Can Spring Fever start in January?
With this fluctuation of temperatures and forecasts, it could.
The Roanoke/Blacksburg National Weather Service forecast for Wednesday says sun and a high of 64 degrees for Floyd. Roanoke expects 67.
Enjoy it because the mercury heads south — down to a high of 46 on Thursday (with a low of 28), then 34 for the high on Friday, 37 on Saturday, 36 on Sunday, 33 on Monday and then the low and mid 40s through the rest of next week.
Not much rain in the forecast until rain and possible snow showers on Feb. 5-7 but high temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s with overnight lows mostly above freezing.
Yet, is it that cold for January and the beginning of February?
Not really for those of us who live in the mountains. Low temperatures, right now, are not forecast for single digits or even the teens from now through Feb. 8 — two weeks away.
A lot of other areas of the country faces snow storms and major freezes. Massive thunderstorms and tornadoes struck the Southeast last weekend.
In Floyd County and the New River and Roanoke valleys, the high winds of Tuesday night caused lights to blink and a few power outages but the biggest problem were some flooding from last week’s heavy rains.
So far, we’ve had just one snow and no ventures into sub zero weather.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says 2016 set the record for the warmest year since the government started keeping records in 1880.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said the 2016 average temperature was 58.69 degrees worldwide and predicts 2017 will be within the top 5 of hot years if it doesn’t set a record.
Even so, conservative politicians and America’s new president, dismiss the warming client as “just a normal shift” that is nothing to worry about.
Scientists who study the climate and situations that cause change, say otherwise:
“No world leader can afford to ignore these results, which show that people all over the globe are being exposed to increasing impacts of climate change,” Bob Ward of the London School of Economics and Political Science told USA Today. “Any politician who denies this evidence from world-class climate scientists in the United States will be willfully turning a blind eye to rising risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”
“Though some years will be warmer than others, the overall trend over multiple decades will inevitably be upward as long of concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keep increasing,” says Gerald Meehl, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
“The science is clear and headed in one direction,” said Lou Leonard with the World Wildlife Fund. “Human-caused changes in climate are putting the lives of both people and wildlife at risk. From disappearing Arctic ice in Alaska to greater storm surges along our nation’s coastlines to heatwaves in America’s heartland, nature is sending a distress call.”
Schmidt says the 2016 increase in the world’s average temperature was 1.69 degrees, also a record and the worldwide average has set records for three straight years.
Writes Doyle Rice of USA Today:
Record high temperatures were set in 2016 on nearly every continent. No land areas were cooler than average for the year. Eight straight months (January through August) were also each the warmest since records began 15 years after the Civil War ended.
The warmth last year contributed to fierce and deadly heat waves in Asia and the Middle East, a “mega”-wildfire in Canada, record low sea ice in the Arctic, and devastating coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef near Australia.
We can expect people out walking on the streets of Floyd, Roanoke, Christiansburg and other towns and cities on this warm Wednesday.
Motorcycles should be out today too.
Mine will be one of them.