Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let It Snow


I have a sister-in-law who lives in Reston, VA and is lamenting the fact that she just purchased a front-wheel drive vehicle instead of an all-wheel drive tank-like vehicle. I can sympathize somewhat after clearing 7" or 8" of the white stuff today. So, don't try to tell her that global warming is causing her snowy problems.

[Google Maps}

Weather is not climate, but.... Marc Morano sent a link to a recent Time article that claimed that the big storms in the Washington DC area were a function of the great Satan... global warming.

While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, the intensity of those storms has increased. That's in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow.
That might be true... if there is global warming and if there is a close relationship to temperature changes and snowfall. Over the past few years, there has been increasing reason to doubt the hysteria associated with those who want you to believe that the world is experiencing accelerated global warming and that the consequences are imminent and dire. Since the number of new high temperature records has fallen off [statewide, not micro climate/badly situated stations] and the only 2009 all-time extreme statewide record was for Maine... a new minimum of -50°F in January... the forces of alarm and hysteria now want everyone to subscribe to the notion that cold is hot.

NOAA has tracked snowfall records for over 100 years in the Washington DC area.
The biggest unofficial snow (before official records began) was in January 1772 when as much as 36 inches (3 feet) may have fallen in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. It has been called the Washington-Jefferson snowstorm because it was recorded in both of their diaries. [note: this was during a particularly cold period]
28" Jan 1922 26.8" Feb 2003 24.6" Jan 1996
20" Feb 13+14 1899 26.6" Jan 1996 22.8" Feb 1983
18.7" Feb 1979 26.5" Jan 1922 21.7" Feb 2003
17.3" Jan 1996 22.8" Feb 1983 19.3" Dec 2009
16.6" Feb 1983 22.0" Mar 1942 16.3" Feb 1979
16.4" Dec 2009 21.3" Feb 1899 14.1" Mar 1993
16.4" Feb 2003 21.0" Dec 2009 12.1" Dec 1979
15.0" Jan 1918 20.0" Feb 1979 12.0" Feb 1987
14.4" Feb 1958 15.5" Feb 1958 11.8" Feb 1967
14.4" Feb 1936 14.9" Jan 2000 11.6" Feb 1972
14.3" Feb 1900 14.3" Jan 1928 11.4" Dec 1967
13.8" Jan 1966 14.1" Dec 1960 11.1" Jan 1987
12.7" Feb 5-7, 1899 13.1" Feb 2006 10.6" Dec 1982
Gee, prior to this year, the early part of the 20th century seemed to be when the big snowfalls occurred [note that the Dulles airport may not have been recording much in 1899]. About 25" fell in Washington DC on Feb. 5-6.

[click image for larger view]

Maybe the stories of global warming are a bit overblown? Or maybe the Time argument is specious? Or maybe big snowstorms happen for other reasons?
" means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary." George Orwell - "1984"
Don't you just love data that has not been altered and manipulated and algorithmed?



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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
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“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
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Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)