Winter doesn't start for another 33 days but today all 50 US states posted temperatures below freezing - yes, even Hawaii - and three feet of snow fell overnight south of Buffalo with no signs of stopping (and it looks like a snow haboob).
The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) 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]
'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S. right on the back of WINTER STORM HERCULES that delayed or cancelled flights all over the country, stranding holiday travelers, and dumping lots of snow all over the midwest and northeast. Planes are sliding off runways! Dogs are wearing booties! [more inside]
Chicago has been having some fairly remarkable weather lately, even by their standards. On the 25th of January there was more than an inch of snowfall recorded for the first time in 335 days, a new record. Then a surge of warm air from the south brought a temperature of 63 degrees at O'Hare airport on January 29th, a new record for that date, exactly one week after a temperature of 9 degrees was recorded (which, combined with the 35mph winds on that date, produced a windchill factor of about -20f). The current forecast (at time of posting this) calls for a high of only 14f on Friday (Feb. 1st), another significant temperature swing within a few days.
The Weather Channel is teaming with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC) to name winter storms in the US starting with the 2012-2013 winter season. [more inside]
11th grader David Sukhin's Snow Day Calculator uses weather data, user judgment calls, and algorithms of his own devising to predict the chances of a snow day for any school in the US. And, so far, to his knowledge it has never been wrong.
California's calm before the storm. It's just rain, right? Well, the meteorologists are publicly talking about a potentially epic storm that could trigger major flooding and mudslides, especially in areas effected by the state's widespread fires of the past few years. More ominously, though, is this internal email from CAL FIRE Division Chief Bob Wallen, which talks of the potential for "multiple large and powerful storm systems" with "a tremendous amount of precipitation . . . Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10 inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with perhaps triple that amount in favored areas", with the potential for a massive snowfall, gusts in the 100-200 mph range in the high Sierras, possibly followed by plentiful warm rains that could melt the snow and cause massive flooding statewide. "The next 2-3 weeks (at least) are likely to be more active across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory."
CoCoRaHS - "Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nation." Sponsored by NWS, NOAA, and more... Volunteers Wanted (pdf)
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]
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.
The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center provides massive amounts of NWS remote weather station data on precipitation statewide. With avalanche season about to begin, these data are extremely useful to both amateur recreationists and snow professionals.
Halifax under curfew. The Globe and Mail and the CBC are reporting that the Province of Nova Scotia has placed Halifax, Canada, under a curfew tonight. The city has taken this unprecedented peacetime action to allow the snow plows to deal with the 100cm (~50 inches) of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. Anyone caught on the streets between 11pm and 7am faces a CDN$1000 fine.
With a potential blizzard blanketing the northeast, it looks like flashmobs are out and snowball fights are in. What do you think, are we gonna see a lot more of this kind of thing now that online invitations are setting the standard? This invite seems to be flying around NYC pretty fast indeed. The question is: How big will the battle be?
More than you ever wanted to know about snow, from the physics of formation to just priddy pictures.
[Link via CuriousLee]
[Link via CuriousLee]