In jackstraw-sunbeams stray, bright flakes sail As the chilling winds wail through the wires. I chisel at walkways, cast salt from a pail, And throw extra oak on all the fires. Winter drudges on. Half the woodpile's gone Like an hourglass running out of sand, And though the days lengthen, it seems each dawn Breaks colder, and that hope's fires I fanned Went out. Sap's stopped running into buckets By maples, and I tire of the many Sounds of snow, hardly heard as a truck gets Angry at ice. Some snow makes barely any Sound at all. It starts silently falling And men make the whining with all their stalling.
Monthly Archives: February 2023
I thought that if we saw brown outs this winter they would be the sort that afflict an over-stressed electrical grid, due to Fraudulent Biden’s weird war against the middle class and fossil fuels. Instead it was a far more pleasant brown out, brought on by the melting of nearly all white snow. The benign pattern (unless you operate a ski resort) had storms passing to our west, swinging warm fronts past us and placing us in a warm southwest flow. When secondaries formed on the cold front or as “skippers” on warm fronts they never bombed out until safely out to sea.
In the map above the high pressure to the right is what I call the Bermuda High (though modern sorts seem to now call it the Southeast Ridge) and it is separated from the Azores High by a mid-Atlantic trough which has seemingly stolen all our thunder so far this winter, sucking in the biggest storms and coldest air. Our arctic air tends to be in that lobe of the Bermuda High extending north of the warm front, and has a hard time coming west as a back door cold front. However the above map has an actual arctic high coming via Calgary and the Alberta Clipper route, which suggests the brown out may not be forever and we had best enjoy it.
Lydia, my last surviving goat, decided she could leave her hay-pile and heat lamp in the shed and check out the garden, for some dried corn stalks, which she for some reason relished.
Goats like to be part of a herd, and Lydia doesn’t like being the last goat, and seeks a new herd when possible at out Childcare.
We definitely had rebounded from our cold shot, and hats and mittens were discarded all over the hillside, but a glance at the long range forecast warned another shot was in the works.
The high temperature of 39 on Tuesday was for early in the day, and the forecast snow was for late in the day, so everyone planned accordingly. Personally I planned to use the last of the brown out to load the porch and woodboxes, without annoying my wife by tracking snow all over the place. But, the best laid plans of mice and men…
And just like that the brown out was over. The question was, would this inch of fluff be swiftly melted by a resurgence of southwest winds?
Judging from the long range forecast above, a brief resurgence might have been expected Wednesday, but cold seemed to be pressing. The Bermuda High, suppressed to Florida in the map below, is in a fight with high pressure either side of Hudson Bay which, rather than being blithely pushed east, is starting to dig in its heels and do some pushing, showing signs of turning into a “blocking high pressure” which prevents lows (such as the one over the Great Lakes in the map below) from cruising north, but rather squishes them southeast, often as secondary “skipper” developments along the coast (as is the case in the map below.)
What happened was that low over the Great Lakes dissipated to a blip that barely gave us a flurry, as the coastal feature rocketed east to become a mid Atlantic Storm, which is what has happened over and over this winter, but the front it left behind was very different. It was a long warm front to the next storm, moving out of the Rocky Mountains. Formerly the Bermuda High would have whipped that front north, but now there was formidable Canadian High Pressure to the north, and even a weak cold front pressing south over New England. Battle lines were being drawn.
Yesterday provided just enough of a window to stack wood with a minimum of mess to my wife’s floors, but the blue sky grayed and by evening a silent snow was falling. By this morning I had three and a half inches of snow and sleet to shovel, and Lydia goat was nowhere to be seen. Smarter than I, she was basking under her heat lamp.
The brown out was now definitely over.
ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Accordian Ice–
The sea-ice has been cruelly toying with the sensitive feelings of Alarmists, by having the “extent” graph adopt a saw-tooth pattern as we head towards the yearly maximum “extent”.
Now, you need to understand that each down-turning saw-tooth fills Alarmists with hope, for there is a chance that the maximum extent will be at a record low, which means, among other things, that the world is going to end, which is a good thing because it means you don’t need to worry about getting a Real Job and supporting yourself. Or, if you already don’t have a Real Job because you are a Climate Scientist of the unethical sort, that maybe you can glean some extra funding from politicians. But then, when the saw-tooths jump back upwards, you are plunged into gloom.
The gloom is because yet again the sea-ice “extent” looks like it won’t set any records. It will be low, as it tends to be when the AMO is in its “warm” phase, but it is refusing to plunge downwards in a “death spiral.” In fact you hardly hear that phrase used anymore, “Death Spiral”. Seems a bit odd, as it was on everyone’s lips a decade ago. How quickly they forget. Or, nowadays, bleach their computer records.
However the saw-teeth are interesting because they show how the passage of some Atlantic Storms, far to the north of their more ordinary paths, make an accordian out of the sea-ice, first compressing it, and then stretching it out.
This does reveal a weakness of the “extent” graphs and maps. To whit: The same amount of ice can have a differing “extent”. An area is deemed 100% covered regardless of whether the the ice is densely packed or thinly scattered, until sea-ice is less than 15% of the viewed water.
In other words, the condensed sea-ice may be the same amount as the the spread-out sea-ice, like the difference between a pat of butter, and that same pat spread out over toast. It will make a big difference in terms of “extent”, but in terms of “amount” there is no difference.
Over the years I’ve learned to keep such awareness in the back of my mind, as I watch the sea-ice do it’s thing. After being fooled one develops a sort of caution, and understands things my not be as they seem. A large “extent” may be largely illusion, if it is mostly water and only 15% sea-ice, while a smaller “extent” may endure, if it is 100% ice. One seeks out ways to gauge sea-ice beyond “extent” graphs.
The “volume” graphs are interesting and helpful, but, because they are models, they contain some assumptions which can result in embarrassments.
The “thickness” maps are best, though they tend to “average” thickness, so a single thick berg next to open water looks like an area of thin ice. When possible satellite pictures help verify what is actually there. But clouds get in the way.
If I get the time (unlikely) I’d love to paste pictures to illustrate what the above paragraphs describe, but for the moment I’ll just describe a couple interesting things I’ve noticed this winter.
First, the weather patterns the first half of winter have allowed an extra export of sea-ice, not only through Fram Strait on the east side of Greenland, but through Nares Strait on the west side, down through Baffin Bay. Along with the sea-ice there will be the contributions from glaciers.
This will be interesting to watch. Arctic winds do not chill the southern waters much, because for each molecule of cold wind there are thousands of molecules of warm water. However sea-ice and icebergs are different; they bring thousands of cold molecules. When the ice hits the Gulf Stream, what will happen?
This is interesting because cold currents tend to sink below warm waters, but ice cannot sink. Also fresh water has a hard time sinking in salty water, and “freshwater lenses” may accompany the sea-ice south. Can this change the Atlantic’s sea-surface temperatures to a degree where it chills Europe? (Cue ominous music.)
