Extreme Temperature Diary-Friday February 14th, 2020/ Main Topic: Just Enough Cold Weather During Winter Of 2020 To Keep Fooling Climate Change Skeptics

Friday February 14th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉

Main Topic: Just Enough Cold Weather During Winter Of 2020 To Keep Fooling Climate Change Sceptics

Dear Diary. Happy Valentines Day.

Unofficially I always considered winter days coming after Valentines Day as being part of “late winter.” The heart of winter, or the coldest weather that winter has to offer, usually comes before February 14th across the United States climatologically. It will still remain bitterly cold in some areas through March, but an ever increasing sun angle will continue to take the worst bite away from winter chill.

Speaking of winter chill, coming off a now official worldwide warmest January on record, there remains enough Arctic air to produce dangerously cold conditions across many portions of the Northern Hemisphere, once again fooling some climate skeptics. The coldest air mass of the season, in most instances, is moving from the Midwest into the Northeast today into Friday:

I anticipate that there will be a few daily record lows produced by this air mass with the emphasis on the word few. This won’t be a historic arctic outbreak by any means, but residents of the Midwest and Northeast will need to take typical winter precautions.

Elsewhere on the planet we had a recent snowstorm in of all places Baghdad, Iraq. What’s up with that? Here is more from USA Today:


Winter storm coats Baghdad in snow for only the second time in 100 years

Doyle Rice USA TODAY

Published 2/11/2020.

  • Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad.
  • More snow was still possible, forecasters said, as the cold wave was not quite over yet.
  • Tuesday’s snow was the first that stuck since 1914.

A rare winter storm coated Baghdad in snow Tuesday morning for only the second time in the Iraqi capital in the past century.

Though snow is common in the mountainous northern region of Iraq, it’s very rare in Baghdad.

The last time the city saw snow was in 2008, but that was a quick, slushy snow. Tuesday’s snow was the first that stuck since 1914. 

City dwellers took selfies, and children played in parks, lobbing snowballs before the fluffy flakes disappeared and the white cover dissolved into gray puddles.

Cold temperatures are unusual in Baghdad as winter is typically on the mild side. The average high temperature in the city is 66 degrees in February, and the average low is 42, according to the World Meteorological Organization. 

A protester tosses a snowball during an anti-government demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on Feb. 11. Snow fell across the Iraqi capital as morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing.

In the summer, searing heat is what Baghdad is known for as the city’s average daily high temperature is more than 100 degrees from June through August. 

Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had seen snow falling in Baghdad, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I woke up at dawn, and I was surprised to see the snow covering the whole garden and my car, then I woke up my wife and two children who dashed to see the incredible view,” Rawad Hassan, 35, told the Xinhua News Agency

Hassan said the event was a relief from the national unrest of the past few months, according to Xinhua News. 

In Tahrir Square, a stronghold for Baghdad’s demonstrators, young men and women threw snowballs and drew anti-government slogans across the ground, according to The Washington Post. It was “just like the movies,” Ghaith Ali, 24, told the Post.

“It felt as if something great was happening, and we stayed outside even though it was freezing,” he said. “It was worth it.”

Temperatures in Baghdad were near freezing Tuesday morning but warmed to the low-40s by the afternoon, melting most of the snow, the Weather Underground said.

More snow was possible, forecasters said, as the cold wave was not quite over. 

“Snowfall may continue until Wednesday, given the very cold weather,” Amer al-Jaberi, media head of the Iraqi Meteorological Centre, told AFP. “This cold wave came from Europe,” he explained.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Looking at 500 millibar patterns, on the 10th we saw that a cold closed low was moving very far to the south over Iraq, which was the culprit for the snow:

It has been very mild over Russia to Iraq’s north this season. As so often has been the case during the 21st century, remaining cold pockets are being forced well to the south of strong ridges, which do occasionally produce snow in odd places.

So, I’m not surprised to see on social media some people pointing to this season’s chilly weather to bolster their climate change denying cases. My own surface record scientific paper indicates that we will see some record cold conditions from time to time through the year 2100. Will there still be skeptics by this point in time? At the rate the world is warming I think not.

Please consider donating through the Paypal widget on this site. I need everyone’s support to continue my work, especially that of processing NCEI record count data for scientific research.

Here is some more weather and climate news from Thursday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have  put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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