Tag Archives | Weather

The Polar Vortex Will Be Back

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via Accuweather:

Though parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic had a gradual introduction to fall, winter will arrive without delay. Cold air and high snow amounts will define the season.

Farther south, ice storms and snow events will threaten the Tennessee Valley and parts of the southern Plains. Much of the South can prepare for a wet winter, with some severe weather encroaching on Florida.

The northern Plains will be somewhat inconsistent with variable, back-and-forth temperatures and below-normal snowfall. Meanwhile, the drought will persist in the Northwest and northern California and ease slightly farther south.

After record-shattering temperatures and high snow totals last winter in the Northeast, a similar theme will continue into the 2014-2015 season.

Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January and February. The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into the region from time to time, delivering blasts of arctic air.

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Tornado Clusters are on the Rise

By Jmos® via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

By Jmos® via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

via Live Science:

Tornadoes are touching down in clusters more often than 50 years ago, a new study reports. On some days, more than 30 twisters strike the United States.

Even as storms spawn more tornadoes, there are fewer days on which tornadoes occur, according to the study, published today (Oct. 15) in the journal Science. Since the 1970s, the number of days with at least one EF-1 tornado has dropped from a mean (or average) of 150 to 100.

“When people ask, ‘Are we getting more tornadoes, are we getting fewer tornadoes, are they later, are they earlier?’ — the answer to everything is yes,” said lead study author Harold Brooks, senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.

While it’s clear that something about tornados in the United States is changing, there is no strong evidence that climate change is to blame.

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Human Body Parts Rain From Sky Over Saudi Arabian City

JeddahVia Arab News, the most gruesome weather possible:

Human body parts fell from the sky in the city of Jeddah Sunday, with police saying they could be the remains of a person trapped in an airplane’s wheel bay.

“Police received a telephone call at 2:30 a.m. from a witness reporting the fall of human remains at an intersection in Mushrefa neighborhood” in Jeddah, spokesman Nawaf bin Naser Al-Bouq said in a statement.

Initial indications were that the remains “fell from a plane’s landing gear,” said Bouq, adding that investigations were ongoing. Police would not say if the body parts have anything to do with the Saudia airplane that made an emergency landing at the airport in Madinah also early Sunday.

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Geoengineers Can Hack the Environment Legally

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Pic: Stopsprayingcalifornia.com

Got a hankering to do a little weather modification? Wanna play the HAARP or Chemtrail your way across the clear blue sky? Feel free! According to researcher Jesse Reynolds, technical trials are at worst legally ambiguous and at best (for the would be geo-engineer) smiled upon by national governments.

Via New Scientist:

To find out the legal status of such trials, Jesse Reynolds of Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands went through the fine print of 15 major environmental treaties, including the CBD, the LCP and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He found that apart from the LCP’s ruling on dumping material into the sea, which is legally binding, the language of the other treaties actually permits field tests. The CBD statement, for example, merely “invites” governments to ensure no geoengineering activities take place, rather than making it a legal requirement to do so (Washington and Lee Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment, ssrn.com/=2326913).

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Jupiter And Saturn May Experience Rain Of Liquid Diamonds

raining diamondsOn other planets, it rains diamonds. Nature writes:

It may actually be raining diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter, according to two planetary scientists.

In their scenario, lightning zaps molecules of methane in the upper atmospheres of Saturn and Jupiter, liberating carbon atoms. As the soot particles slowly float down through ever-denser layers of gaseous and liquid hydrogen, it is compressed into graphite, and then into solid diamonds before reaching a temperature of about 8,000 °C, when the diamond melts, forming liquid diamond raindrops. Saturn may harbor about 10 million tonnes of diamond produced this way.

“If you had a robot there, it would sit there and collect diamonds raining down,” Baines says. In their vision of the year 2469, diamonds would be collected on Saturn and used to make the ultra-strong hulls of mining ships delving deep into the planet’s interior to collect helium-3 for clean-burning fusion fuel.

