#weather
One Cold Thing: Weather Whiplash in Colorado

One Cold Thing: Weather Whiplash in Colorado

Oh, what a difference a day makes!  It was 82 degrees and sunny on Wednesday afternoon in Denver, but by last night ice and snow walloped the region after a temperature drop of 64 degrees in less than 24 hours.  The Denver Airport experienced delays, and major roadways were shut down on account of a […]

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Sharpie-Gate Reaches Fever Pitch – Rightfully So

The media frenzy over the doctored Hurricane Dorian map reached new highs (or lows) after NOAA put out an unsigned statement on Friday night retracting a tweet that launched the whole debacle — the Birmingham local National Weather Service forecast office clarifying that the storm track would not impact Alabama.  It led to a downward […]

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Directors of NOAA Research and National Weather Service Push Back

The Sharpie-Gate saga continued yesterday when The Washington Post obtained an internal email from the Chief Scientist at NOAA, Craig McLean, who wrote his colleagues that he “is investigating whether the agency’s response to President Trump’s Hurricane Dorian tweets constituted a violation of NOAA policies and ethics.” In addition, the head of the National Weather […]

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Alaska Shatters High Temp Records

Alaska Shatters High Temp Records

On Independence Day, Anchorage, Alaska hit its highest temperature in recorded history — 90 degrees — by five degrees and beat the previous high for the 4th of July by more than twenty degrees, as records were broken all around the state.  However, other cities in Alaska had hit 90 degrees before, but these are rare events, but more records could fall according to Accuweather because Alaska currently sits under a “heat dome” that will last into this week.

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Trump Administration Continues to Undermine U.S. Climate Progress

In a series of actions over the last two weeks, the Trump Administration continues to reverse U.S. government rules and programs that had been contributing to U.S. progress on the climate crisis.  In addition to the rule they proposed that benefits coal power plants by allowing them more flexibility with air pollution, the Agriculture Department “buried” studies by USDA scientists on the negative impacts of climate change, proposed that environmental reviews of federal projects no longer include estimates of greenhouse gas emissions caused by projects, increased categorical exclusions of environmental reviews for projects like logging on federal lands, and rebuffed all efforts by the state of California to reach an agreement on the clean car rule rollback.  

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Alaska Experiences Temperatures As Much As 40 Degrees Above “Normal”

Alaska Experiences Temperatures As Much As 40 Degrees Above “Normal”

For most people, a mild end to the long winter is a blessing, but for the people of Alaska, it may be too much of a good thing.  Temperatures in Alaska reached record highs for the month of March — with an unprecedented 70-degree day in the Southeastern town of Klawock on March 19 — the earliest any spot in the state has hit that high. — beating the previous first warm day by almost a month.   

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One “Hot” Take: Cold Shaming Is Not Cool

One “Hot” Take: Cold Shaming Is Not Cool

The Governor of Kentucky (who is up for re-election this year), found himself in hot water after a comment he made on Tuesday morning about the school closures in his state due to the extreme cold.  Speaking on WHAS-AM (840 AM) Tuesday, the host, Terry Meiners, reminded the Governor that classes had been canceled yesterday. The […]

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The Essence of Our Essential Government

The Essence of Our Essential Government

The government shutdown has been an ordeal but also instructive. It was devastating to government workers, contractors and grantees, who were directly harmed by the failures of our leaders to reach a funding agreement and pay them. But taking a step back, and trying to find any silver lining in this 36-day nightmare, we can see three.

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What Can We Learn From Your Wipers?

What Can We Learn From Your Wipers?

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan found that tracking windshield wiper activity can provide faster, more accurate rainfall data than radar and rain gauge systems currently in use.  The researchers used a fleet of 70 cars and tracked when wipers were being used and matched it with video from onboard cameras to document rainfall and found that tracking windshield wiper activity can provide faster, more accurate rainfall data. 

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Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

The nation’s largest private weather provider, AccuWeather, is going to begin to use a new “scale” for conveying the severity of hurricanes in the future, diverging from the current scale used by the National Weather Service (NWS) and followed by all private weather forecasters and meteorologists.  AccuWeather’s CEO, Joel Myers, claims that the current scale only measures wind, but that recent hurricanes from Sandy to Florence have proved that storm surge and flooding can be quite dangerous or deadly even when a hurricane’s wind is not at the top level of severity.

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Breaking:  Winter Storm Gia Expected to Bring Weekend Snow To Wide Swath of U.S.

Breaking:  Winter Storm Gia Expected to Bring Weekend Snow To Wide Swath of U.S.

A big snowstorm will barrel across the middle of the country over the weekend — following a 1500 mile pathway from Denver to Baltimore.  The storm will begin on Friday and last through late Sunday before it blows out to sea.  According to the National Weather Service, 20 million people are in the storm’s path, including the cities of Kansas […]

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Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Among the most consequential impacts of the government shutdown are the strain and diminution of capacity to the National Weather Service (NWS) operations, upon which all public and private daily weather forecasts are based. 

Why This Matters: One-third of the U.S. economy is impacted by the weather.  Indeed, as The Post points out, that means many sectors such as transportation, energy, national security, agriculture, the stock market, not to mention forecasts of extreme weather — are now operating on less than the highly accurate forecasts they usually can rely upon. And imagine if we have a “billion dollar” storm such as a “snowmaggedon” while the shutdown drags on, with lives and profits at risk, which seems increasingly probable as we are now squarely in winter snow season.  Offices like the one that Saha works in are down to skeleton staff — only one or two rather than dozens.  This weather forecasting degradation is much riskier to the general public than any risk we face from the lack of a feckless border wall segment.  

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