You are browsing the archive for March 2017 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.

29 March 2017

Don’t Like The Science- Make up Your Own Alternative Science

Don't Like The Science- Make up Your Own Alternative Science

Make up your own science and then send it to 200,000 teachers. This will turn out to be a real waste of money for Heartland, and the reason is that most Earth science teachers will toss this in the waste bin. That’s a good place for it, but before you do, you could use it to explain what real peer-reviewed science is compared to an opinion based on worldview. It’s also …

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28 March 2017

The Fake Climate Debate and The Real One

The Fake Climate Debate and The Real One

I just finished reading a paper by Michael Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf et.al in Nature Reports today that is getting some deserved press attention. It’s rather complicated (OK, for non-atmospheric science geeks, it’s a brick) but in plain language, it indicates that the warming of the climate is doing what many of my fellow forecasters have been suspecting for quite some time: changing the upper-level wind flow and therefore changing our …

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25 March 2017

Look Up and Say Hello to Altocumulus Asperitus and Cirrus Homogenitus

Look Up and Say Hello to Altocumulus Asperitus and Cirrus Homogenitus

It was Luke Howard, a Fellow of the Royal Society, who first gave us the cloud names like cirrus, stratus, and cumulus (that we still use today), and that was way back in 1802! This is important because to understand something, you first have to observe and classify it, and this is true of all science, not just meteorology. So, it’s big news when we add some new cloud names, and if …

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23 March 2017

Sea Ice and China Smog

Sea Ice and China Smog

Even Antarctica saw record low ice area during their summer (boreal winter), but there’s new research that seems to show a link between the Arctic ice loss and increased air pollution in China. With dark, heat-absorbing water now replacing what was once bright and very reflective ice, the energy balance of the atmosphere has to change, and that change translates to changing weather patterns. There is quite a bit of research into this now, …

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22 March 2017

Record Low Ice at Both Poles

Record Low Ice at Both Poles

We are getting used to hearing about a record melt out of the Arctic in the early autumn each year, but now we are seeing the lowest wintertime ice on record as well. It’s not official yet, but it looks like the Arctic Ice is now in a steady melt, and the maximum extent this winter was the lowest on record. Neven, over at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog thinks …

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20 March 2017

Can You See The Equinox from Space? Yes!

Can You See The Equinox from Space? Yes!

The Equinox was at 10:29 GMT or 6:29 AM EDT this morning, and yes it is visible from space. The terminator between light and dark is exactly due north/south on the equinoxes, and you can see that this is indeed the case from the image above. The line will tilt to the right at exactly 23.5 degrees by the summer solstice.

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18 March 2017

February Second Warmest on Record

February Second Warmest on Record

This February was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th-century average. The only February that was hotter was in 2016. When compared to the 20th-century average, February was the 7th hottest of any month on record The last February below the 20th-century average was in 1976. The rate of the February temperature increase has doubled since 1980. 15 of the 20 warmest Februaries have come since 2000. None were before 1983. February …

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16 March 2017

The Controversial Northeast Snow Cover in Living Color

The Controversial Northeast Snow Cover in Living Color

This is an image with 1 km resolution, and if you click on the image you can get a much larger version. You can see the Susquehanna River clearly and the lack of snow near the coast as the warmer ocean air changed the snow to rain. You can download a 500-meter resolution image here. The snow forecast near the coast was very tricky and there has been some controversy …

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15 March 2017

Properly Communicating Uncertainty Is Just as Important as Making A Good Forecast

Properly Communicating Uncertainty Is Just as Important as Making A Good Forecast

There has been a bit of a firestorm in the last 24 hours over an AP report that the NWS decided to stick with its snowfall forecast even after last minute model guidance showed lesser amounts were likely. There’s a story in the Washington Post and Seth Borenstein at the AP broke the story. Here are some thoughts on this based on 37 years of forecasting, and I will say …

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10 March 2017

GOES-16 Data Back Online

GOES-16 Data Back Online

The GOES-16 non-operational data is back online! It’s amazing too. I have been looking at one-minute data of storms over Kentucky and Tennesee tonight, and it is a real WOW. I grabbed the images below, and this data quickly told me that the storms in Kentucky were maintaining their strength. I suspect it was very valuable to the NWS offices in Tennesee and Kentucky tonight. Many warnings were issued and …

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