Flash Flood Risk Gulf Coast – Cooling Off Midwest & Great Lakes (August: 6th lowest ice levels on record for Arctic)
6th Lowest Arctic Ice Levels On Record. Graph above courtesy of Climate Central; details below.
Waves Of Canadian Air. Cool air pushes south into the Midwest and Great Lakes today, preceded by a band of strong T-storms, followed by light jackets and sweatshirts by Saturday morning – pushing into the Northeast by the weekend. Another warming trend returns next week as the jet stream buckles and a ridge of high pressure pushes north. 4 km. temperature forecast courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.
342. August was the 342nd consecutive month in a row of global land/sea temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. I know, just another coincidence. I also try to put this year’s Arctic ice loss, not as severe as 2012, into perspective in Climate Matters: “WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over the climate highlights of August. Record heat in Alaska, South Korea, and Australia and Arctic ice melt make weather patterns get stuck. And that’s not good for anyone.”
Colorado Floods: What Happens To All That Water? Here’s the intro to an interesting story at Live Science: “As flood waters slowly begin to recede from central Colorado, new flood warnings have cropped up downstream in Nebraska. Colorado’s South Platte River, which runs northeast from the middle of the state into the southwest corner of Nebraska, has taken the burden of much of the record rainwater that hasn’t already seeped into the ground...”
Graphic credit above: Flood Safety. “Boulder’s 500-year floodplain. River and flood water eventually discharges northeastward toward Nebraska along the South Platte River.”
Atlantic Hurricane Numbers “Linked To Industrial Pollution”. Is aerosol pollution making clouds brighter, dampening hurricane formation over the Atlantic in the process? Here’s a clip from a recent press release from the UK Met Office: “The paper, published in Nature Geoscience, suggests aerosols may have suppressed the number of Atlantic hurricanes over the 20th Century and even controlled the decade-to-decade changes in the number of hurricanes. Researchers found that aerosols make clouds brighter, causing them to reflect more energy from the sun back into space. This has an impact on ocean temperatures and tropical circulation patterns, effectively making conditions less favorable for hurricanes. This interaction between aerosols and clouds is a process that is now being included in some of the latest generation climate models…”
Mexico Flood: Tourists Evacuated From Acapulco. USA Today has a recap on the historic flooding gripping the western/Pacific coast of Mexico, triggered by a series of tropical storms and weak hurricanes. Once again systems stalled (just like in Colorado), pumping out enormous quantities of rain in a relatively short period of time: “In the wake of devastating twin storms that have caused more than 80 casualties and left thousands stranded, tourists are being evacuated from flood-ravaged Acapulco, according to a statement by Javier Aluni, Secretary of Tourism for the State of Guerrero. Passengers with previously booked tickets on Aeromexico and Interjet are being shuttled from the Forum at Mundo Imperial directly to planes at Acapulco Alvarez International Airport (ACA) for flights to Mexico City. The Mexican government is operating additional flights from the Pie de la Cuesta Air Force Base. Priority is given to those with urgent medical conditions, the elderly, women and children...”
Photo credit above: “People wade through waist-high water in a store’s parking, looking for valuables, south of Acapulco, in Punta Diamante, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. Mexico was hit by the one-two punch of twin storms over the weekend, and the storm that soaked Acapulco on Sunday – Manuel -re-formed into a tropical storm Wednesday, threatening to bring more flooding to the country’s northern coast. With roads blocked by landslides, rockslides, floods and collapsed bridges, Acapulco was cut off from road transport.” (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Mesocyclone. Check out this remarkable panorama shot of a spectacular shelf cloud approaching the Omaha office of the National Weather Service.
Hints Of What’s To Come. Thanks to the Grand Teton National Park Service for this tweet, which may get snow-lovers excited.
Grand Tetons Looking Even Grander. This may be the only part of the Rockies that reminds me of the Alps in Europe – thanks to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for providing this spectacular photo.
Astronomers Create Detailed 3-D Map Of Milky Way Core. Here is a clip from a fascinating article at gizmag.com: “Astronomers have used data from European Southern Observatory telescopes to create a three dimensional map of the central bulge of the Milky Way. The gigantic cloud at the center of our galaxy contains a staggering 10,000 million stars (or thereabouts) and resides around 27,000 light-years away. Despite the relative proximity of the area, prior to these new studies little had been confirmed concerning its origin and structure. The main problem faced by astronomers when observing the core of our home galaxy is the obscuring cloud of dust and gas that sits between it and the Earth. Clouds such as this are a common obstacle for astronomers, and are particularly common in star formation regions where the scattered materials eventually come together to form new stars…” (Image above: ESO).
Google Vs. Death. Here’s a clip from an interesting story at Time Magazine. Google “life extension” and you may find out even more details about the company’s plans to let you live to be 125 (if you care to hang around that long). “…At the moment Google is preparing an especially uncertain and distant shot. It is planning to launch Calico, a new company that will focus on health and aging in particular. The independent firm will be run by Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech pioneer Genentech, who will also be an investor. Levinson, who began his career as a scientist and has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, plans to remain in his current roles as the chairman of the board of directors for both Genentech and Apple, a position he took over after its co-founder Steve Jobs died in 2011. In other words, the company behind YouTube and Google+ is gearing up to seriously attempt to extend human lifespan…”
* more information on Google’s new “Calico” life extension initiative from Gizmag.
My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me. If you think your kid is getting too much homework on a consistent basis check out this article at The Atlantic.
21 Ways Supermarkets Control Your Mind. Yes, it’s a conspiracy – to get me to buy crap I don’t need. BuzzFeed has the story – here’s an excerpt: “…Slow music makes you shop for longer, whereas classical music makes you spend more. Experiments have also shown that playing French music in the wine aisles increases the sales of French wines…”
European Space Agency Might Send Robot Snakes Into Space. When science fiction catches up with reality: here’s an excerpt from a story at The Washington Post: “Researchers at the SINTEF Research Institute in Norway and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are working on a feasibility study for the European Space Agency (ESA) to see if snake-like robots could help explore alien planets. They hope that the maneuverability of snake-bots might assist more traditional rovers like Mars Curiosity get access to different soil samples and access tight spots. No word yet on if a robot Samuel L. Jackson will also be developed to respond if the snakes escape onto a spacecraft…”
Climate Change Is Not All Disaster And Uncertainty. How do you quantify uncertainty and attribution when it comes to climate change’s impact on extreme weather events? How do you accurately communicate what may be the most complex environmental risk we’ve ever seen to the media, and ultimately the public? A few interesting ideas in this post from Australia’s The Conversation: “How does newspaper coverage affect how we view climate change? A new report has estimated that 82% of articles about climate change are framed in the context of “disaster” and “uncertainty”. The report’s lead author, James Painter, notes that those dominant media frames may be doing us a disservice because the public “finds uncertainty difficult to understand and confuses it with ignorance.” Likewise, “disaster messages can be a turnoff,” and the report therefore suggests that a better framing might involve the language of risk. This, they suggest, would encourage focus on the trade-off between the risk – and cost – of inaction, and of climate mitigation…” (Image: NASA).
Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.