Spring Well Sprung

March 20, 2012

Raining like a mad dog up here on California’s northern coast, and in the pre-dawn hours, cold as shit.
And on this first day of spring, weather is screwed.

And so is the world — the French are hunting for a crazed killer, Mexicans are seeking more killers of police investigating headless bodies, Iraqis are once again cleaning up carnage, and here in the US of A, the reportedly-alleged killer of 16 Afghan civilians can’t remember a thing.

Meanwhile, in line with good news, humanity is on the cusp, life is worse than once thought: Between 1998 and 2010, temperatures rose by 0.11C, 0.04C more than previously estimated.

(Illustration found here).

Heidi Cullen, a scientist at Climate Central, and her column yesterday in the New York Times:

Winter 2012 will go down as the fourth warmest on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Climatic Center.
And so far, March will be remembered for the more than 2,200 warm temperature records that were set around the nation.
The warm weather, with daytime high temperatures close to 40 degrees above average in some places (high temperature records are outpacing cold records by a ratio of about 19-to-1 so far this March), set the stage for severe thunderstorms that spawned rare, damaging tornadoes near Detroit.
It used to be that a warm day in March felt like a gift, but now it feels as if we’re paying for it.

And the weather waits for nobody.
This morning, central Texas is getting popped with heavy rains and even a tornado southwest of San Antonio, all of which is expected to continue throughout the day — while further north, Chicago (along with a shitload of other mid-west US cities) now has a string of five consecutive days of 80°+ temperatures and there’s no end to the wonder.

Freak weather, but what’s to be expected as the planet heats because the end result (amongst other things) will find itself in the weather — even up here in north California older, local residents say this has been the driest and warmest winter ever.
We might be getting more rain at the end of this season, but it sure won’t be enough.
And it’s a watershed time to be alive.

Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters via Climate Progress and a most-apt description:

As I stepped out of my front door into the pre-dawn darkness from my home near Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday morning, I braced myself for the cold shock of a mid-March morning.
It didn’t come.
A warm, murky atmosphere, with temperatures in the upper fifties–30 degrees above normal–greeted me instead.
Continuous flashes of heat lightning lit up the horizon, as the atmosphere crackled with the energy of distant thunderstorms.
Beware the Ides of March, the air seemed to be saying.
I looked up at the hazy stars above me, flashing in and out of sight as lightning lit up the sky, and thought, this is not the atmosphere I grew up with.

One would think that was the lede to some science-fiction novel.
But noooooooooo…
It’s just springtime for us and the world.

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