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17 January 2011

Shackleton’s Scotch Heads Home

When I visited Antarctica last January, the talk was all about the discovery of the Scotch that was found buried under Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds. Five cases in all were found frozen in the ice beneath the hut. The dry cold of Antarctica preserves everything in a state of suspended animation. Jeep tracks in the dry valleys from 60 years ago are still visible. A carved cross by Robert …

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27 December 2010

Boxing Day Blizzard Blasts Northeast Coast

Meteorologists call it a bomb. A couple of reasons for that I suspect. 1. The weather map looks like it has a bomb crater on it. 2. The pressure in these intense storms that go up the East Coast usually drops incredibly quickly. In other words, it drops like a bomb. This storm saw a pressure drop of around 19 millibars in 12 hours. The day after Christmas 2010 will …

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21 November 2010

Autumn Colours

For those who live in certain parts of the World, these past few weeks are the most beautiful time of year. The spectacle of autumn colours is one of nature’s most awesome displays. I thought I would share some of it from my part of the planet. These are all from my yard in Northeast Alabama. Sadly, only a fraction of the humans on Earth see these colours. The most …

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19 November 2010

The Trip To Grandma’s House Is Looking Cold!

Next Wednesday will be the busiest travel day of the year. This means a lot of questions for weather forecasters like myself. So here’s a bit of what we are looking at as we head into the weekend before Thanksgiving. The surface charts show the coldest air of the season has settled into Alberta and Saskatchewan. At Noon today (Central time) it was -19C (-2°F) in Saskatoon! The surface chart …

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14 July 2010

Ice Core at NEEM Approaching Greenland Bedrock

While the lower 48 bakes this summer, a group of 30 researchers are drilling a big hole in the ice at the top of the world. It’s all in the name of science. The North Greenland Eemian ice core project is not the first ice core to be drilled through the Greenland icecap. It may be the most important though. Rewriting Earth’s Climate History Earlier cores have rewritten the climate …

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23 May 2010

Amazing NASA Video Shows How Thin The Air Around Earth Is

Some amazing video from NASA today. It was from a camera on the solid rocket booster during the launch of Atlantis last week. I think the second clip here is the best. Watch the clock and notice how quickly the sky changes from the bright blue of a spring day in Florida to the black of space. Less than two minutes. The layer of air surrounding our planet is frightfully …

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13 May 2010

Two Excellent Books- Astrophysics and Climate Change

Ok, I know I shot myself in the foot with that title. Geek books! Run! Well, this post is for my steady readers then 😉 I’m finishing two of the best popular science (aka science for the masses) books I have read in quite awhile. I actually love reading these type of books, because a really good expert can make me understand something you already know in a much better …

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8 May 2010

New Views of Iceland Ash Cloud & Gulf Oil Slick. Bad news on both.

The winds aloft are blowing the ash mainly over the Atlantic today. Some of it is rotating around an upper level low and causing problems in Spain. The wind flow in the mid levels of the atmosphere will blow it more toward the UK and Europe starting late Sunday.  Heathrow and Gatwick could very well be affected. The ash is up to around 5,000 meters today. Transatlantic flights can get …

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7 May 2010

Oil and Ash from Space- Update

The upper level winds are not blowing the ash toward the UK today and that is very good news. If they were, there would be widespread cancellations of flights. The cloud is especially thick. The good news is that late today the eruption has become much quieter and the ash is not as high as earlier. Geological experts in Iceland are reporting that there are no signs the eruption will …

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4 May 2010

Flood Waters and Ash From Space

The ash is back. Ireland has just announced airspace closings for tomorrow and there is now concern that the ash may start to seriously effect flights in the UK. If Gatwick and Heathrow in London shut down the impact will be felt worldwide. Looking at the model data tonight, the greatest threat seems to be Ireland but there may be a narrow window late tomorrow when the ash will be …

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