Summer in March peaks in U.S. and Canada; record late snow in Oregon

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:17 PM GMT on March 22, 2012

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A spring heat wave like no other in U.S. and Canadian history peaked in intensity yesterday, during its tenth day. Since record keeping began in the late 1800s, there have never been so many temperature records broken for spring warmth in a one-week period--and the margins by which some of the records were broken yesterday were truly astonishing. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, commented to me yesterday, "it's almost like science fiction at this point." A few of the more remarkable records from yesterday:

Pellston, MI: record high broken by 32°F
Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula is called "Michigan's Icebox", since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state, and in the entire nation. But the past five days, Pellston has set five consecutive records for hottest March day. Yesterday's 85° reading broke the previous record for the date (53° in 2007) by a ridiculous 32°, and was an absurd 48°F above average.

Low temperatures beat the previous record high for the date at two stations
The low temperature at Marquette, Michigan was 52° yesterday, which was 3° warmer than the previous record high for the date! The low at Mt. Washington, NH yesterday (44°) also beat the previous record high for the date (43°.)

Canadian cities break all-time April record for warmth in March
Not only was yesterday the warmest March day in recorded history for many of Canada's major cities, it was also warmer than any April day at St. John, New Brunswick. The city hit 25.4°C (78°F.) Not only did this crush the record high for March (previous record: 17.5°C), it is well above any temperature ever measured in April (extreme April temperature on record: 22.8°C.) Halifax, Nova Scotia hit 25.8°C yesterday, beating their all-time March record of 25.6°, and falling just short of their all-time April record of 26.3°C, set on April 30, 2004. As of 1 pm today, Halifax was at 27°C, beating their all-time April record. Other major cities in Canada that set all-time warmest March records yesterday included Ottawa (27.4°C), Montreal (25.8°C), Windsor (27.8°C), Hamilton (25.6°C), London (26.4°C), and Fredericton (27.1°C).


Figure 1. The intensity and scope of Summer in March is clearly visible in this data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite. The map depicts temperatures on March 8 - 15, 2012, compared to the average of the same eight day period of March from 2000-2011. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue. These land surface temperatures are distinct from the air temperatures that meteorological stations typically measure, and indicate how hot the surface of the Earth in a particular location would feel to the touch. From a satellite vantage point, the “surface” includes a number of materials that capture and retain heat, such as sand in the desert, the dark roof of a building, or the pavement of a road. As a result, daytime land surface temperature are usually much higher than air temperatures—something that anyone who has walked barefoot across a parking lot on a summer afternoon knows instinctively. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Summer in March warmth crushes records in Michigan
Yesterday, nearly every major airport in Michigan's Lower Peninsula broke the record they set the previous day for their hottest March temperature, including Detroit (84°), Flint (86°F, just 2° below their all-time April record), Saginaw (87°F, just 2° below their all-time April record), Grand Rapids (87°), Muskegon (82°), Lansing (86°), Alpena (87°), Gaylord (83°, which was 26° above the average high for the date), Pellston (85°), Houghton Lake (85°), and Traverse City (87°, which was which was 45°F above the average high for the date, and was the fifth consecutive day they tied or broke their record for hottest March temperature, and just 3° below their record high temperature of 90° for April.) In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie's 83° (26° above the average high for the date) crushed the previous March record by 8°, and was only 2° shy of the warmest temperature ever measured in April. Cities in states neighboring Michigan that broke all-time March records for warmth yesterday included:

Indiana:
Fort Wayne (87°) and South Bend (86°)

Ohio:
Columbus (85°), Toledo (85°), Cleveland (83°), and Mansfield (82°)

Wisconsin:
Milwaukee (84°), Madison (83°), and Green Bay (82°). The NWS office in Madison notes that in July of 2009, Madison only had seven days of 80 degree temperatures, and the highest temperature for the whole month was 82. This March, Madison has had five days of 80 degree temperatures, with a high temperature for the month of 83. Prior to this year, there had been only five March 80°F+ days in Madison's history, going back to 1869.

Record March warmth continues in the Northeast U.S.
For the second consecutive day, temperatures across much of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine yesterday were the warmest on record for so early in the year. Hottest March temperatures on record occurred at Bangor, Maine (83°F), Houlton, Maine (79°F), Caribou, Maine (75°), Mount Washington, New Hampshire (54°F), and Buffalo, NY (82°).


Figure 2. The jet stream pattern features a large, southwards dipping bulge over the Western U.S., creating a trough of low pressure with cold and snow, and a large, northwards looping bulge over the Central U.S., creating a record-strength ridge of high pressure. The Western U.S. trough has cut off into a "cut-off low" that is slowly drifting eastwards.

