Tag Archives | Weather

‘Strongest Ever’ El Niño Coming With Extreme Weather In Tow

The infamous El Niño weather pattern currently developing is going to be the most powerful in the 65 years in which records have been kept, leading Al-Jazeera to term it the “strongest ever”:

The developing El Nino is stronger than the last major event of its type in 1997.

According to the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK Met Office, this El Nino is shaping up to be the strongest since records began in 1950.

El Nino is a natural phenomenon which occurs every two to seven years and lasts between six and 18 months.

Regional impacts of warm ENSO episodes (El Niño).

Regional impacts of warm ENSO episodes (El Niño).


It manifests as a warming of the surface waters of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The current El Nino is so strong that in some areas sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are more than 2 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.

Aside from the devastating effect that El Nino has on the Peruvian fishing industry, the real significance lies in the change in weather patterns that it produces around the globe.

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The Coriolis Effect explained

Why do storms spin in different directions depending on their location—and why do they spin in the first place?

After watching this video, contemplate how jet streams work. Also, think of how the Coriolis Effect influenced the path of Nazi V2 rockets on their path northward to England. Consider this also affects ocean currents over the thousands of miles they cover.

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The legend of the Kamikaze typhoons


The Geological Society of America via Science Daily:

In the late 13th century, Kublai Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire, launched one of the world’s largest armada of its time in an attempt to conquer Japan. Early narratives describe the decimation and dispersal of these fleets by the “Kamikaze” of CE 1274 and CE 1281 — a pair of intense typhoons divinely sent to protect Japan from invasion.

These historical accounts are prone to exaggeration, and significant questions remain regarding the occurrence and true intensity of these legendary typhoons. For independent insight, we provide a new 2,000 year sedimentary reconstruction of typhoon overwash from a coastal lake near the location of the Mongol invasions. Two prominent storm deposits date to the timing of the Kamikaze typhoons and support them being of significant intensity.

Our new storm reconstruction also indicates that events of this nature were more frequent in the region during the timing of the Mongol invasions.

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The Polar Vortex Will Be Back


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


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.

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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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