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You are browsing the archive for June 2016 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.

30 June 2016

Hubble Images of Jupiters “Northern Lights” are Amazing!

Jupiter has a MUCH stronger magnetic field than Earth does, and the Aurora’s it produces have been known about for a while, but this image above from Hubble though is one of the most incredible I’ve seen! More from NASA/Hubble HERE. Next week a new spacecraft named JUNO will go into orbit around Jupiter, and we will learn a lot more about the large gas giant. More on the JUNO …

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29 June 2016

31 Scientific Societies Send Congress Letter on Climate Change. It pulls no punches.

A letter signed by the directors of over 30 different scientific societies was sent to the Congress this week. The AGU, and the American Meteorological Society, were among the signers. Jason Samenow at the Washington Post has a piece on this as well today. Research by Ed Maibach at George Mason Univ., and others at the Yale Program on Climate Change, indicates that the number of those who dismiss climate …

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28 June 2016

Up to 8 Inches of Rain Fall on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

I live here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we had a severe flood event last night. Nearly 6 inches of rain fell at my house. This comes after my post yesterday about the difficulty in forecasting extreme events like floods. Look below and read what I posted to my local viewers about the event. This area is flat, so we did not have any loss of life, but …

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Using Satellite Data to Forecast Flooding

A lot of folks have a vague idea of how valuable satellite data is for forecasting severe weather. With the launch of GOES R this fall, the data will be nearly real-time, like radar is now, and it will revolutionize forecasting. That said, we already have satellite products that (using the different IR and visible channels) can detect and track water vapor in the atmosphere.  I chair the NWA Committee …

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23 June 2016

Free Book: Understanding Climate Models without the Maths

I am currently reading an excellent (and FREE) book about climate models that I think many teachers of physics/Earth science etc. will want to get. It will also come in handy for synoptic meteorologists who use numerical weather models (which while similar, are also quite different). In my last post, I had a link to a slide show that the AMS Station Science Committee and Climate Central put together, so …

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22 June 2016

New Slide Presentation on Climate Change Dispels Common Myths

  My friend Paul Gross (at WDIV in Detroit) is the past chair of the AMS Committee on Station Science (I’m currently the chair), and he had a fantastic idea early this year that is now a reality. The idea was to develop a set of slides for broadcast meteorologists (and even teachers) that they could use to teach climate change and dispel the many myths that are constantly floating …

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19 June 2016

The Bolt from the Blue That Can Kill You

Most folks know to get inside when a thunderstorm approaches, and we meteorologists keep telling folks that unless you are in tornado alley, you’re much more likely to die in a flood or by lightning, than a tornado. The word is getting out, because deaths due to lightning have dropped dramatically over the past 60 years. Even so, most folks worry much more about tornadoes than floods or lightning bolts, …

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15 June 2016

The Facts Are not Enough When Communicating Climate & Weather

Communicating weather is not easy, but when you add in climate change, the difficulty increases by an order of magnitude! I spent the day with a superb group of fellow synoptic meteorologists and climate scientists, and I learned a great deal about how to better communicate the more technical geeky stuff to the public. I met two people who I have long wanted to talk with: 1.Dr. John Nielsen Gammon …

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10 June 2016

Oklahoma Congressman’s Idea to Privatize NWS Forecasts Gets Icy Reception among Broadcast Meteorologists.

I’m hearing a lot of talk among my fellow forecasters today about legislation (introduced by an Oklahoma congressman) that would privatize many forecast functions of the NWS. You might think that private sector meteorologists would support this, but almost every broadcast metr. I know has panned the idea. The quality of public weather forecasts is due to the cooperation between the public and private sector, and a survey of comments by …

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9 June 2016

Forecasts are getting Better, But The Public is Being Given Lousy Forecasts

Weather forecasts are much better than even a decade ago, and the change over the last 20 years has been remarkable, but in many cases, the weather forecast the average Joe gets has gotten worse. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to get the best forecast possible, but getting that message out will not be easy. Here is the problem: I’ve heard my fellow meteorologists call them “crap apps,” …

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