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Monster Dragon Storm Hits Boquete


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The monster storm that hit the NE US yesterday is passing through Boquete today, bringing rain and one of the coolest weather pictures ever. Boquete as the tail of the dragon. The blue is precipitation.

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Looking at the high level winds, you can see what is happening - the storm is sucking warm moist air all the way from the equator - truly impressive. Boquete is literally the tail of the dragon.

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Looks like a couple of days more of rainish weather...

This is the forecast for noon Sunday. It continues until about Tuesday, but our microclimate is sometimes not what is shown on the map.

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Actually, the winter mid-latitude storm named Jonas (but called "Snowzilla by many in the U.S.) never came close to Boquete.  However, some jetstream-driven mid to high-level atmospheric moisture - not the low-level moisture that massively increases precipitation- was transported north from the tropics to the storm off the mid Atlantic coast.  That high-level moisture created the long plume (or streak) of water vapor in the above images.  The huge lazy, often slow-moving  loops of the jet stream that can cause severe winter weather are believed by many climate scientists to be result of global warming.  A scientific paper and comments by Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University is an important component of this area of intense study.  [LINK]

Our weather in Boquete has remained within normal ranges, although that may change with the coming La Niña this spring and summer.  Currently, I have seen no deviation from our typical dry-season strong trade-winds off the Caribbean driving low-level moisture over Panama's continental divide from the north.  This gives Alto Quiel, Los Naranjos, Jaramillo and other nearby north-side neighborhoods typical Bajareque rain and mist - and south of the rain line - lots of wind.   Here in Volcancito and next door in Alto Boquete, it has been mostly clear and very windy with the Bajareque mist occasionally reaching this far south, although the Bajareque was weaker and the winds lighter this season until about a week or so ago.  

At my rental house in lower Volcancito, it is noon and quite windy - 15mph with gusts to 30mph according to Lloyd Cripe's Palmira weather station.  The temperature at my house is 75°F both inside and out - just another day in paradise.  Today  is just a bit cooler than the low-wind days when it usually gets up to 80-82°F outside. 

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For those interested in more information:

The moisture that fed "Snowzilla" or Jonas and created record snowfalls at many locations in the eastern U.S. is low-level moisture.  As the storm first developed in NE Texas, it drew moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.  It dropped rain as it moved across the southern U.S. and up towards the mid-Atlantic region.  Then the storm's core - a low pressure region - moved just offshore into the Atlantic Ocean, and stalled there for a couple of days.  The much warmer than normal waters there allowed the storm to pick up copious amounts of moisture.  Those high levels of atmospheric moisture are due to warmer than normal ocean waters that are caused by both global warming and climate change, and boosted by the current very strong El Niño.  The storm used the ocean's heat to re-strengthened, and delivered heavy amounts of snow to the mid Atlantic region, where they are digging out today. 

Winter storm Jonas finally left the region lastnight, and is now heading quickly across the Atlantic Ocean towards the British Isles.  When it arrives, it is expected to bring severe weather and more flooding to that already soaked and recently flooded region. 

(I get much of my information about climate and weather information from meteorologists Dr. Jeff Masters and his co-blogger Bob Henson, and from climate scientist Dr. Ricky Rood at Weather Underground.  I spent many hours the past few days following this significant winter storm at their blog - where many meteorologists, scientists, and weather buffs participate. [LINK]

Edited by David van Harn
grammar - spelling
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January through March is always quite windy normally.  The odd thing is this January has hardly been windy at all.  Also we haven't had any rain all month, and usually there is some.  Loved the dragon.  It even had teeth!

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It has been rainy and windy north of town, here is Palo Alto, for a couple of days. However, the wind is not nearly as strong as it usually is in January. I read on Facebook where someone in Santa Lucia was complaining about lack of rain. An example of our microclimates once again.

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