Another thing interesting to watch is the situation in the East Siberian Sea. Some multi-year sea-ice got swung over there, and there has been some extreme cold, and the result is that the sea-ice there is thick, and has been immobile. To be immobile is actually unusual in an ocean as active as the Arctic Sea, and even gets a special name, “Fast Ice.” And for a month the East Siberian Sea has been behaving like it is not part of the rest of the grinding, rushing, swirling ice, but is frozen solid. Not that this will last, but it is worthy of a “Hmm…”
I hope to comment further as we reach the yearly “maximum extent”. Until then…
THE COLD SHOT IS SHOT
We have been spared the more brutal side of winter (so far) but there have been a couple of cold shots, brief reminders we’re not off the hook. They are like a left jab in a fist fight, quick and then gone, but you notice you are a bit dizzy.
The cold air really has had to work to reach us, as the pattern wants to divert it all out to sea. A couple of maps will demonstrate how the cold air had to back track from Baffin Bay, rather than taking the normal route down the east slopes of the Canadian Rockies from Alaska. Then cold swiftly is sloughed off to the east, and we are back into a more benign southwest flow.
The first map shows a bombing-out low in the upper right corner, in Baffin bay, delivering much of the arctic air associated with it into the Atlantic east of Labrador, but a little is leeching west into the northern lobe of a mostly moderated high (“polar” rather than “arctic”) which is following a mild storm crossing New England. Because New England is in the warm sector, and because the following high pressure is not particularly cold, the weather bureau had to be on its toes to alert people to the sneaky cold coming around the top. They did a good job, but people still got caught off guard. Sneaky cold is called “sneaky” for a reason.
My own experience was perhaps typical. At 2:30 we were still enjoying near-record warmth at 55 degrees, (12.8 Celsius), and I was enjoying walking around fifteen pounds lighter because I wasn’t wearing my heavy coat and snow pants and bulky boots. I didn’t want to bother with that stuff if I didn’t have to, and thought I might get away with it. What could go wrong? I had only two and a half hours before the last child would be picked up, and then I’d be free for the weekend.
Yes indeed, as I thought that, there was, if not an ominous drum-roll, an actual, distant roll of thunder to the north. The clash between cold and warm was creating midwinter thunder, which is always a delight to me, but not a very good sign if you expect balmy weather to continue.
I mentioned to a teen-aged intern working with me that we might want to get rain-gear and warmer clothes, and she scoffed, and I said I’d be right back. I’d left most of my winter garb at home, but did locate an enormous mad-bomber rabbit-fur hat, and a couple of huge mittens, and walked back out looking like a slender lollypop with big hands. At age 70 I don’t care what I look like as much as I care about staying warm. However the teen-aged intern did care about looks, even though the wind was starting to whip cold showers and the temperature began dropping like a rock. My head and hands stayed toasty, but the rest of me quickly got drenched and cold.
Soon sleet began mixing with the rain, but also sunbeams. A big, high rainbow arched across the purpled sky. The wind gusted so strongly it even lifted the soddened leaves, which had been flattened by snow but exposed by the thaw. Most of the kids delighted in the crazy weather, staying warm by racing about in some sort of fantasy brawl involving sticks that were lasers, and fleeing many pursuing invisible aliens. However one little toddler felt the sucky weather sucked, and wanted to be picked up and held.
Both the intern and myself could commiserate with the toddler, because we had shared her sickness, due to a thoughtless mother who had dumped the little child off when the child should have stayed home, early in the week. We had comforted the child then, both had caught the child’s cold, and then the intern stayed home a couple days as I worked at less than a hundred percent, and now we were comforting the child for the final forty minutes before her mother came to pick her up, as the wind whipped and sleet pelted and wet leaves swirled.
I gallantly unzipped my wet coat to wrap the toddler, (but actually confess it warmed me as well), and attempted to distract the child from the misery we were midst. The rainbow worked. For around three minutes. Then I sent the child in with the drenched intern to help another intern do the end-of-week cleaning indoors.
Then I turned my attention to the other children, who were not bothered a bit by the abysmal weather. As they raced about I kept myself moving. The cold isn’t so bad if you keep moving. I picked up sticks the wind had blown from trees and put them by the place we have campfires, and picked up the gloves and hats kids were leaving strewn about. As their parents pulled into the parking lot I alerted the kids it was time to go, and handed them their hats and gloves. They all looked radiant. I felt ashen gray. Sometimes the last ten minutes of a Friday is the longest. I was shuddering, and wet to the skin.
But then the final parent came, and hip-hip-hooray, I was done! I headed home and skipped my usual Friday beer, opting for a half-shot of brandy. Then I loaded both fires, and even turned up the propane heat, but I couldn’t stop shuddering. It was 28 degrees outside, (-2 Celsius) which meant it had dropped 27 degrees in three or four hours, but it was 72 inside, so why was I still shuddering? Hmmm…
When I was young my mother, a trained and “registered” nurse, had a dread of something called a “relapse”. To my great annoyance, she would make me stay in bed a full day after my temperature returned normal after a sickness, to avoid a “relapse.”
Apparently relapses were something nurses had learned about during the Spanish ‘Flu. If you hopped out of bed too fast, you could wind up back in bed for an extended stay. Or die. I found the concept somewhat mysterious. Relapses only seemed to be a danger when I felt fine and could hear my friends playing outside. On Monday mornings, when I felt awful and did not want to go to school, there was never any danger of a relapse and I got booted from bed.
However now it seemed I was experiencing a genuine relapse. I had babied myself through some ailment all week, and was on the road to recovery, but then had stood out in arctic blasts looking like a lollypop with large hands. My mother was likely rolling in her grave, if she was watching, but hopefully heaven doesn’t look backwards.
I knew I must be feverish when I had absolutely no desire for beer, and just desired bed. Basically I slept like a rock Friday night, snoozed all Saturday, shivering, (except for spells after taking a couple aspirin when I felt wonderful waves of warmth). I only arose to tend fires and use the bathroom and ingest chicken soup. (My wife later informed me the teen-aged intern spent her Saturday the same way, which made me feel a bit less like a frail, old fossil.)
Despite sleeping Friday night, and most of Saturday, I slept right through Saturday night, and now am bounding back, revived. Can’t remember when I last slept so much. And now I look at the weather maps to see what I’ve missed.
The north winds that gave us our cold shot (with temperatures to 17 [-8 Celsius] Saturday morning) are now relegated to the upper right corner of the map, up in Baffin Bay, and again are pumping the cold air down into the Atlantic to our east. And again we are in the benign southwest flow, and could again see temperatures in the fifties tomorrow.
And that’s pretty much the news from here, except for a bit of thinking I did while feverish. I likely should quit here and make this like a Lake Wobegone post where “all the children are above normal”. In fact I’ll make a break below, so readers can bail if they wish to avoid an old man’s cantankerous rambling.
My feverish thinking involved all that cold air that has been missing us, and chilling the Atlantic. I’ve noticed the water isn’t as chilled by those winds nearly as much as I expected. Not only here, but on the far side of the Pacific, civilized areas have been spared the wrath of winter as blasts of cold air have been diverted out to sea. Yet the seas show little sign of being cooled by months of blasts, except at the very edges, where the sea-ice extends outwards a bit more than usual.
You can see the extended sea-ice in Baffin Bay, or in the Sea of Okhotsk on the Pacific Side, but only spots of blue east of Japan or south of Greenland. The air doesn’t really effect the water. However the water hugely effects the air.
