An Atmosfearic Assessment

January 7th (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Teton Co. Library Auditorium – Open to Public. Presentation: “An Atmosfearic Assessment: What’s Changed, What’s Real and What’s Alarming, Presented by Jim Woodmencey, Mountain Weather

 

Local Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey provides his perspective from 40 years of studying the atmosphere and forecasting the weather. Jim will describe his background and forecasting experiences, while exploring how public perception and expectations have evolved when it comes to weather and climate.

Weather is what we experience day to day or week to week. It is common to experience wild fluctuations in both temperature and precipitation within those time frames. Climate is a compilation of all those days, weeks, months and years of fluctuating weather. It is also possible to see large fluctuations within these longer time frames.

Weather describes what we are getting right now. Whereas, climate describes what the “normal” conditions would be, or what we expect the weather should be.

In reality, there is no average or normal condition, since the averages are created from the extremes. Over the years it would seem that we have become less tolerant of the extremes in weather. Or, is it that the extremes are being broadcast and sensationalized more today than in the past?

“Extreme” weather events have been going on since the beginning of time, that is unlikely to change and should not always be cause for alarm. The amount of fluctuation or change, in either weather or climate becomes a matter of scale. How we assess these changes is dependent upon the time scale we use in our evaluation, in months, years, lifetimes, hundreds of years, thousands of years, or in geologic time.

Has Jackson Hole’s weather changed over the years? Have severe weather events become more frequent? What’s real and what’s alarming? This talk will explore these questions, along with our perceptions of weather and climate, from an atmospheric perspective, rather than an atmosfearic one.