Contemporary websites report a surfeit of detailed information about Earth’s seasonal weather. For residents in middle latitudes, winter inspires some of their most vivid recollections of memorable weather in personal family history. Family lore produces lurid tales of mighty winter storms from our childhood. The recent North American winter season supplied residents with several highly unusual events which will be recounted for many years to come. The infamous Texas winter storm, unofficially dubbed Uri by the Weather Channel which struck the week of Feb. 13-17, 2021, claimed 57 lives.
It is likely that memories of deep snows of winter blizzards from our youth have created an indelible impression upon people whose early childhood heights were a fraction of those of their adulthood. It is less likely that long-term droughts produce the same exciting long term memory. One reason may be the unpleasant environmental harm caused by droughts on agricultural crops and food supply. Secondarily, we coped with restrictions on residential water supply, dust, and dried out lawns, to mention a few deleterious effects. Our juxtaposition of blizzards with droughts is a way to enlarge upon our term “dynamic” to develop our description of planetary weather.
The presence of water on our planet is the single most important factor in producing dynamic weather. We describe dynamic in terms of weather a little later in this post. But for now we cite one of the most fundamental truths concerning our home planet—the unique presence of water as a necessity for life as we know it. Jon Tennant’s blog published in Nature (2013) states, “What we normally consider unique and beautiful about our own planet is its abundance of water, but it may be that in reality our unique trait is not the presence of water, but the ability to have it remain on the surface of the Earth in liquid form for so long. It is this trait that has allowed life on Earth to thrive and diversify…..”
Following is a catalog of generally harsh weather episodes on our home planet. In each event water is present and drives diverse weather conditions directly or indirectly: Blizzard, cold wave, derecho, drought, flood, hail, heat wave, hurricane, ice storm, rainstorm, snow storm, thunderstorm, tornado.
Evaporation and condensation of water are processes which transport substantial heat energy from place to place on Earth. Often precipitation events follow. These processes, in combination with convection and radiation, drive Earth’s weather. If water were not present on Earth, there would be no weather and no life. Weather events listed above are reminders of the necessity of water distribution on our home planet. Virtually all Earth life depends on water. Moreover, most physiological processes of our bodies rely on the marvelous qualities of water.
When our Creator designed our planet He designed a dynamic system of weather. The components of this system were in place long before the arrival of fully human creatures. This truth is evidenced by the geological record of events occurring on Earth for countless eons. As a “water world” our planet was shaped by energetic, vigorously active, changing systems. Dynamic is an adjective describing these systems. Media weather forecasters enjoy a much larger audience when they are able to report on dynamic weather events. When we optimistically tune in to forecasters to affirm that our picnics, athletic events, and outdoor gatherings will be blessed with favorable weather, we may agree that dynamic weather is often higher on the human interest scale. This may be because, at some level, we are grateful that precipitation is available to sustain the needs of our gardeners and agriculturalists. Dynamic weather produces a beneficial distribution of necessary water, notwithstanding a few inconvenient or tragic episodes. Overall, the benefits of dynamic weather far outweigh its adversity. Humanity is gifted with wisdom to avoid the most disastrous outcomes.
Readers interested in the role of water and the benefits of dynamic weather systems may refer to our thread of past posts (Feb. 2012) for more information: