLEYS LIKE THE UINTA BASIN & GUNNISON VALLEY. HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED ABOVE 9000 FEET WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ON SW TO WEST FACING SLOPES. SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO BE MORE INTENSE IN MANY MOUNTAIN AREAS LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MON NIGHT.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDE EXTENDED PERIODS OF ROAD CLOSURES.INCLUDING PRIMARY & SECONDARY ROADS. CITIES OR TOWNS THAT MAY BE MOST VULNERABLE WHERE ACCESS BECOMES LIMITED INCLUDE SILVERTON.CRESTED BUTTE.& ON TOP OF THE GRAND MESA. THE HIGHEST SNOW TOTALS ARE EXPECTED OVER THE GRAND MESA.THE ELK & SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS. IF YOU RESIDE IN THESE AREAS.CONSIDER STOCKING UP ON NEEDED SUPPLIES FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THESE AREAS HAVE THE POTENTIAL OF SEEING EPIC SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY REACH AS HIGH AS 6 TO 8 FEET BY THUR AFTERNOON. EXPECTED SNOW AMOUNTS BY ELEVATION IS AS FOLLOWS:

ABOVE 9000 FEET.3 TO 6 FEET OF TOTAL SNOWFALL BY THUR AFTERNOON WITH SOME AREAS REACHING 8 FEET. THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED OVER THE GRAND MESA & THE AREAS SURROUNDING & INCLUDING CRESTED BUTTE. THE AVALANCHE HAZARD IN UNDEVELOPED AREAS WILL BE ELEVATED THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK.

BETWEEN 8000 TO 9000 FEET.THIS RANGE WILL SEE A MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW & SNOWFALL POTENTIAL WILL BE SOMEWHAT LIMITED. HOWEVER THE SNOW LEVEL IS EXPECTED TO LWR ON MONDAY. TOTAL SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL RANGE FROM 1 TO 3 FEET BY THUR AFTERNOON.

FOR AREAS BETWEEN 7000 TO 8000 FEET.MOSTLY RAIN IS EXPECTED FOR TONIGHT.BUT SNOW LEVELS WILL LWR ON MONDAY.BUT THEN RISE AGAIN ON TUESDAY. TOTAL SNOW AMOUNTS WILL BE MODEST WITH TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES.BUT GREAT VARIABILITY WILL OCCUR DEPENDING ON LOCATION & SLOPE ASPECT & HOW THE SNOW LEVELS FLUCTUATE.

ONCE AGAIN.TRAVELING OVER THE MTN PASSES WILL BECOME NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE AT TIMES AS RELENTLESS HEAVY SNOW POUNDS THE MOUNTAINS ABOVE 9000 FEET. PLAN ON ROAD CLOSURES & HAVE ALTERNATIVE PLANS IF THE MTN PASSES DO NOT STAY OPEN.

COZ003-017-UTZ025-028-200600-

/O.CON.KGJT.WW.Y.0043.000000T0000Z-101222T0700Z/

ROAN & TAVAPUTS PLATEAUS-UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU & DALLAS DIVIDE-

TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-LA SAL & ABAJO MOUNTAINS-

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF.RIO BLANCO.RIDGWAY.GLADE PARK.

MONTICELLO & VICINITY

300 PM MST SUN DEC 19 2010

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MST TUESDAY NIGHT.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT MST TUESDAY NIGHT.

* TIMING.PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TUES EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATION.STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS WILL RANGE FROM 6 TO 12 INCHES.BUT OCCASIONAL RAIN UP TO 8500 FEET WILL CAUSE SOME MELTING OF SNOW. FOR ISOLATED AREAS ABOVE 8500 FEET. LIKE THE LA SAL MTNS & COLUMBINE PASS OVER THE UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU.WILL RECEIVE AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 FEET OF NEW SNOW.

* SNOW LEVEL.SNOW LEVELS WILL RISE TO BETWEEN 8000 TO 9000 FEET THIS AFTERNOON & TONIGHT.BEFORE LWRING TO BELOW 8000 FEET ON MONDAY.

* WINDS.WINDS WILL INCREASE SUN EVENING & BECOME SW 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH.

* VISIBILITY.RESTRICTED TO LESS THAN 1 MILE IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

* IMPACTS.A RAIN SNOW MIX BETWEEN 7500 TO 8500 FEET WILL CREATE VERY SLICK ROADWAYS. ELEVATIONS ABOVE 8500 FEET WILL BE SNOWPACKED & ICY WITH AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW AND/OR BLOWING SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS & LIMITED VISIBILITIES.

