Weather Blogs

November 18, 2015

Tornadoes roar across the USA. Giant earthquakes rip Indonesia (8.7 on the Richter scale), Mexico (7.0), Gulf of California (7.0) and the Oregon coast region (5.5).Nations brace for giant tsunami waves to crash across the oceans. (Fortunately the waves didn’t come.) The Earth has been in constant movement this month. It’s time to take a deep breath. We are on a giant ball spinning in space and sometimes it is a place of incredible beauty. Everything is moving, the air, the oceans, even the... more

November 3, 2015

I sometimes wonder why I am in the climate business. According to folklore, those leaves you have to rake up will tell you all you need to know about winter. Are your chrysanthemums really pretty? Get out the mittens. The birds and bees are not only into sex; apparently, they are weather forecasters as well. The competition for my job is horrendous. Here is a sample of rodent wisdom: Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, Will cause snow to gather in a hurry. In addition, a tough winter... more

November 3, 2015

November opened with cool temperatures and good snow in the West. That whoop you are hearing is all the crazy skiers and snowboarders who cannot wait to plummet down the mountains at 30+ miles an hour. Following one of the worst snow years on record, the El Niño is promising a good ski season for many Western ski resorts.  Last year was a disaster in the Western US. The years of La Niña, which bring drought to western states, was followed by what the Japanese call “An El Niño Midoki” another... more

October 20, 2015

It’s getting close to Halloween. Time to give a pumpkin to—to a polar bear. Isn’t it obvious? Even polar bears like Halloween pumpkins. Credit: Detroit Zoo As autumn comes, the changing weather is giving zoos new challenges. Zoos are fighting back with pumpkins and trick-or-treat. A Jack-o-Lantern, yummy! Credit: Detroit Zoo From a zoo’s point of view, autumn is a time when newly harvested feed supplies are fresh and available and the comfortable weather makes the animals frisky. But... more

October 12, 2015

At the same time that South Carolina was awash with flooding because of a passing hurricane, another state was actually hit by the stormy remnants of a different hurricane. It was—wait for it—Alaska! Hurricane Oho was originally threatening Hawaii, our most tropical state. Then—whoops—it turned north and slammed Canada and the panhandle of Alaska. British Columbia and the southern Panhandle of Alaska were hit with high winds, (up to 68 mph or tropical storm strength), torrential rain and... more

October 3, 2015

One of the joys of working with weather is that I also work with satellite pictures. We have all seen the local weather forecasters showing satellite pictures of approaching rains and storms. But most don’t get to see some of the other pictures, especially some of the incredible new nighttime pictures, allowing us to follow the weather day and night. These pictures also show the incredible beauty of the city lights. Check out the recent picture of Europe. Some of the latest satellite weather... more

September 27, 2015

Mom! There’s a bear in the backyard! Californians are beginning to learn why their state flag has a bear on it. If they had listened to Native American folklore, California residents would not be so surprised. Many Western tribes, including the Pueblo people who live near me, believed that the gods sent the bears as messengers. When the weather was bad, either due to drought or early frosts, the bears would come down from the mountains and warn the people that food would be hard to find. At the... more

September 13, 2015

Don’t you just love the news! The latest warning is that—with warm sunny days and enough rain to break the drought in most of the West—we face increased risk from bubonic plague … the Black Death! According to the Center for Disease Control, the United States alone has had 11 cases of plague this year, the most in ten years. The reason: good weather, healthy exercise, and fleas. Sunny days—the perfect weather to catch the plague!Source: The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut (Inspired... more

September 7, 2015

This is the only time on record that a parade of giant Category 4 hurricanes is strolling through the Pacific. Here in the continental US, El Niños make us happy. The event means fewer Atlantic Hurricanes and more rainfall for our gardens. But in the state of Hawaii, El Niños are scary. See those little islands below? Yep, that’s Hawaii, trying to dodge the deadly winds and destructive tidal surges. Giant hurricanes strolling through the Pacific Source: NASA’s Earth Observatory El Niño and... more

September 2, 2015

For the first time in 91 years, wild wolves are in California. Scientists told people to expect many things from El Niño — rain, snow, floods, and landslides. Who knew it would also bring a pack of wolves? They’re ba-a-a-ck! Source: Wikipedia Wolves were nearly exterminated until there were only 300 left, hiding in northern Minnesota and Michigan, when they were listed by the Endangered Species Act in 1974. Since then they have been slowly spreading. In 1994, the government finally decided “Go... more


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