Globe has 2nd - 7th warmest October on record; U.S., 3rd coldest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:30 PM GMT on November 23, 2009

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The globe recorded its sixth warmest October since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated October 2009 as the 2nd warmest October on record, falling 0.06°C short of the record set in 2005, while the UK HADCRUT3 data set rated October the 7th warmest (this data set does not include most of the Arctic, Antarctic, and Africa, where there are few land stations). NOAA rated the year-to-date period, January - October 2009, as the fifth warmest such period on record. The October satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 6th - 7th warmest on record. Global ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies were the 5th warmest on record.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for October 2009. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Third coldest and top wettest October on record for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average October temperature was 4.0°F below average, making it the 3rd coldest October in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The cold was centered in the Midwest, where Oklahoma had its coolest October on record and ten other states had a top five coolest October. The nationwide precipitation of 4.15 inches was nearly double the long-term average of 2.11 inches. Three states (Iowa, Arkansas, and Louisiana) saw their record wettest October. Fourteen other states had precipitation readings ranking in their top five category. Only three states (Florida, Utah, and Arizona) saw below normal precipitation. Arkansas continued its remarkable run of wetness in 2009. The state has seen four months with top three precipitation ranks this year (May, 1st wettest; July, 3rd wettest; September, 2nd wettest; October, 1st wettest). As a result, the state's year-to-date average is the wettest in 115 years of record keeping. This contrasted with persistent dryness in Arizona, which saw its second-driest year-to-date period.

U.S. drought decreases
At the end of October, 12% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is the second-smallest drought footprint of the decade, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Major drought episodes in California and South Texas improved significantly. Drought conditions emerged across much of Arizona. About 45% of the contiguous United States had moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of October, according to the Palmer Index (a well-known index that measures both drought intensity and wet spell intensity). This is the largest such footprint since February 2005.

As I commented in a post earlier this year, drought, on average, has not been increasing in the U.S. over the past few decades. The exception is the Southwest U.S. Increased drought is my top concern in regards to the potential effects of climate change over the next 40 years, and I am pleased to see that so far we have not seen increased drought in the U.S. A recent paper by Andreadis et al., 2006, summed up 20th century drought in the U.S. thusly: "Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century. The main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where, notwithstanding increased precipitation (and in some cases increased soil moisture and runoff), increased temperature has led to trends in drought characteristics that are mostly opposite to those for the rest of the country especially in the case of drought duration and severity, which have increased."

However, drought may be increasing for the world as a whole. Dai and Trenberth (2004) showed that areas experiencing the three highest categories of drought--severe, extreme, and exceptional--more than doubled (from about 12% to 30%) since the 1970s, with a large jump in the early 1980s due to an El Niño-related precipitation decrease over land, and subsequent increases primarily due to warming temperatures. I've neglected drought in my blogs, and plan to do a thorough investigation and report on the latest research now that hurricane season is over.

U.S. fire activity
October, like September, saw below-normal fire activity in all respects. A total of 3,207 fires burned about 158,000 acres in October, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. Each of these values is below this decade's average for October.

Strong El Niño conditions develop
El Niño conditions intensified from moderate to strong over the tropical Eastern Pacific in October. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 1.7°C above average on November 15, just above the 1.5°C threshold for a strong El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is maintaining an El Niño Advisory. El Niño conditions appear to have stabilized over the past week, and no further intensification of El Niño is likely for the remainder of November. Model forecasts favor moderate to strong El Niño conditions during the Northern Hemisphere Winter of 2009 - 2010.

October sea ice extent in the Arctic 2nd lowest on record
October 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 2nd lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Only 2007 saw lower Arctic sea ice extent. During the first two weeks of November, Arctic ice extent decreased below the 2007 record minimum, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record low ice extent this month is the first extended period of record minimum Arctic sea ice since 2007. The new record minimum suggests that the gains in ice seen over the past two years were probably a temporary fluctuation due to normal year-to-year variability in the weather, and that the long-term Arctic sea ice decline observed since the 1970s is continuing.


Figure 2. Departure of Arctic sea ice from average for October 2009. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

References
Andreadis, K. M. Lettenmaier, D. P., "Trends in 20th century drought over the continental United States", Geo. Res. Letters 33, 10, L10403, DOI 10.1029/2006GL025711

Dai A., K.E. Trenberth, and T. Qian, 2004: A global data set of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 18702002: Relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming", J. Hydrometeorol., 5, 11171130.

