Global Warming News - April 2008
Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics
Unseasonal snowfalls covered much of the UK in white on April 6, 2008. According to an article in the Guardian, the snow showers caused chaos on roads and at airports, and the effects were still being felt the next day. Paul Knightley, from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, predicted that wintry showers across the country would continue through the week. "It will be what I would call typical April weather although a bit colder than usual," he said. A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Over the weekend, a northerly wind developed and strengthened, introducing increasingly cold air direct from the Arctic."
London snow - April 6.
The Telegraph was reporting that the April snow was the worst in two decades. Up to three inches of snow fell in parts of southern England and temperatures were below freezing in many places even at midday. At Heathrow Airport, British Airways cancelled more than 100 flights. Both Heathrow's runways briefly closed for de-icing. Gatwick's runway closed for two hours to clear snow, with 55 flights abandoned. More than 100 drivers were stranded as snow closed a road in Yorkshire, while the M6 in Cheshire was closed after a string of crashes. John Hammond, a forecaster at the Met Office said: "The last time that we saw a decent widespread snowfall during April was in 1989."
UK snow - April 7.
On April 17th, a heavy snowfall covered parts of Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire, UK. As temperatures dropped below freezing during the night of the 16th, people in areas around Llangollen, the hills around Mold and the Bwlchgwyn area, woke up to a thick blanket of snow. Met Office forecaster John Hammond said: "Mid April is late to get snow, but on higher ground it is not that unusual. What is more unusual is that the snow has stuck on the lower ground. This has not happened in April for some 20 years." Lorries were stuck in three inches of snow on the A525 between Llandegla and Bwlchgwyn, a bus was stuck in Bwlchgwyn and there were also problems on roads around Coedpoeth.
Snow near Loggerheads, UK - April 17.
On April 1st, the Boston Globe was reporting on fears about flooding in New England. In the mountains of Vermont, for example, snowpack held the equivalent of 15 inches of rain. In New Hampshire, officials had been warning residents for weeks to prepare for the flooding after a winter that dumped in some areas more snow than has been seen in a century (emphasis added).
In Aspen Highlands, Colorado, April Fools' Day saw 19" of new snow according to an article in The Aspen Times. At Snowmass resort, the winter total was 407" (or 34') of snow as of that same day. Minnesota also saw snow on April Fool's Day.
Snow in Minnesota - April 1.
In Michigan, Upper Peninsula residents also received snow on April Fool's Day. A low pressure system that blew in from the southwest is blamed for blizzard conditions that dropped 20 inches of snow at the National Weather Service office in Marquette County's Negaunee Township. The Mining Journal of Marquette says 9 to 15 inches of snow fell elsewhere in Marquette County. High winds also knocked out power to several hundred homes and businesses. The Daily News of Iron Mountain says 12 inches of snow fell at Stambaugh in Iron County, in far western Upper Michigan. The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton says nearly 9 inches of snow fell in parts of the Keweenaw Peninsula, which juts into western Lake Superior.
On April 5th, snow showers set a record in Anchorage, Alaska where more than a foot of snow was reported. According to the National Weather Service, Anchorage has never seen a snowier April 5th. Officially, 5.5 inches fell, breaking the old record of 2.6. The measurement was recorded at Sand Lake near the airport, which wasn't nearly as snowy as the Hillside and parts of South Anchorage. A second round of snow came early the next day, leaving Glen Alps and most of the Hillside area with a foot of snow for the weekend.
Between April 5th and April 7th there was a "very heavy snow" in Minnesota. Snowfall amounts were "impressive". A band of one to two feet of snow fell from Itasca State Park to Babbitt. The heaviest three-day total reported was 32 inches, 5 miles north of Virginia by an unofficial National Weather Service Cooperative Observer. Dixon lake in Itasca County was not far behind with 29 inches. The snowfall area stretched from the Dakota's Red River Valley to the Minnesota Arrowhead. "It just wears on you. You want a change of seasons here, and we're not getting it," said Kerry Bidle, dean of students and athletic director at Virginia High School.
