The photo below, shot over Turkey, provides enlightenment to anyone unfamiliar with meteorology.
This is a classic anvil head Cumulonimbus, better known as a thunderhead. If you have ever been caught in a thunder storm (on the ground, of course, because if you have been in an aircraft, you would be alive to read this fine prose), this is what the sky above your head looks like, unless of course it’s an imbedded thunderstorm, which is impossible to photograph (because it’s imbedded).
This is the type of cloud formation feared, and rightly so, by all pilots. These seething giants can toss about and tear apart even to largest and heaviest aircraft. None is immune from its power and ferociousness. There is no better example of how nature always wins in fight, because the fight is never fair and there is nothing humans can do about that lack of fairness and always losing. One can only remain at a safe distance, admire the beauty, and take photographs.
Isn't that a cool word? But, that's not the point...
If you want to see something interesting (warning: this is about nature, which is tied to “science”), check out the typhoon heading towards Japan. This storm is readily apparent on the wind map offered by this site.
To see this, you must rotate the globe to the western Pacific Ocean. People unfamiliar with geography (ie. Americans) can consult an atlas to discover where Japan lies.
Compare the storm in the Pacific to the remnants of the hurricane that recently spoiled the July 4th weekend of Cape Hatteras residents, which is now dropping rain on northeast Canada.
The most nationalistic aspect of a news program is the weather, except for international channels.
For example, weather reports show a country as if it’s an island. Germany floats on a blank canvas, with no detail beyond its borders. One would think that Northern Ireland is a small island, when seen on the weather map of British channels. The “other” Ireland has been erased.
Do these people think that the weather gods recognize national boundaries? Clouds over Germany do not extend into France. A rain shower does not dampen Austria. The sun does not shine on Holland.
It’s almost as if news people do not want to share their weather information with their neighbors.
How was one to know that Mach and April weather would be visited upon us in May? The North Atlantic Oscillation has been sending textbook examples of the Icelandic low, one after the other, storming across Germany. No one can complain about lack of rain, as farmers did in past months. Planning a garden party is not a good idea...
I don’t know if the cause is global warming, El Nino, the Tea Party, or Vladimir Putin, but I had to cut the grass. This is March 7th. I usually do not start until May. Following the first crocuses, the first hyacinths have blossomed.
Regardless of whose fault the warm winter was, I did not miss the cold or snow. Even if it means more work, I am happy that Spring has showed up early.
Because this is positive, I expect someone or some group to take credit...
I noticed weather reports predicting more cold and snow for most of the northern states of the United States. From what I recall of my earlier life in that country, this is rather normal for this time of year. Winter is cold and snow falls frequently. I remember snow covering the ground some years from November to March and many days off from school.
Unlike hockey players today, who are spoiled by artificial ice and indoor arenas, we hoped for cold to freeze the pond and feared snow, which had to be shoveled before we could play. I wonder if today’s youth is tough enough. I remember two Canadians arguing about players being coddled in indoor rinks. The conversation, in part, as follows:
First: "It’s not heated, so it’s just as cold as outside."
Second: "Maybe, but the don’t have to buck the wind."
My point is that winter is winter....except in Germany. We have had the warmest temperatures on record and no snow. Flowers are blooming and fruit trees are blossoming. No longer playing hockey, I prefer the milder winter. I do not miss shoveling snow. That said, I happy to sympathize with anyone needing sympathy.
I don’t know what climate change deniers smoke, but I suggest they put the following data in their pipes:
Having just lived through January (and most of February), I can attest to the fact the weather was mild. I do not recall any winter being so warm. But what do I know? I am not being paid to deny climate change...
Anyone with a firm grasp of the obvious will notice that I changed the photo at the top of the first page. I like to change this a few times a year to reflect conditions under which people read books.
I liked the shot of the moon over the Alps, but it was a bit dark. Some might call the scene depressing. I recall the night, and it was far from depressing. It was a good night to sit in front of a warm fire and read a good book.
Unfortunately (or not) winter has not lived up to the promise of that photo. We have had no snow. Today, the temperature climbed into the 50's. People sat at outdoor cafés and caught a few rays. The new photo, with the Alps having a light dusting of snow, reflects the fading/never-showed-up winter.
If you asked me to guess the date, based upon the photo, I would pick some day early in April.
The photo was taken on February 16. How’s that for evidence of a screwed-up (unusual) climate in central Germany? I can’t say that I missed shoveling snow, not that I have done much during my years in this country.
The North Atlantic Oscillation, often mentioned by me, has been kind to central Germany this year. England has suffered repeated buffeting and flooding, thanks to low pressure systems spiraling off the North Atlantic.. In the past, these storms usually came our way, but this year have veered off to the north.
Calendars inform me that it is February: deep in winter. The problem is that a glance out the window fools me. I see flowers begin to sprout in the garden. I planted these bulbs only a few weeks ago and did not expect to see sign of them until Easter.
I hope that winter does not come raging back, because these poor things might catch a cold. Farmers are already moaning about potential loss of crops, because too many, not having a calendar--believe that spring has arrived. Of course, a cold snap would put an end to the weeds, which have also returned early...