Weather Blogs

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

August 20, 2015

South Carolina reported seeing a “fire rainbow” on August 16, 2015. Then two days later, a “fire tornado” swirled through the skies over Idaho.  Nature never ceases to surprise (and delight) us! What are these rare phenomena? Interesting, these two events represent both hot and cold weather. What is a Firenado? Fire tornadoes occur when the updrafts from the heat carry flaming debris up a hundred feet or more. Higher winds catch the updraft and swirl it. Think of a dust devil—a really hot... more

July 20, 2015

Last week I blogged about the Southwestern Monsoon. It started early and was running strong. The desert was blossoming and it was reaching out and watering the Southern Plain States. I also warned that sometimes, when this monsoon was strong it sucked up hurricanes. When it does it dumps a ridiculous amount of rain. Last week’s blog warned that strong monsoons frequently suck up Pacific hurricanes. NOAA Guess what happened. Hurricane Dolores was minding her own business, enjoying a cruise up... more

July 14, 2015

July is the time of desert miracles. From Southern California to Western Texas, the wet season arrives and the desert blooms. The afternoon thunderstorms drench the soil and thirsty plants blossom. When the monsoon arrives, the desert blooms. Source: USDA Forest Service The short desert monsoon season is usually spectacular. The heat builds and the giant clouds begin to swell. Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, the skies begin to rumble. Lightning flashes, winds mount and then... more

June 21, 2015

“And it rains, rains, rains, That ring of fire, that ring of fire.”  If you love country music, the Ring of Fire is the burning love of Johnny Cash. If you are into weather, it’s the type of weather that hit the US in the middle of June, when Tropical Storm Bill brought showers from Texas all the way to the Corn Belt and the East Coast.  Bill finished the four-year drought in Texas and Oklahoma and brought welcome rainfall to the Corn Belt.  Looking back, how did it all happen? The soggy Ring... more

June 16, 2015

When you think of the Northern Lights, you probably think of those “aurora-hunters” braving the cold in Alaska in hopes of viewing such a dazzling light display; after all, they are called the Northern Lights for a reason, right? Strangely enough, however, under the perfect conditions, sky-gazers at all latitudes occasionally have the chance to catch the elusive phenomenon. Coming soon … the Northern Lights are venturing south! Those lucky enough to have had the chance to personally witness the... more


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