Pelican Rapids, Minnesota - April 7.
In Kansas, it snowed on April 10th. A winter storm warning went into effect for Northwest Kansas. Heavy snow was falling in the area as of 11:31 AM, forcing some schools to close classes early. Meteorologist Ben Pringle of KAKE-TV 10, said five to seven inches of snow were expected.
Northwest Kansas - April 10.
According to the blog Cinj's Chat Room, the month started in Wisconsin with snow on the ground. It snowed on April 10th, and again on the 12th. There was still snow on the ground on the 22nd, and the temperature was only 20F on the 27th.
In Georgia, temperatures were predicted to drop into the low 30s on April 14th and 15th, but area strawberry and peach farmers seem to have beaten the frost. Farmers were scared that low temperatures would be reminiscent of a freeze that struck Northeast Georgia the weekend of April 6-8, 2007 and destroyed most of the region's blueberry, strawberry and peach crops. The coldest temperature this week came on April 16th, when the mercury fell to 34 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Downtown, NJ faced a cold snap at the same time, where a certain Mr. Hawkeye® reported scraping frost off his windshield in the early morning hours.
On April 18th in Fairbanks Alaska, 1.6" of snow fell, pushing the monthly snowfall total for April up to 10.2". "That’s on the high end for April, meteorologist Rick Thoman at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said. The average snowfall for April is 3.8" according to an article at Newsminer.com.
On April 18th, Jon Maletz wrote a humorous piece for the Aspen Times you might want read by clicking HERE. The Aspen Highlands was due to be open for the extended weekends of April 19-20 and April 26-27 according to an Events Notice at the Snowmass web site. According to the Notice, the area received "more than 450 inches of snowfall this season", and "the conditions at Aspen/Snowmass are the best they have been in many years."
In Washington state, it snowed on April 18th according to HeraldNet. Snow was falling steadily in Lake Stevens with more than an inch accumulated on the ground in some places. Snow also fell in Everett, particularly in the Eastmont neighborhood. There was no significant accumulation expected in the lowlands, but the mountain passes are a different story, where more than a foot of snow was forecast (when the article was written).
Horses Grazing in Ebey Island, Washington - April 18.
On April 19th into the 20th, a late-season snow storm dumped 15.1 inches of snow in Great Falls, Montana. Great Falls' 9.6-inch total on April 19th represented its greatest single-day snowfall so late in the year since April 27, 1989, when 10.3 inches fell. Meanwhile in Grangeville, Idaho, the season-to-date snowfall (through April 20th) climbed to 70.0 inches, the highest total there since 1981-82. Grangeville's month-to-date snowfall reached 23.5 inches, eclipsing its April 1902 standard of 20.0 inches.
Following the storm, Great Falls' temperatures dipped to daily-record levels on April 20 and 21 (-1 and -8 degrees F, respectively). Previously, Great Falls' latest sub-zero reading occurred on April 6, 1975, with a low of -6 degrees F. On April 21, readings of -2 degrees F in both Leadore, Idaho, and Drummond, Montana, were the stations' lowest temperatures ever recorded so late in the year. Leadore's latest sub-zero reading had been on April 12, 1999; Drummond had dipped to -1 degrees F on April 21, 1951.
Farther west, daily-record lows in the West Coast States included 31 degrees F (on April 20) in Santa Maria, CA; 30 degrees F (on April 21) in Paso Robles, CA; and 25 degrees F (on April 21) in Wenatchee, WA. Incredibly, Santa Maria had not been below the freezing mark since December 22, when the low was also 31 degrees F. Temperatures near or slightly below freezing also affected parts of California's Sacramento Valley, where daily-record lows for April 20 included 31 degrees F in Redding and 32 degrees F in Stockton.
Although a variety of California's crops (including fruits, nuts, and vegetables) were threatened by the freeze, fruit crops were among the greatest concerns in the Northwest with respect to freeze damage. Despite persistently cool weather since mid-March and slower-than-normal fruit development, Northwestern producers had already been occasionally using freeze-protection measures prior to the April 19-21 cold snap.
