Last week, Steve Tracton shared climate researcher's Kevin Trenberth eyewitness account of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. In separate correspondence, Kevin passed along an astonishing series of before and after photos of some well-known buildings in Christchurch, including only this commentary: "It makes you appreciate how lucky we really are..."
A long-time friend of mine, prominent climate scientist Kevin Trenberth, sent me his eyewitness account of Tuesday's deadly earthquake in New Zealand. Kevin is a native of New Zealand who coincidentally was visiting family and friends when the earthquake struck.
Wednesday morning (Eastern Time), cyclone Yasi made landfall as a powerful Category Four storm (Category 5 on Australia's scale) along Australia's northeastern coast in Queensland with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. (What we call hurricanes, Australian's call cyclones).
Epic floods in northeast Australia have swamped 30,000 homes with water covering a region larger than France and Germany combined. Mudslides in Brazil have killed hundreds. Hundreds have also died from torrents in Sri Lanka. Snowfall has covered parts of 49 states in U.S. What's causing all of this weather mayhem?
The Weather Channel (TWC) has ranked the top 10 weather stories of 2010, and heat is #1.
One of the things that makes tracking the weather so interesting is that even though conditions may be boring where you live, they're bound to be extreme somewhere else. The 2010-2011 meteorological winter (which started Dec. 1) has been no exception to this rule so far. Although Washington hasn't seen any "Snowmageddon"-style storms so far this winter, Europe has been slammed by relentless assaults of bitter cold and heavy snowfalls. So what has been causing this freak winter weather onslaught in Europe, and the colder-than-average conditions in much of the eastern U.S., including Washington?