As if millions of cell phones suddenly rang out in terror

Storm hitting the Boston area

Jonathan Berk watched the evening storm come in.

HongPong was on the T when the flash-flood alert went out:

Everyone in the subway just got a flash flood alert lol harrowing

Jam Murphy realized the warning was for real in the Harvard Square busway:

Harvard Square flooding



Free tagging: 


Get used to it

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Climate Change for NE means lots more moisture.

Also, that last tweet... Good way to get a dog turd to the face...


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Last year climate change meant droughts for New England.

Or could it be that people conflate weather with climate?


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Still in effect. Our droughts revolve around what the jet stream is doing, which revolves around what's going on with the Pacific Oscillation . But the climate change trend for the Northeast is warmer and wetter.

Wetter / more snow in the winter and stronger summer storms.


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No climate change last year?

Actually, yes

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Actually, one of the ramifications of climate change is that we will have less consistent weather patterns. All over the globe. So, yes to both the drought last year and the floods this year. Even if in New England we will be trending wetter and warmer, we will also have greater fluctuations around the average weather. This will be a big problem for agriculture.

Go ask

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A farmer the headaches that have sprung up, and the earlier growing seasons over the past 20 years.

If you leave mom's climate controlled basement and rely on the weather, you've seen the small changes that are accelerating.

Fish is wrong as usual

Before you post a comment, do you ever pause for a moment to consider if what you are about to say has any basis in fact? Do you ever bother to check, really?

The quote about New England weather is directly attributable to Mark Twain (S. Clemens) from a dinner speech he gave in 1876. It is not an adage from centuries ago.

I know this because I checked with your female friend in Manila & the passport stamper at Reagan International.

It is happening...

Since I am not a scientist, I can not attest to the full array of research that support the argument that our climate is changing. I can, however, like other rational human beings, see the evidence that something detrimental is occurring and the source of this change is directly attributable to human activity.

Research shows that in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

The physics of climate and weather is extraordinary complex and not easily understood (I am in that group). What is can understand is the change that is taking place.

The current warming trend is of particular significance because proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale.

This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate. The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was first demonstrated by scientists in the mid-19th century. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases cause the Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century.

The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. 

Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year — from January through September, with the exception of June — were the warmest on record for those respective months.  

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.

Since 1950, number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing,. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.

Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.

Some folks simply refuse to accept the factual evidence that climate change is occurring. Their refusal to look at the facts is not all that different than our that portion of our historical predecessors refusing to give up the notion that the earth was flat.

But that's the thing

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Hard data from multiple data points around the globe can provide the information, but a rainy Wednesday in downtown Boston (as opposed to the sprinkles we got in Roslindale) is not valid evidence in of itself. As I note, if the trend is for a rainier climate in Boston, the data is not there (rough annual rainfall in the past 4 years was 33, 35, 45, and 41 inches going backwards against a 97 year average of 42 inches.) Remember the winter of 2015? I went toe to toe with a regular who noted that the snowfall we were getting was becoming the new normal. The following 2 winters? Crickets.

All I ask is not to conflate weather currents with global climate change, since using a single data point is a bad idea.

On the other hand, my flowers have been blooming a few weeks sooner than usual. This is what the farmers fear, and what we should worry about.

The data is there

You just have to have the training and understanding of complex statistics to analyze it. It is happening. The data is widely available, too. Teach yourself R and form a hypothesis and investigate it - even if your hypothesis is the null hypothesis, you will probably find the changes.

Do you realize that flooding is up 70% over the last two decades?

Keep an eye on this space for more projections and information that is very specific to MA: The commonwealth is combining climate preparations into the 5-year FEMA hazard plan this time around.

BONUS: Cambridge has a very fine-scale assessment of climate vulnerability with very well worked out predictions. The bottom line is that we aren't expecting rain more often, but that rain will be heavier (and there will be droughts,too):

But again

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The single data point does not bear out the rainfall hypothesis. I would also hazard that in Boston flooding is not up 70% over the last two decades, but if you want, show the data. And again, strict tidal flooding would not be an issue with this, since we are talking rainfall events, not the melting of the polar caps (which could be seen as strong evidence of the climate change people fear.)

Now, if multiple data points arrayed in such a way that shows flooding is on the increase or the like, sure, but there is no arc or curve in the data for Boston over the past 40 years, just annual ebbs and flows.

Um, Waquoit?

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Where did anybody in this run of comments claim that?

Your strawman is getting wet.

Go back to the beginning of all of this

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I would claim that anon times anon has submitted a good caveat (see below) which I agree is a good caveat (see below) but the original claim appeared to be that we are getting more rain in the region due to climate change, which is patently false.

3-4" / hr

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The storms themselves weren't all that uncommon for the time of year, but the rate of rainfall was pretty abnormal.

When's the last time we've seen 3-4" deluge like that?

I was only pointing out that we should expect it more often, because that's what the models suggest

Interesting that I never get these alerts

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on my smartphone. Not sure I'd want the endless barrage of messages others seem to be getting this evening, but as a part-time weather geek, I'd like to at least be alerted to the major stuff. Especially when I'm someplace where don't have my portable scanner - which has the NOAA SAME alert system - with me.

Have an iPhone 5C, which has the capability, and Verizon is my cell provider.

EDIT: Curious if the problem lies with my phone settings or with my provider. Any thoughts out there? According to my phone's settings, the government (weather and amber) alerts are enabled (it's also the default setting for the phone). Strange, especially as this evening I've been sitting next to a person who was getting them - I could hear the alert tone go off several times.

1st Time

This is the first time I've ever gotten the alerts. It was in Cambridgeport shortly before the rain started. In Android there is a setting for emergency alerts and I've turned off everything but weather. I was under the impression the alerts are restricted to various mobile cells so they can pinpoint one small area or the whole region.

As I recall the FCC mandates that you can't turn off "presidential" alerts but should one of these be needed you likely already know and/or will be screwed anyway.


In the past I have gotten flash flood alerts, but not tonight. And I don't get any other weather related alerts (like tornado warnings). And yes, Presidential Alerts are the one type on the phone that does not allow an option to disable.


"FLASH FLOODING in Boston! Never liked the place. Lots of people tell me Obama once went there, left it like this. Sad!!"

Yeah, let's hope he never finds that option.


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He just sent the county-based electoral map again

I got the warning in East

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I got the warning in East Arlington. That's the first warning I've gotten, and I had no idea my phone was going to make a noise like that. (The iPhone options seem to be yes/no on that alert, no option for something less alarming.)

Same here

Also in East Arlington. There were actual waves on our street when cars went by!

Storm drains

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When there's too much water in the sewers at once it can back up and start spewing out of drains as the system reaches capacity but water keeps flowing in elsewhere due to gravity and momentum.. My guess is that's what's happening with the water hitting the underside of the cover.

Looks like air pressure to me

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If water was lifting the cover, it would also be escaping around it. A friend sent me a similar video during the severe storm on June 13th, but there was more rain falling in his video which made it easier to see the jets of air shooting out of the gaps as the cover bounced. Rapidly rising water levels could conceivably raise the air pressure enough to lift the cover, but I'd wager that this is caused by wind rather than heavy rain. Somewhere, there's a large opening to the sewer system facing into the wind.

That was AWESOME!

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I watched the wall cloud approaching from the Everette St. bridge, then watched the wind-driven rain from the comfort of an overhang at my side job nearby. Sparks started flying from a utility pole when the downburst(s) hit, though I had my phone/camera pointing in the wrong direction for that. Womp womp. At least there was no hail (not where I was anyway).

I need to start leaving my GoPro in my car - that would have made for some really cool time lapses and long-exposure shots.