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."
posted by eitan
on Jun 5, 2014 -
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.
posted by smoothvirus
on Jun 12, 2013 -
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.
posted by spacewaitress
on Apr 5, 2012 -
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]
posted by nitsuj
on Mar 25, 2009 -
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]
posted by KokuRyu
on Sep 16, 2008 -
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
posted by 3.2.3
on Aug 31, 2005 -
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
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 10, 2004 -
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.
posted by PrinceValium
on Jan 16, 2004 -
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
posted by debralee
on Sep 12, 2002 -
More than you ever wanted to know about snow
, from the physics of formation to just priddy pictures.
[Link via CuriousLee
posted by Su
on Jan 29, 2002 -
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.
posted by mikhail
on Jan 5, 2002 -
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?
posted by frednorman
on Mar 6, 2001 -