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Old 06-23-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default ...cooler & wetter summers?

Just a casual observation by me, no doubt induced by the current rainy spell.

Looking at the tree top growth of the nearby oaks, birches, & conifers....it sure seems like the summers of 2006 and 2007 were good for growing tree height.

If I remember correctly, the summers of 2006 and 2007 had more cool and wet weather than in previous years. I recall 2006 being like all rainy from May 15 to Aug 15. Last year, 2007, was a bit dryer, but still rainy. Summer 2008 has only just begun so only time will tell for this summer?

'Don't like today's weather, just wait till tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day.'
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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Post Pollen and heavy showers

I believe you are right about the years, but right now these heavy showers that are going through the area is sure helping get rid of the pine pollen and I love that..
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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I believe you are right too. Last year we had a terrible April, May and June. It was awful! Even July didn't show a lot of warm weather until the 3rd week of July. That I remember because we had friends come and we were happy we finally had some good weather for them.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Just a casual observation by me, no doubt induced by the current rainy spell.(
Here are some stats from Concord:

JUN-AUG 2007 Temp: -0.2 Precip: +0.9"
JUN-AUG 2006 Temp: +1.0 Precip: +6.7"

Looks like your casual observation of wetter summers is correct, but not so much the temp... 2007 was about average, while 2006 was solidly above.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default Not just a casual observation

FLL has made a great observation.

I have noticed my own outdoor plants have grown noticeably since the giant rain-dump we had on the 22nd. Plants, shrubs, and trees respond to nutrients by using them up. Surround a person with all-you-can-eat buffet lines, and that person will become huge. Plants do the same, but without suffering from diabetes and heart disease. A recent study by sattelite found that the earth's biosphere is more productive than ever recorded, which has been attributed to increased CO2 in the atmosphere - it's airborne fertilizer. The plants want it. We gave it to them unintentionally, and they have shown that they're using it because it's there.

The observation of increased tree growth means those trees got more of something they wanted - in this case, water. The last couple summers we got a LOT of thunderstorms. This is key, because they water plants without shutting off the sunlight for long periods of time, and plants also love sunlight.

The plants also benefit from water absorbed into the soil from winter snow.

On a bigger scale, FLL is onto something. The climate is currently showing much greater signs of cooling than warming. The biggest driver is the fact that the sun has been stuck at minimum output for the last year or so. It goes in cycles lasting 11.1 years (first measured and recorded in the early 1600's.) At solar max, the earth gets more heat. At solar min, the opposite. Usually one cycle transitions easily to the next. It's identified by the presence of sunspots, a sign of increased activity in the sun. Each cycle has its own style and position of sunspots. Right now the sun is "stuck between gears" when the new cycle should be well underway. In the late 1600s, it stayed like this for decades, coinciding with a global, abnormal cold known as "The Little Ice Age." Every day we go without seeing sunspots that aren't just sputters from the old cycle, the greater our chances of seeing a second "Little Ice Age" in modern times.

The Pacific Ocean is also a climate driver. Its warm and cold pools, when they develop (El Nino and La Nina) affect us here. In Dec-Jan 06/07, we had a strong El Nino (warm pool) that made it more like spring around here. This past winter we've had La Nina, and it's still affecting North American weather. Most recently it was reported that the entire Pacific Ocean went into cold phase, which is good for 10-25 years. That's like a giant, ongoing La Nina.

The crazy weather we've been seeing across North America this spring and summer has been cold-oriented. Many meteorologists have been calling this North American weather pattern "Winter like" or "more typical of April." One of my friends out in the Rockies called it "June-uary" when it was snowing earlier this month.

Storms may be heat machines, but that's like saying your car is a gasoline machine. It needs something else (air intake) to make the reaction happen in the cylinders. Same with storms. They're a reaction between heat and cold. Taking the cold air out of the equation is like stuffing a towel into your car's air intake. In weather, heat always exists because the sun is always on, even if it is ever-so-slightly dimmer than it was a couple years ago.

So the weather favors the movement of cold right now. When cold air makes its moves, interesting things happen when it uses up the warm air during the cooling-off process. It's like super-oxygenating an engine.

We may also notice things like, "it's been cool and rainy this summer." We've had a cool/unsettled pattern (springlike) more often than not this year, and this weekend it's showing signs that it wants to repeat.

