CNN host Alison Camerota gave the weather and climate change deniers a good scolding Tuesday as CNN reported on a massive Colorado hailstorm that killed two zoo animals in Colorado Springs — but she might have been completely off base.
After the footage of the hail finished, Camerota carped, “Is it August in Colorado as well?” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“I believe it has reached August there,” “New Day” anchor John Berman replied.
“You saw this?” Camerota then challenged.
Berman then talked about the size of the splashes made by the hail.
“That’s what violent weather — and you know, some people don’t think that climate change is necessarily happening,” Camerota said.
“Bears hate it, too,” Berman replied.
The Colorado Springs Gazette wanted to know if there was a connection between climate change and the severe hailstorms its region has had this summer. What it found out was that there’s not much unusual about the weather at all.
“This is a more active year than normal, but convective storms in July and August are not totally out of the ordinary,” Katja Friedrich, an associate professor in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told the newspaper. “It is still an unfortunate event with repercussions, though, because of the damage at places like the zoo.”
Although the hail that pummeled the Colorado Springs region Monday had stones as large as 4 inches in diameter, meteorologist John Kalina told the Gazette that such storms have struck before, referencing storms in 2001 and 2004 that produced equally large hailstones.
“We also can have storms that produce larger hailstones that go unreported,” he said.
It would take extensive research to link climate change and the recent hail storms, he said.
Other experts agreed.
“It’s hard to understand what is happening between climate change and a large hailstorm because there are so many ingredients acting together that are impacted by climate change in different ways,” said Andy Prein, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
“To study them, we have to them occurring at the same time and location to understand how they interact and how climate change would overall affect them,” he said.
Friedrich noted that even if storm patterns have not changed, population patterns have, with more homes being built in places where the weather used to go all but unobserved.
“May and August have always been Colorado’s active thunderstorm period,” Friedrich said. “The amount of attention these storms are receiving right now might also have to do with the fact that so many people now live along the Front Range, so we shouldn’t forget that as a factor either.”
The impact of climate change was once predicted to do away with Colorado’s hailstorms.
In 2012, the University of Colorado at Boulder reported on research conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
That research predicted that hail storms along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains could completely disappear by 2070.
Five years later, according to a study in the journal Nature, other experts predicted that storms with giant hail would become the norm.
As noted on the website theweatherprediction.com, hail comes from a number of factors coming together at the right place at the right time, and that the conditions for hail are most common in America’s Plains states.
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