No winners in the snowmelt contest yet. The snow is getting down there but I think it will be a few more days before we have the official snowmelt and when we find out who will win the gift cards and car wash coupons from the R-Stores of Northcentral Wisconsin. It is getting harder to see the snow with our Corporate Cove Sky Cam view. I think I will have to walk up the slopes later this week to take a closer look. The snow might make it into June again. One thing that could help the snow along is rain and there is a chance for rain tomorrow. The unique thing about the rain tomorrow is that it is coming from a subtropical weather system moving in from the south. If the rain is heavy, it could really do a number on the snow. Since it is of a more tropical origin, the rain could be a few degrees warmer than it usually is this time of year. Will there be enough rain to wash it all away? I seriously doubt it. If there is over and inch of rain, it could be close. Right now I am setting the chance at 60 percent. We could use some widespread heavy rain, but I can’t guarantee everyone will get hit. If you don’t get rain on Tuesday or Tuesday night, it looks like you will be suffering through dry conditions at least until the upcoming weekend (or longer). Keep your fingers crossed for rain tomorrow.
I picked June 4th as the snowmelt date (a little earlier than normal) primarily because it looked like less snow was on the mountain but also because of AGW. With everyone hyping “global warming” nowadays, it has even rubbed off on me (even though the question of degree and soundness of theory are still in question). I figured it has to show up in something like the snowmelt date. Right? It hasn’t yet. Only one year did we have snow melting in May. To some, this might a reason to dismiss AGW theory altogether even though it really isn’t. However, there are a lot of open questions that should lead to greater discussion and research into AGW.
Last week I discussed in what ways I am a “small” skeptic on the AGW situation. I have always figured humans affect the climate to a small degree but that the natural effects are still larger (aside: I wouldn’t mind if humans did control the climate to make sure it was pleasant and remained in safe temperature ranges in the future). My critique revolves around the non-linear equations that the models are based on and the fossil fuel (energy) inputs. Others critique basic climate knowledge. It is incomplete. Some say woefully incomplete. I disagree with that sentiment, but there is room for improvement. Here are some recent articles that illuminate new climate knowledge that is being uncovered.
Northern and southern ocean links are strong during previous large climate swings.
Lead in the atmosphere might have caused some cooling in the 20th century.
Flood risk from melting ice is overestimated.
New study challenges what we know about cold water ocean circulations.
Volcanic activity might have had a very large effect on the past climate changes.
New climate mechanism discovered that mighthave caused medieval warming.
Hurricanes might be feeding global warming. (aside: some have proposed space-based directed energy to manipulate hurricanes and make them less dangerous – very interesting)
Do gaps in climate knowledge mean that climate forecasts are useless? No. However, it does make me wonder a little how the principle modellers and the IPCC arrive at such high confidence forecasts (such as 90 to 95 percent certainty). Even if the confidence level was less (say 80 or 70 percent) that would still be enough to warrant some action.. I try to live more sustainably and encourage the adoption alternative energy. Remember, reduce, re-use, and recycle. Little efforts add up big over time.
Have a fine Memorial Day! Meteorologist Justin Loew.