From guest blogger Sean:
About Chicago's recent weather—today the temp in Oneida is expected to hit 36°C (97°F). Some areas will likely see 38°C (100°F) or more. I don’t think I've ever seen it this hot in this area before, not in almost 36 years. But after last summer, which was the hottest average summer yet, we really don't want more heat here.
At least we aren't merely baking, though; we're broiling: July finished with an official monthly precipitation total of just over 10 inches. In one month. My tomato garden is now a rice paddock. The water table around my house has risen to just below the two-foot mark. And yet the NWS is telling President Bush the evidence for global warming is "inconclusive?" Excuse me, when upstate NY has already seen over a dozen 32°C (90°F)-plus days this year as of August 1st and this much rain, and the Midwest is another Dust Bowl, and the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica continues to erode at an alarming rate, I think there's more than enough conclusive evidence for global warming. How much is human-caused and how much is a larger natural global cycle, now that's the real question, but come on, I think we can draw some very clear conclusions here.
On another and unrelated note, we picked almost 9 gallons of blueberries last week and we’ve just started harvesting blackberries from the pasture—over 2 gallons there yesterday and we can expect many, many more over the next month. The apple trees—which I aggressively pruned—are bearing a nice harvest of fruit. Too bad my tomato plants are flowering at less than half size and speaking Vietnamese. Well, that means next year we create raised beds with better drainage. And dig out the pond as planned.
Sean is a teacher and farmer in Oneida, N.Y.
Update, 18:00 UTC: You can see more of Sean's agony at the experimental Weather Now history page.