Tag Archives: weather

I have a feeling I’m not in Jersey Anymore

24 Apr

Tornado in Toms River 4-21-20

This is what came down our street earlier this week! And it announced its arrival with the sound of a freight train, which was quite frightening because we don’t live near any train tracks. And it swept through our neighborhood like the monster from the Id did when it came for Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet, with trees tossed to and fro and houses be damned.

But do I live in Kansas or Oklahoma or somewhere else in the Midwest? Nope. I live in New Jersey… and near the beach!

Whatever happened to storms? You know, the kind the dictionary describes like this: a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning… but NOT ALL AT ONCE!

Good grief! What’s happened to New Jersey?! That quiet little corner of the world east of the Delaware River tucked in between 2 other states big cities. Home of parkways and turnpikes and interstates peppered with rest stops serving pork roll and cheese sandwiches? Where a gas station or big lot store or Pizza Town can be found on most street corners? You know, The Garden State! Where did it go?

Because now it’s become a terrifying cornucopia of weather phenomena and disaster! What ever happened to the old New Jersey we New Jersians had come to know and love? The New Jersey where nothing exciting ever happened? The New Jersey that people from the north, south and western states only came to so they could drive to New Jersey’s eastern edge… and jump off!…into the ocean?!

We used to have seasons here in Jersey. Now we ride a weather roller coaster like the one we were on last Tuesday: 60 degrees and sunny, then dark ominous clouds riding in on the Southern Central Freight… a tornado! with rain, hail and snow…followed by sunny skies and temps below freezing!

Sometimes a hurricane will just decide to do an unannounced drive by. They used to visit every 25 years or so. And thunderstorms? Now we have thunder days with sideways lightning! In the winter! Or what used to be winter. Now it’s more like Wintummerspralling. In 2018  the Delaware Bay froze in January, the all-time monthly record for the warmest minimum temperature was set in August, followed by the wettest fall in 70 years and we even had a meteotsunami that May!(don’t even ask)!

Who knows what going to happen next?

Even the weather service doesn’t know what’s going on. They called this week’s tornado an “Incredible wind event”…just a few more feet into the ocean and we could have has a Sharkdado! but I’m sure that would have been called and incredible shark flying event…with wind!

No one seems to know what’s going on but we now have sometimes snow-less winters, all year round bugs and jellyfish, leaves that fall at Christmastime, flowers that bloom in February… and wineries! There’s no wining in Jersey! Who ever said, “Hey, lets go to Joisey and taste some wines. And fughettabout the pizza and the pork roll. Have the flatbread…and get the avocados?”

What the frig???

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

Crap!

I’m still here! Wherever this is?!?!

Joisey? Oh, you ain’t gonna see him no more.

 

The Grass Is Always Greener Just Before…

30 Apr

According to a recent NASA study, thanks to higher amounts of carbon dioxide on our planet, the earth is getting greener as a result of a phenomenon called “CO2 fertilization.” The boost in growth and greenery happens because the increase in CO2 gas causes more sugar to be produced by plants.

This has fueled a greening of our planet in areas that were once icebound, barren or sandy and the report says that an area about twice the size of the continental United States is now green when only a few decades ago it wasn’t. The report concluded that about 70 percent of the Earth’s new greening could be attributed to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations

Unfortunately, the report also tells us that this effect while pretty to behold, is only temporary. Eventually rising CO2 levels, should they continue to rise in the Earth’s atmosphere as they have been doing for over 100 years, will lead to the continued melting of glaciers, rising sea levels and more dangerous weather.

The photo above is of the planet Venus, named for the most beautiful of the ancient gods because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers. Venus, sometimes called Earth’s sister planet because it is so similar in size, mass, density, composition, and gravity to Earth, is however surrounded by an atmosphere that is mostly Carbon Dioxide.

Planetary scientists believe that Venus once had an atmosphere similar to Earth’s. Now on Venus it’s a toasty 880 degrees at the beach. That’s if Venus had one. But not to worry because we’re not as close to the sun as Venus is and our CO2 levels have a long way to go before they reach the levels found on the “Morning Star”.

And besides, our beaches will all be under water way before it gets that hot here…but that’s only if you believe in such things. In any event we can all enjoy the greener greenery while it’s here… I suppose.

 

A Winter’s Tale

17 Feb

comparison of Arctic sea ice extent

Well, it’s cold and snowing here in the northeast again so the global warming deniers, Big oil company executives and evangelicals everywhere are probably having a field day. Winter weather during the winter? That’s Absolute proof that the Earth is getting colder not warmer and that we earthlings can do as we please here on Mother earth because…well, it’s ours and has been given to us by Our Father to do whatever we want to with it. So there, mom! Dad says we can go out and play!

