Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2013 Recap!

A corneal mass ejection (CME) from the sun could be headed our way!
[Forsyth Mo.] While we all languished in the midst of a very quiet solar max cycle 24 (not counting this massive corneal mass ejection on the 29th), September 2013 rolled on through without a hitch. Like the lack of sunspots, the month of September was most notable for the absence of any extreme weather! (Heck, most of those days could best be described as stellar)! The daytime high of 83°F, while overnight lows came in at a very comfortable 60°F. The two combined averaged at 70.3°F was only 2°F higher than the 30 year temperatures here in Forsyth Missouri averaged out at 83°F versus a

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historical average of 68°F. So, all in all, it was not a bad month to get out and about. Even the rainfall was a modest 3.10" (which was .92 below the normal of 4.02) inches here in Forsyth yielded a yearly total, so far, of 34.50 inches versus a historical average of 33.98 inches! Happily, all these figures are well within what I'd call 'normal'.
 
As we now bravely enter into the month of October, I can't help but wonder if the coming months (especially December through February) will be much colder than normal? According to the Farmers Almanac it will be.

Winter temperatures will be colder than normal, especially in the north, with the coldest periods in mid- and late December, early January, mid-January, and early March. Precipitation will be slightly below normal in the north and above in the south, while snowfall will be below normal in the central portion of the region, but above normal in the north and south. The snowiest periods will be in early November, late December, mid-January, early to mid-February, and late February.”

It's possible that the month of October may give everyone a preview for what can be expected later in the season. (Look for colder than normal temperatures for a start). In addition, the lower than normal sunspot activity and increased levels of volcanic dust in the air globally, may favor or lean towards a particularly harsh winter. (Then again, perhaps the CO2 levels that are approaching a record high of 400 ppm might bail us out yet again). Time will tell...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What's in store on the weather front?

Just in case everyone needs a heads up, it's now almost fall! The official start will be September the 22nd. What that means is that pretty soon, the trees will turn colors and then the leaves will begin to drop, leaving stark and bare skeletons behind. To me that's a little sad. I love all the greenery that is the backdrop of all that I do for most of the year, and I hold a grudge against nature when she turns everything brown. (Did you know that the color the sun puts out the strongest is the color green! It's the last color to fade to gray when the suns sets each day)....

As you might guess, fall also means that the sun provides a little bit less warmth as the days become shorter and shorter, until around December the 22st, when we arrive at the winter solstice and so experience the longest night and shortest day of the year. Before that point arrives, our warm and balmy days of late summer will gradually turn into the cold harshness of winter. all of which starts happening right about now...

So, what's in store for this year? Will it be a typical fall and winter or will things get perhaps a little bit dicey with a either a warmer or colder than normal regime than what we are used to. Certainly, what with global climate change, all the talk of the town, we might expect it to be warmer each winter as the levels of carbon dioxide approach and then surpass the 400 part per billion level (we are currently at 393.05 according to the Keeling Curve). Yet, scientists insist that during periods of true climate change, the one constant is that there is no constant. Rather, they tells us to expect weather that might well swing wildly from one extreme to the other with no discernible pattern, rhyme or reason. And maybe that makes some sense, after all. Our planet's day-to-day weather is the result of an extremely complex interplay of forces working on a grand scale. And much of the input of raw energy into that system comes from a star we call the sun. Her constant outpouring of life giving heat and energy is what makes life possible and is what drives unimaginably huge forces at play on earth. No one man or women knows or can predict the end result of the interplay of solar insolence, volcanism, green house gases and ocean currents on the coming season. The best they can do is to tell us all to buckle up, for it's bound to be a wild ride no matter what!