Another day of active severe weather is expected across parts of the Southern Plains into the Arklatex. Tornadoes (possibly strong), large hail and damaging winds are all possible.
Posts tagged NOAA.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the results of three studies this week, reporting that the Arctic Ocean will be nearly ice-free in summers by the middle of the century. It’s possible that the Arctic will be ice-free within the next decade or two, which is sooner that scientists thought just a few years ago.
Thursday’s report by dozens of scientists from five different federal agencies looked into why forecasters didn’t see the drought coming. The researchers concluded that it was so unusual and unpredictable that it couldn’t have been forecast.
“This is one of those events that comes along once every couple hundreds of years,” said lead author Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Climate change was not a significant part, if any, of the event.”
Tracking killer whales
in the Puget Sound outer Washington coast. This track shows where the “K Pod” traveled from March 28 to April 2. Great work by NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Center.
Enjoying NOAA/NWS’s brand new Storm Prediction Centerng website!
Winter snow storms not enough to recharge soil and aquifers to end historic drought. 2013 drought forecast looking grim.
The historic drought that laid waste to America’s grain and corn belt is unlikely to ease before the middle of this year, a government forecast warned on Thursday.
The annual spring outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted hotter, drier conditions across much of the US, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, where farmers have been fighting to hang on to crops of winter wheat.
The three-month forecast noted an additional hazard, however, for the midwest: with heavy, late snows setting up conditions for flooding along the Red and Souris rivers in North Dakota.
“It’s a mixed bag of flooding, drought and warm weather,” Laura Furgione, the deputy director of NOAA’s weather service told a conference call with reporters.
Last year produced the hottest year since record keeping began more than a century ago, with several weeks in a row of 100+degree days. It also brought drought to close to 65% of the country by summer’s end.
The cost of the drought is estimated at above $50bn, greater than the economic damage caused by hurricane Sandy. The drought area has now fallen back somewhat to 51% of the country.
But even the heavy snowfalls some parts of the country have seen were not enough to recharge the soil, the NOAA scientists said.
Via The Guardian
Scientific consensus on climate change is at 97%, which might be the highest agreement among any of the sciences.
President Obama’s plea this morning to avert the $85 billion sequester before March 1 was instantly ridiculed by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, as a “campaign event.” That’s presumably because the president spoke in front of a group of emergency responders whose livelihoods are threatened by the indiscriminate spending cuts, just as he often used middle-class Americans as backdrops on the campaign trail.
Fine, the emergency workers were props, just like the people who have filled the first lady’s box at State of the Union speeches for decades. But there’s nothing wrong with the president using federal employees as illustrations, since workers are going to bear the brunt of the sequester’s pain. He could just as easily have lined up a group of federal meat inspectors since they will be going on furlough in a few weeks, resulting in grocery shortages. Or a group of air traffic controllers. Or cancer researchers. Or Head Start teachers. Or prison guards.
All of them will be working less in the coming months if Congress does not avert the sequester, producing backups in their specific fields that will be felt by all Americans, as well as a slowdown in spending and financial activity that will have an asteroid-like impact on the economy. The president is driving Republicans a little crazy by holding these illuminated events, because they vividly undermine the basic Republican tenet that vastly reduced spending is good for society — getting government out of the face of Americans who hate it — and good for the economy.
Cancer researchers are American government, and if Republicans don’t think their work should be supported by taxpayers, they are free to make their case publicly. But they won’t do that, because the various government functions facing cuts are both necessary and popular. Instead they talk in dire but abstract terms about the debt threat, pretending there is no need to ever raise taxes, and hoping that voters won’t remember what their dollars actually pay for.
“This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs,” Mr. Obama said today. “The unemployment rate might tick up again.”
Not my normal style to post political opinion, but this one is indisputable. I worry for my friends at FEMA, EPA, NOAA, NSF, and even universities conducting important research in climate and disaster management. Their jobs are at stake, and the safety of Americans are, as well. Why?
To many politicians, teachers and firefighters are targets NOT because these cuts actually save money. No. It’s because these are the cuts that the public can “see.”
