Author Archives: wx

La Nina winter working normally

Just like it’s supposed to be.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

El Ninos get most of the attention, but little sister (La Nina) can step to the plate just as well.  Both systems can be traced back centuries and they tend to operate in irregular cycles.  Over a cycle of decades we’ll see long periods where El Ninos are more frequent and stronger than La Ninas.  One of those started fading about 5-10 years ago.  We’re now in a cycle where the La Ninas dominate.

We are currently in a moderate La Nina phase.  During a La Nina time, the jet stream over the Paciific is pushed northward so that heavy winter precipitation hits northern California, Oregon and Washington while leaving southern California and Arizona very dry. Example: snowfall in Oregon in December set a record high.

After the west coast, the jet stream generally runs along the U.S.- Canadian border before dipping into the northeast.  That was the story for December as most of the U.S. had a very warm December.  Meanwhile, Canada was very cold compared to normal.

But, as the cold dome builds to our north, it eventually has to break under the jet stream and head south.  Right on schedule, that’s what is happening now.  The cold dome is breaking free.  The past couple of days have actually produced below normal temperatures.  And another lobe of even colder air will arrive tomorrow.  That should keep temperatures below freezing Thursday and maybe Friday.

In addition, a weak disturbance will form along the cold front to our south and spread some snow as far north as southern Indiana.  The water content will be very low, but with temperatures in the 20’s light snow should be able to “fluff up” to about 1-2″ Thursday afternoon and evening.

When the cold air dips out of Canada, history shows that the below normal temperatures and snow chances increase for two-three weeks.  So look for unseasonable cold weather into mid January.  By that time Canada has lost most of its excessive cold dome.  Rebuilding begins up north, and abnormally warm weather returns to much of the U.S.  Translation:  February will be very warm.  However, often a La Nina winter ends with another round of the cold air escaping Canada in early March.

Such is life in an La Nina winter!

Editorial time

Opinion piece on an Opinion piece

Sunday’s Courier Journal’s Forum Section contained an article entitled “Now is the time to act on climate change.”  The second half of the article contained useful ideas that individuals can do to help mitigate some effects of climate change.  Idea one suggests that as a community, we provide greater availability of air conditioners and cooling centers.  Left unsaid was the need for similar resources for extreme cold weather.  That’s important too.

The second idea is to increase tree canopy.  This is nothing new.  Meteorologists (and others) have been advocating this for decades.

Ideas three and four call for what essentially amounts to a “weather” Neighborhood Watch program during times of adverse weather.  It’s always good to look out for neighbors and friends.  Also, joining like-minded groups of people to push for ideas you agree upon.

Idea five I will address later.

The first half of the article, however, contains some “information” I found highly disturbing.  That’s why I’m writing this response.

The article starts with a real whopper – To prevent catastrophic devastation to our earth, we must act now.  Wow, where did that come from.  Unfortunately, the seed for that idea has been planted by a United Nations group named the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC for short.

First, and this is very important, IPCC reports are not scientific.  They are dictated and approved by the UN members’ governments, not scientists.  They present various scenarios as to what the future climate may look like.  The highlight of these reports (the latest, AR6 just came out), is to project earth’s future temperature by 2100 based on their extensive collection of global climate models. Reports from the 1990’s had projections that ran 2 to 4 degrees C warmer than observed temperatures.  By the 2014 AR5 report the composite average of over 100 models was 1.5-3 C warmer than real data.

Almost all the fantastic reports on what might happen in the future issued since 2014 are based on the IPCC’s worst case scenario. Back in the early days of weather/climate modelling, a phrase developed which we usually referred to as GI,GO.  It’s longer version is “garbage in, garbage out.”  The new AR6 report issued last month, using all new models, is actually warmer than the 2014 report.

The bottom line is this.  Climate computer models do not work!  And that negates all the horror stories we’ve been fed for years.  GI,GO.

Paragraph two says the IPCC tells us we have seven years to get our act together.  That’s just not going to happen!  Carbon dioxide emissions are going to keep increasing for the foreseeable future.  That’s thanks to China and India.  Remember, the U.S. gave China “permission” to keep increasing carbon until 2030.  India has no restrictions and will probably exceed our emissions by 2030.  Luckily, the IPCC “prediction” is based on garbage.

Skip to paragraph four.  “In fact, heat is the top cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.” In fact, that statement is not a fact.  It simply is not true.  The CDC checks every death certificate issued in the U.S.  Weather-related deaths are tabulated.  In recent years, deaths created by cold are at least double heat-related deaths.  Worldwide, data suggests that over 5 million heat/cold deaths occur each year…90% are caused by cold.

