Craig James

WORDS on WEATHER & CLIMATE — January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

More on December  by CRAIG JAMES  In last week’s article, I wrote about some of the interesting weather that had occurred in December, but it was written before the month ended. The final week of the month also had some newsworthy weather I want to tell you about. I’m sure you heard about the major storm that buried much of the Northeast the day after Christmas. This storm produced 24 inches of snow in Newark, New Jersey and in Brooklyn, New York. Up to 32 inches of snow fell in northern New Jersey, which may be the largest snowfall total ever recorded for that state from a single storm. I think it would be really neat to get a storm like that around here, but it has never happened. The storm gave Atlanta its first white Christmas since 1881 and, at a number of locations in the Southeast, it was the first white Christmas ever recorded. It was a Christmas miracle for some folks in North Carolina who ended up with free diamonds. A jeweler in Wilmington pledged to refund every purchase made at his store between November 26 and December 11 if three inches of snow fell at the Asheville, N.C. airport on Christmas Day. Statistically, the odds of snow falling in Asheville on Christmas Day are roughly three percent. It has only happened twice in the past 60 years. I don’t imagine his insurance company was very happy to learn that 8.5 inches fell there this year resulting in over a half million dollars in purchases having to be refunded to customers who have never been so happy to see snow. Behind the storm, another shot of very cold air plunged all the way into Cuba and the Bahamas. At Freeport, Bahamas, the low of 40 degrees on Monday the 27th was just one degree shy of the coldest temperature ever recorded in that country. The state of Florida has now confirmed that this past month of December was the coldest December of record. In California, a final storm for the month on the 29th upped the monthly rainfall total in Los Angeles to over eight inches for the wettest December of record. It was very cold behind the storm. I was in […]

Words on Weather & Climate — December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

A December to remember by CRAIG JAMES I know the month of December is not quite finished yet, but it certainly has been a December to remember in many areas, even though I think it has been a rather boring month in our area. Temperatures in West Michigan are running colder than average, but there have been no record lows and no big snowstorms. In fact, at inland locations, snowfall is running around a foot below average. There have been significant lake effect snows in northwest Indiana and in Ontario downwind of Lake Huron. Near London, Ontario, up to five feet of snow fell in four days early in the month. On the 12th through the 14th, almost three feet of snow fell near Valparaiso, Ind., trapping several motorists in their cars overnight. The heaviest snowfall in Grand Rapids was just five inches on the 1st. Our area missed the heavy snow from the storm on the 11th that gave Minneapolis its heaviest snowfall in 20 years, causing the Metrodome to collapse. The NFL game was moved to Detroit and played on Monday night. I guess this is the only way Detroit will ever get a Monday Night football game. The biggest storm of the month occurred in California on the 19th through the 23rd. Some truly incredible snowfall amounts were recorded. The base station at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in California received 123 inches (over 10 feet) with 186 inches (over 15 feet) falling at the top of the mountain in four days. The base station has already received a record 261 inches of snow this season. In addition, a wind gust up to 164 mph was recorded at a chair lift station at an elevation of 9,951 feet. Here is photo of someone trying to find his car at the resort. As of this writing, it was already the wettest December of record in several California locations, including Death Valley, one of the driest places on Earth, where it rained over 1.51 inches in four days. The average rainfall for an entire year is just 2.28 inches. In Los Angeles, where the yearly average rainfall is 13.15 inches, over 7 inches fell in six days. Even the Hawaiian Islands were quite wet. The average […]

