Why Does Fat Al Gore Hate Flower Festivals?

This is not really my beat, but after spending the weekend in an unseasonably warm DC and returning to even warmer temperatures here in MI, I felt it deserves a post.

In DC all weekend, people were enjoying the gorgeous cherry blossoms, but bemoaning the fact that the peak bloom pretty much has preceded the Cherry Blossom Festival. Now in Holland, MI, they’re facing the likelihood that not even moving up its Tulip Fest will ensure there are still blooms on the stems come May.

It is 85 degrees here at the moment (though there’s a pleasant breeze coming off the river), and predicted to climb higher. Tomorrow it is predicted to break 90. Nine. Zero. In March. In MI.

(If posts are thin tomorrow, you can presume McCaffrey the MilleniaLab and I have gone to the beach.)

As the map above makes clear, temperatures this week are 25 degrees above where they’re supposed to be this time of year.

And while I realize Mr. Pricky Cactus will show up and boast about how hot and dry it is in AZ, things are just so far outside of the norm here it’s creepy (though pleasant). Wunderblogs notes that some of the the “coldest places” in the nation are setting repeated record highs.

Summer in March continues for the Midwest
The ongoing March heat wave in the Midwest will continue to set all-time heat records through Thursday, gradually shifting its peak intensity eastwards during the week. A few highlights from yesterday’s records:

Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula is called “Michigan’s Icebox”, since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state, and in the entire nation. But the past three days, Pellston has topped out at 80° – 82°F, the first 80°F March days in their history. Yesterday’s 82° reading broke the previous record for the date (56° in 1976) by an amazing 26°, and was 44°F above average. Nearby Traverse City hit 83°F yesterday, the third consecutive day the city has experienced its hottest March temperature on record.

International Falls, Minnesota hit 78°F yesterday, 42° above average, and the 2nd hottest March temperature on record in the Nation’s Icebox. The record of 79°F was set the previous day. Remarkably, the low temperature for International Falls bottomed out at 60°F yesterday, tying the previous record high for the date. I’ve never seen a station with a century-long data record have its low temperature for the date match the previous record high for the date. Yesterday was the seventh consecutive day that International Falls broke or tied a daily record. That is spectacularly hard to do for a station with a century-long weather record. The longest string of consecutive records being broken I’m aware of is nine days in a row, set June 2 – 10, 1911 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with weather records going back to 1905.) International Falls has a good chance of surpassing nine consecutive records this week.

And MoJo’s Julia Whitty had more here earlier in the week.

I’m loving having summer on the first day of spring and all, but at some point we need to get serious about climate change.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

33 replies
  1. prostratedragon says:

    Gr-r-r-r-r!

    From a wintery sort of dragon. As I’ve never either seen or heard of such in this part of the world, you can’t convince me we’re not too late.

  2. Chris says:

    Move along people, nothing to see here. Certainly there is no evidence of any global effect producing increased warming – that would be crazy talk.

    I think God is just hugging America extra tight.

  3. prostratedragon says:

    Going to have to turn off the radio now. They just told me about the cops being summoned to UM Hospitals because an interview with an emergency admit revealed that the reason she had been unconscious was that her husband had brained her with a pineapple.

    Not all that funny, really. What cracked me up was the report that she refused to give any further details, such as what the argument had been about.

  4. liberalrob says:

    …at some point we need to get serious about climate change.

    Unfortunately, that point was several years ago.

  5. pdaly says:

    I meant to buy one of those global warming mugs that shows (as the mug warms up) the dramatically receding coastlines of the US. Something to help guide the direction of my arm-powered canoe when the time comes.

  6. pdaly says:

    I might head to the beach this week, too. I hope the biting, bloodsucking greenhead flies have not noticed global warming and don’t wake up from their salt marsh burrows until their usual July appearances.

  7. rosalind says:

    last year’s JPL open house was focused on the new Earth Sciences building that featured tons of exhibits on climate, and the new ways they have of tracking climate change. the exhibit showing the rate of polar ice melt in just the last few years was unbelievable.

    will be interesting to see what this year’s Open House theme will be.

    fyi – here’s a link to the Nasa Climate Change page.

  8. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    Hey, enjoy the heat well it lasts. During the last ice age the ice over MI was 3 kms thick! Yup, that’s 15 times the height of the IDS Centre, look up, look way up. And as we know, everything that goes up (temperasture) must comes down. The ice age is coming to and it will make heat waves a forgotten dream.

  9. Bob Schacht says:

    What’s fat Albert to do about this?

    That’s a killer map that you found. Most of the Midwest– including Illinois– is included in the heat wave. Will that affect their election today? Should help with turnout, anyway.

    Bob in AZ

  10. Jim White says:

    Welcome to my weather. As you will note from your map, here in North Florida we are pretty close to our “normal”. It’s 84 here right now.

    But beware: all that warm weather makes one soft. I’m headed out to Gator baseball in a few minutes, and even though the forecast says it will be in the low 70’s around the time the game should end, I’m taking my hoodie and will certainly be wearing it by the third inning or so. Once you get used to the heat, anything below 76 feels downright cold…

  11. Noni Mausa says:

    Meanwhile up here in Winnipeg, a Canadian city often referred to as “Winterpeg,” we had practically no snow this winter, and our last weekend ranged from 70 to 80 degrees F and melted and drained off all the little bit of snow we did have. Never ever have we had a temperature higher than 49 degrees on those days. (Or at least in the 140 years we’ve kept records.) Today is much colder. Only reached the high 40s.