Paragraph five states that our “exposure to extreme heat is becoming far more frequent.”  A quick look at climate records shows that over the past century U.S. “heat waves” have become slightly less frequent.  For sites with continuous records dating back to at least 1900, the data show that the 1930’s produced more all-time high temperature records than any other decade.

Paragraph five goes on to blame some of this year’s weather disasters on “climate change.”  That’s the accepted narrative, but some interesting points should push the conversation in another direction – The Law of Unintended Consequences.

First, the West Coast fires.  One common statement is about record amounts of acreage having been burned.  Compared to modern times, that is true.  But acres consumed now pales in comparison to forest fire destruction in the late 1800’s.  What’s the difference?  Us.  In the late 1800’s hardly anyone lived in the forests.  When fires broke out, they were allowed to just burn themselves out.  Nature’s method worked well for millions of years.  Now, over a million people live in the western forests.  Smokey the Bear says “Only you can prevent forest fires.”  How correct he is.  90% of U.S. forest fires are started by us humans.  Need I say more?

Second, Hurricane Ida.  For eons, the Mississippi River created a buffer zone to help alleviate erosion from coastal storms.  The river frequently created new channels to spread and accumulate silt across a wide area now known as the Louisiana Bayou.  Thick, dense vegetation is a feature of bayous.  It’s more diffuse than the barrier islands of the east coast, but has borne the brunt of hurricane forces to help protect Louisiana far back in time.  Then, along comes humans.  The Mississippi became an import element in commerce and trade.  It was so important that changing paths could not be allowed.  So a levee was constructed to confine the river in a never-changing channel.  Human business was happy; nature wasn’t.  Since then, the bayou has lost its source of life- supporting silt.  Erosion continues, replenishment stops.  As a result the bayou has been slowly disappearing.  It no longer acts as a strong barrier buffer.  Along comes Ida.  Man muddles; nature laughs.

Later in the opinion piece we encounter a really strange statement – “climate change worsens COVID-19 symptoms…”  As far as I know, SARS-COV-2  (COVID-19) was discovered late in 2019.  So, it and its variants have been around for less than 2 years.  Covid is a creature of our current climate; it hasn’t experienced any “climate change.”  Covid symptoms are bad enough.  Let’s not blame the climate for making them worse.  (Note: If you look at Covid-19 data, you will see that the countries with the highest percent of population catching the disease are in temperate regions (four seasons), not in the hotter tropics.

Finally, back to the fifth idea to help the earth – Equip and educate.  We are well equipped to prepare for a continued slowly warming climate.  Infrastructure is the key.

Programs such as rebuilding our highway system, hardening the power grid (just ask TX and CA), building sea walls, and strengthening our RELIABLE power production facilities (wind and solar need not apply) are essential for our future.  Our best bet for energy in the future is nuclear.  Admittedly, that’s a tough sell in the U.S.  Second best bet is natural gas, an industry our current President is trying to kill.

The current philosophy in the U.S.  is centered on costly, and unreliable, wind and solar. All we have to do is look to Europe to see how a reliance on wind and solar is working out.  I doubt we’ll learn anything from the European experience.  If we continue along the road to relying on non-carbon energy, we’re in big trouble within the next decade.  Maybe enough trouble that we’ll stop hyping global warming for awhile.

Oh, yes!  That last item – educate.  I’m all in favor of climate education.  When are we going to start?

 

Tom Wills

 

Dry weather continues.

Rain chances are fading

Friday, August 13, 2021  4 P.M.

Looks like the “Friday the thirteenth” superstition will come true in at least one topic today…rainfall.  All week forecasters have been pointing to today as our best bet for some rain to ease our lengthening dry spell.  Now, however, it seems likely the rain won’t develop locally.

A weak cool front is slowly working southward over Indiana, but this front has been unable to generate any showers/thunderstorms today.  And most likely won’t be able to.  Instead, a line of showers and thunderstorms formed just east of us earlier this afternoon and is moving into northeastern KY.

Still some hope the front could kick up some rain this evening, but don’t count on it.  Short term models keep us dry tonight.  Needed rainfall won’t return until Monday afternoon at the earliest.

Stuff

Starting in the late 1890’s, Scottish-American industrialist donated funding to build 2509 libraries around the world.  1679 were in the U.S.  Indiana built 156 Carnegie Libraries while 23 were built in Kentucky.  Louisville got a $450,000 grant in 1899 to build 9 public libraries.