Heavy snow developed on April 24th-26th from parts of Nebraska into Minnesota, resulting in late-season storm totals of 10.2 inches in International Falls, Minnesota, and 19.0 inches in Watertown, SD. The storm also shattered numerous daily snowfall records in South Dakota, including 11.0 inches at Webster and 9.0 inches at Huron on April 25, followed by 17.0 inches at Clear Lake and 10.0 inches at Pickstown on the 26th.
The snowstorm broke a record in North Dakota, dropping 4.8 inches of snow on April 25th at Hector Airport in Fargo, surpassing the old daily snowfall record for the date, of 3.5 inches set in 1937. Fargo received a total of 9.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Grand Forks. Wahpeton, ND, got hit with 18 inches, and Mantador, ND, received 10 inches. The NWS received reports of 18 inches of snow in Pelican Rapids, Minn.; 15 inches in Hawley, Minn.; and 13.5 inches in Wilkin County, Minn.
Snow in Watertown, South Dakota - April 26.
On Friday, April 25th into the 26th, more snow fell in Anchorage setting another record for the day and for the month. The NWS says 17.2 inches fell at its office just south of Anchorage's international airport and 22 inches fell in northeast Anchorage on Friday and Saturday. The heaviest snow fell between 3 and 6 p.m. Friday at a rate of almost two inches per hour. The monthly total at the weather service office is now 29.7 inches, breaking a record from 1963 when 27.6 inches fell during April. The 15.5 inches that fell Friday is the third most for any one day in Anchorage.
Also on April 28th, historic snow flurries hit the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The snow flurries marked the first time in nearly a century that there had been four consecutive snow days this late in the spring. The last time it snowed four days in a row in the Twin Cities this late in the season was 1909.
In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, about 30.2 inches of snow has piled up just this month, according to the Minnesota State Climatology office. That shattered the previous April record of 10.8 inches that had stood since 1950, and brought this season's total to 59.3 inches. The 30-year average is 45 inches. As of April 28th, 23.5 inches had fallen in International Falls this month, bringing the season total there to 95.5 inches. That's far above the average of 69.4 inches, the National Weather Service said. April snowfall in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota set a new record of 32 inches this year, which is more than double the previous record of 15 inches set in April of 1945, according to the NWS in Grand Forks, N.D.
A winter weather advisory was issued by National Weather Service (NWS) of Spokane Washington on April 29th for Lewis and Southern Nez Perce counties, including the areas of Craigmont, Nezperce, and Winchester. There was a burst of heavy snow showers in the afternoon followed by numerous snow showers that continued into the evening, with 3 to 7 inches of total accumulation expected. On the same day according to the NWS, a snow and blowing snow advisory was issued for Idaho and western Montana. Snowfall accumulations were estimated at 3 to 6 inches with local amounts up to 8 inches near Georgetown Lake. Butte Montana was expecting 1 to 3 inches.
An historic winter continued at Maine's largest ski resort on April 30th, after eight inches of new snow blanketed Sugarloaf the night before. The new snow brought the season's total snowfall at the resort to 224 inches. Sugarloaf was the only ski resort still open in the east, and the fresh snow ensured excellent conditions into the month of May.
It snowed in Quebec on April 4th (see photo). As of that same day, Quebec ski resorts were experiencing good snow depths. For example, Owl's Head was reporting 63"-72" and Mont Sainte-Anne was reporting 24"-78".
Quebec Canada - April 4.
In April, Canada experienced an unusual jet stream pattern that pushed warmth into much of eastern Canada while dropping temperatures in the West. For example, in Calgary on April 10th, the high temperature was 3C, with 20-30 cm of snow. On April 15th, the high was 6C. On April 20th, the high was -7C, with 3 cm of snow. All observations are from Calgary International Airport.