Next post
I'm working on a rather lengthy analysis of the global warming scientist vs. skeptic controversy, including last week's hacked email affair. I'll post it when I get it done, most likely on Tuesday, but perhaps Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Farewell to a Spacecraft that served well,years beyond her Service design Life.

A true testament to her Builders,and those who maintained it on orbit as well.

Goodnight QuikScat, and we thank you.


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No GW is when the whole world gets warm and Climate change happens everyday. You know one day it rains and one day its sunny.
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Interesting post on Nida. Thanks Magic. We sometimes forget there is another Hemisphere. I think it is on the other side of the world which is why we probably forget about it.
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So...is GW the same as Climate Change?
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Looks like Nida might feed off of TD-27W after 72 hours according to latest prognostic reasoning on TD-27 from the JTWC.

WDPN32 PGTW 240300
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TROPICAL DEPRESSION 27W (TWENTYSEVEN)
WARNING NR 03//
RMKS/

1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.

2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
A. TROPICAL DEPRESSION (TD) 27W (TWENTYSEVEN), LOCATED
APPROXIMATELY 55 NM EAST-NORTHEAST OF MINDINAO, HAS TRACKED
NORTHWESTWARD AT 03 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED
MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY DEPICTS A FULLY-EXPOSED LOW-LEVEL
CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) WITH CONVECTION SHEARED 50 NM TO THE
NORTH. THEREFORE, THERE IS HIGH CONFIDENCE IN BOTH POSITIONING AND
MOTION. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS BASED ON DVORAK ESTIMATES OF 30-35
KNOTS. ANIMATED WATER VAPOR IMAGERY DEPICTS RESTRICTED OUTFLOW OVER
THE EASTERN SEMI-CIRCLE WITH WEAK POLEWARD OUTFLOW.

3. FORECAST REASONING.
A. NO CHANGE IN FORECAST PHILOSOPHY. PEAK INTENSITY HAS BEEN
DECREASED FROM 55 TO 45 KNOTS AT THE EXTENDED TAUS.
B. TD 27W IS CURRENTLY UNDER THE COMPETING STEERING INFLUENCES
OF THE NEAR-EQUATORIAL RIDGE TO THE SOUTH AND THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE
POSITIONED NORTH AND IS NEARLY QUASI-STATIONARY (QS). TD 27W IS
FORECAST TO REMAIN QS THROUGH TAU 48 BUT IS EXPECTED TO ACCELERATE
NORTHEASTWARD DUE TO INTERACTION WITH TS 26W. WEAK INTERACTION IS
EXPECTED AS THE SYSTEMS APPROACH WITHIN 600 NM AFTER TAU 72. TD 26W
IS FORECAST TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY AT 30-35 KNOTS THROUGH TAU 72
UNDER MARGINAL CONDITIONS.
C. IN THE EXTENDED TAUS, TD 27W WILL CONTINUE TO ACCELERATE
POLEWARD AND SHOULD REACH A PEAK INTENSITY OF 40-45 KNOTS. MODEL
GUIDANCE SUPPORTS THE QS TRACK WITH SEVERAL MODELS SUPPORTING WEAK
INTERACTION AND MERGER; TD 27W IS LIKELY TO DISSIPATE AS IT TRACKS
INTO THE OUTER PERIPHERY OF TS 26W.
//
NNNN
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For some reason I like this song...

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I am a little bit younger than you Pat..But my mom told me that all schools were let out that day. Maybe the red scare scenario at the time. The History and Discovery Channels had some documentaries on it, but I was very surprised the Sunday morning talk shows ignored it. And you are right, if not for JFK, we would have never landed on the moon and our space program would not be what it is today.
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My first real memory of any Tragedy was November 22nd 1963,as it was 6 weeks before my 4th Birthday,..as I was getting a Haircut in a High Barber Chair that Day with my Mother,and the enormity of something terrible happening was so strong,even a 4 year Old was scared to see Adults react like they did.

And that sorrow wasnt eased until I was 9,to a certain degree, when the Apollo 11 Landing and return occurred and America had realized his Dream,..and accomplished it.

