Saturday, February 06, 2010
Cardinal reports most snow since records began
You may have noticed the dearth of posts here, the reason for which being that I have been trying at all costs to avoid an article regarding the snowfall. The circumstances conspire to lead me to this point of defeat on the subject, the chief conspirator being that we are stuck in the house for the third weekend this winter, and the second consecutive Saturday on which the weather restricts our freedom of movement. Also inspiring me to finally break my silence on the frozen precipitation is the report for the news channels that we are now approaching record breaking levels of accumulation (although this largely applies to areas north and west of Richmond). As a still relatively recent arrival on these shores, I would really have no idea what a severe winter storm feels like. Midwesterner's no doubt remain mildly amused at the east coast's incapability to adapt to what they expect to be an annual event. Still, a State must organize their infrastructure with respect to the expected, thus Virginia finds itself in the position of having spent 94% of it's snow removal budget in December, only to awake under an additional foot-deep covering.
We should have expected this, of course. A poll in England, where residents are also experiencing unusual amounts of snow, found that there has been an unprecedented increase in public skepticism of anthropogenic global warming. Yes, there was Climategate, and yes, it is snowing a lot, but humanity's ability to ignore personally inconvenient signs of impending danger to the collective still astounds me. To paraphrase the logic; this extreme weather is proof that we can't possibly be experiencing climate change?
Ask yourself this: does it have to be colder than usual to cause more snow. The answer is of course no. Temperatures in Virginia this winter no colder than usual. The difference is that it is wetter (that is, we are experiencing more precipitation). As I say, we should have expected this based on one fact (the wettest November on record), and one prediction (that climate change may result in increased precipitation).