Two weeks ago today we were anxiously looking at the weather radar to confirm that yes, we would be able to get home from Sarasota between winter storms. And in that look ahead, the story was that March back in Virginia was going to bring us some of our worst winter weather yet.
And so we stood with a foot in both seasonal camps, very much immersed for too short a time in the alien tropics (only not weather-wise for our short and chilly visit) and our other weather reality prepared to hunker down, feed the wood stoves, and angst over mandatory travel in weather not fit for a penguin–much less a pelican.
The weather (and it’s progenitor, climate) is very much in the conversation on Goose Creek, the recent devastating floods visible even after VDOT’s repairs.
So many other localities across the US–and the world, for that matter–find weather extremes and damage taking up more of their conversational space.
I was chatting yesterday with a delivery man, who whistled through his teeth at the signs of the high water mark along Goose Creek in front of the house.
“Musta been some kinda water” he said.
“Yes, it would have been considered a 100 year flood during normal climate times, but likely a annual event in the years to come” I told him.
“Nah, it’s just there are so many more people paying attention to normal weather and so many more ways to talk about it.”
That sounded like a Fox News talking point. I let it drop, but oh could I have taken on that mindless claim.
To the point, we’re making ready for another winter storm whose magnitude Roanoke Times weather-blogger Kevin Myatt has described “possibly historic.” And the northeast once again prepares to dig out from what might be a massive blizzard.
If it seems like there is a pattern appearing here, you’re right. To make a long story short, and I’ve spoken about it here before, as oceans warm, polar ice melts, and large-scale air movement patterns change, a “blocking” condition slows and changes the oscillations of the jet stream. See here and here.
Those large scale changes attributable to a warming climate (whether you allow humanity to play a role in its genesis or not) are going to be with us now for the long term. And yes, more people are talking about the weather, but that does not cause it.
And ask the insurance companies if they think its just more talk; or are there facts to support a pattern of drastic increase in weather-related property loss and injury?
We are all talking about the weather. And, matter of fact, we could be doing something about it.