Weather Investigation #3
March 10, 2013

Weather Investigation: March 10, 2013

Weather Investigation #3

Case 1: Why so much snow in Boston and the Northeast?

So, what was the cause of all the massive snowfall that hit the northeast this week? The simple answer is that it’s not that simple. Let’s examine a few things. First is the Gulf Stream, which is an ocean current that runs parallel to the east coast. This current is a warm ocean current which provided fuel to the low pressure center that pushed off the coast near Maryland and the Carolina’s earlier this week. When this low pressure hit that warm water, it caused the storm to rapidly intensify, or in weather terms “Bomb Out”. This, along with the interaction from the high pressure that was located out over the open sea to the northeast of this storm, forced the storm system to move up the east coast and gain strength along the way. The storm itself was so strong that it created near hurricane force wind gusts in the northeast. These winds caused it gather moisture from the warm ocean and wrap it around the storm and into a very cold air mass. Which helped create the snowfall. The snow was heavy for some places in the northeast.

Case 2: What is going on with the CO2 in the Earth?

The CO2 levels have been rising and were reported to be rapid just this past month. So, all of this extra CO2 is now being pumped into the atmosphere, where the effects should be felt a little bit. However, to fully understand Global Climate Change, you will note this that CO2 alone (man made or nature made) is not the culprit of our climate change alone; the sun has more responsibility for this.

Case 3: What is going on with our sun these days?

The sun is currently in a very active stage of its cycle, known as the solar max. The solar max has been predicted to occur this year. This means that the sun will be very active releasing multiple solar flares and filaments into outer space. The impacts on earth from this will be mostly in the form of the Aurora lights both in the northern and southern regions of the globe. However, the latest storm that left the sun this past week did send a high amount of energy towards Mars, forcing the rover to be shut down for some time to allow this radiation to clear the area.

Case 4: Did the groundhog lie to us?

The groundhog is a traditional event that takes place every year and the saying is that he can predict an early spring or late spring. This year his predictions were not right; but that proves the point that he is just a furry animal and not the best at forecasting. This is why this it will be just a weather folklore.

Case 5: Will El-Nino strike this year?

This is a huge wild card player when it comes to doing long range weather forecast, because El-Nino has a large impact on how the weather will behave during its cycle. To answer the question, I would forecast based on my research that we should not see El-Nino this year due to the proximity of our solar cycle max. This is answer is based on my research.

Image Credit: silver-john / Shutterstock

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