SNOTEL Snow/Water Equivalent for Colo

Remember the reading this early in the winter season of snow/water information is a bit misleading.  The South Platt for instance @ 141% might mean there is 10″ of snow and maybe 1″ of water equivalent rather than 3″ of snow and .03″ of water (normal). It’s way too early to get excited about how big the winter will be when the information is the first sampling of SNOTEL sites and can drop the other direction just as quickly.


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Earth sizzles through October as another month ranks as the warmest on record ~ The Washington Post

This is the fifth straight month with record or near-record heat.

Global average surface temperature departures from average during October, when compared to 1981-2010 levels. (Copernicus Climate Change Service)

November 5

October was the warmest such month on record globally, narrowly edging out October 2015 for the top spot, according to a new analysisfrom the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. The finding, released Tuesday, is significant because it shows that 2019 is certain to be one of the warmest years on record, continuing a trend scientists attribute to increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities.

According to Copernicus, global average surface temperatures were 1.24 degrees above average when compared to the 1981-2010 average, and 0.02 degrees above the 2015 record. The month was a solid 0.2 degrees above the third-warmest October, which occurred in 2017.

During October, the Western United States and parts of Canada stood out for being cooler than average. However, temperatures were “markedly above average” over much of the Arctic, where sea ice extent hit a record low for the month. Europe was warmer than average, as was the Eastern United States and Canada, the Middle East and much of North Africa and Russia.

Parts of Brazil, Africa, Australia and Antarctica also saw temperatures that were well above average during the month, according to the Copernicus report.

The new data released Tuesday also sheds light on global average temperatures during the past 12 months, beginning in November 2018. Looking at this data helps climate scientists get a better idea of longer-term trends, since some of the natural variability gets smoothed out over time.

It finds that most of the Arctic, particularly central parts of Siberia, were far above average during the period. Parts of Alaska set mild temperature milestones during October as sea ice surrounding the state continued to be absent.

“Virtually all” of Europe had far-above-average temperatures during October, Copernicus scientists found.

Other areas were above average, compared to the 1981-2010 period, including the Middle East, Australia, parts of the Antarctic, southern Africa and northeastern China.

This puts the planet perilously close to one of the temperature guardrails outlined in the Paris climate agreement, in which policymakers agreed to limit global warming to “well below” 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels by 2100. The aspirational goal in the agreement is to hold temperatures to a 2.7-degree increase, or 1.5 Celsius, above preindustrial levels, which is a target that was pushed by the countries considered most vulnerable to climate impacts, such as small island nations.

Scientists say it’s technically feasible to meet the 2-degree target, but extremely difficult practically, given the present course of greenhouse gas emissions, political difficulties surrounding the issue — such as the impending U.S. departure from the Paris agreement — and the sheer magnitude of near-term emissions cuts it would require.

The October record is also noteworthy because it occurred in the absence of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Such climate cycles, which involve interactions between the sea and atmosphere above it and can alter weather patterns thousands of miles away, tend to boost global average surface temperatures. The hottest year on record, 2016, took place amid a strong El Niño, for example.

Copernicus’s global temperature tracking adds to the data gathered by other groups, including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which use independent data sets and various methods of analyzing global land and ocean temperatures. The temperature rankings of these agencies and others often differ slightly, though the underlying numbers tend to match up quite well.

One major reason for disagreements between the data sets concerns how each organization takes into account the rapidly warming but sparsely populated Arctic region.

All of the data sets show that the planet is warming at an average rate of about 0.32 degrees per decade, and has been since the late 1970s. They also each show that the planet’s warmest years have come since 2015.

The Unexpected Joy of Repeat Experiences ~ NYT

Novelty is overrated.


Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 10.47.49 AM.pngMolly Fairhurst Credit



Scrolling through Instagram can quickly convince you that everyone’s life is more interesting than yours. During a particularly adventurous week on Instagram Stories recently, I saw water skiing in Maui, hiking in Yosemite and swimming with wild pigs in Bermuda. Wild pigs!

Impulsively, I started Googling flights to new places. Then I ordered pho from the same Vietnamese place I eat at every week and … felt bad about not trying somewhere new.

This fear of missing out is rooted in a common psychological tic: Evolutionarily, we’re disposed to find novel experiences more exciting and attention-grabbing than repeat experiences, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. It’s basically fight or flight psychology — our brains can’t process all the stimuli around us, so we evolved to pay attention to new, flashy and potentially dangerous things more intently than familiar things, which we’ve seen enough to know they’re not dangerous. What’s more, words like “repetition” and “repetitiveness” — unlike “novelty” — tend to be associated with more negative emotions, said Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School.

“Classic research shows that when we think about upcoming experiences, we think about variety,” said Mr. Norton, who specializes in consumer behavior. “If I ask you right now to select a yogurt for each day next week, you’ll pick your favorite flavor — say, blueberry — a few times, but you’ll mix in some strawberry and peach. Because who wants to eat that much blueberry yogurt? Over the longer term, though, as the original experience fades in time and memory, repetition can become more pleasurable.”

