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1 November 2011

The Truth Behind Long Range Forecasts

I’m not a fan of long-range forecasts. There are several reasons, not the least of which is their very limited accuracy. The other (main) reason has to do with the fact that people remember the big storms, and not the average weather! That said, if you’re a utility, or trying to plan heating costs for a large building or school system, an accurate long-range forecast can be worth it’s weight …

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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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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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25 August 2011

What To Expect From Irene If You Are In Her Path

Hurricane Irene remains a dangerous hurricane, and overnight numerical weather prediction models have shifted a bit back tot he west. This increases the risk of a land falling hurricane in New Jersey or on Long Island, followed by a track across the highly populated areas of New England. It’s possible that Irene may pass near or west of New York City and Boston. While Irene will start to pass over …

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1 August 2011

Weekend Digest- Tropical Trouble, Melting Ice and Mainstream Scientists Speak Out

    This is the weekly digest of Earth science news that I said would be posted every Friday. OK, so it’s a bit late but it is still the weekend and what follows is a summary of interesting tidbits I’ve seen this week on other science blogs etc. We begin with the great 2011 drought/heat wave: Deep Fried Texans Austin, Texas is happy to wave so long to July. …

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14 July 2011

Yes, The Heat is Bad, But It’s Going to Get Worse

The torrid heat is going to get worse next week. Much of the Plains is suffering through the hottest summer since 1980 and Texas is enduring a drought that is now called exceptional. In the Southeast the heat index hit 115° (46C) in Greenville, MS. on Wed. and Poplar Bluff in Mo. beat that with 118° on Monday. The heat is being made much worse in the Eastern U.S. by …

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18 June 2011

An MCC Is The Farmers Friend

We just ended a pretty serious drought here in the Tennessee Valley, with no rain from late May until Friday June 17. Normally, we would have had about 2.5 inches in this period, and this long without rain in the unusually high heat was especially hard on crops. Twenty days with no rain is not a big deal in winter (when it is cold and evaporation rates are very low), …

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23 May 2011

Different Volcano, Same Problem- Ash cloud delays flights in Europe.

The NASA Terra Satellite passed over Iceland and grabbed this shot today, ( in true colour) showing the ash cloud from an erupting Iceland volcano. Click the image for a much higher res. view. The UK Met Office has just released a new ash advisory, and airlines have canceled flights into Scotland for Tuesday. I’m headed to Manchester UK myself on Thursday, so I’ll be watching this closely. The latest …

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4 April 2011

Dust Foot from Microburst

A line of heavy and severe storms crossed North Alabama and Middle Tennessee today, with numerous reports of trees and power lines down. During live coverage of the storms, I spotted a dust foot on our live camera on top of the Saturn 5 mock-up in Huntsville. A dust foot is an indicator that a microburst has occurred and that strong winds are very likely. A microburst happens in severe …

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16 March 2011

Updated Radiation Trajectory for Fukushima

Here is the most recent trajectory forecast for air above the damaged nuclear plant in Japan. The model guidance continues to indicate an offshore flow for the next 48 hours. Experts in the USA are recommending that folks within 75 km of the plant move outside that zone. Will update these a couple of times a day as long as the situation warrants…

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