Tag: Weather

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – With Malice Towards All

Crossposted at Daily Kos


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star, Buy this cartoon

Original v. Cover — #14 of a Series

Lion/Lamb playing card Pictures, Images and Photos

For many across the United States, this has already been a long, cold, lonely (for some) winter, as described by the Beatles in “Here Comes the Sun.” The unpredictable, but hopefully transitional month of March awaits us on Monday, the flip side of this weekend. This will be the last time the month of March begins on a Monday until the year 2021.

March tantalizes us with diminishing darkness, artificially enhanced by the arrival of daylight savings time on March 14th, and gradually, but erratically warming temperatures.  It has oftentimes been a blustery month, typically punctuated by sure signs of an early spring, budding trees and blooming flowers, all too often followed by an occasional unwelcome blizzard, temporarily burying these hopes beneath a heavy blanket of snow.

History reassures us that our weather will indeed change during the month of March.  This can be illustrated by reviewing March weather at our current population center of the United States, which is located 2.8 miles east of Edgar Springs, Missouri, as determined by the 2000 census. One might ask if the recent ascendance of nearby Branson as a tourist destination was a coincidence? This location will likely change following the completion of the 2010 census, but during the 20th century, this point migrated 324 miles to the west and 101 miles to the south. Significantly, 79 of the 101 miles of southward movement occurred during the second half of the 1900s.  

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Al Gore vs the Denialists

Crossposted at Daily Kos.  If you choose to recommend it there, the Rec Button may have been pushed to the bottom after the last diary comment made.


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Chris Britt, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Weather vs Climate — There is a Difference

For our scientifically challenged fellow-citizens, it may hard to understand, but simply experiencing a few record-setting Snow Storms, does NOT automatically disprove the theory of Global Warming (aka Climate Change).  Science doesn’t work that way.  Science takes evidence.  Science takes data.  Science takes experiments – and lots and lots of Measuring. … It takes measuring of those boring things, called Facts.

The theory of Climate Change, views weather events from a long-term perspective.   Climate varies from year to year. Decade to decade.

Climate is a generational phenomenon. (could be why the younger generation “gets it” — more so than the older.)

Weather, on the other hand, changes with the wind.  Weather is a daily event.  Weather is the background noise, upon which we plan our daily lives.

In other words, weather can change – a lot;  over the course of a week, or over a Season. … Weather can even swing wildly over the course of a day sometimes – just ask anyone caught without rain gear, when unexpected downburst rolls in.

Weather is volatile.  Weather is constantly changing.  Climate not so much.


This morning about 4:00 a.m., I was gloriously asleep.  I have become an insomniac, probably due to worries and aging.  So when I get a solid five hours – it’s heavenly.  So there I was sleeping for a change, instead of watching the Russian news channel or worrying about my snow removal bills when I felt something wet on my face.  I turned and opened an eye and both of my dogs were pressed to my bed watching me closely.  What’s wrong?  What’s up?  Is someone at the door?  They both jumped on the bed and from that position stared at my face.  (Buster put his face under my arm like he does when his nefarious enemy, the German Shephard, George, walks by our window.) They wouldn’t move as I tried to sit up – and then – the bed started shaking as though someone was pulling it toward the window.  The dogs remained quiet but drew closer.  Oh it couldn’t be – an earthquake in Chicago, no!  

But indeed it was, about 4am the suburbs of Chicago felt a 4.3 earthquke – epicenter about 50 miles northwest in Sycamore/Virgil, Illinois.  I checked out the weather channel immediately and there it was. No damage reported. Then – back to the Russian channel where I feel more at home.

Two things:  I have something to add to my list of worries: an earthquake.  And aren’t dogs wonderful!

Three things actually:  Looks like that five hours will be an even more rare and beautiful thing in my dream future.  

15 Minutes

Watch CBS News Videos Online

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today, Americans are engrossed in earthquake coverage.  The tremor in Haiti bought unimaginable death and destruction just south of our borders.  Events related to the recovery and rescues emerge as banner headlines.  Haitians Seek Solace Amid the Ruins. For a week now, the struggle to survive, revive the injured, and retrieve the bodies strewn on the streets of Port-au-Prince was also the central theme of most every broadcast.  In the midst of the misery, many Americans, felt desperate for a reprieve from the devastation that emotionally drained them. Millions took time to escape in a welcome distraction.  Sassy, former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin Made Her Debut appearance on Fox.  Tomorrow another reality will replace these stories, just as each superseded the hoopla over Harry Reid’s reference to race.  Metaphorically, the tales provide persons, policies, and, or practices fifteen minutes of fame.  In actuality, these  fade from our mind quickly.  

The Night Of The Ice (With Update And Gratitude)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Chatham, New York, SE of Albany

If I had one of those Weather Channel jackets, right now I could stand in the yard and narrate this essay.  Then you’d be able to see me looking into the camera, the rain falling falling falling sideways from the sky, hitting the earth and everything else, and freezing.  Immediately.  Everything glistens in its coat of ice. Trees. Houses. Grass. The dog has ice chunks on her tail.  Wind and rain blow into the microphone making a whooshing sound.  It’s a special genre: Heavy Weather. Upstate, Eastern New York.

Hurricane Ike: Worse Case Scenario, “Certain Death” Forecasted


Officials have warned that Hurricane Ike, with its expected imminent landfall along the Galveston-Houston, Texas coast, may present the feared worse-case-scenario, which includes the ominous prediction of “certain death” for those who ignore mandatory evacuation.

