Some Vacation Time

July 28, 2010

Real quiet weather the next few days…the only forecast issue is how much marine cloudiness works it’s way inland each day.  Generally we should see an increase through Saturday, then a decrease early next week.  No sign of showers west of the Cascades.

I’ll be on vacation again for a week or so.  Next work day is Sunday, August 8th.  Keep discussing weather on this thread.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Warmest Decade So Far: 2000-2009

July 28, 2010

Since there is little to no weather to discuss the next few days…I figured this should generate some discussion instead.  Plus I’ve always been a bit of a trouble-causer.

NOAA put out a press release today announcing their State of the Climate 2009 report.  It says the past decade as the warmest on record.  Here’s a graph that goes with it:

You can click on the graph to get a better view, otherwise it looks a bit messy.  I don’t talk about human-caused global warming much on TV (actually only about once every few years) because I’m not totally sold on a “doomsday” scenario, and it’s not exactly a sexy TV topic.  I generally trust my scientific and academic colleagues though.   BUT, I’m definitely not a skeptic either…let the scientists do their jobs and leave politics, religion, and personal beliefs out of it. 

That aside now, it’s pretty obvious that we’ve had year after year of warm conditions the last decade, including this year.  Even the La Nina years and solar minimum haven’t put too much of a dent in the trend (so far! we’ll see after the next 12-24 months). 

You could read the last 15 years of that graph several ways I suppose:   The warming has levelled off and we’re headed for a cooler regime, or the warming has levelled off and we’ll soon resume the warming again.   Either way I’ve heard reference more than once by media-types (usually talk radio folks) saying that we’ve actually cooled the last 10 years?  I have no idea how that can be considered a valid statement.  How do you get that without involving some sort of conspiracy theory?  Not sure.  But as you can see, lots to discuss.

To keep things under control, I’ll delete any comments that reference:  Political parties or politics of any sort, personal attacks, Big Oil, Al Gore, crazed sex poodle, etc…  The discussion needs to be about data and science only.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

Active Morning

July 28, 2010

Good morning all. It’s Pat! (remember the SNL skit). For those of you who don’t know me, I am sure most of you forgot since I have posted only one other time, I am the weather producer for Good Day Oregon.  Something caught my eye this morning sitting in the lonely studio, so I figured I would write about it.

Here  in the western valley, we have reverted back to our morning clouds and afternoon sunshine theme. However, east of the Cascades have been under a barrage of thunderstorms over the last 48 hours.

I have been sitting here since about 4:30 this morning and watching the lighting fill the radar at a fairly consistent rate. I haven’t counted each individual strike but if I had to guess, I would estimate around 150-200 strikes since 5 o’clock this morning. The lightning map on Mark’s Weather page has been quite colorful lately and today will add to that mosaic as more afternoon thunderstorms are gearing up. Most of this action is due to the upper-level trough sitting just off the coast of Oregon-California. The threat looks to expand on into Thursday. Lots of fun stuff east of the mountains.

Mark ran this graphic last night in his forecast. It shows the climatology of Oregon thunderstorms pretty well.  Rather easy to see from his graphic that the Pacific Ocean plays a big role in stabilizing the atmosphere until the air rises over the Cascades. Doesn’t look like many golf rounds will be completed today east of those mountains!