Today, June 5, would be the 70th anniversary of D-Day if not for the last-minute prognostication of British meteorologist James Stagg. The planners of the Normandy landings originally designated June 5, 1944 as D-Day, basing their decision on a favorable combination of tide patterns and a full moon, which would help with pilot visibility. On the evening of June 4, however, Royal Air Force meteorologist Captain James Stagg met with Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower with a dire last-minute warning: a large storm brewing just north of Scotland would bring heavy winds, turbulent seas, and thick cloud cover over the English Channel. Ike's decision to change the invasion to June 6, on the advice of a lone meteorologist practicing an emergent and unreliable science, may have been the turning point of the war. Historian John Ross, author of The Forecast for D-Day and the Weatherman Behind Ike’s Greatest Gamble, contends, "Had Ike listened to his countrymen's predictions and launched D-day on June 5, it would have failed with catastrophic consequences for the Western Allies and world history."
Pronbably to no one's surprise, Southern California leads the nation in the number of pleasant days per year (mean temperature between 55° F and 75° F, no precipitation). How does your city stack up?
“You know a storm is going to be bad, people in Oklahoma will tell you, when Gary England removes his jacket.” At Oklahoma City's Channel 9, Gary England is on the tail end of a legendary 40-year meteorology career featuring some of the most intense commercials ever) in the midst of Tornado Alley. Following in his Mizuno-clad footsteps (the choice of marathon standers) are the competition: Channel 4, featuring former reality star Reed Timmer of Storm Chasers, rising star Emily Sutton (just trying to get his attention... yeesh...) and, yes, The Dominator. Previously. [more inside]
On June 11th, 2013, in the wee hours of an early summer night in Nebraska, the temperature shot from 73°F to 99°F in the space of minutes, accompanied by 50MPH winds. The cause of this weather oddity was the poorly understood Heat Burst, a phenomenon that sometimes occurs as thunderstorms die out, usually late at night. The temprature rise can be so extreme that it has been imaged from space, and there are unconfirmed stories of heat so extreme that crops were cooked in the fields where they grew, and paint blistered on houses and vehicles. Once believed to be a very rare event, with the advent of personal weather stations, science may find they are more frequent than was previously believed.
Fire whirls, aka fire tornadoes, aka fire devils, aka firenados, are frequently photographed but have only recently been scientifically validated based on data from the 2003 Canberra fires in Queensland, Australia. Although rare, the physics behind firenados is straightforward enough to create your own. The most devastating fire tornado was the "dragon twist" that devastated Tokyo immediately following the great Japan quake of 1923.
Is climate change causing our recent extreme weather events? (pdf). A panel of eminent climate scientists lays out the current state of what we know, and what we don't know yet, in this forthcoming paper. Jason Samenow (of the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog) nicely summarizes the key points. [more inside]
If you are very lucky you may see a fire rainbow once or twice in your life.
A Message from a Republican on Climate Change: I'm going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I'm a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I'm a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I'm staring at are making me very uncomfortable.
"From extreme drought, heat waves and floods to unprecedented tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, a record 12 weather and climate disasters in 2011 each caused $1 billion or more in damages". The US National Weather service has put together a great online exhibit of what was a whirlwind (*ahem*) year for extreme weather events. The exhibit has lots of videos and photographs of these events, such as satellite imagery of the Grounhog Day Blizzard from back in February and a picture of a car damaged by a tornado in Ft. Benning, GA.
W i l c o (MLYT +Colbertnation) frontman Jeff Tweedy does the Chicago weather report(:30, OPENS W/ AD). [more inside]
Die Wunder Gottes in der Natur (1744) illustrates astronomical, meteorological, geological, spiritual, and psychological visions, based on the work of 16th century Alsatian encyclopedist Conrad Lycosthenes.
The cover and title page.
The cover and title page.
I've been greatly enjoying the NZ MetService weather blog for a while now. There are posts about cloud formations, weather pioneers, forecasting, and all kinds of other weather geekery. It does have an NZ slant in places but everyone has weather, and the technical information included is fascinating whatever your location. [more inside]
The author of the "Forecast Center" column from Weatherwise magazine to place Forecast Center articles online. So if you want to sharpen your analysis skills, there's a mountain of Forecast Center installments going back to 2001 in full resolution. There is a permanent embargo on all articles newer than 12 months old, so the first issue of 2010 is as far forward as the articles go, but they go back as far as July/August 2001. For example, Hone your hand analysis skills and get your forecast on for the upcoming severe storm season on the Plains.
Nathalie Miebach translates scientific data related to meteorology and ecology into woven sculptures and musical scores. She discusses her work in an interview with the Peabody Essex Museum. (via Mira y Calla)
Cloud surfing the strange and marvelous looking Morning Glory. This film shows at 2:07 an animation of how the cloud is formed. [more inside]
Amazing photos of unusual cloud formations, as seen from space—along with some of the science behind them. Click on the images for full-size, wallpaperable versions.
Mount Washington gust record gone with the wind. Mount Washington had been the home of the surface wind speed record since April 12, 1934 with a 231 miles per hour wind; but during cyclone Olivia (with only 10 minor injuries) on April 10, 1996, a wind gust of 408 km/h (253 mph) in Austrailia was only just now noticed and confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The Mount Washington Observatory has accepted the record in their offical reaction but in more personal blog posts they are a bit more skeptical. The Washington Post Capital Weather Gang posted a Farewell to Mt. Washington's wind record from two former employees of the Observatory, lovingly referring to the record wind as "Gale." (And via Capital Weather Gang.)
