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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 …

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23 October 2019

Of all the Mistakes A Local News Outlet Can Make- This is The Worst

When a tornado moved right through central Dallas Sunday night, almost every TV station was in wall-to-wall coverage. The tornado was visible in lightning flashes, and this was not a “possible tornado”. It was confirmed, on the ground, and doing damage. Major damage. Yet, Dallas station KXAS did not break into programming for some time, and it was not because their meteorologists were asleep. They were tracking the storm and …

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25 May 2019

Weather Radar Mistakes Can Often Give Valuable Information

Look at this image below from the NOAA Doppler Radar near Midland TX. What is that strange spike coming out of the storm? We actually have a name for it and you do not see one like that very often. It’s called a 3 body scatter spike. There is no long line of rain falling from this severe storm, and believe me it’s without a doubt very severe. Instead, the …

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13 November 2018

The Cloud That Appears on Top of The Most Dangerous Storms

We meteorologists knew that the new GOES satellites would be revolutionary, and a new paper presented at an AMS conference on severe storms is a good example of just that. It’s about a cloud signature visible on high- resolution imagery that can lead to more lead time on severe weather warnings and fewer false alarms. It’s called an AACP: Above Anvil Cirrus Cloud, and when a forecaster sees one on …

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22 October 2018

The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis is a Must Listen

You really need to listen to The Coming Storm. This Audible short is about big data, deadly storms, and egregious greed, and I’d give it 5 stars even if I were not quoted in it. (The quote is accurate by the way and I stand by it 100%.)  My friend Tim Schmidt (my go-to expert on satellite data) is also quoted and he (and many of my NOAA friends) are …

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17 October 2018

Is A Changing Climate Shifting Tornado Alley?

An important paper by Harold Brooks and Victor Gensini is out today, and it looks at how the atmospheric conditions that produce tornadoes have changed since 1979. The data shows a clear shift toward the Southeast U.S. with a decrease in the Plains. This is not good since the increase is in an area of higher population, and in an area where a larger percentage of people live in tornado death traps. These traps are …

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28 May 2018

Don’t Blame Mother Nature for the Devastating Flood in Ellicott City, Maryland Sunday.

Just last summer the Baltimore Sun had this story about the historic clock on Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland. It was rededicated after the devastating “1000-year” flood of July 30,2016 that made national news. That clock was swept away this evening during the second 1000-year flood in two years in the city. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency and rescues are still underway as I write this.  …

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30 April 2018

Tornado Causes Significant damage in Belgium. Another in Northern France

It snowed in Normandy today, but a strong cold front yesterday brought severe storms and supercells to Belgium and France. It’s very rare to have spring tornadoes in this area and rare anytime to have a tornado strong enough to do significant damage. England has had one of its warmest April’s on record, and though temperatures now have dropped back some, it’s still rather mild for early May.  So far the spring …

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5 January 2018

Thoughts and Images of The Great Blizzard of 2018

Working on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you might imagine I have been rather busy over the last few days and that is beyond an understatement. I was brought to work today in a four-wheel drive jeep and I have 11″ of snow on my sidewalk! This was a memorable storm and perhaps what makes it more so is how fast the pressure in the storm dropped. The pressure in the …

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3 November 2017

New Climate Report- Humans Are Warming The Planet; There’s No Convincing Evidence for ANY Other Cause

  The 4th U.S. Climate Assessment is HERE. A summary is here. Here are some key findings. I want to highlight what I think is the key finding: This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no …

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16 October 2017

UK and Ireland Smacked Hard By Ophelia

My close friends in Wales report the “wheely bins” are all over the place. The obs at Dublin airport show winds have gusted to right at 60 mph during the afternoon and evening, and on Anglesey, in Wales the winds reach 65 mph! Here is a view fo the storm from the Meteosat (ctsy Univ. of Dundee’s downlink station). FYI: Ophelia is no longer a hurricane. As it moved over the much …

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26 September 2017

Satellites Show the Lack of Power In Puerto Rico as a Catastrophe Unfolds.

