Weather Blogs

January 17, 2016

Hurricane Alex is the first hurricane in January in 75 years. How did a hurricane occur in January?  Read on . .  Just like most of us resolve to start the New Year, improving our lives, a little Southern storm apparently had the same goal in mind.  Alex wanted to make something of himself  … the little storm that could. Normally hurricanes form over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Alex didn’t, instead he formed off the southeastern coast of the US. Water temperatures need to be around 79°F... more

January 3, 2016

We’ve all gazed at the clouds, and seen different shapes such as animals or faces, right? Here’s a new twist … Adam Voiland, a NASA scientist and new dad, has read Dr. Seuss’s ABC books so many times that he started to see letters of the alphabet in NASA’s satellite pictures of Earth! It was as easy and fun as the A-B-Cs! The Letter “A” — for Utah’s Green River. The Letter “B” — for the Arkansas River.   The Letter “C” — for an artificial island off of Bahrain. Others have joined... more

December 15, 2015

Are you celebrating winter with the dreaded common cold? It may be miserable, but it is showing you something about the weather. Just as your stuffed nose blocks relief and makes your sinuses swell (Ouch!), so a warm Atlantic Gulf Stream can get blocked, building up heat. All that hot water then warms the Eastern US and parts of Canada.  Remember, 70% of the Earth’s surface is the oceans. Heat from the oceans flow into North America. So, heat from a hot Atlantic pours into North America. In... more

November 22, 2015

Hello Almanac readers, Do you know what Old Farmers really do in the winter? They travel to agricultural conventions. The harvests are over, hotel rates are low, and crop conventions allow them to see old friends and learn a few useful facts. And—since we are speakers at these conventions—we get to experience the joys of winter travel.  A lot of you will also be travelling this winter, visiting your loved ones on the holidays or maybe visiting the slopes for some skiing. Let us, in the... more

November 18, 2015

Tornadoes roar across the USA. Giant earthquakes shake the Earth. Storms rip across the continent. Nations brace for giant tsunami waves to crash across the oceans. The Earth is in constant movement. 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 ground beneath us. It forms incredible patterns. Let’s step away from the scare headlines and enjoy the splendor of the... more

November 10, 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

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