The main purpose of this ongoing blog 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: Global Warming Has Not Eliminated Big Snow Storms Yet…Thank Goodness
Dear Diary. Every year in December across a large part of the nation we have a significant winter storm, which make climate change deniers perk up and start pointing fingers. I do one post per year delving into how silly these folks arguments are regarding winter storms, and this is it. Of course, we all know that temperatures only need to be around 32°F from the base of clouds to the surface for precipitation to be mostly snow. During the heart of winter across the northern tier of the country maximums and minimums can actually be a bit above average during a heavy, wet snow storm.
We are fortunate, so far. As near as I can tell the climate has only warmed enough to slightly affect areas where it can and cannot snow. Back during the chilly 1970s it snowed as far south as Miami with very light accumulations on cars and grassy surfaces during one event. I think that the “impossible to snow line” during our current climate, which is +1.2°C above preindustrial conditions, has moved as far north in Florida as from Tampa to Orlando. Snow is still possible in Brownsville, Texas, the most southern point of the central states. As far as the West goes, the territory where it can no longer snow is still very small, encompassing just lower elevation coastal areas from just south of San Francisco to the Mexican border and small portions of the Desert Southwest.
This leaves about 97% of lower 48 state U.S. territory as fair game for winter flakes, although I’ve noticed that in marginal areas like my home town of Atlanta, big snow events are getting more rare. Usually we see one “big” two inch event at least once per year, and we have not seen one since December 2017. It may seem silly to my northern readers to track such light amounts, but past relatively light events have shut down Atlanta for a few days as recently as the 2010s.
Speaking of nuisance weather events, maybe it would be good for us to continue to warm the planet such that that impossible to snow line would move as far north as the Southern Appalachians. That would be a grave mistake for such industries in my home state of Georgia, such as the peach crop, which depends on enough cold nights for proper germination of that fruit. Of far greater concern would be worldwide sea level rise.
Here are notes on the latest winter storm that climate change deniers will be referring to this week, which that will bring heavy snow to most of the Northeast Megalopolis area by midweek. It’s only ten days until Christmas, so I am sure that this system will put residents in the holiday spirit, even though there will be transportation snarls. Keep in mind that before this “Winter Storm Gail,” as The Weather Channel has dubbed it, we have experienced the eleventh warmest fall and a mild December with more relative warmth forecast for the last half of the month:
Though winter storms may be a nuisance, let’s all work hard to keep our climate system cool enough to keep the flakes flying during winter.
Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:
(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. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”