What is going in the land down under. Parts of Australia have been suffering from a terrible drought. That has created a fire hazard and also brought out the camels. Yes, camels. Back in the 19th century, camels were imported into Australia. There was a need for the beasts of burden for commercial and expeditionary ventures in the somewhat arid Western Australia. Since that time, the offspring of those original visitors have multiplied. Even efficient camels need water and, with the severity of the current dry spell. a herd of at least 3000 camels has descended on a western Australia town to forage for water. They are causing so much damage and creating so much mayhem, Australian authorities are taking drastic steps to fend off the assault of camels on an Aussie town in the Northern Territory.
While the government deals with the camels, a fire department had to deal with a gas leak. They were called to a home expecting to find a leaking gas cylinder. Instead, firemen near Bendigo, Australia found the source of the gas was a pig. The fat porker is a family pet and firemen on the scene concluded that the gas odor in the area came from the pig when they heard it squeal loudly from one end and then play a not so melodious tune from the other. Fire Chief Peter Harkins described the sound a “very full on.” Unlike the family of balloon boy in the United States, the owners of the pig refused media requests for their story or for photographs of Australia’s most famous farting pig. There is no regarding the pig’s effects on global warming or if the family must purchase carbon credits to offset the gas release by the family pet.
On This Date in History: On this date in 1703, an unusual and powerful storm finally ended in England. In it’s wake, some 10,000 to 30,000 were dead, including about 8,000 sailors aboard part of the English fleet anchored just offshore the island nation. Winds were well over hurricane force and apparently the storm stuck around for about two weeks. Claims were that the Thames river had 6 foot waves and 5000 homes were destroyed along the river on which London is built. The author of Robinson Crusoe,
Daniel Defoe, reported a tornado that “snapped the body of an oak.” Henry Winstanley had designed and built the first Eddystone Lighthouse at Plymouth in 1696. Just a few weeks before the storm he expressed his desire that he be in his creation during the greatest storm of all time so he could see the effect on his tower. In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department, he and those who resided there went down with the lighthouse when it was smashed to bits.
The details of the storm are varied. Some say the death toll was just 15,000 other 9000. The date can’t even be totally ascertained because of something about the switch between the Julian and Gregorian calenders. Either way, it was a huge storm; hurricane force winds, thousands dead, thousands of livestock dead, tornadoes, reports of a ship being lifted 800 feet inland by a waterspout and a cow getting lifted into a tree. Thousands of trees down across the country, monstrous waves….it was a doosey. Here is an account from The Weather Doctor Almanac. Seems just as reliable as other sources.
Can you imagine if that happened today? It happened 300 years ago, so it’s happened before. But, you can
bet that Global Warming would get the blame this time around. Never mind that this wild storm happened all by itself during what was called the “mini-ice age” which was a 300-400 year period of extremely cold global temperatures that was partly the primer for the emigration to the New World. Nope, you know that Global Warming would be the culprit. Why do I know this with a certainty? Because the press has already reported it. On the 300th anniversary in 2003, the BBC put out this report, pointing to a storm that was not as strong but still devastating in 1987 as proof. Proof as what? That a storm reported in 1703 was still possible today?
This is the type of nonsense that really hacks me as a meteorologist and historian. I think the anthropogenic global warming issue should be studied closely but, when the press and proponents put out this type of nonsense, it really hurts their credibility. Hurricane Katrina comes to mind. After that storm someone actually said that it was due to Global Warming. Never did the press point out that New Orleans did not get hit by a hurricane, Mississippi did. They did not point out that it was a strong 130 mph hurricane that had a huge storm surge but followed almost the exact same path as the incredibly powerful Hurricane Camille in 1969 with 200 mph winds. It was not unprecedented and, if one were to be basic and silly, one could draw the juvenile conclusion that Global Warming was making hurricanes weaker because Camille was was stronger than Katrina, followe the same path and was 36 years earlier. That is just as foolish a statement as claiming that Katrina was caused by Global Warming.
So, what does the Great 1703 Storm teach us? That large, powerful storms and unusual weather has been happening on the earth for a long, long time. Unexpectedly strong and severe situations will occur again, Global Warming or not. Beware of sources and media reports that try to offer such limited and simple evidence for climate changes of any kind and forever one should hold any reports from those sources with skepticism.
Weather Bottom Line: The past two weekends, Snow White and I have been graced with the hospitality of the Justice Racing Stables. We were the guests at the upstart horse racing venture at Churchill Downs and John C. Nolley could not have been nicer. In fact, every single person whom we encountered who was associated with the group was just outstanding. I’ve never had a more favorable experience and impression of horse racing as I did with the folks at Justice Racing. We really appreciate it. Mr. Nolley has named me the meteorologist of Justice Racing. I informed him that the quality of my forecasts will be directly tied to the value of his checks.
I told Mr. Nolley not to believe the calls for highs in the upper 40’s Thanksgiving or Friday. I was a bit surprised though by how much sunshine we had in the afternoon. Saturday, it looks as if a warm front comes through as ridging builds in pretty quickly. This should result in temperatures in the afternoon about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than Friday afternoon and will probably be the warmest we see for several days. A front comes down on Sunday night. Clouds will be increasing on Sunday so it will be a few degrees cooler on Sunday than Saturday. Let’s say mid 50’s. Rain chances shoot upward on Sunday night into early Monday. The front leaves behind a big fat cut-off low in the SW United States but another big trof in the northern jet stream will come out of the northwest and pick up that low. As the second front comes in mid week, the cut-off low will get picked up, move into southeast Texas and then up into the Southeast US. That will mean another chance for rain and also a further fall in the mercury. Highs Monday-Wed will be in the 40’s but by Thursday and Friday we may be talking about highs in the 30’s.