Remarkable late-season snow storm on West Coast
The convoluted jet stream pattern that brought Summer in March conditions to the Eastern U.S. and Canada is also bringing record snows to Oregon. Eugene, Oregon picked up 7.5 inches of snow yesterday, the largest snowstorm this late in the year on record. The previous record was a 7.6" snow storm on March 5 - 7, 1951. Snow amounts as high as 32" have been recorded in the Oregon Cascades over the past few days. A loop in the jet stream has created a large upper-level ridge of high pressure that is stuck in place over the Eastern U.S., and large upper-level trough of low pressure over the Western U.S. Since the jet stream acts as the boundary between cold air to the north and warm air to the south, and the large loop in the jet places its axis far to the north of the eastern U.S., summer-like warmth has developed over the eastern half of the U.S. Conversely, colder than average temperatures have developed over the western third of the U.S. behind the southwards-dipping loop of the jet stream. This jet stream pattern was too extreme to be stable, and the big loop over the Western U.S. has broken off to form a giant eddy. The resulting area of low pressure is known as a "cut-off low", because it is cut off from the jet stream. The cut-off low is drifting slowly eastwards, and will bring an end to "Summer in March" over the Eastern half of the U.S. by Friday.

Jeff Masters

Warm Looking Sunrise (Ralfo)
Warm Looking Sunrise
March? (visionaire)
Spring has sprung too early--flowering seems like April or May. Temperatures like June! Japanese Gardens, St. Louis, Missouri.
March?

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Quoting wilsongti45:
I almost cringe whenever a politician talks about anything environmental. It is almost political suicide nowadays.
Yes. And that's exactly how the fossil fuel industry wants it to be.
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The Truth is not left or right handed.

Its above the din.
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Quoting drought:
Hey! That made me feel unwelcome ;)




lol :)
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Quoting yqt1001:


It's from this website. Although you can't change who you want to compare, you can find your own ranking or look at some other charts with historical figures, composers or even other elections globally (here's the one for the US in 2008). All in all it's a great site!


This is a great site! Thanks for posting it. I wonder how it would stack up if questions about global warming were part of the test. Would anti-global warmers be far right and pro warmers be left? Hmmmmm.
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In January 2012, 97 tornadoes were reported, of which 79 were confirmed. In January 2011, 16 tornadoes were confirmed.

In February 2012, 63 tornadoes were reported, of which at least 53 were confirmed. In February 2011, 1 tornado was confirmed.

In March 2012, 153 tornadoes have been reported, of which at least 103 have been confirmed. In March 2011, 75 tornadoes were confirmed.

Yikes...
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


MJ the greatest basketball player of all-time!


Absolutely!
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117 Cyclone2012: Bringing politics into a weather forum? REALLY?

Nuclear power is certainly related to the LongtermClimate issue.
Weather is the surface layer draped over climate.
The article is a straight out discussion on technical issues. It's more of a collection of definitions of some simple jargon that needs to be understood before real technical issues can be discussed.
There is no mention of partisan politics, left/right politics, etc, or even an opinion on the desirability of taking the nuclear option.

So is there anything whatsoever that can be mentioned that isn't politics in your eyes?
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Link to my new blog concerning the tropical southern hemisphere if you want to check it out:)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting BobWallace:


I see our largest hope coming from economic forces.

Already the wind industry has grown large enough to send windy-state Republican governors to Washington seeking continued support for wind farms.

Places like Texas that have a lot of wind generation on their grids are finding that the cost of electricity is dropping. Cheap wind causes more expensive fossil fuel generation off the grid in merit order pricing markets.

Electric cars seem to be only a few years from being as affordable and functional (adequate mileage range) as gasmobiles. Charging an EV costs about the same per mile as driving a 40MPG gasmobile with $1.20/gallon fuel. Once people find they can save $100+ a month by driving an EV we will quickly move off oil as our major personal transportation fuel.

Solar is on its way to <10 cents per kWh. At that point a lot less natural gas will be burned in peaker plants. And a lot of coal plants will simply close.

Residential solar is now down to ~$2.50/W, installed in Germany. It's about $6.40/W in the US. (Those prices include no subsidies.) Once we figure out how to be as efficient as the Germans we're going to see a residential solar 'goldrush'.

Battery storage is starting to appear at the grid level. As storage prices fall it will be cheaper to store cheap nighttime wind for daytime use and even more coal and gas will stay in the ground.

There's a chance that weird weather will scare the American public into demanding political action. But even if that doesn't happen I think economic forces will get us off fossil fuels.

