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  1. 2 likes
    Well the US is a big country. So there's a wide variety of different regional climates and phenoma going on. Although the engine of the gulf and the lack of geographic barriers to northerly plunges of the artic stuff from Canada is a fortuitous set up and makes things interesting for the eastern 2/3rds of the country. However, I happen to live in the corner of the country where the weather is dull, predictable, and typically undramatic. If you think your country is "mega boring" weather/climate wise you'd certainly suffer as a weather enthusiast living in Southern California! All the chaotic weather they get in the midwest, east, and on the gulf is as foreign to me as it is to you.
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    Thanks for the reply. Interesting analysis of why some subsets are as high as mid-high 50s%. I'd wondered why there was such variance, personally if I were a Green voter then I wouldn't vote SNP tactically as the Greens are growing in size and media coverage and need every vote they can get to make any real impact on UK politics (even that might not be enough) so I'm unsure how many would vote SNP. Nobody can really answer that question although if the polls converge somewhat then we may have a decent idea come April/early May. Certainly in England I get the feeling the Labour vote is cracking at the edges but the threat of the Tories getting in will probably make it mainly stick together, in Scotland we seem to be much further down that track. Edit: In reference to your next post: I personally don't agree with their stance but as you note at least you know what you are getting with the Tories... I wish they'd be a bit more liberal and left but oh well. My modern studies teacher who was a big YES man admitted that he actually disliked Labour more than the Tories, he said he never thought he'd hear himself say that as he lived through Thatcher and was in CND and other such liberal/left groups. He said at least you know what you are getting with the Tories and that they have some principles and stick to them, whereas, (and I think this sentence sums up how many feel about Labour now) he said (3/4 years ago) "I just don't know who the Labour Party are anymore".
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    Should have shot it down imho ....
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    Was looking back at 2010 polls. At this point, Labour were ahead of the SNP by a good min 10 points and rising; the SNP coming close to Labour in early 2009, but then this reversing from then on for Westminster. 60% thought a Labour majority would be best for Scotland (compared to 19% in Survation now). 50% thought Gordon would make the best PM (compared to 18% for Miliband in Survation now)
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    Report: 60% of victims of Israeli terror bombing were women, children, or elderly. http://www.therealistreport.com/2015/02/report-60-of-victims-of-israeli-terror.html Just 11% killed were militants. The AP report concluded that 96 of those killed in airstrikes, or 11 percent of the total casualties, were “confirmed or suspected militants.†The Associated Press acknowledged that its numbers could be wrong since Hamas has not released a detailed casualty list.
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    Hi Malcolm Lol thanks for that!! Looks like some of my mountain stops will have to be of hot chocolate rather than my 'usual' chianti! Snow amounts have as hoped increased greatly and it looks I've picked a heck of a time to go!! Sauze currently 180 upper, 140 lower....with more heavy snow for next week.....SORTED!! Fred BFTP
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    Sums up this winter for me anyway. Just so bloody average overall with this month being very disappointing.
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    Can tell length of daylight is increasing just by the length of the daytime time-lapses I have been taking. They have been gradually getting longer.
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    Of course, but the professional protesters won't hear of it - because they want fossil fuel extraction to be made as difficult and expensive as possible. If it can be kept out in the open in full view, and made considerably more dangerous, so much the better.
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    I'm guessing you are being sarcastic, but... It would be the industry standard approach. Buried ideally. Oil and gas have been running under a large section of Scotland down to Grangemouth for decades without incident. Transporting oil, particularly live oil, by train is just not done for very obvious reasons. This is the first time we are seeing it on any large scale. However, aside from unsafe cars, what seems to be a big issue is lack of oil stablisation. It looks like at most they are only doing single stage separation, i.e. where the gas is taken off e.g. at STP (standard temperature and pressure - see the two pressure separators in link below, the LP one being often close to STP) rather than adding second stage, e.g. at sub atmospheric or higher temperature (that's the heater / degasser / dehydrator) to draw off gas dissolved in the oil. This seems to be happening as they don't have the facilities for it due to how quickly the industry has taken off. That and the gas market is oversupplied in the states, meaning the gas that could be captured isn't worth capturing.* https://www.slb.com/~/media/Files/testing/other/epf_crude_oil_treatment.pdf They were flaring it, but flaring regulations have been tightened, which is likely to be further reducing efforts to stabilise oils. Properly stabilised crude is actually pretty hard to set on fire. If trains were carrying that they wouldn't be exploding in the way they are. Instead, they are catching fire easily and the heat involved is essentially acting as a second stage (heater) separator, releasing the gas from oil in other tanks, causing a chain reaction in terms of fires. There's little you can do to contain that once it is underway as the heat is so intense. You just have to let it burn mainly. -- *Shale oil can't be produced alone, it must be a gas-oil mix as it is the expansion on depressurisation of the former that pushes the oil out to the wellhead. In conventional production, you can inject water or CO2 to do this, even re-inject any produced gas. Not possible with shale as it's impermeable away from the fracked region. EDIT Also, the lack of second stage separation means the oil may have a fair water content. There are reports of significant tank corrosion and water is likely contributing to this.
