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Green Olympics

Only nine days to go... and it's still quite balmy...

Winter Olympic host city Vancouver saw its warmest January on record, marked by a lack of snow and daffodils in bloom just days before the start of the Games, the Meteorologist Service of Canada said Tuesday.

The mean temperature reached 7.2 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit), up from a norm of 3.3 degrees for the month, meteorologist Matthew MacDonald, reached by telephone at the Vancouver airport, told AFP.

The previous record high of 6.3 degrees was reached four times, most recently in 2006.

Vancouver saw 13 days in which temperatures went above 10 degrees (50 degrees Fahrenheit) far more than the statistical average of three days. The mercury rose as high as 14.1 degrees and did not fall below -2.7 degrees.

Equally alarming, the city did not get any snow throughout the month, while it normally records 16.6 centimetres (6.5 inches) of snowfall in January. Instead the city and the Olympic venues have been drenched with rain, worrying Games officials, athletes and fans alike.

"It feels more like March or April, weather-wise," MacDonald said.

The mild January was partly due to the warm weather phenomenon known as El Nino that has swept over Vancouver since the beginning of winter, he added.

I'm just glad I'm not the one having to worry about mother nature. I'm too busy thinking about when I should start planting my seedlings... ;)

filed in Weather | by Christine at 10:13 AM on 2010-02-03 | permalink | comment

We're still standing, but slightly leaning

Just as I suspected, the wind of last night caused enough damage for this morning. In Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island 250,000 homes are currently without power (strangely, ours is still up and going strong). The Causeway (a roadway that cuts through Vancouver's Stanley Park that links Downtown with its North Shore) reported about three-dozen trees down over the road and many others leaning dangerously toward falling. Due to safety, they have closed that and the Lions Gate Bridge down for the full morning while they ensure that no other trees will be falling on any motorists. I can only imagine what kind of waves would be crashing against the western coast of Vancouver Island. I'm just glad we're not among the quarter of a million without power.

At any rate, the wind's still blowing around, although nearly not as much as it did last night. That low groaning noise (the evil noise, as I called it last night) is no longer, thankfully. And most importantly, the sunshine is out. The most beautiful sunshine I've seen in awhile is out and about, and makes me too happy.

I guess the wind will taper off this afternoon, ushering in some colder weather. The storm's originations apparently were in Russia and it's come across to Alaska and down. I know I opened the door briefly last night to check out what was the evil sound, and it was too cold. Brrrr.

filed in Weather | by Christine at 9:54 AM on 2006-12-15 | permalink | comment

Gone With the Wind?

The winds tonight are insane. I woke up at 3:30 this morning in a rush because of it. I guess here in Vancouver, winds are 60-90km/h with gusts up to 120km/h. I believe the 120 part. It's like hell decided to make a pitstop in Vancouver. Randomly I hear things blowing around outside, there are flashes of lightning at least I think they are lightning, although they could be power lines. The power keeps blipping on/off as I hear the computer UPS switch on and off randomly. And worst of all, there is this low-humming growl I hear as the wind gusts hit the building. It's almost.. hum evil sounding. Like I swear I heard it in a horror film. And it's disrupting my sleep in the worst way. I woke with a jolt when the gust was particularly huge, after having a dream that was almost mmm disturbing- even though I can't remember it distinctly. All what I do know is I'm too glad I don't live anywhere surrounded by trees. I am sure this wind storm will claim many many many of the huge fir trees. And if you've been to the Pacific Northwest, you'd understand what I mean by huge.

And these winds are supposed to keep up through to the morning? Will anyone venture out in this weather? Will there still be power in the morning? And just how much abuse can these trees next to our building stand before they break from the pressure? I can't get over it. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I don't know much except I really wish my mommy was here to cover my ears. :P

Reading material, just in case we our power connection doesn't survive the night.

What's behind the wild weather?
B.C. braces for more windy weather
Another huge windstorm rumbles across B.C.

filed in Weather | by Christine at 4:19 AM on 2006-12-15 | permalink | comment

Hurricane disaster prognosis: not so good

Sadly, those supersized hurricanes that seem to be looming around the Atlantic & Gulf are going to be here to stay, as long as the waters remain to be as warm.

If the past three decades are any indication, we might be seeing many more powerful hurricanes like Katrina in the years to come

That's according to a new study released today in the journal Science, which supports claims made after Katrina that warmer ocean temperatures are giving hurricanes more power.

"Odds are that in the next 20 years, [the intensity of hurricanes] is going to stay high, if not increase," said study co-author Judy Curry, chairwoman of Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "We may be looking at more and more Katrina-like storms."

Curry, lead author Peter J. Webster and colleagues tracked the wind speeds of hurricanes around the world since 1970 using data from satellites and reconnaissance airplanes.

They found that while the total number of hurricanes has dropped over the past decade, the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has doubled. They now average about 18 per year.

In the North Atlantic alone, 25 Category 4 and 5 hurricanes occurred between 1990 and 2004, compared with 15 of that strength between 1975 and 1989.

[...] While it's not just global warming that causes higher ocean temperatures, "these daily decisions that we make to drive a car that may be getting only 15 to 20 miles per gallon are really the decisions that affect our grandchildren," she said.

But even if we stop burning fossil fuels, it's hard to tell what would happen, said Curry. She thinks the data suggest the United States needs better disaster management plans and evacuation policies, rather than another debate about global warming.

[...] "The landfall of intense hurricanes is such a rare event that there's absolutely no way that you could see trends unless you waited a hundred years," he said.

Rare event.... just in the past month alone it was Katrina and now it's Rita. Makes me wonder how constant exposure to these these megastorms will affect Florida and the Caribbean Islands. As we saw from Katrina, disaster recovery efforts don't come without a huge price tag. That can't be good for business.

I want to wish everyone in the hurricane-threatened areas of Texas to take care of yourselves and try to find a path out of harm's way, if you can do so.


filed in Weather | by Christine at 11:09 AM on 2005-09-22 | permalink | comment

Mother Nature must be liberal

Ain't karma a bitch?

Hurricane Dennis stalked Cuba's southern coast before cutting across the Caribbean's largest island, packing 145 mph winds capable of catastrophic damage that sent thousands fleeing the Florida Keys and raised fears of more disruption to U.S. oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Winds and heaving surf tossed a guard tower into the sea and roared over a razor-wire fence at the U.S. detention camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, on the island's eastern end.

Well if the government doesn't close the base, maybe hurricane season will.

But, all jokes aside, I do hope everyone down in those there parts are taking care. Hurricanes are the number one reason you'd never see me moving down to the Florida peninsula. Well that and Jeb Bush.

filed in Weather | by Christine at 11:37 PM on 2005-07-08 | permalink | comment

Enjoy the sun!

Cool-ass site of the day: World Sunlight Map

filed in Weather | by Christine at 8:32 PM on 2005-02-17 | permalink | comment

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