The big question is whether it will be quick enough....

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Quoting Ameister12:

What could we expect in April with severe weather? I doubt anything close to what we saw last April.


It's hard to say, honestly, because the weather is not set in stone. However, if this year's Severe Weather activity trend is any indication of the months ahead, then we're in for a very active April.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
All extreme weather events in the USA during 2012 thus far:
  • Texas Flood (January 9)
  • Northwest snowstorm/flooding (January 18-19)
  • Record dry spell for California/Nevada (November 20, 2011-January 19, 2012)
  • January 22-23 tornado outbreak
  • Texas Flood (January 25)
  • Extreme cold/snow in Alaska (Jan/Feb. 2012)
  • Fourth warmest January (USA) on record
  • February 28-29 tornado outbreak
  • Fourth warmest winter on record (USA)
  • Extreme Heat (ongoing)
  • Southern plains flooding (ongoing)
Interesting...

Quite interesting
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 8971
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS is flip-flopping drastically from run to run between a snow event across the Great Lake and Northeast states, to a Severe Weather outbreak across the plains. Obviously, since we are in spring, and this would be for April, the Severe Weather outbreak is much more plausible, but we will have to wait and see..

It's very likely, in my opinion at least, that we're done with cold air until next fall.


What could we expect in April with severe weather? I doubt anything close to what we saw last April.
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Quoting drought:


I've seen the hottest station in the country be Massena, NY, Bangor, ME and Rochester, NH before.


I don't suppose you have any data to back that up, do you?
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All extreme weather events in the USA during 2012 thus far:
  • Texas Flood (January 9)
  • Northwest snowstorm/flooding (January 18-19)
  • Record dry spell for California/Nevada (November 20, 2011-January 19, 2012)
  • January 22-23 tornado outbreak
  • Texas Flood (January 25)
  • Extreme cold/snow in Alaska (Jan/Feb. 2012)
  • Fourth warmest January (USA) on record
  • February 28-29 tornado outbreak
  • March 2-3 tornado outbreak
  • Fourth warmest winter on record (USA)
  • Extreme Heat (ongoing)
  • Southern plains flooding (ongoing)
Interesting...
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Good day guys....I'm back from school
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 8971
Quoting pcola57:


Hey yqt1001...where do you get that graphic and can you change the group of people you want to compare?


It's from this website. Although you can't change who you want to compare, you can find your own ranking or look at some other charts with historical figures, composers or even other elections globally (here's the one for the US in 2008). All in all it's a great site!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BobWallace:


I see our largest hope coming from economic forces.

Already the wind industry has grown large enough to send windy-state Republican governors to Washington seeking continued support for wind farms.

Places like Texas that have a lot of wind generation on their grids are finding that the cost of electricity is dropping. Cheap wind causes more expensive fossil fuel generation off the grid in merit order pricing markets.

Electric cars seem to be only a few years from being as affordable and functional (adequate mileage range) as gasmobiles. Charging an EV costs about the same per mile as driving a 40MPG gasmobile with $1.20/gallon fuel. Once people find they can save $100+ a month by driving an EV we will quickly move off oil as our major personal transportation fuel.

Solar is on its way to <10 cents per kWh. At that point a lot less natural gas will be burned in peaker plants. And a lot of coal plants will simply close.

Residential solar is now down to ~$2.50/W, installed in Germany. It's about $6.40/W in the US. (Those prices include no subsidies.) Once we figure out how to be as efficient as the Germans we're going to see a residential solar 'goldrush'.

Battery storage is starting to appear at the grid level. As storage prices fall it will be cheaper to store cheap nighttime wind for daytime use and even more coal and gas will stay in the ground.

There's a chance that weird weather will scare the American public into demanding political action. But even if that doesn't happen I think economic forces will get us off fossil fuels.

The big question is whether it will be quick enough....



I agree that this will be the only way as well. However, I feel like it will be too little too late. As investment increases in green technology the price will naturally come down. C02 levels are skyrocketing and we are already past the point of no return with our current levels, according to many. I really hope that alternative energy does come down in price; it would be unnerving to watch India become modernized on the back of fossil fuels.
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Quoting yqt1001:
The political compass for the main competitors in the US primaries is out. And to my surprise, Obama and Mitt Romney are nearly identical.

Link

Just goes to show how the people who call Obama "leftist" are wrong by nearly 200%. Also look at how authoritarian some of the candidates are. Never seen anything that high since I looked at the chart for Hitler and Stalin.