Anyway, the scientific data still says that the ice is melting in the arctic and that is definitely having a global affect on weather patterns everywhere. Normally here at the Jersey Shore (and I say normally meaning over the last 10-20 years or so) the daffodils are beginning to bloom right about now. Which I found quite strange for February when it first happened, but not so much any more…And nowadays hurricanes come along quite regularly right as the beach season is beginning to end. Used to be that hurricanes at the beach were once or twice in a life time events. And summers at the beach now bring more than just tourists and sun seekers. They bring tornado season! To the beach! In Jersey!?!

So, have there been any climate changes where you live? And if so, who’s to blame, if anyone? Earth Mom? Father God? Or the 7.25 plus billion humans who live here every day producing waste, destroying forests, fracking shale, burning fossil fuels, growing feed for 10 billion animals to eat so that we can eat them in return each year, and blowing noxious gasses into the atmosphere at ever increasing levels?

These were just thoughts running through my head as I was shoveling the by product of another winter snow storm…in winter…Global warming? Nah!

…But would someone please tell that to the stray wolf chasing that polar bear past my driveway!

Hot Enough For Ya?

26 Feb

   ImageIt’s been a cold, snowy winter here in the Northeast United States… so to a lot of folks that means that global warming was just a hoax…unless of course you live just about anywhere else on the planet! Sometimes we all do need to look at the “Big Picture”.

Here’s the latest data from the National Climate Data Center. Personally, I can’t wait for Spring and the warmer temperatures but maybe I should be careful about what I wish for…

What’s the weather been like where you are?

Cloudy With a Chance of…

13 Aug

If you were in my town today, You’d think that Simon Bar Sinister had finally put his dreaded weather machine back together and had discovered that Underdog was in town!

I have lived in Ocean County, NJ for years and our weather has always been rainy or sunny or wind off the ocean or wind from the west, maybe a little hot or maybe a little cold…but lately it’s been hurricanes and earthquakes and tropical storms and hail and high water!

And  today at 10Am it was as black as night outside and we have been under a tornado warning for the past 45 minutes…a tornado warning! At the beach!

We have run afoul of Mother Nature and there is no denying it…whether (or weather) all you climate change deniers out there want to believe it or not…it’s happening.

And for the rest of this day I would not at all be surprised if meatballs fall out of the sky and land on my plate of spaghetti…and I’m not even taking the spaghetti outside!

If you need me today, I’ll be down in the basement and under the work bench with the cats. From now on I’m taking all of my global warming cues from them.

Stop Already!

6 Mar

Winter Storm Saturn Brings Heavier, Wetter ‘Heart Attack Snow

This was a headline that popped up when I googled “Winter Storm Saturn” and well, here I go again…

Hurricane Sandy, whose name I have argued against for just being too damned cute for a devastating storm, was certainly a storm for the ages and it did cause a tremendous amount of damage and grief that some people here at the shore are still experiencing…and I certainly don’t want to make light of that suffering…

but we do not need to start the suffering before the suffering even begins, do we?

Heart attack snow?! I do understand the metaphor but please we need to get back to the good old days of “There’s a storm-a-comin’!” and leave it at that.

Does snow cause a heart attack? Can rain cause drowning? Will fog bring zombies? Does dark of night mean blindness?!

Here at the Jersey shore we are all still shell-shocked as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

And we really do not need to be frightened by any more self proclaimed meteorological experts, thank you very much. We get it. We know what a storm is.

storm  /stôrm/ Noun -A violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.

Is there any other kind? Really?

Can we just call the next storm Uranus please, and leave it at that?

 

Finding Nemo

8 Feb

Image

Well, they’ve done it again. Now the dreaded storm named Nemo is bearing down upon us here in the Northeast and once again I have to ask: Is that the best they can do? Nemo? A cute fish is about to devour Boston, New York City and half the eastern seaboard and we have to call it Winter Storm Nemo???

The Abominable Snowstorm works for me, and then like the Superbowl, just keep adding Roman numerals. Then we will know exactly what’s coming while also being reminded of exactly how many times this has happened before. “Oh no! It’s Abominable Snowstorm MCDXL!”

Really though, must they name every storm now? Remember when we just used to have storms?

Sadly, while reviewing my flood, earthquake, hurricane and homeowners, insurance policies I noticed a little addendum at the end that stated…and I quote,

A $500 deductible applies to covered perils other than storms named by The National Weather Service, to which a $10,350 deductible applies. These deductibles are part of a broad effort by the insurance industry to have homeowners take more steps to protect their homes, by having these owners share some of the risk. (let me know if you can find this clause in your policy)

So thank you insurance companies everywhere and the National Weather Service too for helping out the little guy and leading us undoubtedly towards a future that will probably see no storm, no matter how great or small, go unnamed.

So get ready for Light Flurry Flo! Foggy morning Frank! and Drizzly Daytime Dan! Soon coming to a town near you.

Let Me Be Your Weatherman

2 Feb

Image

Every morning while I am driving in my car I hear the same commercial.

“Is your home underwater? (not literally but in the figurative sense as in:) Do you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth?”

And I think to myself, how is this even possible?

Have you ever attempted to or actually bought a home?

It’s not possible unless you have a battery of, no, gang of, no, a veritable gaggle of “professionals” who swarm around you like house flies and come out of the woodwork like cockroaches just to charge you extra money for their necessary, no, needed, no, required by law, “expertise” to make sure that you can not only afford said homestead, but can also pay the absolute highest possible market value for that humble abode that you so happily desire.

There will be people employed by banks and law firms and mortgage companies with titles like, Loan Officer, Title Attorney, Home Appraiser, Escrow Officer, Credit Evaluator, Tax Assessor, Insurance Officer, you’ll meet adjusters and investigators and inspectors and application officers and termite investigators and more people with more titles than you’ve ever heard of or ever thought you would need to buy just one little old house.

And they will all be well schooled and well certified and well trained and professionally paid…by you the lucky home purchaser, and they will all come to a professional and certifiable agreement as to what your home is worth and what you can afford to pay and then of course what you will be expected to pay over the next 30 years or so.

And that’s pretty much how the process works, and yet amazingly enough, without one crime being committed 10.8 million Americans or 22.3 percent of all homeowners (The research firm Zillow has estimated that nearly half of homeowners under the age of 40 are underwater right now) have discovered that all of these professionals, with their degrees and diplomas and pedigrees backed by large banks and mortgage companies and financiers and government officials, have apparently had to take no more responsibility for their being wrong about the value of these homes being inflated and overvalued than a weatherman does when he gets the weather wrong!

“Oops, sorry but you now owe more than your home is worth. Our bad. We sold you something that wasn’t worth all of our professional opinions put together and guess what? Who could have seen this coming? Like a bad storm that took a wrong turn, we “the professionals”, just didn’t see it coming. It was a housing bubble that burst! You know, like a festering blister. Who could have seen that coming?”

Unfortunately for these homeowners they weren’t swindled, as it would have been called in the old days, but rather they now just own what is known as… “Negative Equity”. Ironically the very first meanings of equity  in English were a direct translation from the original Old French equité,  a word whose Latin root means “even,” “just,” and “equal.” So today’s unfortunate underwater homeowners are simply suffering from negative evenness, negative justice and negative equality. Which of course is not a crime when the wind is blowing like it’s 1984 outside!

But I digress because there is good news. Fortunately for all of the well paid “housing professionals” what happened was not a crime and today, the unfortunate homeowners or rather  “Underwater borrowers” owe an average of $72,235 more than the value of their home, which must still be good news for the “professionals”, no?

And because the “homeowners” (I ask you: what do they actually own if the home that they “bought” has less value than the money they borrowed to pay for it?)  can’t sell their homes and move without incurring a steep financial penalty… And since the homeowners and not the “professionals” are penalized for taking such lousy advice from “the professionals” in the first place (the word today is that prospective homeowners need to do their homework and checkout the professional advice they get before taking it!) the homeowners only recourse…as the advertisement spokesperson concludes in the commercial, is…REFINANCE!

Or in other words, since crime just ain’t what it used to be…as in criminal… please, please, please…

Let me be your weatherman.

What’s In a Name?

3 Nov

My house was destroyed by a hurricane named Sandy! Sandy is a dog that says woof…not a Frankenstorm!  If we are going to watch our houses destroyed and our property blown away and our livelihoods threatened and our families scared witless on a yearly basis, now that global warming is upon us like it’s The Day After! (Did you happen to see the satellite picture of this last storm?) then we are going to have to give them better names!

They need to be names like Dr. Doom! Or Mr. Destructo! Or Megatron! Or Holy Crap! So then at least we can say things to each other like “I remember back in 2K12 when Dr. Doom wrecked my house.” Or, “It was way back in 38 when Megatron came up from the south and ate New York!” Or “Remember when Holy Crap left us with a shitstorm of trouble back in Ought6?”

Now those are names to be afraid of and to get people’s attention.

“Look out! It’s The World Eater! And it’s headed our way! Evacuate!”

Now that just might get folks to pack up and cross the bridges and seek safe haven someplace else.

I know this was a terrible tragedy and I’m really not trying to make light of a horrible disaster. I’m just trying to relieve some anxiety after 4 days of worry and fright in the face of Mother Nature. She really does deserve more respect than to be called Sandy or Irene or Andrew or Ivan.

We need to start giving nature her or his due and name these storms for exactly what they are and then get the hell out of the way!

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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