Those of us 50 or Older will always know what JFK meant to America,and how much we lost that fateful day,46 years ago.
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Gen. Russell Honore (Ret.) former Cmdr. Task Force Katrina taking notes notes today before his panel appearance at the Hurricane Conference in New Orleans..

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Local forecast I made for my area at 7:30PM EST tonight.

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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, Geoff, people were much nicer to each other in those days! Even those who disagreed with him politically understood the tragedy of what occurred.


I would imagine like a 9/11 scenario.
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Thanks Drak.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Evening Drak...after this cool snap this week...any models showing a trend in fronts making it down this far?


The GFS and ECMWF shows another front coming down mid next week. Enough mid to upper level dynamics to push the front through and keep us cool.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Just going over most of the posts from yesterday, I saw no one mentioned the death of President Kennedy 46 years ago. A day late, but does anyone have any memories of that day?


Yes, Geoff, people were much nicer to each other in those days! Even those who disagreed with him politically understood the tragedy of what occurred.
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Evening Drak...after this cool snap this week...any models showing a trend in fronts making it down this far?
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Just going over most of the posts from yesterday, I saw no one mentioned the death of President Kennedy 46 years ago. A day late, but does anyone have any memories of that day?
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Quoting Patrap:
Speaking at length this evening with Forecaster Avila of the NHC ..he stated that although Quikscat has apparently failed..its not the end all of scatterometer data,..but the US needs to invest in another On -orbit carry on to enhance our data sets in the Future.
ASCAT and other sources will augment the Loss


Do you know what kind of carbon footprint those big rockets will leave not to mention how much space junk there is already out there.
Can't have it both ways boys.
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Quoting amd:
found a good website which prints out the gfs output for the next sixteen days.

This example is for Houston

To get a forecast for another city, all one has to do is enter the city of interest, and then click on the 16 day forecast link.


That is a nice site
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I think this embargo we still have on Cuba is ridiculous. Castro is on his death bed...Change is coming.
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US General Urges Washington to Improve Ties with Cuba

Havana, Nov 23.- US General Russell Honore who lived the experience of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 said that Cuba has valuable lessons to show the US in the fight against natural disasters and urged Washington to improve relations with the island, according to the daily Shreveport Times.

“The Cuban people know how to handle hurricanes”, said General Honore who was characterized by the daily as a “hard line general”.

“Despite the island being a small nation, with economic difficulties, they work well to prevent damages caused by hurricanes and prepare and avoid damages to its people and property”, said the US General.

General Honore presented on Monday a conference on Cooperation between Cuba and the US in defense of hurricanes. Also participating in the meeting is Dr. Jose Rubiera, Director of the National Weather Institute. 3 (Taken from RHC-Cubadebate)
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Figures...my first night off in a week and none of the regulars are on tonight :(
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213. amd
found a good website which prints out the gfs output for the next sixteen days.

This example is for Houston

To get a forecast for another city, all one has to do is enter the city of interest, and then click on the 16 day forecast link.
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212. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Great Britain/England with another strong low heading their way..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43658
Looking forward to that, Pat.
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Quoting pottery:
Sounds like it was Fantastic Pat.


I sure learned a lot about US-Cuban Hurricane past History and the hope of future collaboration as well pottery.

Look for my entry on the conference late tomorrow or weds.
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209. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
ah so that is why RSMC Mauritius is suddenly referring to CIMSS ASCAT Pass now
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43658
Speaking at length this evening with Forecaster Avila of the NHC ..he stated that although Quikscat has apparently failed..its not the end all of scatterometer data,..but the US needs to invest in another On -orbit carry on to enhance our data sets in the Future.
ASCAT and other sources will augment the Loss
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Sounds like it was Fantastic Pat.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
huh Quikscat is now gone??<BR>
Additional Information from Pre-Bongani advisory
================================================
Quikscat Date of the last night shows clearly an improving low level circulation center due to the development of deep convection over the center during the night, but pression remains high as environmental pression remains high to. The system is expected to develop progressively due to a favorable environment, good low level inflow, over warm sea surface temperature, and good upper level outflow. It is expected to track globally westwards.


