WEEKLY WEATHER AND CLIMATE NEWS
25-29 July 2016
Items of Interest:
- A climate education workshop to focus on rising tides and changing times -- A workshop titled "Rising Tides and Changing Times" will be held on Wednesday, 3 August 2016, for formal and informal educators in Charleston, SC as part of NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). This workshop is one of four climate-science workshops around the country that are being convened by NOAA together with a variety of federal, state and non-governmental organization partners. Although participation is free, registration for this Charleston workshop is required. [NOAA Climate.gov Education]
- New career website launched by the National Weather Service -- The National Weather Service's (NWS) Office of Communications and Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management recently launched a new career website called "Faces of the National Weather Service" that contains career resources, information about student employment opportunities and profiles of a diverse group of NWS employees in multiple career fields. [NOAA National Weather Service]
- Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2016 Campaign resumes -- The eighth in a series of GLOBE at Night citizen-science campaigns for 2016 will commence on Thursday (28 July) and continue through 6 August. GLOBE at Night is a worldwide, hands-on science and education program designed to encourage citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of their night sky by matching the appearance of a constellation (Cygnus in the Northern Hemisphere and Sagittarius in the Southern Hemisphere) with the seven magnitude/star charts of progressively fainter stars.
Activity guides are also available. The GLOBE at night program is intended to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution.
The next series in the 2016 campaign is scheduled for 25 August-2 September 2016. [GLOBE at Night]
- Remembering North Carolina's Great Flood of 1916 -- The start of last weekend marked the 100th anniversary of a disastrous and deadly flood called the "Great Flood of 1916" that swept through Asheville and other nearby areas of western North Carolina. Torrential rain across the region caused the normally shallow French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers to jump their banks. Several dozen people lost their lives in Asheville and hundreds of homes, businesses were either destroyed or damaged. The flooding appears to have been the result of the slow moving remnants of two tropical systems from off the Gulf of Mexico and the western North Atlantic brought heavy rainfall to western North Carolina. [NOAA NCEI News]
Weather and Climate News Items:
- Eye on the Tropics -- Tropical cyclone activity was found the North Pacific Ocean and South Indian Ocean basins during the last week:
- In the central North Pacific basin,
Tropical Storm Darby entered the basin from the eastern North Pacific basin last Wednesday morning as it crossed the 140 west longitude meridian that marks the boundary between the two basins. Previously, Darby had been a major category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale during the previous weekend when it was located only 1000 miles to the west of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. During the later part of this past week, Tropical Storm Darby continued its travels across the central Pacific basin toward the Hawaiian Islands with little change in strength. On Saturday afternoon (Hawaiian time), Darby made landfall in the Kau District of the Big Island, accompanied by heavy rainfall. Continuing westward, the center of Darby moved off the Kona coast of the Big Island on Saturday evening. As of Sunday afternoon Tropical Storm Darby was centered approximately 40 miles to the south of Honolulu. Current forecasts indicate Darby should weaken to a tropical depression by early Monday as it would travel toward the northwest. For additional information on Hurricane Darby along with satellite imagery, consult the NASA Hurricane Page.
- In the eastern North Pacific basin,
Tropical Storm Estelle continued traveling toward the west-northwest away from Mexico's western coast at the beginning of last week. Although Estelle had maximum sustained surface winds estimated to be 70 mph, which were just below the 75 mph threshold for a hurricane, Estelle never became a hurricane. By late in the week Estelle began weakening, becoming a post-tropical cyclone or remnant low on Friday morning as it was located approximately 1500 miles to the west of Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. Additional information and satellite imagery for Tropical Storm Estelle are available on the NASA Hurricane Page.
Tropical Storm Frank, the sixth named tropical cyclone of 2016 in the eastern Pacific basin formed late Thursday afternoon approximately 285 miles to the south of Manzanillo, Mexico. Frank traveled to the northwest on Friday and Saturday with slow intensification. As of mid-Sunday afternoon Tropical Storm Frank had become a strong tropical storm that was located approximately 275 miles to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas. Frank could intensify into a hurricane by Monday as it would continue traveling to the west-northwest. Consult the NASA Hurricane Page for additional information and satellite imagery for Tropical Storm Frank.
