This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/arctic-sea-ice-maximum-a-taxing-time/
I began these posts as a way of investigating claims that the North Pole was in a “death spiral,” and that we might soon see an ice-free Pole, which would lead to run-away Global Warming because an ice-free Arctic Sea would absorb heat rather than reflecting sunshine with white ice.
I had to investigate these claims, partly because I wanted to know if the world was really undergoing a dramatic change, but also because it had become obvious the media was completely failing to do its investigative duty. They were not making any effort to investigate what they were told, and instead merely echoed what they were told.
This disgusted me. I was brought up to be an educated voter. One way of educating myself was to read the papers. However the papers started reporting things they had been told that I knew were false. The first examples that sprang out from the pages of newspapers to catch my eye involved the subject of the Medieval Warm Period, which I happened to know an inordinate amount about, because I began studying the Vikings of Greenland before I was five years old.
(This occurred because both I and my father grew up close to a silly monument called Norumbega Tower, on the banks of the Charles River. This tower was erected because a Harvard professor, Eben Norton Horsford, (perhaps threatened by Irish Catholic immigrants), dreamed up the idea that Vikings were basically Lutherans rather than basically Pagans, and that it was important to prove Norse Protestants had discovered America, rather than the Mediterranean Catholic, Columbus.
Therefore he seized upon some honest local lore, in order to create a Harvard Humbug, (such as the Harvard Humbug Timothy Leary advanced about LSD, when he taught there.)
(I know a thing or two about Harvard Humbugs, as both my father and stepfather taught there, and they regaled me with tales of the foibles of their contemporaries. Many brilliant professors, who were experts in one particular field, held strange views about fields they were not expert in. Eben Norton Horsford invented baking soda, and generously supported the education of women, however his ideas about Vikings were largely flights of fantasy.)
I was more interested in the honest, local lore which Horseford only used as a springboard to advance his ideas about Vikings. The farmers of the area were very anti-Harvard, as Cambridge bought up the local water rights of Weston due to some political shenanigans, and when I so much as waded in a brook in Weston as a boy I was officially breaking the law by polluting the water supply of Harvard. (Not that it ever stopped me.)
After losing its water rights Weston became so anti-Harvard and anti-State-government that Commonwealth Ave is not called “Commonwealth Ave” as it passes through Weston, though it bears that name to the east in Newton and to the west in Natick. In Weston it was “South Avenue.”
Such farmers were rapidly fading from the scene as Weston became a “snob town” during my boyhood, however I was friends with the son of such a farmer, and also the daughter of such a farmer was an old lady who ran a nursery school right next door to my home. I heard a little lore, but it was impossible to do any verifying archaeological digs, as an important knob of granite with petrographs had been turned into a quarry hundreds of feet deep, and a reservoir crossed by a superhighway buried a second site, and the third site was disturbed by Eben Norton Horsford, and then turned into an amusement park which was replaced by a five star hotel, and crossed by a major railway and two interstate highways with cloverleaf ramps.
Therefore I was stuck with Yankee lore. As Eben Norton Horsford demonstrated, lore is liable to be polluted with a lot of warped and self-serving stuff, but it was all I had to go on.
From 1956 to 2003 I made a hobby of studying the possibility of Vikings in New England, and in the process had to sift through a lot of lore to find tidbits of fact. In my own way I gathered a fair amount of data about the Medieval Warm Period in Greenland and New England.
Then, in 2003, (I think), I first heard Michael Mann’s bizarre suggestion that it is warmer now than it was when the Vikings colonized Greenland. This ludicrous suggestion was accepted by the media, which quoted him as if he was “scientific,” and therefore beyond any need of investigating.)
Once I started doing the investigating that reporters should do, (if they ever want to be called “investigative reporters,”) I saw many things that were extremely upsetting to me. In essence, the entire “Global Warming” issue appeared to be an exaggeration created for reasons that cared little for the public’s desire to base their votes on truth.
Of course, there was always the chance the Climate Scientists were on to something subtle, that was not obvious to me. Therefore I decided I needed to study arctic-sea-ice more deeply. This was especially true after the summer of 2012 set records, in the post-1979 era, for the least amount of sea-ice, (though I think there was even less ice in the Medieval Warm Period.)
This series of posts is my notebook. It is the portrait of a voter’s study, as he strives to become an independent, educated voter. It includes scribbles, scrawls and doodles.
I have pretty much concluded that Climate Science is an outrageous sham and fraud, and that laws have been broken. Therefore further research may be more or less a waste of time. The people involved in the fraud already know darn well that they are involved in a humbug, and my efforts will not change them. However I’ll continue on a bit longer.
APRIL 16 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
APRIL 17 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
(These DMI maps can be clicked, to enlarged them.)
As the gale “Campreck” fades away the air associated with it seems to be chilling. A new gale, “Taxdon,” is churning southeast of Svalbard, bringing some Atlantic mildness north on its east side but pulling Arctic cold down over the North Atlantic to its west.
As you look at the temperature maps it is important to remember that the “morning map” (actually the 0000z map) has daylight at the top and night at the bottom. (The situation is reversed in the “afternoon map.” ) Noon is at the top, and sunrise to the right, and sunset to the left. Diurnal swings in temperature become apparent as you compare the morning and evening maps.
It looks like Taxdon is heading north to bother the people attempting to get work done at the North Pole.
LOCAL VIEW —A ZOMBIE SPRING—
Brrr. It is twenty degrees out. (-7 Celsius.) For crying out loud! It is past the middle of April!
I figure it is a Zombie Spring. Spring is suppose to be a season of hope and rebirth, of life being resurrected just as Christ was resurrected. However doing my taxes has made me cynical. After paying them I’ll basically be broke. I don’t own anything; I just rent it from the government.
