You are browsing the archive for October 2012 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.

30 October 2012

Delmarva After The Storm

Delmarva After The Storm

It was night to remember with the winds howling for hours here on Delmarva. While I was doing the weather updates I could hear the wind rattling the doors of the studio here in Salisbury. While the damage is worse in Jersey and New York, it is bad here as well and the Delmarva Peninsula had more rain from Sandy than anywhere else. The rain gauge in my front yard (a cocorahs …

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29 October 2012

East Coast Waits For the Hammer To Drop

East Coast Waits For the Hammer To Drop

This statement from the Mount Holly, New Jersey NWS Office speaks for itself. I would heed it if you are in Delaware NJ or NYC. Ocean City MD is already getting gusts to 47 mph, and the surge there may reach 4-5 feet as well. I am seeing some model forecasts of 10-13 foot storm surge levels around the NYC area. This would be a Billion dollar disaster if this verifies, and …

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28 October 2012

Halloween Superstorm Heads for Mid-Atlantic

Halloween Superstorm Heads for Mid-Atlantic

The winds are already increasing along the Eastern Seaboard tonight as Sandy heads northward. I was at Cape Henlopen in Delaware before dark, and the ocean was already roaring with 5-6 foot swells. There is still some disagreement int he model guidance but I’d put the chances of landfall between Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Sandy Hook NJ at 70%. As Sandy turns into an extratropical storm the winds will no …

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25 October 2012

Northeast Spooked By Potential Franken-Storm (and they should be!)

Northeast Spooked By Potential Franken-Storm (and they should be!)

Hurricane Sandy is feeding off the warm water of the Bahamas tonight, but as it moves northward over the weekend, it will begin to transition to a more nor’easter like storm that takes its energy from temperature differences in the atmosphere. We may even see Sandy weaken for an extended period before becoming perhaps even more powerful as it curves into the NE coast.  Tropical systems almost always have a fairly tight wind field. The …

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23 October 2012

Italy Still Hasn’t Learned

Italy Still Hasn't Learned

Italy has a history of locking up scientists that say things they don’t like. Just ask Galileo. I wonder if they realize the incalculable damage they have done to their country today. They did it by convicting six scientists whose research on the risk of earthquakes they completely misunderstood. The first thing any college level science student should learn is that any measurement  observation or forecast is MEANINGLESS unless it is also accompanied with a measure of the uncertainty. …

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19 October 2012

Plains Cyclone Brings Rare Dust Storm To The Deep South

Plains Cyclone Brings Rare Dust Storm To The Deep South

Winds gusted across the Plains to nearly 50 mph on Thursday, bringing a real dust storm to much of Kansas and Northern Oklahoma. Today the dust has reached Tennessee and Alabama, and the dry soil from the summer drought almost certainly played a role in this event as well. The latest GOES image Friday afternoon shows the intense low near Chicago. This is what meteorologists call a cutoff low and it extends through much of the troposphere. It is slowly weakening …

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17 October 2012

Could A Record Warm NW Atlantic Bring A Cold Winter For the Northeast??

Could A Record Warm NW Atlantic Bring A Cold Winter For the Northeast??

Notice how incredibly warm the Northwest Atlantic ocean is now. The warmth stretches well northward to Greenland, and out into the North Atlantic as well. Now look at the 500 millibar height anomalies for September. (The 500 millibar pressure level is about 6 km above the surface and a warmer atmosphere pushes this level higher) The height anomalies are directly related to the warmth of the atmosphere. Notice here how the warm oceans are producing …

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13 October 2012

Fall Colors Are Peaking 10 Days Later Than the early 1980′s

Fall Colors Are Peaking 10 Days Later Than the early 1980's

The fall colors in America are peaking over 10 days later now than 30 years ago. How can you determine such a subjective thing as when fall colors are peaking? Well, that’s just as interesting as the results! Take a look at the graph below courtesy of Climate Central. The NDVI is the Normalized Difference Vegetative Index and in this case it was used to graph the times when the leaves were changing colors …

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7 October 2012

You Do Know That There is No Such Thing As Clean Coal, Right?

You Do Know That There is No Such Thing As Clean Coal, Right?

You cannot watch cable news for long without seeing a commercial by the coal industry touting clean coal, but clean coal is nothing more than an advertising slogan. To capture the CO2, and other dirty by products that result from burning coal, can theoretically be done but so far no one has figured out how to safely do it.  Furthermore, the process of burning it cleanly (then storing the CO2) nearly doubles the cost! Not to …

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3 October 2012

Weather Channel Plan To Name Winter Storms Gets Frosty Reception

Weather Channel Plan To Name Winter Storms Gets Frosty Reception

  Forecast meteorologists seem to have come to a similar opinion today after the The Weather Channel announced that they are going to begin naming some winter storms. I think that opinion could be best paraphrased by: “Are you kidding??” Yes, hurricanes get names, but they last days or even weeks, whereas a blizzard may last two or three days on average. The 2010 blizzard in DC has acquired the name SNOWMAGEDDON, …

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