Joseph D’Aleo wonderfully described the amazing and explosive power warm water has when cold air moves over it in a paper he wrote. I urge the scientifically inclined to seek it out, but I’ll just nab a couple illustrations from the paper which demonstrate the power the ocean has to generate super-storms. The first illustration shows cold air like a lid on a hot ocean.
The second shows when the lid is blown off and so-called “bombogenisis” occurs.
As I lay in bed thinking it seemed, to my feverish common sense, that water should have more power than air, because air is dispersed molecules bouncing about far apart, while water is densely packed molecules close together. In terms of molecules, air is hugely outnumbered by water. When cold air tries to chill water, you have a lone cold molecule taking on ten-thousand warm molecules. But when that same warm water tries to warm cold air you have ten-thousand taking on one. Who do you suppose will win such a battle?
The water will win, unless the water is chilled to a point where it is water no more. Once sea-ice forms, the air is no longer utterly changed by the ocean. But away from sea-ice air is utterly changed. It is not only warmed, but is supercharged with the most potent of greenhouse gases, namely water vapor. In the above illustration the air is not merely warmed, but also moistened.
Though my locale has been spared this winter, I have studied what I call “fisherman maps” of the Atlantic and Pacific, watching the amazing storms few care about because they seldom effect us. Each of these storms demonstrate water having a huge effect on air, as air, to be honest, has a minuscule effect on water. While it may be true winds whip up water, it was the water’s warmth and moisture that made those winds in the first place. Water wins, in terms of power.
Such super-storms are not rare. It is actually rare to have a pacific “fisherman map” as storm-free as today’s…
…which has no storms and only two gales. But note it has three “developing storms” and two “developing gales”. Winter brews storms by sending cold air over warm water, but the power is not in the cold air but in the warmer water.
Lastly, the power sent aloft by super-storms is not merely some sort of insipid water vapor, as if water vapor was an “inert” greenhouse gas. Water vapor also holds energy, though it is “latent energy”. It is not heat-energy measured by a thermometer, nor wind-energy measured by an anemometer. Rather it is latent, and lurking, and able to perplex and confuse all who downplay water vapor, in favor of any gas which holds no latent energy. Such as?
Such as CO2, which makes up a small part of our air. Only one in 2500 molecules in our air is CO2, and all the changes to levels of CO2 people fret about do not change that “one” to “two”. (320 ppm to 420 ppm may change “one” to “one point three”, but it remains a tiny fraction of 2500).
As I lay in my sickbed I wondered who could believe one molecule in 2500 could warm an ocean when an entire arctic blast could not chill it. Instead the ocean warmed the arctic blast, and turned its bone-dry air into a super-storm drenched with moisture.
If air is so slow to change the temperature of water, and water is so quick to change the air, why would we look to one 2500th of the air as a reason the water has warmed?
The oceans have warmed for the past sixty years, which should lead to an out-gassing of CO2, because warmer waters are less able to hold dissolved CO2. Even so, that out-gassing is a minuscule amount among greater gases that also have a minuscule effect, as air is outnumbered, in terms of molecules, compared to water. Also, if oceans are warmer, they must also be “out-gassing” more water vapor, which happens to cancel out much of CO2’s “greenhouse effect”. Yet all of this is like fretting about a flea on a stallion. The true big kahuna is the sea.
The argument that a tiny, trace gas controlled the enormity of our climate demanded, from the start, overwhelming evidence, because the idea basically sounds nutty. It was as nutty as the idea of drifting continents. You had better get your ducks in a row before you propose continents drifting about. But in the case of drifting continents scientists got their ducks in a row. In the case of Global Warming scientists just got nasty, which divorced them from science, so they were not scientists any more. Instead they just became nutty. Maybe to some degree richer, but nutty. Maybe to some degree holding prestigious positions at universities, but nutty. Perhaps holding some backroom power in government bureaucracies, but nutty.
Being somewhat nutty in my own way, perhaps I have a word of warning to rich nuts in prestigious positions of power. You can bully and bullshit all you want, but, as a “childcare professional” I must sadly inform you, you are transparent to the young. The young are not merely impressionable clay you can mold with nutty propaganda. They innately recognize a lie by the dead way it makes a heart feel. Then, because you represent a dead way, they will turn away from you, hungry for life, hungry for something that does not involve money or prestige or power, but what could that be?
Hmm…It seems I heard, through the fog of my fever, some sort of murmuring about some sort of stirrings of a “revival” someplace called Asbury…
…But of course you insist those “revivalist” folk are silly. What is not silly is to believe one molecule out of 2500 of already-thin air warms the mile-deep oceans. Or so your Nuttiness insists.
Begging your Nutiness’s pardon, but perhaps you do not know how you look, through the eyes of honest youth. You say what? CO2 is a poison gas but air by derailed trains is safe? Can you have actually said that? Need you have your nose pushed into it like a dog?
Government Definitions | Real Climate Science
I must be feverish. Get me some aspirin.
Illness drains the daylight from dim day And leaves my list of chores sad and forlorn Neglected on my desk. I turn away From what gives steps spring, and makes a bright morn Lift me from bed. Nothing interests me But that is interesting. There is peace In immobility. I seem to see Beyond my life, to a blessed release From duty, from handcuffs that are binding Me with their pinching grip; from a routine That's never new, and therefore is blinding Me to all that is waiting to be seen. Strange how illness, by forcing us to stop, Exposes busy blinders, and makes them drop.
RECORD HIGH LOWS
An interesting aspect of Global Warming is that, when you scrutinize the statistics, it turns out the increases are never where ordinary people would notice them. Not that people would notice a single degree of temperature change, but such overall, world-wide changes largely occur either where people don’t live, or when they are asleep. Most of the warming that sways the “world average” occurs in the arctic, where very few live, or at night, where the daily low can be a higher low than usual.
In other words, when you read that the (much altered) statistics for the United States show a recent period was the “warmest ever” (or since records have been kept), it does not mean we are sweltering like the poor farmers did during the Dust Bowl. Daily high temperatures are nowhere near as hot as they were in the 1930’s. Nearly all the high temperature records were set back then. How, then, is it warmer? It is warmer because it does not get as cool at night?
Night before last we had an opportunity to set a new record for the warmest low temperature for the date, due to being wonderfully placed in the current pattern. A storm was bombing out just east of Labrador, (at the right edge of the map below), but the discharge of arctic air was largely to our east, and the cold likely was more of a concern to the coral isle of Bermuda than us. Why? Because an actual Bermuda High, associated with balmy summer days, had formed, bracketed by the Newfoundland storm to our east and a Great Lakes storm to our west. We were nestled in a southwest flow, seen in the isobars of the map below.
I am to some degree excited by setting records, albeit in a cynical way. On one hand I don’t think setting records shows any “trend”, because we largely only have records going back a hundred years, which means, all things being equal, each year has the same one-in-a-hundred chance of setting the record. On average the odds are that every place should set between three and four records a year.
However Concord, New Hampshire has records going back to 1869, 154 years, and to set a “record low high” there would be good click-bait for my blog, which needs all the help it can get because I am Shadow Banned, for I don’t subscribe to the politically correct balderdash about Global Warming, (and several other politically correct balderdashes.)