33 Comments on “Everyone Talks About the Weather

  1. If you think what you’ve got now is BAD, wait till you got what’s blowing our California socks off tonight (12-20-10). The heavens scoff at our Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Practices….

    Well, they always have…. -rc

  2. Wow — you’ve had more than 13″ of rain this year? Over here we’ve only had about 9.6. We got the wind, too — not fun.

    It varies around the county (which is 550 square miles), but yes, 12-13″, including snowmelt, is typical here. -rc

  3. The Weather Service could have said “biblical proportions”, which would have been fitting at this time of year! But that means you probably won’t be able to see the lunar eclipse tonight. Pity. It’s the first time in over 600 years that a total lunar eclipse has coincided with the winter solstice and the Ursids meteor shower.

    Yep, we’re totally out of luck for skywatching tonight, and probably for the rest of the week at minimum. During the last total lunar eclipse, though, I was parked in a hot spring and enjoyed it thoroughly! -rc

  4. We’re a bit south of you but the conditions are similar. Right now I’m hoping for just rain whilst I travel from Durango and back over the Holidays! After that, bring on the snow!

  5. I want to start a letter writing campaign to the local TV stations and tell them to fire those pretty weather reporters, and just hire some cranky oldster with bad joints.

    CRACK! “Yep, we’re gonna get rain. Don’t know when or how much, but we’ll be gettin’ it. My trick knee here advertises for Rice Krispies every time it rains.”

  6. You think 34mph wind is something? And 13″ of rain? That would hardly be noticable here in the westernmost city in the lower 48 states.

    According to the Dec. 20 report from our local weather buff, Deboyd Smith, we had 2.50″ of rain in the last 24 hours, 10.90″ for the month, 37.60″ for the season and 117.22″ year to date. (Our average is supposed to be about 120″ per year but we’ve had a drought for most of the last 20 years though it looks like we are finally breaking out of it.)

    Our high wind was only 17mph which is considered a dead calm day around here. Winter storms often have gusts in town in the 70mph range. Legend has it that the peak wind recorded locally at Cape Blanco was 172mph and that was when the annemometer blew off. I can’t vouch for it personally but I’ve lived here 20 years and I can easily believe it.

    Of course, this area is built to take it. If it weren’t, we’d all have blown away long ago. Even as it is, there are occasional problems with siding or roofs. People and groups come to this area in the winter both for the fishing and to experience our storms. They’re pretty special. We don’t usually get much thunder and lightning but for some reason we’ve had quite a bit of it this past week. Guess the weather patterns are shifting.

    Enjoy your Colorado mini-storm! It’s a good time of year to just sit around for a bit looking out the windows.

    You live in a rain belt; we live in a desert. It’s not the amount of rain that’s of issue, but rather it’s raining instead of snowing. And the 33 mph wind is average — for 48 hours straight — with 50 mph gusts. Sure there are windier places. It’s unusual for here. -rc

  7. Check out the wunderground for your old SoCal stomping grounds — in this last Pineapple Express storm: 9.8″ @ 23rd & Mountain in Upland, CA. (For those not familiar with Southern California weather: that is over half of our annual amount in one 5-day period! And as Yogi said “It ain’t over till it’s over.”)

    Looks like we wrung about an inch out of your snowfall!

    Well, a good rule of thumb is an inch of rain translates to about a foot of snow, so maybe our epic storm dumped everything on Upland (the location Rich notes is approximately where I lived for several years). We still don’t even have a dusting of snow here. -rc

  8. I dunno … I’m unimpressed. I remember when I first moved to Boulder living on Shanahan Ridge. I remember asking Amy “Why do these houses have metal shutters?

    Well, we found out. 70-90 MPH was not at all uncommon.

    But in the snow department — what happened? Did you get slammed?

    So far, it looks like it’s going to be a brown Christmas. Film at 11. -rc

  9. On the other hand, Crested Butte is reporting 5 ft of new snow since Sunday, and Silverton is reporting almost 6 feet, but Telluride has just less than two feet of new in the last 7 days. Epic proportions appear to be focused more south and east.

