Category Archives: climate

Winter’s return still on target

Wed, Jan. 15, 2020

This morning’s showers surprised me as I thought the return to warm air would be dry.  But the yoyo weather will continue – warm today, colder tomorrow, and warmer with periods of rain Fri/Sat.  Then, Sunday wintry weather arrives.  We’ll see below normal temperatures for at least a couple of weeks.  The GFS has lost the weak clipper system it was earlier predicting for Tuesday night. Now it’s developing a snow to rain event for Wednesday night and Thursday.  Updates will follow.

Australian Fires

Due to geographical location, global wind patterns and ocean currents, the West Coast of North America and the East Coast of Australia are both prone to seasonal forest fires.  This is nothing new – it’s been going on for thousands of years.  Many are putting the blame for this year’s higher than normal fire destruction on “climate change.”  Good try, but climate change has been going on forever, just like the fires.  Might other things be involved?   Of course.

1).  Forest maintenance –  Like the U.S., Australia bans removal of undergrowth from forest floors.  Undergrowth removal eliminates the majority of the fuel for fire growth and rapid spread.  Seems to me that undergrowth removal should be priority #1.  But, it’s banned.  The result is more fires, much more land burned, rapid spread of fires, more wildlife and human deaths…   (But, it keeps some environmentalists happy.)

2).  Population – Since 1950 Australia’s population has jumped from around 8 million to about 25 million today.  As in the U.S., Australians have built many homes in forested areas amplifying the potential death and damage fires can create.

3).  Humans-  So, we’ve got forests primed to ignite, and many more people living in them.  Then you add in the fact that humans are pretty careless.  In the U.S., an estimated 85% of all forest fires are caused by humans.  I’m guessing it’s about the same down under.

4).  Malicious humans.  A large number of forest fires are intentionally started by arsonists.  U.S. numbers say 21% of our forest fires are arson.  As of yesterday, about 155 people have been arrested on arson charges in Australia.  An additional (approximately) 300 have been arrested for fire-related offenses.

Forest fires have been occurring for as long as Mother Earth has had forests.  Climate change has been happening even longer than that.  But, since we homo sapiens arrived about 200,000 years ago, life for forests has become much more hazardous.

Note: The graph below portrays the areal coverage of Australian fire damage for the past 100 years.  This year  (so far) ranks #3, but 1975 was ten times higher than this year!

Note 2: In 1975 the big climate issue was global cooling and the beginning of the next Ice Age.  So, I wonder if that year’s fires were blamed on that.

Note 3:  One hectare equals 2.47 acres.

Fig. 1. Yearly fire season (June through May) hectares burned by major bushfires in Australia since the 1919-20 season (2019-20 season total is as of January 7, 2020).

Ohio River will reach Flood Stage Tuesday

Sun. Feb. 10, 2019  3 P.M.

Periods of rain through early Tuesday

The Ohio:  Predictions for the Ohio River in Louisville are little changed since yesterday.  It’s expected to reach flood stage (23 feet)  midday Tuesday and crest just under 30 feet Friday.  Those forecasts take into account past rains plus expected rain for the next few days.

The forecasts:  The human and model forecasts are all in line today.  They expect 2″ to 2.5″ to fall from today through early Tuesday.  At this time, I don’t see any reason to question those forecasts.  So, if you have interests in the Ohio’s flood plain, get prepared.

Data:  Current level (3 P.M.)  just under 21′ and rising                                                                                         Flood Stage is 23′  expected around Noon Tuesday                                                                                 Crest:  just under 30′  Friday                                                                                                                         Moderate Flood Stage is 30′

Rainfall greater than 2.5″ could increase the expected crest.

Cold bottoms tonight

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

Major warming this weekend

At least the winds have calmed.  Bitter cold air temperatures again tonight with a low  0 to -2 at the airport and most areas outside the Watterson will be below zero tomorrow morning.  We’ll see more clouds again tonight keeping temperatures from dropping too far below zero.  Could be a snowflake or two, but no accumulation this time around.

