Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Just In: Irony Not Dead
Blog Reports Winter Not Yet Over!

A coalition of 90 environmental groups has called for a demonstration called Capitol Climate Action on Monday to protest the coal-fired Capitol Hill power plant in Washington. (This event is not affiliated with CapitalClimate; note the subtle spelling difference.) The cold-weather blog, where all the news is numb and number, has wasted no time in pointing out that the region is under a Winter Storm Watch calling for as much as 8" of snow. While March snows are rare in the Nation's Capital (4" or more on a single day occurring about once a decade), the March daily record of 11.5" was set as late as the 29th of the month in 1942.

Clearly, any specific weather event is not indicative of a trend, and a rare event is even less indicative. Any Fellow of the American Meteorological Society should know better than that. As far as temperatures are concerned, here are the Washington monthly average temperatures for this winter relative to the long-term "normal":
December +0.8°
January -3.3°
February +1.7°
For the country as a whole (only about 3% of the earth's surface), the last 90 days have averaged predominantly above normal. (Note that the map projection exaggerates the area of the northern regions.)

Image (click to enlarge): 90-day temperatures and departures from average, from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA

No comments:

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.