Climate change continued…

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Although Earth’s warming of the past 50 years has brought enormous good to life on this planet, today’s hardcore Alarmists insist great trouble lies ahead.  They’d like to stop the warming in its tracks.  Why?  As far as anyone knows, Earth has no ideal temperature.  There is no exact temperature for Earth.  Over geological time, this planet has been warmer than now; it’s also been colder.  Life has acclimated to every bump.  The Climate Alarmists have made a major cause out of proclaiming that won’t work this time!  Do you know how many times various groups have declared the end of the world?  Too many to count.  And this current Climate Crisis will meet the same fate.

What’s the problem?  The theory being used to predict the end of life as we know it is WRONG.  Back in the days of the “science is settled” era, it seemed so easy.  Carbon dioxide is a major factor in Earth’s climate.  When CO2 increases Earth warms.  The amount is well defined – roughly .9 deg. C  if you double the amount in the atmosphere.  We believe the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back in the late 1800’s was about 275 parts per million (ppm).  Now it’s about 416 ppm.  But, a change that slow is hardly a problem.  No need to raise the crisis flag.

It’s all about the secondary effects of warming.  The theory further states that warming will lead to more water evaporation.  That will produce more clouds.  Those clouds will trap more heat near the surface.  So that actual warming is compounded to more than the CO2 contribution.

It all seemed so logical.  But when they started building forecast models, the models seemed to forecast much more warming than was being observed.  As described earlier, although the predictions have improved, they still are considerably warmer then reality.

Now let’s call in Nobel Prize winning American physicist Richard Feynman…It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”   As it turns out, Feynman really had these Climate Crisis people figured out.  Another quote:  “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”  As mentioned before, the Climate Advocacy groups are currently more about public relations than science.

Why are the models wrong?  In a word, sensitivity.  In a few more words, sensitivity measures how much clouds alter Earth’s temperature.  The “settled science” theory says clouds have a net warming affect on heating (positive sensitivity).  But, clouds also reflect a good bit of solar energy before it reaches the surface.  If clouds bounce away more heat than they trap, it’s a net cooling (negative sensitivity).

We’ve been trying to figure out Earth’s sensitivity to clouds for over 100 years.  Surface-based trials all say slightly positive.  Looking from the top down, satellite studies are mixed – some positive, some negative.  A large mixed study over the western Pacific recently resulted in a slight negative trend.

Nobody knows the answer.  My thoughts are that the sensitivity is variable.  Over various time frames and areas, we have regions of positive and negative sensitivity at work.  How they add up over a year or so will not always be the same.  I believe that the use of a constant positive sensitivity in the climate models is a primary reason for the excessive warming they predict.

One more note on sensitivity before we switch topics.  I’ve mentioned the IPCC and its reports using many climate prediction models.  Over 100 models were used in the 2019 report. Only one model (from Russia) came close to the actual temperature trend of the past two decades.  Besides being more realistic, what made this model different from the 100+ others?  The Russian model is the only one to use a negative sensitivity!  Interesting.

Stuff

Another quote to portray the current status of (most) climate modelers around the globe.  This quote is attributed to Albert Einstein.  He may have said it, but he didn’t originate it.                       “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

I think we may be entering a paradigm shift.  Next time…

Earth Day continued

Friday, April 23, 2021  5 P.M.

Yesterday, I mentioned that the past 50-75 years have been the best time ever to be a human on this planet.  Currently, we have the smallest percentage of people living in poverty and hunger that Earth has ever seen.  (It would be even better if politicians were more benign.)  What has brought about this sudden, rapid improvement in worldwide living conditions?  Global warming is the primary reason.

We had some warming after World War II, then cooling during the 1970’s.  Since then we’ve had a slow warming trend –  as measured by satellites, it’s 0.14 deg. C per decade.  The Green Revolution has been a main benefactor of the warming.  Some people who study this stuff say that continued warming will provide far more benefits than harm for another 1-2 deg. C warming.  For some reason, the majority of modern environmentalists ignore the good news.

If the above is true, what’s all the “Climate Crisis” talk about?  The story begins on a hot summer day in Washington D.C.  in 1988.   Senator Al Gore and Dr. James Hansen (NASA) presented to a climate committee a scary report concerning rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In a nutshell, the message was (somewhat exaggerated) we’d better stop the CO2 increase soon or we’ll all be dead.