Afternoon temperatures tomorrow will climb into the upper 20’s.  Models are really downplaying the weather system due in the area tomorrow night into Friday.  Current indications are for some light snow beginning late tomorrow night then changing into rain Friday morning.  Looks like not much of either snow or rain.  More on that tomorrow.


According to Boeing, more than 80% of the world’s population has never flown on an airplane.

We’re starting to feel the results of the SSW!

Winter is mounting an offensive.

If you haven’t read last week’s post concerning the Sudden Stratospheric Warming, reading it now would be a good background for what comes next.

The shift toward a major cold trend for the eastern U.S. is now underway.  Today’s cold snap is the beginning and we’re likely to see several more cold surges over the next 7-10 days.  Then, it gets REALLY cold for the latter third of the month.  The primary focus of the cold trend looks like it’ll be over areas of eastern Canada, the Great Lakes and the Middle Atlantic/New England states.  But, there should be a sizable amount left for us, too.

What about snow?

Our first shot at snow will come this weekend.  A weak disturbance moving out of the southwest will stay south of us Fri/Sat.  That will hold the current cold air in place so that any precipitation is likely to be snow.  That should begin late Friday/early Saturday and continue on into Sunday morning.  Not much moisture should get this far north, snow potential is not very high.  BUT, even though all the major thickness indicators favor snow for this system, I still suspect a big problem- surface temperatures!  It looks to me as though surface temperatures will remain near (or above) 32 degrees throughout the precipitation event. I’d say small accumulations early Saturday will melt away during the day.  Then another minor accumulation Saturday night will melt away Sunday.  I don’t expect any road problems.

NOTE:  This is still a weak, developing system, so a lot of changes could happen over the next two days.  Updates will follow.

Climate update:

Even though the U.S. dropped out of the Paris Climate Agreement, we’re done a better job at carbon reduction than almost all the nations that did sign the agreement!.  U.S. carbon emissions were up a little last year, but we are 11% below our 2005 totals.  2005 is the “base” year for the carbon reduction goals.  Europe is also down a little, but the rest of the world continues to rapidly increase carbon emissions.  China and India are BY FAR the greatest contributors  to the increase.

Quiet night

Monday, July 18, 2016  6 P.M.

Atmosphere has quieted over much of the region and should remain calm, but very warm and muggy tonight.  In spite of the Weather Service’s 40% chance for rain/t-storms tonight, the actual chance for rain is pretty close to zero.

Plenty of heat and humidity will be the primary story this week,  Don’t be surprised if we reach the upper 90’s.

What happened to that “Godzilla” El Nino

We did have a strong El Nino during the winter.  It actually turned out to be a little stronger than the one in 1998, but it was far less destructive for the U.S.  In fact, this El Nino  could probably be described as more beneficial than damaging for the western states.  Reservoir levels at at, or slightly above, normal for July from central California northward, but conditions remain far too dry over the south.  If this winter was “Godzilla”, California could use several more winters just like it.

Almost always, El Nino’s are followed by La Nina conditions.  It didn’t take long.  Ocean water temperatures have been falling for months.  Neutral conditions were reached during May.  Then last week entered weak La Nina conditions.  How strong the La Nina will become remains to be seen, but current forecasts predict it’ll remain in the mild to moderate range through the rest of the year.  As a result, global air temperatures  will probably drop below normal for a few months later this year.


Better day tomorrow!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quite rainy day…most of Jefferson County seems to be nearing (or over) the one inch mark  now (5:45 P.M.) with more due until about Midnight.  After that,  weak cool front drops across the area and pushes the rain eastward for tomorrow.  But the upper air system looks like it’ll reload tomorrow and return the on-and-off showers for Saturday through Monday.

Next week figures to remain mild, but it should’t be nearly as wet.