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    Well within normal ranges. SNP lead is actually 18%, but rounding has given Labour 1 point. Scottish polls suffer from the same noise as UK ones. Standard MoE can mean gaps of 6% when there isn't one.... To add: 3% UKIP 3% Green If you were to suggest any movement in Survation, you might suggest a tiny wee shift from Lib to Lab. However, the Survation shows no change within MoE on the last one and is a better poll for the SNP than e.g. ICM's last one and the same as Panelbases last (valid, i.e. without very leading questions) one. I still think we might see a bit of gain for Labour, possibly even a touch of swingback. Not enough to avoid them getting thrashed, but enough to take a bit of the edge off it. However, that's maybe just me thinking like everyone else due to Scotland's history of doing this. Just because it tended to that before, doesn't mean it will do it now. A lot has changed. I'd also hazard a guess that any movement to Labour would be down to public perception that the rUK (namely England) were moving to Labour. That's what happened in 2010. But then it didn't work so maybe not this time. If the Tories looked like winning, then I think that would boost the SNP. 2011 was certainly in a decent part a response to the return of the Tories in 2010.* Holyrood: Constituency ballot : SNP 48% Labour 28% Conservatives 13% Liberal Democrats 5% Greens 4% UKIP 2% Regional list ballot : SNP 39% Labour 22% Greens 13% Conservatives 12% UKIP 6% (n/c) Liberal Democrats 6% Which is consistent with other polls in that Yes parties retain greater than 50% of the vote and are on course, at least for now, for another majority. --- *Although having said that, this poll again shows how people don't want Labour to win: Which of the following would be your preferred outcome for the 2015 Westminster general election? 35% SNP-Lab 10% SNP-Con 19% Lab 12% Con 8% Lab-Lib 7% Con-Lib 5% Con-UKIP 5% Lab-UKIP Most want the SNP to be influencing decisions. Just 19% want Labour to win outright. That doesn't suggest an obvious source for swingback to Lab. EDIT. Neither does this: Which of the following party leaders do you think would make the best Prime Minister? 48% DK (or 'none of the above' as none wasn't offered) 23% Cameron 18% Miliband 6% Farage 5% Clegg As noted before about sat ratings, when Scots think a Tory PM is better than a Lab one, Lab really are in trouble.
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    Considering most people here are from UK, you should most certainly also look at AMO, AMM and AWP.
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    Adding a little to the above if I may. Exploding Trains, No New Regulations, Record Industry Profits: The Oil-by-Rail Storyhttp://www.desmogblog.com/2015/02/18/exploding-trains-no-new-regulations-record-industry-profits-oil-rail-story
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    The JISAO PDO value for January is out, and at +2.45 it was by far the most positive January on record. As well as that, the last 5, 4, 3 and 2 month periods have all been the most positive on record. This 30 year cold/-ve phase is looking very much in doubt now.
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    Interesting write-up on the earthquake. Only one other mag 7 in the last hundred years, exactly the same date but 48 years ago!