Interesting web sites:
www.spaceweather.com (sunspots and more)
www.icecap.us
http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com (weather/climate blog)
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:27 AM   #6
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We may also notice things like, "it's been cool and rainy this summer." We've had a cool/unsettled pattern (springlike) more often than not this year, and this weekend it's showing signs that it wants to repeat.
Good points CLA but I don't agree with your assessment entirely. June 08 will go down in the books as above average temperature wise in NH, and most of the east coast for that matter. Plus I believe we are about to enter a sustained hot pattern for much of the nation, especially the west-central US but probably the NE as well. Although La Nina usually makes for a cool and stormy winter/spring, summer La Ninas are typically warm and dry which is the way we're headed I believe.

I think that part of the perception of cool, wet summers lately comes from skewed recurrences of days gone by; our selective memory recalls the sunny, hot days a lot better than the cool wet ones. (this is the Grandpa principle... "When I was a kid, I used to walk to school in 3 feet of snow in September!") In addition, the late 80s and early 90s featured some anomalously hot/dry summers, which may have established an unrealistic baseline for us when we were younger. I have memories during this period of a lot of sultry, sleepless night in the old uninsulated lake cabin.

I have to keep reminding myself that those years were the exception, not the rule. Although LCI does not have a long term climate history, based on Concord's I would guess extrapolate that average high temp for the lake is about 80 in July and 78 in August. I'd bet that if we had taken a survey, most people would have guessed something much closer to 90.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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Default Thinking spatially

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Good points CLA but I don't agree with your assessment entirely. June 08 will go down in the books as above average temperature wise in NH, and most of the east coast for that matter. Plus I believe we are about to enter a sustained hot pattern for much of the nation, especially the west-central US but probably the NE as well. Although La Nina usually makes for a cool and stormy winter/spring, summer La Ninas are typically warm and dry which is the way we're headed I believe.

I think that part of the perception of cool, wet summers lately comes from skewed recurrences of days gone by; our selective memory recalls the sunny, hot days a lot better than the cool wet ones. (this is the Grandpa principle... "When I was a kid, I used to walk to school in 3 feet of snow in September!") In addition, the late 80s and early 90s featured some anomalously hot/dry summers, which may have established an unrealistic baseline for us when we were younger. I have memories during this period of a lot of sultry, sleepless night in the old uninsulated lake cabin.

I have to keep reminding myself that those years were the exception, not the rule. Although LCI does not have a long term climate history, based on Concord's I would guess extrapolate that average high temp for the lake is about 80 in July and 78 in August. I'd bet that if we had taken a survey, most people would have guessed something much closer to 90.
I agree with the surface temps being slightly above. My spring temps this year were slightly above what they were last year. When I said "pattern" I was thinking on a North America scale and to some extent, a vertical space.

N. America... This past spring I kept seeing features on the maps that were more common of winter, such as the big troughs we saw in the jet stream over the east, the persistent low pressure systems parking over Quebec and funneling NW flow at us, and in technical discussions from NOAA that often mentioned features more typical of winter than summer.

Vertical space... we've had a lot of severe weather popping this spring, and one of the prime ingredients we need for that is cold air aloft, creating a huge difference between down here and up there so that the warmth down here will be inclined to rise. The cold air aloft has made its effects known all across the country this spring. One of those effects is thunderstorms with hail. They have a hard time occurring where the freezing level is extremely high up from the ground.

This month I did notice CPC is going for better chances of above normal temps next 14 days, although that forecast changes more often than the wind on the lake. For Summer as a whole, they have been steadily predicting above-normal temps, which are in accordance with your forecast and also a discussion from a couple of the climate bloggers. Their reasoning was the warmth & cold in the Pacific were shifting around a little which should result in a different North American pattern the next few weeks.

I haven't had time to check that info out yet but I wouldn't mind a few steady weeks of summer for a change. Seems like it's taken forever to get the lake to warm up this spring... I had a quite shivery swim in it just last week - would estimate mid-60s for water temp (my water temp monitor along with some other equipment is still out of service following the storm of 6/22... one forum member suggested I solicit donations as others have done for cams... so I will start another thread on that this week. In the meantime I may start taking water temp readings the old fashioned way and post that whenever I think of it.)
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:49 AM   #8
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Seems like it's taken forever to get the lake to warm up this spring... I had a quite shivery swim in it just last week - would estimate mid-60s for water temp [/I])
Actually,according to the lake temps at Jolly shown on this website(70),we are the same as last year.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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Actually,according to the lake temps at Jolly shown on this website(70),we are the same as last year.
That's good to know. I don't keep records of water temp. I seem to remember a less-chilly swim at this time last year. Last week the water temp definitely wasn't 70 at my dock. I measured it in "octaves of vocal rise" after I got in.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Default Good Stuff

I really appreciate the information from CLA, metrotrade and all of the other weather experts on these threads.

