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Friday, November 7, 2008

Winter Outlook From Wednesday Nov 5th (Examiner has tech problems)

This post is what you should have seen on my Examiner paste. I am sorry for the technical problems
You voted on this winter season’s snowfall and some scientists believe it’s the beginning of ‘Colder’ Climate Change…

Every November, as it gets cooler, the barrage of questions and even suggestions on the winter season pop up. I have never hid the fact that I love snow, so forgive me as I write from that perspective. Besides, I’m a weather guy- I should love weather!

According to the small poll I held, many of you are expecting a modest winter. This is a pretty good bell shaped curve with the emphasis on above average snowfall. If we end up with 35 inches at BWI-Marshall, that would be nearly double the 30 year average. The ambitious 60+ inch group of 4 are expecting something to happen that has only been recorded one other time- but those 13 years ago. As for the pessimistic group in the under 15 inch range, that is what the past two seasons have brought us.

'There's a little black spot on the sun'... or none?

The sun has the biggest impact on our weather. That should be a no brainer since it’s our source of heat and energy. But it’s hard to get past the overload of media stories focusing on ‘something else’. My purpose is not to dispute pollution, but I do argue that there are many factors that impact our global climate. The scientific community has a large following of this philosophy as well. Basically the theory is that sunspots (storms with cooler temperatures on the surface of the sun) actually result in more solar energy shooting off and reaching earth. The result is a warm up for the planet when it’s active, and a cool down when it’s calm. I have paid a lot of attention to the sunspots over the past few decades. In 2004, it was reported that the sunspot activity was at a 6000 year record. This year it has been almost silent. What gives? That is the million dollar question. The last time there was this little activity was back between 1645 and 1712. It was called the Maunder Minimum and corresponds to the 'little ice age'. I have posted a few stories below....

On this information alone, it would be easy to think not only should we have a colder than normal winter, but many more to come. Many of the Almanacs point to the sun as their source of forecasting, and I will touch on some of them next week. There are many.. But there are many factors influencing the weather as well. This year we add a potential La Nina in the Pacific which is notorious for cold spells in the Eastern US. Add in the Pacific Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, and various other factors, I will discuss at the end of the month. All leading to above normal snowfall potential. Personally, I have tried to take my bias out of the mix, and believe that we are in for a cold and stormy winter. Remember, that there is a wide range of snow in any year in Maryland, and all it takes is one good coastal to dump and blow out any expectations. We can also have a lot of storms that either hug the coast and turn us to rain, or jump out to sea and miss us. That is all part of the pattern to study. Stay tuned...

For more on this Sunspot activity, check out this link to New Scientist Space.

Fox News has a report from scientist saying Forget Global Warming, Prepare for a new Ice Age.

A story yesterday in Investors Business Daily pointed out that the planet has been cooling since 1998, ice growth had begun in the northern Hemisphere last year, and parts of the Southern Hemisphere have already experienced some extreme conditions in their winter. These links may take you away, so please come back for the rest below.

I encourage your comments, thoughts and questions. Please use the section below and we'll see where the discussion goes...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You must be crazy- don't you know that it has already been decided that it is getting warmer? Why do you waste everyone's time doing scientific observations that must be wrong when it has already been decided? Obviously man has changed the climate and there is nothing that you, the earth, or the sun can do about it. Just look at the rise in the ocean level- that should be enough proof for you- surely it must have gone way up since there is global warming therefore the ice melts and forms water which rises as in a flood- end of discussion! Man's CO2 cars and coal-burning have caused this- it has been decided- end of discussion! Even Obama knows that.
By the way, this has been a satire on today's science- same as science has been since... The sun revolves around the earth- it has been decided- end of discussion.
Barry from Cincinnati