In case you missed it, and a note about missing cold air reports

7:01 PM Virga from Altostratus clouds is illuminated by the setting sun.

Took time out from a bazillion chores concerned with moving to a new house here, and other doings for a U of WA archive project to savor another great sunset here in Catalina: SONY DSCSONY DSC


The weather way ahead

Before looking ahead, look outside now (6:20 AM) There are some gorgeous patterns in Altocu and Cirrocu!

The models have gone real bad on us, taking away rain that was once predicted here in early May. Sure, its unusual, but it could have happened. Now its pretty much gone (for now).

In the meantime, sometime very unusual is forecast for the central and southeast US.    Can’t remember seeing  a pattern like this so late in the winter where in really cold upper low center just goes down to Natchez, MS as in this loop. Lots of low temperature records likely to be set for early May if this pattern comes to pass.

Valid for mid-day, Tuesday, May 7th.
Valid for mid-day, Tuesday, May 7th.

This continues a trend, too, this spring of well below normal temperatures in the Plains States in the middle portion of this forecast loop.  They had one of the coldest springs ever in the northern Plains, and the latest measurable snowfall ever just happened in Wichita, KS.  Just yesterday, the latest freeze date in the 91 years of records was established at Wichita Falls, TX, when the temperature dipped to 29 F, nine days later than any prior freeze day.

Here are some additional details, as provided by climate issues troublemaker Mark Albright, former Washington State Climatologist, and friend,  who has been complaining lately that if these were high temperature records, they’d be all over the news, but low ones get swept under the media rug.

Here’s Mark’s statement from a few days ago:

“The coldest baseball game in major league history was played yesterday in Denver where the game time temperature was 23 F.  It breaks the record set just last week in Denver.  You can watch the video here to see the conditions at Coors Field.

“This story echoes my thoughts exactly.  Why aren’t we hearing from the news outlets about the historic spring cold wave gripping the US and Canada in 2013.  When it was warm last year we heard all about it.

In Fargo ND 45 consecutive days (10 March – 23 April) have passed without a single day of above normal temperature.  In fact, they have yet to record a temperature warmer than 43 F this year through the 23rd of April.  March 2013 averaged -10.5 F below normal and April 2013 is even colder at -12.6 F below normal so far in Fargo ND.  This sets up a major risk of severe flooding in a week or two when the Spring thaw finally arrives.

To the north of Fargo, Saskatchewan is reporting their coldest spring in over 100 years:

Unusual cold has also been seen in interior Alaska where Fairbanks is running -14.9 F below normal in April 2013.”

While it will likely be getting warmer over the next 100 years, we seem to be afraid of reporting low temperatures and cold;  that is,  while it gets gradually warmer, we seem to be afraid or mentioning that weather will be pretty much doing what its always done, being abnormal a lot of the time, too.  Even I get worked up if I think there is a news bias against reporting cold air!  It ain’t right.

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.