El Nino

The current El Nino is beginning to wind down, but should not drop to “normal” status until this summer.  But, historically, a strong El Nino brings a La Nina in its wake.  So, beginning later this year, our Earth is likely to see below normal temperatures setting in and lasting for a year or two.  According to satellite data, February was Earth’s warmest month (during the satellite era).  The previous record was set during another strong El Nino year – 1998.

El Nino precipitation

El Nino weather patterns are known to bring above normal precipitation totals to the southwestern U.S.  Drought-stricken California was greatly anticipating plenty of rain and snow this winter.  Until last weekend the winter rainy season hadn’t lived up to expectations.   Now,  after last weekend’s heavy rains put a lot of water into the state’s reservoirs, there is hope that many of the recent water restrictions may be eased this year.

Even better news is that at least two more significant storms appear headed toward the Golden State over the next week to 10 days.  If they both make it, California’s water situation will look better than it has for many years!

Comic relief

Saw a headline recently, “Researchers now say that man’s influence on climate may date back to the 1930’s.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…yes, that’s your hard-earned money (tax dollars)  being wasted on insanity.  The headline gave me a good laugh, but in the larger picture, it should have made me cry.  It’s sad, really, about all the money being  wasted over the “climate change” agenda.

The “problem”, if you want to call it that, is nothing new.  Ever since humans learned to cultivate crops and to live in communities, we have been inadvertently altering our climate.  As our population has grown to over seven billion, the change we bring to our Earth has been expanding.  Carbon dioxide is just a drop in the bucket compared to the overall picture.  As climate has changed in the past, humans have acclimated, or adapted, to the new circumstances.  In spite of the “stories” we’re being told by many so-called leaders, Earth’s climate is NOT broken, so it can’t be FIXED.  It just changes, and so must we.

January thaw has late arrival.

Thursday 1/28/2016

Weather update:

After a couple weeks of wintry weather, a common January weather feature is entering the game – the January Thaw.  For centuries, weather watchers have noticed a tendency for a period of milder, calmer weather to hit the eastern half of the U.S. during the latter part of January.  This year (it doesn’t happen happen every year) it’s a bit late. We’ve been experiencing a rather weak example of it this week, but it’ll really kick into action by the weekend.  Temperatures could reach 60 or so then, but it’ll be even warmer early next week when even 70 degrees is not out of question. A strong storm will come out of the southwest early next week and move northward through the Mississippi Valley.  That will bring us strong southern winds and warm, rainy weather Tuesday and Tuesday night.  That’ll be it for this year’s “Thaw” as wintry conditions will return by midweek.

The “10 year deadline” has passed.  Why are we still here?

It was 10 years ago this week when former Vice President Al Gore made his (at the time) famous proclamation that if we didn’t make drastic efforts to end global warming in the next 10 years, Earth was doomed.  Well, the years have passed, Earth hasn’t warmed (according to satellite data), we haven’t done much to reduce the supposed enemy – carbon dioxide, and everything seems to be rolling along smoothly.  Of course, Al’s made a fortune acting as the shill for some climate fanatics, so he’ll be well prepared when the end arrives.

If you’d like more detail on Al’s proclamations and predictions, check out this article from the climate website Watt’s Up With That?

2015 – Hottest Year Ever?

Last week our government announced NOAA ‘s and NASA’s findings that 2015 was the warmest year on record.  This is based on their analysis of global surface data that they have “adjusted” so many times as to be barely recognizable.  But, it fits the agenda.  Interestingly, our government also pays two groups to measure Earth’s temperatures.  Have you ever heard satellite data discussed during their “hottest this, warmest that” press conferences?  No, I didn’t think so.  The two satellite groups are GSS (Global Satellite Services) and UAH (University of Alabama-Huntsville).  The satellite global temperature surveys began in late 1978 and have closely matched each other over the years.  Why haven’t you heard about them?  This graph shows you why… Screenshot 2016-01-28 at 1.11.58 PM    Satellite data doesn’t support the agenda.

