The storm formerly known as Sandy (thanks, Prince), or what is left of her continues to spin in western N.Y. on her way to Ontario.
All of New England is still caught up in her circulation. Our weather is spinning on the east side of that circulation from the south, bringing relatively mild air and showers. The storm is weakening as cold air wraps around it. Storms are driven by differing air masses colliding. Once cold air overtakes Sandy, making her one cool spin, she will fizzle. The upper air spin will continue on by us this week, keeping us in and out of the clouds, with the risk of showers at times. Each day we will see some improvement, with the best days ahead for the weekend. Halloween looks like it'll be ok this evening, too. Dry and mild, although the risk of a shower can't be totally ruled out.
Much discussion has cropped up about Sandy and climate change. No one storm can be attributed to climate change, warming or cooling. Here are some facts:
So, was Sandy due to climate change? Short answer is "No." However, are we seeing a shift to bigger storms happening more frequently with a changing climate? That is possible.
In fact, a valid case can be made for that. Still, Sandy was a hurricane that ran into a blocking pattern. It slowed her down long enough for a naturally plunging jet stream to capture her and pin the storm back toward the U.S.
It was an unusual set of meteorological circumstances for sure, but that's all. We see nor'easters explode all the time off our coast due to the differing air masses and plunging jet stream. This time, a hurricane happened to be there. That isn't unusual in October, especially in a very active season like this one has been. That, by the way, goes against the thinking by scientists that we would likely have fewer, but bigger, hurricanes in an warmer climate. We certainly didn't see fewer this year. Those exploding storms sometimes bring heavy rain this time of year with wind.
Last year, it brought snow in October. Remember? Funny how nobody wrote to me blaming that on warming. Because there was snow? Nobody said anything about warming when the perfect storm hit in 1991. That had a hurricane with it AND a blocking pattern.
I received several emails this morning imploring me to talk about the connection between global warming and this storm. They say it's obvious and I have an obligation to talk about it. One even accuses me of being a corporate puppet ignoring global warming because I've been told to.
This company is one of the greenest in the world- that's a fact. I've never been told to not discuss global warming. I've actually done it many time in forecasts and in long-format. That email is addressed, "Dear Media Meteorologist."
The only thing obvious to me is that some environmental or political group is behind an email campaign to make this connection. Imagine that! Less than a week before the election. Hmm.
Meantime, watch for a possible coastal storm early next week. Could be rain or… too scary to say it.