Latest info I have seen:

000
NOUS72 KNES 231428
ADMNES
SUBJECT: USER NOTIFICATION ABOUT QUIKSCAT PRODUCTS. ISSUED 11/23/09
*DATE/TIME(UTC) MESSAGE ISSUED:
*
23 NOVEMBER 2009/1300 UTC

*SATELLITE(S) INVOLVED:
*
QUIKSCAT

*PRODUCT(S) INVOLVED/AFFECTED:
*
ALL QUIKSCAT PRODUCTS

*DETAILS:
*
THE SCATTEROMETER ANTENNA SPIN MECHANISM HAS CONTINUED TO DEGRADE.
DURING THE PAST 24 HOURS THE ANTENNA
SPIN MECHANISM HAS BEEN UNABLE TO MAINTAIN A CONSTANT 18 RPM ROTATION
RATE. THE SPIN RATE HAS DROPPED TO
ZERO SEVERAL TIMES. THE SPIN RATE CONTROL IS CURRENT LIMITED AND AS A
RESULT THE MOTOR IS UNABLE TO DELIVER SUFFICIENT
TORQUE TO OVERCOME THE INCREASED AND RAPIDLY VARYING BEARING FRICTION.
THE ANTENNA SUBSYSTEM CAN BE BEST
DESCRIBED AS "CHATTERING". AS DESIGNED, THE OPERATIONAL DATA PROCESSING
SYSTEM IS DROPPING ALL SIGMA0 MEASUREMENTS
FOR SPIN RATES BELOW 15 RPM AS DESIGNED AND THUS NO WIND RETRIEVALS ARE
BEING MADE FOR SPIN RATES BELOW 15RPM.
THE QUIKSCAT WINDS BEING RETRIEVED ARE STILL OF THE SAME QUALITY AS
PREVIOUSLY BUT AS THE GAPS IN THE DATA
SWATHS INCREASE USERS MIGHT START SEEING PROBLEMS IN THE AMBIGUITY
REMOVAL PORTION OF THE PROCESSING (INCONSISTENT
DIRECTIONS). SMALL GAPS CAN NOW BE SEEN IN THE CURRENT PASSES
HTTP://MANATI.ORBIT.NESDIS.NOAA.GOV/QUIKSCAT. IT APPEARS
THAT THE QUIKSCAT MISSION MAY BE NEAR ITS END OF NOMINAL OPERATING LIFE
AND FURTHER NOTICES WILL BE SENT AS EVENTS UNFOLD.
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205. IKE
6-10 day temps....




8-14 day temps....

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Quoting atmoaggie:

Wish I could have come down, Pat. Knew I couldn't...

Van Heerden really likes to talk to people, it seems. Once had dinner with the guy...talked his head off. (I enjoyed every minute)


One of the pleasant surprises today was my conversation with Him.
He's also very aware of the wunderground.com and supports the open discussions offered here as well.
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Quoting Patrap:
The US-Cuban Hurricane conference was a big success here in NOLA today.
I met with Ivor Van Heerden from LSU,Retired Gen Honore from the Task Force Katrina ,also met and spent a few minutes with NHC forecaster Avila as well.
I will have a complete Blog entry on the conference,tomorrow or Weds,..

Wish I could have come down, Pat. Knew I couldn't...

Van Heerden really likes to talk to people, it seems. Once had dinner with the guy...talked his head off. (I enjoyed every minute)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
The US-Cuban Hurricane conference was a big success here in NOLA today.
I met with Ivor Van Heerden from LSU,Retired Gen. Honore from Task Force Katrina,also met and spent a few minutes with NHC forecaster Avila as well.
I will have a complete Blog entry on the conference,tomorrow or Weds,..



Todays schedule..of speakers.
I was asked to speak at the end of the Conference and was surprised by the request,..

I was able to mention the wunderground and all the valuable things they have to offer.

