Texas isn’t the only place affected by heat and drought.
August was yet another busy month for global weather extremes. Highlights included record-busting heat and drought (again) in the south-central portions of the U.S.A. The climatological summer of June-August was the 2nd warmest since accurate measurements began in 1895. An intense heat wave also affected southern Europe in mid-month. Severe tropical storms lashed the eastern seaboard of the USA (Irene) and the Philippines and Japan. Torrential rains caused devastating flooding and landslides in Nigeria and Uganda. But the 2nd most important extreme weather story (2nd to the USA heat wave and drought) was the record cold wave and blizzard that hit New Zealand on August 14-15. Source: Weather Extremes : August 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary : Weather Underground.
This drought and summer-heat is still going, and may continue until summer 2012. It did cool off last week though – lows in the mid-50’s, highs in the low 90’s – but we’ve only seen 1 inch of rain since August 1. That cool off is 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Usually we have a cool spell during the 3rd week of September.
Back in June I reported about Global Weirding and the number of counties in exceptional drought. Well, as expected, the trend continued into September. As of September 6, 81% of counties are in exceptional drought – the worst on the Drought Monitor’s scale.
Almost two years after the drought of 2009, Texas is worse off than ever before. This summer, there are almost 4 times as many counties experiencing “exceptional” drought than in 2009 and almost 2 times as many than in 2006.
Just how hot is it? On May 25 – 27 days before the start of summer – we reached 100° F in Brazos county! If that’s a trend, I expect 45 – 60 days of 100+ degree days this summer. That is insane hot!
To our relief, it has rained and we got maybe 1/2 inch the last two nights. That will probably prolong the grass’ life another week or two. Check back in September, Texas might be in Dust Bowl 2.0. Meanwhile, crops and livestock are holding on for dear life.
To compound the trouble – or as a result of drought – Texas has experienced the worst fires ever too. More than 2 million acres have burned and it is only June – we have at least 90 days of dry, hot conditions ahead.
The tinder-dry conditions in Texas have spawned thousands of wildfires that have killed two firefighters, scorched about 2.3 million acres and destroyed about 400 homes since November. Source: Severe drought in Texas worst in map’s history | Star-Telegram
Now it seems with every major earthquake, (in theory) our days are getting shorter.
Richard Gross, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds. “Earthquakes change the Earth”
I wonder what the effects of a faster-spinning planet are to people? Will we get stronger, taller? Will the weather get more violent because of magnetic pole changes?
The No.3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Minamisoma is seen burning after a blast following an earthquake and tsunami in this handout satellite image taken March 14, 2011.
Japanese engineers worked through the night to lay a 1.5 km (one mile) electricity cable to a crippled nuclear power plant in the hope of restarting pumps desperately needed to pour cold water on overheating fuel rods and avert a catastrophe. (Reuters)
Several sources have said that there was radioactive material released into the atmosphere, but they differ on just how much. They also differ on the severity of the disaster. Some say best case like Three Mile Island, worst case Chernobyl. Tokyo is less than 200 miles south of the plant and they afraid of radiation – levels spiked to 10 times normal a few days after the earthquake.
[6:28 a.m. ET Thursday, 7:28 p.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Japan’s National Police Agency reported at 6 p.m. Thursday (5 a.m. ET) that 5,457 people are confirmed dead; 9,508 have been reported missing; and 2,409 were injured following last week’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. (CNN)
A week after the earthquake and they are still fighting fires, trying to prevent total core meltdown to at least 3 of the 6 reactors at Daiichi, and trying to limit radiation release/exposure. The whole world has rushed to Japan’s aid.
An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan today, triggering tsunamis that sent a wave filled with boats and houses toward land. Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast are under a tsunami warning. via This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.
La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño. La Niña causes above average precipitation across the North Midwest, the Northern Rockies, Northern California, and in the Pacific Northwest’s southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile there is below average precipitation in the southwestern and southeastern states. Source: Wikipedia | El Niño-Southern Oscillation and NOAA.gov | ENSO Diagnostic Discussion
This certainly appears to be true. For the past week – 2 weeks before winter – the North Midwest (Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo) has been buried by snow.
Its lunchtime across the Brazos Valley this 22nd day of November…and the temperature outside is 78°. No need to rub your eyes, that’s right…it’s 78°. Needless to say, both overnight lows and daytime highs are running about 10 – 20 degrees above where they should be for this time of the year. In fact, this mornings low only made it down to 67°, which is 20° warmer than the norm and only 2° cooler than the normal daytime high.
We’ll have to deal with this warm, muggy, breezy and cloudy weather for the next couple of days as we gear up for the beginning of the holiday season and head towards Thanksgiving Day. But changes are on the horizon…
You are looking at the temperatures from 7am Monday morning. Sharp, cold Canadian air is locked up beind the jetstream and is trying to work its way toward Texas and the Brazos Valley. And it does look like it will get here…it will just take a few more days. Its arrival? Welp…it looks like Thanksgiving day.
What does this mean? Is the earth spinning faster? Some answers are around on the web, but not many.
A shortened day could mean sunlight shines on a spot for less time, and darkness would cover an area for less time too. I think what it would affect more than the clock though. I think gravity, surface temperature, climate, the moon’s orbit, satellites’ orbits, would be affected to name a few. Only (a shortened) time will tell.
A major earthquake struck southern Haiti on Tuesday, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the United States called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.
Several eyewitnesses reported heavy damage and bodies in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where concrete-block homes line steep hillsides. There was no estimate of the dead and wounded Tuesday evening, but the U.S. State Department has been told to expect “serious loss of life,” department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington. (CNN)
How bad is it? With triple-digit temperatures for the past 45+ days and only a trace of rain in the same time period, it feels like we are baking in the Texas heat. But, when we step back and look at historical drought percentages, it doesn’t appear all that bad. It’s not as bad as 2006-2007.
“LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Ovenlike heat continues to bake Texas, and the map that charts drought in the United States shows the worst-stricken areas of Texas have wilted further. The U.S. Drought Monitor map released last week shows areas of Central and South Texas in extreme and exceptional drought expanded since last week. The two worst stages of drought now cover 14.1 percent of the state, up from 11.1 last week. Texas is the only spot in the nation with extreme and exceptional drought.” Source: KBTX.com.
I guess time will tell. I don’t think it will be the driest summer ever, but it sure is hot.