Thursday, December 15, 2011

Going Around In Cycles

Looking around the web for some kind of sign that Winter might miraculously appear on the West Coast, I found this Sacramento Bee story on our La Niña. The tone, or basic climate assumptions displayed by the reporter (and the newspapers still employ editors?) really fired me up! NOAA's "Year for the Record Books" isn't as scary as it sounds...Irene was the only hurricane to qualify in the Billion Dollar Club, most of the events are Springtime tornado outbreaks.

Incredibly, the reporter likens our "Pineapple Express" to hurricanes! By definition hurricanes are circular, well organized storms...think our weather makers on steroids.

There is hurricane news: We're enjoying a period of low intensity Atlantic Tropical Cyclone activity. In fact each day that passes sets a new record for Days Without a Major Hurricane landfall on the United States.

 This is born out by the historical reanalysis by NOAA of the hurricane records. No December forecast for next season's Hurricane Season was issued, and Colorado State University is not defending the long range models anymore. They noted:

"We strongly believe that the increases in atmospheric CO2 since the start of the 20th century have had little or no significant effect on Atlantic basin or global Tropical Cyclone activity as extensively discussed in our many previous forecast write-ups and recently in Gray (2011). Global tropical cyclone activity has shown no significant trend over the past thirty years."

I cooled off and found another Long Period Cycle turning to the Cold Side:

AMO begins negative (cold) phase "This is the first time the November value has been negative since about 1996. It appears the down cycle has started. This portends a cooler period, especially winters."

 La Niña will be weak to moderate through late Spring says NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's 90 Outlook issued today.

AO, the Arctic Oscillation is trending to the cold side, though NOAA has some problem with the data at present.

That's a lot of cold. It's probably bad news precip-wise. Cooler ocean temps mean less convection which is the pipeline that fills weather systems with moisture.

With my head filled with cool thoughts, I decided to stay awake to watch some actual falling snow. I watched the 10 O'clock and 11 O'clock News weathercasts...I watched Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element". Around 2AM I looked at the webcams and saw a little bit of dusting. I looked at my front porch...not a flake yet.

I fired up another SciFi Classic, Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" on Blu-ray I must have fallen asleep around 3AM. I woke up and looked outside a 0430...still no joy. When I looked again, there was a little dust on things, but it wasn't snowing anymore. Blazing sunlight burned through my blinds at 0830. Chain controls were up over Donner Summit for a time, but they'd been lifted in time to cause enough spinouts to cause CalTrans to hold westbound traffic for a time.

I missed the last morning weathercast on the TrainWreck News, so I found one online.

Thanks Channel 8 KOLO Reno!

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