|FTLComm - Tisdale - June 26, 2000|
|When it comes to comparing weather from one year to another we have to admit that
as individuals we are not very good at it because we are forever seeking patterns
and we just lack perspective in recognising long term weather conditional changes.
This has prompted the on-going debate about "global warming" which is
a pattern that seems to run over centuries rather then years.
Accurate records have been kept for the past century and with this data we can see some remarkable combinations of years that seem to proceed in cycles. Using this method and now with much better observations available climatologists have been monitoring the West to East current in the Pacific Ocean as it ran very hot for a few years then chilled considerably for this past two years. The very warm water temperatures in this current in the Pacific seemed to have produced very violent and large numbers of tropical huricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and we have seen during that period a substantial rise in North American temperatures with mild Canadian winters.
It is hard to tell but the year 2000 has been very wet for the Canadian prairies, especially Manitoba and North Eastern North Dakota which are both now experiencing flooding that is normally associated with spring run off but this year is geing caused by repeated bouts of rainfall.
The trend seems to be continuing. June often has much of the summer's rainfall but this year it has been accompanied by continous low temperatures. If you look at your tomato plants you will see some pretty unhappy and yellowing things, whereas the tough old potato plants are flourishing.
The early 1950s were described as the "wet years" following the really nasty cold winters of the late forties. The summer of 1980 was particularly cool and wet and we can all remember the dust bowl conditions of 1988. There seems to be some connection between these climatic trends and sunspot activity but our view is just to limited to understand climatic variations with anything but a few educated guesses. Though world wide records do extend back for a long time the accuracy and detail of records really is not specific enough for the folks who study this stuff to really be able to come up with reliable and usable models.
All we can say right now is that this is already going to be identified historically as a "wet year" because the continuing level of precipitation is well above average. For the folks paddling around Manitoba it is the eighth wettest year on record.
|This QuickTime panorama was taken at 6:30 Sunday late afternoon and is one of those before and after pictures. This is after a shower and before another one as Sunday was just, like other days in June, was a series of interupted showers.|