Today’s storm is the 3rd winter storm to affect California this year, for us a dry storm. Though not a major rain or snow maker for us, it has dramatically altered the weather, bringing in colder weather as the winter cycle of 2010 builds and intensifies. The heart of the storm, after bursting into and coagulating over the Mountain West from the Pacific Northwest, gave Utah, Wyoming and Montana good snows, while the impulse pushed quickly down California and Nevada down to Arizona with dramatic and dangerous wind conditions – cold, dry winds to be exact. Of course whenever winter air pushes into the Great Basin, that means Santa Ana Winds for coastal Southern California, which means red flag fire danger. For those following global warming, this may the first time in decades that Fresno and the Central Valley will have its first frost “on time.” Morning frost by November 1 used to be the norm. But global warming has been so dramatic, it is observable even locally, that that magical first night of frost has been moved up a week or two more or less permanently.
By the 1980s it was a week later, and by the 2000’s, a week and half later. This is my own local observation of global warming. My guestimation of the lift in temperature since the 1970s is 1.3 degrees. That would be enough to move up first frost by a week or two. This year’s “early” (never used to be considered early) cold air blast may finally give an old time experience for me! It’s the disco days of 1977 all over again with frost on the ground before the BeeGees score their #1 hit “Stayin’ Alive”!
For more global warming and the current temporary cooling trend: http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/independent-statisticians-reject-global-cooling-fable/