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    Its worth interpreting the GWO phase composites in the same way as one might interpret agreement of the NOAA upper height anomalies and the variance in scope they still can offer for surface pressure features. As per these upper height anomaly forecasts, we should be equally careful in not taking GWO composite charts too literally at face value - but interpret them taking into account the large scale number of drivers operating at any given time within the hemisphere. Activity within, and the overall state of, the stratospheric polar field also play a large part in how we interpret the GWO composites. Clearly within any amplified pattern context, the strength and orientation of the polar vortex will determine how much meridional forcing can be achieved within the boundary of the polar front jet. This especially applies to the dominant La Nina type -ve tendency AAM state that has existed throughout the winter, and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future Why is this? Much as regularly posted on the MOD thread, a Nina type atmospheric state in the winter season supports the development of sub tropical ridging into mid latitudes - and a prevailing +NAO. Easterly wind surges in the tropics pump up these ridges and the extra strength we have kept seeing in the Azores High has limited the extent of amplification potential along the PFJ. It has only been when the stratospheric vortex was displaced our side of the pole at the turn of the month, that we have seen more sustained amplification along the PFJ. But its worth remembering that it is the same GWO cycle through -ve MT stage 8/1, which is the signal to retrogress the pattern upstream in the Pacific (withdraw the Azores ridge westwards in the Atlantic) that occurred in late January, prior to the sustained amplification into February, as we are seeing right now in the modelling. In fact the cycle was initiated in mid late December and occurred a second time in mid January before this. Each time through the course of this winter has seen a different amplification strength and longevity - but the NH sequence of upstream retrogression has near enough identically been in accord with GWO winter month composites under GWO Phase 1/2 -ve AAM momentum. With the caveat that AAM showed signs of Nino breakthrough into GWO Phases 4/5 after mid Jan. This led to a +EAMT which gave some hopes towards a partial resurgence at least of the autumn Siberian High SIA/SCE -AO feedback loops which went AWOL into the start of winter We saw this late January http://modeles.meteociel.fr/modeles/gfs/archives/gfsnh-2015012900-0-6.png Whilst the GWO orbit was headed right to where we are now. Compared to this http://www.meteociel.com/modeles/ecmwf/runs/2015021812/ECH1-96.GIF?18-0 Overall similarities in terms of the westward retraction of the Azores High, and the more NW/SE axis of troughing in the Atlantic from the upper vortex which is the result of tanking -AAM in the atmosphere, with Pacific Rossby wave activity initiated through -ve MT occuring across the US as the GWO orbits into Phase 1 And we have a near replica copy of predicted GWO orbit imminently, as late January, through another fairly high amplitude orbit Phase 1/2 to reflect these synoptics http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/research/gwo/gfsgwo_1.png Look however at the quite different ways that the polar profile is modelled in each of those meteocil charts. This has implications for how the jet axis will behave in the Atlantic and impacts on our surface weather. The difference this time is that we do not have that displaced vortex signal to sustain any upstream amplification signal feeding downstream as the Azores High retreats westwards. Also, we have more stubborn easterly trade winds underpinning the strength of the Azores High, and correspondingly greater westerly momentum transport at mid to higher latitudes. This means that amplification along the PFJ is limited this time around and whilst we see a persistence of a NW-SE jet axis, with repeated PM incursions suggested, we do not expect to see the jet digging N-S and a pronounced amplified Atlantic ridge on a sustained basis such as we saw into early February with charts like this. http://modeles.meteociel.fr/modeles/gfs/archives/gfsnh-2015020200-0-6.png So, in summary, same GWO orbit cycle at very similar amplitude to previously- but different surface implications for the UK in terms of how much, and how sustained the jet amplification is that verifies. Both instances however, fit perfectly within the GWO Phase 1/2 composite expectations for Jan/Feb Shortening wave lengths into Spring, under the same negative tendency atmospheric patterns, start to have different implications for amplification behaviour and also surface positioning of the same Atlantic ridging profile of the winter. But that is best discussed and illustrated if and when we come to it Updated early March : Phase 1/2/3 GWO orbit losing weak/moderate amplitude and heading back to no coherent phasing and little forcing on patterns. Much as was seen towards the end of the first week of February (following polar vortex displacement). This, in conjunction with continued +AO profile and MJO tropical signal supports return of mid latitude ridging as signalled by models. Indicated lack of frictional and MT's highly reduce the chances of significant amplification in the meantime and will continue to support and strengthen mid latitude ridging. On this basis, expectations of the jet stream remaining to the north of these ridges in tandem with +AO mean that any attempted breakdown from the north is going to be hard to achieve into the medium term in many southern part of the UK. Updated 5/3/15 : Interesting changes to the AAM budget which suggests a shift towards +ve tendency. This change quite likely ocean> atmosphere linked through the latest Kelvin wave in the Pacific and the implications for the ENSO regions in the Pacific (and the MJO). The GWO is forecast to break through Phase 5 into low amplitude Phases 6 and 7. This signals a modest +EAMT, and albeit only low amplitude GWO forcing suggested at the moment, it should still be enough for some warming in the stratosphere this side of the pole as a consequence of the Asian MT wave breaking activity. In tandem with MJO phasing, it gives support for blocking towards Scandinavia which the models are picking up on. The coming days may well increase this signal to a higher amplitude and further increase confidence for blocking This was exactly what I was looking for a month or so back to provide a much more interesting finish to winter. 5 to 6 weeks later on, the potential for cold is clearly blunted and offset by much greater insolation. March 2013 was exceptional because the Siberian feedbacks were already evident in our weather patterns in the heart of winter - hence the very deep cold pooling which occurred. http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/research/gwo/gfsgwo_1.png
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    Well take away the bit of paranoia NSA is old news. China is also doing well in the spying game.