WORDS ON WEATHER & CLIMATE — December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cold More Deadly  by CRAIG JAMES Many people who have looked at the global warming issue, myself included, believe we have much more to fear from a cooling world than a warming one. Data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics for 2001-2007 shows that 800 more people die every day in the United States in December, January and February than occur on an average day during the rest of the year. The winter months kill 72,000 more U.S. citizens than the spring-summer-autumn average. The data shows that heart attacks and strokes are the major culprits of cold weather deaths. It states, “As temperatures cool, blood vessels contract to preserve heat and blood composition changes. Cold weather makes the human respiratory system more susceptible to viruses. Compounding matters, influenza becomes more resistant to the human immune system when temperatures fall.”             Another recently published article in the Southern Medical Journal also concluded, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.” In addition, “Even in climates as warm as southern Europe or North Carolina, cold weather causes more deaths than hot weather.” The Journal also notes that “rising temperatures could reduce overall mortality rates.”             Here’s more evidence that warm is better. Two health agencies in the U.K. recently released a report stating, “Mean annual heat-related mortality did not rise as summers warmed from 1971 to 2003.”             Indeed, the authors note: “Heat-related mortalities are substantial throughout Europe, but the hot summers in southern Europe cause little more mortality than the milder summers of more northerly regions.”             In October 2009, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported, “We found that the lowest monthly mortality rates in selected European Mediterranean countries over the last few decades occurred in September. In Sweden and North American countries, the lowest mortality occurred in August, while it occurred in July in Japan. In Australia and New Zealand, the lowest monthly mortality was in March and February, respectively, which correspond to September and August, respectively, in the northern hemisphere.”             The authors speculate that temperature plays a major role when it comes to […]

Words on Weather and Climate — December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Forecasting Climate  by CRAIG JAMES  When it comes to forecasting the climate, many people say that since forecasters can’t get the weather forecast right for the next couple of days, how can they get the climate forecast right for the next 100 years? (They surely weren’t talking about my forecasts, were they?) The response given by the climate alarmists is that they don’t have to forecast each day’s weather correctly. Over time, the weather averages out and just predicting the long-term trend of warmer or colder is not as difficult as predicting how much snow will fall from the next snowstorm. Therefore, we can have confidence in the climate forecasts out to the year 2100 and beyond. I don’t buy into that response and here’s why. We pretty much know and understand all of the physics behind the atmospheric processes that control the short-term weather forecast. We can even construct computer models that do a fairly good job of representing how the atmosphere works over short time periods using the seven basic mathematical equations of motion for fluids. There are some approximations that have to be made when using these equations, but they work fairly well out to a couple of days. However, they do start to break down as they are run forward in time due to a lack of sufficient data and the inherent chaos of the atmosphere. Once we get out beyond a couple of days, there are additional complicated forces that begin to have an impact on the forecasts, and it is these forces we don’t understand very well and can’t even begin to adequately model in our computers. These natural forces include such things as whether the Atlantic or Pacific oceans are in their cold or warm phase, whether there is an El Niño or La Niña in progress, how temperature changes affect cloud cover, cooling or warming from aerosols, solar influences, and many others. An example of a natural force that over a long period of time affects the motion of fluids but has no effect in the short term is the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect is what causes our winds to rotate counter-clockwise around a low-pressure system in the northern hemisphere and just the opposite, or clockwise, in […]

WORDS on WEATHER & CLIMATE — December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

‘Consistent With’ by CRAIG JAMES One of the things that marks a good scientific theory is whether or not it can make accurate predictions. That is one of the problems I have with the human-induced global-warming theory. Most of the predictions based upon the theory have turned out to be wrong, or in many cases they are so general and contradictory that no matter what happens it is said to be “consistent with” global warming. Early last year a study at the University of California, Berkley, reported that due to global warming, “California’s coastal fog has decreased significantly over the past 100 years, potentially endangering coast redwood trees dependent on cool, humid summers.” However, later in the year the National Weather Service reported that the San Francisco Bay area had just recorded its foggiest summer in 50 years. Shortly thereafter, another study, this time from San Jose State in California, reported that “thanks to global warming, it’s about to get even foggier” along the California coast. So I guess more fog is consistent with predictions of climate change and less fog is consistent with predictions of climate change. I wonder if the same amount of fog would also be “consistent with” climate change? Probably so. After all, we are told that warm temperatures, cold temperatures, droughts, floods, more storms, fewer storms, more snow, less snow, etc., are all “consistent with” global warming. I guess you don’t have to be the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland to believe six impossible things before breakfast. But I digress. It turns out that the same scientist who published the fog decline story received a $2.5 million grant for a new study on the health of the California redwoods. The proposal was to “chart the health of the trees over time and use laboratory analysis of carbon and oxygen isotopes to figure out how the trees have reacted in the past to climate and weather conditions.” It was thought that laboratory testing of the redwood tree rings would indicate what negative effects on growth were produced by the changing climate, which of course he believed was caused by humans. His conclusion is not surprising to me but it apparently was to him. “Redwood studies thus far have come up […]

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