what a difference a year makes with the weather–or does it?

A tale of two views of the same street, but different weather, a year apart:

43 degrees North 2012-03-26
43 degrees North 2013-03-26
43 degrees North 2013-03-26

This time last year, we had May weather in March, including some 80°F days.  This year, still a lot of snow on the ground, with our most recent snowfall on Sunday.  So this means global warming’s over, right?  (Ba-bump, crash).

Yeah, easy for some people to say.  Sure, we’re having a colder than normal March after a more or less normal January and February.   Yet these wild swings in temperature are also evidence of global warming.

The rapid warming of the Arctic in winter causes the jet stream to become more wobbly and unpredictable.  Last year, the part of the Arctic jet stream at Wisconsin’s longitude was much further north–this year, it has been much further south.  So, basically, we’re talking more weird weather.  That’s why, in 2008 we ended up with over 100 inches of snow here in Madison–the previous record was 76.1 inches.  It’s one thing to break a record–it’s another to blow it to smithereens.  It’s yet another thing to see snow in Las Vegas.  And who said “don’t mess with Texas?”  On the flip side there’s the insane Moscow heat wave of 2010.

In any case, it is warming up, with temperatures reaching the 40’s (Fahrenheit) later this week.  So here’s to a hopefully normal summer this year, after a record-breaking summer last year.

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