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22 October 2011

After April 27th, Would Congress Cut Weather Radar??

I’m just back from attending the GOES Users Conference (GUC) in Birmingham, AL. The GOES images are the cloud pictures you see on almost every TV weathercast in America, and for that matter, the Western Hemisphere. These satellites are positioned above the Equator at a very high altitude-about a tenth of the way to the Moon! As you likely already know, they are so high because at that height they …

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17 October 2011

Tornadoes and Those Who Study Them

I did a quick presentation on Saturday at the National Weather Association’s public outreach day. The event was held at the McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham. This coming week, is the annual NWA conference. This year it’s a joint meeting with the GOES Users Conference, and I’m presenting at the GUC on Thursday, along with being a co-chair of one session. There is no other science that fascinates the …

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10 October 2011

The Next Generation Weather/Earth Science Satellite Is Two Weeks From Launch

It’s called NPP and it is part of NPOES but it’s definitely NOT GOES. It is however a big GO (once they fix some leaks on the Delta 2 Rocket), and it will head it into space from Vandenburg AFB in California late this month. Science loves its acronyms but here’s what it all means in plain language. NPOES is the National Polar Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System and it …

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8 October 2011

Choking Smog/Haze Over China

The image above from the NASA Aqua satellite shows the thick industrial smoke/haze over China on Oct. 7th. These images show better than any written book or public speech the necessity of dealing with how we make and use energy. It’s a problem that affects every living being on the planet and this image illustrates well that it’s reached a crisis level. Despite the slick-looking adverts you see daily on …

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20 September 2011

NASA: Global Temps. In August 2011 4th Warmest. Sea Ice Melt Comes in Number Two

NASA-GISS has put up the numbers for August, and the global  land and ocean temperatures in August were the 4th warmest on record. NOAA has August pegged at the 8th warmest using a slightly different methodology. Land temperatures in August were the second warmest on record according to the NOAA-NCDC data. The summer Arctic sea ice melt has ended, and NSIDC says the minimum sea ice was the second lowest …

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5 September 2011

Weekend Science Digest- A Symphony of Science

  Lots of science news this week caught my eye and number one on the list is the video above (thanks to “Bad Astronomer” Phil Plait) . John Boswell has his entire collection of videos online along with the music. You can download them for whatever you think is fair. These videos are IMHO a great teaching tool about what and who we are, and what science and scientific method …

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30 August 2011

New Record Low For Arctic Ice Very Possible

  For a while, it looked unlikely the summer melt would bring a new record low in Arctic sea ice this year, although it looked likely to reach the top 3 or 4. No more though, the data from NSIDC shows the summer melt is running near 2007’s record low extent, and still dropping.  Another independent analysis (using a different satellite and sensor) of arctic ice is done by the …

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28 August 2011

Don’t Blame The Forecaster for Media/Politician Hype

  You can see some experimental surge forecasts here, but  they are based on a model underdevelopment, so do not base decisions on this alone.  The surge forecasts show about what would be expected with a category one storm. Watching some of the cable news channels last night I saw computer images showing severe flooding through out Manhattan, and this is just not going to be the case with a …

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Irene Pounding The Mid Atlantic Coast

The image on the right is from NOAA/AOML and shows a very large wind field around Irene. The latest NWP models continue to show a track near New York and Boston, but while Irene is a minimal hurricane the large wind field will cause significant flooding. So far, Irene is turning into a very wet storm with 8″ rainfall reports coming in from NC. Wind shear is affecting Irene and …

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26 August 2011

Hurricanes and Quakes are Inspirational Science Moments

Every meteorologist I know can point to a big storm as the inspiration that led them into the field of atmospheric science (A blizzard in 1968 and the tornadoes of June 8,1974 for me), and this is true for other sciences as well. Neil de Grasse Tyson still has his certificate of accomplishment from the Hayden Planetarium that he now directs. The certificates are still given out and he signs …

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