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Freak weather, heat domes, cold snaps, all grist for the Global Witchdoctors

The Heat Dome was a freak local event

Once upon a time, scientists would say only 30 year trends counted. Now, all weather is climate except when it isn’t. Climate modelers know the heat over North East America was caused by your beef steak, but the cold over New Mexico was not even worth mentioning. (Nor apparently was the minus 81 in Antarctica a couple of weeks ago).

As Ryan Maue says: Overall the contiguous US is 1.4F below average.

Heatwave, Heat Dome, USA, portland, oregon.

…h/t Clarence.t WUWT


The Sun is already saying the Heat Dome “killed at least 500 people”. Strangely the February Texas freeze and blackouts may have killed 700 people, but five months later the media is still carefully waiting for confirmation before it puts that in a headline.

Blame the Pacific Ocean

Even NOAA says a Heat Dome is caused by La Nina and a local weather phenomenon:

This [heat dome] happens when strong, high-pressure atmospheric conditions combine with influences from La Niña, creating vast areas of sweltering heat that gets trapped under the high-pressure “dome.”

A team of scientists funded by the NOAA MAPP Program investigated what triggers heat domes and found the main cause was a strong change (or gradient) in ocean temperatures from west to east in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the preceding winter.

Given that climate modelers can’t predict a La Nina more than six months in advance, they also can’t predict the likelihood of Heat Domes in any given year.

Anthony Watts explains that the heat  was a weather phenomenon created by air being compressed as it flowed downhill. 

High pressure rotates clockwise, causes sinking air, and creates downslope winds (Foehn winds), which heat up because the air compresses as it flowed down the slope of the Cascade Mountains from east to west towards Portland and Seattle. It’s like the Santa Ana winds in Southern California. It’s the same effect as using a bicycle pump to fill a tire. The pump gets warm, not from friction, but because of the gas (air) is being compressed. Conversely, aerosol cans get colder, because gas under pressure is escaping and decompression occurs inside the can. This is described by science, known as the Adiabatic process.

Anthony also points out that as the heat dome moved past the temperatures fell in hours by an astonishing 52F (29C). That was another record drop in temperatures, and all on the same day, but who’s counting?

Blame the jet streams

The simultaneous extreme heat and cold may be created by wavy jet streams. But climate modelers could never figure out what the jetstreams were going to do. They flipped and flopped post hoc as the data changed.  The models predicted waviness would go down, but it went up. Then someone came up with a way to explain that, but then the waviness stopped going up.

Meanwhile other researchers without climate models found that jet streams correlate with solar output “over a millennium”. And other researchers found that the interplanetary magnetic field can affect the polar regions on Earth, and also the mid latitude air pressure.

Omega block, Jetstream, heatdome

Wandering Jetstreams help create the heat dome.

More than one skeptic predicted the jet streams would get wavier as solar activity weakened. Read Stephen Wildes theory here. And Cap Allon here.

If a weak sun causes wavier jet streams we may well get lots more “extreme” weather phenomenon which will have nothing to do with CO2.

But whatever happens the Climate Experts will be right.

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