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24 July 2014

Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa

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.

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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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10 July 2014

Mid-Summer Taste of Autumn Next Week? Probably!

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 …

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9 July 2014

Indefensible Ignorance

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 …

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4 July 2014

The Weather 238 years ago today in Philadelphia- Courtesy of T. Jefferson

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.

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19 June 2014

Meteorology In The High Mountains Of California

  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 …

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9 June 2014

Some Amazing Pics Of Earth

  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 …

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2 June 2014

Here’s How Scientists Are Improving Warnings of Dangerous Weather

  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 …

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21 May 2014

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

click to read.  

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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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5 May 2014

Wichita Kansas Reaches 102 degrees Sunday. Earliest 100+ in 126 years of Records.

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 …

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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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29 April 2014

Death Toll Mounting In Deep South

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.

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28 April 2014

Major Severe Weather Outbreak Underway In Plains/Southeast

A strong low pressure system is really winding up in the Plains this Sunday evening, and winds are gusting to 48 mph behind  dry line front through Oklahoma and Texas. Ahead of the dry line, a moist and extremely unstable airmass is in place, and storms have already developed. Keep in mind that tornadoes require both unstable air AND strong low-level wind shear, and there is plenty of both in …

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24 April 2014

Oh, The Things You Can See From On High

I spent a little while looking at today’s images from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites with their amazing MODIS imager that sends back true colour images from an altitude of around 700 km. Here are a few things I spotted in just a short period of browsing this evening. Click any image for a much larger view. Here is a view of just some Sahara sand blowing north into Greece …

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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 …

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11 April 2014

Bet You Did Not Know This

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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 …

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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.

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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; …

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