U.S. Suffered A Cold February, -1.89F Below Average
Even according to the data-fudging folks at NOAA –who have admitted they “guess” Earth’s temperature due to poor ground station coverage– it was an unusually cold month of February across the United States.
The 48 contiguous States finished with an average temperature of 33.8F which is -1.89F below the multidecadal baseline:
This comes off the back of a chilly Jan, too — the United State’s chillest month of January since 2014, again according to NOAA data. February’s freeze also chimes with what the satellites saw, with the UAH registering a below avg month for the U.S., which also continues the overall global cooling trend witnessed since 2016’s peak:
Looking ahead, March won’t bring any relief — quite the opposite. This week, and through the weekend, the majority of the U.S. can expect a fierce blast of Arctic air–air rivaling some of the coldest ever recorded in mid-March:
Historic cold has already struck many parts of the country this season where it has caused a myriad of problems, including to the valley tree crops of California — a cold spell at the end of February plunged much of the Sacramento Valley into record-low territory.
“Every flower can produce an almond,” explained grower Tim Taylor. “When that freeze hits and these are developing … once they start to develop like this”–Taylor sliced into a blossom to check the developing nut–“see that black inside? That means it’s frozen. It froze, and it’s dead.”
Taylor estimates that 60% of his almond orchard was damaged by the freeze, potentially decimating his yield. It was particularly dispiriting after expectations were for a bountiful year. “We had a wonderful February,” Taylor said. “It was looking pretty darn good until all of a sudden it decided to freeze for four days.”
Similar scenes are playing out up and down the Central Valley, reports agalert.comwhere temperatures reached the low to mid-20s most of Presidents Day week. Many growers went to extreme lengths in order to warm up the trees, including hiring helicopters. Mike Vereschagin, an almond grower in Orland, said it “sounded like a military zone out there with all the helicopters flying, trying to push down the warmer air from above into the orchards.” However, for that to work, there has to be an inversion layer which, according to Mel Machado, director of member relations at Blue Diamond Growers, was light to nonexistent this time. “One guy told me he had a helicopter at 200 feet before it found anything warm,” said Machado. “That’s useless. You need to have air 30, 40 feet off the canopies to make that work.”
Manam Erupts To 50,000 Feet
On Tuesday, March 8, Papa New Guinea’s highly active Manam Volcano produced another stratospheric eruption, continuing its uptick which began in 2010.
A thick volcanic ash plume rising to at least 50,000 feet (15.2 km) was registered by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin using HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery:
Such as high-level eruption is noteworthy because particulates ejected to altitudes above 32,800 ft (10 km) –i.e. into the stratosphere– often linger, where they have a direct cooling effect on the planet.
Volcanic eruptions are one of the key forcings driving Earth into its next bout of global cooling. Their worldwide uptick is tied to low solar activity, coronal holes, a waning magnetosphere, and the influx of Cosmic Rays penetrating silica-rich magma.
Hunga Tonga’s eruption of Jan 15 fired particulates through the stratosphere and into the mesosphere; at 36 miles up, it was the highest volcanic eruption ever recorded. Those particulates are now ‘trapped’ in the upper atmosphere where they are expected to cool the planet by approx. 0.3C.
Stratovolcano: 1807 m / 5,928 ft
Papua New Guinea: -4.08°S / 145.04°E
Current status: ERUPTING (4 out of 5)
Manam volcano, located 13 km off the northern coast of New Guinea near Bogia town, is one of Papua New Guinea’s most active volcanoes. It has one of the longest records of historic eruptions in the SE Pacific region. The larger eruptions of Manam produce pyroclastic flows and sometimes lava flows. Both have repeatedly reached the coast and affected populated areas.
The volcano’s current ongoing eruptive phase technically began back on June 29, 2014 and it has already registered a “4” on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). Manam’s eruptive history is peppered with VEI 2s and 3s, but it also has two previous confirmed VEI 4s, from 2004 and 1919 — see volcano.si.edu for more.
Eruption list: ongoing since Aug 2010 (31 July 2015: large vulcanian explosion), 2000-2004 (small subplinian eruptions), 1974-1999, 1965-66, 1963-64, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1959-60, 1959, 1956-58, 1954, 1953, 1946-47, 1936-39, 1932-34, 1926-28, 1925, 1924?, 1923, 1922, 1920-21, 1919, 1917, 1909-14?, 1907?, 1904, 1904, 1901-02?, 1899, 1887-95, 1885, 1884?, 1887, 1830, 1700, 1643, 1616 — for more see VolcanoDiscovery.com.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Raysand a meridional jet stream flow (among many other forcings, including the impending release of the Beaufort Gyre).
Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be and grow your own.
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