The Cloud Appreciation Society is trying to get the Royal Meteorological Society to recognize a new form of cloud (pix). More about how cloud naming got started and more cloud photos. [previous clouds, via]
Tim Vasquez, former U.S. Air Force meteorologist, author, software engineer, and head honcho of the storm chaser hangout Stormtrack Forums has done a complete meteorological analysis of the weather conditions which may have resulted in the loss of Air France Flight 447.
On March 7, 2009, TornadoVideos.net (TVN) launched the beta version of their Live Streaming system. It's an interactive map that tracks each member of the TVN team as they criss-cross the country chasing storms, complete with live video. You can sign up (main page, top left: "Chase notifications") to be alerted when a chase is in progress. [more inside]
The Digital Snow Museum has all kinds of photographs and images of snow around the world. With an assortment of forecasting tools, weather maps, travel reports, info for skiers and snowboarders, a library and art gallery. Let It Snow. For those in the northern hemisphere, December 21st is the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, the darkest day of the year. From this day until that of Midsummer, the days grow longer. Previously. [more inside]
Before They Were UFOs, back when the only flying objects were arrows, birds, and clouds, how did people describe them? [more inside]
Weather History Offers Insight Into Global Warming. Weather History Offers Insight Into Global Warming. The problems that often haunt other weather records — the station is moved, buildings are constructed nearby or observers record data inconsistently — have not arisen here because so much of this place has been frozen in time. The weather has been taken (at Mohonk House, [map] ) in exactly the same place, in precisely the same way, by just a handful of the same dedicated people since Grover Cleveland was president... That extremely limited number of observers greatly enhances the reliability, and therefore the value, of the data. [more inside]
The Weather World 2010 project at UIUC began as a comprehensive meteorology tutorial designed for a high school/undergraduate level. It has since expanded to include guides to remote sensing and reading weather maps. (Some highlights include optical effects, severe storms, and the basics of weather forecasting.) For folks in the US, it also has current surface and satellite imagery for a number of different atmospheric properties.
Mysterious ice circles are large rotating ice disks on ice covered rivers or other bodies of water. Their origin and nature is controversial. Perhaps they are related to UFO's or something more prosaic, like pancake ice.
CycloneFilter : Super Cyclone Gonu prepares to slam into Oman. Cyclones this far north in the gulf are rare; doubly so for one so powerful. Latest readings have Gonu at Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some are worried about what this will do to oil prices.
Rare and strange cloud formations. Mammatus, lenticular, noctilucent, nacreous, hole in the sky. Basic cloud guide.
It was a cold day on Mount Washington in New Hampshire today, where the weather can really suck. With a temperature of -37F and a peak wind gust of 117mph, it was cold enough to turn boiling water to snow (youtube). Also, previously on MeFi.
accurate weather forecasts...yes... Add your own sound effects.
Hurricane Tracker A god-like view of current hurricane activity.
Hurricane Beta Coming Soon... Ever wondered how hurricanes are named? Here's a good explanation.
National Data Buoy Center (Google cache), "the premiere source of meteorological and oceanographic measurements for the marine environment" in the U.S., is located at the NASA Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi gulf coast, is a primary source of hurricane observational data, and is currently offline. At present, the U.S. spends only $50 million annually on ocean observations of vital socio-economic impact. The latest national commission for ocean policy recommended $4 billion annually, including the construction of a distributed, disaster-proof, national ocean observing system, as a component of a global system. The previous ocean commission report in 1969 resulted in the formation of NOAA and the passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Will Congress act? The E.U. has.
The Cloud Harp. The transposition of a natural phenomenon into music. The melodies and sounds are determined by factors such as cloud height, density, structure, luminosity, and meteorological conditions.
RealClimate is a blog written by nine working climatologists from around the world (all experts in their field), focusing on explaining climate science, providing context to current reports in the mainstream media, and rebutting the fallacious arguments of carbon lobby hacks. (via World Changing)
So how cold is it on New Hampshire's Mount Washington, where hurricane force winds blow 104 days out of the year? Really freaking cold. The Observatory's website is a great resource for weather-geeks, and the interns have their own blog.
"Global warming is now a weapon of mass destruction. It kills more people than terrorism, yet Blair and Bush do nothing." So writes Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office and co-chair of the scientific assessment working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Painting the Weather. Fine art about meteorological phenomena.
China is drying up and blowing to California. Right now, tonight. Sorry, no 2008 Beijing Olympics, east Asia n'exist plus. Here's satellite pix of some of the 20 Chinese megastorms that have already occurred this baby century from NASA and NOAA and NASA again and a Google search returning zillions of other links, for fellow regressives who wouldn't ordinarily hang out at CommonDreams.org. (initial link from robotwisdom)
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 call it?
More than you ever wanted to know about snow, from the physics of formation to just priddy pictures.
[Link via CuriousLee]
[Link via CuriousLee]
Weatherman faces up to six months. Rio de Janeiro Mayor Cesar Maya has asked prosecutors to seek charges against Luiz Carlos Austin, claiming his weather forecast was irresponsible. The city's acting chief prosecutor, said he would likely charge Austin with sounding a false alarm, which is punishable by up to six months in prison. Was it really irresponsible to report that the storm could hit? And who listens to weathermen anyway? I say if you want to find out what the weathers going to be like, stick your head out the window. Major storm warnings are the only things I want to hear about.
Satellite Meteorology : lots of it.
In looking for a Hurricane Andrew image to illustrate a point on the ham radio thread, I came across evidence that the weather geeks may be the geekiest of all. Cool pull quote inside.
Scientific backlash for warming theorists -- High clouds over the western tropical Pacific Ocean could significantly reduce the estimates of future global warming now being put forward by IPCC's computer models of the Earth's climate. And, in a newly published interview, MIT's Dr. Richard S. Lindzen describes the Kyoto Treaty on climate change as "absurd". Backlash begun?