Hey yqt1001...where do you get that graphic and can you change the group of people you want to compare?
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The GFS is flip-flopping drastically from run to run between a snow event across the Great Lake and Northeast states, to a Severe Weather outbreak across the plains. Obviously, since we are in spring, and this would be for April, the Severe Weather outbreak is much more plausible, but we will have to wait and see..

It's very likely, in my opinion at least, that we're done with cold air until next fall.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wilsongti45:


I just don't think there will be the political will to do anything meaningful about climate change anywhere in the near future. These are complex issues that take a concerted effort by the world, as discussed in the article. I almost cringe whenever a politician talks about anything environmental. It is almost political suicide nowadays.


I see our largest hope coming from economic forces.

Already the wind industry has grown large enough to send windy-state Republican governors to Washington seeking continued support for wind farms.

Places like Texas that have a lot of wind generation on their grids are finding that the cost of electricity is dropping. Cheap wind causes more expensive fossil fuel generation off the grid in merit order pricing markets.

Electric cars seem to be only a few years from being as affordable and functional (adequate mileage range) as gasmobiles. Charging an EV costs about the same per mile as driving a 40MPG gasmobile with $1.20/gallon fuel. Once people find they can save $100+ a month by driving an EV we will quickly move off oil as our major personal transportation fuel.

Solar is on its way to <10 cents per kWh. At that point a lot less natural gas will be burned in peaker plants. And a lot of coal plants will simply close.

Residential solar is now down to ~$2.50/W, installed in Germany. It's about $6.40/W in the US. (Those prices include no subsidies.) Once we figure out how to be as efficient as the Germans we're going to see a residential solar 'goldrush'.

Battery storage is starting to appear at the grid level. As storage prices fall it will be cheaper to store cheap nighttime wind for daytime use and even more coal and gas will stay in the ground.

There's a chance that weird weather will scare the American public into demanding political action. But even if that doesn't happen I think economic forces will get us off fossil fuels.

The big question is whether it will be quick enough....

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting sunlinepr:


..The surf is a bit choppy and the size is dropping.
per sqare inch puerto rico has more sea urchins than any place ive ever been to. watch your step
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The political compass for the main competitors in the US primaries is out. And to my surprise, Obama and Mitt Romney are nearly identical.

Link

Just goes to show how the people who call Obama "leftist" are wrong by nearly 200%. Also look at how authoritarian some of the candidates are. Never seen anything that high since I looked at the chart for Hitler and Stalin.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
CNN nuclear expert: I think MOX fuel is being used at U.S. reactors %u2014 Contradicts gov%u2019t claims %u2014 Made in Russia with weapons-grade plutonium .


Thanks for the article sunlinepr,it was very interesting to read it.One thing though,I'm still not clear on ownership of MOX fuel at the reactor BEFORE use...DOE or NRC? I will re-read it again.
PS...I see the clouds from Mobile way but haven't had a drop yet...birds are very quiet..I hope rain is light and we don't get the flooding Miss. is getting and Ala.too.
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MOBILE, Ala. — Forecasters say heavy rains moving into Alabama are increasing the threat of flooding.

The National Weather Service says 2 to 4 inches of rain is likely in southwest Alabama through Thursday night, and some areas could see as much as 7 inches of rain before the precipitation ends.

The weather service has issued a flood watch for southwest Alabama, and more watches or warnings are possible as the system moves into Alabama from Mississippi.

Forecasters say numerous thunderstorms are also likely across north Alabama, with the rain extending into Saturday.

0







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The 12z ECMWF is more agressive developing the South China sea system by next Friday.



GFS joins Euro,and has another system South of Guam.

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small showers near/over me right now..
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting sunlinepr:


..The surf is a bit choppy and the size is dropping.


but the view is lovely
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MOBILE, Ala. — Forecasters say heavy rains moving into Alabama are increasing the threat of flooding.

The National Weather Service says 2 to 4 inches of rain is likely in southwest Alabama through Thursday night, and some areas could see as much as 7 inches of rain before the precipitation ends.

The weather service has issued a flood watch for southwest Alabama, and more watches or warnings are possible as the system moves into Alabama from Mississippi.

Forecasters say numerous thunderstorms are also likely across north Alabama, with the rain extending into Saturday.

