April Snowstorms: The Rule, Not the Exception

By Chris Martz – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Last week, the Great Plains and upper Midwest were pummeled with a late-season blizzard. A wide swath of 10 to 20+ inches of snow buried parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with the highest totals in the 20 to 30 inch range centered in far western Minnesota, and much of South Dakota (Figure 1).¹ The storm was not technically a “bomb cyclone” because the air pressure didn’t drop 24 millibars within 24 hours, although it did get close.

Figure 1.Observed snowfall from Winter Storm Wesley – NWS Twin Cities.

The highest official snowfall report was 30.8 inches in Wallace, South Dakota, although higher amounts in scattered areas were more than likely.² On top of that, an ice storm occurred in numerous Midwestern states, a dust storm moved through the southern Plains, and 80 mph wind gusts were observed in Texas and New Mexico, while thundersnow was reported in other locations.²

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Scientists Find Bounds of Weather Forecasting is 2 Weeks

Re-Blogged From WUWT

From Penn State University and the “but we guarantee you there’s no predictability limit in climate science” department comes this interesting study.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the future, weather forecasts that provide storm warnings and help us plan our daily lives could come up to five days sooner before reaching the limits of numerical weather prediction, scientists said.

“The obvious question that has been raised from the very beginning of our whole field is, what’s the ultimate limit at which we can predict day-to-day weather in the future,” said Fuqing Zhang, distinguished professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques at Penn State. “We believe we have found that limit and on average, that it’s about two weeks.”

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Predicting heat waves? Look half a world away

Re-Blogged From WUWT

When thunderstorms brew over the tropics, California heat wave soon to follow.

When heavy rain falls over the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia and the eastern Pacific Ocean, it is a good indicator that temperatures in central California will reach 100°F in four to 16 days, according to a collaborative research team from the University of California, Davis, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Climate Center in Busan, South Korea.

University of California – Davis

An orchard of young trees withstands drought in California's Central Valley in 2014. The ability to predict heat waves in the Central Valley could help better prepare and protect crops and people from the impacts. Credit UC Davis

An orchard of young trees withstands drought in California’s Central Valley in 2014. The ability to predict heat waves in the Central Valley could help better prepare and protect crops and people from the impacts. Credit UC Davis

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Ice Tsunami Forces Residents To Evacuate Along Lake Erie

Re-Blogged From CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — High winds continue to cause chaos across the East coast, and residents near Lake Erie are dealing with another problem caused by the winds, an ice tsunami.

Huge chunks of ice are being pushed off of the Niagara River, and onto lakeshore areas.

Incredible video posted to social media by the Niagara Parks Police Service shows the ice stacked up along Niagara River Parkway, and falling onto the roadway.

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Amid the Dimmest Sun Since 1978 – a Month Without Sunspots

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The sun today is cue-ball blank, a perfect unmarred sphere:

Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum


The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots. The last time this happened, in August 2008, the sun was in the nadir of a century-class Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns shows that Solar Minimum has returned, and it could be as deep as the last one.

The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time–the same as 2008.

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Polar Vortex & US Cold Waves

By Dr Roy Spencer – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It’s much easier to devise and promote a climate change theory than it is to falsify it. Falsification requires a lot of data over a long period of time, something we don’t usually have in climate research.

The “polar vortex” is the deep cyclonic flow around a cold air mass generally covering the Arctic, Canada, and Northern Asia during winter. It is irregularly shaped, following the far-northern land masses, unlike it’s stratospheric cousin, which is often quite symmetric and centered on the North and South Poles.

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Spot The Volcano

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

It’s been a while since I played “Spot The Volcano”. The premise of the game is that the decrease in temperatures from volcanic eruptions is nowhere near as large as people claim. So I ask people to see if they can identify when a volcano erupted based on the temperature records of the time.

Now, I say that the main reason the temperature drop from volcanic eruptions is so small is that when we get a reduction in downwelling radiation from any cause, the equatorial oceans start to cool. When that happens the clouds form later in the day, allowing in more sunshine. And the net result is that any cooling from the volcanic eruption is mostly offset by the increase in incoming solar energy.

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