As I sit here writing my column for May, I am seeing more weather records coming into my feeds. There’s a blizzard warning for the upper Midwest with 60 mph winds and blowing a drifting snow, along with sub-zero windchills. The snow melted in California but the relentless rain has resulted in a “super bloom” of wildflowers. Lake Tahoe just ended its ski season. However, many areas are still not accessible due to the huge amount of snow still on the ground, refusing to melt.
Here in the South, we had 85 degrees in February and we are all wearing sweaters again in late April. Red tide continues several months ahead of schedule along the west coast of Florida. The seaweed bloom continues to grow and is setting records in size and duration.
For much of the Mississippi River Valley, east through Georgia, the flood threat remains elevated through the end of spring. All of the extended outlooks continue to show above average rainfall for us. (Happy Mosquito Season).
Temperatures this month should continue the bizarre swings like we saw through most of winter and spring. Above average rainfall likely to continue into summer and even with that prediction, I think we will see temperatures a little above average into July.
What is contributing to all this strange weather? The answer I think is two-fold. For those who dismiss climate change, this year was like getting hit over the head with a baseball bat. Even the naysayers would have to admit it is a reality now. In addition, we had the La Niña pattern. The cooler water in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean changed up the upper level wind patterns to bring about these bizarre weather patterns that were greatly enhanced by climate change.
Now, NOAA has just issued an El Niño watch. This is the opposite of La Niña, where we see ocean warming off the coast of South America in the eastern equatorial Pacific. This would result in above-normal rainfall, a higher frequency of severe weather, and warmer-than-normal temperatures. I have also seen some pretty severe ice storms during El Niño.
I am so looking forward to May, one of THE nicest weather months of the year for north Georgia. Our average high is 81 and our average low is 59. Winds during the month average about 8-9 mph. Our rainfall averages about 4 inches. Hope you get out and enjoy the lake and all it has to offer. Stay safe and have fun!