On April 18th it snowed in British Columbia. Cold arctic air sent temperatures plummeting, in what is technically the spring season. The interior region of the province had its salting and sanding machines hit the roads. CTV Meteorologist Jesse Mason said these cold temperatures haven't been seen in decades. He said, "The folks from Environment Canada went back to their record books and said we haven't seen conditions like this since the mid-fifties". Mason says the temperatures were more fitting for December or January.
Also on April 18th, Canada.com reported that in the Vancouver area, the cold spring was delaying the growth of local crops, flowers and slowing business. With the cold weather, fruits and vegetables in the Fraser Valley were refusing to grow. Murray Siemens, co-owner of Willow View Farms in Abbotsford, which grows fruits and veggies, said this year's crops are off to a slow start. "The weather has been colder longer and we will most likely be dealing with late harvests," he said. And the temperatures during the last week of March were also among the coolest in recorded history. According to The Vancouver Sun, between March 25 and March 31, the Vancouver airport's weather station recorded temperatures that did not exceed 5.8 C - down from the normal 12 C.
On April 19th, the Chronicle Herald was reporting that in Nova Scotia, maple syrup producers faced poor yields. Producers said the weather was the problem. It takes warm days and cold nights to make maple sap run. Some areas of the province had those conditions in late February, but March turned cold and many producers didn’t see any sap run for two weeks. April started out with better conditions but then the nights quickly warmed up, ending the running of the sap and the season. "I’m hearing from many producers that they are only producing 50 to 60 per cent of what they would consider a decent year," said Dale McIsaac, an independent consultant from Amherst who works closely with the Nova Scotia Maple Producers Association. Early reports from New Brunswick and Quebec suggested they weren't having a great season, either.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Earth Day was celebrated on April 20th, but without any signs of global warming. Earth Day festivities went ahead despite the blast of frigid weather. Vendors and presenters from various eco-friendly groups, including Bullfrog Power, CO2 Reduction Edmonton and the local solar energy society, crammed into a lone tent in Hawrelak Park after a blizzard forced them to abandon their original locations.
Fort McMurray (near Edmonton), Canada - April 22.
In Winnipeg, a winter storm watch was issued on April 23rd. A low pressure system was being forecast to move over Lake of the Woods bringing heavy snow and freezing rain into southern Manitoba. The high temperature was expected to be 1C on April 24th, with cool weather staying through Sunday, April 27th. Winnipeg was expected to get about 10 centimetres of snow and freezing rain. Up to 20 cm of snow was expected to fall in Portage la Prairie, Gimli and Bissett.
A blizzard began on Saturday, April 26th around 2 a.m. in southeastern Manitoba and northwest Ontario, dumping between 15 and 20 centimetres of snow and stranding dozens of cars and semis on the Trans-Canada Highway. The road re-opened in Manitoba on Sunday, but the highway was described as having poor driving conditions and slippery sections. In northwest Ontario, some sections of the Trans-Canada remained closed on Sunday, but all area highways were described as snow-covered or snow-packed.
On April 30th, it snowed in Prince George, British Columbia. “We are three weeks to a month behind other years in reaching spring” that according to Jos Van Hage, who says the trees haven’t started to bud yet and that’s the latest he has seen since he arrived in Prince George in 1979.
Prince George, British Columbia - April 30.
Even as winter is ending in the northern hemisphere, it is already beginning in the southern hemisphere. On April 18th, the forecast for the high ground of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa was for cold wet weather, according to the South African Weather Service. "Snow can also be expected on ground higher than 6,000 feet (2,000 metres) on Saturday night," said spokesperson Garth Sampson. He said the Winterberg and Sneeuberg areas would be affected, spreading to the Drakensberg by Sunday. "Maximum temperatures are only expected to reach 10 C over the north eastern interior of the Eastern Cape and 17 C along the coast."
