Wednesday, May 31, 2017

more blooms

wonder | wander | women spent Memorial Day taking photos of the last of our spring blooms in and around the old neighborhood of Edgewater, New Jersey known as The Colony.

Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May 2017 seems stuck on strange.

Torrential downpours in Texas that have whip lashed the region from drought to flooding. A heat wave that has killed more than 1,800 people in India. Record 91-degree readings in Alaska, of all places.

A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought taking hold in the East.

"Mother Nature keeps throwing us crazy stuff," Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis says. "It's just been one thing after another."

Jerry Meehl, an extreme-weather expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, points out that May is usually a pretty extreme month, with lots of tornadoes and downpours. Even so, he says, this has been "kind of unusually intense."

The word "stuck" provides one possible explanation.

Francis, Meehl and some other meteorologists say the jet stream is in a rut, not moving nasty weather along.

The high-speed, constantly shifting river of air 30,000 feet above Earth normally guides storms around the globe, but sometimes splits and comes back together somewhere else.

A stuck jet stream, with a bit of a split, explains the extremes in Texas, India, Alaska and the U.S. East, but not the typhoons, Francis says.

Other possible factors contributing to May's wild weather: the periodic warming of the central Pacific known as El Nino, climate change and natural variability, scientists say.

*Word for word weird world weather report brought to you by USNews.

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