Posted on July 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A NOAA map shows warmer than average ocean temperatures in red developing off the coast of South American during the past few months, but sea surface temps are also remaining warmer than average across the western Pacific, hampering development of a full-fledged El Niño.
Widespread ocean warmth may hamper development
FRISCO — This year’s brewing El Niño may be dampened by widespread warm sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean, according to weather experts. Specifically, ocean temperatures across the far western Pacific have remained so warm that one of the key ingredients for a full-strength El Niño is missing — a significant difference in temperatures between the western and Eastern Pacific.
But so far this summer, warmer than average temperatures are spread across the Pacific from east to west. Just last week, the National Climatic Data Center announced that the average global temperature for June was the warmest on record, driving in large part by warm oceans. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño | Tagged: climate, Colorado weather, El Nino, NOAA, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A loggerhead sea turtle swimming over a coral reef. Photo courtesy NOAA/Marco Giuliano.
Ocean advocates say warming ocean drives sea turtles into floating gillnets
FRISCO — Along with the potential for affecting weather over North America, the emerging El Niño conditions on the Pacific Ocean could pose a threat to endangered loggerhead sea turtles, conservation advocates say, calling on federal fisheries managers to implement legally required restrictions on gillnet fishing to protect the turtles.
When ocean waters in the eastern Pacific get warmer, the loggerheads tend to move into commercial fishing grounds, where they often die after getting tangled up in nets. When El Niño is occurring or forecasted, the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area (California ocean waters east of 120 degrees latitude) is, by law, closed to drift gillnet fishing during June, July and August. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, El Niño, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: climate, El Nino, endangered species, gillnets, loggerhead sea turtles, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Wet summer possible across much of Colorado
FRISCO — El Nino may bring above average rainfall to Colorado this summer, Grand Junction-based forecasters with the National Weather Service said in their latest update. The cyclical shift in Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures affects the path of moisture moving off the Pacific and across the western U.S.
Visit NOAA’s El Niño page, where weather experts are maintaining an El Niño blog to track the developing pattern.
NOAA maps show a classic El Niño pattern with a streak of warmer-than-average sea surface temps extending along the equator from the South American coast westward.
Based on computer model projections and comparisons with past years under similar emerging El Niño conditions, probabilities are tilted toward above-average precipitation for much of the summer, especially in late summer going into early autumn.
The biggest effects of El Niño are often felt during the winter months, but right now it’s unclear how strong this year’s El Niño will be or how long it will persist. Looking at the series of most recent El Niños, forecasters detect an overall trend of drier than average conditions, with periods of good snowfall scattered throughout the winter months.
Strong storms in late fall can put down a good base in the Colorado mountains, but El Niño winters are also often marked by long spells of dry weather in between stormy patterns.
Filed under: El Niño | Tagged: Colorado, El Nino, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Year-to-date readings also close to average
A temperature sandwich across the U.S. in May.
FRISCO — The average temperature across the U.S. was 1 degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, making it the 32d-warmest May on record, according to the latest report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Both the East and West coasts were warmer than average during May, while much of the central U.S. had near-average temperatures.
For the spring season (March- May), the average temperature was 0.2 degrees above the 20th century average, ranking the season near the middle of the pack for the 120-year period of record. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, May 2014 state of the climate, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Temps for year-to-date still running below average
FRISCO — Despite a few cold snaps here and there, the average April temperature across the U.S. was remarkably close to normal, at .7 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to the latest monthly report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Most of the country saw near-average readings for the month, with a narrow belt of above-normal temps along the West Coast and pocket of cold in the upper Midwest.
For the year to-date, however, the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states is .4 degrees below the 20th century average, making in the 36th-coldest January to April period on record, and the marking the coldest start to the year since 1993 — mainly due to very cold readings in the eastern U.S. Read the full report here. Continue reading
Filed under: seasons | Tagged: April 2014 climate, climate, global warming, U.S. climate, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study offers new insight into long-distance avian migration.
‘We think that these behaviors represent a previously unknown cognitive ability …’
FRISCO — Some migrating birds may be able to sense weather patterns on a hemispheric scale, helping them optimally time their nonstop transoceanic flights.
Bar-tailed godwits, the ultra-marathon champions of migration, breed in Alaska and spend winters in New Zealand and a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study suggests that these birds can sense broad weather patterns.
Careful monitoring of the birds suggest they time their departure to match the best possible atmospheric wind conditions possible within a two-week window. Remarkably, not only were the conditions optimal for take-off, but they almost always provided the best possible conditions for the birds’ entire flights, as far as 7,000 miles in eight days between Alaska and New Zealand.
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: bar-tailed godwits, Birds, Environment, migration, weather | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A faint sheen of color above Buffalo Mountain marked sunset, with more moisture rolling in from the West.
Colorado’s north-central mountains favored by this winter’s storm track
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Summit County remained a target for above average precipitation in February, with both official weather stations reporting surplus snowfall for the month. The Upper Blue in particular benefited from the storm track, with the snowpack now approaching record levels.
To date, the snowpack in the Blue River Basin is the third highest on record, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chad Gimmestad, who said there is a moderate potential for spring flooding in the basin. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado, February 2014 weather statistics, snowfall, weather | 1 Comment »