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31 January 2019

Note to the Media: Getting Science/Weather Stories Right Matters Just As Much As Any Other

The cold hard scientific truth is that the polar vortex is 6 (plus) kilometers high and located south of Hudson Bay tonight. It never reached the American Midwest, and every story you’ve seen or read about it (except perhaps one or two notable exceptions) have been wrong. Indeed, the Washington Post is not the only one to post “polar vortex” headlines that were dead wrong this week. It’s turned into an …


12 December 2018

NOAA’s Says The Polar Freezer is In Defrost Mode

NOAA’s Arctic Report Card came out today but with all the news (that’s barely fit to print) these days, it was easy to miss. Here’s a summary of the major points and an excellent video from NOAA that summarises it. Too bad I’ve not seen it linked on any major news sites. You can read the whole report here. Report Card Highlights from NOAA Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to …


2 April 2018

Gavin Schmidt and Richard Alley’s Talk to a Full House at the Smithsonian

Anyone doing a presentation about Earth’s past climate has heard the same question. It goes something along the lines of: “How can you know what the weather was like ten thousand years ago? You weren’t there and neither was anyone else alive!” Here’s the thing though: How we know is really fascinating, and not knowing, doesn’t make it any less certain or true. Paleoclimate is my favorite subject of the many …


1 January 2018

Stopping by The Woods on A Snowy Morning.

Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.   My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.   He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some …


12 February 2017

Astonishing February Heat From Colorado to Oklahoma, and Into The High Arctic

Denver reached 80 degrees Friday, smashing their record high for the 10th of February by 9 degrees, but wait, there’s more. They also saw their hottest February temperature on record, and records there go back to 1872! Grant was President of the U.S. when temperature records began in Denver. Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, also saw their hottest February day on record. The heat shifted south into Oklahoma today and Oklahoma City smashed their …


27 December 2016

The Dogs of Winter May Start Howling Again Soon.

There are growing signs that Arctic air may return to the U.S. by late next week as the mild weather pattern of the last ten days begins to fall apart. There is still a lot of uncertainty about whether or not this pattern will lock in or if this will be just a temporary blast of cold before milder Pacific air takes back over. The big clue to these changes is …


12 December 2016

Cold Blast Coming, but Milder Air for Late December

There is little doubt now that the coldest air of the season so far will reach the Great Lakes and Northeast U.S. by Thursday, and highs Thursday and Friday will not likely reach freezing as far south as Kentucky and Virginia! There will be some more lake effect snow as well as this dry,frigid air crosses the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes. Just to be clear, the polar …


6 April 2016

An Ocean Mystery

A little science mystery for you. Look at this image above (Courtesy Climate Central in Princeton). Why is the water south of Greenland getting colder/not warming, while its warmed dramatically elsewhere?? Current hypothesis is melting ice in Greenland is chilling the water, or a slow down in the thermohaline circulation. May be both? Last I heard the climate models were not reproducing it well, but if it is melting ice, …


12 July 2015

Coastal Oceanography off North-East Greenland

THIS IS A GUEST POST BY OCEANOGRAPHER ANDREAS MUENCHOW AT THE UNIV. OF DELAWARE Greenland is melting, but it is not entirely clear why. Yes, air temperatures continue to increase, but what does it matter, if those temperatures are below freezing most of the time. What if the ocean does most of the melting a few 100 m below the surface rather than the air above? It means that gut feeling …


6 June 2015

Amazing Greenland

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Greenland twice, and it is truly a place of amazing beauty. A friend who lives just a couple of blocks away from me here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland just got back from the 2015 operation Ice Bridge mission where the video below is from. Ice Bridge is filling in data on the changes in the ice sheets to cover the loss of …


19 February 2015

Northeast U.S. Shivers, as Nation Experiences 6th Warmest Winter

More cold air is coming to the Midwest and East next week as well, with long-range numerical guidance indicating temps. will stay WELL below normal for most of next week. The intense cold over the north, contrasted with the warmth in the tropics has produced a jet stream with winds approaching 180 mph around 6 kilometers above the surface (`30,000 feet). It may surprise you to learn though that for …


11 February 2015

Coldest Air of The Winter Headed For the NE U.S. and Midwest

A true outbreak of Polar air is headed for the northeastern quarter of the U.S. beginning Thursday. It will actually come in at least two and maybe 3 waves. The first wave will bring snow showers and plunging temps on Thursday to the East Coast from Virginia to Maine, and another surge will arrive Saturday evening with even colder air. A true Polar air mass often brings a dusting of …


18 April 2014

Great Lakes Ice Unprecedented? Hardly.

The headline above is on the Huffington Posts front page this evening, and it’s rather misleading. Yes, it’s been a rather cold winter around the Great Lakes and a cold spring has slowed the ice melt as well. It’s really not that big of a deal however, and the claim that this will affect the environment for years is more than dubious. The ice was worse in the cold winters …


18 February 2014

David Gregory at Meet The Press Stops The Ridiculous

I wasn’t the only one who was very critical of NBC’s Meet The Press program last Sunday, but there was a bright spot. David Gregory stopped his guest cold when she started making totally incorrect statements about climate science. No, not Dr. Heidi Cullen (who is an expert), but the other guest (a politician) who knows nothing about the subject (except perhaps that it’s inconvenient to her political world-view). This …


17 January 2014

Premiering Next Week- Revenge of The Polar Vortex (Starring the Dogs of Winter)

It’s coming back. Will it be as cold as the last one at the beginning of the year? Too soon to say but there are growing signs it will last longer and may come in several waves. Numerical weather ensembles (See last two blog posts) are in remarkable agreement that the cold will return. Model guidance is indicating temperatures as much as 40 degrees below normal by later next week! …


14 January 2014

The Polar Vortex Gets Its 15 Minutes of Fame

I was asked by the AGU to do a post about the Polar Vortex for the AGU Blog THE BRIDGE. You can read it by clicking on the image below: and then you should read Bob Henson’s piece from the NCAR AtmosNews Journal


13 January 2014

Don’t Let The Thaw Fool You, The Revenge of The Polar Vortex May be Coming

Numerical weather models tend to become very unreliable beyond 5 or 6 days but meteorologists have discovered a trick that helps in long-range forecasting. At least a bit. We still cannot pin down what day a storm will hit at a particular place but we can get a good idea of whether or not the pattern will be warm/cold/dry or stormy. Here is the trick: Run the weather model multiple …


2 January 2014

Cold and Snow, and High Winds As Well For Northeast USA. Storms Threaten UK Again as Well.

A strong winter storm will hit the NE later tonight and this one will have bitter cold and high winds. Note the predicted wind gusts at sunrise Friday from the European Model, and because of this Gale Warnings are in effect for waters from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine and into Atlantic Canada. Rawinsonde balloons this morning show a jet stream approaching 180 knots heading into the Atlantic, and this …


6 November 2013

NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge Heading Back To Antarctica

NASA is taking their Operation Ice Bridge back to Antarctica later this month after the mission was almost cancelled by the government shutdown.. This will be the first time the NASA P3 Orion aircraft will make the trip, and land on the ice runway at McMurdo Science Base. Ice Bridge has filled in the gaps in ice sheet measurements since Icesat 1 died. Icesat 2 will launch in 2016. Here’s …


19 June 2013

Two Highly Repected Scientific Views On The Effects Of A Warming Arctic

This is a re-post from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media: Over the past year, Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., of Rutgers University has produced compelling evidence of links between the rapid reduction in Arctic sea ice and extreme weather events in the Northern Hemisphere. Her hypothesis — that the reduced temperature gradient between Arctic and temperate zones causes the jet stream to slow — was examined in early …