One is suppose to have the hope, when they plant, of a harvest. However when the government takes it all, the hope shrivels. You can work hard your whole darn life and they’ll loot your savings, calling it “unearned income.” (As if they know anything about earning; all they do is steal.)
Oh well. I came into this life with nothing, and they are just helping me get used to the fact I’ll leave it with nothing.
But spring is suppose to be more hopeful. When things rise from the grave without hope in a cold, cold spring, they are zombies. Heck if I am going to put up with allowing life to be reduced to that. I’m not bowing out without a fight.
There. That’s more like it. If the dawn holds no heat, you can generate a heat all your own. APRIL 18 —MORNING DMI MAPS—
“Taxdon” has swung from Svalbard to Franz Josef Land, and is expected to curve up towards the Pole by Sunday.
“Taxdonson,” which gave us snow here a few days ago, has crashed into Greenland, and in transiting the 10,000 foot tall icecap is undergoing what I call “morfistication.” It will dance with Taxdon, doing a northern version of the Fujiwhara Effect, which will propel it further south, along the north coast of Scandinavia.
The sea-ice on the Atlantic edge must be taking a real battering from these storms. The North Pole Camera has moved 1.3 degrees south of the Pole even before taking its first picture.
LOCAL VIEW —A cold Good Friday—
Once again it is twenty at dawn. (-7 Celsius.) The chill has moved all the way south to Florida, where it is clashing with Gulf of Mexico warmth and brewing up some rains. I hope that mess stays south of us for Easter.
A SIGN OF HOW COLD THE SPRING HAS BEEN
Joe Bastardi had this satellite shot on his blog at the WeatherBELL site, and I think it truly is striking. Over on the lower-middle left side you can see Lake Erie, and there is still ice on its eastern shores on April 16. Lake Erie is the most Sothern Great Lake, and some winters it barely has any ice in the coldest days of late January. To have ice in it this late is something you may only see once in your life. (I hope.) APRIL 18 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
“Taxdon” continues to approach the Pole. The central pressure is now down around 960 mb. A warm sector seems to be pulled north over the Kara Sea, while cold air is rushing south to Svalbard and Barent Sea. All winter long there was open water north of Svalbard, however recent events have brought the ice south to the north shore of Svalbard, and even down the west coast a ways. Nor is it thin. The Navy satellite map hints it is six feet thick.
APRIL 19 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
“Taxdon” is starting to weaken over the Pole. Looks like strong high pressure building over the Atlantic. I’m curious about what’s happening in Europe.
The front pushing across the Atlantic is stalling before it can cross the British Isles. The weak low pressure over the Mediterranean is fading backwards to the west, retrograding towards the waters south of England. Blocking high pressure is again building over Europe in the upper atmosphere.
APRIL 20 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“Taxdon” continues to weaken over the Pole, as “Taxdonson” has scooted along the arctic coast north of Scandinavia to the Kara Sea.
Relatively warm west winds pour across most of Scandinavia, except the far north where some polar air nudges south. The flow is to some degree zonal, keeping the cold at the Pole and the warn to the south. Rather than winds flushing ice out through Fram Strait, converging winds push ice across Fram Stait to jam ice up against Svalbard. Taxdon and Taxdonson are pulling mild air up from Siberia, where the days are much longer than nights now. So I get curious about the temperatures in Siberia. I go to the WeatherBELL site (they have a free trial offer) and check out Dr. Ryan Maue’s wonderful maps. This is the temperature map for Asia, (temperatures in Fahrenheit). (Double click to fully enlarge.)
When you look at these maps you need to remember Asia is vast. Temperatures in the west (left side) are depressed by the fact it is the wee hours of the morning berfore dawn, while in the east( to the right) the sun’s been up a while and it is noon in the Bering Strait (just off the map). You can see that, despite the lengthening days and shrinking nights, the air is still chilly in Siberia. (The snow cover hasn’t melted completely away.) It is not yet the “source region” of warmth it will be in high summer, though it is not the source region of frigid cold it was in the depth of winter.
LOCAL VIEW —Awaiting the warmth—
It was 28 F (-2 Celsius) when I got up yesterday, but the twilight held the promise of a sunny day, and the sun has power now. It is as high as it is in late August. As I worked cleaning up the mess that has been revealed now that the snow is gone, it warmed up to 58, (14 Celsius), and my wife and I thought it might be nice to go out for icecream. However we were so busy we never managed it until sunset, and the chill came back. However we refused to be cowed, and ate the ice-cream shivering. This morning it is down to 28 again. I confess to yearning for the sun, once again. Actually that is very apropos for Easter, before dawn.
THE MEDIA MISSED REPORTING THE “WORST ATLANTIC ICE ON 25 YEARS” This warning was issued by the coast guard back on March 12, however besides a mention on Yahoo News, in the Canadian section, it was not picked up by other media outlets.
The news simply involved the above-average amounts of ice being flushed out of Baffin Bay, and also down the east coast of Greenland. Such ice forces shipping to reroute further south, and to be cautious when entering the St Lawrence Seaway.
You can see the Yahoo article from March 12 here: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/coast-guard-warns-bad-ice-atlantic-canada-ships-173704122.html
I think the signigant quote is this one: “We probably haven’t seen a winter this bad as far as ice for the past 25 years,” said Voight, referring to both the amount and thickness of the ice.
To me, this is newsworthy. It is an actual event which counters the actual predictions made by those who fear Global Warming. Rather than reporting this fact, and allowing the public to weigh the facts in the manner our Founding Fathers felt voters should weigh facts, the Mainstream Media has been focused on the IPCC reports coming from the UN, which consist of yet more alarmist prophecy concerning Global Warming.