The images and pleas for help coming from Puerto Rico are heartbreaking and increasingly alarming. Media reports this evening are saying that 80% of the island’s crops have been destroyed. Only those with generators have power and mobile signals are sparse and intermittent. Up to 60% of people have no reliable access to clean water, and frankly, I can see no signs that much is being done about it! I …

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27 August 2017

Read These Two Essays to Really Understand What Happened In Houston Last Night

When you work as a meteorologist or a reporter, you accept that there will be times when your sleep, hunger, and comfort come far behind the importance of serving the public. Last night was one of those moments for those at the NWS in Houston, and the reporters/meteorologists at Houston TV stations. At one point the NWS office had 4 tornado warnings and at least as many Flash Flood Emergency warnings …

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28 July 2017

Freak Summer Nor’easter Headed for the Mid-Atlantic

Gale warnings in July are rare along the mid-Atlantic coast, but if a tropical cyclone is nearby, they do happen. But those are rare, and a gale warning for a nor’easter in late July? That does not happen. No way. WAY. A strong trough in the troposphere is indeed going to bring a real fall-like nor’easter to the Mid-Atlantic this weekend with winds gusting nearly 50 mph on the coast. The bigger …

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14 April 2017

Supercomputer Recreation of an Oklahoma Tornado

A big hat tip to Tim Schmit at the Uni. of Wisconsin SSEC for this: Look at the animation below of a supercell with a large tornado that was re-created using a supercomputer. From the video tag on YouTube: Using supercomputers, a team led by UW-Madison CIMSS researcher Leigh Orf, successfully recreated a monstrous supercell that produced several tornadoes in 2011, one of which registered as an EF-5 and touched …

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7 October 2016

What People Who Do Not Evacuate from A Hurricane Do Not Know

Have you been in a hurricane? I mean have you been in the eye-wall right by the eye, or in the actual eye of the storm?? Was it a category three or higher? Be honest with yourself, and think about that. If the answer is no, not really, then you have NOT been in a hurricane. I think this is why many people do not evacuate; they just do not …

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5 October 2016

Did The Euro Model Just Pull Another Forecast Coup?

Matthew is gaining strength again tonight, and Florida and South Carolina are still going to see a significant (perhaps severe) storm. If the eye stays out to sea, it will not be as bad as it could be, but if it crosses just inland, much greater damage and a major storm surge is likely. Still a rather large disagreement between the higher res. regional models and the global models today. The …

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14 August 2016

Catastrophic Flood Event Underway In Louisiana

Thousands of people have been rescued, and thousands of others are trapped by flood waters in Louisiana tonight, as over 20 inches of rain fell starting early Friday and through the weekend. I’m going to post various images/data to put some context into what/why this is happening. These floods are not yet over, and the threat is now increasing in parts of Missouri and Illinois, where up to 6 inches …

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2 August 2016

The Data is In from Ellicott City’s Flood Saturday Night. It’s Incredible.

The NWS in Baltimore-Washington posted an excellent summary of the data from the historic (and deadly) flood in Ellicott City, MD. on Saturday evening. I wrote about this flood yesterday but there is even more data now from flood gauges on area streams and more precise rainfall data. Go here: http://www.weather.gov/lwx//EllicottCityFlood2016 . The stream gauge data shows just how quickly the local streams can rise in an event like this. There has …

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3 July 2016

The Science Behind That Awesome Photo You Saw on Twitter or Facebook

Meteorologist see a whole lot more in this image however, and it even shows the promise of better warnings of severe weather. This is especially true for rural areas/ poor nations that have only a rudimentary severe weather warning system in place. The image was apparently taken from an airliner over the Pacific.  You’re looking at a very intense thunderstorm, with an updraft of air that towers into the stratosphere …

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