0







Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ALC025-097-129-MSC039-041-230030-
/O.NEW.KMOB.FF.W.0010.120322T1836Z-120323T0030Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
136 PM CDT THU MAR 22 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOBILE HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN GEORGE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI...
SOUTHEASTERN GREENE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI...
SOUTH CENTRAL CLARKE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ALABAMA...
NORTHERN MOBILE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ALABAMA...
SOUTHERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ALABAMA...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 129 PM CDT...VERY HEAVY RAIN THAT HAS FALLEN FROM THUNDERSTORMS
DURING THE PAST THREE HOURS. SOME 3 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN
DURING THE PAST THREE HOURS.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO SIMS
CHAPEL...MOWA CHOCTAW RESERVATION...CALVERT...WAGARVILLE...VINEGAR
BEND...TIBBIE...MCINTOSH...MALCOLM...LEROY...FAIRF ORD AND DEER PARK

AN ADDITIONAL TWO TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN MAY FALL OVER THE WARNED
AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING AS A SECOND LINE OF
THUNDERSTORMS SLOWLY APPROACHES FROM THE WEST AND INDIVIDUAL STORMS
REPEATEDLY MOVE OVER THE SAME AREA.

TO REPORT FLASH FLOODING TO YOUR NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...CALL TOLL
FREE AT 1 8 7 7 6 3 3 6 7 7 2.

LAT...LON 3097 8855 3111 8849 3137 8831 3156 8786
3134 8786 3118 8794 3094
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Quoting JNCali:
Short piece in Scientific America. :World Gov't Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe... Interesting read.... Link


I just don't think there will be the political will to do anything meaningful about climate change anywhere in the near future. These are complex issues that take a concerted effort by the world, as discussed in the article. I almost cringe whenever a politician talks about anything environmental. It is almost political suicide nowadays.
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FLOOD ADVISORY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
247 PM AST THU MAR 22 2012

PRC023-055-059-075-079-111-113-121-125-133-153-22 1945-
/O.NEW.TJSJ.FA.Y.0037.120322T1847Z-120322T1945Z/
/00000.N.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/
GUANICA PR-GUAYANILLA PR-JUANA DIAZ PR-LAJAS PR-PENUELAS PR-PONCE PR-
SABANA GRANDE PR-SAN GERMAN PR-SANTA ISABEL PR-YAUCO PR-CABO ROJO PR-
247 PM AST THU MAR 22 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN JUAN HAS ISSUED AN

* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY
FOR THE FOLLOWING MUNICIPALITIES...

IN PUERTO RICO
GUANICA...GUAYANILLA...JUANA DIAZ...LAJAS...PENUELAS...PONCE...
SABANA GRANDE...SAN GERMAN...SANTA ISABEL...YAUCO AND CABO ROJO

* UNTIL 345 PM AST

* AT 241 PM AST...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT
THE SOUTHERN HALF OF PUERTO RICO FOR THE NEXT HOUR OR SO. ALTHOUGH
MOST OF THE HEAVIEST SHOWERS HAVE DECREASED...MODERATE TO LIGHT
SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE ADVISORY AREA. THIS WILL
INCREASE THE POTENTIAL FOR MORE URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING TO
OCCUR.

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO
AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY
DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL
ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED
ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

&&

LAT...LON 1791 6652 1796 6664 1797 6663 1796 6676
1799 6677 1792 6692 1796 6706 1793 6710
1796 6718 1792 6720 1799 6722 1802 6719
1804 6722 1806 6721 1808 6643 1791 6645
1798 6646 1796 6655 1790 6651 1790 6652

$$

EM
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Hey! That made me feel unwelcome ;)


Quoting Jedkins01:


I love El Nino, generally speaking it means more rain for Florida and less drought, we have been battling with drought on and off for the past 3 years thanks to La Nina being mostly dominant.


BTW, there was some great beneficial rain last night around here, not just rain but strong thunderstorms as well. Looks like tonight we have a bit better chance as moisture has increased as well as instability even from yesterday. Furthermore, there is a low level jet from the southeast, that bumping up against the sea breeze could result in isolated areas of significant rain totals tonight. Localized PWAT's will approach 2 inches along the sea breeze collision.
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Quoting ClimateChange:
Up to 87 degrees at Ypsilanti (Detroit/Willow Run Airport), MI at the top of the hour. That appears to be the warmest ASOS site in the United States today, so far. Wonder if the warmest temperature in the country has ever occurred in Michigan before? I know I've seen it happen in the springtime a few times in Maryland & Virginia, especially around Frederick and Leesburg.


I've seen the hottest station in the country be Massena, NY, Bangor, ME and Rochester, NH before.
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Short piece in Scientific America. :World Gov't Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe... Interesting read.... Link
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118. LRC
Quoting presslord:
I remember in 7th grade we had a civics test...to the question "What is America's greatest strength?" I answered "it's people"...this was marked wrong...the correct answer was "Unlimited natural resources."....I've long wanted to track that teacher down and see what she thinks now...