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~


If It’s Trump vs. Warren, Then What? ~ NYT

A hard but necessary choice to save the country.


Opinion Columnist

Credit…Damon Winter/The New York Times


This is a memo for the politically homeless. It’s a memo to those of us who could never support Donald Trump but think the Bernie-Squad-Warren Democratic Party is sprinting too far left. It’s a memo built around the following question: If the general election campaign turns out to be Trump vs. Warren, what the heck are we supposed to do?

The first thing we could do, of course, is pray for a miracle. Maybe the Democrats will nominate one of the five B’s or the K: Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, Bennet, Bullock or Klobuchar.

These candidates are pluralists, not purists. They make many voters who disagree with them feel heard and respected. They practice the craft of politics, building majority coalitions to get things done.

If the party nominated one of those six, you really could see the Democrats gather progressives and moderates into an enduring majority coalition as the Republicans recede into old, white, rural obsolescence. You could see movement on a range of issues where large majorities are already stacked on one side: guns, climate change, reducing income inequality, expanding health coverage.

Hunter S. Thompson’s Letters to His Enemies ~ Atlantic

Hunter Thompson The " Gonzo " Journalist Sits At His Desk In His Rocky Mountain Cabin.

If letters made sounds when we opened them, sounds expressive of their contents—if, from the freshly unsealed envelope, there rose a lover’s sigh, or an alcoholic belch, or a rasping cough of officialdom—the letters of Hunter S. Thompson would have released, I think, a noise like nearby gunfire. Like the crackle of some endless small-arms engagement. Pop, pop, pop, deep into the night.

I’ve been diving lately into the Thompson correspondence, via Douglas Brinkley’s superb two-volume edition (The Proud Highway and Fear and Loathing in America), because I’m looking for answers. Answers to what? How about: to the huge, throbbing interrogative that is America at the end of 2019. What is happening? Where’s it going? How do you live in it?

The mid-’60s to the mid-’70s—that was Thompson’s lean and scowling journalistic prime. “This fucking polarization,” he laments to one correspondent, “has made it impossible to sell anything except hired bullshit or savage propaganda.” But he was unstoppable. While researching his book about the Hells Angels, he rode with his subjects for about a year, getting a quasi-ritualistic stomping from them at the end of it; he was assaulted by Chicago cops at the Democratic National Convention in 1968; under wild duress, he composed the immortal hallucination that is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; he covered the Watergate hearings. And while he didn’t perfectly or lucidly see the future—didn’t see us, didn’t see now—he didn’t exactly need to, because in his head he was already here.

The Thompson of the letters is not especially likable. He is hard, compulsive, vengeful, nastily funny, and distended with the grandiosity of true desperation. An extraordinary proportion of the correspondence is concerned with money: claiming expenses, running from creditors, dunning and being dunned. American Express cancels his card; Thompson responds with sulfurous hauteur. “You bastards … You swine … My position today is the same as when this stupid trouble began. I’ll pay the bill if my card is reinstated.”

Friends and enemies are hailed in the same lewd, far-end-of-the-bar voice. “Dear Tom …” he writes to Tom Wolfe. “You worthless scumsucking bastard.” This is endearment. “Dear Sidney …” he writes to Sidney Zion, a co-founder of Scanlan’s magazine. “You worthless lying bastard.” This is abuse. (He goes on to tell Zion: “In ten years of dealing with all kinds of editors I can safely say I’ve never met a scumsucker like you.”) And if he starts to repeat your first name with menacing intimacy—“You interest me, George.”—you’re in trouble.

You could say that he had some very bad work habits. Or you could say that, over the course of a decade’s writing and reporting, he basically donated his nervous system to America. Pre-1974 Thompson was mostly on Dexedrine; after 1974 he was mostly on cocaine. Booze was a constant. Many of the letters have an early-morning-comedown feel: the whitening window, the excess of reality. “Why bother to make it right when nobody knows the difference anyway?” Drugs have their uses, but he saw with terrible clarity the bargain he was making, “willfully trading,” as he wrote to the Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, “time Now for time Later.”

He had a fastidious horror of the mob, be it a circle of leering bikers, a rank of advancing cops, or a throng of inflamed Republican delegates. In one letter he recalled watching Barry Goldwater address the Republican National Convention in 1964, and “actually feeling afraid because I was the only person not clapping and shouting.” Part of his brief, as he saw it, was to track this incoming American atavism. “The Shits are in,” he wrote after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He loathed Richard Nixon, although he made a friend of arch-Nixonian Pat Buchanan (“We disagree so violently on almost everything that it’s a real pleasure to drink with him”).

So the fissures ran deep, in his time as in ours. From the core, from the White House, disruption emanated. My hack brain keeps wanting to write “the parallels are uncanny”—but that’s not it. These are not parallels; this is the same story. Thompson’s letters impart the lesson: Decades later, this is the same America—the America of the raised nightstick, the shuddering convention hall, the booming bike engine, the canceled credit card, and the impossible dream.