If such prophecy is incorrect, then such IPCC “policy guidance” is the utterances of false prophets. If our media only accepts such “guidance” and only echoes it, without questioning it, then our media is failing to do its job. It is up to small bloggers to point out the things the media fails to point out.
It should be noted that, besides the IPCC report, an opposing view has been put together, consisting of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers, by a group calling itself the NIPCC. (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change)
The media is not only refusing to report about their efforts, but is actively suppressing editorials by its members. Therefore it is up to small bloggers to pass on the information that they exist: http://www.nipccreport.org/
I should also note that when above-normal amounts of ice are flushed into the Atlantic, it is ice that melts, and as it melts it cools the water to an above-normal degree. Without any actual data, and using a sort of “dead reckoning”, I would assume having cooler water just north of the Gulf Stream would cool the Gulf Stream itself, at least at its northern edge. Even though the Gulf Stream slows to a half mile an hour, in ten days (240 hours) the cooler water should be 120 miles closer to Europe, and in 100 days, (by mid June) 1200 miles closer to Europe. By later September it would be 2400 miles closer, and by early next January it would be 3600 miles closer, and in essence across the ocean and effecting the formation of sea-ice next winter.
Theoretically this, and other factors, should lead to much more ice forming in Barents Sea next winter. Or this is what my “dead reckoning” is foreseeing. I am humble enough to confess I am no prophet, and if I am wrong will publicly admit it.
However if I am right, and yet the media refuses to report the increase in ice once again, what can I say?
A media that refuses to report the Truth becomes an enemy of the Truth, and should expect to be crushed by the Truth.
Liars are always surprised by the ability of the simple to overpower their complexity, for they think being crafty is smart and being simple is stupid. However a person with an IQ of 60 who is honest is smarter than a person with an IQ of 160 who is false and devious, simply because Truth triumphs for no other reason than it is true. A dope can be smarter than a genius, in the same manner a little candle can overpower the darkness of a big cave.
Therefore stand by the Truth, and you will see the Truth stand by you.
APRIL 20 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
“Taxdon” continues to weaken over the Pole, as the flow continues roughly zonal. Temperatures are above normal, at a time of year when it is normal for temperatures to rise fairly rapidly over the Arctic Sea, in the increasing daylight.
Last year temperatures were above normal and rising rapidly until mid May, when they dipped below normal and stayed below normal until September. I think this may have been due to the fact the waters of the Arctic Sea itself were below normal at the surface, but others suggest it was due to the “quiet sun,” or perhaps merely due to a coincidental weather pattern of no particular long-tern significance.
In any case it will be interesting to compare this year’s graph to last year’s, especially from mid May onward. I personally am expecting temperatures to again be below normal.
I find it helpful to open these graphs to a new tab. Then you can click back and forth between the two graphs, comparing the rise in temperature.
APRIL 21 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“Taxdon” continues to weaken, but around the edges the flow continues strong. Entrance region is over New Siberian Islands and east Siberia, with exit region over west Siberia, east of Scandinavia. High pressure over Scandinavia.
UK MET MAP APRIL 21
Blocking high pressure is keeping the low south of Greenland from crossing the Atlantic. It will stall where it is all week. Weak features over Europe, with the flow from the east. The weakening low south of Ireland has “backed up” from Italy. The only way storms can enter the arctic is to be squeezed up along the east coast of Greenland, and they are weak. Perhaps, like Taxdon, they will develop once they are up there, but no strong gales are charging up there.
APRIL 21 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
APRIL 23 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
APRIL 22 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
Despite the fact “Taxdon” is fading away, and the zonal flow a polar low promoted is weakening, the blocking high over Europe, and a second blocking “Beaufort High” on the other side of the Pole, is isolating the Pole and allowing the cold to pool there.
Selfishly I am most iterested in the way the European blocking high is backing towards Greenland. This late in the year such highs can hook up with highs down in the south of USA, and rather than freezing my socks off I see benign breezes from the southwest.
However those in Europe should rumple their brows at the sight of these blocking highs. If this was happening in January Europe would be in an icebox. I’ve mentioned before that how one winter ends may hint at how the next winter will begin.
A QUICK CHECK OF UK MET MAPS
I’m just checking to see what a blocking pattern looks like. What a mess, to the south! The Labrador Low cannot head east to become the Icelandic Low, and in fact the ludge of stalled occlusions that extends to the Mediterranean is all retrogade, in the easterly flow south of the block. Warmth isn’t surging north to the Arctic, or even to Scandinavia, which is in a cool flow from north of Greenland. The sunshine up there must be nice, but if this was winter there would be no sun.
LOCAL VIEW —Spring Vacation…NOT—
A cold front is moving through tonight with showers, and it is hard not to flinch, expecting snow. However the maps show no snow, nor much cold. Can it be we are going to get a vacation from winter?
Local schools are now enjoying a vacation, but when you run a Childcare it means you work twice as hard. All sorts of parents aren’t teachers, and have to keep on working, and they beg you to care for their kids. We are overloaded.
I’ve tried to take groups fishing, but the water is amazingly cold, and the fish are still sluggish, and we don’t even get a bite. The buds on the branches are barely even starting to swell. Even the branches of swamp maples, which ordinarily blur into a raspberry mist as early as late March, are only hued a remote shade of purple. Spring remains retarded, despite some nice weather.
