Monday, February 16, 2015

Unusual Weather

In the Northeast there may be record amounts of snow and cold, but here in the Pacific Northwest we're having an unusually warm winter.  This has been one of the worst years for skiing in the Cascades.  And the plum trees and the camellias are in full bloom, the hydrangeas and roses are leafing, and the exotic flowers of our Japanese Magnolia are emerging. 

 


And I spotted a bumblebee, and a mosquito.  Spring is here!  And in the middle of February!  Spring arrived early last year as well and so we have a trend, one that is predicted by global warming.

How could this be while the Northeast is swept by blizzard after blizzard?  Weather isn't climate, and the implications of this weather for climate change hasn't been worked out by scientists, so we don't have an expert opinion at this time.  However, it's not hard to see what is happening -- jet stream behavior altered by global warming.   The unusual cold and snow in the Northeast doesn't mean that it is unusually cold at a global level.  The jet stream which is pulling warm air into the Northwest is looping downward in the middle of the U.S. drawing the cold wet air from up north to the East Coast.  It is unusually cold and wet there, but it is not unusually cold and wet where it is coming from. 

My description of this is, of course, not definitive, only a plausible scenario, until scientists weigh in.  But there can't be any question that weather is a'changing, and not in a way suggesting that the planet is getting colder.