Florida, Storms, Chile and Water

Some times you find things in the oddest ways.

So here I am, in Florida, and with a NOAA Hurricane page open on my desktop, and it’s just not very helpful (it shows the ‘month ended’ data). At the same time, I’ve watched a show on the Atacama Desert in Chile and been wondering just where in the world I could get some kind of ‘weather data’ on that place. (Why, since it never rains? I can hear someone thinking… Well, because if it DID rain there, it would be interesting…)

I’ve also been a bit ‘distracted’ as I run around the country and not been keeping up with WUWT for a few weeks, so I’ve ‘missed some bits’.

Then the Serendipity Train starts to pull out of the station…

A Letter From Eco Tretas

I’m checking my email (at last catching up) and there is a letter from Eco Tretas that has a pointer in it to one of his articles:

Debunking Al Gore in Cape Verde
Eco Tretas to undisclosed-recipients – yesterday

Al Gore has launched The Climate Reality Project. Besides English, Portuguese will be the only language spoken in more than one of the 24 locations worldwide. So Ecotretas is pleased in helping debunk this Al Gore project!

Al Gore jokes with Cape Verde’s name (verde means green in Portuguese), stating that it is sandy and dry, with very little anual rainfall. His mind might probably be in Greenland, which was really green in the past. The truth is that Cape Verde’s name is derived from Cap-Vert, a peninsula in Senegal, the westernmost point of the continent of Africa, 350 miles to the east of Cape Verde islands.

Al Gore should have checked the facts first. In the past, we will start with Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle. The initial part of the first chapter is dedicated to Cape Verde. When Darwin got there, these were his first impressions:

On the 16th of January, 1832, we anchored at Porto Praya, in St. Jago, the chief island of the Cape de Verd archipelago.
The neighbourhood of Porto Praya, viewed from the sea, wears a desolate aspect. The volcanic fires of a past age, and the scorching heat of a tropical sun, have in most places rendered the soil unfit for vegetation.

Next, Darwin gives an idea of what the climate was almost two hundred years ago:

For the rest, hit the link:


Rather worth it… (It goes on to show that Cape Verde is actually getting more rain the last few years, not less, and is yet another data point in the ‘water as heat transport off planet’ indicator that says we are cooling rather fast and heat pipe earth is cycling the working fluid more and faster…)

OK, so it’s a nice little bit of debunking of some more AlGore droppings… so what?

So it gets me thinking about Atlantic Storms, the track to Florida that starts near Cape Verde, the unfinished business of what has been going on with the Latin American Winter that I’d promised myself I’d watch, but have been ‘job hunting’ instead…

Perhaps it’s time to “Dig In” and do some more of that work… I’ve ‘turned in my paperwork’ and now it’s just waiting to see if I’m going to be offered or not, so “time to get to work” before I have a job ;-)

Then I notice that the NEXT email from Eco Tretas has just what I’m thinking about in it. (I’m starting to wonder if we have established some kind of telepathic link… me broadcasting “I wonder…” and him tossing back answers… but that’s just because I’m still on my first cup of Morning Joe and the brain wanders a bit in semi-dream land as it warms up…)

Two hours later in Rio
Eco Tretas to undisclosed-recipients – 7 hrs ago

Dear All,

After my post regarding Al Gore’s Climate Reality and Cape Verde, this second part analyzes Rio de Janeiro in Brazil:


Gore’s references to these two Portuguese speaking locations are not good, and I imagine the remaining 22 to be similar…



OK, so what in the world could an article about Brazil have to do with Florida and Chile?…

Well, in addition to a nice job of pointing out where AlGore has got his “facts” all messed up (again), and a charming picture of an Orangutan wrapping up in a blanket to keep warm in a tropical zoo…; there was a pointer to a prior article at WUWT that had slipped by me before I could notice it…

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/07/driest-place-on-earth-atacama-desert-in-chile-buried-under-feet-of-snow/ so climate change and global warming are bringing snow to the driest place on earth.

That article, too, is well worth a read (if you missed it).

Driest place on Earth: Atacama desert in Chile buried under feet of snow
Posted on July 7, 2011 by Ryan Maue

Weather Post by Dr. Ryan Maue

The Atacama desert in Chile described as the driest place on Earth just got walloped by an extreme cold front (climate change) and was buried in snow.

From NDTV: (with video coverage)

According to the national emergency centre in Chile, the area had not seen this amount of snow in close to 20 years. Some areas received up to 80 centimeters (32 inches) of snow, leading to closed roads and stuck vehicles. The temperature in Santiago, Chile dropped to as low as -8.5 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. Other countries in Latin America such as Uruguay and Argentina have also been affected by the cold front.

Indeed, temperatures over much of middle-latitudes South America have been averaging 5°-10° C below normal for the past week.

Well, there’s one of my answers. Latin American winter this year running 5-10 C below normal…

And what’s down in the bottom of that article, but a very nice animation of ‘precipitable moisture’ flows for the globe and oceans… From a site in Florida:


Florida State University
Center for Ocean-Atomospheric Prediction Studies

The Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) is a center of excellence performing interdisciplinary research in ocean-atmosphere-land-ice interactions to increase our understanding of the physical, social, and economic consequences of climate variability. COAPS scientists and students come from a wide range of disciplines, including meteorology, physical oceanography, statistics, and the computer and information sciences.

