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El Nino Strikes Again
By Ernest Stewart

"Tornadoes that occur at dark are certainly more dangerous, because people [are usually asleep or doing other things. Tornadoes in the winter do tend to [happen] a little later. But one thing to keep in mind, there's not nearly as much daylight. Our biggest fear sometimes is in the winter!" ~~~ Chris Darden ~ Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Huntsville

Our Godzilla El Nino, fueled by global warming, is a real monster; and, it's just getting started, and could go on well into 2017 or 2018. Two of our latest symptoms are our current polar vortex currently visiting the Midwest and the East Coast. As I warned two weeks ago when the arctic center was in the 50s above zero instead of 50 below zero, all that cold air displayed by global warming had to go somewhere; and here it is. You can hear all the climate change deniers having one last rally about how if it's getting warmer, then how come it's still cold in winter? Believe me when I say when that happens, and winter is no longer cold, you're really not going to like the summers!

As it is, one of the other symptoms of global warming is hurricanes in winter, along with all the tornadoes they've been having down in Dixie! You may recall, meteorologists began warning, even before the end of hurricane season, that this year's 'brawny' El Nino, one of the most potent on record, could spur violent tornadoes in the south. The storms that tore across Florida were moving near 50 mph as part of a cold front heading in from the the Gulf of Mexico. It was the second such set of storms in the past week as South Florida was also lashed by winds and rain, with threats of tornadoes, on Friday.

"This storm rapidly intensified over the Gulf of Mexico during Saturday night and pushed heavy, gusty thunderstorms across Florida. Tornadoes have touched down across portions of Florida during Saturday night, including Siesta Key. A wind gust of 82 mph was recorded at Naples," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Michael LeSeney said.

In the seven most formidable El Nino years since 1957, 178 tornadoes formed in Florida. The monster El Nino of 1997-98 contributed to deadly tornadoes in the Sunshine State, killing 42 people and injuring 365, according to the National Climatic Data Center. This time only two people died.

"Stronger and longer track tornadoes are more frequent during El Nino. The frequency of EF-1 tornadoes or greater is more than twice as likely during a strong El Nino," said David Zierden, Florida's state climatologist.

The so-called 'Groundhog Day tornado,' which occurred on Feb. 2, 1998, rampaged 21 miles from the Miami International Airport to southern Broward County. It caused $205 million in damage and left hundreds of thousands without power.

"When we have this El Nino pattern, we have a wintertime tornado season that develops and sometimes we can see some pretty violent tornadoes," said Robert Garcia, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Tampa office, which covers Cape Coral.

The system that hit Cape Coral earlier this month can be linked to the one that went through California three days earlier. During El Nino years, storms can move in from the warmed Pacific Ocean and embed themselves in the subtropical jet stream, which gets pushed north across the Gulf of Mexico.

During the early part of last Saturday, a warm front that preceded a low pressure system came through southwest Florida. The warm moist air rose into the atmosphere, causing pressures to fall, thunderstorms to form, and air columns to spin.

In winter, El Nino pumps energy into the subtropical jet stream, which increases storminess in the South, but cuts down on freezing weather as the frigid winter air rushing down from Canada gets hung up north of the subtropical ridge. Although you can have tornadoes any time of the year, most of them are in March or April during Spring not Winter. Just another benefit of global warming -- and we're only half-way in temperature rise before weather starts to get really bad; and above that, we're in real trouble!


10-20-1943 ~ 01-15-2016
Thanks for the film!

11-19-1941 ~ 01-15-2016
Thanks for the film!

10-24-1948 ~ 01-17-2016
Thanks for the music!

05-07-1951 ~ 01-17-2016
Thanks for the music!

04-07-1948 ~ 01-17-2016
Thanks for the music!

11-06-1948 ~ 01-18-2016
Thanks for the music!


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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 04 (c) 01/22/2016