Perhaps there’s a clue to their intentions. The previous evening Gore and Hansen rigged the air conditioning system in the committee  room so that it would not cool that night.  Thus the room would be very warm for the hearing.work  Then, before their presentation,  they visited a rest room to toss water on their shirts, especially the underarms.  Then, as they approached the podium, they took off their suit coats to “emphasize” just how hot it was.  So, the “Climate Crisis” began as a bit of “show biz” and it still is.

A mantra came out of the committee hearing – “The science is settled.”  That wasn’t true then and it still isn’t now.  Not surprisingly, you don’t hear that statement much anymore.

The climate forecast models from the 1980’s predicted Earth’s temperature increase expected by 2020 THREE TO FOR TIMES larger than it has turned out to be.  That’s “settled” science for you.  Over the years, the models have improved somewhat.  The  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), an United Nations organization which handles this problem for the world, issued its most recent update in 2019.  (Another report is due later this year.)

The average of climate models (over 100) used for the 2019 report is now predicting a rate of warming TWICE as high as the observed temperatures.  An early look at a sample of models to be used in the 2021 report shows even higher levels of excess warming than the 2019 report.

So the models are getting closer, but are they reliable enough to spend trillions of dollars to avert a “crisis” that currently is showing no evidence of being a crisis?   Climate change is nothing new, it’s been going on forever.  What have humans been doing for the past 500,000 years when the climate changed?  They’ve adapted.  A better word is acclimated.

Brief note:  Today we pronounce acclimated as AK li ma ted.  It hasn’t always been that way.  The Webster’s I took to college  way back when said the word was  ah CLI ma ted.  Adjusted to the climate!

So what’s the problem?  Do we think the current climate is perfect?  Our announced actions seem to say “yes.”  So we’re going to re-engineer nature to keep our climate where it is?  Good luck with that.  For a huge variety of reasons (known and  unknown) Earth’s climate is always changing.  And, yes, some of that change is caused by us.  We have to do what we’ve always done – acclimate!

More next time…

 

 

 

Happy Earth Day

Thursday, April 22, 2021  5 P.M.

Lot’s of things have changed since the first Earth Day in 1970.  Our air is much cleaner; so is our water.  The warming of Earth has brought huge gains in agriculture and our ability to feed our rapidly growing population.  We are approaching 8 billion of us on this planet.  True, we still have 100’s of millions of underfed people, but the problem is not our ability to  raise enough food!  No, the problem is political.  (Forced starvation, after all, has been a major military tactic for eons.)

The reason we’ve been able to raise so much food was called the “Green Revolution” years ago.  Improved farming methods have helped.  But the primary reason agricultural production has increased so much so fast  is biochemistry – genetically improved crops have enabled us to feed the world.  The Green Revolution has been one of the most important aspects to our much improved living conditions worldwide over the past 50 – 75 years.

Although environmentalists (the so-called “greens”) embraced the Green Revolution at first, now it appears that a large part of the green-culture now thinks GMOs are a bad thing and should be eliminated.  To me, this amounts to “Stop GMOs…let half the world starve.”  I just can’t understand what thought process goes through the minds of anti-GMOers. Don’t they know that ever since agriculture began, farmers have been genetically altering crops through natural selection (Does the name DARWIN ring a bell?).  No crop today is anything like its ancestors centuries ago.  Genetic modification is a wonderful thing.  And now it’s gotten better since we can save many years by doing it in a lab rather than out in the fields. In essence, every crop we grow is a GMO.  Maybe the anti-GMO folks should chew on that for awhile.

The Earth Day environmentalists have gone awry in other areas as well.  Just today, President Biden said we’re  going the cut our carbon dioxide production by 50% by 2030.  There is only  one way that can happen.  Shut down the country.  You thought Covid restrictions were bad?  Wait until you see what 50% less carbon does to us.  To accomplish this task, the U.S. would go from Earth’s biggest economy to Third World status in just nine years!

Even a more realistic goal to cut carbon 50% by 2050 can only be done by  switching our power source to nuclear.  Yes, nuclear.  I know that’s a dirty world in the U.S. and especially to environmentalists, but keep in mind no one in the U.S. has ever died from a nuclear power plant accident.  How does that compare to deaths in the coal, oil and gas industries?  And modern reactors are smaller, mostly underground and highly reliable.  It’s definitely the way to go.

Continued tomorrow…

 

From 70 degrees to snow in 12 hours?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021  6 P.M.

It could happen tonight!

Our weather has been pretty dull lately.  Dull in the sense that not much “weather” has been nearby.  So most of April has been quite pleasant.  The absence of typical stormy Spring weather has allowed a great opportunity to see more of nature’s awakening beauty.

