Summer 2009 is here! It arrived with the occurrence of the Solstice at 1:46 a.m. EDT, Sunday, June 21, 2009. For some of us, summer couldn’t come sooner! Spring has been quite cool and damp in many areas of the country (just as the Farmers’ Almanac predicted).
Will it warm up?
Unfortunately it looks like the (un summer-like) unseasonably chilly and wet weather over the East and West Coasts, will continue for a bit longer. Meanwhile summer will begin with dry and unseasonably warm weather over the nation’s midsection.
Why is it so chilly?
The reason for this recent pattern is due to something meteorologists refer to as an “Omega Block.” The prevailing upper level winds in the atmosphere are bent into a shape resembling the Greek letter Omega.
There is a big ridge of warm, dry high pressure that will soon predominate over the Nation’s midsection, while troughs of low pressure, accompanied by cool, showery weather that will soon prevail along the coastlines. And since this pattern is not expected to change very quickly, it’s slow movement is expected to set up a block across North America, the weather is expected to change very little during the final part of June on into July.
Where are the sunspots?
Some are suggesting that the unusual weather might be attributed to the recent lack of sunspots. Solar activity was originally forecast to reach a sharp and dramatic peak in the year 2012, accompanied by numerous sunspots and a bevy of solar flares releasing hot tongues of super heated gas into space. But the Sun has baffled astronomers in remaining dormant for past couple of years; new solar forecasts now say that the Sun might not reach its “spike” of activity until 2014.
Regardless, the Sun remains quiet, leading to talk that we could be seeing global COOLING in the years ahead; contrary to all the recent discussions about Global warming.
Complain but be thankful.
As cool and as damp as the weather has been for some to this point, it is nothing compared to the year 1816, when temperatures averaged well below seasonal norms, and snow was observed over parts of New England every month of that year! It was the infamous “Year Without A Summer” (or “18-hundred and froze to death”). That spell of unusual weather was attributed not to Omega Blocks or sunspots, but to the explosion in 1815 of a immense volcano in Indonesia, known as Tambora, that spewed a tremendous cloud of ash and dust into the atmosphere. The ash cloud covered the Northern Hemisphere and acting as an atmospheric shade, blocked the amount of sunlight from reaching Earth. As a result, temperatures in the year after the explosion fell noticeably and caused unseasonably cold conditions.