Southwest U.S. Heatwave Cancelled. Reason? Too much Water Vapor

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Good news! The 2013 Southwestern US heat wave has been cancelled because a deluge of water vapor has moved into the region and cooled everything down.

Just two weeks ago we saw these dire warnings in the media:

Dangerous heat wave forecast in Southwest”

– USA TODAY Cancelled

Scorching Southwest heat wave could challenge all-time records

– Washington Post Cancelled

Weekend heat wave to bake western US; temps in southwestern cities to near 120

– StarTribune Cancelled

Why? The Southwestern USA has been inundated with water vapor, which doused the heat wave.

Here is the satellite photo of the water vapor distribution over North America June 27th, 2013, just two weeks ago when dire predictions of an unprecedented Southwestern heat wave scorched the media. 

Satellite Photo Indicating water vapor

Here is the satellite photo of the water vapor distribution over North America July 11th, 2013, just yesterday and all warnings of an eminent Southwestern heat wave have vanished from the media. 

GOES satellite photo two weeks later

What happened? Water vapor messed up the heat wave!

As you can see in these satellite snap shots taken just two weeks apart, the Southwestern United States is currently flooded with water vapor and it has ruined a perfectly good heat wave. In fact, temperatures have dropped and average of 6 F in many Southwestern cities since this massive influx of water vapor.

How humidity impacts 5 southwestern cities

 This graph lists five Southwestern Cities. The blue bars show how much the absolute humidity has increased within these cities in the past two weeks and the red bars show how much the daily mean temperature in degrees Fahrenheit within these same cities has dropped because of this increased humidity. The drop in temperatures ranges from 3 degrees F in Prescott, Arizona to 8 degrees F in Tucson, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This, of course, is opposite what the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis predicts. It asserts that water vapor is a “heat trapping gas” that is suppose to cause at least 22 degrees C (40 degrees F) of atmospheric warming. Here are a just a few statements that conflict with the above empirical observation that water vapor actually cools rather than warms surface level air.

From NASA:

Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas . . . Increasing water vapor leads to warmer temperatures.


Warmer air can hold more water vapor, which can trap more heat. This creates a positive feedback loop.”

From NOAA:

As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere.”

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Water vapor is the most abundant heat-trapping gas.”

From the EPA:

“Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, so more water vapor in the atmosphere leads to even more warming.”

From the University of Michigan:

Burning fossil fuels produces water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, known collectively as greenhouse gases, because they trap heat in the lower atmosphere, just as the glass roof of a greenhouse keeps heat from escaping.”

From Harvard:

“The greenhouse effect from the added water vapor will exacerbate the warming.”

From University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:

The largest contribution to the greenhouse effect [33 C of presumed ground level atmospheric warming] is provided by water vapor.”

So, even though in perpetually humid climates humidity levels will be seen to fluctuate along with the temperature with about a 24-hour lag, when nature adds a significant amount of water vapor to an arid climate, which is what nature has done over the past two weeks in the Arizona and New Mexico, the temperature is seen to drop significantly. If water vapor were actually a “greenhouse gas” then adding a significant amount of it to an arid climate would make the daily mean temperatures soar instead of drop and removing water vapor from a climate system (which is what nature did in June of this year in the Southwest) would make temperatures drop instead of soar.

Unfortunately for the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis the opposite is seen to happen, which is why heat waves tend to occur only during droughts—periods when the concentration of the atmosphere’s “most powerful greenhouse gas” is at a low point.

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Comments (5)

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    I haven’t researched this, so not sure of the accuracy. But one who seemed to be knowledgeable about our water supply said the prez was running land water off into the ocean. It didn’t make sense at the time, but it does now after reading your post. Thanks for that information!

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    Isn’t water the ultimate greenhouse gas?

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    Do not omit the reflecting effects that cloud albedo has in breaking up heatwaves. Clouds can reflect up to 75% of incoming radiation. Few heatwaves can withstand cloudcover!!!

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    Hi Carl’
    A very nice essay on how little earthlings know of their owm planet. Greatly exaggerated by Academic Arrogance.
    My latest truism, “Stupidity,like Entropy, always increases”.

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    Everyday I experience the cooling power of water because I drive over bridges and through river delta on the way home on a hot day.The cars temperature gauge goes down a couple degrees very fast and then warm back up.

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