Record warm spring ‘a stunning and unparalleled event in U.S. meteorological history’
This doesn’t bode well for teleskiguy and his friends. You see, I don’t want the world turning into an uninhabitable desert wasteland. I want snow to ski on! But, as Jeff Masters reports:
Spring 2012 in the contiguous U.S. demolished the old records for hottest spring and most extreme season of any kind, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Thursday. With the warmest March, third warmest April, and second warmest May, the March - April - May spring season was 5.2°F above average—the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the contiguous United States. What’s truly remarkable is the margin the old record was broken by—spring 2012 temperatures were a full 1°F above the previous most extreme season, the winter of 1999 - 2000. All-time seasonal temperature records are very difficult to break, and are usually broken by only a tenth of a degree. To see the old record crushed by a full degree is a stunning and unparalleled event in U.S. meteorological history.
I was witness to the great dry-out out here in the inner mountain west. Record low snow totals at the ski areas were the norm this year. It didn’t snow a single day December 2011 in a lot of places. Peak flows of the rivers from spring snow melt occurred a month, sometimes two months ahead of normal schedule (usually they peak mid-May, this year it was mid-April or end of March, depending on the drainage). Could it be because of anthropogenic global warming?
Granted, last year’s winter was exactly the opposite of this year’s winter in terms of snowfall. You could ski all summer in some places during the great 2010/2011 winter, which saw places like Alta, UT receive 800 inches of snow in a single winter. I have to wonder sometimes.