9 February 2014

…and In Other Science News This Weekend

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Click for full size and look for the ">"sign bottom right.

Click for full size and look for the “>”sign bottom right.


What are you seeing, and what does it have to with weather? Check out this post on the CIMMS Satellite blog from the Uni. of Wisconsin.


After last week’s (and the previous week’s) viral false rumor about an impending doomsday blizzard (see this post), the NWS in New York posted this graphic on Twitter Friday. It was welcomed by every real meteorologist (in TV or NWS) I know of!


This incident has prompted a lot of discussion among on air meteorologists, and many of us who have a certification from the American Meteorological Society are adding their seal to their Facebook page. One problem though is this does not necessarily mean that person has at least a BS in atmospheric science. The AMS grandfathered some previous seal holders in when they raised the standards. Nonetheless, most of those with a CBM have a degree now, but if the bio says “studied meteorology at” instead of clearly stating they have a degree in atmospheric science, then be careful.

My Facebook page with the CBM seal added now.

My Facebook page with the CBM seal added now.

Hopefully this will be a start in educating the public about not getting fooled by these basement forecasters. One of the rumors was started by a few CBM seal holders who posted a long-range model output that was totally unrealistic, and it was shared thousands of times without any context. I suspect they will be a lot more careful about that in the future. They should have known it was totally unrealistic though, and it was a bad idea IMHO to post it at all. Having a deeper understanding of the physics that goes into these models is valuable knowledge!


A wetter storm track is bringing rain to northern California this weekend and it looks like it will continue for at least ten days. This will be a drop in the bucket though, and NASA Science Now has some interesting info on the drought.

Virtually all long-range climate simulations show the west will become MUCH drier in this century as greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, but tree ring records show that severe decades long droughts are part of the natural variability in the far west. Climate Central’s Bobby Magill has a well written piece with some accurate info here.