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2009 Summer Weather Update

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2009 Summer Weather Update

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.

(Continued Below)

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.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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