Reminds me of when I was in 8th grade (around 35 years ago) and told that although the farm land was being taken over by sprawl, the oceans would have no trouble feeding the world forever. Hmmmm. The Grand Banks had enough fish in it to stop sail ships from moving, now they seem to be all in hiding. :(
If you think that this is way off topic there is belief among some scientists that not only over fishing, but water temp and acidification changes is making regeneration of stock very difficult.
Member Since: September 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 25
Quoting Inyo:


Perhaps, but the problems are related and the solutions doubly so. The misuse of water in the US, for instance, is both a result of bad land use practice that ALSO contributes to CO2 emissions (watershed degradation, deforestation, rampant sprawl) and also a cause of CO2 emissions (it isn't energy cheap to ship water across hundreds of miles of desert to feed LA's lawns, nor is it to purify all that water which is dumped in lawns or flushed down toilets!) True, desalination could be a very good thing in the more distant future, for the coasts at least, but we're going to need a LOT more efficient solar panels to get anywhere near that point. In fact, I think we are going to need intelligent new nuclear, intelligent wind, geothermal, micro-hydro (the big dams linked to the current water situation also cause problems, and aren't great, nor are they going to last), and more. If we want to turn over much of our transport to electrically powered, even more so.

And, the oil companies and their political cronies will kick and scream and slow down the process as much as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if China got off oil before the US :(


A lot of these problems will simply "go away" with time. I think we aren't going to require any other form of energy but solar which is great because it's one of the cleanest and most abundant source of energy we know of today - if not the most. Amazingly, solar energy is cheaper by 30% every single year and the amount we are producing is increasing at an exponential rate. As you probably know, the amount of energy we receive from the sun is enormous and virtually everlasting. We're going to reach a point where the price of solar energy will be significantly lower than coal. Through the years we will find ourselves with 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, and so forth, more solar energy than the whole globe requires.

People don't believe this because we don't think exponentially therefore they say it'll come in 100 years or so but that is not true. Abundant solar energy is at our doorsteps.
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CNN nuclear expert: I think MOX fuel is being used at U.S. reactors — Contradicts gov’t claims — Made in Russia with weapons-grade plutonium

-What is mixed oxide (MOX) fuel?
The mixed oxide fuel proposed by Shaw AREVA MOX Services (formerly Duke COGEMA Stone & Webster (DCS)) is a blend of plutonium dioxide and depleted uranium dioxide that will be used as fuel in commercial nuclear power plants. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process. Plutonium dioxide will be extracted from retired nuclear weapons and other sources of surplus plutonium. The purpose of manufacturing MOX fuel is to meet the goals of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. Under this program, DOE will reduce the inventory of fissile material from nuclear weapons by converting approximately 34 metric tons of surplus weapons grade plutonium into MOX fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants. The process of converting the fissile material into MOX fuel renders the plutonium less attractive for use in nuclear weapons. In some countries, MOX fuel is manufactured by recycling plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. That is not the case in the proposed MOX program in the U.S.

Why was Savannah River Site chosen as the location for the MOX fuel fabrication facility?
The Savannah River Site was selected by the Department of Energy. As part of the selection process, the DOE prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and solicited public input through meetings and comments on the EIS.

Is MOX fuel currently produced in the U.S. or elsewhere?
MOX fuel is not currently being produced in the U.S., but several European countries have been producing MOX fuel for more than 20 years. Their supply of plutonium is from spent nuclear fuel rather than nuclear weapons. Under agreements between Russia and the U.S., Russia also plans to build and operate a MOX fuel fabrication facility in Russia to reduce its surplus plutonium stockpile.

What is NRC's regulatory responsibility for MOX?
Congress assigned responsibility for licensing the proposed DOE MOX fuel fabrication facility to NRC. Two NRC offices have regulatory responsibility for MOX. The Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards will be responsible for licensing the proposed MOX fuel fabrication facility, which is intended to make fuel assemblies for commercial power plants. NRC's Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) will be responsible for licensing the use of the MOX fuel in commercial power plants.

How does the uranium fuel cycle produce depleted uranium?
The uranium nuclear fuel cycle consists of several processes involving uranium in different chemical and physical forms. Natural uranium contains 0.7 percent of the uranium-235 isotope. At uranium enrichment facilities, the gaseous diffusion process uses the the flow of gas through permeable membranes to produce uranium that is enriched to a higher concentration of U-235. The enrichment process also produces uranium depleted in U-235. Depleted uranium has about 0.3 percent U-235. This depleted uranium, combined with the plutonium dioxide (PuO2) from retired U.S. nuclear devices and other surplus plutonium, forms MOX fuel.

