Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow, Mud and Valentine's Day in the Weather World

There's been so much going on in the world of weather over the last week and when you connect the dots you get El Nino sending frozen, wet valentines to cities across the Globe. A snow globe in Texas and a muddy mess in multiple cities far, far away.

My point to get across today is "GLOBAL" and the reality that we do not live in a vacuum. Everything is connected. It is like those games we played as children where we connected the dots and suddenly we had to draw a really big line from 23 to 24 which ended up being the bridge of the nose on a unicorn.

Mud has been the issue the last few days in places as remote as Madeira and Indonesia.

Over 40 people have been killed in Madeira, the death toll will climb much higher as they find more bodies and figure out where the missing are ... if they are safe or still buried under a river of mud. Three days of mourning were scheduled and yet the rescue crews are still trying to find the missing and get a handle on a situation that many cannot remember ever happening before.

That's a scene from Madeira, not a scene from Flash Forward...

A good link to video on the story, after you get past the sappy Verizon commercial.

A world away in Indonesia a similar storm created havoc with rain and mud and landslides in an area that is remote and has no land moving machinery to help find victims. People are digging through the mud with their bare hands... much the way they did in Haiti in last month's earthquake.

This has been a violent sort of year for Mother Earth... earthquakes, threatening volcanoes and muddy torrents of death in remote regions around the world.

What links it all together? Weather.. Meteorology and Geology, Earth Sciences.

We truly have so much to learn about how the Planet works, how the jet stream moves and how the tectonic plates work beneath the Earth's surface. It's a great natural ballet or opera, which ever you can relate to and it has it's beauty and tragedy. We are just beginning to learn to put the pieces all together.

So much needs to be done in the realm of research across the Globe to put the pieces together "more better" as they say down south...

One of the best fields of study I ever studied was something called "Linkage" and in my case how it related to the world of International Relations. That same concept can be applied to weather and geology as everything is linked in some way.

A storm forms in the far Pacific, moves east towards the West Coast of America and lashes Los Angeles, moves towards Arizona and gets enhanced by a deep diving Arctic blast and suddenly snow in Dallas and it moves on to the east in a Global Ballet of sorts, gets tugged northeast towards Baltimore and DC and on to it's final American destination as a cold, wet storm off of the tip of Long Island, blows a farewell kiss to Montauk and moves across the Atlantic... England or France or maybe even Portugal that is usually blessed with beautiful weather... and the same moisture in those clouds that rained on L.A. and snowed on Dallas continues east... circling the globe, only visible to the naked eye by watching the water vapor imagery or from the Space Lab looking down onto Planet Earth.

What a beautiful planet, but so much more we need to learn about how to predict violent weather and even more violent volcanoes.

Luckily, back around Valentine's Day the Meteorological community had a breakthrough of sorts when an incredible study was done on Global Warming and how it relates to Hurricanes by several of the world's best meteorological experts in their respective fields of expertise. Often they have disagreed, but this time they worked together on a paper that will be read, studied, commented on and possibly even revised with new discussion added as that is how things are done in the scientific community.

It's time to come together and share knowledge and expertise. There is still disagreement, but now there is discussion and there is discovery going on as we come towards some semblance of agreement.

You don't go into a scientific experiment with a conclusion decided in advance and then juggle things about trying to prove your pre-made conclusion. You have a process of discovery, you test, you run models, you share information... you evaluate, you explore possibilities and then you write the paper with your results.

Kudos to some of the world's best meteorologists for coming together and publishing a paper on a topic that everyone wants to know more on without political bias or 2012 sort of End of the World disaster predictions.

I will discuss the paper in this blog soon, I have to digest it. It's not easy to read nor is it easy to digest. Less Hurricanes but stronger hurricanes would be the basic cliff notes version. Where would they hit? Why would they be stronger along this coast or that is up for discussion. Wetter hurricanes possibly... Of course, Andrew was a five but was not a wet storm... was that an anomaly or just a random storm. Katrina? Well, the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane was a VERY BIG WET storm, a category four storm.

A big wet hurricane can do more damage than a small, tightly wound windy storm..

More damage over a wider area and deaths from flooding vs wind.

You can often hide from the wind, but you cannot as easily hide from the water..

Hide from the wind, run from the water... that's the saying.

Sometimes water has mud mixed in and the dramatic footage from Madeira, Portugal shows us all how hard it is to run from a river of mud.

And, in Dallas it is the snowiest winter on record.

El Nino will give up soon, he will get tired of causing this meteorological madness and he will depart and go into whatever hole he crawls out of every several years. So, we were lucky, no strong hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin... how nice. But, as I have said before, you cannot kill off Hurricanes as they are part of the incredible way the world works. They transfer energy from the equator towards the poles when everything is working properly. When it isn't... rivers of mud, snow in the south and DC buried in Epic snowfall.

Everything is related, everything is linked.

More has to be learned, more needs to be studied. We need to figure out what it is we need to study and luckily with parts of the meteorological community coming together to work in partnership on papers and research we may be that much closer to some much needed answers.

So, thank you for the long paper to digest with a cup of coffee and some left over chocolates and a whole ton of emails to read regarding this very important paper.

After I finish analyzing it.. I'll give my thoughts. Like good scientific research, good analysis can only be done when all the facts are read over carefully and much thought is given to details. So often, the devil is in the details.

As for Senor Nino.. I think it's time to shuffle off to Buffalo and take a long hike so we can take a break from the cold and wet weather that is circling the Globe.

Globalism... it's not just about politics!

Besos Bobbi...


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