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    Guten Morgan vom Katschberg. Brilliant sunshine and snow conditions for the middle of half term week. Pictures of the Tschaneck, mostly a black run but with a wide piste.Have a party of friends coming out next week from Blighty, sunshine , snow, possibly a bit too much beer and some ski-ing of course! Sounds good to me. C
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    Russian researchers expose 'NSA's secret weapon': Outrage at program that enables America to spy on EVERY home computer in the world is uncovered Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2956058/Russian-researchers-expose-breakthrough-U-S-spying-program.html#ixzz3S5CyDpYB Now this doesn`t surprise me with USA NSA spying on everyone. There are now TV`s that go by speech to change the channel and they are listening to everything you say,don`t get those TV`s,I know a friend of a friend who`s whose got one.
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    Thanks for the links on Rossby waves! Understanding these waves is definitely a good step in order to get a grasp of the physical background of the various teleconnections, both explaining tropical-extratropical interactions as well as stratospheric impacts. For now I will do my first teleconnective forecast in this thread, attempting to connect the teleconnections with what the models are showing. So basically it will be a complementary forecast, because teleconnections may explain why a given model solution is likely to occur or not at all. First, we will take a look at the current picture (of the Northern Half), to see what kind of patterns we are able to identify beforehand. Current picture For showing the current picture the latest GFS analysis will be used. GFS surface level pressure and 500 hPa heights, 12Z run (Analysis). What can be seen is that there is a 500 hPa ridge over Europe originating from the Azores high. This pattern has occurred more this winter, most evidently during last week and the week before that. Also, a repetitive pattern can be seen over the US with a West Coast ridge along with an East-US trough. This pattern has been responsible for the severe drought that has occurred over California over the last few years. Model forecast for week out Looking at a week from now, the pattern is forecast to shift slightly, as can be seen on the GFS and ECMWF runs for 7 days from now: http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Recmnh1681.gif (ECMWF) http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn1681.gif (GFS) Both models show that the ridging toward Europe will dissipate, giving way to a more zonal flow and more low pressure activity (especially at the northern parts of the UK). However, the Azores high remains quite prominently positioned to the west of Spain (slightly west of its current position). Over the US, the same pattern continues to exist, though the West Coast ridge seems to be positioned somewhat more to the west on both models and the ridge is slightly less strong on the ECMWF. Teleconnections MJO The MJO has been rather inactive over the past few weeks. This can also be seen on the GFS ensemble forecast for the MJO: GFS ensemble MJO forecast for the next two weeks. The operational forecast is in green. Based on this (lack of a) signal, the MJO will not be a significant guide for the weather over the next few weeks. This is confirmed by the CPC (Climate prediction center), quoting from their discussion: Source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/ Based on this, the MJO can best not be used as a parameter in a forecast. ENSO Next, we turn our vision to ENSO (contains El Nino and La Nina). We are experiencing positive SST (sea surface temperature) anomalies in the Pacific, but they are not placed at places which definitely suggest an El Nino is going on. Sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific as observed over the past few weeks. There is a large swath of positive SST anomalies near California (warmer than average SSTS), but this anomaly is not directly associated to an El Nino event. What can be said, though, is that the observed anomalies are positive, which suggest that a very weak El Nino signature could be present in the ocean. However, the atmosphere has been rather reluctant to responding to this so far, behaving itself more La Nina-like. This has consequences for the next teleconnection, being the GWO. GWO The GWO has been rather La Nina-like over the winter so far (negative AAM values), and after an inactive period the GWO is forecast to go negative again (as forecasted by successive runs of the GFS): GFS GWO forecast for the next couple of days. After going to phase 2 (which means the atmosphere is losing AAM via mountain torque events), the GWO enters phase 2 at quite significant amplitude. According to the tutorial above, phase 2 is accompanied by northward momentum transport (possibly to balance out the shortage of AAM developed at the midlatitudes). Taking a look at the anomaly composites belonging to that phase, one gets the following pattern: GFS 500 hPa anomalies belonging to GWO phase 2 in February. It is important to focus on the overall pattern, not the details. What can be seen in the analogy is that the Azores high is on average stronger than normal (in this phase). However, it is also much further west than its usual position, being located near the east coast of the US. Also, there appears to be a strong ridge to the west of the US. Finally, deeper than average troughing appears to exist near Iceland (positive NAO signal). Comparing this to the actual situation (so the situation discussed at the beginning of this post) both the Pacific ridge and the Azores high are more dominant than normal in both cases. However, on the GWO analogy both ridges are located further to the west of the current position, meaning the whole pattern would have to retrogress some (move westward) in order to match this pattern. Stratosphere At the time of writing, little appears to be going on in the stratosphere, with little wave activity being noted. The current structure of the stratosphere (at least at 100 hPa) matches the synoptic signature at 500 hPa reasonably well. This can be seen below: 100 hPa heights as analysed by the ECMWF (from yesterday). A clear ridge can be identified over the West Coast of the US. Furthermore, a ridge is also visible over Europe (isolines pointing poleward). A trough can be seen over the central and eastern parts of the US as well, along with a split vortex with one part over Greenland and another over Siberia. If one looks 10 days later (so 9 days from now), the following can be seen: 100 hPa heights for 10 days out as forecasted by the ECMWF (from yesterday). The signals for a ridge over the US, and the ridge over Europe seem to have dissipated. On the other hand, the split vortex signature is still visible. Furthermore, there is little to note except a weak troughing signal over Europe, but I do not think that signal is very significant. Back to models: 8-14 500 hPa NOAA forecast Usually a good signal to see whether any pattern change is on the way, regardless of connections, is the 500 hPa anomalies as assessed by NOAA. Check the image below: NOAA 8-14 day 500 hPa heights (green) and anomalies (red/blue). The first thing that comes to attention is that the ridge over the West Coast of the US is no longer forecast to persist. In fact, it is expected to move to the west (i.e. retrogress) toward the Pacific, which is in agreement with the GWO signal. Funnily enough, NOAA has just picked up this signal, as can be read in their daily discussion: Source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/fxus06.html The major pattern change that NOAA is advertising is the shift of the West Coast ridge toward the west over the Pacific. On the other hand, the Azores ridge appears to be willing to ridge toward Europe again (isohypses pointing northeastward in Europe). This is not in agreement with the GWO signal, but it does match with what we have seen over the past few weeks. Conclusion At first hand, there seems to be a shift toward more zonal flow over Europe. Some teleconnections, like the MJO, have not yet been able to add anything in terms of a forecast. However, interesting signals have emerged over the Pacific with the shift of the West Coast ridge toward the Pacific, which is in agreement with GWO signals. Signals for Azores high retrogression (which could be expected via the GWO) have not yet showed up. It would be interesting to see whether models will pick up on this signal on later runs. It has become a rather lengthy post for a first analysis, there is just too much that can be told and looked at . I hope this analysis will give you some idea of how the pattern will evolve. Any remarks or corrections are very welcome. Also, do not hesitate to post your own analysis! Sources: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/ http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/foregfs.shtml http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/81567-stratosphere-temperature-watch-20142015/page-71 http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/winterdiagnostics/ http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/comp.html http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/nschiral/gwo.html http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/fxus06.html
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    Agreed. The benefits of legalising (social, economic and health-wise) far outweigh the potential risks. Besides, as seen in Colorado and other areas, legalising/decriminalising does not lead to a spike in usage. So the argument that everyone is going to become a mentally ill stoner is a nonsense. And ecstasy itself is a relatively safe drug in sensible doses. It's the incredibly harmful stuff it's cut with by dealers that's the most dangerous part of it. Just one of the many dangers of prohibition.
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    This is the real thing....not long now until war starts, and seeing as the UK has just sent some hardware over to the Ukraine in the form of armoured cars, that could be seen by the Kremlin as being 'an act of war'. And seeing as we're one of the first ones to make a move, we will be one of the first targets for a non nuclear retaliation. America, on the other hand, is sitting back and waiting to see what destruction Russia can inflict upon Europe, almost as a test to see just how strong they are. I have a strong feeling that we will be abandoned in WW3 by the Americans too. The nuclear threat will probably stay as a threat, or rather MAD will. It's the fear of launching nuclear holocausts that should stop an all out MAD war, although there would probably be tactical strikes. Anyone who says it won't happen and that we are somehow more intellectually advanced and better informed nowadays, is very deluded. We are still very much in the hands of propaganda from the state. They find new ways to control people, wars are staged when they have exhausted the previous ways that worked.
