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28 January 2015

Predicting the Weather is Tricky Work

This is a guest post by long-time Raleigh North Carolina Meteorologist (and friend) Greg Fishel of WRAL-TV During Tuesday’s 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. news, I talked about ensembles, how they outperformed the deterministic models for New York City last night and that they appear to be performing better for the local area with regard to a storm arriving on Sunday. First, what are ensembles and why are they so …

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27 January 2015

Making Snowfall Forecasts More Accuarate

We are at the cusp of some amazing technology that will hopefully make forecasting snowstorms, like the one predicted yesterday, much more accurate. I was on a local program produced by the TV station I work for (WBOC-TV) last week, and I showed a couple of smart phone apps that may eventually make a real difference in forecasting. Making better forecasts requires higher resolution models and that means more data …

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Miette Group gritstone showing scours, mudchip rip-ups, cross-bedding, and dropstones

The coarser strata of the Neoproterozoic Miette Group in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta record changing water current strength over time, and maybe an iceberg or two.

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New satellite images of the Tsarap landslide in the Zanskar Valley

Two new sets of satellite images have been released of the Tsarap landslide in the Zanskar Valley of Northern India

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26 January 2015

Distinctive sounds announce iceberg births

Underwater sounds can be used to detect different ways glaciers lose ice as they flow into the ocean, giving scientists new insight into these poorly understood events, according to new research.

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25 January 2015

East Coast Blizzard Brewing?

  There are increasing signs this early Sunday morning that the winter of 2015 is about to go into high gear. A major nor’easter is likely to develop Monday and move NE to off the New England coast by Tuesday evening. A word of warning here- there is still a lot of uncertainty in the strength and track of this low and that will play a big role in how …

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23 January 2015

You must watch this! An amazing new landslide video from Dagestan

A new video appeared on Youtube yesterday showing a quite remarkable landslide in Dagestan

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22 January 2015

Gravity Wave Ripples on The Satellite

The wave clouds on this image over Virginia are caused by winds flowing over the mountains. As the winds lift they form a cloud, and as they fall back down the air warms and dries out (and the cloud dissipates). These ripples happen because the air is fairly stable and does not want to go too high or low from its original height. So, after it goes over the mountains …

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The landslide on the Tsarap River in the Zanskar Valley – new images

New images have been posted on Facebook showing the landslide on the Tsarap River in Zanskar, N. India

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21 January 2015

Getting on board with a campus common read

As an Earth/space science faculty member, do you struggle to find ways to bring your campus common read in to your STEM courses? Here are some ideas for ways to connect with this campus-wide initiative.

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Zanskar Valley: the location of the landslide

Colin Stark at Columbia University has located the landslide in the Zanskar valley using Landsat 8 imagery

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Contrails and Distrails

Florida meteorologist Chris Smith received the picture above from viewer Joseph Mandeville today wanting to know what caused this. It’s a DISTRAIL. The cloud was made up of liquid cloud droplets that were well below freezing (supercooled water is common in the atmosphere), and when an aircraft flies through it the tiny soot particles can act as condensation nuclei and cause the liquid water to freeze. The ice crystals fall …

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20 January 2015

Zanskar River landslide: more information

New images have emerged of the landslide that has blocked the Zanskar River in northern India

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19 January 2015

Pillow basalts at Point Bonita

It’s amazing how quickly I’m capable of abandoning my blogging resolutions, really. Here we are, a couple of weeks into the new year and I’ve failed to a) post more often and b) talk about my research. (I swear I have a post in the works about that, but it’s gotten long and unwieldy and in desperate need of editing!) But this weekend I’m going to keep a couple of the other resolutions, and blog about the trip I took yesterday to the Marin Headlands.

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A new valley blocking landslide in the Zanskar valley in northern India

News reports in India suggest that a valley blocking landslide occurred on 31st December in the Zanskar Valley, threatening a number of villages and causing the Chadar Ice Trek to be closed

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17 January 2015

Geology of the Acropolis (Athens, Greece)

When visiting Athens, Greece, you are drawn to the Parthenon’s grand architecture atop the hill called the Acropolis. But why is the Acropolis a hill?

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Finding The Missing Heat- A Science Based Detective Story

While there was huge press coverage over the last couple of days about the NASA/NOAA Announcement that 2014 was the hottest on record, the behind the scenes science is actually very fascinating. In spite of the serious threat we face from burning fossil fuels and it’s likely consequences, the science of trying to understand our climate system in even more detail is actually a rather riveting detective story. First a …

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16 January 2015

Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record for 3rd Time This Century

Update 5:30 PM 16 Jan. This is an excellent info-graphic from Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS. 13 of the 15 hottest years on record were in the last 15 years. The odds of this happening naturally are less than in 1 in 27 million based on an analysis by Climate Central. Andy Freedman at Mashable has a good piece on this as well today here. This is the third time …

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15 January 2015

Georgia 4th District Congressional Candidate Involved In Chemtrail Picket of The Weather Channel

A¬†sitting U.S. Congressman¬†former candidate for the 4th district of Georgia is apparently involved in a demonstration against the The Weather Channel in Atlanta. (I have corrected an earlier version that incorrectly id’s him as a congressman). Why? Because we meteorologists are hiding the truth about those white lines you see behind planes. It seems they are not just frozen water vapor produced by combustion of jet fuel, but instead are …

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2014 Hottest On Record- NASA/NOAA Make It Official Tomorrow

While the U.S. Midwest had a cool 2014, mainly due to a frigid winter, the planet as a whole was the hottest since reliable records have been kept. NASA and NOAA will make the official announcement tomorrow. Some interesting tidbits: The Japan Meteorological Agency declared 2014 as the hottest year on record globally.   NASA and NOAA will release their official global numbers on Friday and all signs are pointing …

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