W is for Weird Weather

People in the US state of Oklahoma have had a tough year. The state’s “July average temperature was a scorching 88.9 degrees, the warmest to occur in any state during any month on record. State record hailstone measuring nearly 6” from Gotebo on May 23… At the other extreme, Oklahoma recorded its coldest temperature on record on February 10 when Nowata dipped to a frigid -31 degrees. On that same the day, the state’s heaviest 24-hour snowfall on record piled up, with 27 inches measured in Spavinaw. Not to mention non-weather related events, such as the 5.6 magnitude earthquake, the strongest on record.


The Sooner State is hardly the only one. Back in the spring, there were already more weather-related fatalities in the US than in all of 2010. By the halfway point, NOAA had made it official: 2011 Among Most Extreme Weather Years in History. “Near the halfway point, 2011 has already seen eight weather-related disasters in the U.S. that caused more than $1 billion in damages.”

Then August 2011 set records in several locations for “torrid heat, torrential rain and river flooding. You can thank, in part, an exceptional Plains drought and Hurricane Irene,” another billion dollar event.

Of course, the question is why. A recent study linked air pollution to extreme weather. California is a leader in places where sometimes the air isn’t fit to breathe.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has urged countries to come up with disaster management plans to “adapt to the growing risk of extreme weather events linked to human-induced climate change.” See the report here. And the deniers are in full force.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We CAN minimize the damage by making changes. Valmeyer, Illinois “was once a community of about 900 on the banks of the Mississippi River, 25 miles south of St. Louis. The Great Flood of 1993 left 90 percent of Valmeyer’s buildings damaged beyond repair…Valmeyer would be rebuilt on a 500-acre parcel on a nearby bluff overlooking the river…with energy-efficient home construction…resource-efficient institutions and…future renewable energy development. When the Mississippi flooded again, the town was safe, though it would not have been had they rebuilt in the same location.

There are simpler things to do, though, such as planting a tree and taking less energy dependent transportation. Meanwhile, check out NOAA’s State of the Climate, a Global Analysis. Interesting stuff.


ABC Wednesday – Round 9

Advertisements

36 thoughts on “W is for Weird Weather

  1. Let me add to your records here by saying that we’ve had the driest December on record here in the Northwest with less than a half inch of rain. Just wondering when we’ll pay for that with bad weather later.

  2. We’re having the driest December in history right now! At least we’re assured that it will be a green Christmas…whew…I’d hate to be snowed in! Have a wonderful week, Roger! 😀

    Leslie
    abcw team

  3. The weather is frightening indeed. We live in a country half of it is below sea level, that means we are very vulnerable. With this government we have at the moment, I am afraid that we run more risks of being flooded than ever.
    Well I hope that they will see in time that we need strong dikes, and less pollution. I am so sorry for what happens all over the world. And a disaster happens almost every month. Hopefully 2012 brings better weather!

  4. I can’t believe “the deniers” are still denying, Roger, but it’s true. The present Canadian government doesn’t believe in global warming.
    If we have snow for Christmas, it will be patches left over from last week. LOL
    Wishing you and your family the very best of the holiday season and good weather for the coming year!
    K

  5. Great post. I think about this a lot as our weather in New York City has been so strange (fluctuating, unseasonable) this year. There IS a lot we can do!

    It has been a pleasure meeting you this year. I wish you and your family a happy holiday and Great new year, and I look forward to your weekly 2012 posts!

  6. This week we had another tropical storm causing a flash flood that killed over 700 and displaced thousands in the Philippines. It really has been a wild and weird year for weather around the globe. I guess the deniers prefer to be part of the problem than the solution. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Roger!

  7. Definitely weird weather here too. I live in Northern California and our air is certainly better than Southern CA.
    We’ve only has a spritz of rain so far, and plenty of frosty 32* mornings but it does make me wonder what’s in store for us in the next few months.
    Great post as always.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

  8. An interesting post Roger, especially as I had to do some mental conversions from Fahrenheit to Celsius in my head! The figure of 88.9 degrees didn’t sound too bad until I realised that this was the average for the month of July in Oklahoma.

    I’m not a climate change denier, but it is a process of decades or more and care has to be taken when looking at a single year in isolation. One of the things that seems to be happening in Europe is that the seasons are shifting which is certainly confusing the wildlife!

  9. Weird: That the very word that the wicked witch wished on us.

    Last the last week, our Nelson experienced a mini tsunami, and just the neighbor of the country I grew up, Mindanao in Philipiness.

    We should find the wonderful fairy, to stop all these weirdness.

    Let’s hope your White Christmas will not turn into a storm.

    Good fairy, please use your wand.

  10. I remember years ago, when our children were small, that we would have alerts, at the Day Care in Burbank, CA that I was working at, and all the children would have to come inside, and we would have them lay on mats for an hour, until it was cleared to go outside again.

    So glad it’s not like that now.

    We really are having Weird Weather!

  11. My friend said to me a few years ago when this weird weather, natural disaster activity began ‘hang on to your a** we’re going for a ride!’ It was a funny comment at the time, but, in reflection, it’s the best advice I’ve had in a long time…..lol

  12. Weird weather does seem to be endemic to this place. (I’ve lived in Oklahoma City for 37 years.)

    In July ’11, it hit 100 degrees or more on 27 days out of a possible 31, and never dropped below 71.

    Weirder, though, was the situation in February: we had a snowstorm and a temperature of -5, and one week later it hit 80.

    But the all-time weirdness record goes to November 11, 1911: 83 that afternoon, 17 that evening, both records for the date, still intact after 100 years.

  13. There never seems to be a lack of things to worry about. After two very wet winters here, we are now experiencing a very dry one. Having lived through the big drought in the mid 70s, it is not something I want to see again. Conservation of energy is on the rise, but not fast enough. If you really want to worry about something, think water. While we’ve made important progress in the last 40 years in cleaning up our rivers, we seem to be polluting and depleting our aquifers at a scary rate. So many of the world’s people live without a nearby source of clean water. Will water be the next resource after oil that we fight for?

  14. I’m sitting on the fence, mainly because I don’t have the time to really investigate. Nor do I have the temperament to just dabble in the information — I’d really have to dig before coming to a conclusion. That’s just me — got to find out for myself. I do remember when I was very young everyone was complaining about the weird weather back then. Later people blamed the atom bomb. The only consistent thing I know about our weird weather is that it is consistently weird. (We had our coolest summer on record last year.)

  15. But your post is not weird but right on! Our weather anomaly this month is temps averaging at 11 degrees above normal.
    Merry Christmas and a great new year, Roger!
    HelenMac
    ABC Wednesday Team

  16. We are having a wonderfully warm winter, so far (10C today). It certainly has been weird weather all over the world. Maybe it is going to be like this all the time from now on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s