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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Severe Storms.Cooling Off: Locally! Globally?

Severe weather did break out yesterday. Hail over 1 inch was reported in Baltimore County's Lutherville and Timonium- along with many other reports seen here. Our morning show audio engineer was stuck at home due to damage near Northwood Dr. He called me this morning saying, "100 ft trees were snapped, light poles gone, hails dents in his siding, and the power meter was stripped off of his house".
In fact at one point 70,000 people lost power after the storms. That improved to 18,000 powerless homes this morning at 4:30.
This is part of the 439 wind and hail reports across the nation Tuesday.
If anything- this was in the forecast and most people were somewhat prepared even if scared.

Cooling Off Locally
All of this talk about the nation's extreme weather, and we had a little taste the the hot side of things. However, we should consider ourselves lucky. In the 4 days stretch of 90F+ temperatures, NO RECORDS were either set or tied in Baltimore.
So essentially- while the heat came early, it was not worthy of making the almanac.
It will get lost in time, much like the #2 wettest and #11 coolest May we just experienced.
Today: Temperatures will still be above normal, but a drop of about 10 degrees in the afternoon. It will feel much better.

Cooling Off Globally:
I got a long email forwarded t me from Meteorologists Tony Pann and Topper Shut from WUSA in Washington. For the purpose of space and time, I've just posted the most recent article in Science Daily- discussing the 'lack' of sunspot activity and how that may already be translating to Global Cooling:

Science Daily: Scientists not sure why Sun 'continues to be dead' June 9, 2008

Excerpt: The sun has been laying low for the past couple of years, producing no sunspots and giving a break to satellites. That's good news for people who scramble when space weather interferes with their technology, but it became a point of discussion for the scientists who attended an international solar conference at Montana State University. Approximately 100 scientists from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and North America gathered June 1-6 to talk about "Solar Variability, Earth's Climate and the Space Environment." The scientists said periods of inactivity are normal for the sun, but this period has gone on longer than usual. "It continues to be dead," said Saku Tsuneta with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, program manager for the Hinode solar mission. [] The last cycle reached its peak in 2001 and is believed to be just ending now, Longcope said. The next cycle is just beginning and is expected to reach its peak sometime around 2012. Today's sun, however, is as inactive as it was two years ago, and scientists aren't sure why. "It's a dead face," Tsuneta said of the sun's appearance. Tsuneta said solar physicists aren't like weather forecasters; They can't predict the future. They do have the ability to observe, however, and they have observed a longer-than-normal period of solar inactivity. In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing sunspots. That period, from approximately 1650 to 1700, occurred during the middle of a little ice age on Earth that lasted from as early as the mid-15th century to as late as the mid-19th century.

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