polar vortex

Welcome to Arkansas!

It is a lovely day here in Denver, Colorado. The temps are in the 60’s and 70’s, depending on the location of the storm that just went through here. We even had a tornado warning in my area which is very close to downtown. I even received and emergency alert to take cover NOW, it said. So, what do you think I did? Nope! I went outside to see what was happening and it was very nice out. The storm that just went through might have had a questionable cloud, but otherwise it was not so much.

I lived my first 47 years in Arkansas and I’ve seen lots of storms and tornados. This, today wasn’t nothing. Back home, we all just stand on the porch and watch. If you didn’t mind the rain, like most of us, we took a little walk around the area and get a feel for the local climate.
That is what I just did here. The first thing I noticed is it was too cool. If there was a possibility of a tornado in my area, it has long gone by the time the alert was issued. Oh! How I miss the weather forecasting back home. Especially one meteorologist who worked at the CBS affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas. His Name was Ed; I can not recall the last name, but he was very good and always spot on. KTHV is the call letters for that station and it was my favorite when I lived there. I wonder if he is still there? It’s been 12 1/2 years since I moved to Colorado.
Colorado is so very nice. The climate, though, is much drier than Hog country. We don’t get a lot of rain here. We depend heavily on the snow that we get in the winter and spring to make it through the year. Farmers have the toughest time. People in the cities are spoiled and water the lawns like a crazy man. You pretty much have to though or the lawns will dry up and become tumble weeds.

The weather forecasters here, with the exception of a few, are grandstanders. I think it must be all about ratings or something, because so many of them try to over-dramatize the weather. I know that one of the local weathermen has an ego that just won’t quit.
Weatherman here, I’ll say, love it when it snows. They go on TV and try to scare everyone into thinking their little bit of snow (2 – 4 inches) will make life unbearable. But this is Denver, Colorado folks. It snows here. Two to four inches is nothing. I know that back home, they close schools for that amount, but not here. When it snows here, everything is still happening. Heck fire, even 8 – 10 inches won’t stop us. But the possibility to even have a dusting of snow here is taken as a challenge to increase weatherman’s ratings.

Now, it seems that they are jumping on the tornado weather bandwagon and using that to scare the people.
Listen, guys, your emergency alert was issued after the fact. Go, spend some time in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Learn what weather forecasting is like in those areas, then you can come back home to Denver with an education.

So, what do you think of the climate change? Well, it could be much ado about nothing, or it may be something more serious. I recall reading a report on a theory that had been proposed by a group of scientists. It was proposed that the Earth’s climate may not always be so normal. The idea was that there could be, sometime in the near future if not already, the poles on earth would move and thereby change the climate as we know it.

I was reminded of that while watching the weather forecasts during the past winter in Denver. Where was all the cold and snow coming from. Well, we all know the normal answer is the jet stream as it brings cold weather south. But this year, something else was to blame. They called it the Polar Vortex. Was it? Or was it a sign of things to come.

My lawn is much, much greener and grown up than years before. I am seeing a good amount of rainfall this year so far too. In fact, today’s weather reminds me of being back home in Arkansas. It doesn’t surprise me because there isn’t that much difference between the two states, weatherwise, except that it snows more here and rains more there. The temps during the winter are a little colder here and the cold lasts longer than it does there. So, when I first moved to Colorado, I made that observation. I also found out that rain in the summer is difficult to come by here.

Then one day I was looking on Google Earth and trying to explain to my wife what is meant by gulf moisture. This is the very thing that brings so mu8ch rain and humidity to Arkansas. I noticed something else that was very interesting. If global warming were real, and I believe it is, it would not take a lot of change for the gulf moisture to follow the Rocky Mountains and bring about more rain for Colorado. It may be happening now.

Lately, I hear the weather people talking more and more about moisture that is coming up from the gulf. Those clouds, today and yesterday were just that, gulf moisture. It sure feels like Arkansas in Colorado today. My lawn looks like it too.