WEEKLY WEATHER AND CLIMATE NEWS
19-23 August 2013
Items of Interest:
- Crowdsourcing weather using smartphone batteries -- Smartphones are a great way to check in on the latest weather predictions, but new research aims to use the batteries in those same smartphones to predict the weather. A group of smartphone app developers and weather experts discovered a way to use the temperature sensors built into smartphone batteries to crowdsource weather information. These tiny thermometers usually prevent smartphones from dangerously overheating, but the researchers discovered the battery temperatures tell a story about the environment around them. EurekAlert!]
- Around the World in Four Days: NASA Tracks Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume -- A meteor weighing 10,000 metric tons exploded 14 miles above Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, 2013. Unlike similar past events, this time scientists had the sensitive instruments on the Suomi NPP satellite to deliver unprecedented data and help them track and study the meteor plume for months. NASA News]
- Free admission into the National Parks -- This coming Sunday 25 August 2013 has been designated by the National Park Service as fee-free days in honor of its 97th Birthday. This fee waiver will cover entrance and commercial tour fees in many of the national parks and monuments administered by the Park Service. [National Park Service Fee Free Days]
Weather and Climate News Items:
- Eye on the tropics -- Some tropical cyclone activity was found across tropical ocean basins last week:
- in the Northestern Pacific, Tropical Storm Utor makes landfall on Southern China on the 14th and continued to rain on the 15th. [NASA Hurricane Page]
- In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Erin form the on the 15th then weakened to a tropical depression on the 16th. [NASA Hurricane Page]
- In the Central Pacific, Pewa developed into a Tropical Storm on the 16th. [NASA Hurricane Page]
- NOAA provides easy access to historical hurricane tracks -- Seeing where hurricanes have hit and how often is one of the best ways to bring home a powerful hurricane preparedness message. A NOAA website, Historical Hurricane Tracks, lets users insert their zip code and see a map that contains more than 150 years of Atlantic hurricane tracking data. The site also contains global hurricane data from as far back as 1842. [NOAA News]
- Earth is breathing deeper: Multi-agency study reveals widening seasonal swings in CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere -- Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise and fall annually as plants take up the gas in spring and summer and release it in fall and winter through photosynthesis and respiration. Now the range of that cycle is growing as more CO2 is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities, according to a study published in Science by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, with CIRES and NOAA co-authors. [ NOAA Research]
- Atlantic Basin Primed for an Above-Normal Hurricane Season -- With five named storms already in the books this summer, the 2013 hurricane season is shaping up to be above normal, and there is a possibility that it could be very active during the peak of the season from mid-August through October. An additional 9-15 named storms are likely, of which 6-9 are predicted to become hurricanes, with 3-5 reaching major hurricane status. [NOAA Climate.]
- Search On for Climate Clues Across Southern U.S. Skies -- NASA research aircraft began flights Aug. 12 from Houston's Ellington Field to investigate how the combination of summer storms and rising air pollution from wildfires, cities, and other sources can change our climate. [NASA]
- Taking a 360-degree View of Water -- Escaping from the ocean, then surfing on clouds until taking that fateful fall back to Earth, water is on a journey. NASA's new short film "Water Falls" invites the public along for the ride as scientists follow water around the globe — on a globe. [NASA]
- July 2013 weather and climate for the nation reviewed -- Scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center
recently reported on their analysis of preliminary weather data collected during the month of July 2013:
- National weather and climate -- When averaged across the coterminous United States, the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 74.3°F, 0.8°F above the 20th century average, and ranked as the 30th warmest such month on record. The nationally-averaged July precipitation total of 3.47 inches was 0.71 inch above average and was the 5th wettest July on record for the contiguous United States. [NOAA National Climatic Data Center]
- July national drought report -- The National Climate Data Center has posted its July 2013 drought report online. Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 20 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of July 2013, a decrease of about 9 percent from last month. About 16 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
- Earthweek -- Diary of the Planet [earthweek.com] Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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Prepared by Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright, 2013, The American Meteorological Society.