Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sixty Degrees and Shorts in December

We’ve had some strange weather here in Denver the last few days. Wednesday night I was riding home from work in 18 degree temperatures, snow and wind. Thursday night the low was -5, yet the high on Friday was mid 40’s and all the 3-5 inches of snow seemed to melt. Today (Saturday) I went out for a ride in the afternoon, southeast of town and there wasn’t a drop of snow to be seen. I started out with leg warmers on and a long sleeve jersey and vest. Hidden in my pockets I had winter gloves, ear covers and a windstopper thermal jacket. I spent most of the two hour ride in shorts and a long sleeve jersey and it was perfect.

Here I am out on the ride, notice no snow on the ground.

A shadow in December?

Global warming in not about an overall warming of global temperatures exclusively (though that is a component) it is as much about extremes in weather. Going from -5 to 60+ degrees in 36 hours is an extreme change in the weather. Going from snow on the ground in December to not a trace in 24 hours is an extreme. Yes it was down right cold on Thursday and Thursday night, but the extremes that were shown are what global warming really is, not just the heat of today.

Did I enjoy the warm weather today, of course; two hours in the sun wearing shorts in December is something to enjoy. But the long term implications and concerns should remind all of us that snow and 40’s are pretty nice too.

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