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28 January 2015

Predicting the Weather is Tricky Work

Predicting the Weather is Tricky Work

This is a guest post by long-time Raleigh North Carolina Meteorologist (and friend) Greg Fishel of WRAL-TV During Tuesday’s 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. news, I talked about ensembles, how they outperformed the deterministic models for New York City last night and that they appear to be performing better for the local area with regard to a storm arriving on Sunday. First, what are ensembles and why are they so …

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27 January 2015

Making Snowfall Forecasts More Accuarate

Making Snowfall Forecasts More Accuarate

We are at the cusp of some amazing technology that will hopefully make forecasting snowstorms, like the one predicted yesterday, much more accurate. I was on a local program produced by the TV station I work for (WBOC-TV) last week, and I showed a couple of smart phone apps that may eventually make a real difference in forecasting. Making better forecasts requires higher resolution models and that means more data …

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25 January 2015

East Coast Blizzard Brewing?

East Coast Blizzard Brewing?

  There are increasing signs this early Sunday morning that the winter of 2015 is about to go into high gear. A major nor’easter is likely to develop Monday and move NE to off the New England coast by Tuesday evening. A word of warning here- there is still a lot of uncertainty in the strength and track of this low and that will play a big role in how …

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22 January 2015

Gravity Wave Ripples on The Satellite

Gravity Wave Ripples on The Satellite

The wave clouds on this image over Virginia are caused by winds flowing over the mountains. As the winds lift they form a cloud, and as they fall back down the air warms and dries out (and the cloud dissipates). These ripples happen because the air is fairly stable and does not want to go too high or low from its original height. So, after it goes over the mountains …

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21 January 2015

Contrails and Distrails

Contrails and Distrails

Florida meteorologist Chris Smith received the picture above from viewer Joseph Mandeville today wanting to know what caused this. It’s a DISTRAIL. The cloud was made up of liquid cloud droplets that were well below freezing (supercooled water is common in the atmosphere), and when an aircraft flies through it the tiny soot particles can act as condensation nuclei and cause the liquid water to freeze. The ice crystals fall …

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17 January 2015

Finding The Missing Heat- A Science Based Detective Story

Finding The Missing Heat- A Science Based Detective Story

While there was huge press coverage over the last couple of days about the NASA/NOAA Announcement that 2014 was the hottest on record, the behind the scenes science is actually very fascinating. In spite of the serious threat we face from burning fossil fuels and it’s likely consequences, the science of trying to understand our climate system in even more detail is actually a rather riveting detective story. First a …

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16 January 2015

Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record for 3rd Time This Century

Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record for 3rd Time This Century

Update 5:30 PM 16 Jan. This is an excellent info-graphic from Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS. 13 of the 15 hottest years on record were in the last 15 years. The odds of this happening naturally are less than in 1 in 27 million based on an analysis by Climate Central. Andy Freedman at Mashable has a good piece on this as well today here. This is the third time …

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15 January 2015

Georgia 4th District Congressional Candidate Involved In Chemtrail Picket of The Weather Channel

Georgia 4th District Congressional Candidate Involved In Chemtrail Picket of The Weather Channel

A sitting U.S. Congressman former candidate for the 4th district of Georgia is apparently involved in a demonstration against the The Weather Channel in Atlanta. (I have corrected an earlier version that incorrectly id’s him as a congressman). Why? Because we meteorologists are hiding the truth about those white lines you see behind planes. It seems they are not just frozen water vapor produced by combustion of jet fuel, but instead are …

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2014 Hottest On Record- NASA/NOAA Make It Official Tomorrow

2014 Hottest On Record- NASA/NOAA Make It Official Tomorrow

While the U.S. Midwest had a cool 2014, mainly due to a frigid winter, the planet as a whole was the hottest since reliable records have been kept. NASA and NOAA will make the official announcement tomorrow. Some interesting tidbits: The Japan Meteorological Agency declared 2014 as the hottest year on record globally.   NASA and NOAA will release their official global numbers on Friday and all signs are pointing …

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14 January 2015

Weather Forecasts Are About To Get Even Better

Weather Forecasts Are About To Get Even Better

I asked one of my professors at OU in the mid 1970′s if we would ever be able to make reliable forecasts out to a week, and he said it was unlikely, because we would needs computers running hundreds of times faster than they did then. Well, what do you know! The computer in your iPhone is  thousands of times faster than what was in the Lunar Module on July …

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