The water temp is interesting. My son and his girlfriend are here visiting from Key West. He is telling us, all of the talk back home in the Keys is the warmer water temps. (almost 90 degrees) and the threat that poses for the upcoming Hurricane season.

I looked at the track on the first Atlantic named hurricane this morning. I also read up a little on the "New England Hurricane of 1938" The track looks very similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_Express

I was surprised to see that the 38 storm is ranked as the 6th most expensive hurricane in US history. There is a thread on here someplace, that I couldn't find, that mentions the considerable damage that storm did here in the Lakes Region.

I know Bertha is long way away. My question would be, what effect does water temp around, Burmuda, Long Island and Cape Cod have to play in the track of a hurricane?
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:18 PM   #11
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On May 16 I read this post from Seablogger:

http://www.seablogger.com/?p=10782

Look at his prediction, and compare it to what is happening right now.

Sea surface temperatures affect overall weather patterns which are the usual driving force behind the tracks of hurricanes (and other weather systems.) We know that El Nino and La Nina -- warming and cooling of the equatorial Pacific waters -- alter weather patterns across North America.

We also know that hurricanes in the Atlantic are often subject to the weather systems around them. A hurricane may be headed for the east coast when suddenly high pressure builds on the coast and deflects it out to sea. Sometimes high pressure builds to the north of a hurricane where Bertha is, and keeps it from curving that way. There are many more examples.

Given the above, it's possible for Pacific sea surface temperatures to affect the tracks of Atlantic hurricanes.

I don't think hurricanes follow the warm water, or else they'd all be stronger and not many would stray into colder waters and weaken like so many do.

A funky fact to remember is that hurricanes also require cold air. They're not just heat machines -- like anything else that goes zip, boom, or pop, hurricanes are a reaction between different entities.

They start as a cluster of strong thunderstorms, which require cold air aloft in order to become severe. Many of those thunderstorms form over Africa and move off the coast toward Cape Verde where they disrupt the normal ocean wind pattern and start a new circulation that grows into a hurricane. There have been stories of ship captains sailing under the hurricane formation process and reporting frozen locusts falling on the decks along with the heavy rain. The locusts were most likely sucked into the thunderstorms' updrafts when they were still over Africa. The outermost wisps of the storm (which cover the top of it) are cirrus (and variations of cirrus) which are made of ice crystals.

The role of water temp along the East Coast does play a role in the strength of any hurricane that comes up this way. If the existing weather pattern favors a track up the east coast, the storm will most likely take it. If the storm finds warm water along that route, it will maintain its strength.

Usually hurricanes lose a lot of strength on their trip up the east coast because the waters cool drastically from Florida to Cape Cod. The Hurricane of 1938 had speed on its side. It made the northbound trip with such speed that it didn't have much time to lose strength. Also, a hurricane's forward speed adds to the wind speed on one side of the storm (while subtracting from the other side.)

Visual: The hurricane spins counterclockwise, like a pinwheel. When you put the center of the pinwheel right on the coast (landfall) the wind on one side of it will be coming ashore, while the wind on the other side of the pinwheel will be blowing from the shore to the sea.

If the whole system has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and a forward speed of 30 mph, the winds coming ashore will be 130 mph while the winds on the other side of the eye (blowing from beach to sea) will be 70 mph.

The Hurricane of 1938 had an incredible forward speed. In addition to beefing up the storm's forward-blowing winds, it also gave the storm a greater element of surprise than it otherwise would've had. The stories I've read are incredible; people said the day started off normal and very quickly grew into a hurricane. They already had little time to prepare because the NWS had no sattelites back then. There were ship reports and that was about it.

Today we are just as ill-prepared in New England because it's been so long since we got a huge hurricane. A few old people remember, and most young people haven't listened to them. Although we have satellites and radar and computer-guided forecasting, people will likely look at those images and say, "It won't hit us because it never does." Psychology, not meteorology, will cause the most damage and death.

There is now a lot more in such a hurricane's path for it to destroy, so the next one will likely be much more costly. Today, too many people in New England have grown up without a good hurricane-lashing and have built their houses of cards.
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