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7 June 2019

Weather Radar Is For The Birds- Really!

It’s true, and in more ways than one! Weather radar often sees birds, bats, and other flying objects, but the NWS in SanDiego has a more unusual find. Last Tuesday a strange echo near Barstow California appeared and forecasters asked some weather observers to check it out. They knew there was no rain or cloud around (See Albert Hammond 1973), so what could it be? Answer? LADYBUGS!     Seeing …

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31 May 2019

Broadcast Meteorology Loses a Giant Today

In 1979 my professor at Oklahoma Univ. announced that we were to have a break from a blackboard full of equations for the day. Instead, we had a broadcast met from KTVY TV in Oklahoma City who talked to us about possibly working as an on-air meteorologist. This was an era when there were few degreed meteorologists doing TV and in fact, it was looked down upon by more than …

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25 May 2019

Weather Radar Mistakes Can Often Give Valuable Information

Look at this image below from the NOAA Doppler Radar near Midland TX. What is that strange spike coming out of the storm? We actually have a name for it and you do not see one like that very often. It’s called a 3 body scatter spike. There is no long line of rain falling from this severe storm, and believe me it’s without a doubt very severe. Instead, the …

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24 May 2019

Another Climate Change Surprise?

What worries me most about our reckless experiment with the planet’s thermostat is not the predictions of sea level rise and the changes in rainfall patterns etc. What we’d better not ignore are the surprises and there are sure to be many of them. Some new research out this month hints at what might be a big one. Synoptic meteorologists (like me) have gotten much better at forecasting the track …

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18 May 2019

Northern Mockingbird: 1 Red Tail Hawk: Nil

This is definitely my first post regarding birds but this is something you have to watch. A Northern Mockingbird goes after a Red Tail Hawk for intruding in its area. This is from the WBOC Weather camera on top of the bell tower at Salisbury University. I shot it with my iPhone on our very large monitor in the weather office. The Mockingbird bothered him for over 30 minutes before …

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16 May 2019

Who Is Doing a Good Job Covering Climate?

The NY Times and the Washington Post are among the few major media outlets that I would give at least a B grade on their climate coverage.  Most deserve an F, but there are strong signs that this is about to change (See my previous post). This past Sunday the Washington Post magazine had 24 of their climate change covers and it is worth sharing. I talked to a group …

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1 May 2019

Covering Climate Change- The Media Pledges To Do Better.

I spent today in New York attending an event for journalists about covering climate change. It was sponsored by the Columbia Journalism Review and it was packed. I was asked to be on a panel early in the day and it’s well worth watching (See below, the event was taped). Although it was mainly an event for journalists, my fellow meteorologists Jeff Bernadelli and Bernadette Woods attended as well, so …

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11 April 2019

Hey Kentucky, Your Congressman Thinks You’re Foolish

Former Sec. of State John Kerry ran into a climate denial time machine today in Congress. The clip from CNN is below. Watch it, and then I’ll explain what Kentucky Congressman Massie doesn’t seem to understand about Earth’s climate. The question I have is why did he didn’t just ask an atmospheric scientist?? I think I know the answer, so read on. Watch the clip: So here is the NOAA …

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21 March 2019

One of The Most Iconic Science Images of 20th Century Science is 20 years Old.

When we look back on 20th-century science a few decades from now, a few images that stand out above the rest. Earthrise may be the most famous. It was taken by Apollo 8 Astronaut Bill Anders 50 years ago last December. I’ve written before about how that single image changed the way we humans see our planet.  Here’s another image that also led to a dramatic change in how we see …

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7 March 2019

Thoughts on the Lee County Alabama Tornado: Worthless Sirens and Unsafe Mobile Homes

I’m hearing the same familiar refrain after the Lee County Alabama tornado last week. Newspaper reports saying there was little warning while residents say they never heard the sirens. Sirens Are So Last Century Let’s get the sirens out of the way first. They are not (and never were) designed to be heard indoors. We are talking 1930’s technology, and while some days it may not seem like it, we …

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