Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's hot.... and dry

We could use some rain.

Thursday's significant temperature records:

• 109° in Chesterfiled, Missouri (well short of state monthly record of 112°)• 108° in Lawrenceville, Illinois (ties all-time state June monthly record of 108° at Palestine in June 1954)• 108° in Huntingsburg, Indiana (well short of state monthly record of 111°)• 107° in Defiance, Ohio (1° short of all-time state June record-108° in Germantown in 1934)• 111° in Evening Shade, Arkansas (short of state June record of 113° in 1936)• 108° in Smyrna, Tennessee (short of 110° state record in 1936)• 107° in Little Rock, Arkansas (all-time June monthly record)
From the Weather Underground - Jeff Masters
The Amazing June Heat Wave of 2012

One of the most intense heat waves in U.S. history has enveloped portions of the western plains and Midwest and has now spread eastward. All-time heat records have fallen at a number of significant weather stations. And it is still just June. Is this a prelude for the coming summer or just a flash in the pan? 

June had been a warm but not excessively so month until around June 20-23rd when an upper level high pressure dome that had been centered over the Baja of Mexico began to move/expand northeastward and strengthen dramatically. Between June 23 and June 27 this dome remained nearly stationary over the southern plains and maintained its strength.

The water vapor image for 3Z on June 23 shows a deep trough over the Pacific Ocean west of California amplifying the high pressure ridge over the southwest and southern plains. Image from UNYSYS GOES West satellite.

he air aloft became so abnormally warm that the NWS office in Dodge City focused on how intense the air aloft was in their daily discussions. At the 850 millibar level (about 5000’) the temperature was averaging an amazing 30°C (86°F) at the 5 a.m. (12Z) observation times on June 23-27!

The heat at surface level reached its greatest extent on June 26th, although the period of all-time records broken ranged from June 23 to June 27.

Here is a surface temperature map for 5p.m CST time on June 26:

Could this be the Beginning of Another ‘Summer of 1936'?

The only previous June heat waves in U.S. history that compare to the current one were those of 1934, 1936, and 1954. The summer of 1934 went on to be the warmest on record for the U.S. (74.6° June-August average) and July 1936 the single hottest month on record (77.4° average).

Ominously, some of the June records that have so far been set this month have eclipsed those of June 1934 and 1936 (1954 turned out be a summer of only slightly above long-term average normal temperature).

From the Weather Underground blog - by  Christopher C. Burt

Saturday, June 23, 2012

" Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low"

Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from "too much regulation" and "too many taxes." Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren't)

Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they're paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those "wages" are other companies' revenue.


Of course it wouldn't have to be like this. 

Sea Level Rise in the Coming Centuries

From the University of Copenhagen:
“Based on the current situation we have projected changes in sea level 500 years into the future. We are not looking at what is happening with the climate, but are focusing exclusively on sea levels”, explains Aslak Grinsted, a researcher at the Centre for Ice and Climate, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

The research group has made calculations for four scenarios: A pessimistic one, where the emissions continue to increase. This will mean that sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500.Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. By the year 2100 it will have risen by 60 cm and by the year 2500 the rise in sea level will be 1.8 meters. For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.