I try to note hopeful things. Our last mild spell was followed by snow, and then dawn after dawn of frost. I let the all-winter fire at my house go out during our last mild spell only to start a new one and keep it blazing, in the chill. I let it go out again last Monday, expecting to need to relight it again soon, but with the passage of this cold front I might not need to relight it again. That is hopeful. However when the fish refuse to bite, such slender hope seems a bit lame.
Easter is a hopeful holiday, as it states not even death can keep a Good Man down. However my little church seems but a fading hope in a bleak and politically correct present. The congregation of hopeful people dwindles by five people every Easter, until I have to wear more than one hat, being deacon and bell-ringer and bass in the choir. Rather than refreshed I feel exhausted, by Easter services, and that is exhaustion connected to a hope far greater than the hope of a worldly spring.
When you pay your taxes you also entertain a hope you are not deluded to think some good will come of it. Unfortunately the idiots in Washington tend to dash those hopes.
At some point hope starts to look like something other than light. It may be white, but it is like a sheet of white paper that the inky blotches of doubt can darken. Doubt then fosters the illusion that shadow is more powerful than light, as if, besides flashlights that beam light, there could be such a thing as dark-lights that beam shadows.
The closest thing to beams of shadow can be seen in those glorious vistas of sky that have beams of sunlight streaming down. Between such beams are darker areas which to some degree can be called beams-of-shadow, however they completely and utterly owe their existence to beams of light.
To assert otherwise is to to suggest there is such a thing as a candle of darkness. Such an assertion would suggest that, just as a very small candle can drive darkness to remote corners of a cave deep down underground and far from the sun, a black candle could be lit in broad daylight and drive light to the far corners of a landscape.
Such a suggestion is so against our experience and common sense that we laugh at the idea, however it is what our most foolish moods suggest, and what some absurd forms of political correctness insist.
In the face of such nonsense something within me blazes hot, as if I am eighteen and not sixty-one. It does not matter if the fish don’t bite, and the buds don’t swell, and people don’t come to the church I adore. It doesn’t matter that my hard work winds me up deeper in debt. It doesn’t matter that the tax collector is a lazy blob with wits that make a leech look wise.
I am trying to keep mum about the fire I am feeling, as in many ways it is not politically correct. However if you note changes to this blog in the coming weeks, the fire I am feeling is likely to blame.
APRIL 23 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
APRIL 23 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
Low pressure has settled from the Pole down into central Siberia, and the zonal flow has given way to a Pacific-to-Atlantic cross-polar-flow, bringing air roughly from Alaska to Finland. The blocking high pressure over Europe will slide slowly east across Greenland into Canada, until there is a trough forming over Europe, moving in from the east and bringing cold winds from the north over Scandinavia and the British Isle by next week.
The situation is quite different from the situation when troughs come from the west.
Also it is important to remember that despite the longer days Siberia and Canada have snow cover and their nights generate cold, even if the nights are shorter. When that snow fades away in May things will change.
APRIL 24 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
High pressure blocking continues over northern Atlantic. Fine weather up in Scandinavia until the block shifts west next week. Further east the low continues to roll east through Siberia. North of it cold east winds push chill back west into the Kara Sea. The cross-polar-flow will swing clockwise, becoming less Pacific-to-Atlantic and more Canada-to eastern-Siberia. No major invasions of warmth into the arctic in the near future.
LOCAL VIEW —The cold is back—
It is 35 this morning, with the wind roaring in the pines. Here the sky is cloudless, but the radar shows snow up in Maine, and also back to our west in the Great Lakes, which still have some ice. I can remember snow as late as May, but what makes this spring unusual is the persistance of the cold. Rather than the cold snaps standing out, it is the warm spells that seem unusual.
I took the smaller kids fishing again yesterday. On Monday it was the older boys and on Tuesday it was the older girls, and in both cases we didn’t even get a bite. The warm-water fish (bass and sunfish) are not even starting to stir. I’d have to seek trout and perch to find some action, and that involves more difficult fishing, when you have a crew of kids that can’t even fish in the open without amazing snarls of fishing line. However yesterday, knowing the smaller kids are even less patient, I went to the small farm pond and spent three hours untangling line and removing hooks from the branches of hemlock trees, but at least the kids caught eleven decent catfish. This gave the kids bragging rights, and a chance to be bigger than the “big” kids, but it meant I had to clean eleven fish. In some ways I’m happier when they don’t catch anything.
Being out in the cold wind as the storm blew up off the coast once again chapped my poor hands, which were just starting to recover from the long winter. However there was beauty in the wind wept sky, and in the sight of the swamp maples just starting to bud out. They are very late, and the landscape looked more like March than April, but the beauty of the silver twigs starting to mist with strawberry hues is still striking, whether it is early or late.
I have decided it probably is better for my mental health if I steer clear of Global Warming politics and just focus on what is less false and more true. I get too grumpy when I hear some idiot bureaucrat state the weather isn’t really that much colder this spring. For example…(here I go, but it the last time for a while)…
In order to make the data show it is warmer in NH than it was, temperatures have to be “adjusted.” How much? They have to be dropped over three degrees back in the 1890-1920 time frame, and over a degree and a half in the 1920-1980 time frame, while recent temperatures are dropped a half degree and sometimes even raised. Here is a graph of how much temperatures in New Hampshire are fudged:
If you fudge to that degree you can turn a raw-data temperature graph that looks like this:
And turn it into a fudged-data graph that looks like this:
I see this as the falsification of public documents. The only true warming is my temper’s temperature, which simmers up to a full boil. I really get mad when I consider the fact have to pay taxes to pay people to lie to me.
However I get tired of walking around angry all the time. Time to give those bozos a cold shoulder. For all their talk of warming, they’ll feel a big chill from the public soon, I think.