A tropical depression formed last Thursday afternoon approximately 880 miles to the south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Traveling to the west-northwest, this tropical depression became Tropical Storm Georgette on Friday morning and then the fourth eastern Pacific hurricane of 2016 by Saturday evening. As of Sunday afternoon Hurricane Georgette was a category 2 hurricane that was located 1125 miles to the west northwest of Cabo San Lucas. Some additional strengthening was anticipated as Georgette was forecast to turn toward the northwest. More information and satellite imagery on Hurricane Georgette can be found on the NASA Hurricane Page
- In the western North Pacific basin, Tropical Storm Lupit formed over this past weekend to the east of the Japanese Archipielago. On Sunday (local time), Lupit traveled toward the north-northeast as a weak tropical storm. By early Monday, Lupit was located approximately 1130 miles to the east of Yokosuka, Japan and was expected to loose its tropical characteristics.
- In the South Indian Ocean basin, Tropical Storm Abela formed over the previous weekend over the waters to the east of Madagascar. This tropical storm, which was the first named tropical cyclone to form in the basin during the month of July in the last 9 years, traveled to the west-southwest and then to west toward Madagascar. over the following three days. However, Abela weakened to become a tropical depression and then dissipated. NASA Hurricane Page has satellite information and additional information of Tropical Storm Abela
- Reanalysis of 1956 to 1960 Atlantic hurricane seasons is completed -- During the last decade the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory has been extending and revising the National Hurricane Center's North Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) back in time to 1851 to reflect recently found information and improved analysis techniques. Recently, the NOAA Hurricane Re-analysis Project has completed its reanalysis of the 1956 to 1960 North Atlantic seasons, with the result that ten new tropical storms were discovered for this five-year span and added to the HURDAT2 database. In addition, Hurricane Audrey (1957) was downgraded to a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale at landfall; Hurricane Donna (1960) was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane during its track through North Carolina and New York; and Hurricane Gracie (1959) was upgraded to a category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in South Carolina. [NOAA National Hurricane Center News] and [NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory]
- Global temperature and ice cover for June 2016 reviewed -- Scientists at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
recently reported on their analysis of preliminary weather data collected during the month of June 2016:
- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June
2016 was 1.62 Fahrenheit degrees above the 20th
century (1901-2000) average, which was the highest for any month of June since sufficiently detailed global climate records
began in 1880. This June 2016 temperature exceeded the previous June record set last year (2015) by 0.04 Fahrenheit degrees. When considered separately,
the average ocean temperatures for June 2016 was the highest for
any June, while the average land surface temperature for this past month tied June 2015 for the highest June temperature during the 137-year record. Furthermore, the average surface temperatures for land, ocean and combined land-ocean through the first six months of the year (January through June 2016) were the highest for the first half of any year since 1880.
- The researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center noted the areal extent of the Arctic sea ice
for June 2015 was
the smallest since satellite surveillance began in 1979. On the
other hand, the extent of the Antarctic sea ice was the thirteenth smallest
in the 38-year record. [NOAA/NCEI
State of the Climate]
- A global map of Selected Significant Climate Anomalies and Events for June 2016 is available from NCEI.
Using their own techniques to analyze the ground-based observations and satellite data, scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) also noted that each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record dating back to 1880 and that the 6-month (January-June 2016) average temperature was a record high, which is 2.4 Fahrenheit degrees above the late 19th century average. Furthermore, all six months in 2016 with the exception of March had the smallest respective monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979. (March 2016 had the second smallest ice extent on record.) [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Feature]
- Historical records may significantly underestimate global warming trend -- A scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and colleagues warn that certain peculiarities in how global temperatures have been recorded have resulted in an under representation of the rapidly warming Arctic in historic temperature records due to the fewer historic weather observations in the Arctic. Furthermore, historical data mix air and water temperatures and that early observations were recorded air temperatures over land for the regions that were covered by sea ice. Therefore, the researchers claim that nearly one-fifth of the global air temperature increases that have occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models. [NASA Earth Science News Team]
- New Seasonal Climate Outlooks for late summer
and early fall issued -- Near the end of last week, forecasters at the NOAA
Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released their new national Three-Month
(Seasonal) Climate Outlooks new three-month seasonal national climate
outlooks for August through October 2016, corresponding to the last month
of the meteorological summer season (in the Northern Hemisphere)
and the first two months of meteorological autumn. Specific details of
their outlooks include:
- Temperature and precipitation outlooks -- According to their temperature
outlook, all of the 48 contiguous United States along with Alaska should experience a high chance of above average temperatures
for these three upcoming months. The forecasters express their highest confidence in their forecasts for sections of the Intermountain West, along with Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast.
