Thursday, April 18, 2019

April (Thunder)Showers

I'll get to the Mueller report release later.  But now, the weather.
This past weekend, my area of New Jersey was under a "slight" risk for severe thunderstorms, which is actually pretty serious for New Jersey.  When I went to bed late Sunday night, there were no severe-weather watches.  That night, I woke up with a pain in my arm; it was two in the morning. I got up, took some aspirin, and checked the latest weather watch.
That's when I saw the tornado watch for all of New Jersey.
We didn't get a tornado that night, but we did get a thunderstorm that was as severe as Catherine Deneuve is beautiful.  Yes . . . that severe.  It woke me up at 4:25 A.M.  The lightning, wind and rain were so intense that I was certain the night light across the hall and the digital clock in my bedroom would go out any moment .  Miraculously, the power stayed on, and the storm lasted only twenty minutes.  I was glad that it was over so soon.
Except that it wasn't.
A new storm system the like one last weekend is affecting the same areas of the country that were affected by the last storm.  That means more tornadoes in the South, more bow-line supercells in the Southeast, and more thunderstorms along the East Coast.  The Storm  Prediction Center, as of this writing, has most of New Jersey in a marginal-risk zone for severe weather, with far northern New Jersey in a regular-thunderstorm zone.
This time yesterday, the marginal-risk zone was farther south.  Tomorrow, the Storm Prediction Center might very well include all of New Jersey in a risk zone, with part of the state in a slight-risk zone.
But at least we won't get really bad storms like the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, right?  Well, even a marginal-risk zone can leave room for storms like the one that hit us last weekend.  The forecast for my area calls for the chance of "locally damaging wind gusts" (read downed tree limbs and power lines) and, of course. heavy rain (a flash flood watch is already out for northern New Jersey). 
Climate change is making me fall out of love with spring.  April and May used to mean benign, mild weather in which to enjoy the tulips and the flowering trees, brought to you by soft showers.  Now spring is just as treacherous as the heart of summer (which promises to be hellishly hot on the East Coast this year). The derecho we had last May (which I still haven't recovered from psychologically) is still very fresh in my mind; I'm more than convinced that we could deal with another weather "event" like that very soon.  But I didn't think I'd ever have to deal with severe, power-threatening weather during the Easter season.
We'd better get used to this, as I have absolutely no confidence in anyone - least of all Americans - to do something about climate change. 
I may be back. 

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