(I lifted the above graph from Steve Goddard’s site “Real Science.” It is not a good site to visit if you are trying to avoid politics, and to avoid getting angry about “adjusted” temperatures. He constantly is comparing raw data with the doctored data, and pointing out other examples of politicized and warped meteorology. http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/ )
APRIL 24 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
As the blocking high pressure migrates across northern Greenland into Canada, the cross-polar-flow is arcing from Canada to Barents Sea, and shoving ice down into waters that were amazingly ice-free all winter. This has actually ruined the opportunity to use the word “unprecedented.” For a while Barents Sea had the least ice since the satellite age began, but now we have more ice than we had in the depth of winter, and the increase of ice has hoisted the total ice above the previous minimum set in 2012:
This is a very good example of how misleading “extent” statistics can be. Someone can say, with complete honesty, “There was more ice in the spring of 2014 than the spring of 2012,” and (either accidentally or intentionally) ignore the effect of having so much of the water open during the winter.
Using my “dead reckoning” approach, I see the waters were open in the dark of winter, when there was no sunlight to absorb and heat could be lost to the stars. Now that there is sunlight to absorb, ice is moving south to reflect it (though it also should be noted it is less ice than normal, even if it is more ice than 2012).
In order to see the big picture you need to watch more than a single day.
A QUICK PEEK AT UK MET MAPS —APRIL 24—
The blocking pattern has kept the Labrador Low from moving east to become an Icelandic Low, but an occluded front did manage to kick east and nudge across the British Isles. The next storm, (dubbed “Wendy” because it made it windy here,) will likely make more progress, kicking a warm frontal “zipper” east and giving the British Isles an actual low pressure system, a bit like last winter. This is a sign the blocking high is eroding, and shifting west towards Canada.
With systems moving the “wrong way”, (east to west), the computers will have a hard time figuring out what the future holds. The retrograde systems are not all that common, and there are fewer historical examples to fall back upon. It will be fascinating to watch things unfold.
LOCAL VIEW —The answer is blowed in the wind—
After opening the Childcare, I skipped work to head down to Boston and move my son out of his dorm so he can move back in, in a week. Colleges now have this policy, to keep students from accumulating stuff, dirt, and attracting cockroaches. In many ways it is an absurd waste of energy, but I can see why they do it. It gives them a chance to scrub rooms in a way students seldom manage, and also to fumigate. Also, by briefly uprooting students like tumbleweeds in the wind, it simplifies their lives.
My life was never simpler than it was when I was a drifter sleeping in my car, and had my “stuff” down to seven cardboard boxes. Since then I’ve settled down, and after 25 years have more “stuff” than I know what to do with. I fear I’ve die like my father, leaving my kids a huge sorting and cleaning job to do. But a friend told me I shouldn’t worry: After cleaning up after kids, the kids should have a turn cleaning up after us.
When students are uprooted the richer kids throw many fine things away. I know a student (who had a place to store stuff off-campus) who made hundreds of dollars simply going through the trash left on the curb and selling it on eBay. However my youngest son isn’t so rich, so most of the stuff he moves out is stuff he moves back in, in seven days.
Although the storm moving off isn’t a very deep low pressure system, the winds were very strong, and made stronger by being funneled between Boston buildings. Anything flat acted like a sail, and I had a picture disintergrate in my hands as a powerful gust ripped the frame apart, and moving a table in another gust spun me in a circle. It was odd exercise, and actually did me good. It got my mind off Global Warming, and some other things that make me grumpy. I couldn’t even think much about how wasteful it is to move kids out only to move them back in again.
Heading down from these hills to the world of the “flatlander” is to enter a different climate zone, where people can plant vegetable gardens a month earlier, however spring is retarded down there as well. Only descending the final hill on Route Two through Belmont did I see trees hazed by green on the southeast-facing slope, and also the lovely, pink haze of flowering plums, however in the Fresh Pond marshes below that the branches were still barren. I suppose the cold pools down there. In the city itself the only magnolia busting out were on the south-facing sides of buildings. Even the hot-blooded students wore long-sleeved coats in the blustering wind.
Rather than making me grumpy and reminding me of the sham of Global Warming, I felt invigorated by the unexpected strangeness of a late spring. It is something new, and newness is what Spring is all about.
APRIL 25 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
SNOW IN BOSTON THIS WEEKEND?
I don’t like the look of this snowfall map, which I looted from Joe Bastardi’s site at WeatherBELL. I live back towards the bulls-eye, where the GFS model is seeing six inches of snow on Sunday. That sure would make a mess of Monday.
APRIL 25 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
LOCAL VIEW —Sun before storm—
The map shows “Wendy” departing on the right margin, as a storm I’ll call “Damper”, (as it will put a damper on spring spirits), moves in from the west. Between the two we eked out a decent day, with a cold start just above freezing, but dying winds allowing the high sun to warm us nearly to sixty, (16 Celsius).
I knew I’d be hit by a chorus of “kin we go fishin’?” as soon as the children started arriving at the farm, and I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Driving in Boston yesterday gave me a stiff neck and headache today.
Usually the traffic isn’t bad between the morning and evening rush-hour, but yesterday was ridiculous. The road crews were out filling the potholes the bad winter left everywhere, but in the wild wind they weren’t working very hard. I can’t blame them: The wind kicked up dust and even blasting sand, and for every man I saw working I saw four big pieces of heavy equipment sitting about idle. Also Massachusetts law insists a police car sit by every crew, with its blue light flashing and the officer taking a nap in the front seat with the engine running and the heater blasting. As I crawled by these sites in the bumper to bumper traffic I estimated it costs roughly $87,696.52 to fill each pothole, in Massachusetts.