    Frankly, I don’t see a ski resort getting 5′ of snow from a December storm anywhere near “epic”. Maybe “typical” would be a better word? Especially when I’ve been going out without a jacket…. -rc

  10. Your epic snow all blew over to southern Utah and melted on top of us!! Wish you would keep some there!! (=

    I’m still hoping we get some! We could use it. -rc

  11. I am just hoping the storm stays south of Upstate NY. Syracuse already has had over 70 inches of snow. That is usually the January February totals…

  12. I also receive similar weather emails as part of my job. I have come to the conclusion that meteorologists are forced to take creative writing classes where they practice using superlatives to describe every nuance of weather. It is revolting to see some of the HORRIFIC hurricane, freeze and fire weather warnings included in otherwise scientific documentation.

  13. The NWS in Hanford Ca. was predicting “SNOW ACCUMULATION OF UP TO 15 FEET” in the Sierra Nevadas from the same storm that threatened Randy and Kit’s domicile.
    The totals are 3-4 feet, which is within the parameters of “…UP TO…”, but well short of epic by any standard.

  14. And your altitude is what?

    I’m at 7500′ — which is significantly higher than in town, mentioned in the forecast as a place to expect “continued snow”, accumulating to up to a foot. There was no snow in town, either. -rc

  15. We can send people to the moon, yada, yada, but we can’t get a accurate forecast even with computer modeling. Same story here sleet, snow, etc. Nope, wait, not going to happen. Well maybe, sometime this winter. Oh, and it’s snowing anyway. Well that’s what we said the first time. Sheesh!

  16. I would love to have your 48%. We haven’t hit over 32 much this December. I love seeing the green tress and animals. Sigh! We have snow.

  17. well, you certainly have my sympathy. in this part of the world and my boyhood home in northern montana they’re going thru a 10+ year drought.

    be very careful what you ask for, brother randy….

  18. We have NOAA marine radio weather reports for Puget Sound and surrounding waters. They often predict dire wind, wave and storm conditions. “Winds 40 knots with gusts to 55 knots” South swell to 6 feet.” etc.

    When they’re wrong, they just issue another report without any embarrassing corrections as if nothing had happened.

    It’s like flipping a switch. One minute they’re predicting end of civilization as we know it, then the new report comes out, “South wind, 5 to ten knots, swell 1 to 2 feet.”

    Yeesh.

  19. I work with NOAA forecasters, and our Atmospheric Sciences department tends to train a fair number of ’em. They do not take creative writing classes to learn to do this.

    When there’s general disagreement in the models, we tend to try to identify trends and conditions that have historical precedent to help guide our forecasts. When the models converge and forecast gloom and doom (of epic proportions, of course), or sweetness and light, we tend to go with the model consensus. When they don’t all agree, but some converge with others, we try to pick the trends and use a model that is closest to what our experience tells us is likely to happen.

    Numerical modeling of the atmosphere is not an exact science. The physical processes we use to perform the simulations tend toward partial differential solutions and are rarely numerically complete. We tend to use grid sizes, both horizontally and vertically, that are larger than the physical processes in question (e.g., a 111 km grid size for the GFS global model, trying to identify convective initiation on the order of 1 km^2). Not all of the processes are unequivocally understood. The science is evolving. It’s not exact.

    I tend to agree that the forecast in question raised a few flags to me, but were I to guess, I’d guess that model convergence suggested an unusually large snow event, satellite precipitable water vapor values were sufficiently high to suggest that the combination of extant moisture and overrunning moisture from the Pacific (Pineapple Express) would produce sufficient moisture to trigger massive precipitation, that your location on the Western Slope would provide an additional orographic forcing of precipitation, and that local temperatures with the passing front would drop to provide the trigger for frozen precipitation.

    In general, the overall National Forecast originates in Camp Springs, MD, with the Hydrometorological Prediction Center and are then shipped to the local Weather Forecast Offices (Grand Junction, in this case) for refinement and commentary. The Lead Forecaster on the midnight shift has responsibility to make the forecast and write the discussion. In general, the discussion is valid for the entire County Warning Area, or WFO area of responsibility, unless there’s a more specific area within the CWA called out. In this case, it was suggested that significant snowfall in the CQA was possible, some of “epic” proportions. It certainly didn’t guarantee snowfall of epic proportions everywhere in the area.

    As forecasts are refined, amended forecasts are, indeed, issued. Sometimes, a specific retraction is mentioned in a subsequent discussion, while in other cases, an earlier forecast is confirmed or supported. It’s not like they’re not looking at what they wrote, that they are choosing to downplay it, or that it’s not reviewed, but the guys and girls can get busy, shorthanded, or simply overwhelmed and not mention a retraction.

