Jun 222009
 

As we await the start of the monsoon, the water temperatures around us seem to be important. The Pacific is apparently undergoing a signficant shift to an El Nino. Here is the animation of the global sea surface temperatures and anomaly. This could supply plenty of moisture if the monsoon gets started and draws from here. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are near normal temperatures. Not as strong a moisture source. Also, the cooler water temps in the Gulf and Caribbean, and the El Nino should hinder hurricane season in the east.

As we wait, perhaps this article on the North American Monsoon is helpful

Jun 012009
 

There are a number of parts to looking at this summer. First we have a new tool available from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). This tool provides a local 3-month outlook by individual NWS weather station. This particular tool, which I have linked to from my main website, is showing an better chance at the summer being warm. This isn’t an unusual forecast for NOAA. They tend to be on the “everything is getting warmer” band wagon. However, their Climate Prediction Center is showing a chance for a wetter than average summer:

Summer 2009 - Precip Forecast

Summer 2009 - Precip Forecast

However, keep in mind my post from April 28, 2009 and the associated Intellicast article on the summer outlook. The Intellicast article takes into account several factors in analog years to predict the summer. Their prediction is towards a cooler summer. Unfortunately they level out a prediction for precipitation.

Usually, I like to look at the sea surface temperature anomaly in the waters that affect our precipitation. These would be the waters off the Baja Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is fairly mild this year, so far. There is a body of warmer than normal water off the Baja, but there also appears to be a boundary of cooler water between us and there. In all, a wash for warm water driving more moisture to us.

So, in my mind, I think if we have cooler this summer, it could be wetter. If it is hotter, we could be drier.

I’ll be doing more about the Monsoon in the near future.

“Sun Oddly Quiet”

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May 052009
 

Here is a good laymen’s article from the National Geographic: “Sun Oddly Quiet — Hints at Next Little Ice Age.”

My personal opinion is that National Geographic has been too fast to jump on the Human Caused Global Warming. Here is an article from NG in 2006: “Don’t Blame Sun for Global Warming, Study Says.”

I think the bottom line is that we simply don’t know enough about how the Sun effects the Earth. Solar output is low right now, and has been for a couple years. But, when you consider the full spectrum radiation and the associate effects, we just don’t know enough to predict climate. Solar output during the Maunder and Dalton Minimum’s were probably similar to what we are seeing today.

Oh yeah, sunny, warm and occassionally breezy for Northern Arizona. It’s May.

May 032009
 

May is here. It is one of the dryer months for Northerm Arizona. This May isn’t looking much different. It should be dry and nice for the most part. I don’t see any big drivers for warmer than normal temps.

But, what about sea ice. If you remember a couple years back, there were great expectations of the North Pole being ice-free. Well, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for now. Here are a couple charts that tell a diffferent story. Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice did recede drastically a few years back. But, it is currently the highest coverage since 2002 at the start of May.

Northern Sea Ice Coverage 5-1-09

Northern Sea Ice Coverage 5-1-09

However, the departure from average for 1979 until now is still negative, but moving in a growth direction:

Northern Sea Ice compared to average 79-09

Northern Sea Ice compared to average 79-09

One more consideration is the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice, where it is above average and growing:

Southern Sea Ice 5-1-09

Southern Sea Ice 5-1-09

Finally, overall, Global Sea Ice coverage is above average: Granted, recent levels have been below average:

Global Sea Ice 5-1-09

Global Sea Ice 5-1-09

So, shouldn’t the mainstream media give us a general update? If this trend continues, it might snow in London, or Lousiana, or, maybe just maybe we will see two back to back seasons where we can skate on Lake Mary, south of Flagstaff. Oh wait those things already happened.

Apr 302009
 

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation(PDO) is a cousin of El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO). It operates on a much longer, decadal, time scale. The temperatures of the Northern Pacific Ocean can be a big effect on Arizona’s Precipitation. It has been negative, or cool, for several years. Recently, it has moved more severely in that direction. Here is a recent article about it: The PDO’s influence on Climate Change: How low will it go? I think there is still a valuable question about how the sun’s current low output and activity will effect our precipitation in Northern Arizona. Could the combination of a cooling climate offset the cool phase PDO?

Well, for this weekend, it looks like we could get a little precip on Saturday and Sunday. Small amounts with a slight cooling trend.

Apr 282009
 
Summer 2009 Prediction

Summer 2009 Prediction

This picture is a summary of previous analog years from Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast. The accompanying article can be found at ENSO Update. This analysis is based on analog years of solar activity and El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO).

If this summer is like the analog years, we could be looking at summer being a couple degrees below normal in Northern Arizona.

This outlook contrasts with the Climate Prediction Center‘s outlook below.

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Climate Prediction Center Outlook May-July 2009

Apr 122009
 

I blew it yesterday. We didn’t even make a quarter of an inch of water. But, everyone pretty much blew it. 4-8 inches of snow was the consensus for yesterday. The official report was 4 inches of snow, 0.21 inches of water. Oh well. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. The whole winter season has been below normal for precip and slightly above normal on temperatures.

