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26 November 2014

El Nino Modoki Style

I just finished a rather detailed piece for my station’s website about El Nino and long range forecasting. If you really want to understand what an El Nino is, and how it can help make a long range forecast, then it’s worth a read. Click the image below to read it. I warn you that it is long form, and there are 4 videos embedded that you really should watch. …

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21 November 2014

2014 On Way to Hottest Year on Record

My friends at Climate Central produced an excellent video that you should see and share.

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8 November 2014

Note to National Media- Stop Using the Term Polar Vortex!

In spite of valiant attempts by my fellow broadcast meteorologists to stop it, the so-called polar vortex is back and being blamed for just about everything again. Let me show you why this is dead wrong, and if you see a story in mass media blaming a cold air outbreak on the polar vortex, I can say categorically that it’s wrong. DEAD WRONG. There IS such a thing as a polar …

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7 November 2014

El Nino Threat Diminishing?? Modoki El Nino Coming?

NOAA released an update on the El Nino Southern Oscillation this week, and the odds of an El Nino are down to 58%. One of the main reasons for this is that the atmosphere has not responded to the rather weak warming in the Eastern Pacific. El Nino is not just an ocean warming, it is an ocean atmosphere interaction and so far the atmosphere has just not picked up …

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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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16 October 2014

Well Worth a Read: How Did We Become a Society Suspicious of Science?

I spotted this piece tonight by Keith Parsons a Professor of Philosophy at the Univ. of Houston-Clear lake. Well worth a read! He has a real point and it reminds me of Richard Feynman’s great quote: “Science is what we do keep from lying to ourselves”.

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14 September 2014

If British Airways Offered Jet Service To The Moon, How long A Flight Would It Be?

Have you ever thought about how long a commercial airline flight to the Moon would take?? It’s actually a good question, and an excellent way of getting your head around the vast distances of just our own solar system. It’s actually an easy math problem, and while not all such questions are that simple, they almost all come with surprising results. Meteorologists frequently get these type questions, and  can tell …

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23 July 2014

The Great Facebook Blizzard of 2014

At the AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference last month in Lake Tahoe, I presented a talk about widespread rumors on Facebook last January that a paralyzing snowstorm was coming. This is just one example of the love/hate relationship that meteorologists have with Facebook, and I was quoted in an article on TV News Check about this as well a couple of weeks ago. As I told the reporter for TV News …

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27 June 2014

NCDC: Hottest May On Record

  The National Park Service had an interesting post on FLIKR today (as well with this image): FROM NPS: Shrinking Snowpacks A recent snowstorm brought nearly 3 feet of snow near Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, and road crews are still working hard on opening the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Large June snowstorms like this one used to be more common in the northern Rockies, but average snowpacks have been in …

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25 June 2014

Chem-Trail Folks Crash AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology

We came back from lunch for our final session to find that every seat in the room had a DVD, and the same glossy brochure claiming that the government is giving you all kinds of disease from their secret spraying program. For those that may not have heard yet, these people believe that those white lines you see in the sky behind high-flying jet aircraft are actually mind/weather control chemicals. …

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23 June 2014

The Shoshone Road Cut

I know just enough geology to be dangerous, but I highly recommend a trip through Death Valley NP. Make sure you bring a good roadside geology book, and better yet, read it before you go. I took advantage of the drive back to Las Vegas from the AMS weather conference in Lake Tahoe to spend a Sunday in the park, and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve …

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4 June 2014

A Busy Tuesday at the Hazardous Weather Test Bed in Norman,OK

If a thunderstorm has an extremely strong updraft it will push all the way into the stratosphere before weakening. The air actually starts to get warmer in the stratosphere, and a warm bubble of rising air suddenly finds itself colder than the air around it, and will eventually sink back down. So, the higher the updraft penetrates, the stronger it must be. This is why meteorologists are keen to know …

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28 May 2014

You Can’t Pick and Choose What Science You Want To Believe.

I am going to break a rule of mine here and post a segment from a cable news show. I care passionately about science education, and this is just about the only issue that I would break my rule, so please, no comments about MSNBC or any other cable news outlet. The segment  (by Chris Hayes on MSNBC) was called Unscientific America, and is about the rejection of the new …

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27 May 2014

Teachers: Want a Nature/Science Subscription For Your Class?

Oceanographer Robert Grumbine who writes More Grumbine Science is offering to pay for a subscription to Science or Nature for a high school science class, if the teacher will incorporate it into the curriculum. A great way for students to become familiar with cutting edge science. Contact Robert through his blog or on twitter @rgrumbine.

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21 May 2014

Big Picture Lessons from an Unfortunate Tweet

This is a re-post from the blog of Dr. Marshall Shepherd, past president of the American Meteorological Society. (Highlighting is mine)   Just in case someone asks, No, there is not enough rotation and scale to produce the Coriolis Effect by spinning the Wheel of Fortune.Now that we have clarified that, I wanted to use the recent Pat Sajak tweet to turn a negative to a positive.  I don’t know …

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Worth a Read, and Not Just Because I’m Quoted

click to read.  

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19 May 2014

Ohio Teacher Caught Telling Students That Alaska Research Project is Controlling The Weather

Toledo, Ohio Meteorologist Ross Ellet got a real shock while talking to students at Star Academy Charter School last week. He’d been asked to talk to the students about weather and science, but he got a question that left him totally stunned.  One of the students asked him “what kind of job will you get when HAARP is controlling the weather, and you’re no longer needed?”. Now, Ross knew what …

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15 May 2014

Can You Think Like A Forecaster??

  Any ideas?? Pretend you’re a forecaster, and you need to make a short term forecast for the area I have delineated. Will you forecast it to stay clear? I’ll post the answer below tomorrow! Fellow meteorologists, you are NOT allowed to guess! (you should immediately know the answer!).   Answer below, but think about it for a few mins. What could have been happening before. What kindof clouds are …

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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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16 April 2014

Can’t Get Enough of Cosmos? Netflix Has 6 Hours of Neil deGrasse Tyson

I have mentioned the lectures you can buy from the Teaching Company before here, and one of those lecture sets is a six lecture series called The Inexplicable Universe, by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s worth the money IMHO, but before you buy it, Netflix has made available this entire series for its customers. That’s a pretty good deal. Now, this series does not have all the flash bang the COSMOS …

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