How is MOX fabricated?
Plutonium dioxide is mixed with depleted uranium dioxide to form mixed oxide powder. This powder is pressed and bonded into pellets through a heating process called sintering. The pellets are then loaded into corrosion-resistant thin metal tubes called fuel rods. The rods are bundled into fuel assemblies that are shipped to power plants licensed to use MOX fuel. MOX fuel assemblies will be shipped to the reactors in transportation containers that have undergone a thorough safety evaluation and are licensed by the NRC for this purpose.

Would MOX fuel be used in reactors in the same way that uranium fuel is now used?
NRC believes that MOX fuel could be used in a reactor if it performs in a way very similar to current fuel. Although the reactors were not specifically designed to use weapons-grade plutonium, they were designed to use the reactor-grade plutonium that is generated in the uranium fuel during normal operation. There is substantial world-wide experience with the use and behavior of reactor-grade plutonium, because all operating reactors contain plutonium created during the fission process.

If approved by NRC, the reactor licensee would test the MOX fuel by first operating with a few “lead test assemblies” in the reactor for at least two operating cycles. MOX fuel is tested in the reactor to verify the ability of the models to predict fuel performance and the applicability of the European database to the U.S. MOX fuel.

After approval by the NRC, the reactor licensee would insert a maximum of 40 percent of the reactor core with MOX fuel.

What is the difference between weapons-grade plutonium and reactor-grade plutonium?
The main difference between weapons-grade plutonium and reactor-grade plutonium is the percentage of the different isotopes of plutonium. Weapons-grade plutonium contains more of the isotope plutonium-239 than reactor-grade, while reactor-grade plutonium has more plutonium-240 than weapons-grade. Weapons-grade plutonium is more fissionable but reactor-grade is more radioactive. However, both require safe handling and that will be the focus of NRC's review.

Would MOX fuel be reprocessed?
The United States does not currently reprocess nuclear fuel (a small quantity of used fuel was reprocessed at the West Valley site in the 1960s). Reprocessing of used fuel involves the chemical treatment of the fuel to separate unused uranium and plutonium from radioactive fission products. Theoretically, uranium could be recycled through an enrichment facility and some recovered plutonium could be used in new fuel assemblies. The DOE has stated that it has no capability and no plans to reprocess used reactor or MOX fuel.

How would used MOX fuel be stored?
Interim Storage. NRC expects no significant difference in the way used MOX fuel and used uranium fuel is stored. After fuel has been in a reactor for two operating cycles, the fuel is stored in fuel pools or storage casks located at each reactor site. In the United States, used fuel will remain in interim storage until a high-level waste storage facility is available. For more information, see Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel.
High-Level Waste Disposal. If a Federal high-level waste storage facility is licensed, used fuel assemblies, including MOX fuel assemblies (if available), would be packaged directly into special containers designed for the high-level waste storage facility. The containers would be shipped by truck or rail to the high-level waste storage facility, using NRC-approved shipping packages. High-level waste includes used reactor fuel and liquid wastes resulting from milling. Used fuel from nuclear power plants is one of the primary sources of high-level waste. For more information, see High-Level Waste Disposal, the draft Yucca Mountain Review Plan, and the Review of DOE's High-Level Waste Repository Site Recommendation.

Will the Price-Anderson Act apply to the MOX facility? Who will be liable if an accident occurs and who will be liable for future clean-up costs?
The Price-Anderson Act will apply to the MOX fuel fabrication facility. Pursuant to provisions of the Price-Anderson Act, NRC staff understands that DOE intends to indemnify MOX Services for any damages due to accidents, clean-up costs, or other similar expenses which involve the risk of public liability connected with the MOX project at the Savannah River Site. Using MOX fuel in a reactor would not violate the Price-Anderson Act.
As the NRC is responsible only for commercial uses of nuclear material, at what point does the plutonium from weapons become commercial?
DOE would retain jurisdiction over the plutonium during the pit disassembly and conversion process, where the weapons-grade plutonium would be converted into plutonium oxide powder. When the plutonium oxide powder is transferred to the proposed MOX fuel fabrication facility to be fabricated into fuel, MOX Services would take possession, subject to NRC regulations, but the material would still be owned by the DOE. The reactor licensee assumes ownership of the material when the fresh fuel assembly is placed in the reactor.

With regard to protecting the public health and safety, is the DOE responsible to the NRC?
The NRC has responsibility for civilian use of nuclear material. In cases where nuclear material is used for military purposes, the NRC has no authority over the DOE beyond the specific activities listed for regulation by the NRC under the Energy Reorganization Act (Section 202). However, Congress has assigned the NRC regulatory authority over activities at a MOX fuel fabrication facility, if it is built and operated. DOE would own the facility. MOX Services would construct and operate the facility for the DOE and would be subject to NRC regulatory authority. Safe and secure handling of licensed material would be the responsibility of MOX Services.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


I love El Nino, generally speaking it means more rain for Florida and less drought, we have been battling with drought on and off for the past 3 years thanks to La Nina being mostly dominant.


