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16 December 2014

Can You See Holiday Lights From Space? Yes!

NASA’s Suomi Satellite has an amazing sensor that can see the Earth at night very well. The pics below are a comparison of normal city lights from space, and the green shows the added lights from all the holiday decorations! Pretty cool ay! NASA has a video here and the pics of our region are below. Here are further details from NASA: With a new look at daily data from …

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15 December 2014

Cool Science Pics

Thought I’d share some cool pics taken from Space today. The first one below is from the past week, and is a great view from the ISS courtesy of Astronaut Barry Wilmore. Notice the city lights shining through the clouds. I forecasted a sunny Sunday in Maryland and Delaware today. Missed it by THAT much! Severe storms hit Oklahoma Sunday evening ahead of a powerful tropospheric low pressure system. The …

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12 December 2014

Geminid Meteors This Weekend

Skies should be clear over some parts of the country to get a view of up to 120 meteors per hour Saturday night. If you are in the clear, then find a dark spot and bundle up! The best time to see them will be before midnight because the Moon will rise around Midnight and will wash the sky out with its light. More from NASA here! : It’s the …

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What Do Category 5 Hurricanes Have To Do With The Amazon River?

This freshwater plume inhibits the mixing of colder water beneath the surface, and thus can add a lot of heat to an already powerful hurricane. The NASA Aquarius satellite has a sensor that can measure ocean surface salinity, and it’s data produced the the video below. A paper about this plume and how it can affect hurricanes was published in Geophysical research Letters in 2012. It’s free to read here. …

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9 December 2014

Beware the Juice of Freshly Picked California Cherries

There has been some talk about a report on the California drought that was released this week, and it’s worth talking about the reaction to it. One thing that seems to have gotten particular attention is the following statement: “The current drought is not part of a long-term change in California precipitation, which exhibits no appreciable trend since 1895. Key oceanic features that caused precipitation inhibiting atmospheric ridging off the …

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23 November 2014

Funny, Scary, Fascinating, and Geeky. What You Missed in Science This Week.

I am going to start doing a weekend post here with links and images from the world of geek that caught my eye this week. First up is Will Marshall and the TED talk below. Data is the fuel that science runs on, and he has figured out a way to harvest a LOT of it.   Guess what body of water is the 4th fastest warming on Earth? This …

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18 November 2014

Seeing with Your Own Eyes- What You Can’t See with Your Own Eyes

This is a pretty amazing video from NASA Goddard. Worth a watch!

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6 November 2014

Some Sciency Stuff You Ought To Read

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.” – Doctor Who  NPR has a great piece about a clock that is accurate to 5,000 million years, and why this is a real PROBLEM! Will we see more pieces like this after they axed their climate and …

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29 October 2014

Doppler Radar Sees Debris from Antares Explosion

The NWS Doppler radar at Wakefield,Va detected the debris from the Antares explosion Tuesday evening. Not only that, but it was able to show that this was not rain but debris in the air. Being a dual polarimetric radar it can detect the shape of the particles in the radar beam, and a product called the correlation coefficient showed that the echo was made up of particles that were of …

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Antares Explodes At Wallops. Explosion Heard/Seen for 50 Miles.

Here is how the explosion looked as WBOC covered the Antares launch and explosion live. This was likely one of the largest rocket explosions ever at Wallops. The reason is that it happened with a fully fueled vehicle, carrying 5,000 pounds into orbit. Most other failures at Wallops were either non-orbital launches, or carrying much lighter payloads. The blast lit up the clouds and was seen across almost all of …

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26 September 2014

Saharan Dust Storm Below Towering Thunderstorms

Here are the particulars of the image, and what you are seeing from NASA Earth Observatory: More dust blows out of the Sahara Desert and into the atmosphere than from any other desert in the world, and more than half of the dust deposited in the ocean lifts off from these arid North African lands. Saharan dust influences the fertility of Atlantic waters and soils in the Americas. It blocks or reflects …

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29 July 2014

Wildfire Smoke Makes Cool East Coast Temps Even Cooler

In spite of an unusually dry and cool air mass over the eastern seaboard of the U.S. this afternoon, the sky is a milky white due to smoke from the wildfires in Western and far northern Canada. An even denser layer of smoke covers the western portions of Hudson Bay as well. Here is the view of the sky over Maryland at 630 PM, and the usual deep blue sky …

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21 July 2014

The Only Thing More Amazing Than The Moonwalk 45 years Ago Tonight

Exactly 45 years ago tonight, everyone who could see a TV, was in front of one. The clip below is the actual coverage from CBS News that evening. You can actually watch all of the Moonwalk online, and if you were not born yet, I highly recommend you do so. A lot of folks do not realize that when the camera came on (and a lot of folks doubted it …

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7 July 2014

Super Typhoon Neogori Heads toward Japan.

The typhoon should weaken before hitting Japan, but Kyushu (southern most island) will get a ton of rain and wind. Flooding rains have already been reported earlier in the week so the soil is already saturated. ISS Astronaut Reid Wisemen sent back this shot of an oddly shaped eye on Neogori. (Perhaps related to the fact it was undergoing an eye-wall replacement cycle.)

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4 July 2014

True Colour View of Arthur from NASA (Doppler sees winds at 100 MPH)

Frying Pan Shoals off the North Carolina coast caught a gust to 99 mph on their weather station. They were in the eye-wall of Hurricane Arthur at the time. Here on the Delmarva Peninsula there is a real risk of extreme rip currents behind the storm. With thousands of folks streaming to the Maryland and Delaware beaches for the holiday weekend, this is a serious threat. Something to think about: …

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12 June 2014

This Research May Give You Better Warning Of A Dangerous Storm

TV Viewers are quite familiar with seeing lightning on radar displays these days, and knowing a storm is producing a lot of lightning as it approaches a large metropolitan area, is vital information for everyone from a power company to a baseball coach. Many times I can almost guess at how many power outages will develop based on the lightning I see with a storm. It’s a simple function of …

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9 June 2014

Some Amazing Pics Of Earth

  NESDIS is now producing some incredible Earth imagery using different satellites with some of the most sophisticated radiation sensors in orbit. I thought I would share  a couple with you. Click for the BIG image. One is a view of the USA taken Saturday afternoon June 7. The other is the sea temperatures around North america and the other shows the temp. anomalies. This allows you to see where …

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3 May 2014

Predicting Weather & Climate- Gavin Schmidt’s TED Talk is A Must See

I use atmospheric models everyday, and without them the forecast you see on TV or online everyday would be worth little beyond about 48 hours (it would not be very accurate within that time period either). These days, a seven-day forecast will verify much better than a three-day outlook was in the 1970′s, and the improvement continues. Unfortunately, some people see these models as untrustworthy black boxes, and have little understanding …

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24 April 2014

Oh, The Things You Can See From On High

I spent a little while looking at today’s images from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites with their amazing MODIS imager that sends back true colour images from an altitude of around 700 km. Here are a few things I spotted in just a short period of browsing this evening. Click any image for a much larger view. Here is a view of just some Sahara sand blowing north into Greece …

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18 April 2014

Suomi Satellite Night Vision Sees Great Lakes Ice

The CIMMS Satellite blog has posted a fantastic image of the ice cover on the Great Lakes. See my previous post for more info. This is a visible light (not IR) image made by the VIRRS sensor on Suomi is below: (click for full resolution)

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