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    Globalresearch.ca ? Snowy, do you seriously rely on them for accurate information?! I particularly like their story about "North Korea a land of Human Achievement, Love and Joy" ! http://www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-a-land-of-human-achievement-love-and-joy/5344960 Too many seem blinded by the mush churned out by the state controlled Russian media such as RT. Lies and conspiracy theories seem to be the staples on offer (MH17, Ebola etc etc). This Russian disinformation is then enhanced by the thousands of "trolls" employed by the Kremlin to patrol internet comment sections and Twitter feeds. If invasion of Ukraine isn’t aggressive expansionism what is it? Seems to me that a fundamental clash in ideology is behind Russia's confrontation with the West. On one side we have human rights, an accountable bureaucracy and democratic elections while on the other we have a nationalistic, authoritarian Russian state intent rekindling the “glory†of the Soviet Union through belligerence and expansionism. Putin might not be mad but he is dangerous and his actions make him easy to demonise. Sudetenland ….Abkhazia , South Ossetia, Ukraine? Is the parallel really that far fetched? February coup??...ah you mean the public protests calling for closer integration with their EU neighbours which Yanukovych violently tried to supress before abandoning his post and running back to his Russian puppet master after being voted out by Ukraine's democratically elected parliament. “US imperial empire and British lapdogsâ€â€¦â€¦..really? nice turn of phrase…but smacks of something from a nutty website like Snowy's Globalresearch folk. Also nutty, but more scary is that by next year Russia's defence spending will have tripled since 2007 and they will be halfway through a ten-year, $300 billion programme to modernise their weapons (Jane's). Meanwhile the West, which you accuse of preparing for War is cutting military spending drastically with the UK struggling to keep defence spending at 2% of GDP for 2015. Russia’s budget for 2015 is 4.2%! And for those with concerns about nuclear escalation, about a third of that budget is earmarked for upgrading Russia's nuclear forces and Putin seems increasingly keen to use the threat of nuclear strikes. Nearly all Russia’s recent military exercises have featured simulations of limited nuclear strikes, including one on Warsaw. Russia’s current round of aggression in Ukraine is being backed up by a wider pattern of provocation threatening all of Europe. Snap exercises by Russian forces close to NATO's northern and eastern borders are now a regular occurence and far more dangerous than the exercises which were previously notified in advance. Russian military aircraft regularly flout international aviation rules, attempt to provoke a miltary response and put civilian aircraft at risk. Latvia for example has recorded more than 150 incidents of Russian planes illegally entering its airspace over the last 6 months.There have also been at least two near-misses between Russian military aircraft and Swedish airliners. This is dangerous stuff... No flight plans and transponders switched off. On 28th Jan they even flew two, nuclear-armed, bombers up the English Channel, (to view Bournemouth pier , no doubt) causing havoc to commercial aviation. This is risky, provocative behaviour and seems far more than testing the west’s air defences. Leaving aside the carnage that they are already causing in Ukraine it seems to me that the Kremlin are the ones beating the war drums loudest.
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    I will be just as interested next October as I was October gone! No tool is 100% right and even though this season it didn't live up to what we all hoped I don't think it's right to say oh well I won't bother with it next year! It is no different to any other tool and should not be taken as anything else otherwise we may as well not bother looking at sst, qbo, solar output, mjo etc. the OPI should be viewed like all those other factors and I for one will be watching to see how the OPI fares over the next few years!
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    I think it's worth pointing out that the authors were themselves doubting the figure that they arrived at. Some other research, based on a Zonality index, contradicted the signal. I managed to read the cached version of their paper when it was let slip on another site - I'm still puzzled by the time span chosen when they were using the Meteociel reanalysis archive. There's more than a hundred years on there, could a longer term analysis have yielded less robust results.
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    As was said at the outset this is a new tool with not just snow cover as its main predictor. Come october I am sure we will see a whole new set solar influences as we come of a prolonged maximum ( not expected) which is likely to fall rapidly once it goes into decline. I for one will be following the OPI with great interest
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