But, tonight’s weather could be highly unusual.  A small, but very cold, upper air system will drift over us tonight.  It’ll bring along a pocket of colder air behind a developing cold front.  That will provide enough lift to squeeze some moisture out of the atmosphere.  It won’t be much (less than a quarter inch) and won’t last long (from about 10 P.M. to 4 A.M.).  However, the upper level cold air will produce snow.  The big question will be “How soon will the surface cold air arrive.” At onset, the snow will be melted by the currently mild air so we’ll see rain.  The rain will help cool (by evaporation) the low-level temperatures.  That, along with the colder air advancing into our area, will create rapidly falling temperatures.  By about 2 A.M. temperatures should drop into the upper 30’s.  Then, the colder air will slow the melting process.  Basically, the smaller snow flakes will melt while the larger flakes should be able to make it to the surface before completely melting.  Over the next two hours temperatures may drop another degree or two, so at times it may become only very wet snow.  Then, by 4 A.M.  the steady rain/snow will move east of our area.

Snow accumulation?  Not likely on the ground or roadways.  However, some tree limbs, rooftops and cars/trucks could see small accumulations.

Then we’ll have a couple of unseasonably cool days before Spring returns.

Stuff

36 degrees is the 50%-50% temperature for rain and/or snow. Above 36 the odds rapidly favor rain.  Below 36, the odd rapidly favor snow.

Guns:  Since 1975, guns have been responsible for  the death of 1.5 million Americans. Since the Revolutionary War, about 1.4 million Americans have died in all U.S. wars and conflicts.  (Seems like our “well armed militia” is better at killing Americans than enemy combatants.)  Does anyone see a problem here?

 

 

 

Strong Spring Storm in the area

Thursday, March 25, 2021  5:30 P.M.

Lots of wind, possibly strong storms

The atmosphere is certainly in a severe storms state.  Moisture rushing northward and really strong wind fields to work with.  That’s pretty much the story from the deep south to the Great Lakes region.  But, I’ll try to pin things down to more detail.

The easiest part of the forecast is the location of the worst weather.  Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are likely over a large part of the south – eastern MS, northern half of AL and most of TN are the primary spot for damaging storms.

Next, northeast MO, southeast IA and northern IL and IN are likely to see  heavy rain and, especially, very strong winds.  These will not be thunderstorm wind gusts.  The combination of storm development and upper level winds will combine to generate sustained winds over 40 mph with gusts over 60 mph for several hours tonight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a few reports of gusts over 70 mph are measured.

So, I guess the good news is that the worst weather conditions expected tonight will be either considerably north or south of the Ohio River.  But, what happens to that space in between?  That’s us.

The Storm Prediction Center has the western half of Kentucky and southwest corner of IN  (and others) in a Tornado Watch until Midnight.  They expect a line of strong to severe thunderstorms to develop just east of the Mississippi River during the next hour or so.  They expect intensification of the line as it sweeps eastward toward us.  Primary threat time for the Louisville area will be 9 P.M. until 11 P.M.   They say severe storms are likely and some tornadoes are expected, especially over the western third of KY and TN.

Most forecast models are downplaying this line of storms for central KY and southern IN.  We’ll have to keep an eye out to see how things evolve over the next few hours.  The models suggest the instability will remain quite low tonight.  If that is correct, we’ll see a quick-hitting line of gusty thunderstorms tonight, but no major problems.

However, a different problem could create troubles for a few hours after Midnight – strong winds!  Several  paragraphs above I mentioned the non-thunderstorm winds likely northwest of us this evening.  Well, as the surface storm center moves across Indiana this evening, the door opens for the northwesterly winds behind the system to rotate southeast into our area.  We’ll see about 4-6 hours of wind gusts above 40 mph here and probably over 50 mph over southern IN.

Note to storm watchers

We expect to see a relatively narrow line of rain/thunderstorms to cross the area during the evening.  Severe storms will likely be embedded in this line, especially to our west.  If, however, if you see any “discrete” cells of thunderstorms, WATCH OUT.  These stand-alone single cells can be very dangerous in situations like this.  The strongest tornadoes almost always are produced by these rapidly moving discrete cells.  It is not too uncommon for very intense dynamics (the strong wind fields) to overcome a weak moisture supply.  The next six hours could become very interesting.