Odds and Ends

Monday, 1/24/16

Such arrogance

I saw in Saturday’s paper that the National Weather Service, in commenting on Friday’s (lack of) snow, said that the storm had “underachieved.”  I was dumbfounded!  They didn’t blame the lack of snow on a bad forecast (it was) or on the “models” (they did a pretty good job).  Rather, they blamed the lack of snow on…nature itself!  Nature doesn’t make mistakes, it always does what the physical laws dictate.  So, what happened was EXACTLY what nature intended.  The storm neither “underachieved nor “overachieved.”  It achieved exactly what it was supposed to.   When you look at the snow left behind over the eastern U.S., it is hard to say the storm “underachieved.”

Unfortunately, such arrogance runs rampant through many of our government science-oriented agencies.  From NOAA, NASA, EPA and all the way up to our scientifically gullible President the thought exists that we (mankind) have to stop nature RIGHT NOW!  If we don’t, the planet is going to kill us all.  Nonsense!!!  Who’s to say what the Earth’s average temperature should be?  Our climate always changes, has been for millions of years.  Warm spells, ice ages…it hasn’t mattered.  Life goes one, but it, too, changes.  Estimates suggest that about 97-98% of all the species that have developed on Earth are now extinct.  (Anybody ever hear of a man named Darwin?)  In more recent times, we believe Earth was warmer than now around Biblical times and again for 300-400 years centered around 1050.  Then we had the “little Ice Age” which ended in the mid 1800’s.  Since then, we’ve had an irregular, slow warming.  Over the past 100,000’s of years, what have humans done to survive?  They have adapted to the changing climate.  Or, perhaps a better word to use is (one of my favorites) ACCLIMATIZED.  They have adjusted to the changes in climate.  Now, all of a sudden, that won’t work!  We, as the human race, must stop nature in its tracks!  Our governmental gods say it can be done and have told us how.  They seem to think that we won’t notice if our economy is destroyed and our life style is set back about 100 years, or so.  Such arrogance!

We’ve already wasted trillions of dollars for projects that have given very limited results.  Solar and wind can generate power, but at a cost two to ten times higher than traditional power. (Your tax dollars are paying for that illogical economics.)  Plus, wind and solar need backup “traditional” power supplies because that have “down” times – night and calm winds.  A far, far better use of all that money would have been to rebuild/improve our nation’s infrastructure.  But, no, say our leaders, we can stop nature.  Good luck with that.

But, a happier note (maybe)

Although we humans have greatly altered and changed nature in our time on Earth, nature doesn’t really care.  It just follows the new rules and keeps on going.  The current El Nino has warmed Earth this past 6 months and will ease only slowly over the next 6-9 months.  Meteorologists who study Earth’s climate have studied and observed how climate has shorter term cycles in the weather/climate cycle that the current scare- mongering climatologists ignore.  They say the items are insignificant and are not included in any of the climate models predicting doom and gloom.

Many meteorologists (myself included) believe that plots of two of the items show a much higher correlation to reality than any climate computer model currently used.  Based on these items (ocean currents- major and sunspots- minor), we believe that Earth’s temperatures are due for a return to cooler temperatures after the current El Nino ends (late spring).  The ocean currents and low sunspot numbers, we believe, will provide a cooler Earth for the next 10 to 20 years

Just can’t let this go by…

From yesterday’s CJ…Charles Barkley on Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler…

“Other than LeBron James, he’s been the second-best player in the Eastern Conference all year.”

(As a person who made a living ad-libing, I know how easily this can happen.)



Observations from this week’s snows

Thursday, Jan.14, 2016

The two snows this week pointed out a couple of interesting items: (1) The time and temperature that snow falls is very important and (2) the difference between “snowfall” and “snow accumulation.”