Because it was school vacation there was another traffic jam at the entrance to every shopping mall, even the little ones. Half the rush was teachers trying to catch up on their shopping, and half was harassed parents dealing with kids the teachers weren’t watching. In the shops over-worked clerks cursed the kids running everywhere while wondering what their own kids were doing. In my humble opinion this is just another example of how schoolmarms, and their all-powerful teacher’s union, utterly screw up society.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against schoolmarms. Some of my best friends are schoolmarms. Just because they did everything possible to destroy my soul, when I was a small boy, is no reason not to feel compassion for their pathetic plight. I just would rather be dead, than ever be one myself.
Therefore I took a deep breath, gobbled some aspirin, and became a grouchy old farmer, as the kids burst into the Childcare with the demanding question, “Kin we go fishin’?” (Some may think a grouchy old farmer is similar to a schoolmarm, but in fact they are exact opposites.) (For example the former loves, and the latter loathes, dirt.)
Right off the bat I informed the kids that there would be no fishing until the chores were done, which is an ancient law of farming. Today the chore was to plant a row of potatoes. This involves tying binder twine together into a long cord, stretching it out between two sticks to mark the row, digging a trench with a hoe, dropping potatoes at the bottom of the trench, and covering them with dirt. (As they grow you keep hoeing dirt over them until the trench becomes a “hill.”)
Sources of annoyance are kids using the binder twine to whip each other and the resultant tears, kids using binder twine as a jump rope and trampling the chives, and kids wanting to watch but never to lift a finger to help.
It is easy to trick them into helping, I have learned. I simply say they job is difficult and they couldn’t possibly do it. Works like a charm, but it is a bit frustrating because I like my trench straight, which is why I mark the row with the the stretched-out cord. The trench is nice and straight where I dig it, and looks like the work of a drunk where the kids lend a hand. This used to bother me, but now I’m thankful and not so fussy. The potatoes don’t seem to mind.
We put in twenty feet of pink Potamics, for my wife’s summer potato salad, and sixty feet of Green Mountains, for baking in campfire ashes. The Kennebecks and Kahtadins can wait. I can only take so much. However the children were satisfactorily filthy, and also smelled strongly of worms, because worms are more interesting than potatoes, and we needed them for fishing.
We went to the farm pond, where the catfish were biting on Wednesday, but yesterdays cold wind, and perhaps the bright sun, had them hiding down deep and they refused to bite. We didn’t even get a nibble. How then, you will likely ask, did we use up all the worms? It happens, when children cast, and the hook only occasionally lands in the water. By the time a hook is disentangled from a nearby pine, the worm is often missing from the hook.
I’ve gotten very good at untangling snarls most would call hopeless, and also in preforming a sort of triage where I scan the snarl, and decide whether it is worth saving the line, or whether I should just cut the line and start over. We go through an amazing amount of fishing line. I keep a sharp eye out for potential danger, and we go through amazingly few band-aids.
Not only do children want snarls untangled, but they want hooks baited, lines cast, and fish taken off hooks, if we catch any. They are a chorus of demanding voices that want attention RIGHT NOW. I’ve learned to keep my temper, though it took practice. I almost never get to fish myself. However it does have its rewards, especially when a child catches their first fish.
On Wednesday I got to watch a quiet, four-year-old intellectual figure out how to cast a rod. (He looks a lot like Alfred Hitchcock in a good mood.) After I showed him how to cast he raised a palm as if saying, “I’ll take it from here.” His first cast went straight backwards into the depths of a blueberry bush. That used to annoy me and I’d re-explain the necessary technique, but now I tend to watch from a safe distance and only help when asked. This little fellow did state he needed help extracting the hook from the blueberry bush, and then from a hemlock bough twenty feet straight up, and then from several other types of shrubbery, but he never whined and despaired like other kids. Instead he would look puzzled, and then smile at me, and I’d say something encouraging, such as, “Much better that time! Much closer to the pond!”
I was busy with another child’s tangle when I heard him exclaim in triumph, and looked up to see him pointing out into the pond. Rather than the bobber floating three feet from shore, which is usually the case with a first success, he had somehow managed to cast it to the center of the pond. Even as I noted his impressive achievement, there was a swirl and the bobber jerked down. Then I got to watch the quiet intellectual whooping and laughing as he reeled the catfish in.
Fathers don’t know what they are missing, when they work too hard.
Just as we were quitting for lunch, and were reeling the lines in, a young girl caught a small bass, today. It made her day, though she did find the fish “icky.” It reassured me as well, as I feared the winter had killed the bass in that pond, as they like warm water and that pond had three feet of ice at the worst of winter, and I found a large bass floating dead when the ice melted.
After an outdoor “talent show” the staff had organized-the-kids-into-doing, (I’d never attempt it), and lunch and “quiet time”, (I need a nap more than the kids do), I had a “Friday Fish Fry.” We cooked up all the catfish we caught on Wednesday, and the little bass, and also some “chips” made of bulky parsnips sliced thin. (Parsnips are bitter in the fall, but much sweeter after they have “wintered-over”. I’ve read their starch actually changes to sugar.) On their own the kids decided to try frying chives, and pronounced them “better than onion rings.”
Parents are often amazed that their children, who are fussy and picky eaters at home, wolf down such odd stuff at my farm. Once again, I just employ reverse psychology. Just as they dig ditches when I say they can’t do the job, they eat stuff when I say it is too grown-up for them. I figure that, if modern youth is going to be outrageously disrespectful of elders, I might as well take advantage of it.
And that was it. Parents were starting to show up, to find their children filthy, greasy, and smelling of onions, catfish and worms. They had spent most of their day out of doors. They were ready for a bath and early bedtime.
