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Rooting for OMW

Stevieslaw: Rooting for OMW

Let’s not lie to one another.  I know you are not sitting in front of your TV at five in the afternoon and again at eleven at night dressed in your favorite “let it snow sweatshirt.”  You are not even cheering when your local weatherperson---in our case a guy so old he is an  constant reminder of eight inch black and white sets---announces that tomorrow will be brutally cold and that people dumb enough to venture out will freeze solid in less than fifteen seconds.  But deep down, aren’t you---aren’t we all---wishing Old Man Winter one final terrific performance? One more winter we can say of in twenty years: “You remember the winter of 13, froze my butt off.”  The truth now.  Don’t you wish OMW could raise his hoary arm once more out of the white stuff that constrains him (no not snow, more like the foam that they coat runways with to prevent fires) and let us have it once again.  Let’s hear it for the old guy--- encore, encore, encore.


nostalgia for the bygone days of OMW-10f

Not really relevant to nostalgia for the bygone days of OMW-10f here in the winter heights of backwoods Pennsylvania, but, possibly useful for the workplace and the step-brothers.

"idiots will stop by your desk at work or email you or (God forbid) reach out on Facebook, saying something like “LOL what happenid to global warmeng??????” They will also mention Al Gore."

How to respond to people who say the cold weather disproves global warming


2. There’s a weird weather pattern that’s making it colder than it would otherwise be.

Climate Central notes the unusual “stratospheric warming event” that is causing the current cold temperatures. Be warned: This will likely confuse and frighten the person with whom you’re speaking. Take it slow.

While the physics behind sudden stratospheric warming events are complicated, their implications are not: such events are often harbingers of colder weather in North America and Eurasia. The ongoing event favors colder and possibly stormier weather for as long as four to eight weeks after the event, meaning that after a mild start to the winter, the rest of this month and February could bring the coldest weather of the winter season to parts of the U.S., along with a heightened chance of snow.

High temperatures todayNOAAHigh temperatures today

That may be too much for your audience. You can also try saying this, instead: “A sky thing is happening that doesn’t usually happen! It’s making it cold now, but it will go away.”

The key word to use is “unusual.” It is unusually cold because there is an unusual weather event. Ask the person you’re speaking with if they know what “unusual” means.

3. For advanced listeners only: Researchers expected a colder winter — thanks to global warming.

This summer saw the most extensive Arctic ice melt in recorded history. As it concluded, we noted that scientists expected that ice loss to translate to colder weather events. And, sure enough, from the Climate Central article linked above:

Sudden stratospheric warming events take place in about half of all Northern Hemisphere winters, and they have been occurring with increasing frequency during the past decade, possibly related to the loss of Arctic sea ice due to global warming. Arctic sea ice declined to its smallest extent on record in September 2012.

The “warming event” disturbs a pattern known as the “polar vortex.”

Sudden stratospheric warming events occur when large atmospheric waves, known as Rossby waves, extend beyond the troposphere where most weather occurs, and into the stratosphere. This vertical transport of energy can set a complex process into motion that leads to the breakdown of the high altitude cold low pressure area that typically spins above the North Pole during the winter, which is known as the polar vortex.

The polar vortex plays a major role in determining how much Arctic air spills southward toward the mid-latitudes. When there is a strong polar vortex, cold air tends to stay bottled up in the Arctic. However, when the vortex weakens or is disrupted, like a spinning top that suddenly starts wobbling, it can cause polar air masses to surge south, while the Arctic experiences milder-than-average temperatures.

Climate Central has a nifty animation of this happening. It may be easier to simply load that animation and point to it while nodding than trying to fight through the explanation above.

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Dr. Radut | blog