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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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28 August 2011

Is This Tropical Storm Katia??

The track/intensity models are indicating development, but hint at a real possibility of an eventual NW track before it approaches North America. I suspect it will be upgraded to a named storm within 36 hours. The next 2 weeks are the most active of the hurricane season.

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One Gorgeous Image of A Windy Lady

From NASA’s Aqua satellite. Taken with the MODIS sensor which has channels in the wavelengths of red, green, and blue light, so it’s true colour. Click for the HUGE “print that puppy and slap it on the wall” version.

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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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23 August 2011

Irene Reaches Cat 2 Status and Threatens Bahamas

Hurricane Irene is now away from the Dominican Republic and is gaining strength rapidly this evening, as it moves toward the Bahamas. Intensity forecasts on any tropical system are very difficult but several of the more reliable models are indicating that Irene will reach Cat 3 or perhaps higher. A Category 3 storm is a major hurricane with winds of 154-177 km/hr (83-95knots).   Almost all of the track models …

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21 August 2011

Irene Getting Stronger- Heads Up To East Coast Residents

    Irene is now packing winds of 50 mph, and has become much better organized during the afternoon hours on Sunday. There has been a significant shift in the track guidance overnight with almost all of the NWP models and statistical models are trending toward an east coast threat. A tropical storm watch is now posted for the SE Bahamas and I suspect the government there will raise this …

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Change in Night Time Lights 1992-2009

From NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab-

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20 August 2011

Weekend Science Digest

Images, blog posts, quotes and other geeky science things that caught my eye this week. Rivers of Ice The image above is from research published in SCIENCE this week by Eric Rignot et al. NASA released a fantastic movie that shows the flow much better:   Note to HM- Give Cox a Knighthood. The BBC reported Friday that there has been a sharp increase in the number of students taking …

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19 August 2011

Is This Irene In The Making??

  GOES image from NOAA/NASA MSFC While Tropical Storm Harvey is approaching Honduras, the most interesting system in the tropics is called Invest97L, and it may be about to become Tropical Storm Irene. There are several numerical weather prediction (NWP) models today that are developing this wave into a strong tropical storm and a few into a hurricane. A word of caution here, the models do this rather frequently and …

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Supercell Thunderstorm East of Brussels Kills 4

  The red arrow is pointing at the overshooting top on the thunderstorm, indicating a very strong updraft. The BBC says 4 were killed when a stage collapsed at a music festival. Surface weather obs (from just before the storm developed) indicated temps near 27℃ (80℉) and dew-points near 18℃ (64℉). A surface front was moving into Belgium as a strong upper level trough pushed through the UK, and this set the stage …

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