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10 November 2011

Weather Radar Sees Birds and Bugs Take Flight After Quake

Almost all of the NOAA Doppler radars are being upgraded to a new technology called dual polarization. Simply put, the upgraded radars can send electromagnetic radio waves that are polarized  both horizontally and vertically. Comparing the difference in the reflected energy allows forecasters to see much more than with conventional Doppler radar. One BIG benefit is the ability top determine the shape of objects in the beam. Is it hail, …

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9 November 2011

Tornado Hits Oklahoma Mesonet Stations

  This is the kind of thing that makes meteorologists go running through the room, and all the while jumping up and down. A tornado passed very close to the Tipton station on Monday afternoon. So close, that it knocked it out, but not before measuring and incredible pressure drop, and some amazing wind gusts. Here is what the Okla. Mesonet Facebook page has: “Here’s a plot of the 1-minute …

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28 October 2011

NPP Weather/Climate Satellite Rides A Delta Two Into Orbit!

  NASA released this long exposure shot of the launch. The polar orbiting satellites go into orbit from Vandenberg AFB in California. Why is this such a big deal??

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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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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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27 September 2011

How Salty Is Your Ocean?

  The Aquarius satellite was recently launched to learn more about the oceans and answer some very nagging questions in a variety of fields (especially climate science). Notice how much saltier the Atlantic is than the Pacific, and if you have ever gotten a mouthful of ocean off of Miami Beach, you know it’s true. The Pacific is less salty and having swam in both, I can attest that the …

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5 September 2011

Out of Control Texas Wildfire from Space

  The wildfire to the SE of Austin remains out of control and has burned 300 homes according to press reports. The wildfire is also visible on GOES images as well. The weather could not be possibly any worse in this situation. A summer of the worst drought in history and now a strong cool front has brought gusty northerly winds with dewpoints in the 30’s, giving very low relative …

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3 September 2011

So Much For That Huge Hole in Climate Science

Below is the editorial in REMOTE SENSING today announcing that the paper written by Spencer and Braswell, was deeply flawed and should not have been published. The story (as of Friday evening U.S. time) is now the most viewed on the BBC World-wide website and to say it was a major topic of conversation in the Earth science world would be an understatement. If researchers in a particular field begin …

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25 August 2011

Is This Tropical Storm Jose??

  The tropical wave off Africa has intensified and is looking very healthy this evening. It even looks like an anticyclone has developed aloft over the wave, and we may have tropical storm Jose soon (if not already). Water vapor imagery from the European weather satellite also shows little dry air in the region, although there is some dry air to the north of the system (not enough to seriously …

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21 August 2011

Change in Night Time Lights 1992-2009

From NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab-

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