By Robert A. Vella
I just watched the opening two segments of the 4 PM (16:00 PDT) edition of The Weather Channel’s Weather Underground show. It covered the serious 1,000-year flooding event in South Carolina this weekend which dumped more than two feet of rain over much of the state.
The meteorologist who explained the atmospheric conditions that produced the flood noted an upper level low pressure system was lingering over the region for an extended period of time while sucking in moisture from hurricane Joaquin churning to the east out in the Atlantic Ocean. This combination of a cutoff low feeding off a tropical cyclone is a highly unusual occurrence.
The meteorologist also noted that changing jet stream patterns in recent years from a prevailing west-to-east flow (at these latitudes) to a more meandering north-south direction are responsible for the increasing frequency of cutoff lows and stationary high pressure systems (which are causing severe droughts in the west). Although he did not specify the cause of this change in the jet stream (which leading climatologists attribute to global warming), he did equate it to the 10,000-year flood that devastated Atlanta, Georgia in 2009.
In neither instance did he use any terms relatable to climate change; however, the show’s host quickly shifted the discussion towards an irrelevant point when this meteorologist described – for the second time – the jet stream’s apparent change in recent years.
It seemed obvious to me that these weather reporters were consciously trying not to make any direct linkage between extreme weather events and climate change. I must presume that they were instructed not to do so. Science doesn’t work very well hidden within a conspiracy.