Weather Update

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About the Weather Update

Mike Steinberg is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at AccuWeather Inc in State College, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the National Weather Association and the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

February 15, 2018

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2017 was the second warmest year in surface temperatures averaged across the entire Earth since global estimates began in 1880. So what should we expect for 2018? The only warmer year than 2017 on record was 2016, when temperatures were bolstered by an El Niño, which typically causes warming effects around the globe due to the warmer water in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Thus, 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño... more

February 1, 2018

Do you have memories of bad blizzards? Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable February storms of the past 50 years. Worst Blizzards in (Recent) History Does anyone remember the blizzard of February of 1972? I was near Ithaca, New York, where it snowed heavily between around 9:00 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m., leaving an accumulation of 29 inches during the 5 hours or so that it snowed. Helping to push cars that were stuck in the snow that afternoon, I felt cold for perhaps the first... more

January 22, 2018

Super Bowl®LII will be played on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While we wait for Game Day, let’s take a look back at past Super Bowl weather! Super Bowl Forecast Although the Super Bowl itself is played indoors, weather affects everything from travel to tailgating.  The long-range weather predictions (made 18 months ago!) show that the week of February 4 will be sunny and cold.  The surrounding days will bring occasional snow flurries but nothing major, which... more

January 19, 2018

A few months ago, I discussed the challenges that forced me to modify the methodology that I use in making the long-range weather forecasts for The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The two primary challenges were that (1) increasingly, over the past two decades, the actual weather has been warmer than that forecast by our traditional forecast methodology, and (2) we are in a period of low solar activity that is cooling Earth, thereby offsetting some of that warming. I offered that the fact that solar... more

November 16, 2017

With wildfires, hurricanes, drought, and natural disasters, this year has been by far the costliest ever in the United States in terms of weather events. The total cost of weather-related damages has likely exceeded $350 billion, at least $100 billion more than the previous mark. Of course, this figure does not include the far more important loss of lives. Hurricanes This was the first year that the United States was hit by three category 4 or higher hurricanes, and it was one of the two... more

October 25, 2017

I recently went to Florida to visit my sister and saw damage from Hurricane Irma—mostly downed or damaged palm trees. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season does not end until Nov. 30, but four major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater have already occurred. Let’s see how the 2017 season compares with the worst hurricanes in recorded history. Keep in mind that since the advent of satellite images in the late 1960s, we have known about every tropical storm and hurricane that forms—no more surprises... more

September 22, 2017

As Earth continues to warm, lower solar radiation may ease the heat’s impact—temporarily. Let’s take a look at some emerging weather patterns. Our Warming Earth July 2017 had very close to the same average temperature across Earth as did July 2016, which was the hottest month ever recorded. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2017 was 0.83 degree C (1.49 degrees F) above the 20th-century average... more

August 31, 2017

Overall, the long range winter forecast for 2017–2018 shows generally colder temperatures than last winter for the U.S. and Canada but not colder than a typical winter, based on historical averages. As I write these words, there are no sunspots on the visible portion of the Sun, and solar activity is very quiet; this traditionally meant a cooling influence. So why isn’t it colder than average? Other weather factors are at play. Low Solar Activity As you may know, we at The Old Farmer’s Almanac... more

July 25, 2017

Now that we are well into hurricane season, I am continuing a look back at some of the most notable hurricanes that have hit the United States. In the past two issues, I looked at storms through the early 1990s. This month, I will conclude with five more recent ones. First, see the worst hurricanes from the first half of the 20th century and the second half of the 20th century. Hurricane Floyd Hurricane Floyd caused the largest peacetime evacuation in U.S. history, with 3 million people... more

June 30, 2017

With the beginning of hurricane season in June, last month we began to look back on some of the most notable hurricanes that hit the United States in the early 20th century. Time marches on: Hurricane season will continue until November 30, and this month we spotlight the most severe late–20th-century hurricanes. See the worst hurricanes from the first half of the 20th century. Hurricane Carol In August 1954, Hurricane Carol caused 72 fatalities and $462 million in damage, making it at the time... more

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