While I confess it is pretty cynical to see things in terms of whether they are “click-bait” or not, I also confess that I myself am attracted to what is sensational more than what is merely everyday, although sometimes the everyday is more praiseworthy.
Even in ugly events, we gravitate towards the war in the Ukraine and the earthquake in Turkey, and ignore lives being wasted in our own communities due to the ugliness of various types of everyday ignorance. Generous people will give to help people far away, even while ignoring people trapped by lingering bitterness right next door.
In wars and in natural disasters, there are examples of heroic behavior that restores our faith in the goodness latent in all people. I sometimes wonder what heroic behavior would look like in my neighborhood, without a war or natural disaster. Might it not be as simple as reaching out to a discouraged neighbor and giving them courage? Such behavior might not make the newspapers, but is praiseworthy and does not go unnoticed in heaven.
One reason I persist with writing, even though Shadow Banning has proved highly effective in my case, is because I’d rather be noticed in heaven than on the front pages of Fake News. Also, being fake just doesn’t appeal to me. It just seems so…so…so fake. What really seems sensational is Truth…which causes trouble even in First Grade.
In any case, to get back to being cynical, I was a bit excited we might set a new “record high low” as I slumped in my armchair by the stove, after a long day at my Childcare. I briefly scanned the Fake News about shooting missiles at weather balloons after they had completed their spy-missions, and telling people poison gas from derailed trains was safe but CO2 was a poison gas. Nuts. Then I turned to the weather maps, which are more exciting simply because they are the Truth, and also I like any weather events that are out of the ordinary, for they reveal what the ordinary does not.
In the balmy (for winter) southwest wind the temperatures didn’t drop as the sun did. In Concord the “record low high” was 40 and the winds kept temperatures up near 50 (Fahrenheit). It seemed unlikely the temperatures could drop ten degrees. But then…..(drum roll)…..the wind died.
If you look back up at the above map you will notice New Hampshire is still back towards the crest of the ridge of high pressure, and not yet under the cloud deck of the advancing storm, nor fully in its southwest flow. Therefore, for the start of the night, “radiational cooling” could occur.
Radiational Cooling is Truth, and therefore very cool. Without going into Plancke’s Law, or long-wave versus short-wave radiation, it basically is the fact a clear sky at night sucks up heat from all below. In a summer heatwave, this is a good reason to leave your house and, swabbed in mosquito repellent, sleep as naked as legally possible on the back yard’s lawn. The sweltering heat will radiate away from you, up into the starry void of outer space. But in the dead of winter this same heat-loss is why the coldest temperatures occur when sky is clear and there is no wind, (and wind non-farms are motionless and produce no power to warm with).
When it is neither summer nor winter, farmers agonize about how frost might destroy their dreams, and often destruction is a matter of less than a degree, brought on by a lack of wind and by radiational cooling.
Radiational Cooling can be amazingly local. I have seen frost on the hood of my truck but not the windshield. I’ve seen it in the lower side of my garden but not the upper. And like all farmers I’ve attempted to intervene, when possible, and to prevent frost from damaging.
One way is to run a sprinkler. Making everything drenched means there is more water to freeze, and freezing water involves the release of latent heat, which occurs during the phase change from liquid to solid, and, when the temperatures are only a tenth of a degree below the freezing point, the release of even a small amount of latent heat can actually save a crop.
Another way is to disturb the dead calm that heightens the effects of radiational cooling. The same amount of heat is lost to a clear sky in a wind, but calm localizes the loss. In some cases frost only forms in still air below the level of your knees, and by burning campfires at strategic parts of your garden you create updrafts, which demand compensating downdrafts of milder air, and again the crop is saved.
This is likely one reason why the phenomenon of “urban heat islands” exists. In the winter, during still conditions, every house creates an updraft just like a campfire does. This messes up the radiational cooling which formerly occurred at that location, and the weather station records higher nighttime lows, even some “Record High Lows”.
However recent studies show that the most dramatic examples of “Urban Heat Islands” occur not in Urban, but Rural, areas. When a place, that once had a single farm house midst fields, has only a few suburban abodes built in those fields, the disruption of radiational cooling is most pronounced.
This does not change the amount of heat in the total atmosphere, but rather stirs the air at the very bottom, so the air by our thermometers can’t measure only stratified, still air at the very bottom, with warmer air out of reach up above, but the rather the same two airs mixed. It looks warmer, but isn’t.
In which case, to return to the topic, I should have had high hopes that a small city like Concord, New Hampshire could create enough updrafting to halt the radiational cooling. But the temperatures seemed to be taking a nose dive down through the 40’s.
I was weary from work, (children can be exhausting) and though I might have liked to have stayed up to watch Concord’s thermometer, my eyelids became like lead. I was a bad reporter and a bad scientist, because I said, “the heck with this” and went to bed.
Being an old man, I had reason to arise in the middle of the night, and as I did I blearily checked the temperature in Concord. Blast. It was 39. It had just missed having a Record Low High. No “click bait” for me. But then I glanced at the clock. It was 1:30 AM. Hope revived. Perhaps it reached only 41 by midnight, which would set a “record low high” for yesterday, if not today.
The house was too warm, despite the wood stoves being shut down to “low”. However I like to keep them going, to “keep the edge off” when the cold returns. (It is easier to keep a house cozy when the furniture is warm.) So I checked the wood stoves between yawns, and one looked like it could use a log, so I stumbled to the porch to get one, and also to check my own minimax thermometer.
As I stepped out I noted the big moon’s light was muted. An overcast of alto-stratus was swarming north ahead of the advancing storm. Also I could hear sighing in the pines, as winds picked up: Far from ideal conditions for radiational cooling. And, when I checked my minimax thermometer, I saw temperatures locally had jumped four degrees, to 46 from 42, (the 42 recorded at an earlier point in the night when radiational cooling was obviously stronger).
But what about Concord? Did their temperatures, down in their river valley, also rise four degrees, from 35 to 39? Or are they far enough north and east of me that the cloud cover and wind hadn’t reached them yet?
This can be determined by people who do not have a business to run, and wood stoves to tend to. But in my humble opinion what it shows is how the records can be swayed by minor local influences other than CO2, and are fickle, even whimsical, and amount to yet another variable, among the too-many-variables we seek to understand, as we seek to understand the chaos called “weather.”
(Anyone who calls our current level of understanding “settled science” cannot tell an ass from an elbow. )
However, for “click bait”, I’ll say the cloud cover and wind did not reach Concord, and that they set a new “record high low.” Yowza! Yowza! Read all about it, here on my blog!
However I will not say this means you need to stop using gas stoves.
Thirty-two years ago, my wife and I ran a lunch counter and snack bar at a small local cross-country ski area, and weather like we’ve been having just about ruined us. Just about every penny we had was invested in food, and cocoa, and just about every bill possible for us to receive through the mail was unpaid. Sunshine has never filled me with such gloom, nor mild weather ever seemed so depressing. We had enough food to feed a small army, so I knew the kids would be fed, and I was young and strong and could cut firewood to keep the house warm, unless I ran out of gas for my chainsaw. I doubted the gas station would even sell me a gallon on credit. My pride was shredded. My faith was slumping.
