Cranky uncle Earl is counting down the days until Thanksgiving. Every family has an uncle Earl. He's the one who breaks the remote control, makes vaguely inappropriate comments at the dinner table, and doesn't have the good sense to know when to go home. I pray he's not reading this.
Family drama is one thing, but will the weather cooperate? Probably. Thanksgiving weather can be all over the map: 60F or knee-deep snow drifts. Last year we had a high of 60F with a coating of snow at night. Statistically we're more likely to subzero lows than 50-degree highs. We've only seen 11 Thanksgiving Days above 50F in the last 141 years. It's been as cold as -18F (1880); the last subzero low was 1985 (-8F). Historically 1 in 3 Thanksgivings have at least 1 inch of snow on the ground.
Enjoy upper 40s today because we're about to enjoy a few glancing blows of arctic air. No extended periods of numbing pain, but cold enough to get your attention. Expect weekend highs in the 20s with a windchill near zero at times.
A Pacific breeze means highs in the 30s to near 40F on Thanksgiving. No big storms are brewing nearby, but a light, greasy coating of snow may arrive late tomorrow. Updates on the blog.
A very strong cold front sliced across the central and eastern U.S., clashing with warm, mild air out ahead of it. A strengthening area of low pressure along the front, helped to generate large amounts of low level spin. At high altitudes, an extremely powerful jet stream – roaring along at around 140 mph – energized the storm system..."
Photo credit above: "Homeowners and helpers dig out what they can from a mountain of debris in Washington, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 after more than 1,000 homes were devastated by an F4 tornado that passed through Sunday. The twister was the most powerful to hit Illinois since 1885 with wind speeds greater than 200 mph." (AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky)
Photo credit above: Associated Press photo. "This aerial view on Monday shows the path of a tornado that hit the Illinois town of Washington on Sunday."
Photo credit above: Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press. "Fans are warned to take cover as a severe storm moves through Soldier Field during the first half of an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Chicago."
Photo credit above: "This picture taken from a video released by the Italian Police Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, shows a wrecked police car recouped from a crack in a bridge caused by torrential rains, in Dorgali, Sardinia. A policeman helping to escort an ambulance died when the car he was traveling in was submerged in the collapse of the bridge. The Mediterranean island of Sardinia, prized by the jet-set for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear seas, was a flood-ravaged mud bath Tuesday after a freak torrential rainstorm killed at least 17 people, downed bridges and swept away cars. Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovannelli said the city had been destroyed by the "apocalyptic" storm, with bridges felled and water levels reaching 10 feet in some places. He described the ferocity of the storm's rains as a "water bomb." Photo: Polizia Di Stato, AP.
* more details on the extreme flooding in Sardinia, Italy from The BBC.
Which Countries Are Most At Risk From Super Storms And Extreme Weather? AlterNet has the story - here's an excerpt: "...All ten of the countries most at risk from extreme events in the 1993 to 2012 period were developing countries, emphasising the message in Warsaw that poor countries cannot cope with the increasing number of catastrophes by themselves. The major issue at the conference in the wake of the current Philippine disaster is how to finance “loss and damage” caused by an increasingly unstable climate. The index, compiled by a think tank called Germanwatch from figures supplied by the giant re-insurance company Munich Re, lists ten countries most affected in 2012 and the long-term climate risk from loss of life and damage from 1993 to 2012..." (Image: NASA).
Photo credit above: " .
Everyone In The World Hates Their Jobs - But Americans Hate Theirs The Most. Fast Company has results of a recent survey - here is a clip from an interesting story: "We suppose this survey of 8,000 workers across the United States, Canada, India, and Europe makes it somewhat official: America is number one! Number one in the percentage of employees who hate their jobs, that is. Monster.com and market research company GfK conducted the study, which revealed that only 53% of Americans actively enjoy their jobs, and 15% actively dislike them. Canadians, meanwhile, took top prize for having the cheeriest workforce: 64% of Canadians like their jobs, while only 7% hate what they do..."
Photo credit above: "A man rides his bicycle past the cooling tower and chimneys from a coal-burning power station in Beijing June 1, 2012." Credit: Reuters/David Gray/Files.
Haiyan Is An Example Of Climate Change Making Things Worse. Here's a clip from climate scientist Greg Laden at scienceblogs.com: "...The exact nature of future storms is uncertain, but there are four lines of scientific evidence that hurricanes will be more of a problem in the future than they were in the past. First, sea levels continue to rise, so the same storm ten years from now vs. ten years ago will have significantly greater impact. Sea level rise was a significant factor with Superstorm Sandy and Katrina, and was likely a factor in the high death toll and extensive damage caused by Haiyan. Second, large storms are likely to produce more rain over a broader area because a warmer atmosphere contains more moisture; large storms will bring increased inland flooding, a major cause of damage, injury, and death in tropical storms and cyclones. Third, increased sea temperatures may generate more intense storms..."
Photo credit above: "Debris littering the streets of Tacloban on November 14, nearly a week after the storm struck." (PHOTO: TROCAIRE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS).
"You don't need to talk about climate change per se ... Statistically, you are looking at a series of numbers. If it were a roulette wheel, you could say, 'It's coming up black more and more frequently.' Can I attribute that to black being overweighted by the croupier? Or to the pit boss, or the machine being broken? It doesn't matter. Some people will argue that ice ages have waxed and waned for tens of millennia and that this is part of a natural cycle. That doesn't change the fact that black is coming up more frequently and you will get less out of an acre of corn than you used to. The price for that land simply cannot be justified by the income it can generate."In other words, it doesn't matter what's causing it, but something's definitely not right, and investing in protection from that uncertainty now seems a must..."
Photo credit above: "A resident bikes past the devastation in Tacloban, central Philippines."