So was I.
APRIL 26 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
APRIL 27 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
The blocking high pressure is fading west, allowing “bowling balls” of cold low pressure to roll east beneath the block, without greatly changing the cross-polar-flow from Canada to Scandinavia. This flow is likely to continue, even as an upper-air-low shifts west from Siberia and flattens over Scandinavia.
This east-to-west retrograde pattern is difficult for computer models to handle, and models should be trusted even less than they ordinarily are trusted.
West of Iceland the North Atlantic is surprisingly warmer than normal, but back towards North America it is significantly colder than normal. This is “upstream” in terms of the Gulf Stream, and may effect the warmth of Europe later in the year.
After being open all winter Barents Sea continues to be exposed to north winds that pushes ice south, and chills its waters and northern Scandinavia.
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET MAP
A very occluded “bowling ball” of low pressure has managed to toll east under the blocking high to the British Isles. It will continue as a trough moving over Italy as, to the north, an opposite east-to-west flow will bring a trough of low pressure from Siberia west over Scandinavia. The blocking high pressure will get squeezed west to Greenland, but the flow will continue to bring cold air and sea-ice southpast Svalbard towards northernmost Scandinavia. The changing pattern shows up best in the 500 mb upper-air maps. (Produced by Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL; [free trial offer available])
LOCAL VIEW —Dreary, dismal, dark and dankness defined—
If you scroll up about five maps, you’ll see the sea-surface-temperature anomaly map shows above-normal water off Cape Cod right next to below-normal water off Nova Scotia. This is likely to brew up coastal storms, such as the one tormenting us now. The radar shows the snow up in northern Maine, but not the chilly drizzle falling down here.
It is not weather conducive to spring frolicking. One walks hunched, with a neck shrunken down into their collar. It was 39 yesterday morning and today it is 38, (+3 Celsius). It is in my mind the definition of “dank.”
“Dank” is one of those odd words that shifts its meaning as it passes through time, moving from noun to verb and back repetitively. Likely it has ancient roots, having to do with immersing in liquid and taking on the quality of that liquid. When you dye cloth, it takes on the dye’s “tinge,” which is a word that has the same dim roots. “Duck” is another word with the same roots, which becomes a noun when it is the quacking bird, but a verb when you are punished in a “ducking stool.”
The word “dunk” never appeared until the late 1800’s, (though those who practiced triple baptisms were called “dunkers” in the late 1700’s,) and it has moved from describing dipping a doughnut into coffee, to slamming a basketball through a hoop, and on to meaning “a sure-thing” and “a point that cannot be debated,” when it is preceded by the word “slam.”
“Dank” traveled north to Scandinavia, where it was used to describe a pool or water hole, and then became a verb which meant to moisten, to make something wet, as in ” to dank your hair before combing it.” It then moved down into northern England with the Vikings and popped into the English language in the late 1300’s, and then became a noun again, describing the state of a thing after moistening, as in “his hair was dank.” Considering that is what a cold mist does to your hair, it moved on to describe the mist.
“Dank” may be fading out of usage, replaced by the word “damp,” however in my opinion “damp” can happen when weather is hot and humid. “Dank” is specially reserved for the north.
And that is what I do when the weather is dank: Stay by the fire as much as possible, and think about the derivation of words.
YIPPIE! NORTH POLE CAMERAS UP AND RUNNING
RUSSIAN EXPEDITION TO STOP FOR YEAR IN BARROW?
The (translated) April 19 comment states, ” We Barrow expedition interrupt because behind schedule and a very uneasy state of the ice in the strait. ” and includes this satellite picture of Bering Strait and the fractured ice to the north of it: : (Click to enlarge)
I will miss their pictures and the comments in their diary, which I recommend visiting at: http://www.yemelya.ru/diary2014.php?lnk=2014
Here’s a picture from April of them passing an arctic oil rig that is empty until the weather warms. It looks like a scene out of Star Trek.
Although the Google “translator feature” tends to butcher their wit and humor, you can get a rough idea of what they notice and experience. They had to do a lot of hard repair work as certain steel parts of their vehicles did not withstand the minus thirty temperatures as well as they hoped. However they joke about how they care more for food than awe-inspiring northern lights, and find time to remark about the peaceful border between USA and Canada, which we take too much for granted: “Border post good, worth it to shore on one side written Canada, on the other – United States. Neither gunners on a motorcycle, no barbed wire under tension, somehow it’s not serious. Instead of guns on both sides national parks.“
LARSEN AND WATERS TRUDGE ON TOWARDS POLE
Just imagine getting up for 44 days, and all you have to do the entire day is cross ice. I imagine it would get old after eight hours, and I’d be hankering for some distraction, some TV or restaurant or nightclub, after that. I might settle into a sailor frame of mind, but after a week I’d be yearning for shore. 44 days? Yikes!
At least these fellows do have modern computerized gadgets and can, in a sense, “watch TV” in the bright nighttime, and listen to music with earphones as they trudge, but I myself prefer looking at ice as an interlude to my busy routine. These two make a non-stop diet of it.
It has been interesting to read their comments about the ice they have passed through. There is more of a jumble of ice, which they call “crazy ice,” and fewer long and solitary pressure ridges. Though they are of the opinion the Arctic ice cap is melting away, and they are perhaps among the last to travel across such ice, they seem to be in some sense ignoring the evidence seen by their own eyes, which is that the ice is thicker north of Canada than it was the other two times they adventured up there.
Here is one of many pictures you can view from their sites, showing the sort of block of ice this winter piled up.
This ice is drifting to the east at this point, though the Beaufort Gyre usually drifts it west. There are few leads, however once you get over towards Europe and Asia the leads have been more of a problem for adventurers.