First, according to airport (SDF) data, the two systems had approximately the same liquid water content, so all things being equal we should have had about the same results.  But, we certainly didn’t.  Sunday’s snow fell during rapidly falling temperatures (from above freezing into the 20’s.  The warmer roads, at first, melted the snow.  As it got colder, the roads froze into icy sheets with a thin layer  of snow on top.  Meanwhile, the snow which fell onto the grassy areas didn’t melt (because of no solar radiation at night) and accumulated up to around an inch locally. If that snow had fallen during the day, the result would have been much like what we saw Tuesday.

Tuesday’s snow arrived around daybreak, so it didn’t have the advantage of night to get a jump on accumulations.  Plus temperatures were above 32 degrees.  That snow continued most of the morning, including a strong snow shower around 11 A.M.  That snow shower, if it had occurred around, say, 6 or 7 A.M., would have created a huge mess on the roads.  But, it happened during the day and the roads just stayed wet.

Now, the snowfall vs. accumulation.  This can be confusing because when we forecast snow, we talk about the expected accumulation – how much will my ruler measure on a flat, NON grassy surface.  However, the National Weather Service reports two measurements- snowfall and snow accumulation.  As we saw this week, the two are NOT the same.

Sunday morning’s snow (at night) was right in line with expectations – the weather service reported .8″ of snowfall and 1″ on the ground.  Accumulations are rounded to the nearest inch, so a measured “on the ground” .5″ to 1.4″ would be reported as 1″, etc.

Tuesday, however, was a much different story.  The “official” snow on the ground at 7 A.M. was 1″.  Then came the snow.  It was daytime and temperatures were above 32.  The snow”fall” total reported by the NWS was 1.8″.  At 1 P.M. the officially reported accumulation on the ground was listed as 0.

Good illustration of the difference between snowfall and snow accumulation – we started with one inch on the ground, then a snowfall of 1.8″.  After it was over, we had less than a half inch of snow on the ground.

NOTE:  Situations like this allow almost everybody to proclaim a “correct” forecast.  Monday night, the NWS and many others forecast an accumulation of 1″-2″.  I wasn’t watching Tuesday evening, but based on past experiences, I’d say that a common comment went something like this…”just like we predicted, we had 1.8″ of snowfall…”  They may proclaim to be “correct”, but they were wrong!  And they are trying to convince you they were right.  So, if you are keeping score – give them two strikes instead of one.

There is a difference between snowfall and snow accumulation. although many times forecasters wish you didn’t know.


NOTE:  I don’t know why, but this post today brought to mind an old story circulating about our old “climate specialist” Al Gore.  As you probably know, back in 2007 or so, Al famously announced to the world that due to global warming,  the Arctic would be ice-free (In summer) and the polar bears would have vanished by 2013 or 2014.  Well, here we are in 2016 and the Arctic still has plenty of ice and polar bears.

The comment:  When Al Gore was born, Earth had 7000 polar bears.  Now there are only 30,000 left.





All quiet on the weather front

Wednesday afternoon

That pesky upper air ridge of high pressure is once again building strength over the Ohio Valley, so it appears we’ll be back into hot and humid weather again and Friday.  Once again, daily highs should be 90 or so with the heat index at 95-98 deg.

By Saturday, the ridge is expected to erode considerably as the upper westerlies strengthen and dig southward.  That could produce some rain as it brings in cooler, drier air.  If we are lucky, the next two days may be the last time we see 90-degrees this year.


Remember Al Gore’s famous pronouncement that Sea Ice in the Arctic summer would disappear by 2013 or 2014 (depending how you interpreted his statement)?  Well, the melt season ends in a week or two – so what’s the status of the ice?

The ice is doing very well, thank you.  The chart below shows this years ice currently is about 5.2 million square kilometers. That’s still below the long-term average, but has building for the past two years.  And, this year’s ice is also thicker than recently – more evidence that the ice should continue to increase.  By the way, the Antarctic Ice Sheet reached record HIGH levels this year.Sea_Ice_Extent_v2