October 7, 2013

Broken umbrella that has been discarded by the road.

Copyright 2013 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This has turned into quite a dry summer.  According to the ABC StormWatch7 WeatherBlog, the Washington, D.C. area has not had any rain for the past 11 days, and is down 4 inches for the past 4 months when compared to typical weather patterns.

Liberty Reservoir at pre Superstorm Sandy level

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

(This is a photograph of Liberty Reservoir taken last year right before SuperStorm Sandy.  The water level in the Reservoir is about the same now.)

It is significant to note that while researching this particular post, I attempted to access the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website as this is a very reliable and important source of weather information.  I received this message indicating the NOAA has been largely shuttered due to the partial shut-down of the Federal government.  I had been wondering what would happen if Tropical Storm Karen morphed into a hurricane and damaged the coast as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also been affected by the partial shut-down-as had virtually everything with word “Federal” in the title.  President Obama and FEMA have begun to recall furloughed workers in response to the threat posed by Karen.

Interestingly, as Karen has moved north, it appears it has “…lost its battle with dry air and disruptive wind shear.” according to AccuWeather.com.   That lack of moisture appears to be beneficial in this particular case with this particular storm.  It does not mean, however, that the Gulf Coast will remain unscathed by Karen as its rains will be heavy and may result in local flooding.  The extended forecast indicates the possibility that the remnants of Karen will push north and then meet the storm system that has buried the upper mid-west leaving the Black Hills in South Dakota with over 3 feet of snow and hammering Nebraska and Iowa with up to 9 tornadoes.

This feast or famine pattern to the weather may be due to changes in the jet stream, as discussed here.  This is an important story because the jet stream plays a major role in weather patterns around the world, and Jennifer Francis is quoted as saying this change may be due to the warming of the planet as a result of climate change.  More importantly, there is often a disconnect between what people think with regard to climate change – a recent survey in the United Kingdon indicated that 19% of the respondents did not think the Earth’s temperature was rising – and what the science says.  The Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued their most recent report, which indicates that the overwhelming amount (95%) of scientific evidence verifies the dramatic change in global CO2 and methane levels (these are the two main greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, which then results in a rise in global temperatures.  In 2015, the UN will meet to further discuss the heating of the planet and how, and/or if, countries will respond.  Time will tell if any meaningful results come from such talks as they have been going on for years (in Durban, Copenhagen, and all the way back Kyoto)  and the planet has continued to warm.  Please read this article from The Guardian as it is a nice synopsis of the issue.

Locally, we will also have to wait to see if there is, in fact, any rain to fall.  The forecast for today does include the chance of storms.

Take care.


One Response to “Rain?”

  1. I really appreciate your photography blog!
    It confirmed my long held suspicions that you are a well traveled man. As someone who loves photography and adventure too,i recognize a fellow photography lover when i see one,i have over 3000 collections of photos i have saved on my computer but they are not organized as yours or of high quality,took most of them on phone or low megapixel camera,One of the most thrilling photos i have ever taken is at the top of the second highest mountain in Africa(Mt Kenya) and the spectacular migration of wildebeest in Maasai Mara of Kenya to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.In fact the first day i saw you i remember discussing with Elizabeth telling her you look like the tourists who come on Safaris to Kenya!I will be following your blog now and thanks for setting it up!

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