Thursday, May 16, 2024

Extreme Start To 2023 Caused By Natural Weather Weirdness Boosted By Climate Change

The year 2023 is off to a crazier start than ever, according to meteorologists, who also credit some of it to climate change caused by humans, in a world where severe weather is becoming the norm.

According to scientists, many of the global difficulties are being brought about by a turbulent Pacific Ocean and a wavering jet stream.

At least a highway in California’s drought – stricken state had the appearance of a river due to torrential rain from what meteorologists call an “atmospheric river of moisture.” On Wednesday, the Northern Hemisphere was more than 2.6 degrees (1.4 degrees Celsius) warmer than the late 20th-century average. At the same time, New Year’s weather brought to the U.S. East and recorded high temperatures in Europe. And all of this comes after Arctic air spilled over, ruining Christmas for a large portion of the United States.

Private meteorologist Ryan Maue stated in an email that “all the elements are in place for two weeks of extreme weather, especially in the Western U.S.

According to Maue, the main factor is a three-year La Nina, a natural transient cooling of the equatorial Pacific Ocean that affects global weather patterns. The weather systems are literally being affected, with effects felt worldwide. Bomb cyclones, which are storms where the atmospheric pressure rapidly and dramatically decreases, are also present on some of the waves. They are wet storms that travel on the atmospheric waves carrying the jet stream.

Rain California

According to Jennifer Francis of the Maue and Woodwell Climate Research Center, the jet stream is exceptionally wavelike. According to Maue, the storms “produce a conveyor belt of moisture to assault the West Coast of the United States” as they dip over the warm subtropics.

Maue, a former top scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Trump administration, compared the jet stream and bomb cyclones to a moisture – laden runaway freight train in the Pacific. “Climate change gives the locomotive engine additional fuel.”

California prepared expecting more storms Wednesday and Thursday after more than 5 inches of rain poured there on Saturday. As of Wednesday, the snowpack was more than 170% above average, the third-highest level in 40 years.

Storms in the western Pacific are strengthened by the Madden – Julian Oscillation, another natural short-term weather occurrence, in addition to La Nina, according to Maue.

Francis cites two factors that are boosting the Pacific: a “blob” of warm sea water off the Aleutian Islands, a phenomenon that is occurring more frequently, and an Arctic that is “crazy warm”— on Wednesday, it was 5.8 degrees (3.2 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1979–2000 average.

Extremes of all types move up, down, and around the earth due to a jet stream that is wider than usual, Francis added.

You could compare it to a jump rope. Francis explained on Wednesday that it ripples throughout the entire jump rope gradually when you start to flick it at one end. And so it is possible that the waving itself, which may have originated in the Pacific, is amplifying it over Europe.

A weather station in Delemont, Switzerland, close to the French border, broke its January record on January 1st, with an average daily temperature of 18.1 degrees Celsius (almost 65 degrees Fahrenheit). According to extreme weather tracker Maximiliano Herrera, it was 17.2 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) in Bucharest, Romania, on Tuesday, breaking a January record, while it was 17.9 degrees Celsius (64.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Russian Republic of Dagestan.

European weather service “This turn of the new year may nearly make you forget that it’s the height of winter,” joked MeteoSuisse on its blog.


According to Colorado meteorologist, Bob Henson of Yale Climate Connections, there is “a silver lining” to this unusual weather, especially with the record heat in Europe in January alleviating winter heating fuel shortages brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, California, where a more than 20-year megadrought has worsened wildfires, is receiving much-needed rain and snow, perhaps even too much of it.

Early in the week, levees and roads in California were washed out. In the San Francisco area, schools were halted on Wednesday while more than 8,000 sandbags were distributed in preparation for significant flooding. There were canceled flights.

Forecasters stated in a study that “excessive rainfall over already saturated soils will result in quick rises on creeks, streams, and rivers as well as flooding in urban areas.”

Except for the exceptional record heat in Europe, which Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University, called “yet another example of the manifestation of human-induced climate change,” he said he doesn’t observe anything particularly out of the usual.

The recent catastrophes we have been witnessing “may occur naturally,” according to Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters, who is now with Yale Climate Connections. Weather is naturally intense. “However, with the disruption that climate change is bringing to global weather patterns, the likelihood of encountering exceptional weather events in any season increases.”


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