I’ll Be Home for Cherry Blossom Time..

December 17, 2015


Flowering cherry tree, photo taken right after sunrise on Dec. 12, 2015, Washington DC. (Michael Litterst, National Park Service)

Calling Senator Inhofe. Your bouquet is ready.

The Minnesota Rose Gardener:

The United States has just experienced its warmest autumn in history. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, temperatures in December are running about 20 degrees (f) above average; an average already pulled much warmer over 50-plus years. December in the Twin Cities is when our miriad of shallow ponds freeze, with our deeper lakes not far behind.  Not this year; what ice had accumulated has all but disappeared and what would normally be a deepening snow pack is all in the form of rain or slush.  Golf courses are open and my greening lawn looks like it could use a cutting.  And we’re expecting up to an inch of rain over the weekend (which would be a foot or more of snow, if it were about five degrees colder)!

In his December 12th weather blog, my friend Paul Douglas, founder of Aeris Weather and WeatherNation says:  “… What makes our current stretch of (irrational) warmth unusual is the sheer persistence of the mild signal: day after day, week after week, month after month…. Since September 1, over 80 percent of the days have been warmer than average, according to (Minnesota state climatologist) Mark Seeley. Further, if you add in the first 10 days of December, the stretch of days from September 1, 2015 to December 10th is the warmest in state history, a remarkable run of warmth.”

And here is a Climate Central map that Paul published:

Something is going on here.  It looks like we could have a St. Louis winter (USDA Zone 7) in the Twin Cities (i.e. not below zero). And in St. Louis?  How about an Atlanta winter, and so on.  For the last several years, I have been developing and analyzing extreme minimum temperature trend lines, extending over the last 55 years, for Midwest cities, and my conclusion has been that the upper Midwest is warming faster than any other area of the country and that winters would become warmer still over the next several years.  I just didn’t think it would happen quite this soon.





18 Responses to “I’ll Be Home for Cherry Blossom Time..”

  1. How about a newspaper ad in Inhofe’s hometown? We can invite him north where people in my town are wearing shorts and teeshirts. He can bring his snowball, but he’ll need a cooler.

  2. petermogensen Says:

    Arh… poor Inhofe… where’s a snowball when you need it?

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    That is not a photoshopped pic of the DC cherry blossoms—all our local newscasts in NO VA have been showing video of the cherry blossoms as a lead in to the weather forecast. It’s actually worse than that pic, and the DC city fathers are already grumbling about how it’s going to ruin the REAL cherry blossom time in the spring.

    PS Have no fear, Inhofe will be sure to send a staffer outside to make a snowball for him if and when we get any snow here. Maybe he put one in the freezer of his office fridge last year just in case?

  4. addledlady Says:

    Speaking of cherries, has anyone seen any more recent work updating the Japanese cherry blossom festival data?

    This is one of my all time favourite studies http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1594/pdf but it would be handy to see more recent dates for the various festivals and what’s happening to the trend.

    (I could ask my relative who’s teaching at a Japanese university, but … he frequently sends my husband “interesting” material from Marohasy or Jo Nova or both at once. He’s a bit of a lost cause.)

  5. The moose population of Minnesota has crashed, likely due to increased parasite loads (ticks) caused by the warm winters. The climate is what made Minnesota and the northland (UP of Michigan, N. Wisconsin, Maine) different from the rest of the civilized country down south. Somewhere snowshoes and broad, long skis weren’t just for decoration on a cabin wall. I’ll greatly miss it. The U.S. won’t be the same. We’re losing something very important.

  6. redskylite Says:

    It’s one thing to deny anything unusual is occurring, to come back from COP21 pat yourself on the back and proudly announce that your government will continue issuing oil exploration permits, but another to ignore common health and safety rules and work outside laborers in above 40 degrees Celsius temperatures. That is grossly negligent.

    Media make it worse by always showing beach-goers having fun in the heatwave . . . reinforcing heatwave = fun at the beach, instead of heatwave = danger for outside workers.

    Just to remind myself (I grew up with Fahrenheit) 41°C = 105.8°F

    “They’re putting workers at great risk when they work beyond 37 degrees out in the open. ”


    • redskylite Says:

      Just to illustrate the media image of a heatwave, last year’s The Guardian is guilty (of of many/most). . .


      • dumboldguy Says:

        Seems like a fairly decent “just the facts” article on the many negative impacts of the heat wave. Don’t get your knickers knotted because they briefly mention that some people go in the ocean for relief. In the US, way more of the “reporting” would focus on that.

        • redskylite Says:

          My manly boxer shorts are intact thank you, he says with haughty sniff. I feel that the happy beach-goer image (and I appreciate the sight of bikini clad girls as much as the next man) are another face of “bright-siding” a condition that you are (rightly) constantly warning us about.

          So here is a dark-side on the freakin’ roadway solar panels, in-line with DOG day thinking.