Then we got snow, and skiers appeared in droves. And they get hungry. It then was such a wonder to me that people would pay a dollar fifty for a baked potato with a dab of sour cream that cost me about fifteen cents to make, and that they would smile and praise me for being so much more “reasonable” than other ski areas that charged three dollars for the same potato.
And we sold things much better than a baked potato. My wife’s chili could raise the dead, or at least the dead-tired skier. And people gladly paid a dollar for a single one of her cookies, which were big but not that big. We made money hand over fist. In a single day we made enough to pay off all our overdue utility bills and our rent. So, I know what it feels like to whiplash from abject poverty to well-being in twelve hours.
The thing that struck me was that I really could not take the credit for the fact that I went from feeling like a weasel to feeling like a responsible father. I did not control the snow. In fact, I was more or less a gambler, and for a while my luck was rotten, and then I hit a lucky streak. And gamblers who escape debt (and the wrath of loan sharks) through a lucky streak are notorious for speaking of “higher powers” who had mercy on them.
You can call such talk “superstition” all you want, but I have noticed that the people who do so tend to be financially secure. They are in a sense cursed, by safety. Where a businessman knows about “risk”, (which is, in a sense, a gamble), the financially secure only are involved with “safe” investments. They “never touch their capital” and “live off the interest”, until they have created a cold universe for themselves where they inure themselves from mercy. Or, they live that frosty way until some financial bubble pops, some market crashes, some thief plunders. Then they suddenly enter the world of “superstition”. Mercy only matters to those who need it.
This winter the mercy I, and others like me, needed was not snow. Rather it was a lack of snow. We did not need cold, but mildness. Why? Because the madness of “green” politics, and its foaming hatred of fossil fuels, was sending the price of staying warm through the roof. If the weather had been merciless, few could have fallen back on using firewood like I am able to do. If we had been hit by a weather pattern such as the winter of 1976-1977’s, things would have precipitated a crisis. The “power grid” would have been overwhelmed. There would have been rotating black outs and brown outs, and also the elderly on fixed incomes simply would not have been able to pay their bills. But did this happen? Not so far. Instead, there has been mercy.
Was it due to Global Warming? Not really. Global temperatures (according to UAH) last January were only a half degree warmer than they were during the ice-age-scare of the 1970’s:
If the weather patterns had taken the form of the winter of 1976-1977, it wouldn’t have mattered much if the temperatures of the frigid blasts were a half degree warmer. Misery would have been worse, in fact, due to the dunderheaded policy of “green” politicians. However, we (so far) have received mercy. The weather patterns have been benign.
Not that the pattern has been truly “zonal” and kept the cold air up at the Pole, for there have been some shots of very cold air to the south, indicative of a “meridenal” pattern, however largely these shots have been into the oceans, and largely have missed the poor people most likely to be harmed. (The poor Kurds freezing after their terrible earthquake being the exception and not the rule. They sure could use some mercy.)
As an example of how the shots miss my area, look at the “fisherman’s map” below:
What this map demonstrates is a pattern I’ve watched over and over this winter. Namely, a weak ripple passes over my neck of the woods but, when it gets out to sea, it explodes into a “DVLPG STORM”. To its north, at the very top of the map, by the west coast of Greenland, is “HEAVY FRZY SPRAY”, indicative of very cold air able to freeze the salt water which a fishing boat plunges through to the boat’s decks and rigging to such a degree the craft can capsize. That extremely cold air is sucked south behind the storm, but just far enough east of New England that we are spared all but a glancing blow.
In the above map the lobe of high pressure following the exploding storm has two sourses. The “H” over Labrador is arctic, and will largely miss us, while the “H” over Cape Hattaras is “polar” and very moderated and includes Pacific-warmed air. That is what we will be getting, in the southwest flow behind the high pressure. (Temperatures below are Fahrenheit, of course.)
Even Saturday’s temperatures are slightly “above normal” for us, so you can imagine the mercy of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s. It is destroying our Childcare’s igloo and many snowmen, but the slushy sledding continues, even without sleds, as if children were otters.
And youth can still walk on water:
In other words, due to mercy, the ordinary lives of simple people goes on. The inflation and higher energy bills haven’t ruined people in the area where I live, and it hasn’t been able to do so, at least partially, because the winter hasn’t been as cruel as it could have been. (So far.)
Now here’s the funny thing: Such mercy has no mercy on those who wanted there to be suffering. Some “green” ideologs really want people dependent on fossil fuels to “pay”. Their zeal is so ugly that they think a significant decrease in the world’s population would be a “good” thing, and not involve the ugliness of genocide. And therefore, they are likely very upset the weather has been kindly. They roll their eyes to heaven and cry out, “Have You no mercy!”
Or maybe not. I have a suspicion most are Atheists. It is sort of hard to roll your eyes to heaven when you don’t believe such beauty exists, or to ask for mercy when you believe mercy is a superstition.
AFTER THE TANTRUM
After fifteen years as a “child care professional” I’ve dealt with my fair share of tantrums, and deem myself, if not an expert, then rather good at dealing with them. They, (or it), are (is) basically a person who has been pushed past their limit, and who has “lost it.” Sometimes it’s the child and not their parent.
The word “tantrum” itself is sort of interesting, for it likely is a word with multiple roots, which is to say similar-sounding words from different languages with vaguely applicable meanings were spliced together into the word we now wield.
One root is French, and means the noise made by trumpets, a fanfare, the French “trantran”, an imitative word for hunting horns, or an uproar. A second root is the German root “tand” which described vanity, especially shallow and even silly vanity. And a third root is Welsh, “tant”, which means to be stretched thin, and can be used for tempers, the strings of a musical instrument, or the tendons of our body. In fact the Latin derivation for “tantrum” may be from what gives us the word “tendon”, the verb “tendere” which means, “to stretch thin”.
In any case, all that reason went into what means losing reason, and what we locally call, “throwing a spaz.”
One reason I think I am good at handling tantrums is that I myself would be the pot calling the kettle black if I pretended I was above “losing it” from time to time. In a sense my life has been one long tantrum against a society which seems increasingly nuts. It is everyone else’s fault; their insanity makes me insane.
When I see a small child losing it I remind myself I may be in the presence of genius. Winston Churchill was said to be a hellion at school; his classmates remembered cringing and thinking, “Don’t say it, Winny; don’t say it,” but he would always say it, whatever “it” was, to the teacher, which meant, in those days of corporal punishment, he had to be caned. However part of his genius was his ability to stand up to dictators.
I would also be a hypocrite if I denied the fact that, from time to time, I myself haven’t just blown off my responsibility and played hooky, in a sense acting out a tantrum. In July of 2017 I wrote a long post called “The Forthright of July” about how all the people who promised to help me weed the garden had skipped town, and were enjoying freedom as I was a slave to the garden, and it ended with me skipping the weeding as well, and writing this sonnet:
Going to the beach on a hot July Mid-morning with the stain of brass heat draped On every bough and street, and in my eye Even shadows hazed gold, nothing escaped The heat…but I am. Like a boy Playing hooky, the consequences fade In the face of surging, giggling joy. While it may be true we’ll sleep in beds unmade, Face stern principles, grip hungover foreheads, That’s all far away. Now we’re on our way To the beach, and like flowering dawn sheds The dark dreads of night, joy drives gloom away. We’re all going to die, but boys playing hooky Have light in their eye, and life’s their cookie.