> The Center for International Policy Takes Pleasure in Inviting You to
>
> A Conference on U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in Defending Against Hurricanes
>
> To be held November 23, 2009, in New Orleans at River City Plaza, next to
Mardi Gras World
>
> 1380 Port of New Orleans Place
>
>
>
> 2 p.m. Introduction by Wayne S. Smith of the Center for International Policy
>
>
>
> 2:15 2:45 p.m. Vital U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in Tracking Hurricanes and
Warning of their Approach. Jose Rubiera, of the Cuban Meteorological Center
(invited) and Lixion Avila of the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami. Chaired by
Jay Higginbotham, Archivist Emeritus of Mobile
>
>
>
> 2:45 4:00 p.m. - U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in the Face of Hurricanes.
Dagoberto Rodriguez Barrera, Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Relations
(invited); Lt.General (Ret) Russel Honore, Former Commander of Joint Task Force
Katrina; Lt. Col (Ret) Jerry Sneed, Director of Emergency Preparedness of
Orleans Parish; Ivor van Heerden, Founder of the Louisiana State University
Hurricane Center; Robert Turner, Director of the Southeast Louisiana Flood
Protection Authority. Chaired by Wayne Smith, Center for International Policy.
>
>
>
> 4:00 4:30 p.m. The Growing Focus on Disaster Medicine and Disaster
Management in Both the U.S. and Cuba. Dr. Guillermo Mesa Ridel, Director, Latin
American Center for Disaster Medicine (invited); Dr. Alex Isakov, Founding
Director of the Emory University Office of Critical Event Preparedness and
Response; Lt. Gen Russel Honore, Board Member of LSU's Stephenson Disaster
Management Institute; Chaired by Randy Poindexter, Executive Director of
International Cuba Society
>
>
>
> 4:30 4:45 p.m. President Obama's Prerogative, Despite the Embargo, to
Authorize U.S. Companies to Sell Cuba Reconstruction Materials and Equipment.
Robert L. Muse, Attorney, Muse and Associates
>
>
>
> 4:45 5:00 p.m. Shared Ecosystems: Opportunities for Increasing
Environmental Cooperation and Collaboration between Cuba and the United States.
Dan Whittle, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund.
>
>
>
> 5:00 6:00 p.m. Open Discussion. Participants from the various delegations
to Cuba, and other interested parties, are invited to comment and express
opinions as to new initiatives and directions and how we could better organize
to advance our objectives. Mr. Ky Luu, the Director of the Tulane University
Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, will have the first comment.
>
>
>
> 6:00 7:30 p.m. - Reception with cash bar in the Grand Oaks Mansion



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Quoting RufusBaker:
There is a whole lot of NOTHING going on out there. Might have to do with the fact that it is the end of the season....JMO

True nothing going on , looks the Atlantic & Caribbean basins are closed til next season which might be a whole other story, then again it might not be, who knows?
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Bring it on (West Palm/Lake Worth):

Nov 23 Tonight
A few showers early, then clouds lingering overnight. Low 69F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Nov 24 Tomorrow
Mostly cloudy in the morning. Isolated thunderstorms may develop later in the day. High 83F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Nov 24 Tomorrow night
Showers and a few thundershowers. Low 71F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Nov 25 Wednesday
Showers, maybe a rumble of thunder. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 60s.
Nov 26 Thursday
Slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Nov 27 Friday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 50s.
Nov 28 Saturday
Mostly sunny. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Nov 29 Sunday
A few clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Nov 30 Monday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s.
Dec 1 Tuesday
Slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s.
Dec 2 Wednesday
A few thunderstorms possible. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s.
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Quoting pottery:
Hydrus, post 190.
About These things that need more priority, and should be dealt with before the issue of GW. Are these things that affect you, or your community, or the entire World?
All three.
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There is a whole lot of NOTHING going on out there. Might have to do with the fact that it is the end of the season....JMO
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I hate to say to many of the US residents on this board, but most of the rest of the world is no longer arguing about whether AGW exists; Copenhagen is a lot more about what to do about it. Many world areas are experiencing serious climate shift, and people dwelling in these areas feel certain that human activities are at best exacerbating the effects, if not in fact serving as a major cause.

Example: the Dust Bowl phenomenon of the 1930s was not CAUSED by man, but man's activities certainly contributed to the effects.


Right on the button my friend, at least IMO.
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Hydrus, post 190.
About These things that need more priority, and should be dealt with before the issue of GW. Are these things that affect you, or your community, or the entire World?
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
winter123 I've been liking those animations you've been putting up the past few days--where do you find them?


Link
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192. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9-11 named cyclone looks low for now..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43658
191. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Link

Here is what the RSMC said earlier this fall about the cyclone season

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43658
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Global warming killed the video star.
Global warming is something the world can adjust to as it happens. To me there are more important concerns to be addressed. And some of them deserve immediate attention. I am not saying do not start making advancements to help slow GW, but priorities should take precedent. jmo
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Amen, Baha.
post 184
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.