February 19, 2021

New Podcast: Super Rain Shadow, Heavy Mountain Precipitation, and the Truth About the Texas Cold Wave

 My new podcast is online.  In the first part I talk about the weekend forecast, which on Sunday includes heavy precipitation on the western slopes of the Olympics and Cascades, but relatively dry conditions over the western lowlands.  Below is the 72 hour precipitation through 4 AM Monday.  

Up to 5-10 inches over the western slopes but a rain shadow "dry hole" of only about a tenth of an inch from north Seattle to southern Whidbey Island.  Also very dry east of the Cascades.

And then I take on the big news story.....the cold wave over Texas.... and analyze in depth the claims made that such severe cold waves are the result of global warming.

You can listen here or on your smartphone using your favorite podcast service.

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  1. Under global warming/climate change, there are fewer cold waves and extreme cold temperature events. It makes sense now why Texas has not weatherized power grids and facilities for cold weather in the past 30 years. (making them more vulnerable to cold weather)

  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/opinion/fake-news-media-attention.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    “The four steps are based on the premise that you often make a better decision with less information than you do with more.”

    So there you are again, Cliff, out of step with the NYT and offering too much information! "Rabbit Holes" is their label and then they don't have to interact with your ideas, see! Maybe you should fact check your opinions and science with "Mr. Caulfield, a digital literacy expert" /sarc

    These type of stories on the dangers of misinformation pop up on google almost every day. Amazingly arrogant and stupid, but that is par for the NYT. I guess it is disturbing that it should be a Babylon Bee headline but instead it is truly dangerous.

    “Is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the best, unbiased source on information about a vaccine? I’d argue no. And that’s good enough to know we should probably just move on,” he said.

    So we should quit thinking critically for ourselves and submit to "Mr. Caulfield, a digital literacy expert at Washington State University" because he is the "best, unbiased source of information."

    What could possibly go wrong when we don't think critically and we accept opinions from the NYT? Let's see. . . we could go to war with Iraq, Libya, Syria, and more. Or we could go along with Cuomo as offering “something simple and, to many viewers, deeply necessary: a sense that someone is in charge, even if the news is bad.” The New York Times (3/16/20) made him out as the benevolent dictator the people needed:

    "Mr. Cuomo has emerged as the executive best suited for the coronavirus crisis…. Even many of his critics say the very qualities that make him abrasive in ordinary interactions are serving him well now."

  3. I think a weaker wavy jet stream is causing more extreme weather. I grew up in Sacramento California and the dry spells have gotten worse and having a big high pressure ridge overhead has become more common, it also seems like Big cold troughs over the east have become more common. In the old days a drought year meant weak storms now during drought years California can go a month or two without any storms. To get all time record cold in this age of global warming the jet stream has to be exceptionally wavy. I saw the article you posted de-bunking a more wavy jet stream but I think more research is needed, a wavy jet stream is occuring too often for it to be coincidence.

  4. The logical truth here, is that Texas must better insulate their grid from extreme weather, even if that extreme weather only comes along every 20 years or so...but Texans are a hard-headed bunch..."Don't mess with Texas" clearly describes their iconoclastic attitudes about embracing the national grid...I kinda wish we would just let Texas secede from the USA, so they can bear even more the consequences of their retrograde attitudes!

  5. Cliff Mass. I appreciate your short term weather modeling, which has great analysis. But here’s a fact. Parts of Texas have had 3, 100-year flood events, including a 1000 year event with Harvey, in the last 10 years. What are the chances that happens purely randomly? In addition you know that the vectors driving meanders in the jet stream is driven by temperature differentials between the Arctic and middle latitudes. Like a river flowing through low gradients, the jet stream meanders more heavily without that differential, which is reduced by the warming poles. The climate is changing, and it is caused by human-caused warming, particularly in the poles. Selective use of complex and covariant graphs don’t change that fact, nor do they change the urgency of responding to climate change as a human-caused event.

  6. Cliff, what about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation you talk about in your book? Is that still working ir has it been obliterated by global warming? Is the blob a product of global warming?

  7. Hi Cliff. I love your work. I was wondering what the explanation was for a "super rain shadow" effect. Why are there sometimes extreme differences in precipitation between windward and leeward areas vs other times when there is only slight differences? This is something that is puzzling to me and I would really appreciate a thorough explanation and find the topic very interesting. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  8. The Palo Verde Power Station that spared El Paso was nuclear, of course. ;)

  9. Still hoping for some Cliff-analysis on the increase in atmospheric CO2 during the peak decline in 2020 of global industrial CO2 input (mid-2020). Note that Pinatubo had a remarkable affect, so thinking 2020 industrial decline would have a similar effect: https://www.desmos.com/calculator/gj88r4ynhy . Too soon to notice?


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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