Monday, December 26, 2005

The Weather Develops Long Range Patterns of Drought/Flood Zones


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As global warming continues to change the ocean currents and air flows of our planet, we see vast changes on the ground. One of the most noticable changes are in the Temperate Zones which are much more active and has been having flood/drought cycles that are not seasonal but due to shifts in persistent highs as they travel from west to east across the upper latitudes.

The NOAA Storm Track Web Page:
Storm tracks and cyclogenesis/cyclolysis locations for the past 10, 30, and 90 days. Tracks are based on an algorithm developed at the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC) [Serreze (1995), and Serreze et al.
I won't quote more because NOAA has been told by Bush to be nasty to anyone who accesses this public information. He would really like to have it cloaked from view just like everything else he is able to control and have no one see it except the rich, of course. But you can click on it to see their charts and maps.

I have used some of this information (wow! I happen to be a taxpayer so I would like to inform NOAA that they get their money from me in the bitter end, eh, guys?) to make easier to read, simpler charts. The main point is, from the summer solstice cycle to the winter solstice which was just a few days ago, we have been in a persistent cycle of a high over Spain/Canary Islands and the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico. The vast majority of storms have been either on the equator, as usual, or above the 40th degree latitude.

This map shows the main tracks of major storms this half a year. Right now, right over my mountain, is a storm, it is bringing rain and warm temperatures since it is not following the usual winter track but is following the same slot all those hurricanes this year traveled. We have had some severe blasts of winter but mostly without much snow. This is because of the drought conditions over the Rockies. Very few storms are coming ashore on the West Coast, as you can see, the persistent low is over the upper Pacific next to Alaska and most storms have curved away from the West Coast and sailed back up north again. This is keeping the Rockies unusually dry.

One chart shows storms tracking from Japan, across the Pacific and then they peter out when hitting the US and then, once into the Mississippi Valley, get moisture from the Gulf and become a storm again. These dip way down into Georgia and then chug up the coast to the Northeast. This means our storms are unusually warm. No Arctic Expresses.

If you go to any website running daily Jet Stream forecasts, one sees this winter a wobbly line due to the fact that the jet stream is scrolling up and over these highs instead of plunging down across the continent.

The chart at the top of this page shows the footprint of rainfall this half a year. It was very much an all or none proposition. One reason why the spectatular hurricanes from the Gulf petered out so rapidly when approaching landfall this year was due to this persistent drought pattern. Note how a great deal of rain fell in the Gulf itself and only three pretty narrow tracks made it over land, one curling down over the Central America, the other running straight up the Mississippi Valley and the last one across Florida. We got clipped by these storms and we had a terrible drought for over two months up here. Now we are in a wet cycle with frequent rain...In winter! If this isn't standing Nature on Her head!

Past weather patterns can be thrown out the window these days. A more dynamic system is proving to be one big surprize. Like everyday is Boxing Day for Mother Nature. She boxes us and we try to duck!

One of our readers alerted me to this editorial in the New York Times:
ONE year ago today we stared aghast at images of the Southeast Asian tsunami. These were mostly improvised clips rendered all the more poignant by their amateurishness. Video cameras taken on vacation to record the everyday pleasures of the beach were suddenly turned to quivering utility as they documented the panic and mayhem of a natural disaster. Somehow, domestic pleasure turned on its head only added to the sense of chaos and loss. Who can forget the disbelief in the recorded voices? This can't be happening to us.

Human beings are never prepared for natural disasters. There is a kind of optimism built into our species that seems to prefer to live in the comfortable present rather than confront the possibility of destruction. It may happen, we seem to believe, but not now, and not to us. There is nothing new in this attitude.
I hate to differ with the good man, but this isn't true!

In warm, pleasant climes, people get careless. They ignore dangers because there are so few. Like pampered pets, they become trusting and lacsidasical. People with this sort of attitude don't last long up here in the cold mountains. We watch the weather with a very wary eye. "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes (and it will change)" is an old joke out here. Propably the Indians cracked it when the Pilgrims showed up.

For a Temerate Zone, we have it pretty drastic here, quite often. When haying the fields in a fog, I noticed the horse and the oxen getting very nervous and anxious. Chip and Dale's great big ears with many sensitive hairs, swivveled and cocked to the west. Their noses quivered and they rolled their eyes to me and mooed. Distantly, I heard the rumble of thunder, I am nearly as sensitive to this as the oxen. I screamed to Chris and John to run for their lives and I gathered up all the livestock who were already quite alarmed and we all run as fast as possible to the stables.

Bang. Black as night, 90 mph winds, lightning, trees groaning and crashing to the ground. One of my neighbors was lifted out of the hayloft by the twister but he fell onto some more hay and wasn't even hurt, along with a calf.

But you see, people who don't pay attention don't last long. And we sniff out winter. How many days left before it comes, we weigh it carefully, those of us who live in tents, anyway! Now that I don't live in a tent, I am more careless, slightly. Don't need to worry so much.

But our ancestors had to be very wary and move fast. This included telling if a drought was settling in. This is why we are basically nomads and why we tend to range about the place. This is why we spread so far, so fast.
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Previous similar articles:
Siberian Swans Come To Merry England
Atlantic Current is Weakening
Global Warming Causes More Snow to Fall
Wishful Thinking About Mother Nature
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