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8 October 2014
New research finds that it’s not just the amount of rain that falls on a hillside, but the pattern of rainfall that matters when trying to determine how likely a slope is to give way. This new information could improve forecasts of landslides, which are typically hard to predict, said the scientists conducting the research.
Different rainfall patterns—a short, heavy deluge, a light, steady downpour, or sporadic showers—will trigger different numbers of landslides with varying amounts of debris, according to the new study published today in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
7 October 2014
Researchers have developed a new avalanche monitoring method that uses sound below the range of human hearing to detect and track these deadly and destructive snow slides. The technique can detect an avalanche from the moment it starts, picking up the unheard thump of a rupture in the snowpack that can precede the snow cascade. It can then track the avalanche’s path second by second down the mountain.
In a new study published last month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, scientists report using an array of infrasound detectors on a mountainside to pick up low-frequency sound waves emitted from one of a series of January, 2012, avalanches in Idaho’s Canyon Creek corridor.
6 October 2014
This December, USGS will release a beta version of interactive computer models created from data collected by that laser-equipped plane—known as the second generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-B)—and other equipment that mapped and monitored the New Jersey coast. The online portal will allow anyone to look at storm intensities and directions, evaluate wave attack scenarios and coastal vulnerabilities, and anticipate the impacts to landscapes ahead of time, said Neil Ganju, a USGS research oceanographer, at a 19 September congressional briefing on the Department of the Interior’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
26 September 2014
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 …
13 August 2014
The summer of 2014 has been unusually mild in the Midwest and portions of the East, and brutally hot and dry in the West. The heat and drought in the NW corner of North America has led to raging forest fires that have spread dense smoke over the northeast and across the Atlantic to France, and the drought in California has reached the worst possible level: exceptional drought. Mother Nature is …
8 August 2014
NASA posted this map of the temperature anomalies over North America for July, and you can easily see why we there is so much wildfire activity in the U.S. West and Canada North. This is why dense smoke is travelling thousands of miles to the Eastern Seaboard. The heat out west has now pushed much of California into Exceptional Drought” status.
29 July 2014
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 …
24 July 2014
A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.
23 July 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 …
10 July 2014
What is going on? Is it the revenge of the polar vortex? Actually, it’s probably connected to Japanese Typhoon Neogori that at one time was packing 260 kph winds. It is moving into southern Japan now, but the global weather models all indicate that it will push a lot of warm and humid air into the high latitudes north of Japan. This will push the jet-stream northward, and the downstream …
9 July 2014
I spotted this online today, and believe me it is being shared far and wide in science circles. A statement like this from a 5th grader would be alarming, but from someone (State Senator Brandon Smith) who makes laws is downright frightening. What is more frightening is that the science literacy of his constituency is so low, he’ll likely be easily re elected. In case there are any doubts I …
4 July 2014
It was cloudy in Philadelphia. Weatherwise Magazine has an excellent article with more about Jefferson and his weather records. Truly he was America’s first Meteorologist.
19 June 2014
I am at the American Meteorological Society’s 42nd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology at Squaw Valley,Ca. We are just outside of Lake Tahoe, and I drove up from Las Vegas, through Death Valley and by Mammoth Lakes. The temperature ranged from 96 in Death Valley to 46 at Mammoth, and when i awoke here in Squaw Valley this morning it was 28 degrees! I thought I’d share some pics of …
9 June 2014
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 …
2 June 2014
Imagine a hot July weekend, and the beaches and or area lakes are packed with thousands of folks enjoying the sun, sand and water. While there is a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast, the skies are sunny, and the weather is the last thing on the minds of most people. It’s the first thing on the minds of weather forecasters, however, and if strong thunderstorms with deadly lightning …
15 May 2014
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 …
5 May 2014
The high made it to 102 today in Wichita. From NWS Wichita: 125 km to the south, a massive wildfire is underway this Sunday evening in Guthrie,OK. Pictures from local TV show the extent. The area of EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT continues to grow. In the Great Plains, all heat and drought are compared to the height of the dust bowl in 1936. A dry spring means a hotter ground, and this …
3 May 2014
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 …
29 April 2014
Below is what the radar image showed. The blue is wind toward the radar and the red is away from the radar. Virtually all of the tornadoes were inside the moderate risk area issued by the Storm Prediction Center. Severe weather forecasting has improved dramatically over the last 30 years.