          • dumboldguy Says:

            WHAT? Are you saying that I should sniff your boxer shorts? (I am just a D.O.G. and get so confused sometimes).

            Seriously, you provide more evidence that Solar Roadways never was, and never will be, anything but a scam and a job for life for the “entrepreneur” who cooked it up. What’s he’s doing is unethical, but it’s technically not illegal, so it will continue. I have little sympathy for the fools who have given him $$$$—the old adage of “a new sucker born every minute” is true, and those who invest in SR thinking it will ever work are the ultimate “bright-siders”.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The “worker they put at risk” was a 17-year-old apprentice on his third day on the job. Teenage boys are more susceptible to heat (and altitude sickness) than full grown men, and only three days on the job is not enough time to acclimatize to such extremes. Wen I was playing football in HS and later in the military, they exercised a bit ,more care with us, and we still had heat casualties. A sad story of a kid that needed a job so badly (or a greedy employer that considers his employees little more than tools), leading to disaster.

      PS I am reminded of the heat wave in AUS that had tens of thousand of flying foxes dropping dead from the sky and even injuring people they “bombed”. I recall too that folks in AUS set up “nurseries” for the many baby flying foxes that were orphaned and would have died. Did that not get anyone’s attention down under? Will an epidemic of humans dropping with cooked brains do better?

      • addledlady Says:

        Since Adelaide’s disastrous heatwave of 2008 with a couple of hundred dead we’re a lot better at managing the public health side of things. Apparently not so wonderful on workplace health and safety. Haven’t seen any updates on that poor kid. If he was that seriously affected, they might have him in an induced coma with that temperature reduction machine thingummy rigged up to protect his brain and heart from any further damage while they try to reduce brain swelling. If they’ve done that, we won’t hear any more for several days yet.

        We’re all supposed to keep an eye on or ring up elderly neighbours and relatives, especially those with any cognitive confusion or poor memory, and nag them about drinking water and turning the air conditioning ON. Apparently the ambos who attend serious incidents at homes during the 2008 fortnight from hell noted that collapsed elderly people did have the aircon on in 38 degree heat – switched to fan only. Frugality of that sort can kill you.

        As I remember it, it didn’t feel like it was from hell, it was more like drifting through a post-apocalyptic movie. The fortnight in question was in March so it was festival time in Adelaide and I had to run a few errands and pickups for my daughter in a city venue/ cafe. By the time we were into the 5th day it was like driving through a black and white photo of nowhereville. And for the following 10 days it seemed that nobody at all was sitting at outdoor cafes. Apparently no one at all walking on footpaths. Outdoor art exhibitions in the shade of trees – no one there. All our mass plantings of roses (there are _lots_ of roses in Adelaide) had the colour bleached out of them, they were covered in whitish-greyish-brownish faded blooms. They seemed to shrink before your eyes. Because I was in the car with the windows closed, obviously, it seemed silent and almost eerie.

        Melbourne had a couple of hotter days leading up to their disastrous 2009 bushfires. What people focus on is the 173 people who were killed in the fires and 400 injured. Twice as many, 374, died from the heat and 2000ish people were treated for heat stress.

        Which reminds me. Today’s supposed to get to 44 in the city, only 40 here. But a year or so ago there was a koala from the trees in the park at the back of the house more or less begging for water, husband gave it some from his water bottle. I promised myself we’d put a bowl out on seriously hot days. So I’d better do that.

        • redskylite Says:

          The 17 year old lad is named Travis Mellor and according to ninemsn he is fighting for his life. I really hope that he recovers intact, an apprentice should be managed better than this. My prayers are with the lad.

          • addledlady Says:

            It turns out that what they were really worried about was kidney function. Probably be a while before he can be sure he’s fully out of the woods with any concerns about longer-term effects.


            (Question. Has somebody been going through and chucking down votes on anything and everything? This group of comments looks distinctly odd to me.)

          • dumboldguy Says:

            (Question. Has somebody been going through and chucking down votes on anything and everything? This group of comments looks distinctly odd to me.)

            Yes, it does look off the norm for thumbs. My guess is that some frustrated denier went down the thread and hit everybody with a “down”. That’s the type of behavior some of those morons display (because of their impotence in the face of the evidence for AGW.)

            I just spent 10 seconds giving everyone an “up” and cancelled the moron out.

          • redskylite Says:

            Could be someone with a luxury condo in Miami – guess I could feel a little sympathy if they bought it some time back . .

            “To cope with its recurrent flooding, Miami Beach has already spent something like a hundred million dollars. It is planning on spending several hundred million more. Such efforts are, in Wanless’s view, so much money down the drain. Sooner or later—and probably sooner—the city will have too much water to deal with. Even before that happens, Wanless believes, insurers will stop selling policies on the luxury condos that line Biscayne Bay. Banks will stop writing mortgages.”


  7. […] I’ll Be Home for Cherry Blossom Time.. […]

  8. […] I’ll Be Home for Cherry Blossom Time.. (climatecrocks.com) […]

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