Spring in February?

If you doubted climate change is real, the past two winters are enough proof to me that it is.   The past two winters are the two warmest winters on record (for this region, anyway), and I have never seen anything like this:

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Yes, those are cherry blossoms on those trees.  Other trees are blooming too.  The grass in my yard is ready to be mowed and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere.  The temperatures in the daytime have been in the 70s.

This is in the mountains of North Carolina, not northern Florida.   In normal years, our highland climate isn’t very different than that of southern New Jersey or the Mid-Atlantic states.  Winters here tend to be of fairly short duration, but they are normally quite cold and we do get some snow.

I love spring (it’s my favorite season), but this isn’t normal. These trees should not be blooming for another month.

The weather in other places has been very strange too.   Freezing cold temperatures in the Pacific Northwest (where it’s usually fairly mild in the winter), and days of flooding rains and tropical storm force winds in coastal California.

What a perfect time for the president to silence and attempt to shut down the EPA.

I’m attending a March for Science here in my city on Earth day — April 22nd.   It will be my first protest activity against this administration (besides my incessant rants in this blog and on Facebook and Twitter).  I’m fed up with the science deniers who act like global warming isn’t real, and now we have a woman under Trump (Betsy DeVos) who has plans to remove the teaching of science in schools (and defund the public schools while she’s at it).

If you want to help save science education, there are Marches for Science in many US cities.   Their website is here, and by scrolling to the bottom, you can find out where there will be one near you:

https://www.marchforscience.com/

 

 

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Storm approaching.

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What the sky looked like as tonight’s thunderstorm rolled in.

 

Too much of a good thing?

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This summer’s weather has been crazy.   All of June was very dry in my part of the county (western NC), barely any rain at all.   April and May were dry as well, which is unusual since normally these are two of the wettest months (November and early December are generally  wetter though–or they seem to be).

My grass was turning brown and my flowers were dying.   It’s been nice not having to mow the yard every weekend (or really, at all!) but the prospect of drought and possible wildfires was not a pleasant one.   Like people all over this region, I prayed for rain.  But day after day passed with not a drop.

I suppose God got irritated with all the constant rain requests, because for the past three days we’ve been hit every evening with not just rain–but downpours of almost Biblical proportions, complete with thunder, lightning, hail, and very high winds.   Last night and the night before,  we had severe thunderstorm warnings and these storms were a little scary!   Last night’s storm produced flooding rain and the wind was gusting at 65mph, enough to blow the lightweight furniture off my porch and knock over a few of my potted plants.    My cats came running inside when they heard the clap of thunder, cowering and their poor fur standing on end.

Tonight is predicted to be much the same.  Right now, it’s calm but we’re under a severe storm watch and storms are popping up on the radar all over the region.   And it doesn’t look like this pattern is going to end anytime soon. Check out this week’s forecast.

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Tropical Storm Colin to hit Gulf coast of Florida

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My son lives in New Port Richey, Florida, which is right in the projected path of Tropical Storm Colin, which is due to make landfall later tonight. My son’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie (he wanted to be a stormchaser when he was younger) so hopefully he stays inside. He took this photo driving home. There were a few others, but I couldn’t upload them.

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Cold spring.


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I don’t know about other areas, but with the exception of a few warm, almost hot days, April and May have been exceptionally chilly, making jackets and sweaters necessary, even during the day.   Today was more like mid-November than mid-late May–overcast, rainy and only about 60.   It’s windy too, making it seem even colder.  Earlier this month, there was actually snow in some higher elevations (and this ain’t exactly the Rockies).   Two nights ago we were down in the low 40’s.   I’m actually running the heat right now.  It’s so fall-like I half-expect the leaves to start changing colors. It’s also been very dry–so dry there have been fires in some places, which is unusual in the spring.   My area is finally getting some rain, but it’s still not exactly warm.

The year 1816 is remembered as the “year without a summer.”  Temperatures in the northern hemisphere were much lower than average all that summer. The bizarre weather was a “volcanic winter” caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies.   While I haven’t heard about any volcanic eruptions and there’s no reason to think this summer won’t be as hot as always, right now I’m tempted to pull out the fall decorations.

I’m planning to spend Memorial Day at the lake, so I sure hope it warms up a little.

No white Christmas this year.

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I’m not a big fan of snow or cold weather, but this entire month has been unseasonably warm, and after two or three days of moderately cold weather (but still above freezing), the springlike weather is back. Her’es a screenshot of the weather forecast for the next week.

christmas_weather

As you can see, thunderstorms are supposed to move in tonight, with possible flooding or even severe storms possible–and stick around through Christmas Day. As much as I usually dislike snow, I really wouldn’t mind seeing a little of the white stuff on Christmas. Somehow, thunderstorms and rain don’t seem to fit the mood of the season. Maybe the weather isn’t feeling much in the holiday spirit. It’s just been a very weird month, weather-wise.

 

The scientific reason why the east coast has been so warm.

Ominous clouds.

For awhile it looked a bit threatening, but nothing happened and soon the hot sun was back out. It’s been like this all day, as if the weather has Borderline Personality Disorder.

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Summer storm.

At around 7:30 PM the sky began to get very dark, and a severe thunderstorm warning was issued. I drove to the nearby shopping center parking lot so I could get some good photos of the storm coming in.

It looked pretty impressive and scary as it rolled in, but turned out to be a washout, with rain but no hail, although it did get VERY windy for a few minutes just before the rain started.

I also got a couple of shots of the sky as the storm moved out, around sunset, and the colors were so pretty. (Click on the photos to see more detail).

Taken at around 7:30 PM:

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I took these at about 8:30 PM:

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A close call.

My friend (and commenter on this blog) Alaina lives in Eastern New Mexico, where the prairie meets the desert. Severe storms and tornadoes are a common occurrence in her part of the country in the spring. She sent me these unbelievable pictures on Twitter. I am including her words in the captions of this incredible moment. I would have been so scared I doubt I could have held the camera steady, or even had the presence of mind to take photos at all!

While driving in eastern NM last week we saw this storm tracker beside the road watching the sky…..

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…We drove to a nearby truck stop. I got out of the car and took pictures of the storm cloud…

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Suddenly a wall of dust and debris was whirling all around us!

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We were standing directly under a supercell, inside the vortex of a weak mesocyclone approx. 200′ wide!

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It looked & sounded scarier than my pics show. Wish I’d switched to video~dramatic high plains weather!

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I would say Alaina was very lucky! But what a fantastic opportunity to take some amazing photos.

Global warming, you say?

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It’s almost May and it’s 47 degrees outside and windy. Brrrrr!