    Last winter, (2010-11) by contrast, we had a fair amount of snow which melted quickly, as did all the snow in the watersheds that feed into our rivers. Good thing we had recently widened our floodway that carried the excess river water around the city in floodtimes, or we’d have all been swimming. In spite of the wider floodway, we had flood-stage water going through town right into late September.

    Noni

  12. KWillow says:

    Our tulips have poked their little heads out of the soil here in Reno NV, but then it snowed, and fairly heavily, tho the snow melted by afternoon. Winter seems to be coming a lot later and lasting a bit longer… into April or even May.

  13. 4jkb4ia says:

    @thatvisionthing:

    Yes, it has been in the 80s here all week. Very frightening.

    I am also frightened that this is the first comment I wrote anywhere in a week that had no basketball references in it.

  14. beth meacham says:

    Oh, here in southern Arizona we’ve had three days of winter storm. Freezing rain on Sunday, snow on Saturday. They say it’ll start getting warm again tomorrow.

    Global Climate Change. It’s not just hot days in March.

  15. bmaz says:

    @beth meacham: Yep, was freaky up here in Phoenix too. No hail at my house, but there was maybe quarter to half mile away. Bit rain and wind though. Watertable needs a LOT more big rain, cause it has been like 3-4 months.

  16. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Down here on Galveston Bay the temperatures are about normal but I’m up to my ass in rain. Not sure what this means but for some reason the crawfish season is just beginning and they’re already good sized. Usually at the start of the season they’re small and the size works up as the season goes along. Not this year – been good right from the start.

    Crabs have been available already also. Hope this isn’t a hurricane year for us with all this warm water.

  17. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bmaz: Working. I’m one of the fortunate ones that hasn’t really been affected by the last few years and things seem to be picking up even more. I come by a couple nights a week and read up on what’s going on but EW goes so fast that it’s usually too late to have anything to say so I just read to try to keep up.

    This temperature thread caught my eye though and it was only one post behind. Very unusual weather going around. I doubt there was a week worth of days down here that I couldn’t wear shorts this winter. Then the rain. I had blooms on my Meyer lemon trees in January and was getting tomatoes off a couple of fall plants until I pulled them out of the ground to get ready for the spring planting. Makes me nervous. When things get that out of the ordinary the first thing that comes to mind is – A BIG HURRICANE COMING.

    Plus, two 15 seeds beat two 2 seeds, Peyton ends up displacing Jesus in Denver and Mario Williams, of all people, gets the highest NFL contract for a defensive player ever. Something weird is going on.

  18. Bob Schacht says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: GCP,
    Today there were about a dozen threads active here, so don’t worry if you get behind (“active” = at least one new comment over the past 24 hours).

    In the Men’s BB tournament, I see that the Big Ten+ has 4 teams still in the hunt: Michigan St, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana. The final could be two Big Ten+ teams!

    On the Women’s side, there are two Cinderella teams still in the hunt: Gonzaga, and Kansas, which was one of the last 4 teams admitted to the playoffs. Both were 11 seeds. Tonight, Kansas beat Delaware, with its rising star Elena Della Donne, with a brilliant game plan. Donne scored more than 30 points, but no one on the rest of the Delaware team scored more than single digits. Delaware is not quite ready for prime time, but Donne is the Real Deal.

    Bob in AZ

  19. emptywheel says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: Not sure if you saw, but that Manning fellow will henceforth be referred to as “Rhymes-with-Satan” on this blog. And, as Mr. EW noted to me, he’s displacing “Rhymes-with-Let-Go.” So that all seems to make sense.

  20. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bob Schacht: I’m not sure about two Big Ten teams but Michigan State looks pretty good. If they win it all I wouldn’t be surprised.

    I haven’t watched any of the ladies so far this year but I usually do and was somewhat surprised to see EW write about them a while back. I hate both A&M and Baylor so it’s kind of tough for me to watch much of it these days.

  21. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @emptywheel: From what I had heard Elway didn’t like ‘rhymes with let go’ all that much and was somewhat perplexed when they kept winning. I’m sure getting ‘rhymes with Satan’ got him out of his predicament and will allow hi to do what he always wanted to do which is let go ‘rhymes with let go’

  22. klynn says:

    Went on a Spring hike at our favorite park yesterday and wild flowers, which are normally in bloom on Mother’s Day weekend, were in full bloom and will be done within a few days.

  23. Kathleen says:

    “As the map above makes clear, temperatures this week are 25 degrees above where they’re supposed to be this time of year.”

    At this rate what will June be like?

    Out in the woods the last two weeks. In the Appalachian woods in southeastern Ohio bloodroot bloomed and seeded all ready (one month early) blue and black cohosh up about a foot (generally not up until end of May, trout lillies up petals all ready off. Saw ginseng up all ready. Have all ready jumped in the pond. Generally not until late May. freaky deaky. Know folks who have been hiking these woods for seven decades have never seen this before.

    Global warming deniers getting kicked in the ass but they do not feel that hot boot on their behinds

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