Of course, there are consequences to playing hooky. If you don’t weed you wind up with a weedy garden; you reap what you sow. If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. If you have your way you must pay. That is something I must communicate to the small child who is throwing a tantrum.
However one element of a tantrum is a refusal to communicate. The child is fed up with talk. They want their way and don’t care what you say.
The State of New Hampshire requires a certain amount of “adult education” for teachers, which is something I could tantrum about, but usually don’t. When I first opened my Childcare with my wife I’d already raised five children, coached boy’s teams, taught Sunday School, and volunteered as my wife ran a small town’s recreation department and swimming pool, yet some of the young women teaching “adult education” were half my age. (Now, as I approach my seventieth birthday, they’d be a third my age.)
My teachers were fresh out of college, had no children, and were brimming with bright ideas which tended to be contrary to the bright ideas which were in fashion ten years earlier. For example, the idea of “time outs” was all the rage for a while, but then suddenly were called “oppressive” and were frowned upon. Likewise “permissiveness” seems to come into fashion until it is called “spoiling”.
In actual fact one needs to use “time outs” when they work, and avoid them when they don’t work. No single approach works; one shouldn’t be swayed to one side and a single approach; one needs a full repertoire, and sometimes even that isn’t enough, and intuition must supply some new approach out of the blue. However I did attend the “adult education classes”, if only to learn what new laws I was breaking.
One law I broke involved “physical restraint”. When we first opened our childcare people were terribly worried about “abuse”. Small children are very physical, but even hugging was frightening to some, who feared sexual perversion. We all needed to be finger-printed and get background checks, before we were even allowed on the premises. (Even a farmhand who shoveled the stables on weekends when we were closed was officially supposed to be fingerprinted, though I broke that law at times.) Any sort of corporal punishment was taboo, and even to physically grab a child and snatch them from danger was seen as a last resort, (as if one had time to carefully analyze during such an emergency.) However when a child was throwing a tantrum and disturbing the rest of the children I’d grab the little sucker and cart him outside, ignoring his or her screeching and caterwauling, and also likely ignoring the latest law.
I was very gentle but very firm. Once things had reached a certain point I felt it was wrong to give in, for it was like attempting to appease a small Adolph Hitler. I reached this conclusion when we first opened our Childcare, before I had learned many of the tricks I now use to distract the child from refusing to communicate, luring them into a conversation.
This particular child had learned to throw a fit to get his way at home, and needed to learn that different behavior is required in public, where he was one of twelve small children. Like many children he liked routine, and complained when things didn’t happen in the same order, but he also didn’t like the part of the daily routine where “play time” turned into “circle time”.
“Circle time” involved singing songs and playing games which taught children a so-called “curriculum” involving learning colors, shapes, numbers, and opposites such as above-and-below. Personally I found such “curriculum” tedious and saw children learned the same things if you just used the words in other activities, but “circle time” did seem to teach a lot about having good manners and working as a team. However this little boy didn’t like putting away a toy truck and sitting in a circle. He had older brothers who taught him rude words, and looked at me with an innocent face and said, “Fuck circle time.” He had just turned three-years-old.
I knew the boy’s father would have just laughed, and might have even praised the lad, while the boy’s mother would have just rolled her eyes and walked away. However I decided to do battle, for, though I know one must chose their battles, this fellow was definitely testing a limit. Also I knew appeasement wouldn’t work. If I left him playing with his trucks and attempted to conduct circle time with the other eleven children and the other teacher, he would not play quietly in the corner, but would roar his truck through the middle of the circle. Therefore I broke several laws.
New Hampshire has a rule that states there must be an adult for every six children under five years old, but for a while the other teacher had to deal with eleven, for this small boy needed one-on-one attention. Other laws involve not hurting children, and children seem to instinctively know they deserve some sort of protection, and bellow “You’re hurting me!” even as you are being as tender as you can possibly be. “Ow! Ow! Ow! You are hurting me!” they screech as they claw, bite, kick you in the shins, and break your glasses. “Stop! You’re hurting! Aurrrrgh!” Meanwhile you remain calm, move them gently away from any walls they can bang their head against (while accusing you of banging their head against the wall), and attempt to engage them in a conversation, which of course is the one thing they don’t want to do.
They don’t want to talk. They want to get their way. The entry point to a dialog is usually an argument about who is hurting who. I very calmly say, “I am not hurting you. You are hurting yourself. Why are you doing that?” In the case of this small boy, to even ask such a question was infuriating, and made him all the more determined to get his way.
For an hour and a half I sat on the front steps on a lovey summer morning with the boy screaming. I wondered why some neighbor didn’t call the police, and also was starting to think I’d chosen the wrong battle. I wondered why the boy didn’t lose his voice. I wondered why the sky stayed blue and the sun still shone and the birds kept singing and the leaves stayed green. I began to yearn for an aspirin.
In a sense the boy had won, for he had completely avoided circle time, so I was asking him if he wanted to stop screaming and go in for snack time. However he seemed to feel if he stopped screaming he’d lose, and continued. I had assumed he’d lose at least his voice, after an hour, but he seemed inexhaustible. I continued to not give in, firm but gentle, asking quiet, repetitive questions. Then, abruptly, he grew quiet. I silently praised God, and then I asked the child, “All done?” He nodded. “Can you go inside and not scream?” He nodded again. I released my gentle grip and we stood up to go in, and as we walked inside he reached up and took my hand.
The interesting thing, to me at least, was that the boy never threw another tantrum. I imagined that in some way he had tested a limit, and met his match. Not that he didn’t complain and whine at times, but for the most part he was more cooperative than the other tykes, after our battle.
It became a lodestone for me, “Never give in to a tantrum”, however I’ve become better at avoiding such battles. And I’ve never again had one go on so long, since that summer day. (Sulking doesn’t count; sulking is not the same as a full blown tantrum.)
This Monday will be my seventieth birthday, and retirement is looming. When dealing with various tantrums the past month I’ve felt a surprising thing: I might actually miss them. Not that they are pleasant, but the communication that occurs within them is unique and interesting, once you get it going.
One law I suppose I break midst the battles of tantrums involves calling a child a “baby”. There is a fear doing so could scar the child’s psyche for the rest of their life. (What is the difference between a “scarred” and a “molded” character? I’m never entirely sure. What a drill sergeant calls “molding” nearly everyone else would call “scarring.”) Anyway, I’ve heard one way around “scarring” is to avoid saying the tantrumer is a baby, which is “labeling”, and instead to ask questions about how babies behave, as opposed to how “grown ups” behave; (five-year-olds consider themselves “grown ups”, when with three-year-olds.) I’ve broken the declines of a couple of tantrums the past month by utilizing the word “baby” in a hopefully correct way. If it was incorrect, all I can respond with is, “all is fair in love and tantrums”, and also, “if you don’t like it, fire me”.
