23 June 2016

Free Book: Understanding Climate Models without the Maths

Free Book: Understanding Climate Models without the Maths

I am currently reading an excellent (and FREE) book about climate models that I think many teachers of physics/Earth science etc. will want to get. It will also come in handy for synoptic meteorologists who use numerical weather models (which while similar, are also quite different). In my last post, I had a link to a slide show that the AMS Station Science Committee and Climate Central put together, so …

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22 June 2016

New Slide Presentation on Climate Change Dispels Common Myths

New Slide Presentation on Climate Change Dispels Common Myths

  My friend Paul Gross (at WDIV in Detroit) is the past chair of the AMS Committee on Station Science (I’m currently the chair), and he had a fantastic idea early this year that is now a reality. The idea was to develop a set of slides for broadcast meteorologists (and even teachers) that they could use to teach climate change and dispel the many myths that are constantly floating …

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19 June 2016

The Bolt from the Blue That Can Kill You

The Bolt from the Blue That Can Kill You

Most folks know to get inside when a thunderstorm approaches, and we meteorologists keep telling folks that unless you are in tornado alley, you’re much more likely to die in a flood or by lightning, than a tornado. The word is getting out, because deaths due to lightning have dropped dramatically over the past 60 years. Even so, most folks worry much more about tornadoes than floods or lightning bolts, …

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15 June 2016

The Facts Are not Enough When Communicating Climate & Weather

The Facts Are not Enough When Communicating Climate & Weather

Communicating weather is not easy, but when you add in climate change, the difficulty increases by an order of magnitude! I spent the day with a superb group of fellow synoptic meteorologists and climate scientists, and I learned a great deal about how to better communicate the more technical geeky stuff to the public. I met two people who I have long wanted to talk with: 1.Dr. John Nielsen Gammon …

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10 June 2016

Oklahoma Congressman’s Idea to Privatize NWS Forecasts Gets Icy Reception among Broadcast Meteorologists.

Oklahoma Congressman's Idea to Privatize NWS Forecasts Gets Icy Reception among Broadcast Meteorologists.

I’m hearing a lot of talk among my fellow forecasters today 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 comments by …

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9 June 2016

Forecasts are getting Better, But The Public is Being Given Lousy Forecasts

Forecasts are getting Better, But The Public is Being Given Lousy Forecasts

Weather forecasts are much better than even a decade ago, and the change over the last 20 years has been remarkable, but in many cases, the weather forecast the average Joe gets has gotten worse. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to get the best forecast possible, but getting that message out will not be easy. Here is the problem: I’ve heard my fellow meteorologists call them “crap apps,” …

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8 June 2016

It’s World Oceans Day, but There is Little To Celebrate

Today is World Oceans Day, and the news about their health is downright alarming. Besides pollution from chemicals and tons of plastic, they are presently the warmest that man has ever measured, and they are getting more acidic due to the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The warmth of the water has decimated Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and don’t forget the Arctic ocean …

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7 June 2016

India Heat Reaches Dangerous Levels

India Heat Reaches Dangerous Levels

They are anxiously awaiting the monsoon in India. It will bring flooding rains, but at least it will cool the temperatures back to near 33°C, instead of the 47°C they saw in some spots today! That is over 118° on the old Fahrenheit scale, but that’s only part of the story: The dew-point reached 25-27°C, and that is heat and humidity that almost no part of America has ever seen. …

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6 June 2016

Why Hurricane Season Forecasts are Very Tricky

Why Hurricane Season Forecasts are Very Tricky

I’m not a fan of long-range forecasts for the hurricane season. We need to attempt them, because that’s how science advances, we test hypothesis, and reject the ones that fail in an experiment. That said, I am not sure these forecasts are worthy of public dissemination, unless they come with a strong warning that the skill is low. You may know that El Nino reduces the number of hurricanes and …

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3 June 2016

Texas Flooding From Space

Texas Flooding From Space

Click on the image below to go to a special NASA satellite image that you can drag across to see the flooding along the Brazos River in Texas. There is some good news here, because the flooding will taper off by late Sunday, and a hotter drier weather pattern will arrive in this area next week.  

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