Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It is Not Climate Change

This is just stupid beyond belief. Al Roker, the “Today” show weather bubba is blaming the increased tornadoes on climate change. Well, he could have had a decent argument. The number of tornadoes is at the extreme maximum amount but my research indicates we are still below a couple of years in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Where he blew it and probably showed that he really might not know what he is talking about is when said this:

“We have had these tornadoes and earlier this week we had a tornado in Philadelphia. And so, you know out weather, or climate change is such now that we are seeing this kind of weather not just in rural parts of our country, but in urban centers as well.” (Source: The Daily Caller)

As a former weather person myself, this is just dumb. All one really has to do is two things. First, look at a map on the Central United States (Tornado Alley). Please note the very large swaths of rural areas as compared to urban areas. You could push Dallas, Houston, St Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Omaha urban centers together and not even cover half of Oklahoma. The Midwest is mostly rural so the very large majority of tornadoes are going to hit rural areas. It really is that simple. Secondly, ask the folks who live in Oklahoma City back in the mid ‘90s if they live in a rural or urban center. The city was devastated by several tornadoes, including an F5 that traveled several hundred miles.

Tornadoes don’t have a mind of their own, although folks living through them might beg to differ. They aren’t going to going along, tearing up farmhouses and barns, then suddenly go “whoops, there’s a city, gotta stop now.” And tornadoes are not a surface feature. Yes, they do cause massive destruction on the ground, but these storms are formed in the middle levels of the atmosphere in response to actions in the upper atmosphere. Urban areas are not going to have an impact.

Some might argue that moisture is a key ingredient for these storms. This is true, and to clarify, this moisture is in the lower levels of the atmosphere, generally the lowest 5,000 feet. But when you look at the studies of what kind of impacts urban areas have on localized weather (higher moisture than surrounding rural areas, and higher temperatures), you would think urban areas would have seen an increase in the tornadic activity years before OwlGore was even a glimmer in Sen Gore’s eye. FYI: To have a tornado, a thunderstorm must form, there is no other way. For a thunderstorm to form, there must be ample moisture and heat in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. If these ingredients exists to form a thunderstorm, then the right things have to be happening in the middle and upper atmosphere for a tornado to form. All tornadoes come from thunderstorms, but not all thunderstorms have tornadoes.

As cold-hearted as this might sound, urban areas are just getting hit this year due to the law of averages. It’s not climate change or global warming.

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