Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Extreme Weather Warning

Above image is from NOAA Storm Prediction Center, with Convective Watches in red. 

Below, storm reports, from the same site. 

For an update on the current situation in your area, see:

Meanwhile, in Canada, Paul Beckwith gives more background on 'Our rapidly changing climate and weather'.

Paul Beckwith
Part-time professor, PhD student (abrupt climate change), Department of Geography
Location: University of Ottawa, in the hub next to the university bookstore
Not a typical January in Ottawa. 10 degrees C for several days one week; -30 the next; followed by 10 the one after that. Why?

Normally the high altitude jet streams that circle the planet are predominantly from west to east with little waviness. Weather is cold and dry northward of the jets (Arctic air sourced) and warm and wet southward (moist tropics and ocean sourced). Now, and moving forward, the jets are extremely wavy and as the crests and troughs of the waves sweep by us each week we experience the massive swings in temperature. The extreme jet waviness is due to a very large reduction in the equator-to-Arctic temperature gradient caused by an exponentially declining Arctic reflectivity from sea-ice and snow cover collapses (which causes great amplification of Arctic temperatures). Additional amplification is occurring due to rapidly rising methane concentrations sourced from sea-floor sediments and terrestrial permafrost.

Observed changes will accelerate as late summer sea-ice completely vanishes from Arctic within a few years. Largest human impacts will be food supply shortages and increases in severity, frequency, and duration of extreme weather events.

In the video below, by Gzowski Films, Paul Beckwith speaks on our radical weather patterns. 

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