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Why Monsanto Bought The Climate Corporation (It’s The Weather, Stupid)

The_Climate_Corporation_Logo2Monsanto’s billion-dollar acquisition of The Climate Corporation plants the seeds for an agribusiness revolution, writes Vlad Savov for The Verge:

To look at Monsanto’s product pages, you’d think the company’s business is in selling two closely related commodities: agricultural seeds and weed killers. But that would be like saying that Verizon sells people data and phone calls. What these companies are truly engaged in is an effort to make themselves indispensable to their target market’s daily activities. Now Monsanto is stepping up that campaign by expanding into the high-tech world of big data with its $930 million acquisition of The Climate Corporation.

It’s not that Monsanto is unfamiliar with the cutting edge of technology — as its long list of patents will attest — but so far most of the company’s energies have been spent on altering, enhancing, and otherwise rearranging the basic ingredients that go into land farming. With Climate Corp’s expertise in hyper-local weather prediction and big data analytics, Monsanto looks set to become a fully fledged services company as well.

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America’s First Climate Refugees

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 12.20.28 PMSusan Goldenberg writes at the Guardian:

Sabrina Warner keeps having the same nightmare: a huge wave rearing up out of the water and crashing over her home, forcing her to swim for her life with her toddler son.

“I dream about the water coming in,” she said. The landscape in winter on the Bering Sea coast seems peaceful, the tidal wave of Warner’s nightmare trapped by snow and several feet of ice. But the calm is deceptive. Spring break-up will soon restore the Ninglick River to its full violent force.

In the dream, Warner climbs on to the roof of her small house. As the waters rise, she swims for higher ground: the village school which sits on 20-foot pilings.

Even that isn’t high enough. By the time Warner wakes, she is clinging to the roof of the school, desperate to be saved.

Warner’s vision is not far removed from a reality written by climate change.

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Indonesia To Use Rain-Making Technology To Extinguish Fires

cloudsWhat weather should our leaders choose? Phys.org reports:

Indonesia plans to use weather changing technology to try to unleash torrents of rain and extinguish raging fires on Sumatra island that have cloaked neighboring Singapore in thick haze, an official said Wednesday.

The city-state, which is home to 5.3 million inhabitants, has been pressing Jakarta to take action to put out the blazes, which have pushed air pollutant levels on the island to a 16-year high.

Indonesian forestry ministry official Raffles Panjaitan said the government planned to use a technology called “cloud-seeding” to try and put out the fires, that are mainly centred on peatlands in Riau province. Helicopters would be sent into the skies above Sumatra to inject chemicals into clouds, which prompt the formation of heavy ice crystals, and so speed up the production of rain.

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Shamanic Weather Control Tower Discovered In South Africa

Weather Control Tower

A portal between the heavens and Earth. Live Science reports:

A towering “rain control” site, where shamans would have asked the gods to open up the skies centuries ago, has been discovered in South Africa.

Located in a semiarid area near Botswana, the site of Ratho Kroonkop (RKK) sits atop a 1,000-foot-tall hill and contains two naturally formed “rock tanks.” When the scientists excavated one of them, they found over 30,000 animal specimens, including the remains of rhinoceros, zebra and giraffe.

“What makes RKK special is that every piece of faunal material found at RKK can in some way be linked to rain control,” said researcher Simone Brunton at the University of Cape Town.

Shamans would have ascended RKK through natural tunnels in the rock. When they reached the top, they would have lit a fire to burn the animal remains as part of their rainmaking rituals.

The people who conducted these rituals were from the San, an indigenous group in southern Africa.

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Australia As Bellwether For The New Global Climate

USMC-100909-M-3740P-136Extreme weather events in Australia are now commonplace and scientists believe it may be a bellwether for the rest of the world. Report from National Geographic:

In early 2012 once-in-a-century floods submerged swaths of Great Britain and Ireland, causing some $1.52 billion in damages. Then in June record-high temperatures in Russia sparked wildfires that consumed 74 million acres of pristine Siberian taiga. Months after that, Hurricane Sandy pummeled seven countries, killing hundreds and running up an estimated $75 billion in damages. Just this week, a tornado of virtually unheard of size and ferocity tore through a small city in Oklahoma, leaving 24 people dead.

Each of these one-off traumas was bad enough, wreaking havoc, but in Australia such events seem to be becoming commonplace.

The Lucky Country has experienced a major spike in extreme weather in the past few years, with a string of devastating incidents just since January.

That has people wondering if the island continent is somehow a perfect bellwether for the Earth’s changing climate.

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