Just what I’m looking for to get a decent idea what’s happening to the weather near Florida…

The animation:

http://coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/weather/climo/america_pwat.html (You have to click the FWD button to start it running; but you can also hit REW to run it backwards. Kinda fun, really).

Here is a static image capture of one frame:

Water available to precipitate - static frame from animation at link

Water available to precipitate - static frame from animation at link

So now I’m playing with my new ‘where is the rain coming from’ toy and exploring the “local” Florida site that is focused on the stuff here and seeing pointers to sources for Latin American Weather and generally wondering how it is that all this came together while I was still on my first ‘cuppa’…

So I’m off to refill the coffee cup and see what “cup 2” brings ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to Florida, Storms, Chile and Water

  1. Chuckles says:

    ‘Well, because if it DID rain there, it would be interesting…’

    Will you settle for snow, lots of it?



  2. Chuckles says:

    Whoops! Managed to click the post button ‘en passant’ before I’d finished..

    Some additions to the WUWT coverage with some additional detail was what I wanted to say.

    Regarding the Cape V islands, been to Ilha do Sal, and remote, volcanic and desolate doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  3. Joel Heinrich says:

    and again in Chile:


    some 6 feet of snow this time in southern Chile.

  4. Richard Ilfeld says:

    LOCAL –
    (ignore the propaganda)
    http://www.sfwmd.govv/portal/xweb weather/raindar estimates (since7am) – basin view

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Joe Heinrich: Woa! 6 feet of snow in southern Chile… nice video (wish they had an embed feature…)

    @Richard Ilfeld:

    link didn’t work… did you mean:

    from this page:


  6. Richard Ilfeld says:

    ooops, yup. & for the rest of the world, we pronounce the name of our local water management district & money sink ‘Swiftmud”.

  7. Mike Jonas says:

    thinking about Atlantic Storms” – see http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2008/aug2008/aug2008.pdf esp. chart on p.34.

    Some other links you might find useful:

    Another interesting item, not directly about Atantic storms, is
    in which (1) the connection between Arctic ice and storms is identified and (2) is attributed to global warming without evidence, and (3) is found to be a negative climate feedback.
    Of course, (3) does not apply if (2) is wrong.

  8. Interesting Connections says:

    What about southern Africa?

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Interesting Connections:

    What about Southern Africa? (I’m in Florida ;-)

  10. George says:

    I crossed Kansas yesterday. It was hot. We ran into a storm at around Russell. Is anyone aside from me tired of these “heat index” numbers that were created to make normal summer temperatures into news just like “wind chill” was created a few years back?

    95 degrees in July in the Midwest is not news. “116” heat index is news.

    It is a load.

    Oh, and it isn’t so bad right now in Denver and there is still snow on the peaks.

  11. Jeff Alberts says:


    Tell me about it. During Basic Training at Ft Knox from June through August 1981, we regularly had to suspend training due to high wet bulb readings. Forced marches in 98f heat and the humidity of a Kentucky summer was no fun. Doesn’t seem so different now.

    But, out here in the PNW we’re still barely getting out of the 60s.

  12. Sera says:

    @Jeff Alberts

    I can tell you about high wet bulb readings. I went to my uncles change of command, the aircraft carrier Saratoga, in July of 1979. The ceremony was held below the flight deck. Hot S.C. summer with no wind. Everyone in suit and ties. I waved my program at my little sister to keep her from passing out- eventually had to carry her out of there. However, the drinks were cold at the officers club and everyone survived. Barely.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Earlier today at Disney Hollywood, the heat was quite noticeable ( I’d gone through a couple of large soft drinks and was still dehydrating…) Now, at 5 pm, we’re “home” under a downpour of “biblical proportions” with thunder and lightning about every 20 seconds. Yet, on the back patio by the pool the temperature is dropping fast and quite nice at the moment…

    It’s abundantly clear that the “time constant” is about 4 to 6 hours. Sun up at about 6 am. At noon, 6 hours later, quite hot. 5 hours after that, heat rises and dumps at altitude, tons (literally) of rain returns nice and cool to the ground to repeat the cycle tomorrow.

    Heat gain? There is no heat gain. The cycle is over and done in hours, and each day is driven anew. Seasonal changes come from the change of daylight hours and the slower mass movements of ocean and total atmosphere around the planet. The very notion of heat being “trapped” is bogus.

    Oh, and about 25 years ago I was in Miami in summer and it was MUCH worse then… but that’s Miami for you ;-)

  14. Jeff Alberts says:


    That’s pretty hot.

    During one particular day at Ft Knox, we were marching back from the M-60 mg range. As we were nearing the Holder weapons arsenal to clean and turn in our personal weapons, one guy passed out and fell into the culvert on the side of the road. A couple of the NCOs saw to him while we kept going. At that point, I blacked out, and lost about 15 minutes of time. I remembered nothing from the point of seeing the arsenal about a half mile away, until I was inside and cleaning my M16. My body was going through the motions, but my conscious mind was not involved.

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