A severe weather warning was issued for New South Wales (NSW) and the Australia Capitol Territory (ACT) on April 27th. Meteorologist Jane Bunn said the temperature would drop down to single figures overnight and there would be a sprinkling of snow on Canberra's Brindabellas early on the morning of April 28th. She said the change is due to a cold front moving through Victoria, and predicted slowly increasing winds strengthening to gale-force in the Canberra area. "About elevated areas it's much stronger and we're looking at 65 kilometres per hour and possibly gusting up to 90 kilometres per hour and that's in the ranges around the ACT and the alpine regions."
The snow turned out to be more than a "sprinkling", and the temperatures were lower than expected. You can go HERE to watch a video from ABC News (Australia Broadcasting corporation). According to meteorologists, the temperatures recorded in the upper atmosphere were the coldest that have been seen there in April for 60 years (which is as far as the records go back). It was the "best pre-season snow in years" according to the reporter. And the ski season there is still 5-6 weeks away. The snowfalls were called "freak" by some, but others hope it is a sign of things to come with the promise of a "bumper" ski season.
Australian pre-season skiing - April 28.
As cold southwesterly winds continued to scour southeastern Australia, snow was reported in NSW around the central towns of Orange and Oberon and in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and on the ranges west of Canberra. Orange's maximum temperature, 7C, was its lowest on record for April. At Mount Hotham in the Victorian Alps where the temperature dipped to -4C, snow piled up to 30cm. Resort marketing manager Jessica Rose said conditions were excellent: "The whole resort is completely covered - it looks like a mid-winter day." Last year, the first snows fell at Spencers Creek, near Charlotte Pass in the NSW Snowy Mountains, in mid-May.
Jessica Rose, Mt Hotham, Australia - April 28.
The cold snap also brought records to South Australia: Woomera had its coldest April morning in 60 years of records, at 4.8C; and Leigh Creek broke a 24-year-old record with a minimum of 2.2C; Sunday's top of 12.4C at Strathalbyn broke a 123-year-old record for April.
United Nations -- Meteorologists at the U.N. were forecasting that global temperatures would drop in 2008. The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina, an abnormal cooling of water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, would continue into the summer, resulting in a net temperature drop worldwide. And while the WMO points out that the decade from 1998 to 2007 was the warmest on record, it recognizes that "temperatures have not risen globally since 1998 when El Nino warmed the world". Some scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked, "but Mr Jarraud insisted this was not the case".
David Archibald Report -- According to a brief article at NolanChart.com, David Archibald (a scientist and entrepreneur) presented an interesting scientific report at the International Conference on Climate Change in March, which suggests that anthropogenic global warming is actually beneficial for the earth. He also demonstrates that "the Sun drives climate", and he uses that "demonstrated relationship" to predict the Earth’s climate to 2030. Archibald predicts "imminent cooling". He also says that increased atmospheric CO2 levels pose absolutely no threat whatsoever. "(It) is not even a little bit bad. It is wholly beneficial." You can read Archibald's full report HERE.
Argo System Ocean Sensors -- National Public Radio (NPR) reported that some 3,000 scientific deep-diving robots suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. According to the article's author, "That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them."
Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are the primary factor in global warming, since 80 to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. The oceans hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans. In fact, "There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says.
Hurricanes & Global Warming -- Dr. Kerry Emanuel, one of the most influential scientists behind the theory that global warming causes hurricane activity to intensify, is reversing his position. The hurricane expert of MIT, says in the March issue of 'Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society' that hurricane frequency and intensity may not substantially rise over the next two centuries. His new method of simulating weather patterns in computer models shows that there will be in fact an overall drop in the number of hurricanes.
In the 1980's, Emanuel foresaw a rise in hurricane intensity in a human-warmed world and in 2005, just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, asserted in a 'Nature' paper that he had found statistical evidence linking rising hurricane energy and warming. Despite the uncertainty in the science, hurricanes quickly became a potent icon in environmental campaigns, as well as in "An Inconvenient Truth," the popular climate documentary featuring former Vice President Al Gore.
The models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us. There are various interpretations possible, e.g. a) The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or b) The models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.
You can read his entire study report HERE.