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Chatham weather station abandoned

The National Weather Service has abandoned the weather station at Chatham, and will demolish it. Accelerated erosion due to climate change threatens to dump the station into the ocean.

On 31 March, the handful of workers who operated the National Weather Service station in Chatham were evacuated due to fears the property could fall into the Atlantic Ocean. A final weather balloon was released before they left, with a demolition crew set to raze the empty site this month.

Until recently, the weather station had a buffer of about 100ft of land to a bluff that dropped into the ocean, only for a series of fierce storms in 2020 to accelerate local erosion. At times, 6ft of land was lost in a single day, forcing the National Weather Service to order a hasty retreat.

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Or coincidence? After the past year (or four) I am sure of nothing. All boundaries are fuzzy, nuance lost to a guazey haze of angst and cynicism. I should be able to pierce the fog with a biting observation on the insanity of having to tear down a weather station because of, well... weather. But no, I got nothin'. I think there's a South Park episode where Cartman loses his edge, maybe if I binge it...?

Voting closed 8

In the name of science, data collection must continue! Someone must stay!
I'm trying to think which meme would be most appropriate
- Star Trek episode where Kirk is court-martialed for jettisoning an officer to his death in a sensor pod during a space storm (spoiler alert - he was framed);
- The "bombing" episode of WKRP where Johnny and Venus broadcast from the transmitter hut;
- something historically depressing, like a photograph of the Shackleton expedition;
- poke a stick in the eye of local combox tsunnis by suggesting the authorities appropriate any money that might be used to rebuild Long Island Bridge and instead build a bridge and whatever erosion reinforcements to preserve this weather station as a new island;
- commission something witty from the guy who writes XKCD

Voting closed 5

I thought the video AJ Burnett explained what is happening was easier to understand.


But here's where it is (I wanted to look)


But the best part is the linked PDF from that Guardian article.. Says that in the 12,000 years ago, Cape Cod was much bigger:


Voting closed 4

One of the local TV stations covered this story a few days ago. NOAA is working on a new location for this, but nothing solid in the works right now. Balloons are still being released from other locations and that will continue. Most data is now done digitally but the balloons provide additional supplementary data points and also are used to confirm the modern system readings.

As to Cape erosion, one need only look at historical maps of Monomoy Island to see the dynamic nature of things along the outer Cape.

Let's also remember that the NPS had to move the Aquinnah (Gayhead) light house on Martha's Vineyard Island a few years back for the same reason -- erosion. I believe there is a full PBS documentary to be viewed on that.

Voting closed 19

When you build on a sandbar....

Let's face it.. most of the outer cape is nothing more than a really big sandbar that vegetation eventually grew on.

Even inland the soil is very sandy under a few layers. Its why trees don't grow too tall there, the root system cannot take hold. Next time you drive down US6 beyond Hyannis.. start to take note at tree height. Its gets lower and lower the further you get to Ptown.

Voting closed 5

In colonial time the Brits harvested all the mature white pines on the outer cape for masts for their navy. That is one reason why that end of the cape is practically treeless.

Voting closed 5

Yeah, Lighthouse Beach in Chatham only formed in the 1990s I believe, after a breach through the barrier and shifting of sand.

Voting closed 4