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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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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

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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8 January 2015

It’s Colder Than Mars Outside- No Really!

Data from the weather station on-board the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater showed a rather mild afternoon on Mars. Warmer than the area in blue over the NE U.S.!

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1 January 2015

This Green and Snowy Sceptered Isle

The UK had a pretty good snow event last week after Christmas, and NASA released this true colour image from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite. Click for the full 5 megabyte high resolution version. You folks in the UK could get a nice poster out of that pic! If you look at the snow over Northern Wales, you will see Anglesey jutting out to the west. The image …

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22 December 2014

Eleven Years of Hard Work for A Few Frantic Days of Science

I’m eating lunch and talking with my friend Bud Ward (Yale Climate Connections) at the AGU meeting in San francisco Wednesday, when I see a gentleman with a sticker on his lap-top that says “MY OTHER VEHICLE IS ON THE WAY TO PLUTO”. Now, I had to find out more, so here is a short clip using my iPhone talking with Michael Buckley of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. …

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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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