West central Connecticut continues to be in a very serious drought situation with historic low levels of water in city and town reservoirs. Pictured above is Wasel Reservoir in Southington owned by the city of New Britain and the water levels are startling low as you can see. Rainfall has been below normal for the last three years with last year at only 31 inches when the normal rainfall should be around 46 inches. The last time there was such a severe drought in Connecticut was in the middle 1960’s, fifty years ago. Droughts like the one we’re experiencing now is cyclical and will continue for at least the next six months. It will take two years to get our local reservoir to capacity under normal conditions. The city of New Britain is purchasing water daily from The Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford to push water levels up close to 50%. Since December 1st, 5 millions gallons of untreated water are pumped daily from the MDC into New Britain’s water supply and will continue until the end of this month. So please be conscientious with your daily water usage so we can soon end this historic drought.
Just a little fun here being six weeks before the official start to spring. Each February 2nd, television cameras from all over focus on the ground hog. If the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, and if he doesn’t, there will be an early spring. This curious weather observance is another piece of a forgotten lore that had a 2nd revival back on February 2, 1898 at The Ground Hog Club of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where 7 men from the town met on Kobblers Knob. Their spring fun lead to a little hill being titled “weather capital of the hill” at a ground hog burrow, and the rest is history.
The National Oceanic and Atmosphereic Admininstration has just released its annual state of the climate report which says it has been the warmest since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.
Deke Arendt, chief of the monitoring group at NOAA National Centers for Envoronmental Information in Asheville, NC says 2016 was about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the global average for the 20th century. “And that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you take and you average it all the way around the planet, that’s a big number” Arendt says.
“The long term warming is driven almost entirely by greenhouse gases,” Arendt says. “We’ve seen a warming trend related to greenhouses gases for four, five, and six decades now.”
President Trump has professed open-mindness about climate change, Still he once called it a hoax.
Information was from a column written by Nell Greenfield Boyce from NPR
Column provided by Jay Tabellione
After looking at new prognostics using a combination of European and American atmospheric models the rest of January will average some 5 degrees or more above average with very little if any snow in the forecast. However there will be a few opportunities of rain tomorrow night and Wednesday morning, Saturday and a significant rain storm early next week followed by mild temperatures. The jury is still out for February, but there will be a reconfiguration of the jet stream in a position that favors snow and colder temperatures. Last year we were in a major El Nino pattern allowing warm moist Pacific air to move transcontinental over the entire nation highlighting a much warmer than normal winter. El Nino is gone now which is evident as strong storms move down from the Gulf of Alaska pummeling the west coast with snow and heavy rains. It may be our turn as we turn the page to a new month in a couple of weeks.
Ground Hogs Day is still 3 1/2 weeks away which means there’s still another 10 weeks of winter. So, how will the rest of the winter unfold for us? What I see are wild fluctuations between very cold and very mild conditions for the next few weeks. As we have seen already when we get snow it quickly warms up as the jet stream retreats back to our northwest and it will happen again this week. After the 5 or 6 inches of snow Saturday and the persistent cold and wind the storm track will lift allowing warmth and showers for the rest of the week. The main storm track is now over the western half of the nation giving the Rockies feet of snow and flooding rains to the Pacific coast where they really need it. It will be a matter of time when the configuration of the air masses will flip giving us our due share of winter. There WILL be peaks and valleys going forward with cold and snow to thawing and rain. Stay tuned.