Monday, December 15, 2008

Need To Warm Up? Head North! Plus, Read About Cold Science Fun!

Head north? What?

Can you believe that as I type this blog, it's 24 degrees ABOVE zero in Barrow, Alaska -- and 24 degrees BELOW zero in Glendive, MT.

There are some below zero temps in the interior of Alaksa, but a pretty amazing statistic nonetheless --- considering Barrow is usually in the deep freeze!

It was a brutally cold -19°F in Denver overnight. That set a new record low for the date.

We've been holding at about -13°F to -10°F for the past few hours.

I have a science experiment for those of you in the deep freeze.

Boil some hot water on the stove or in the microwave. About 1/2 a coffee cup's worth, maybe slightly less.

Get a good grip on the handle, go outside, hold the glass at your waist and then with all your might, raise your glass, throwing all the water straight into the air.

You will make a cloud as it instantly turns into water vapor!

The colder the better. I tried it last night when it was about -7 or -8°F and it worked, but some drops of water fell back to the ground. (so when you loft the water into the air, do it at a slight angle away from you or you might get a little wet!)

Once you get into the minus teens or lower this experiment really works well.

The trick is the hotter the water, the better. So pour your coffee cup and immediately get outside and launch the water.

The higher you hoist the water the more dramatic.

Ice storm warnings are in effect for the mid-south, from east-central Arkansas into western Tennessee.

Areas around Memphis could see up to an inch of ice -- repeating what we saw happen to New England a few days ago.

Winter Storm Warnings cover the Ohio River Valley.

And in the upper midwest and the high plains, it's just plum cold! Dangerously cold in many locations.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the greater Las Vegas area for up to 2 inches of snow! Some flakes may even fly on the strip!

And in southern California, who sang that it never rains?

Heavy rain is currently falling as I blog over the Los Angeles area, with flash flooding a threat over all the burn scars from recent fires.

In the mountains of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, a winter storm warning is in effect for 12-18 inches of snow!

And talk about weather weenies, these are my kind of guys and gals.

The folks at the National Weather Service office in Seattle/Tacoma made a great powerpoint recap of the winter storm that hit over the weekend, bringing a rare snowfall to downtown Seattle.

Click here!

After such a BORING fall season, the weather has become quite active and in many cases dramatic and out of the ordinary these past few weeks.

Snow in Houston, New Orleans, Jackson, Seattle, maybe today Las Vegas?!?

Crippling ice storms and a cold fornt that made many locations in the middle of America drop 50 to 70 degrees in 18 to 30 hours.

Here in Denver we were 58 degrees on Saturday afternoon and minus 19 degrees about 2 am Monday. That is a 77 degree change in less than 2 days.

Is it dramatic climate change? And aren't we supposed to be in the middle of global warming?

In some cases yes, I think climates are changing -- but I'd also pose that in some places where they think climates are changing, maybe it's just a really "out of whack" weather pattern that takes a few years to correct.

Who really knows?

That's why we track weather data -- more and more now than ever before -- so there is written documentation to compare the present with the past.

And some research does show the planet is warming. But it is just part of the planet's cycle? Or are humans causing it?

Who knows?

Regardless of what is happening on the big, long-term picture, it doesn't stop Mother Nature from showing us her awesome power and it doesn't stop the forces that control weather on Earth from showing us the extremes.

Climate is a delicate system that always returns to a point of equilibrium and those frozen today will thaw out, and those bone dry will eventually get wet, those too wet will dry out and those too hot will some day cool off.

The frustrating thing is it doesn't always happen on a time scale we like -- but that is kind of the beauty of it.

In a world of self-gratification and I want it now, Mother Nature sometimes says you know what, you'll have to adapt!

Don't forget that I have changed the settings for leaving comments so it should be MUCH easier now for you to chat with me and all the blog readers.

I love hearing from you.

Have a great day and please stay safe and warm!

1 comment:

  1. Cold science fun was great!! Can't wait to show my grand daughter! Do you have any more neat weather type science experiments that are easy to do at home?

    Jeanne, Evaro, MT