BTW, there was some great beneficial rain last night around here, not just rain but strong thunderstorms as well. Looks like tonight we have a bit better chance as moisture has increased as well as instability even from yesterday. Furthermore, there is a low level jet from the southeast, that bumping up against the sea breeze could result in isolated areas of significant rain totals tonight. Localized PWAT's will approach 2 inches along the sea breeze collision.


Thanks Jed!
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Any rain by you yesterday?


refer to the comment above :) ^
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
A moderate to strong one by the end of summer that model shows. This is going to be an interesting hurricane season. Odds are in our favor for us to see an El-Nino this year whether some on here like it or not. Remember though even though we may end up with 10 to 12 storms that doesn't necessarly mean good news for the US as this could be the year we see a major hit the US.



I love El Nino, generally speaking it means more rain for Florida and less drought, we have been battling with drought on and off for the past 3 years thanks to La Nina being mostly dominant.


BTW, there was some great beneficial rain last night around here, not just rain but strong thunderstorms as well. Looks like tonight we have a bit better chance as moisture has increased as well as instability even from yesterday. Furthermore, there is a low level jet from the southeast, that bumping up against the sea breeze could result in isolated areas of significant rain totals tonight. Localized PWAT's will approach 2 inches along the sea breeze collision.
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Quoting Jedkins01:






Any rain by you yesterday?
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Quoting Jedkins01:






MJ the greatest basketball player of all-time!
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I remember in 7th grade we had a civics test...to the question "What is America's greatest strength?" I answered "it's people"...this was marked wrong...the correct answer was "Unlimited natural resources."....I've long wanted to track that teacher down and see what she thinks now...
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Perhaps, but don't you think it's rather odd that all three of NASA's primary North American facilities were struck by historic tropical systems in only three years? The odds were statistically very much against this. These were not glancing blows either, but direct hits.

It seems to me that someone may be trying to send U.S. a powerful message, and whatever it is, it can apparently steer hurricanes, or perhaps even create them.




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..The surf is a bit choppy and the size is dropping.
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105. Inyo
Quoting SteveDa1:


In your link:
"It has been said that water will be "the oil of the 21st century," or "liquid gold," and that it will cause wars between nations."


In my opinion, though, once solar energy becomes very cheap due to rapid advances in technology then we can start exploiting the 97.5% of the water that is salted. That will give us a virtually unlimited amount of water. Desalination will be key in the coming decades. Therefore, I think there is little to worry about.

I still strongly believe climate change should be the only and most important problem in our heads right now. Not water, oil and whatnot.


Perhaps, but the problems are related and the solutions doubly so. The misuse of water in the US, for instance, is both a result of bad land use practice that ALSO contributes to CO2 emissions (watershed degradation, deforestation, rampant sprawl) and also a cause of CO2 emissions (it isn't energy cheap to ship water across hundreds of miles of desert to feed LA's lawns, nor is it to purify all that water which is dumped in lawns or flushed down toilets!) True, desalination could be a very good thing in the more distant future, for the coasts at least, but we're going to need a LOT more efficient solar panels to get anywhere near that point. In fact, I think we are going to need intelligent new nuclear, intelligent wind, geothermal, micro-hydro (the big dams linked to the current water situation also cause problems, and aren't great, nor are they going to last), and more. If we want to turn over much of our transport to electrically powered, even more so.

And, the oil companies and their political cronies will kick and scream and slow down the process as much as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if China got off oil before the US :(
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--Chicago has reached 81 again, the eighth time this month the temperature has hit that mark. Chicago has never seen the temperature reach 80 degrees eight times in a single March. In fact, Chicago has only once in 140 years seen the temperature reach 80 degrees eight times in a single April. But what really blows me away, however, is this stat: since 1871, Chicago has only had 18 March days with a temperature at 80 or higher. Eight of those have occurred in the last week-and-a-half.

--Both Detroit and Ypsilanti are now at 88. Detroit has never been so hot in March, and, in fact, it's only made it to that temperature twice in April.

--UPDATE: Bangor, ME, is currently at 83 degrees. This breaks the old record for the date of 66.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:



Fossil fuels maybe our demise if we don't get a handle on this soon.



Everything is gonna be fine. Your always gonna have a job, we are going to have all resources we need, the economy will always go up, and your way of living will never decline.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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