Thursday, January 30, 2014

Freak Weather: Alaska is Warmer than Alabama

The weather in the US has been turned upside down with the far north being warmer than the deep south. At the end of January 2014, the temperature in northern Alaska reached an all time high according to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. While a warm air mass in Alaska is breaking records in the far north, southern states are suffering under the influence of another polar vortex. It is a twisted climatic irony that Alabama is far colder than Alaska.

The far north is suffering from the impacts of global warming much more than anywhere else on earth. The Arctic is an average of 5.58 degrees C. above normal.

In addition to the cold weather, southern states were paralyzed by a freak snowstorm on Tuesday January 28. The storm caused a number of fatal vehicular crashes and hundreds of fender-benders in central Alabama. Ice shut down roadways in Florida and Louisiana and children were forced to hunker down in their schools overnight.

Emergency declarations were issued in Texas, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and other southern states. Temperatures in Atlanta fell to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius) while on Sunday January 26, the temperatures in Northern Alaska climbed to 52 degrees Fahrenheit (11 Celsius). These are the warmest temperatures ever recorded for this time of year in the 92 year history of record keeping for the area.

The US weather picture at the end of January is yet another example of a changing climate. It is occurrences such as this that bring to life the idea of global weirding to explain anomalous weather.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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