It is insane to me that obsolete, wasteful projects like the Joint Strike Fighter (2,500 jets for $250 billion? A quarter trillion dollars for a plane that doesn’t work?) or buying new nuclear submarines (more billions) are exempted from sequestration, while things like weather satellites and even smokejumpers are on the chopping block.
Will Obama cut NOAA’s budget?
Automatic budget cuts set to take effect March 1 could add to the woes of the federal government’s troubled weather satellite programs, jeopardizing future forecasts, a top official said Friday.
“It’s not going to be pretty,” outgoing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said of the package of across-the-board spending cuts known as “sequestration.”
“The sequester has the potential to wreak havoc with so many different things, and satellites loom large within that,” she told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “There’s just so much uncertainty. Nobody knows how long it might last, and it’s very difficult to plan for that.”
Via Climate Central
In the last four years, we’ve had 650 major tornadoes, 51 Atlantic hurricanes, six major floods, three tsunamis, persistent drought, numerous heatwaves and recordbreaking snowfall and blizzards.”
Jane Lubchenco, who is stepping down as NOAA chief, in discussing possible budget cuts that would impact monitoring US and global climate.
And adequate funding [for NOAA] is a very big challenge in today’s fiscal climate.
Map of significant climate events in 2012. Usually we think in terms of one event to the next. We name that event (Katrina, Nemo, etc.) and move on to the clean up phase. But collectively, when seen in one snap shot of an entire year, I cannot help but think we are in big, big trouble. Governments cannot possibly manage all this strife, year after year, decade after decade. Something has got to give, or possibly collapse. Sorry for the doom reflection, but sheesh. Look at all these big events. So much life lost. Such high costs to taxpayers.
Click to embiggen.
Cold streak is about to snap. Winter, it is over…
From NOAA Visualizations:A drop in the jet stream sent temperatures across the United States plummeting over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend. The pronounced change in temperatures can be seen in this weather data from NOAA/NCEP’s Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis.Areas colored blue are below freezing. The diurnal cycle of heating and cooling can be seen over time, but the pattern is clear: much of the U.S. is pretty cold.
Extreme Events of 2012: Looking at the Big Picture
Summary: Drought, cold, and massive storms were among the devastating climate-related events that struck the United States in 2012. These events were incredibly destructive and disruptive for people across the country. In this video, NOAA scientist Deke Arndt explains that a better understanding of the relationship between climate and extreme weather is challenging, but important, because it will help our nation become even more “climate smart.” View the video online: http://1.usa.gov/UKIJHT
For a full transcript please see: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/video/2013/extreme-events-of-2012
Snow was created by steam from a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania earlier this week.
Climate change pushes El Niño and La Niña cycles to new upper temperature limits.
When the Pacific Ocean warms and cools with El Niño and La Niña, we see global temperature rise and fall. This pattern of ocean temperature variability plays into a long-term trend of rising global surface temperatures.
The signature pattern for El Niño is warmer-than-average surface temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, such as this episode from 2009 and 2010. All that warm water heats the air above it, so when we have an El Niño we get warmer-than-average surface temperature patterns.
That leads to warmer global temperature. The “global temperature” is a single number calculated from observations around the world and throughout the year shown on maps like this.
The last El Niño episode—when the Pacific Ocean was warmer than average—was in 2010. You can see how much warmer it was than the following year, 2011. Cold water in the central and eastern Pacific marks a La Niña episode. That cold water pushed global surface temperature down compared to 2010.
How does this pattern play out in the long-term? Over the last five decades, the globally averaged surface temperature has creeped upward at about a quarter degree per decade. Notice that 2005 and 2010—both of which followed El Nino events—were the warmest recorded in the past 133 years. El Niños pushed these years over the top of long-term trends. La Niña years act as you would expect, lowering global temperature below the long-term trend line. The cold surface water in the Pacific lowers surface temperature in the air, and that affects global temperature.
Via Climate Watch. This is a screen shot of the video. I couldn’t figure out how to embed it.