Way down below at the end of this post (it’s a long post) are some charts for the nation. One of the things you don’t see on this chart is that Hawaii has been quite cold. They logged their coldest March ever. Parts of the Northwest were 5-6 degrees below normal.

Arizona had its 11th warmest and 12th driest march on record. This is in contrast to the whole country being fairly mixed or more moderate. When taken as a whole, of the 115 March records, it was the 65th coolest and the 74th wettest. Both in the middle of the spectrum. For Arizona, this will hopefully change as La Nina weakens. Here is the summary for Flagstaff, warm and dry:

AVERAGE MAXIMUM FOR MONTH.................... 54.2 (NORMAL 50.3)
AVERAGE MINIMUM FOR MONTH.................... 23.7 (NORMAL 22.8)
MONTHLY MEAN................................. 39.0 (NORMAL 36.6)
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL...................................... +2.4
HIGHEST 30 YEAR MEAN FOR THE MONTH................. 41.8 IN 1989
LOWEST 30 YEAR MEAN FOR THE MONTH.................. 26.8 IN 1973
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH....................... 67 ON  1ST
LOWEST TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH........................ 12 ON 31ST
RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH....... 73 ON 26TH IN 1988*
RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH........ -16 ON  4TH IN 1966
DAYS MAX TEMP 32 OR BELOW......................... 0 (NORMAL  4)
DAYS MAX TEMP 90 OR HIGHER........................ 0 (NORMAL  0)
DAYS MIN TEMP 32 OR BELOW........................ 29 (NORMAL 30)
DAYS MIN TEMP 0 OR BELOW.......................... 0 (NORMAL  2) *
ALSO OCCURRED ON OTHER DATES

            HEATING AND COOLING DEGREE DAYS DATA

HEATING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE MONTH............. 800 (NORMAL  880)
HEATING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE SEASON........... 5203 (NORMAL 5711)
COOLING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE MONTH.............. 00 (NORMAL    0)
COOLING DEGREE DAYS FOR THE SEASON............. 00 (NORMAL    0)

                      PRECIPITATION DATA

TOTAL FOR THE MONTH................................. 0.22 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE MONTH................................ 2.62 INCHES
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL FOR THE MONTH................ -2.30 INCHES
TOTAL FOR THE YEAR ................................. 2.43 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE YEAR................................. 7.36 INCHES
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL FOR THE YEAR................. -4.93 INCHES
GREATEST IN 24 HOURS............................... 0.17 ON 12TH
GREATEST FOR THE MONTH...................... 6.75 INCHES IN 1970
LEAST FOR THE MONTH.........................TRACE INCHES IN 1972
DAYS WITH 0.01 INCH OR MORE....................... 3  (NORMAL 9)
DAYS WITH 0.10 INCH OR MORE....................... 1  (NORMAL 6)
DAYS WITH 0.50 INCH OR MORE....................... 0  (NORMAL 2)
DAYS WITH 1.00 INCH OR MORE....................... 0  (NORMAL 0)

                          SNOW DATA

TOTAL FOR THE MONTH.................................. 0.3 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE MONTH...............................  23.9 INCHES
TOTAL FOR THE SEASON...............................  81.0 INCHES
NORMAL FOR THE SEASON..............................  96.4 INCHES
RECORD SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH.................. 79.4 INCHES 1991
MOST DAILY SNOWFALL FOR THE MONTH............ 0.3 INCHES ON 12TH

March 2009 Temperature Rank

March 2009 Temperature Rank

March 2009 Precipitation Rank

March 2009 Precipitation Rank

Mar 312009
 

Most forecasts are trending toward a breakdown of the high pressure along the California Coast and the storm door to open up for next week. This has been the repetitive story this winter. So, we know there is a chance nothing will come of it. But, more and more forecasts are lining up for a first round on Friday evening and more the following week. Keep your fingers crossed.

On another note, here is a great summary of Surface Temperature Measurement Issues for Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast.

Mar 182009
 

It looks like there will be a break in the warm, sunny weather. Most models are agreeing that there will be some precipitation this weekend. Most likely on Sunday in the Flagstaff area.

The entire southwest continues with near record warmth, while the northwest suffers exceptional cold.  From Oregon: Blame Sunspots for Cold Winter/Spring Weather

Who to believe?

 Climate  Comments Off
Mar 012009
 

Here is an excellent article (Global Warming is Minimal) from the Denver Post Opinion Page.

There are more and more lay people becoming adequately educated in ths area. The data just don’t match the alarmist hypotheses.

Some people are in the human caused global warming(HCGW) business to make a lot of money. This was the founding theory of ENRON. They set-up their business to harness the required energy management of the Kyoto agreement. When it didn’t happen, they had to behave otherwise. Billions of dollars of research money depend on people being concerned about HCGW.

Some people use HCGW to maintain their power position. This is a chapter straight from 1984. Al Gore is one of these. Margaret Thatcher used HCGW in the 1970’s to lessen the power wielded by coal unions.

Now, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t conserve our natural resources, or strive to control pollution. But, we should question people that want us to live in fear.

I highly recommend reading two books, 1984 by George Orwell and State of Fear by Michael Crichton.

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