September 19th, 2014 at 11:31 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station.
Imagine a radar that could measure ocean winds, track hurricanes and help scientists track 15 year climate records of events. The most exciting part of this radar called RadScat is that it will be mounted on the International Space Station and help scientists with real time information during tropical ocean events. Even though NASA doesn’t fly shuttles into space anymore they are able to help NOAA scientists that measure ocean climate and temperature in an innovative way
September 18th, 2014 at 11:32 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
Difference from average pressure at 200 millibar (mb) pressure level from November 2013-July 2014. The polar jet stream repeatedly followed a path of steep ridges and toughs over North America during this period; the unusual configuration occurred frequently enough that it left a permanent impression on the average pressure patterns during the period. Unusually high pressure (orange) occupied the area beneath the ridge to the west, while unusually low pressure filled the trough over the central United States. These pressure anomalies were mirrored in the U.S. temperature extremes in the first half of 2014. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on NCEP reanalysis data from NOAA ESR
Difference from average pressure at 500 millibar (mb) pressure level January 14-21, 2014, linked to very exaggerated dips and bumps in the polar jet stream. In general, air pressure decreases with altitude. On this map, negative numbers mean relatively low pressure values typically found at higher altitudes existed up to 200 meters closer to the surface than usual; positive numbers mean relatively high pressure values typically found closer to the surface reached up to 200 meters higher in altitude than usual. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on NCEP reanalysis data from NOAA ESRL.
The extreme cold that enveloped much of North America this year is being caused by a diving jet stream. It’s not so unusual for troughs of low pressure to move across the U.S. or high pressure to push the jet stream north like what’s happening right now across the western U.S. causing record heat. What is unusual is that this situation has gone on for months on end. This is what has scientists collectively scratching their heads. According to an article published by NOAA this climate pattern may have to do with a number of issues related to atmosphere.
“...researchers are investigating a few hypotheses—Pacific Ocean temperature anomalies, climate change, natural atmospheric dynamics—but there are no firm answers yet. Given the exceptionally long stretch of time we are talking about with the 2014 event, Masters thinks it’s probably multiple influences acting over different time scales, some long-term and some, like Typhoon Neoguri in the Pacific in July, short-term.”
September 16th, 2014 at 8:56 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
Tropical remnants of Odlile are headed across old Mexico and may move toward our area over the weekend
Some of our forecast solutions are not portraying what could be a wet Sunday forecast. The remnants of what was Tropical Storm Odile could get caught up in a Pacific weather system which will move across the country and may move toward our area by this weekend. This would mean a warm and a very wet forecast. High temperatures could be close to 80 both Saturday and Sunday with some heavy rainfall possible with this scenario Sunday.
September 15th, 2014 at 10:02 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
September 10th, 2014 at 8:34 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
Storm Prediction Center slight risk area
Biggest risk for damaging winds southwest of our area and a slight risk for tornadoes
Greatest risk for gusty winds and flooding damage
There is still a slight risk for severe weather across our area but the focus for the most damaging winds will be southwest of our area. There is still a very small risk of tornadoes but without the sunshine we will probably not see the severity of storms we expected to see with morning sun to destabilize the atmosphere.
Flash Flood watch until 12AM Thursday
Futurecast shows the heaviest rain moving in through late morning and afternoon
Heavy rainfall possible through early afternoon on Futurecast
Futurecast rainfall estimates through Midnight Thursday
Much of the focus has been shifted to storms that will produce heavy rainfall. Futurecast has heavy rain through much of the early afternoon. It also forecasts impressive rainfall amounts for the area through midnight with up to 3″ from Fort Wayne to the south of Fort Wayne.
September 9th, 2014 at 11:24 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
September 8th, 2014 at 8:46 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
Last night I saw something that peaked my attention. Here is the headline: Meteorologists predict record shattering snowfall coming soon.
It is accompanied by a graphic that shows snowfall above normal even in the Gulf states. This was the first indication it was a fake or satirical since snow is very unusual to get at all in many of those states. There are references to a ‘doctor of global weather’ and other things that set the article off as a fake.
Here is the problem. Most Facebook readers just look at headlines and captions so they really have no way of knowing that it was supposed to be a joke. We blogged quite a bit about this during the winter that you’ve got to be very careful where you get your information. Stories like this can cause a panic and there really isn’t any scientific validity to them.
So follow the rule of thumb here when viewing Facebook stories by sources you don’t know or amateur meteorologists, if no other site or media is forecasting the same thing then it probably is not reality.
September 4th, 2014 at 11:24 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
Severe thunderstorm potential to our north
As heavy rainfall and storms move closer to our area we are going to see severe potential in areas to our north. There will be heavy rainfall today to the north. As this system shifts there will be shower and storm potential for our area especially by afternoon Friday. It doesn’t appear that this system will linger very long so severe potential will be limited to a very short window Friday afternoon/evening if we see anything at all. Most likely we could see some brief gusty winds as this system moves through at a very fast pace.
Cooler air moves in this weekend
After the system moves through we are going to be dealing with a very different air mass. This air will be dry and much cooler than we will see on Friday. This cooler air may create some brief instability because of the cooler air in the upper atmosphere and the sunshine which will make the ground warmer. This will cause brief instability and mostly some clouds by Friday afternoon with an isolated shower not out of the question.
The biggest change you will notice are temperatures will be almost 15 degrees cooler Saturday afternoon.
September 3rd, 2014 at 10:24 am by Greg Shoup under Weather
So unless you pay careful attention during the change of seasons or even the beginning of September you probably missed our reference to the end of meteorological summer and the beginning of meteorological fall. The first question I get asked about these different starts and ends to season is why don’t you guys just follow the astronomical seasons like everyone else?
Here is the answer to that question from the National Weather Service:
“Because the Earth actually travels around the sun in 365.24 days, an extra day is needed every fourth year, creating what we know as Leap Year. This also causes the exact date of the solstices and equinoxes to vary. Additionally, the elliptical shape of the Earth’s orbit around the sun causes the lengths of the astronomical seasons to vary between 89 and 93 days. These variations in season length and season start would make it very difficult to consistently compare climatological statistics for a particular season from one year to the next. Thus, the meteorological seasons were born.”
Climatologists are the scientists who keep track of historical weather data and find it much easier to put together statistics based on seasons that have the same number of days each year. So what the meteorological community does is put seasons into three month groupings. December 1 through the end of February would be meteorological winter. March first through the end of May would signify meteorological spring. June 1st through the end of August would signify meteorological summer and of course September 1st through the end of November would be meteorological fall. So welcome to fall!
The NWS explains this further:
“The length of the seasons is also more consistent for the meteorological seasons, ranging from 90 days for winter of a non-leap year to 92 days for spring and summer. By following the civil calendar and having less variation in season length and season start, it becomes much easier to calculate seasonal statistics from the monthly statistics, both of which are very useful for agriculture, commerce, and a variety of other purposes.”