Skip to comments.NASA: Some Perspective on Winter 2014
Posted on 03/20/2014 2:49:38 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
For many residents of North America, the winter of 2013-14 has felt like one of the coldest in many years. Waves of Arctic air have brought extended periods of cold weather and above-average snowfall to the middle and eastern portions of the United States and Canada. The Great Lakes, in particular, were chilled until they reached nearly 91 percent ice cover. Even portions of Mexico and Central America were cooler than normal.
But human memory is not a scientific measure, and long-term perspective tends to get lost in everyday conversation and news coverage. Researchers at the U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) have reported that the average temperature of the contiguous U.S. for the winter was 0.4° Celsius (31.3° Fahrenheit), about 1°F below average.
Why was it only the 34th coldest winter in 119 years of records? Because most of the land west of the Rocky Mountains was warmer and drier than average, so those warmer temperatures offset the cold snaps to the east. California had its hottest winter on record, and several other states came close. Though it is not included in the contiguous U.S. measurements, Alaska also thawed in spring-like heat and rain that melted snow and ice.
The map above shows land surface temperature anomalies for North America for December 1, 2013, to February 28, 2014the period known to scientists as meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures for December 2013 to February 2014 compared to the 20002013 average for those months. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than normal are blue. (Note: land surface temperatures are not the same as air temperatures, but they are a reasonable proxy for how warm or cold each region was. Learn more about the difference by reading this feature.)
The map below puts the North American winter in wider context. On a global scale, land temperatures for the December through February period were actually the tenth warmest in the modern record, according to NCDC, 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average.
Far eastern Asia, particularly China and eastern Russia, were significantly warmer than normal. In Europe, Austria and The Netherlands observed the second warmest winters in their records, and Switzerland its third warmest. With temperatures as much as 5°C above normal, spring crops and plants began sprouting several weeks early across much of Europe. And in the southern summer, the extended heat waves in Australia and Argentina stand out.
References and Related Reading
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) State of the Climate: February 2014 National Overview. Accessed March 19, 2014.
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) State of the Climate: Global Summary. Accessed March 19, 2014.
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) Winter Cold: Historical Perspective. Accessed March 19, 2014.
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (2014, March 12) Europe Mild Winter Advances Crop Stage. Accessed March 19, 2014.
Weather Underground, Jeff Masters' WunderBlog (2014, March 14) Winter of 2013-2014: Top 10 Coldest in Midwest; Warmest on Record in California. Accessed March 19, 2014.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using MODIS data from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC). Caption by Michael Carlowicz.
Reminiscent of the Obamacare gov site, the linked article from a NASA site, has this at the top [just in case it goes down]."
"Please note that the Earth Observatory website will be undergoing routine maintenance the morning of March 20th and may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience."
[It would appear that Earth is now the agency's BIG GREEN planet, not blue.] MORE FROM NASA:
“Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street.
The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge not knowledge itself.
What does it matter that millions of American students can communicate across thousands of miles instantly with their iPads and iPhones if a poorly educated generation increasingly has little to say?..............
NASA has become the pseudo-scientific arm of the Ministry of Truth.
People have noticed, thus.....
March 16, 2014: “According to NASA, its new strategic plan, released last week, provides the agency with a clear, unified, and long-term direction for all its activities. NASAs previous strategic plan was criticized in a 2012 National Research Council (NRC) report requested by Congress that found a lack of national consensus on the agencys strategic goals and objectives.
Government agencies are required to prepare strategic plans every four years in the year after a presidential election by the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sets detailed requirements for the plans. NASA was given an extra year to produce its last version as the Obama Administration debated the agencys future, so it was released in 2011 rather than 2010.
The document states NASAs vision and mission and explains the agencys core values, goals and priorities.
In this new version, NASAs Vision is articulated as:
We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.
NASAs Mission is:
Drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth.
A comparison of the 2014 and 2011 strategic plans reveals few dramatic changes. Safety, integrity, teamwork and excellence remain the agencys core values. The plan also reiterates sending humans to Mars as the agencys long-term goal.
The addition of the words space and aeronautics to the mission statement is a significant change, however, and appears to respond to criticism of the 2011 version by the NRC committee..................”
Not startling since John P. Holdren is Obama's Science and Technology Adviser.
I’d like to say you’re a visionary but...... : )
These jerks are so predictable.
Close it down, along with many other alphabet agencies. Transfer manned flight to the Air Force. Give researchers at the universities $10 billion a year.
As for civilian space flight. Set aside another $10 billion a year for prizes for set goals in space. It has worked before.
So, that’s a relief. I thought my butt was freezing Wait, NASA, Why don’t you add the saudi desert figures and make it a little pretzel?
It just seemed cold. It just seemed like we were shoveling feet of snow repeatedly. Actually, it was bikini weather, the tenth warmest winter on record. If I distrust the record and the measurements, that's just because I'm ignorant.
WHOA - that's telling... long on being a 'true believer' - - short on science....
I was going to post the same link.
I remember when NASA was all about space exploration. Oh well, as long as muslims feel good about themselves while they are blowing people up and beheading them.
That's gotta be it... we were dozing under our beach umbrellas, *dreaming* about shoveling snow and scraping ice from our car windshields!