Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Climate Changed

The National Weather Service predicted severe thunderstorms for the Northeast for yesterday (June 23), and I tried not to be concerned. After all, it was only a slight risk, and a severe thunderstorm watch doesn't necessarily mean that your immediate area is going to get one.  When the National Weather Service raised the threat level to "enhanced," however, Armageddon seemed assured.  I got home as quickly as I could yesterday afternoon and braced myself for the worst.
As it turned out, northern New Jersey was largely spared the most severe weather (and no, I didn't lose power).  But not entirely; even though bad storms in northwestern New Jersey missed my neck of the woods, one storm formed out of nowhere and struck Jersey City and Hoboken before drifting over Manhattan, Queens, and suburban Long Island (a dramatic picture of the lightning over Hoboken is below).  Even worse were the storms in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania; one storm blew through Philadelphia and over into New Jersey's southern counties bearing 70-mph winds, delaying Amtrak and commuter trains in the area and depositing large hailstones, toppling trees (not branches and limbs, whole trees) and ripping out power lines, causing widespread (not sporadic, widespread) blackouts.  The outages left nearly a half a million people without power.  Full electrical service might not be restored until this weekend.

And oh yes, even though thunderstorms are less likely this weekend, New Jersey could still get over an inch of rain Saturday night.  
Did I happen to mention the tornado warning for Boston?  Boston?   
At least the Northeast will get a break for the next day or two; these same storms affected the Midwest earlier in the week, and that area is, as I type, under the gun for more severe storms that will likely affect Virginia and North Carolina afterwards.  But why are we getting all these storms anyway, particularly in areas like southeastern Pennsylvania and New England, where weather like this is unheard of?
Because of climate change?  I think so.  And despite talks to do something about it coming up in Paris in December, I don't expect much to come out of it.  I expect the delegation from the United States, the country with the largest number of climate-change-denying morons, imbeciles and circus pinheads, will be booed and jeered when they enter the hall.              
Washington, D.C., by the way, was hit hard by yesterday's storms as well.  I'm only sorry a hailstone didn't hit James Inhofe and knock some sense into him.  And as long as lunkheads like he are standing in the way of environmental progress, we can expect more severe storms, and New Jersey can expect a hurricane worse than Sandy. :-(        

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