Weather Blogs

September 2, 2014

Californians know the current drought is leaving them high and dry, but recent scientific findings show that they really are being left higher when they are drier! As California’s water supplies grow lower, its mountains are rising higher! Source: USGS It’s not just California—the entire West is on the move. The West has been suffering through two and a half years of dry weather. Lakes are evaporating, rivers are running at a trickle and snowy mountaintops are reduced to dry brown crags.... more

August 22, 2014

Look out for little troublemakers. Small weather patterns in the Tropical Pacific can trigger tropical storms in the Atlantic. If a Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is in the wrong place, the Gulf of Mexico can churn up a hurricane. So far, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has been delightfully quiet. Warm El Niño conditions developed in May and lingered into June. These conditions created high altitude winds that tended to cut down disturbances in the Atlantic before they could develop into... more

August 19, 2014

El Niño is coming! It’s going to be HUGE! No, it’s dying! No, it’s coming but it will be weak! There are a lot of different predictions on whether this winter will have an El Niño, Source: NASA Getting whiplash yet? Here’s what is going on. The El Niño is an ocean and weather pattern in the Tropical Pacific. Because it is so big, the pattern affects weather all over the globe. In particular, a strong El Niño brings warm winters to the North and drought-breaking rainfall to the West. Therefore... more

August 1, 2014

When does exploring a mystery end up sounding like a crude joke? Scientists exploring a mysterious crater discovered that it was caused by a weather-related gas attack! The mysterious crater at “the end of the world” Courtesy: Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Governor It was a cool mystery. A huge crater in Russia’s remote Yamal Peninsula, not showing signs of being a meteor strike, measured at least 150 feet deep and more than 210 feet across. The area where it was found translates as “the end... more

July 20, 2014

It’s the middle of summer. Are you hot yet?  NOAA has released a map showing when you can normally expect the hottest day of the year. For some people, it arrived in June or early July and cooler days lie ahead. If you live in most of the West or the Southern Plains, it will hit you in the next few weeks. And, if you are on the West Coast, you will have to wait a couple of months. Summer heat peaks in different times of the year. Source NOAA. See enlarged map here. The longest day of the year... more

July 14, 2014

It’s a bird; it’s a plane—no—it’s a polar vortex! AAAAAGH!   The jet stream wiggled far to the north in the West and dropped south in the Midwest, bringing cool weather. Source: European Ensembles (ECMWF MODEL) Relax; during the third week of July, we had a cold front. It was a bit stronger than normal and reduced July temperatures between 10˚–30˚F. Around the Great Lakes, it almost felt like autumn. Actually, it was refreshing, but some people needed to slip on a sweater. If you lived in the... more

June 14, 2014

The space storms are coming! The space storms are coming! Call out Paul Revere! Hide the women and children! Aaaaaaargh! Flare 1 and 2, coming at you! Sources: NASA/SDO/Goddard Wait a minute … the space storm came and went and you didn’t notice? Many experts did a lot of work to prepare for solar storms. The protections worked. The good news is that there was no bad news. Solar storms really do pose a threat. The energy from them can interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, producing what is... more

May 25, 2014

With the rising price of salads, it’s harder to eat healthy. Here’s some good news—El Niño is coming. The huge weather event usually brings rain to California, enough to break the drought and help vegetable farming. Here’s the awkward news—the same event usually creates droughts in areas that grow chocolate! You may have to eat healthy. Thanks to El Niño, your salads should be more affordable but that yummy piece of chocolate may cost more. Source: Wikipedia With cooler temperatures in the... more

May 19, 2014

If it’s May, it’s time to work in your garden and (apparently) plan for the upcoming hurricane season. Here’s the good news: All the experts agree that it will be a quieter Atlantic hurricane season with fewer storms. Of course, the bad news is that last year most of the experts agreed that 2013 would be an unusually busy season and it was totally wimpy. Let’s hope they are a little more accurate now. Oddly enough, one of the main reasons that everyone is agreeing the Atlantic will be quieter... more

May 12, 2014

Mother’s Day is supposed to the perfect time for flowers and family outings! Except this year, moms in Denver would have preferred mittens. As the day drew to a close, a storm threatened to drop 3 to 4 inches of snow on the city. At that, city dwellers were getting off easy. Winter storm Zephyr dumped a foot of snow at higher elevations and some areas in Wyoming were hammered with three feet of snow! (By the way, a zephyr is actually gentle western breeze—not a storm!) Mother’s Day brought a... more


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