    WHILE I’m here… All Caps is an area of modernization that’s in the works. It’s something we, as NWS partners, have been asking for, for years. for this to happen. Yeah, we’re in the 21st century, but some of the support programs NWS uses, which produce the reports and products, do, indeed, harken back to TTY days, and 7-bit Baudot, at that; no, not even ASCII. Making a change to an application like that, while it seems simple enough, would require several years of planning and checking to make sure the contractors responsible for the changes didn’t inadvertently (or otherwise?) break something else. Lives depend on the software working as advertised, and as expected. In the next MAJOR iteration of the AWIP code, you can generally expect all-caps to go away. They may get it out in a maintenance and bug-fix release before the next major release, but personally, I doubt it.

    Note, too, that validation and verification of forecasts, and for that matter, watches and warnings, is an ongoing process. A badly busted forecast will result in that office trying to determine what happened so they don’t bust again. That said, there was a period where I busted a forecast so bad, I swore I’d forevermore limit my forecasts to periods of light and dark, based on seasonal variation, astronomical sunrise and sunset times (that someone else determined) and daylight savings time, and hedge my bets during periods of eclipse.

    I’ve come to really appreciate the work the NWS folks do. I don’t work for ’em, although I’ve worked with ’em on projects, and they certainly don’t pay my salary, but they’ve impressed me enough with their dedication and attempts to do things right in a difficult area, to impress me.

    I figured I’d have at least one true expert among my readership, and I’m glad you weighed in and provided some illumination on the subject, providing facts and expert opinion, rather than just being an apologist. Excellent info, and I appreciate your input! -rc

  20. I’m a fireman and was trained by the weather bureau here on some of their forecasting techniques many years ago. Every year we have a competition with them to see who can most accurately predict the weather on a day-by-day basis for 2 years.

    First year (2003), we placed 7th and the Bureau team placed 12th. We’ve placed above them almost every year since, by the simple expedient of reading the available synoptic charts and forecast predictions (on paper), talking to a couple of old farmers, then using our training (from the Bureau) to make a prediction. The only part we use a computer for is to email in our forecasts.

    The one year we did try using a computer modeller, we came stone motherless last….

    I must say, though, that the BoM people have a thankless task. We never thank them when they’re right, we only bitch them out when they’re wrong.

  21. Tom, your comments are well-taken. A lot of the new kids tend to rely on the weather models (almost) slavishly and don’t look out the window. That’s a problem. Still, sometimes, the confluence of synoptic and analysis charts, satellite data, and models strongly suggested a harsh forecast.

    When I was first learning to do this, it wasn’t uncommon to not allow a meteorologist new to an area to do a solo forecast for at least 6 months, until he’d seen and internalized the local weather patterns and climatology. In a way, that’s still a good idea. Still, the way I forecast, I suspect I could do a pretty fair job, employing the models as well in my forecast, but mainly that’s because I’m a modeler (much more so than a forecaster now) and have an above average appreciation for the limits of the models. That said, the year I spent trying to predict hurricane initiation and track using just model data was one of the worst of my career….

    The weather forecasters tend to get little praise when they’re right and lots of jeers when they’re wrong. It is a thankless job.

    Now: Ask em some time about all the gyrations we went through when our US NWS started issuing severe weather warnings as best-estimate polygons of interest instead of warning entire counties. That’s a story in itself.

  22. You’re at 7,500′ and no snow? Here I am at 1,100′ in Tennessee and there’s about 2″ on the ground…first white Christmas in a dozen years. But it’s expected to exceed 32 deg. today for the first time in a week; this in an area where the mean temperatures for this time of the year are in the high 40s to low 50s.

    The weather forecasts all this season have been poor across most of the nation. The weather, it seems, is changing its normally predictable patterns and not cooperating with the prognosticators at all.

    About five years ago, I read an article about the environment that stated we could expect unusually turbulent weather as well as unpredictable changes when the current interglacial period ended.

    Basically, the author stated that there would be extremely unsettled conditions when the interglacial began to reverse due to the changes in flows. Severe storms, unusual warm and cold periods, suddenly changing conditions like snap blizzards, counter-flow storms, and uncharacteristic local conditions.

    This is the second unusually severe winter; 2009 was harsh across most of the Northern Hemisphere. 2010 looks like it’s going to break those records. Average world-wide temperatures have either been constant or declined slightly in the last 15 years.

    Maybe the warming trend that’s been going on for the last 15,000 years (not counting the Little Ice Age), has come to an end.

