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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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