One event involved a small girl throwing an absolute fit about having to put on snowpants when it was “too hot”. It was barely above freezing, and the snow was wet, which made snow pants all the more advisable, but she was flopping about on the floor and kicking her feet. I stroked my beard sagely and then inquired if she was behaving as a baby might behave. She glared at me and informed me her mother said she was THE baby. I then gestured at a two-year-old who was putting on her snowpants close by, and asked, “How about her?” The girl grinned and said, “No, she’s not a baby.” I nodded like Spok on the old Star Trek show and said, “Interesting. I see.” Then I had the five-year-old sit in the sun on the porch with snow pants she didn’t have to put on, unless she left the porch. After sulking a while she put them on and rushed off to play.
However I got an interesting insight from the exchange. I’ve read about how, in Victorian times, the upper classes in England, both women and men, required “dressers” in order to get into their fancy outfits. I’ve often thought what a pain (a royal pain) that would be. It would be bad enough to not know how to drive a car and to require a chauffeur, but to not know how to dress? But…I had just heard a five-year-old explain she was a baby while a two-year-old was not. Perhaps the girl was going to be the next Winston Churchill.
Then I had another exchange with a tough young boy who enjoys “rough-and-tumble” and often laughs at getting clobbered. I’ve seen him kick the shins of boys older and bigger than he is, and when he is promptly shoved and sent flying flat on his back, he laughs. It is as if he enjoys the attention so much he disregards the pain. However one time he was whining and whimpering about how his snow-pants were tucked wrongly into his boots. I had eleven other children to dress, and perhaps was frazzled, and a bit short. I said I’d get to him, but he wanted attention right NOW. So I pointed at the two-year-old, who once again was getting her snow pants on (because she takes great pride in doing things “all by her self,”) and I said, “A baby can do it.”
Apparently I’d thrown down a gauntlet, for the boy thrust out his jaw and challenged me with, “I’m not a baby! You’re the baby!” I smiled and said, “You know, you may be right. When you kids drive me crazy, maybe I do become a big baby.”
The boy’s face was split by an ear-to-ear grin, and he went outside guffawing loudly. Apparently he had forgotten all about how uncomfortable the cuffs of his snow pants were.
Another day; another tantrum dealt with.
After the tantrum, the small, tired child Reaches a little hand up while walking With the elder, secure that they'll be smiled Upon. There is no need for talking. The big hand gladly takes the little one's. All is forgiven, and the elder's pleased More by the gesture than by the loud drums And cymbals of worship. All stress is eased And the rich nothing of peace's well-being Slants like sunbeams in the late afternoon Of summertime: Gold more worth seeing Than the cold kind. Do not say, "God, come soon," For He's already here. I, in my pride, Have tantrumed, but He's here at my side.
ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Fram Slammer–
“Bombo-genesis” has occurred in Fram Strait, creating a super-storm smack dab in the middle of a place where many of the ins and outs of sea-ice levels are determined by factors which often seem subtle and even delicate, but there is nothing delicate about a North Atlantic gale.
(At this point I could go off on a long tangent about amazing storms, and which storm was the whopper of all big-fish-stories, but I’ll try to restrain myself and just focus on this baby.)
We begin with a Labrador storm crashing into Greenland, which is 10,000 feet tall and sometimes kills storms. However other storms somehow survive the passage, (another long tangent and fascinating digression.)
Obviously this storm was a survivor.
And became a super-storm, with pressure below 950 mb (28.00 inches).
And hangs around Fram Strait as a super-storm at least twelve hours.
Then it sent some of its energy east into the Kara sea as a sort of kicker impulse along a warm front, as a couple of secondary lows developed along a cold frnt extending down the east coast of Greenland.
The energy from the secondary reinforsed the stalled low over Svalbard, as the Kara Sea kicker moved south and inland.
The last map shows the low has restrengthened and its pressure is below 950 again, with the storm’s center further east over Svalbard.
Notice how the isobars shift. Initially an Atlantic to Pacific flow is cutting Canada off from cross-polar flow from Siberia. However at the end it looks like that flow is resuming. This concerns me, as I live just below Canada, and when Siberia bumps cold into Canada I tend to experience colder weather, with a delay of four to seven days. We shall see that “tendency” tested.
In terms of sea-ice, the shift of isobars suggested sea-ice which ordinarily is flushed south through Fram Strait first faced south gales and became a “wrong-way” flow, but at the end the gale’s west-side north winds came into play and the ice resumed it’s southerly movement in the Strait. Further north the sea-ice was being rammed past the Pole into the Central Arctic. (The NRL animated maps show just such a sloshing in the strait and ramming further north occurring.)
The isotherm maps of the arctic show that this storm sent an arrow of Atlantic air into the heart of the arctic, which pleases Alarmists because it creates an upward spike in the temperature graph.
The funny thing is that, while the above graph suggests heat entering the arctic, the isotherm maps show heat lost. Yes, the Atlantic heat gets up there, but it’s life expectancy is short. Here are the isotherm maps, to demonstrate what I mean. We start with the Atlantic air thrusting north of Greenland and Canada.
But 48 hours of importing Atlantic air does not expand the area of warm temperatures, and the imported air looks like it is chilling.
And it soon becomes obvious that rather than warming the arctic, the influx of air is itself cooling. Look at the heat lost in only twelve hours:
And twelve hours later there is a mere whisper of the warmth that invaded.
And twelve more hours basically eraces that “feeder band” of warming from the polar map (although the Fram storm is surging a new band north.)
So, what became of that first band? I’d suggest it lifted, because it was warm, and eventually lost its heat to outer space. As it did so the moisture it held fell as snow. How much? A very small amount:
The above map shows how much precipitation has fallen in the past 24 hours, and grays are less than a tenth of an inch of melted precipitation. Light green indicates a tenth of an inch and darker green two tenths. It can be seen that even our roaring Fram Slammer, with a pressure below 27.90, can’t even eek out a quarter inch of rain (or 3 inches of snow) in a full day at its heaviest.
Very cold air is nearly incapable of holding moisture. Even the moisture in dry air will form a fog, which is why very cold water, exposed when the sea-ice cracks and forms a lead, steams like hot tea, and forms “sea-smoke”. It is also why we see our breath when its cold, and not when its hot. When Atlantic moisture manages to get north into such chill, and fall as snow, it tends to be a dusting, or perhaps as much as a inch in a big storm. By the time the air gets north it is wrung out.
Not far to the south, where Atlantic air crashes into Greenland, the situation is very different, though the same laws apply. The Atlantic air is different because it is far warmer as it comes off the Gulf Stream, and is able to hold far more moisture. Therefore when it crashes into an icecap, and is hoisted 10,000 feet and radically cooled, it sheds its moisture as snow, but the snowfall is measured in feet, not inches. How radical can the cooling be? In extreme cases air can drop from sixty above zero to forty below. As the vapor becomes snow it goes through two phase changes that free up heat, but the heat is swiftly lost to outer space at 10,000 feet.
When the dried air descends from the icecap it can actually become milder than one would expect, and in some ways like a far-north Chinook. (Just as air cools as it rises, air heats as it descends.) This can occasionally generate sensationalist headlines concerning slight thaws in the far north in the dead of winter, when in fact a Greenland Chinook is often indicative of enormous snowfalls that add, and don’t subtract, from the icecap of Greenland.
