Captain's Log 25 May: Memorial Day, La Nina, Drought, Tornadoes, Hurricanes...
Written by Bill Kirk
May 25, 2020
It's Memorial Day 2020! :)
Today we honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we have, even if some of those freedoms have been temporarily taken away. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.
There's no doubt we're headed for La Niña as we can see the colder than normal water temperatures below the Equatorial Pacific Ocean bubble to the surface. Notice in today's animation how quickly we went from well above average water temperatures to below average in just a couple weeks. WORTH WATCHING.
Compared to this time last year we see much cooler waters both in the Pacific Ocean and off the U.S. Northeast coast. This among other cycles is a major shift which will very likely lead to a devastating hurricane season here in the U.S. but is also helping to slowly reduce rainfall and severe weather (thunderstorms, tornadoes) as we go through 2020.
Here in Pennsylvania we went from a record number of severe thunderstorms last May and this year the other extreme with the fewest on record.
Tornadoes as expected are way down from last year across the U.S. with 18% fewer than a year ago, 1% below average and down a whopping 55% from the very active 2011 season.
Dry to drought-like conditions are also expanding after record low drought last year. This time a year ago only 9% of the country had dry to drought-like conditions and that has expanded to 36% this year. We expect this to expand to 50% this year and maybe as high as 60% next year. This is a wholesale change from the past 4 very wet years here in the U.S.
This week (25-31 May) a nation-wide warmer pattern takes shape with the U.S. overall trending +0.9F warmer than a year ago making it 7th warmest of the past 35 years. Rainfall is the wettest in 5 years and 3rd wettest in 35 years nationally. Texas is the cooler than average spot with the heavy rain and some severe weather activity early in the week.
Next week (1-7 June) shows a very warm pattern expanding into the Plains with the U.S. overall trending +1.8F warmer than last year making it 2nd warmest in 35+ years. Rainfall still wettest in 4 years and 6th wettest in 35 years.