WEATHER: Worldwide Heat Bypassing Israel?
Illustration: Air Conditioner (Image credit: Wix)
I'm sitting near the window watching a light blue sky — there are no clouds floating by. It's that kind of weather — actually, everyone here says it's been a relatively cool summer. But, since we had a relatively warm winter, there were no cherries and one could sit a long time under the apple tree without fear of injury (unlike last year, which was great for apples and cherries). In contrast, Dr. James Hansen (former head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), claims that regional climate change is appearing above the "noise" of climate-variability. You can see just how warm it's been worldwide by checking out this link. Interestingly, the maps show our area as being one to two Celsius degrees above the "norm" (defined as the mean temperatures between 1951 and 1980). I write interestingly because the guys who know (e.g, those who put in air conditioning system) say it ain't so — and they are not the only ones. I believe that the Israel Meteorological Service keeps track of temperatures compared to normal averages, but I'll have to leave this double-check for a later time. In any case, there is not much change forecast for our weather during the next week to 10 days. One can see that it is still anomalously warm over Europe (follow the links here to 500 mb height anomalies). This affects us in an unusual way: storms are forced north of Europe, which then swing back down over Siberia. The resulting flow pattern sets up a high pressure area with westerly winds in the eastern Mediterranean or even pushes back a trough into our area — keeping temperatures blowing refreshingly off the sea (rather than the desert to our east).
The mercury seems to be rising world-wide but the added energy from higher carbon dioxide gases has led to regional changes that include snowier east-coast winters in the U.S. (and now a humid and very rainy summer) but longer fire-seasons and extremely hot weather in the western U.S. There is even a drought in Sweden, which is very unusual. In England, a drought has withered the countryside (but there is still plenty of water to drink). Some will claim that this is just "weather." They're right, but it may not be the weather they grew up with.
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk.