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20 September 2017

You, and Your Congressman REALLY Need to Read This

Ask any meteorologist to name three of the top experts on hurricanes and you can bet that one of those names will be Kerry Emanuel at MIT. I rank him number one, and that’s why you really should read his essay in the Washington Post, you really should read it. You should also buy his book Divine Wind, which I believe ranks among the best popular science books ever written. As …

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19 September 2017

AGU sends letter regarding workforce cuts at DOE

Last week, in response to reports† indicating that the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved plans to reduce the workforce at national laboratories, specifically Oak Ridge and Brookhaven National Laboratories, in accordance with the President’s budget, AGU sent a letter to DOE Secretary Rick Perry urging him to reconsider making such drastic workforce cuts unless directed to by Congress, which has the final say on federal spending. AGU let Secretary …

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14 September 2017

It’s Time for a 21st Century Hurricane Scale

Most folks are familiar with the Saffir Simpson hurricane scale and while it’s very useful, it also has some drawbacks. It’s greatest attribute is that the public understands it, but I’m not alone among meteorologists who think the time has come to replace it. We need a new scale that will better indicate the destructive potential of a tropical cyclone, and there are some good candidates out there. The main …

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13 September 2017

Canada’s Science Literacy Week and National Science Reading Day

A week-long celebration of science in Canada, September 18-24, 2017

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12 September 2017

Valleys and Ridges: Understanding the Geologic Structures in Central Virginia Pt.3

Sometimes you have to build the field in the laboratory (or in this post’s case, in the art museum). At the Virginia Tech Active Tectonics and Geomorphology Lab they do just that. This is the latest in a series of posts shared from their blog. More of their posts can be found here. Written by The Geo Models    Part 3 (final part) of a 3 part series on the valleys and …

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11 September 2017

The Green Is Gone in the BVI

NASA released some images from the Landsat 8 satellite today showing the before and after of Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands. What a stunning difference; There are no green leaves left… And now, after Irma’s 160 mph winds. You can see MUCH more by clicking the images and getting the full-size image.

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10 September 2017

Hurricane Sunday Is Coming To Florida. It Will be Long Remembered, but Will We Learn the Lesson?

Check out the launch of the rawinsonde in Key West this afternoon. These are vital to the forecast and that data will go into the numerical models this evening. Here is the data from that sounding. The wind speed in the bottom 1 kilometer of the atmosphere was already at 46 knots. The precipitable water was VERY high at 2.23″. This sounding shows wind shear favourable for tornadoes and one was …

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7 September 2017

This Looks Bad- Very Bad.

My hopes that Irma would turn just east of Florida are diminishing tonight. If the eye stayed just offshore the damage would be FAR less than a landfall. Remember that those 170 mph winds are concentrated right around the eye, and if that eyewall stayed offshore the winds would not likely go above hurricane force except in gusts along the coast. The worst scenario I can imagine is a Cat 4 …

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6 September 2017

Catastrophe Coming for Barbuda

Irma has become a real monster tonight, with the pressure dropping to 916 mb and winds of 185 mph with gusts well over 200 mph. The pressure dropped significantly in the late afternoon and evening but it often takes a few hours for the winds to increase. For Barbuda, it does not matter, the island is about to be hit with 185 mph winds and that means few structures or …

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5 September 2017

Fire and Rain, and a Whole Lot of Wind

Big Trouble Coming Irma has become a real monster today with sustained winds at 185 mph. Only one hurricane is known that was stronger. This storm reminds me of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 with 200 mph wind gusts in the Florida Keys. A reminder, when looking at the NHC track forecasts, you should ignore the center line and focus on the cone, which is based on the average forecast …

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1 September 2017

Wild Weather In A Warming World: Dr Michael Mann on Science Friday

I caught about 15 minutes of it, but the entire interview that Ira Flatow had with Penn State Meteorologist Michael Mann is well worth listening to. Click the image below:

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31 August 2017

“We Told You So!” Is Never Welcomed If You’re On The Receiving End

Nonetheless, We told you so. A lot is being written about the fact that the urban sprawl and poor flood control planning greatly exacerbated the catastrophe in Houston, but there have indeed been warnings from scientists for years that we must prepare for more extreme rain events and higher sea levels. The science behind these increased rainfall episodes is solid, and it all goes back to an equation every meteorologist learns. It’s …

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30 August 2017

Before and after satellite images of the Pizzo Cengalo rock avalanche

Planet Labs satellite imagery is now available showing the aftermath of the Pizzo Cengalo rock avalanche in Switzerland, which killed eight people

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27 August 2017

Read These Two Essays to Really Understand What Happened In Houston Last Night

When you work as a meteorologist or a reporter, you accept that there will be times when your sleep, hunger, and comfort come far behind the importance of serving the public. Last night was one of those moments for those at the NWS in Houston, and the reporters/meteorologists at Houston TV stations. At one point the NWS office had 4 tornado warnings and at least as many Flash Flood Emergency warnings …

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Crowdfunding Science: A personal journey toward a public campaign

I went from a BSc (Hons) student, who was not considering continuing my postgraduate studies at all, to someone who is passionate about water resource research and continuing my postgraduate career. This is apparently common amongst postgraduate students in science…

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Breaking the ice with truths and a lie

Bring the party to the first day of class with this party game to break the ice with and between students

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26 August 2017

Astounding Model Output Leads to Forecasts We Meteorologists Never Thought We Would Make

I’ve forecasted the weather for 37 years and I’ve never seen consistent model output forecasting rainfall amounts of over 30 inches before. Astounding and astonishing are the only words I can use to describe what I’ve been seeing from the numerical models. Not only that, but it’s the same with nearly every usually reliable model. Could all of the models be wrong? Could this storm fizzle rather quickly once it …

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24 August 2017

Was Driving 3,570 miles to See a Total Eclipse of the Sun Worth it? Yes!

If you did not experience totality, I suspect you might be getting tired of hearing about the eclipse by now, but if you were in the right spot, you know how amazing it really was. The story of my trip was covered by Matthew Cappucci in his excellent piece in the Washington Post, but I wanted to share some of what really surprised me. I will say though that my dog …

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Q&A with Dr. Mona Behl, Associate Director of NOAA’s Sea Grant Program in Georgia

Women’s Equality Day is August 26th! To celebrate, AGU will be highlighting several prominent women working in Earth and space science. We’ll be posting Q&A’s on The Bridge and to our various social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram!      Today’s featured scientist is Dr. Mona Behl. Dr. Behl serves as the Associate Director of NOAA’s Sea Grant program in Georgia. She also holds faculty appointments at the University of Georgia …

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23 August 2017

Q&A with Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum, Research Physical Scientist at NASA Goddard 

  Women’s Equality Day is August 26th! To celebrate, AGU will be highlighting several prominent women working in Earth and space science. We’ll be posting Q&A’s on The Bridge and to our various social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram!  Today’s featured scientist is Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum. Dr. Kirschbaum is a Research Physical Scientist in the Hydrological Sciences Lab at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She received her M.S. and …

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