Snow

Many in U.S. Face Another Dry Year as World Water Day Arrives

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 22, 2015   View Article

It’s a thirsty nation.

From California to the Pacific Northwest to swaths of Texas and Oklahoma, farmers, ranchers and just about anybody with a lawn or a pool are bracing for what’s expected to be another dry year.

Historically low snowpack in the mountains along the West Coast has heightened concern about drought. Ski areas from California to Washington have cried uncle after months of trying to keep slopes open. And water resource managers are busy making plans to deal with low river flows. For many in the U.S., World Water Day on March 22 is that in name only.

Drink Beer? Take Showers? Better Worry About West’s Snowpack

Publication: NBC News   Date: December 20, 2014   View Article

The wet and windy storms that have slammed California with floods, mudslides and traffic snarls are bringing at least a momentary sigh of relief from water users across the western U.S. That’s because the storms also dumped several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada — and mountain snowpack is a chief supplier of water for agricultural, industrial, and domestic uses throughout the region.

But according to a state measurement, that snowpack as of Thursday was only 50 percent of normal — and Washington and Oregon are even worse off.

The lack of snow fits with what some scientists see as a long-term slide in the amount that piles up each year, though the trend’s size and significance are debated. For some, the decline hints at a future with less water to irrigate crops, brew beer and take showers as well as keep wildfires and insect pests at bay.

Global Warming Linked to Frigid U.S. Winter, Scientist Says

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 22, 2014   View Article

The extreme cold and snow across the eastern half of the United States this past winter makes global warming seem laughable. But, paradoxically, the blasts of polar air were fueled in part by planet-warming gases, according to a new paper.

In particular, the gases helped plow heat into the tropical western Pacific Ocean that, in turn, drove the jet stream further north toward the Arctic before it funneled cold, snowy weather over the Midwest and East Coast, explained Tim Palmer, a climate physicist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro’s Snows Gone by 2022?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2009   View Article

Ernest Hemingway must be reaching for a bottle of grappa in his grave. The snows of Kilimanjaro—inspirations for a Hemingway story of the same name—could be gone by 2022, a new study confirms.

The ice atop Kilimanjaro “continues to diminish right on schedule for disappearing, unfortunately, in the next couple of decades,” said glaciologist Lonnie Thompson at Ohio State University in Columbus.

10 wonders in a winter wonderland

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: December 3, 2008   View Article

Is every snowflake unique? Where’s the worst weather in the world? Why is the winter night sky so clear? Find answers to these and more questions that tend to pile up in a winter wonderland.

Ancient “Snowball Earth” Melted Fast Due to Methane

Publication:   Date:   View Article

A massive release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, may have triggered rapid melting of the last “snowball Earth” about 635 million years ago, a new study suggests.

“No Two Snowflakes the Same” Likely True, Research Reveals

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 13, 2007   View Article

More than ten feet (three meters) of snow fell last week in parts of upstate New York, and more is forecast for the U.S. Northeast in the coming days.

In all that snow, however, scientists believe the chance that any two flakes are exactly alike is virtually zero.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach