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15 April 2014

New Research Shows Asian Soot Cloud Affecting Pacific Storms

A group of researchers from Texas A & M University have a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week that is getting a lot of attention. Cloud droplets and rain drops need something to form on, and without dust and other aerosols in the atmosphere we would see a lot less of both. Sometimes though, the addition of particulates can cause tiny cloud droplets …


11 April 2014

Bet You Did Not Know This


23 March 2014

Happy World Meteorological Day

Before you say, that’s cool and move on, think about that for a second. WE CAN MEASURE WINDS FROM SPACE! We can also measure temperatures,  humidity, the amount of dust in the air, and even how stressed the plants in a drought are. Oh, and NASA did it all (and went to the Moon and Mars, and launched 100 space shuttles), all on less money than we spent on the …


11 March 2014

The grapes of Landsat

California’s persistent drought is forcing grape growers to keep a more-attentive-than-normal eye on their vines, as water shortages and elevated temperatures alter this year’s growing season.


8 March 2014

Why your car is covered with an inch of ice, instead of a foot of snow!

Guest post by Ilissa Ocko Ever wondered what the “wintry mix”’ you were suffering through was really made of, or argued with a friend about whether you were seeing sleet or hail? Wonder no more! On a recent ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my husband and I encountered almost every type of precipitation possible. It had snowed four feet in four days where we snowmobiled in Yellowstone National Park; …


2 March 2014

Meteorological Spring Arrives- Can I Borrow Your Snow Shovel?

Saturday afternoon model runs show a stripe of heavy snow from Arkansas to Maryland Sunday into Monday. (Note this is just one model run and not a forecast). Meteorological spring began at midnight Saturday but the winter of 2014 keeps giving. A blast of very cold Arctic air is moving through the plains and will combine with a developing trough to produce a wintry mix from Arkansas to Maryland, and …


28 February 2014

Did The Farmers Almanac Winter Forecast Verify?? Nope!

I suspect a lot of folks think the Farmers Almanac winter forecast was right, and the reason they think so is because of CONFIRMATION BIAS. Science in many ways is a vaccine against confirmation bias. Read the link on confirmation bias, and my friend Jim Gandy’s guest post. Then you will understand something that those who read horoscopes, wear magic bracelets, or buy pills for their prostate (hawked by retired …


18 February 2014

David Gregory at Meet The Press Stops The Ridiculous

I wasn’t the only one who was very critical of NBC’s Meet The Press program last Sunday, but there was a bright spot. David Gregory stopped his guest cold when she started making totally incorrect statements about climate science. No, not Dr. Heidi Cullen (who is an expert), but the other guest (a politician) who knows nothing about the subject (except perhaps that it’s inconvenient to her political world-view). This …


13 February 2014

Wild Weather and Forecast Uncertainty

The flooding in the UK is the worst on record in many areas, and the SW mainline rail to Cornwall has washed away. This being just the latest in a series of powerful storms that have blasted the UK and Ireland since early January. Some areas had a months worth of rain last night alone, and some areas had two months worth of rain in two days. The BBC has …


9 February 2014

…and In Other Science News This Weekend

NUCLEAR WINTER What are you seeing, and what does it have to with weather? Check out this post on the CIMMS Satellite blog from the Uni. of Wisconsin. WELL MADE POINT After last week’s (and the previous week’s) viral false rumor about an impending doomsday blizzard (see this post), the NWS in New York posted this graphic on Twitter Friday. It was welcomed by every real meteorologist (in TV or …


31 January 2014

The Great Facebook Blizzard- Storms and Rumors of Storms

It apparently got started with two images. One from the Facebook page of “Weatherboy weather” and another that got published in an online newspaper article in Russellville, Arkansas. It was also posted on AL.COM (the online portal of several major Alabama newspapers). The result was a crush of emails and messages to meteorologists at TV stations and NWS offices across the eastern U.S.! The actual origination may be different on …


30 January 2014

The Governor of Georgia Is Entitled To His Own Opinion, But Not His Own Facts

There is a firestorm brewing tonight over remarks by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who blamed the National Weather Service forecast for the mess on Georgia roads last night, when thousands were stranded in their cars on icy freeways. To quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Governor “is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” While no forecast is ever perfect, the NWS did NOT miss the forecast. For …


17 January 2014

Premiering Next Week- Revenge of The Polar Vortex (Starring the Dogs of Winter)

It’s coming back. Will it be as cold as the last one at the beginning of the year? Too soon to say but there are growing signs it will last longer and may come in several waves. Numerical weather ensembles (See last two blog posts) are in remarkable agreement that the cold will return. Model guidance is indicating temperatures as much as 40 degrees below normal by later next week! …


14 January 2014

The Polar Vortex Gets Its 15 Minutes of Fame

I was asked by the AGU to do a post about the Polar Vortex for the AGU Blog THE BRIDGE. You can read it by clicking on the image below: and then you should read Bob Henson’s piece from the NCAR AtmosNews Journal


13 January 2014

Don’t Let The Thaw Fool You, The Revenge of The Polar Vortex May be Coming

Numerical weather models tend to become very unreliable beyond 5 or 6 days but meteorologists have discovered a trick that helps in long-range forecasting. At least a bit. We still cannot pin down what day a storm will hit at a particular place but we can get a good idea of whether or not the pattern will be warm/cold/dry or stormy. Here is the trick: Run the weather model multiple …


5 January 2014

All Covered With Snow and Now Comes The Siberian Blast

Afternoon temps. under the 1051 millibar Arctic high that is about to drop into the Eastern USA were -41°C! (about the same in the old Fahrenheit scale. Map below is in degrees F) Sub zero (°F) weather will cover much of the Midwest and NE by sunrise Tuesday. Below is a pic from my Canon 5D of the snow here in Maryland:  


2 January 2014

Cold and Snow, and High Winds As Well For Northeast USA. Storms Threaten UK Again as Well.

A strong winter storm will hit the NE later tonight and this one will have bitter cold and high winds. Note the predicted wind gusts at sunrise Friday from the European Model, and because of this Gale Warnings are in effect for waters from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine and into Atlantic Canada. Rawinsonde balloons this morning show a jet stream approaching 180 knots heading into the Atlantic, and this …


30 December 2013

Icy Shots From Space

How can you tell the difference between white clouds and white snow on a satellite image?? Rivers don’t run through clouds! Study the image from the Aqua satellite today above and you will see what i mean. Speaking of satellite images of icy cold, the folks at CIMMS at the Uni. of Wisconsin posted the animated gif below showing ice forming on Lake Michigan. Speaking of ice, I had a …


17 December 2013

Global Winds in Real Time

Maybe it’s because I’m a meteorologist, but I could spend hours looking at this real time wind map. Click on EARTH and you can change the level of the winds to see low level flow, or high altitude jet stream winds.


12 December 2013

Smartphone app could decipher mysterious gamma-ray bursts from thunderstorms

Amid flashing lightning and booming thunder, storms emit a very powerful but little understood form of energy — gamma radiation. These terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) produce short-lived but immensely powerful bursts of energy that could zap airplane passengers with unhealthy doses of radiation. Now, researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz think they might be able to use a smartphone app to learn more about these mysterious bursts.