Since January there have been signs of a possible El Niño brewing in the pacific, the first major one since 1998. While the US-funded ocean-monitoring system is in a state of partial collapse
, the data has continued to grow stronger, and this may now be the largest ocean temperature anomoly ever seen
. A major El Niño could significantly boost global temperatures, cause severe weather and storms, melt Arctic sea ice and help push the world into a warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, accelerating global warming. (more discussion
The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
, the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement
) spacecraft is preparing for launch at the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center
. GPM will be the newest international Precipitation Measurement Mission and will be the core observatory of the GPM Constellation.
The two sensors
on-board GPM are the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI)
and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)
. The GPM/DPR team has produced a fantastic anime about the DPR instrument
. [more inside]
Wireless Emergency Alerts
(WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang
has a few more details.
- "Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nation." Sponsored by NWS, NOAA, and more... Volunteers Wanted (pdf)
The (U.S.) National Weather Service has released its report on a strong tornado that occured in Iowa the evening of May 25th.
On the evening of May 25th, 2008 a tornado
rated at EF5
(estimated wind speed was around 205 MPH!!) obliterated half of the town of Parkersburg, Iowa
people have died, and 70 were injured. Here is a PDF
containing incredible pictures of the damage (taken by employees of the NWS during their survey). [more inside]
Free the Weather?
On Slate, Timothy Noah explains how Santorum's National Weather Services Duties Act
effectively gags NWS in private weather's favor. [more inside]
The weather just got a lot more accessible. The National Weather Service's weather data is now freely available
in XML format
clients; it had previously been only available through commercial providers or in a difficult-to-decipher format. Not knowing anything about web services, I'm not sure about the implications, but I imagine that anyone who knows their SOAP
could build their own weather app really easily.
19 inches of snow at Central Park and counting.
This is now a top 5 snow storm in NYC history. In 1996 the accumulation was 24 inches
It's big, it's bad, and it's coming your way. Beware Bonnie! No, no, wait. Hide from Hanna! Hmm, nope. Run from Rene! Geez, this naming thing
isn't easy. How do you name a tropical storm
? Should the name be masculine or feminine? Should it roll off the tongue with ease or be a mouthful? Are there some names you can't use
? If a tropical storm was closing in on your neighborhood, what would you
It really is amazing what kinds of cool, free, raw data you can get from the web (that other folks would charge you good money for), here are a few I've come across.
Weather, from the good folks at the NOAA/NWS
Geographic locations of zipcodes amongst other things from those pesky buggers at the US Census Office
Want reverse phone lookup data ? NANPA has the skinny.
So what other cool data feeds have people found out there ?