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14 June 2016

Congressman’s idea to privatize NWS forecasts gets icy reception among broadcast meteorologists.

By Dan Satterfield I’m hearing a lot of talk among my fellow forecasters about legislation (introduced by an Oklahoma congressman) that would privatize many forecast functions of the NWS. You might think that private sector meteorologists would support this, but almost every broadcast metr. I know has panned the idea. The quality of public weather forecasts is due to the cooperation between the public and private sector, and a survey of …

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10 May 2016

Climate change could cause more concentrated storms

Rising temperatures are causing heavy rain storms to become concentrated over smaller areas, a scenario that could potentially cause extreme flooding in urban locations, according to new research.

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20 April 2016

Asian irrigation influences East African rain

Irrigation from agriculture can directly influence climate thousands of kilometers away and even leap across continents, new research finds. Up to 40 percent of the rain in some regions of East Africa can be attributed to irrigation used in agriculture in Asia, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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11 April 2016

Accuweather Forecasts to 90 Days are Scientifically Indefensible.

The comments from the science community when Accuweather’s started making 45 day weather forecasts were to put it mildly- blistering, and now that they have extended them to 90 days it’s no different. Forecasts of this type beyond 7-10 days (at the most) are simply not possible. If someone tells you otherwise, they’re wrong, because we are in the realm of palm reading and horoscopes here, not science. I agree …

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29 March 2016

This Has Meteorologists Talking Today

An interesting paper came out today, and it has we meteorologists talking. It’s about using sea water temperature patterns in the Pacific to forecast heat waves in the eastern portions of North America. Researchers found that when a certain pattern of water temperatures appeared, there would often be unusually hot weather in the Eastern U.S. about 40-50 days later. A statistical analysis using this method over the years 1982-2013 showed …

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15 March 2016

A rough ride down the Oregon coast

When you plan a research cruise in the winter in Oregon, there’s a good chance the weather will change your plans. That’s what happened to us this weekend. We were finally able to get back out on the ocean on Monday afternoon and we drove south to the Umpqua Hydrographic line – a seven-hour trip. It was a rough ride and most people spent it in their bunks or in the lounge, where books flew off the shelves when we hit particularly rough spots.

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29 January 2016

The Future of Weather Forecasting

With new NOAA computers for numerical weather prediction now online, the focus is to improve the models we have and develop new ones. The new High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model (HRRR-H triple R to meteorologists) is just the beginning of this, and although it only runs out for 15 hours, we get a new run every hour. This is already improving short-term weather forecasts markedly. This model is run on …

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21 January 2016

Historic Storm Aims for the Mid-Atlantic. Why it’s so hard to predict it!

There is little doubt that a major and perhaps historic blizzard will hit DC, Baltimore, and up toward Philadelphia Friday afternoon, lingering into late Saturday night. Winds will be very high along the Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey coasts, with gusts well above 60 mph, and significant coastal flooding. There’s very high confidence in this forecast based on a close agreement among all the numerical weather models, but the details …

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13 January 2016

Ocean circulation changes may have killed cold-water corals

Successive and abrupt changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation over the past 4,500 years seem to have caused major reductions in some cold-water coral ecosystems, finds a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new study shows changes in sea surface circulation over the last few thousand years were more sudden than previously thought and in some cases led to abrupt collapses of cold-water coral ecosystems. The researchers found the first evidence that perturbations in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) led to cold-water coral ecosystems decline from 100 to 1,200 years ago.

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18 December 2015

A natural experiment: City in pristine Amazon shows pollution alters ecosystem

Human-made pollutants are changing cloud patterns over the Amazon, altering ecosystems in the process.

Sometimes, the best experiments come ready-made from nature. The Brazilian city of Manaus has a population of almost 2 million people and sits in the heart of an otherwise pristine stretch of Amazonian rainforest, near the place where the Negro and Solimões tributaries fuse to form the Amazon River. New research using the area as a testing ground shows that Manaus city pollutants meddle with the Amazon’s cloud cover, rain and ecosystem, according to scientists who presented the finding at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

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14 December 2015

November Hottest Ever, and Christmas Likely To bring Record Warmth in The East

The long-range guidance is showing strong indications that the incredible December warmth in the Eastern U.S. will continue to the end of the month. A blast of cold air will arrive later this week, and linger through the weekend, but after that the temps. will once again soar. The map below shows the average 5 day temperatures from the 21st to the 26th. Highs will be more than 10 degrees …

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10 December 2015

U.S. Has Warmest Autumn on Record

Temperatures across the U.S. (at 3 PM) were over 30 degrees above average in North Dakota this afternoon. With dozens of cities reporting temperatures of 12-28 degrees above average. The map below is based on the average weather (for 3 PM on December 9th) over the last 30 years. The maps below show the temperatures over the last 30 and the last 90 days compared to normal. The NOAA Climate …

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29 November 2015

Some Thoughts About The Coming Winter: Part One

This time of year it’s the number one question that every meteorologist hears: “What’s the winter going to like??” The correct answer is, “We can’t predict the weather 3 months in advance with any real accuracy.”. That said, we can make some decent guesses about the climate patterns that we may see, in some areas more than others. First, let me show you why we really cannot use numerical weather …

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What A Cold Front!

A rather incredible surface temperature chart greeted meteorologists this afternoon. An extremely sharp frontal boundary separated very warm weather from unusually cold. Behind the front, temperatures were 10-20 degrees below average, and ahead of it 10-15 degrees above average, and in some spots the departure from normal was even greater. Look at the temperatures at 1 PM EST and you can see that towns in western MS were reporting temps. …

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28 October 2015

Indian Summer Weather Next Week?? Probably!

Next week’s weather pattern is looking very warm for almost the entire nation to the east of the Rockies. A strong high pressure ridge in the upper atmosphere, will bring sunshine and well above normal temps to much of the Plains and Eastern U.S. Here on the Eastern Seaboard, we may not be as far above average as areas to the west, but our temps. will be several degrees above average, and …

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6 October 2015

Two Incredible Images

These two images speak for themselves. One is from the Suomi satellite, which can take images of the Earth lit by moonlight alone. and the second image needs little or no explanation…

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21 August 2015

Hurricane Danny May Be at Peak Strength

Danny now has winds near the center at 115 mph, but it is actually a rather tiny storm. Latest model runs continue a west-NW track but dry air is just to the north and wind shear will begin to impact the storm in about 48 hours. This should weaken it and the latest hires numerical model guidance shows just that. The intensity forecast from the HWRF model shows it weakening …

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18 August 2015

Tropical Storm Danny Forms in the Eastern Atlantic.

Every 6 years there is the chance that I get a hurricane named after me,and this year is looking good. Tropical Storm Danny has formed and is slowly strengthening. Model guidance is all in rather good agreement, especially the dynamical models that tend to have the best skill. Wind shear is strong to the north of the system, but it will likely stay south of the shear until it approaches …

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14 August 2015

The Ugly Side of August Arrives in The Northeast Next Week

Unlike much of the Plains and the Deep South, the summer has not been that hot across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. but next week is going to bring the ugly side of August to much of the region. The heat will likely make it all the way into Toronto and Montreal and affect millions of people. This same weather pattern a month ago would likely bring highs in the …

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27 April 2015

Was Your Record High Temperature A Result of Climate Change? Probably.

A paper in Nature Climate Change today is getting international press and for good reason, It contains a rather astounding statistic. Here is a quote from the beginning of the paper with my highlights in red:  Climate change includes not only changes in mean climate but also in weather extremes. For a few prominent heatwaves and heavy precipitation events a human contribution to their occurrence has been demonstrated1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Here we …

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