You can follow the doings of this duo at their websites: http://www.ryanwaters.net/ and http://ericlarsenexplore.com/
EXPEDITION HOPE “Stop the final meltdown”
Forgive me if I roll my eyes a bit at this site: http://en.expedition-hope.org/blog/
For one thing, if you visit their site you’ll notice the map they use shows the arctic largely ice-free, with their route on the remaining ice.Perhaps it is a map of September 2012, which was the record minimum, but it is by no means a map of the current ice extent, which covers the arctic from shore to shore:You will also notice they have steadily drifted east of their intended route, until now they will have to hike an extra twenty days to arrive at their destination. I’m not sure, but I think they are just going to hitch a ride on an airplane, when it arrives to resupply them, to get back to their intended route. (I wonder what the pilot will say about carrying that extra weight.) Here’s a picture of the guy and gal scouting for some flat ice a plane can land on:Apparently they set up the camera to take pictures of themselves, as there is no third person. (CORRECTION. My mistake. A second guy took the picture. they are a party of three.) In any case, it sure beats working a real job. And I am not going to complain (unless the images are photo-shopped), because I get pictures of the sea-ice and then can use my lying eyes to judge things for myself.
I wonder if any of these young adventurers actually think Global Warming is hornswoggle, but play along for the chance to do some really cool hiking.
This couple’s website is at: http://en.expedition-hope.org/blog/
APRIL 27 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
It looks like the cross-polar-flow may be starting to split, with some of the flow curving from Canada over the Pole and down the east coast of Greenland, and the rest directly crossing to central Siberia. I think that low, remnants of “Taxdonson,” over eastern Siberia will weaken, as a new low develops over Scandinavia, in which case the flow down into the Atlantic will persist as the flow into central Siberia fades. We shall see.
I’ll be carefully watching the ice north of Greenland. It seems to have halted its west to east flow for the moment, but not until a lot of thick ice was delivered into Fram Strait and flushed south towards the Atlantic. Though this reduces the density of the ice northeast of Greenland, it chills the Atlantic and, I somewhat daringly predict, will allow the ice in Barents Sea to grow very quickly next autumn, (unless some dramatic summer pattern intervenes). Stay Tuned!!!
APRIL 28 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
O-BUOY 9 IS TRANSMITTING PICTURES
As the summer proceeds and more cameras come on line, the O-buoy site is a great place to get views of wide-ranging parts of the Pole: http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy9/camera
NORTH POLE CAMERA —THE WIDE ANGLE LENS—
Here are a couple beautiful pictures from North pole Camera 2, taken at around six AM and noon. During that time the sun has moved through ninety degrees of sky. In other words, the camera is not seeing with human eyes, but rather more like a rabbit sees, with its eyes towards the side of its head. In all this wide angle covers roughly 180 degrees. Theoretically, if your eyes worked this well, you could look south and see both the full moon rising in the east and the sun setting in the west. In actual fact, when we look south, the east and west exist in the dim reality of our peripheral vision. Therefore, when you look at these pictures, it is important to remember what you are in fact scanning.
These pictures are much more impressive if you click them to enlarge them. If you open them in a separate tab it becomes possible to click back and forth between the two pictures and notice any changes in the ice.
Not much melting usually occurs until temperatures get above freezing, usually around mid June. In fact it can be boring to check out these views, if you are thirsting for something other than serenity. There is the slight chance the ice will crack and a lead of open water will appear, or the ice will buckle and a pressure ridge will rise as a jumble of broken blogs, but for the most part things stay pretty quiet until slush starts to appear in June.
(Don’t tell anyone, but I sort of like the quiet.)
APRIL 28 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—
Selfishly I am noticing that strong high pressure on the left, on the east coast of Hudson Bay. Is is sucking the cold air north from Canada and depositing it back over the Pole, where it belongs, (as far as I am concerned.) The less cold air over Hudson Bay, the greater the chance we may finally get some spring warmth, off these maps and south of there.
The Asian side of the Pole is much warmer, but likely more cloudy, with all the low pressure over on that side. The low over central Siberia is stronger than I expected, while the low over Norway is weaker than I expected. The cross-polar-flow looks like it is trying to swing back to a Pacific-to-Atlantic flow, but in any case the Atlantic isn’t able to invade the Arctic, in the short term.
LOCAL VIEW —A merciful Monday—
“Damper” did put a damper on our weekend, but moved out to the east beneath that massive high up north east of Hudson Bay, and between the two a flow from the east pumped a barrier of maritime air over New England, segregating us from the tropical surge causing tornadoes in the center of the USA. (I’ll call that low to our west “Torn,” for the tornadoes.)
You can see the high north of us effectively blocking moisture, and the moisture is heading from the Gulf of Mexico right up through Canada towards the arctic. The rain to our southwest is being squeezed southeast out to sea down in Virgina, while a little drizzle that doesn’t show on the radar is moving down through Maine behind Damper, but hasn’t made it here.
It was 37 again at dawn, but the sky was blue, and the rising sun is as high as it is in mid-August. The refidgerated daffodils smiled in the back garden. They last a lot longer when the weather is cold.
I can recall springs that came with heat waves, where the daffodils came and wilted so swiftly I hardly seemed to see them.
That may be good for the plant, which wants to get on with the business flowers only begin, but it isn’t so good for the gardener. In some ways this spring is better, because everything is blooming in slow motion. It is much easier to stop and sniff the roses if they aren’t in a big hurry to wilt.
The forsythia began to show yellow buds five days ago, and they are only half open today.
As this post is getting long and unwieldy, I’ll start a new one at: