Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Return to 'Normal' Winter?

So, winter returns to normal this weekend. Sort of.

Daytime temperatures are forecast to be below the ‘normal’ of minus five starting this weekend. Overnight lows will drop into the minus 10 to 15 ‘normal’ range.

Those forecast temperatures, although freezing and much more wintery than the past two weeks, will not a normal winter make.

The normals used by weather reporting agencies are deceiving because they are based on only the last 30 years of data. Thirty years takes us back to the later 1980s, when global warming began to become significantly noticeable. Before the 1980s, Haliburton County had harsher, more traditional winters.

Up in this part of the country the only place they now record that information is at Muskoka airport and Bancroft. At Muskoka, the record keeping is hit and miss. In December, Muskoka missed recording its weather on 12 days. So far in January, it has missed four days.

“What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” Gavin A. Schmidt, head of a unit of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that tracks global temperatures, said in the New York Times recently.

These wild changes in the Arctic climate will continue to impact us, notably in late winter. Forecasts done in the U.S. call for warmer than usual weather this coming February and March.

Our local 14-day forecast calls for highs and lows in the minus six to minus 15 range. So far, no bursts of huge cold or heavy snowfalls are forecast.

That doesn’t mean that we should expect a balmy ride into spring. Arctic cold fronts will continue to appear, bringing those bitter cold February and March days that were so common in the past. However, predictions are that we will see more milder days than usual in the coming weeks.

So far the changing climate in our part of the world has not been devastating. This winter’s snowmobile season has not been the best, but it has not been a washout. This weekend’s return to colder temperatures should help to improve trails.

Also, the ski season has had a good start with plenty of early snow.
Weather forecasting has become progressively more accurate. The same cannot be said for weather recording.

Environment Canada continues to cut back its historical weather record keeping. That’s the info that tells you the temperatures and precipitation amounts on each day of the month.

Bancroft has done much better, not missing any days.

Trying to figure out snowfall amounts has been almost impossible since Environment Canada stopped reporting snow depth on the ground. It now simply records daily total precipitation, rain or snow, in millimeters.

Climate change still is denied, or explained away, by too many people including The Trumpeter, now Narcissist-in-Chief of the United States. He says climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China to make the U.S. less competitive.

However, the changeable winters we have seen in recent years are increasingly explained by scientific data. Of the 17 hottest years in earth’s recorded history, sixteen have occurred since 2000. Last year was our planet’s third consecutive warmest year in recorded history.

There is more warmth and more change to come and we should be prepared for it.

There seems to be pattern developing in our part of world. Cool air moving over warm open waters, bringing heavy snowfalls at the start of winter. Then January thaws increasingly warmer and longer than in the past.

February and March winter conditions seem to have been less severe in recent times. Again, there is some scientific study to explain that and to indicate that even milder late winters are coming.

A new study by Princeton University researchers says that northern latitudes can expect more mild weather days. And, areas in the more southern latitudes can expect fewer mild weather days, which are defined as pleasant outdoor days with fewer heat extremes and less precipitation.

All this is tied to dramatic changes in the Arctic where temperatures are said to be rising more quickly than other parts of the planet.
Temperatures last autumn were 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in parts of the Arctic waters.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Scooped the Washington Press Corps

You read it here first!

Through fantastic reporting, I have obtained Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration speech. Obviously I can’t reveal how I got it, except to say that brilliant reporting was involved.

So while the entire world waits with eyeballs glued to televisions you, dear readers, have the speech now. Here it is:

My Fellow Americans. And, of course, your lovely ladies as well.

Happy 2017 to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Sad! Very sad!

Welcome to you fans who have come from all corners to witness this historic day. Great people out there. Like Vlad Putin, in the second row, He’s a great guy and his girlfriend Alina Kabaeva has great legs.

Vlad is a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country.

One thing, though. He is not as good looking as me.  I mean do I look like a president? How handsome am I, right? How handsome? You betcha!
I think it’s important that I say something never said here before: Many scores and years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Well, they got that wrong! Nobody is created equal. You have to know the right people and work the dollars to get that way.

I’m going to work at making a lot more people more equal. Nobody can do it better than me.

I have a great temperament for getting that done. My temperament is very good, very calm. Everything I’ve done virtually has been a tremendous success. In fact everything I have done actually has been tremendous.

I’m going to help the poor, because they need a lot of help. I mean if they have been poor for so many generations, how smart can they be? Basically they are morons and they need help.

I’m also going to do foreign affairs. Foreign affairs, without the help of the State Department. The level of stupidity there is incredible. I'm telling you, I used to use the word incompetent. Now I just call them stupid.

I’ll be consulting myself a lot. Speaking with myself – No. 1 – because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.

I’ve already seen how our free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people.

There has been a bunch of snivelling about having too many rich men, and too few women, in my administration.

I want to make clear that I cherish women. I want to help women. I’m going to be able to do things for women that no one else could do. They are going to love it.

(Pause as the President summons an aide to bring him a pair of ear muffs).

That feels better. I didn’t want my ears to get frostbitten on my first day as president.

You know all this global warming talk was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. Now any and all weather events are used by the global warming hoaxsters to justify higher taxes to save our planet!

And of course there’s the carbon footprint thing and the hole in the ozone thing. They say, don't use hair spray, it's bad for the ozone. I want to use hair spray. I’ve got a fantastic head of hair and I want to keep it in place. What’s more important, my hair or the ozone?

Hey, it really is getting cold outside. I see Hillary sitting out there in Row 236 and can hear her teeth chattering. She’ll warm up when we get her locked up.

So that’s about it. I want to cut this short because it really is getting cold. Half the country is in a deep freeze. It’s a major freeze. Weeks ahead of normal.

Our planet is freezing. Record low temps, and our scientists are stuck in ice.

Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!

Catch ya on Twitter!