Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dallas Deluge Demolishes Daily Downpour Data;
New January Daily Rainfall Record, Second Wettest January

Following last year's exceptional drought, the climate pendulum has jumped to the opposite extreme, bringing record rainfall and floods to portions of north Texas. Although the National Weather Service reports that the heavy rain has ended, the 3.54" of rain so far today at Dallas is nearly 3 times the old record for the date of 1.28" in 1973. The daily total is also an all-time January daily record, exceeding the 3.15" on January 4, 1998, and it's the second-highest daily total for any winter day (December-February), behind the 4.22" on December 20, 1991.

The January 2012 monthly total to date of 6.04" is approaching 4 times the normal amount of 1.66". It also surpasses the 5.58" in January 2007 to become the second wettest January, behind 9.07" in 1932.

Note: Although the Dallas/Ft. Worth climate record is considered continuous back to 1898, data have been collected at several locations in the area:
  • 1898-1940: Downtown Fort Worth
  • 1940-1953: Fort Worth Meacham Field
  • 1953-1974: Greater Southwest International Airport
  • 1974-present: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Image (click to enlarge): 24-hour rainfall totals ending 1 pm CST, January 25, 2012, in the Dallas region, from National Weather Service

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gas Bubble: Coal Market Share for U.S. Electricity Generation Declines from 50% to 43% in 2 Years

The good news: Electricity generation from coal is declining sharply in the U.S., from 50% 2 years ago to 43% today.

The bad news: The reason for the drop is that there is a "virtually infinite" supply of natural gas. The lowest gas prices in at least a decade ($2.34 Friday morning) are making coal-fired power plants uneconomical. Out of 350 gigawatts of coal capacity, roughly 50 gigawatts are at risk for replacement by cheap gas.

Kenneth Hersh, NGP Energy Capital Management Co. CEO was interviewed on CNBC Friday morning (January 20):

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

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