You are browsing the archive for Dan Satterfield.

1 November 2021

The Climate Model Myth Needs to Die

Good piece here at NASA. It’s a widespread myth that climate models are not very good. In fact, they do an amazing job, and it is fairly straightforward to test them. The bad news is what they predict if our CO2 levels go to 800 ppm: Whole different planet.


3 September 2021

Two Connected Images

The New Jersey State Climatologist posted a map of the rainfall from Ida Wednesday night. Look at these rainfall totals! Now, Look at this graph from Dr. Brian Brettschneider. He posted this on Twitter today. It might surprise you to know that August was the 543rd month with global ocean temps. above the average for the 20th century.  The planet is about one degree C. warmer than it was one …


22 June 2021

How NOT to do Science Journalism

Take a look at this: It’s been a while since I read a news article so full of falsehoods, (and just plain ignorance of science) but this one takes the cake. This is not journalism. It’s written for people who cannot think for themselves. Just some points. Were the two photos taken at the same tide cycle? High tide, low tide? Hint, no one knows! The image, therefore, is …


25 May 2021

Aliens In The Sky? Show Me Some Real Evidence!

Houston, we have a problem. News outlets have found that when they publish any story that has the letters UFO in it, they get a lot of hits. This leads to two things: More UFO stories and poor journalism. Here is an example I saw this last weekend. It was on the NBC website and showed the image below: Any meteorologist can tell you what you are looking at, and …


9 April 2021

Weather Satellites Do Far More Than Monitor Weather. They Watch Volcanoes Too

The La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has rumbled to life and the loop below shows the second of two eruptions today. This is a dangerous volcano. It killed over 1000 in 1902 and it is a stratovolcano. Those are the ones that go BANG, unlike the shield volcanoes in Hawaii that spread runny lava everywhere. The last eruption was in April of 1979, and let’s hope this one is …


13 February 2021

Why Crazy Snow Forecast Go Viral on Social Media

There have been some rather outrageous snow forecasts floating around online this winter, and in the last few days, many have been from Oklahoma and Texas. Make no mistake about it there is a major snow event coming there, but TV forecasters in Oklahoma City posting snow totals 5 days out is certainly beyond the science (and perhaps a good definition for the word irresponsible). You tend to get strong …


9 February 2021

Science Illiteracy and Poor Critical Thinking Skills Really Can be Deadly

I’ve written many times over the years about science illiteracy and the need to teach critical thinking skills to students. Is there any doubt that the last 14 months has emphasised it like nothing else could? Thousands have died because they thought the world’s medical experts were wrong about social distancing/face masks. The politicians who agreed with them and refused to urge their constituents to follow the basic rules during …


4 December 2020

Climate Change Is About to Show Up On Your Local Weather Report

Every ten years the climate “normals” are recalculated. Today, for instance, the normal high is 52 degrees here in Salisbury, Maryland. Most TV weather reports show the average high and low for the day, and I put them on our 7-day forecast graphic, but these numbers are about to change. The normals we use now are based on the 30-year period from 1980-2010, but starting next year we will use …


2 November 2020

The Discussion About Science We Must Have

  My friend Ed Maibach researches climate change/energy opinions at George Mason University, and he recently sent me an email with this polling result.   Atmospheric science folks like me are very interested in this because of the great disconnect between what the science says and what the public thinks. Natural gas is better than coal or oil, but it’s still a fossil fuel that produces CO2 and something we …


25 September 2020

The Most Important Thing You Can Do About Climate Change

There is a LOT of evidence from psychologists that how we discuss climate change is very important. It turns out that it’s very easy to reinforce wrong beliefs. You can end up leaving someone who is uncertain about how serious the issue is with an even stronger opinion that is not based on facts. How can we do better? Dr.Katherine Hayhoe at Texas Tech University is IMHO the expert in …


17 August 2020

Did We Break the Planetary Temperature Record Sunday? Probably So!

We may have broken the Earth’s high-temperature record today. Furnace Creek, California in Death Valley reached 130 degrees(F) today at 3:41PM PDT. This is the first time since 1913 that it’s gotten that hot in Death Valley, and it may NEVER have gotten that hot there. The World Meteorological Organisation still lists the 134F degrees in Death Valley in July 1913 as the hottest temperature recorded on Earth, but most …


15 August 2020

NWS Office Issues First Ever Fire Tornado Warning

Pyrocumulonimbus. That’s the term for a cumulonimbus cloud that develops when a large wildfire heats the air up so much that a giant cloud develops. They can develop even if the atmosphere is stable since the forcing is all from the heat of the fire below. If there is wind shear in the atmosphere, they can rotate and sometimes produce a tornado. We’ve seen quite a few of these over …


12 August 2020

Severe Crop Damage From Midwest Derecho Visible from Space

The damage from the severe derecho in the Midwest Tuesday is visible from space. Early estimates are that the damage may exceed a billion dollars. Click on the image above for a larger view. It’s not uncommon for the paths of large tornadoes to be visible from weather satellites but the crop damage over such a wide swatch is not something you see every day. The corn crops across this …


11 August 2020

Disease Experts Are Now Getting The Climate Science Treatment

  I have to feel sorry for Dr. Anthony Fauci. He has received several death threats and had to hire security for his family. So have other disease experts and the simple reason is that their science conflicts with the political worldview of some politicians and their supporters. The science does not care about your political party, it cares about what you can test and what you can show. If …


31 July 2020

Hurricane Isaias Will Be Wetter and Stronger Because of Climate Change

Hurricane Warnings were just posted for much of Central/South Florida, from the Kennedy Space Center southward to Boca Raton and it looks more and more likely that Isaias will track near the coastline as far north as Delaware. Make no mistake about it, the storm will be worse because of climate change in a myriad of ways. The storm surge and any coastal flooding will be higher because the sea …


21 July 2020

It’s Time to Pay Attention to the Tropics

The NHC started advisories on Tropical Depression 7 in the mid-Atlantic this evening and there is an area of disturbed weather south of Florida as well. Sometimes, it seems like a switch flips and the Atlantic basin starts to bubble. The switch has flipped. In spite of some big outbreaks of dust a few weeks ago, the waters in the main development region (MDR) are well above average and any …


2 July 2020

The Science Behind A Rare Weather Event- A Heat Burst

Have you ever heard of a heat burst? If you have, you probably have not experienced one. These rare events are very localised and do not last long. I was lucky enough to experience one in Oklahoma City in the 1990’s but few meteorologists I know can say they were in one. An exception to the rule is my friend Richard “Heatwave” Berler. Richard is the Chief Meteorologist for KGNS …


15 June 2020

“Sharpie-Gate” Report says Two Top NOAA Officials Violated Scientific Integrity Guidelines

When NOAA leadership reprimanded the NWS office in Birmingham over a social media post, there was outrage among both government and private sector meteorologists. The reason, of course, it that the tweet was accurate even though it conflicted with a statement by the President. The NWS office had no knowledge of that statement, but without scientific doubt, the NWS office was correct. A NOAA report today found that this was …


29 May 2020

I Thought This Was a Joke. It Wasn’t

I saw this online last week and immediately assumed it was a joke from THE ONION. Unfortunately, it was not. The poll seems to be real, and it says a lot about our country. None of it good. Over a quarter of U.S. adults believe a silly conspiracy theory. Our polarisation is breaking not only along party lines, but those party lines seem to be breaking along scientifically literate lines. …


7 May 2020

YouTube Conspiracy Theory Video Goes Viral. Here Is Some Hard Truth

   You can also get some more science from a group of virologists who produce a podcast called This Week in Virology. This is more for biology students and experts but there is great info here as well.