Weather Around The World: Looking Back On March and Ahead To April And Beyond

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The precipitation forecast through Friday shows rain diminishing in Washington and increasing as far south as southern California. Courtesy NOAA

The precipitation forecast through Friday shows rain diminishing in Washington and increasing as far south as southern California. Image courtesy NOAA

After a winter of steady cold in the States and warmth in Europe, the weather pattern has a new spring in its step as the transition to summer takes place.

The deluge in the Pacific northwest of the U.S. slacks off as some rain spreads south, while tornado season heats up with rare twisters in California.

In the Indian Ocean, the search for the missing Malaysian airliner has moved to a location where the weather conditions are somewhat more hospitable.

Finally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  has issued a report — it isn’t good.

Who’s Hot; Who’s Not?

The miserably cold winter in the midwest has continued into what’s supposed to be spring. In Minneapolis, the high temperature failed to reach the normal minimum seven times in March; the temperature was above normal on only five days. The forecast for April: cold. But there’s hope on the horizon for next winter: An El Nino appears to be developing and El Ninos are correlated with warm winters in the north-central U.S.

Warm weather in Europe has compensated for the cold winter in the United States. Moscow’s remarkable warmth continued in March, with only four days below normal. Every day from February 2 to March 17 was above normal, temperature-wise. Forecast for April: near normal as the jet stream pattern realigns.

Washington Mudslides; Record Monthly Rain In Seattle; Some Drought Relief For California

Seattle exceeded its March average rainfall in the first seven days of the month, and the rain hasn’t stopped yet. The monthly total of 9.44 inches surpassed the previous record set in 1960 by over an inch. The threat of mudslides reduces as the weather pattern changes; precipitation should be more showery and less like a biblical deluge. The rain area will spread out to include drought-stricken southern California, but much more rain is needed to break the drought — and summer is normally dry.

Tornadoes In California and Missouri

California experienced an unusual outbreak of tornadoes in the Sacramento area on Wednesday. The system that caused the wild weather crossed the Rockies and produced a couple of tornadoes in Missouri on Thursday. On Friday, the bad weather moved to the Gulf states, bringing heavy thunderstorms with strong winds. The next system, due to arrive Thursday and Friday, could produce tornadoes from Texas to Alabama.

The forecast for Friday morning shows a cold front in Mississippi and Louisiana which could produce tornadoes. Courtesy NOAA.

The forecast for Friday morning shows a cold front in Mississippi and Louisiana which could produce tornadoes. Courtesy NOAA.

Tornado season is now in full swing, with the center of maximum occurrence in Oklahoma – but tornadoes can flare from Texas to Florida and from the Gulf coast to the upper midwest, as warm, moist air moves north from the Gulf of Mexico at the surface, and dry air from the west streams above it.

Perth, Australia and The Search For MH370

As searchers scour the Indian Ocean for signs of the missing plane, their staging area, Perth, Australia, offers a sliver of a silver lining to this grim exercise: The weather is perfect. Temperatures in April normally range from highs in the 70s to lows in the 50s. There is relatively little rain.

Out on the ocean, it can be a different story, though with the search area shifted about 500 miles south, the weather is more conducive to finding debris from the plane — if it’s there. The outlook, however, is not so sanguine: If the searchers find debris from the plane, they’ll begin to look for the aircraft at the bottom of the ocean. That search can take months or even years, and winter is not so nice on the Indian Ocean.

IPCC Issues a Report Summary

The IPCC’s new assessment report runs over 1500 pages and the summary, just released, goes on for 44 pages. Among the mincing of words necessary to satisfy members with various agendas, the summary basically says we’re more sure of what we suspected, and things are getting worse.

Critics will carp over the wording, but the case has been made: The climate is changing; humanity needs to at least take notice, and preferably take action.

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