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31 October 2011

True Color View of The Rare October Snowstorm From Space

    Danbury, Ct received 17 inches of snow from this rare October event, and the fact that leaves were still on many trees caused massive power outages. On a side note, Central Park has now reached its 3rd wettest year on record. See more snowfall totals from the NWS in New York, NY  below:

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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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13 October 2011

The Kentucky Smudge Explained

While working on the forecast today, I called up this 1km resolution visible image from the GOES East (From NASA MSFC) and immediately spotted this weird-looking smudge. I knew pretty quickly what it was and how it happened, but the exact details took a little work and involve some very basic thermodynamics. My fellow meteorologist Brandon Chambers took a hard look at it while I worked on the forecast for …

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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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27 September 2011

An Atmospheric Train Wreck

The folks at the NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab have a nice long loop from the GOES water vapor channel out today. It shows the huge cutoff low that has been stuck over the Midwest for several days. I’ve been dealing with this in my day-to-day forecasting as well, and these things can be very tricky to forecast. These are what meteorologists call a cold core low and they are more …

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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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12 September 2011

Remains of Katia Hit Ireland and UK

The remains of Hurricane Katia have brought gales gusting to near hurricane force across the northern areas of the UK today. The UK Met Office has several severe weather warnings up. A close friend in Wales reports a very windy and wet day. The BBC has more here. In spite of the cold water that Katia passed over, it takes awhile for these systems to spin down and it long …

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6 September 2011

2011 Arctic Ice Reaches Second Lowest on Record- One or two weeks of melting left.

The NSIDC updated the Arctic ice numbers today and announced that the ice melt has now reached the second lowest on the satellite record. From NSIDC: Overview of conditions Average ice extent for August 2011 was 5.52 million square kilometers (2.13 million square miles). This is 160,000 square kilometers (61,800 square miles) above the previous record low for the month, set in August 2007, and 2.15 million square kilometers (830,000 …

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