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4 October 2017

Teaching Kids Science Is Getting Easier

In the past, many people worries that many home-school parents did so because of religious objections to evolution, climate change science and geology. This is still a concern in the science community, but there are nearly 2 million kids being homeschooled now, and I suspect that most just want their kids to be well prepared for college, with high critical thinking skills. I think that’s great. Indeed, the most important aspect …

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28 September 2017

New GOES-16 Weather Satellite Will Be Turned Off for 14 Days

GOES-16 will become the new GOES-EAST satellite late this year as the old GOES-13 is retired. We knew this move was coming but NOAA has just announced the details of the move. Currently, the new GOES-16 is over the equator south of the central U.S. At this checkout location, it can just barely see the edge of Africa, but it gives very good coverage to the western U.S. Once the …

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26 September 2017

Satellites Show the Lack of Power In Puerto Rico as a Catastrophe Unfolds.

The images and pleas for help coming from Puerto Rico are heartbreaking and increasingly alarming. Media reports this evening are saying that 80% of the island’s crops have been destroyed. Only those with generators have power and mobile signals are sparse and intermittent. Up to 60% of people have no reliable access to clean water, and frankly, I can see no signs that much is being done about it! I …

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20 September 2017

You, and Your Congressman REALLY Need to Read This

Ask any meteorologist to name three of the top experts on hurricanes and you can bet that one of those names will be Kerry Emanuel at MIT. I rank him number one, and that’s why you really should read his essay in the Washington Post, you really should read it. You should also buy his book Divine Wind, which I believe ranks among the best popular science books ever written. As …

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14 September 2017

It’s Time for a 21st Century Hurricane Scale

Most folks are familiar with the Saffir Simpson hurricane scale and while it’s very useful, it also has some drawbacks. It’s greatest attribute is that the public understands it, but I’m not alone among meteorologists who think the time has come to replace it. We need a new scale that will better indicate the destructive potential of a tropical cyclone, and there are some good candidates out there. The main …

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11 September 2017

The Green Is Gone in the BVI

NASA released some images from the Landsat 8 satellite today showing the before and after of Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands. What a stunning difference; There are no green leaves left… And now, after Irma’s 160 mph winds. You can see MUCH more by clicking the images and getting the full-size image.

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10 September 2017

Hurricane Sunday Is Coming To Florida. It Will be Long Remembered, but Will We Learn the Lesson?

Check out the launch of the rawinsonde in Key West this afternoon. These are vital to the forecast and that data will go into the numerical models this evening. Here is the data from that sounding. The wind speed in the bottom 1 kilometer of the atmosphere was already at 46 knots. The precipitable water was VERY high at 2.23″. This sounding shows wind shear favourable for tornadoes and one was …

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7 September 2017

This Looks Bad- Very Bad.

My hopes that Irma would turn just east of Florida are diminishing tonight. If the eye stayed just offshore the damage would be FAR less than a landfall. Remember that those 170 mph winds are concentrated right around the eye, and if that eyewall stayed offshore the winds would not likely go above hurricane force except in gusts along the coast. The worst scenario I can imagine is a Cat 4 …

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6 September 2017

Catastrophe Coming for Barbuda

Irma has become a real monster tonight, with the pressure dropping to 916 mb and winds of 185 mph with gusts well over 200 mph. The pressure dropped significantly in the late afternoon and evening but it often takes a few hours for the winds to increase. For Barbuda, it does not matter, the island is about to be hit with 185 mph winds and that means few structures or …

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5 September 2017

Fire and Rain, and a Whole Lot of Wind

Big Trouble Coming Irma has become a real monster today with sustained winds at 185 mph. Only one hurricane is known that was stronger. This storm reminds me of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 with 200 mph wind gusts in the Florida Keys. A reminder, when looking at the NHC track forecasts, you should ignore the center line and focus on the cone, which is based on the average forecast …

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