Residents living in single-family homes in some parts of coastal Texas face “certain death” if they do not heed orders to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ike’s arrival, the National Weather Service said Thursday night.

The unusually strong wording came in a weather advisory regarding storm surge along the shoreline of Galveston Bay, which could see maximum water levels of 15 to 22 feet, the agency said.

“All neighborhoods … and possibly entire coastal communities … will be inundated during the period of peak storm tide,” the advisory said. “Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single-family one- or two-story homes will face certain death.”

There are concerns about people ignoring the mandatory evacuation order due to “hurricane fatigue.” This 700 mile-wide storm may not be the event upon which to take that chance.

Here are some facts:

  • Ike is receiving the same surge warnings as Katrina. This was the surge that wiped out parts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In Ike’s case, the likeliest surge landfall is in Texas.
  • Tidal surges could exceed 20 feet; greater than Katrina.
  • The cone is narrowing toward Galveston and Houston, but it is a very large storm.
  • The entire storm is building up and blowing water toward Galveston Bay – that is the reason for the dire warnings about a high surge.
  • Because of the wide area for the storm surge, mandatory evacuation zones extend to a wide area of the Gulf Coast with Galveston Bay being the center of the surge’s focus.
  • Everywhere there is a mandatory warning, it is estimated that the surge could be up and or exceed 20 feet.
  • Hurricane Ike has already proven to be a storm surge generator in the Caribbean, where tidal surges pounded into shore above five story buildings.
  • The Barrier Islands are too low to stop this surge.

More below the fold…

Update, SE LA Native Americans: Why Don’t We Matter?

Cross posting from Kos again…

Why hasn’t something been done sooner to protect our community? Is it because the Island is a poor Indian community so it doesn’t matter what happens to us? Brenda Dardar Robichaux, tribal leader of the United Houma Nation

Things are pretty grim in the region–literally a place and a people that America has forgotten–flood and wind damage has devastated many areas that had survived previous storms.  The anger in the tribal leaders’ words can be seen below.

See my previous diaries here, here and here.

First off, according to the Houma newspapers, power is slowly being restored to the hospitals and main services.  Many areas remain without and are running on generators if they have them.  These come with dangers as the Terrebonne Courthouse experienced a fire from a malfunctioning unit.  The region is still under a boil water order.  Most of the major roads are cleared, but many side roads are untouched.  No streetlights work.  Some grocery stores are open, but relief supplies are still being distributed at points around the region.   A lot of the schools will remain closed due to electricity and roof damage.  Looks like they are hoping to reopen sometime late next week.


Hurricane Forecast 2008 – Atlantic Warm Pool Growing

Both the National Hurricane Center and the Colorado State University forecast team founded by Dr. Bill Gray are forecasting above normal Atlantic  hurricane seasons. The NHC is predicting 12-16 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes, 2-5 major hurricanes and an “ACE” range 100%-210% of the median. CSU is predicting (PDF) 15 (avg. 9.6) named storms, 8 (avg. 5.9) hurricanes, 4 (avg. 2.3) intense hurricanes and a “NTC” 160% of average.

However, these forecasts don’t address the “mystery” of the missing oceanic heat that has now been found.

Climate models had predicted that the heat content of the oceans would rise faster than the data were showing. A recent correction of the data set revealed that sea levels and oceanic heat content were rising 50% faster than previously determined.

The oceans have been growing warmer and sea levels have been rising at a faster rate than previously estimated, researchers reported. A review of millions of measurements over the past four decades revealed a subtle error, they said; after correcting it, they found that sea levels rose two inches from 1961 to 2003 – about 50 percent greater than previous estimates. Experts familiar with the work said the finding, published in the journal Nature, added credence to computer simulations predicting centuries of rising seas from human-caused global warming.

Also in Blue at BlueNC.

Tropical Storm Emma’s Hurricane Force Winds Hammer Europe


A tropical storm named “Emma” with wind speeds equivalent to a category 3 hurricane has been thrashing Germany, Prague and Vienna with deadly results:

Europe began feeling the effects of Emma late Friday night, according to Deutchscher Wetter Dienst (DWD), Germany’s national weather service.

Wind gusts of up to 190 km/h (118 mph) — the strength of a Category 3 hurricane — were clocked in the higher elevations of Austria, Corriveau said. Sustained winds as of Saturday night ranged from 50 km/h to nearly 80 km/h (31 mph to 50 mph). Winds were clocked at 98 km/hr (61 mph) in Denmark.

More below the jump…

2008 Temperature Prediction


The University of East Anglia (UK), working with the British Met Office, has made its annual temperature prediction for 2008:

2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years say Met Office and University of East Anglia climate scientists, but is still forecast to be one of the top-ten warmest years.

Each January, the climate scientists at the university work with the British Met Office to forecast the expected temperature, taking into account conditions such as El Niño and La Niña, greenhouse gases, industrial aerosols, particulates, ocean trends and solar impact.

The assessment for 2008 is that there will be a “strong La Niña” event in the Pacific, which will limit the warming trend for the year (whilst still being one of the warmest years):

During La Niña, cold waters upwell to cool large areas of the ocean and land surface temperatures. The forecast includes for the first time a new decadal forecast using a climate model. This indicates that the current La Niña event will weaken only slowly through 2008, disappearing by the end of the year.

More below the jump…

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