Weather
What Happened to Winter? Why 2020’s On Track to be the Warmest Winter Ever.

What Happened to Winter? Why 2020’s On Track to be the Warmest Winter Ever.

If you live in DC you’re probably like us and have been wondering what the heck happened to winter this year. You’re not alone, according to NBC News, In Japan, record low snowfall has forced ski resorts to close prematurely. In Finland, forests that would normally be stark and bare at this time of year […]

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Hurricane Force Winds Batter the U.K. and Europe, Planes Set Speed Records From U.S. to U.K.

Hurricane Force Winds Batter the U.K. and Europe, Planes Set Speed Records From U.S. to U.K.

Storm Ciara battered the U.K. and northern Europe with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains Sunday, grounding thousands of flights and canceling trains across the continent, and producing heaving seas that closed down ports — even the English Premier League had to cancel games as authorities urged millions of people to avoid the outdoors due to falling trees and downed power lines.

Why This Matters:  Severe travel disruptions, power outages, coastal flooding and weather damage to cars and property, and yes, even soccer (or football as they say there) games had to be canceled.

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Early Spring?  Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow

Early Spring? Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow

Even though Phil is often wrong (it’s not exactly science), he may be getting more accurate due to climate change.  According to Climate Central, Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting earlier springs more often—14 times in the past 50 years, after only 5 times in the 73 years prior — and his shift toward earlier springs may be onto something because based on actual weather data, the six weeks after Groundhog Day are warming up in 93% of the 244 cities analyzed.

Why This Matters:  One could argue that folklore like Groundhog Day and all its antiquated pageantry undermine the public’s reliance on the actual science of weather forecasting, and perpetuates myths that have staying power and resonate with the public.

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Sharpie Gate In Sharper Focus —  Emails Show Damage From Trump “Forecast” Map

Sharpie Gate In Sharper Focus — Emails Show Damage From Trump “Forecast” Map

Late Friday evening, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dumped more than a thousand of pages of documents about the President’s changes to the hurricane Dorian forecast map and the recriminations afterward that Jason Leopold from Buzzfeed News had requested.  He then tweeted out some of the doozies.

Why This Matters:  The pattern is hauntingly familiar to anyone watching the impeachment hearings and trial.  Good public servants — some appointed by the President and some career — were doing their best to deal with the fallout from the rash actions of a President blatantly misusing the power of his office.

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Urban Heat Islands Disproportionately Affect Black Neighborhoods

Urban Heat Islands Disproportionately Affect Black Neighborhoods

A new study conducted by Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia has revealed that a history of redlining in America has forced African Americans to live in neighborhoods that are much more affected by urban heat waves. As the authors explained, “Vulnerable communities—especially those within urban areas in the United States—are disproportionately […]

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One Safety Thing: Heed the Warnings of Strong Storms

One Safety Thing: Heed the Warnings of Strong Storms

Our favorite local National Weather Service forecast office tweeted out this important message on Saturday when a strong line of storms ripped through central Alabama.  With extreme and severe weather becoming the new normal, the National Weather Service and local emergency managers’ warnings are more important than ever.  Lives are at stake.  This forecast office […]

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Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Cities in Alaska and the Southeastern U.S. saw some of the greatest extremes in weather in 2019 — with Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, coming in at 9.3 degrees warmer than average and Bozeman, Montana was 5.3 degrees colder than average, while Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas was the wettest with 25.02 inches more rain than average and of U.S. cities, Tallahassee, Florida, had a 20-inch rainfall deficit. 

Why This Matters:  There were some big extremes in 2019 — with an impressive list and geographic spread of U.S. cities seeing record-breaking weather.  Record warmth for Alaska is one of the biggest stories of the year.

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One Very Hot Thing: The Weather in Australia

One Very Hot Thing: The Weather in Australia

As wildfires continued to rage in the New South Wales region, the average temperature in Australia reached its highest point ever at 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.6 F), according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that exceeded the previous record set in 2013 at 40.3 Celsius (104.5 F). Major cities in Australia such as Sydney and […]

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Ho Ho No: Ice on Top of Snow — Bad for Humans and Reindeer Too

Ho Ho No: Ice on Top of Snow — Bad for Humans and Reindeer Too

An Associated Press report earlier this week went viral because it hits a little too close to home this time of year — unusual weather patterns are causing reindeer to go hungry because as rain (as opposed to snow) falls during the winter in the Arctic, it creates thick layers of snowy ice that blocks their access to food.  In much of the U.S. we will likewise be battered with a “parade” of combo snow/ice storms for the days until Christmas, snarling all kinds of travel plans.

Why This Matters: Ice is only good in Disney movies.

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Attribution Science Connects Extreme Weather to Climate Change

Attribution Science Connects Extreme Weather to Climate Change

If you read my (Miro’s) Bright Ideas op-ed over the weekend then you saw that the tired argument of “yes the climate is changing, but we don’t know how much humans are contributing to it” has been around for at least 20 years. Luckily, that excuse for inaction is finally starting to wear thin as […]

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Thanksgiving Travel: Weather Could Cause Problems, Meanwhile NOAA Leader Still “Acting”

Thanksgiving Travel: Weather Could Cause Problems, Meanwhile NOAA Leader Still “Acting”

Forecasters are calling for three major storms this week to snarl travel plans for much of the country — with cities from Denver to Detroit expecting snow, freezing rain and soaking rain and winds on Tuesday into Wednesday, the heaviest travel day of the year.  And in other weather news, the Trump Administration’s nominee to be the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is withdrawing his name from consideration — he was nominated but never confirmed — leaving the Acting Administrator to continue to lead the agency.

Why This Matters:  This will be the longest time NOAA has gone without a confirmed Administrator in its history.

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Venice Underwater: Massive Floods Engulf City

Venice Underwater: Massive Floods Engulf City

by Miro Korenha and Alexandra Patel Venice called a state of emergency on Wednesday morning as flooding of the city’s famous canals reached levels that haven’t been witnessed in 50 years. Heavy rains caused waters to rise over 6 feet, inundated 85% of the city (including the historic St Mark’s basilica), and caused 2 deaths. […]

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