California already has drought problems, but mountain snowpacks in the state are really low this spring and that will prevent reservoirs from filling. Since melting snowpack is a major contributor to California’s water there will likely be more water shortages this summer unless more rail falls.
“Fog harvesting, as the technique is known, is not a new idea: Systems to make use of this airborne potable water already exist in at least 17 nations. But the new research shows that their efficiency in a mild fog condition can be improved by at least five-fold, making them far more feasible and practical than existing versions.” Quoted from the MIT press release.
“The pyroclastic flow deposits red-hot material on the slope of the volcano. After a few minutes, air heated by the deposit establishes a convective regime and due to the speed of the rising air a series of small tornadoes are formed.” Quoted from the Photovolcanica video release.
“On Jan. 28, 2014, NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, witnessed its strongest solar flare since it launched in the summer of 2013. Solar flares are bursts of x-rays and light that stream out into space, but scientists don’t yet know the fine details of what sets them off.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
The Weather Channel has some interesting photos of some snow covered trees from in northern Finland, near the Arctic Circle. If you didn’t know the scale you might think that they are clouds from an atomic or volcanic blast.
“A swirling mass of Arctic air moved south into the continental United States in early January 2014. On January 3, the air mass began breaking off from the polar vortex, a semi-permanent low-pressure system with a center around Canada’s Baffin Island. The frigid air was pushed south into the Great Lakes region by the jet stream, bringing abnormally cold temperatures to many parts of Canada and the central and eastern United States.
When the cold air passed over the relatively warm waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the contrast in temperatures created a visual spectacle. As cold, dry air moved over the lakes, it mixed with warmer, moister air rising off the lake surfaces, transforming the water vapor into fog—a phenomenon known as steam fog.” Quoted from NASA’s Earth Observatory.
“Although few people live in the Western tropical Pacific Ocean region, the remote waters there affect billions of people by shaping climate and air chemistry worldwide.
Next week, scientists will head to the region to better understand its influence on the atmosphere–including how that influence may change in coming decades if storms over the Pacific become more powerful with rising global temperatures.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
Cameron Beccario has created a rotatable, zoomable, tiltable globe that has a “visualization of global weather conditions as forecasted by supercomputers and updated every three hours”. It can help you understand your weather.
Check it out. To rotate or tilt you can grab the globe by clicking your mouse on a point, holding the button, and dragging in the direction that you want to tilt or rotate. To zoom, just double click on the point that you want to see closer.
“A new catalogue of earthquake lights — mysterious glows sometimes reported before or during seismic shaking — finds that they happen most often in geological rift environments, where the ground is pulling apart.” Quoted from the Nature article.
NASA’s Earth Observatory has a satellite image showing snow on the ground from a recent storm in the Middle East. Jerusalem had over one foot of snow, knocking out power for thousands of households. Amman, Jordan received about eighteen inches.
“On the left, bright green auroras appear to emanate from the largest glacier in Iceland as if it’s a volcano. On the right, clouds appear tinged with the green light reflecting from the auroras.” Quoted from the NASA image release.
“It rains more in the Northern Hemisphere because it’s warmer,” said corresponding author Dargan Frierson, a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “The question is: What makes the Northern Hemisphere warmer? And we’ve found that it’s the ocean circulation.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.
“Meteorologists often use information about warm and cold fronts to determine whether a tornado will occur in a particular area. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.” Quoted from the University of Missouri press release.
MIT researchers have recreated Mars-like conditions within a three-story-tall cloud chamber in Germany, adjusting the chamber’s temperature and relative humidity to match conditions on Mars — essentially forming Martian clouds on Earth. Quoted from the MIT press release.
A National Geographic article titled: Scientists Weigh Climate Change Role in 2012 Weather explores the possibility that human-induced climate change might have contributed to Hurricane Sandy, drought in the Midwest or melting arctic ice.
“NOAA’s 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook indicates that an above-normal season is most likely, with the possibility that the season could be very active. The outlook calls for a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below-normal season.
Based on the current and expected conditions, combined with model forecasts, we estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity during 2013:
– 13-20 Named Storms
– 7-11 Hurricanes
– 3-6 Major Hurricanes
“Warmer spring temperatures since 1980 are causing an estimated 20 percent loss of snow cover across the Rocky Mountains of western North America. [...] Runoff from Rocky Mountain winter snowpack accounts for 60 to 80 percent of the annual water supply for more than 70 million people living in the western U.S.
“Researchers studying the origin of cirrus clouds have found that these thin, wispy trails of ice crystals are formed primarily on dust particles and some unusual combinations of metal particles – both of which may be influenced by human activities.” Quoted from the Oregon State University press release.
“We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much or how little activity is predicted.” Quoted from the Colorado State University press release.
“Clouds over the central Greenland Ice Sheet last July were “just right” for driving surface temperatures there above the melting point, according to a new study by scientists funded by the National Science Foundation and at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
“Tropical Storm Tim formed over the Coral Sea on March 13, 2013, and remained off the coast of northeastern Australia for the next four days. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Tim on March 17. Although lacking a distinct eye, Tim still had the spiral shape characteristic of strong storms.” Quoted from NASA’s Earth Observatory image release.
“Clouds are a critical element of the climate system, especially in the Arctic where surface energy budgets and precipitation can have dramatic impacts on the fate of sea ice and ice sheets.” Quoted from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences press release.
“Black carbon particles in snow are larger than expected [...] this finding suggests that the warming produced by black carbon in snow could be currently overestimated by as much as 30 percent.” Quoted from the CIRES press release.
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