    Where’s Al Gore? We need to ask him how things got so cold without the Kyoto Agreement.

    It would be a shame if the Earth started getting cooler without our help? That would kind of make the whole human race feel superfluous, wouldn’t it?

    The folks at East Anglia could probably come up with an explanation how colder temperatures mean more warming. They’ve been very creative before, haven’t they?

  23. They rarely get tomorrow right here, but last week, they got yesterday wrong.

    I was on my way into town, since I live 14 miles out into the countryside. There is a ridge between us, so sometimes the weather is different from my house. At my house we had only a few flurries. I was listening to the report of the 4 to 5 inches of snow that had fallen the night before. As I got to town, I realized that less than half an inch had fallen. The national weather service office is in town, and the snowfall at their office was less than half an inch. Sometimes you just need a weather rock.

  24. Thanks for teaching me something I had never thought about and that is why weather bulletins are transmitted in all caps. I’ve had the opportunity to see at least one NWS office and they are very high-tech … guess who ever is responsible for transmitting those messages is just “a little behind the times.”

    Keep up the good work!

    It’s actually the software, not the people, that needs to be updated. They’re working on it. -rc

  25. Well, here in the tropics it’s no different – we’ve been dealing with a massive cold-snap, bringing night-time lows near 70°F – you may think it’s a joke, but when the average night-time temperature hovers around 80, this ‘feels’ like a cold-snap – and winds, especially at night, gusting to, my guess, around 40mph – sending corrugated tin roofs flying on occasion.

    The reason for my post – someone in this thread talked about setting up their own weather station – contact me please – I thik this town would benefit greatly from a wet-bulb, an anemometer, and a 386 that types everything out in ALL CAPS! 🙂

    The someone was me. My station is here, and there’s info about it here. -rc

  26. Down here on the Florida Suncoast there have been no flurries at all but it got down to 30˚F last night and I’ve had the heat on day and night for the better part of two weeks now. The local strawberry farmers have been sprinkling their crops almost nightly to protect the berries. And the faithful still insist that anthropogenic global warming is the culprit (oops, that’s climate change).

  27. Or as one anchorwoman said to the weatherman the morning after such an epic storm failed to materialize, “So where’s the 8 inches you promised me last night?” His reply was drowned out by the laughter from the rest of the on-air staff.

    And it’s not an urban legend: I’ve seen a clip. Hilarious! -rc

  28. Two things. First, I have searched and searched, and I can’t find any video of the “8 inches” anchorwoman. I’d love to watch that.

    Second, colder winters are to be expected from global warming. As anyone who has had ice in a beverage ought to know, ice melting into liquid makes and keeps that liquid cold. In the same way, when polar ice melts, it makes the oceans colder. Colder oceans make for colder winds coming off of them and colder currents in general. The change in currents and water temperature affects where airstreams go and how cold and wet the air they carry is. Thus, like ice cubes on a summer day, the cold of the melting polar ice will spread and chill many parts of the world, even while the average world temperature goes up.

    On a tangent, I am not personally convinced about the causes of the current global warming trend, but the data clearly indicate that the trend exists. I think everyone would do well to educate themselves about the basics of the current climate change that is underway, whether or not they think carbon emissions contribute much to it.

    It appears my memory is faulty on the video clip (or I saw a fake version): Truth or Fiction says there’s no evidence it really happened. -rc

  29. This is absolute nonsense. There are too many errors in Devin’s reasoning to address. Second, colder winters are to be expected from global warming. As anyone who has had ice in a beverage ought to know, ice melting into liquid makes and keeps that liquid cold. In the same way, when polar ice melts, it makes the oceans colder. Colder oceans make for colder winds coming off of them and colder currents in general. The change in currents and water temperature affects where airstreams go and how cold and wet the air they carry is. Thus, like ice cubes on a summer day, the cold of the melting polar ice will spread and chill many parts of the world, even while the average world temperature goes up.

  30. @Xilantro, there are several really good consumer-grade automated weather stations. Depending on how much you want to spend they range from about $300US to $2500US. The Davis system Randy has is pretty good. I use a completely self-contained system from Vaisala (WXT-510/WXT-520) and am quite happy with it. I can provide more data if needed. Also, please see http://www.wxqa.com for information on a volunteer weather observing system that gathers data worldwide. There are references to hardware on that page, too.

    I got the Davis in large part because lesser stations get much less accurate at high elevations, and we’re at 7,500′. If I have to pay more, so be it, but those closer to sea level won’t have to spend as much. -rc

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