Once down to sea-level the air resumes its steady loss of heat to the sunless sky, and is very dry. The Pole is basically a desert. Therefore, when we think about a super-storm’s increased snowfall effecting sea-ice formation, we need to remember we are talking about small, even minuscule, amounts. If you keep track of maps like the above map, you almost never see any 24-hour-precipitation that isn’t gray over the Central Arctic; snows are usually dustings.
Interestingly, this dust mixes with salt dust, because salt cannot melt snow in extreme cold, and also salt is expelled from sea-water as it freezes. During times when temperatures rise just high enough, the salt starts to melt the snow, but then temperatures drop and the snow refreezes into a stiff, crisp form which has its own name in various northern languages. Lastly, due to the extreme dryness of the air the snow can sublimate into vapor without melting, and when it does this it leaves any salt it is mingled with behind. The salt is in a powdered form and is easily blown about and creates a haze, which is actually lifted by the bigger storms such as this Fram Slammer right to the edge of the stratosphere, where traces of iodine and bromine in the salt can attack ozone and make an ozone hole, (if you want something new to fret about.)
In any case, it will be interesting to watch this Fram Slammer as it wanders about up there. But now I’ve got to run to work.
CLOSE CALLS AND NO CALLS
At times it amazes me how people prefer ignorance. They miss the amazement I gain, for they have no idea how stunning their stupidity is. In fact they think they are sensible and I am not. They are focused on what “matters” and I am not. They are politically correct, while I find their focus to be based on ignorance, and I prefer Truth. They ruffle wads of ill-gotten loot, and laugh at my honest poverty, but I know who will laugh last.
Rather than discuss the spiritual ramifications of bribery, fraud, and other unethical behavior, perhaps it is easier to keep things simple, and discuss what ignorance misses in a minor and everyday field, such as meteorological maps.
In New England we just experienced an arctic outbreak of “unprecedented” severity. It is “unprecedented” though I can remember worse, for it did set some short-term records, especially atop Mount Washington. Therefore, though the vicious cold didn’t even last 24 hours, and I can remember blasts that went on for weeks, it can be called “unprecedented”.
I accept such events as the simple Truth. They are what they are. However politically correct Alarmists cannot accept such events, because it threatens their doctrine concerning Global Warming, to have even short-term cold records set. Therefore they need to make up malarkey about how warming causes cold waves.
They find some professor attracted by fame to dress in a white lab coat and raise an index finger and make a pronouncement, “Global Warming causes record-setting cold, and therefore record-setting cold proves it is warmer.” Then, after the “expert” makes this inane statement for Fake-news media, everyone nods like crazy, while breathing a big sigh of relief, for they figure they have saved their pet theory from reality. (But the reality is that in the past twenty-five years more record cold temperatures have be recorded than record warm temperatures. In fact the only way to justify the concept of warming is to focus on some exotic metric, such as “nighttime high temperatures” or “warming where it is cold in the arctic, only in the winter.”)
But what of the people who just face reality? Without needing to defend anything? What do they see?
They just see the wonders of Truth, and one truth is that such surges of arctic air out over the warm Gulf Stream sets up an explosive meteorological situation. Joseph D’Aleo wrote a beautiful paper describing how the explosion of “bombogenesis” sets up and then happens, which I highly recommend if you desire scientific explanations, but my more mundane explanation is as follows:
If you move cold air over warm water you are creating a potential for updrafts. The water will create warm moist air which will want to billow up as thunderheads, but at first this power is held in check. Why? Because the cold air is sinking, and has a sort of inertia which keeps the warm air held down. But the warm air builds up more and more power, as the cold air loses some of its ability to oppress the desire to rise which warm air has. And then along comes a tipping point. The warm air is able to rise, usually with the help of a feeble little low pressure system. Then, as soon as the warm air rises a little bit, it experiences factors which make it more buoyant, and rise faster. A shower becomes a towering thunderhead. A minor ripple of low pressure becomes a major gale. This transition happens with such amazing speed it gets called “a bomb”. Or “bombogenesis”. Basically a map that looked innocent abruptly has a deadly feature, “exploding” onto the scene.
And indeed exactly this happened, it the last cold blast. The innocent can be seen in the wake of the cold outbreak, off Hatteras on February 6
And less than 48 hours later storm force winds are northeast of Bermuda, slipping off the edge of the map.
This powerful storm got no headlines, and ignorant people were ignorant of its existence. However it was a close call for New England. Why? Because our knowledge of what steers such storms is not perfect. The weathermen knew 95% of such storms, or even 99% of such storms, head out to sea, so they were not going to raise an alarm. However they are not ignorant, and do know about the 5% or even the only 1% of such storms that “hook back” and clobber New England. Therefore, because it is their duty to care for the rest of us, they sweat bullets looking for the slightest sign the storm is not going out to sea. Meanwhile the general public doesn’t even know the storm is there. They are ignorant.
It is one thing to be ignorant because you are busy in some other area. But it is a completely different thing to be ignorant despite having free time, and to even call the people who are not as ignorant as you are “incorrect”. In this second case your ignorance is not innocent, but has gained power, and your stupidity is becoming magnificent. How magnificent?
Well, suppose it was the 1% situation where a storm “hooked back”, (the Blizzard of 1888 springs to mind.) In only an hour a mild spring-like day darkens and there is sudden thunder, and then all hell breaks loose.
If you are like me you have been carefully attending to reality, well aware of all possible scenarios. When the 1% option starts to become 10% and 25% and then 50%, I am already making adjustments. However the person who not only is not paying attention to what is actually happening, but who also pays excessive attention to scoring political points by mocking those who pay attention to what is actually happening, is not only unaware the storm even exists, but oblivious to a rapidly changing storm-track forecast. Therefore they are likely to be blind-sided. They can be hit without having a clue what hit them. Ignorance is not bliss when you get blind-sided, especially when you get crushed, crippled, or even killed.
I think it is better to gather clues than to have no clue. I understand if you are too busy to gather such clues. However it is very wrong to use some odd snobbery to scold those who gather clues.
Also, if taxpayers support you, expecting you to gather the clues which they have no time to gather, it is wrong to take the money without doing the gathering. Therefore someone should feel ashamed about these two Sea-surface-temperature anomoly maps, from February 3
and February 6
While there are some changes between the two maps, (for example, off the coast of Brazil), large areas of the map are identical. Sorry: Things do not stay identical, in nature. And this is especially true when a record-setting cold blast has howled offshore with frigid winds blasting over sixty miles an hour, off the coast of New England.
The fact the maps are identical off the New England coast makes one map have to be untrue. It also means someone felt they’d done their job by changing the date at the top of the map, and was basically too lazy to change what the rest of the map shows. In essence, the map keeps us clueless. We are paying some slothful bureaucrat to keep us in the dark, concerning Truth.
John Keats said “Truth is Beauty”, but for lazy bureaucrats Truth is a not a close call but a no call. For them ignorance is bliss, because they get paid for not doing their job, (which is to end ignorance by giving us a clue), (but why end ignorance, if it earns them bliss?)
To get paid for not doing your job is the opposite of reaping what you sow. It is a mockery of reality. No good can come from it.