A PREDICTION:  A Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued for Jefferson County KY later this evening.  (When is the last time you remember when a storm Warning has NOT been issued for Jefferson County as a line of strong thunderstorms passes through?   Yep, I can’t remember either. )

Rainy weekend – mostly at night

5 P.M.  Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

Two upper air disturbances will float over the Ohio Valley this weekend.  The weaker one we’re seeing now.  Mostly light showers will be scattered over the area this evening…ending after Midnight.  Tomorrow will be warmer with mostly cloudy skies pushing temperatures into the mid 60’s.  The second system will have more moisture and energy, heavier rains will be likely tomorrow night into Sunday morning.  Our area should expect over an inch of rain with warm temperatures tomorrow night.  Temperatures remain warm Sunday.

This time no major storm development is expected, so no major surge will move in as the rain stops, so temperatures should remain seasonably mild early next week.  The average high temperature in early March is in the lower 50’s.

I have seen the future…and it is here.  part 2

The recent ice storm disaster in Texas has been used as quite a political tool for various ideologies.  The right blames solar and wind power problems (partly correct).  The left blames fossil fuel problems (partly correct).  Many say the state-run power network was the cause (big contributor).  Still others blame climate change (probably not – ice storms in Texas have a long history).  Actually, many factors combined to make a situation far worse than it should have been.

Most at fault is the government of Texas.  To allow the statewide power grid to reach the ridiculous situation that exists there today is a wonderful example of political corruption based on money rather than the public good.  It’s a rag-rag operation of little operators with little coordination.  It’s like one of those dominoes creations where you tip over one domino and hundreds  (or thousands)  more also tip over.

In recent years, a push toward solar and wind power generation has been established.  Today that produces roughly 10-11% of Texas’s total power input.  Wind and solar are unreliable because sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.  But losing just 10% of your power supply shouldn’t do much damage to the overall grid.  Most of the power comes from good old fashioned power plants using either coal, oil or natural gas.  Texas also produces some nuclear power.  In recent years, for environmental concerns, coal and oil plants have been phased out along with nuclear power.  The use of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, has been growing rapidly.  Okay, most states are doing the same thing, so what went wrong?

In the push to increase natural gas usage and build wind and solar facilities, something has been either forgotten or neglected, or both.  Infrastructure!  No repairs. No updates.  No improvements to existing equipment.  The existing infrastructure has been falling apart.  In a crisis they can’t ask neighboring states to sell them some extra power (state law).  So, when a crisis hits -usually winter storms and summer heat waves – they are stuck.

The way things are going, the power situation in Texas will get far worse before it gets better.  The best thing they can do to clean up their power mess is to build nuclear power plants.

Texas is not alone in this rush to “clean energy.”  Many other states are losing their energy independence.  More on that on part 3.

Early Spring weather

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021  4 P.M.

Weather patterns certainly have changed since last week.  Rather than ice, snow and 20’s we’ve jumped to mostly sunny and 50’s.  This trend is expected to persist for quite a while.  The circumpolar jet stream vortex that dipped south over Canada and central U.S. has retreated toward the pole and reformed westward.  The result has been a return to the “west coast trough, east coast ridge” pattern that has dominated most of our winter.

For the next few weeks (or longer), major storms will move into the western U.S. then move northeast into the central and eastern U.S.  That major storm track will bring plenty of rain to the central part of the country, including the Ohio Valley.  It also threatens to give an early (and widespread) start to the severe weather season.

I have seen the future…and it is here! (Part 1)

My apologies to whoever first uttered those words, but it seemed to fit.

The Texas ice storm has been quite a catastrophe.  The media seems so surprised by the ice storm – acting like it’s never happened before.  In fact, if anyone chose to check, a major ice storm hits Texas about once every eight years.  Ice storms are a known, expected, but rare, event.  The most recent serious ice storm was in 2011.  In fact, since 1973, six major ice storms have hit Texas.  After each one, committees were formed to make suggestions about how to better prepare for the next one.  After the first five storms, the recommendations were largely ignored.  Why? Cost.   (We’ll continue to hold together our deteriorating infrastructure with baling wire and duct tape and hope that it doesn’t happen again.)  But it always does.  I don’t imagine it’ll be any different this time.

We’ve heard many “reasons” for why the problems occurred.  Every “cause” has a different reason for the disaster.  Next time, we’ll take a look at the “blame game.”

Stuff

Recently in Washington state,  police arrested a man for carjacking. He had been released from prison just 20 minutes earlier.

Caution:  If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price.

Picture

Smoke billows from Mt. Etna near Giarre, Sicily. | (AP Photo/Salvatore Allegra)

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