outlook calls for better than even chances of dry conditions
for late summer and early autumn of 2016 across the interior Northwest and the Southeast, centered upon the Tennessee and lower Mississippi River Valleys. Conversely, sections of the northern Plains, south Texas and the southern half of the Florida Peninsula should have better than chance of above average precipitation. The rest of the 48 contiguous states should have equal chances
of below and above average summer precipitation. Southern sections of Alaska, should also have a good chance of wetter than average conditions during these next three months.
of the prognostic discussion of the 3-month outlook for
non-technical users is available from CPC. These forecasts were based
in part that current ENSO conditions should begin to transition into La Niña
conditions over the next several months. A description is also provided as how to read these 3-class, 3-month Outlook maps.
- Seasonal Drought Outlook -- The
forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center also released their US
Seasonal Drought Outlook last week that would run from
late-July through October 2016. Their outlook would call for
persistence or development of drought conditions along the West Coast, running from California and western Nevada into Oregon, along with western sections of Montana. In addition, many scattered sections across the Southeast from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Appalachians and across the Northeast from Lower Michigan and northern Ohio eastward to the southern New England coast could also find a continuation or development of drought conditions. However, sections of the Southwest centered upon Arizona and scattered sections of the northern Plains centered on the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming could experience some improvement in drought conditions, including their removal from drought conditions.
Note: a Seasonal
Drought Outlook Discussion is included describing the
- GOES-3 satellite decommissioned after 38 years of service -- At the end of last month, NOAA's third Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-3) was decommissioned slightly more than 38 years after it was placed in its geosynchronous orbit of Earth in June 1978. For the first ten years of its life GOES-3 was an operational weather satellite, serving in the "GOES-West" position to monitor surface and cloud top temperatures, cloud heights and wind fields across western North America and the eastern and central Pacific Ocean basins. However, since 1988 GOES-3 served as a communications satellite for the Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite Program (PEACESAT). [NOAA News]
- Large sections of the nation to remain under heat advisories -- NOAA's National Weather Service is predicting a slow eastward expansion of the heat dome into next week after causing heat index values to reach danger levels across the center of the country over most of the last week. The heat index, which is a measure of the combined effects of elevated air temperatures and water vapor, reached as high as 110 degrees in many locations last Friday, resulting in nearly 124 million people Excessive Heat Warning, Excessive Heat Watch or Heat Advisory. The heat dome, which represented a region of high pressure extending upward through the troposphere, contained sufficient atmospheric humidity that nighttime low temperatures across the Plains and Midwest to remain at levels that offered little relief for the oppressive heat. [NOAA News]
- A common theme found in lightning victims -- According to NOAA's National Weather Service, 16 deaths due to lightning have been recorded across the nation in 2016 as of the third week of July. When they were struck, all of the lightning victims were either outdoors or in unsafe places, such as in a tent, under a tree or in a picnic pavilion. [NOAA News]
- Monitoring recent solar activity from an orbiting spacecraft -- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a Sun-observing spacecraft orbiting Earth in geosynchronous orbit , observed three mid-level solar flares late last week that were emitted from the Sun, which is currently in a period of low activity with few solar eruptions. These eruptions were the first significant eruptions observed since April and were categorized as M-level flares, which are not as intense as the most powerful flares. An ultraviolet image produced from data collected from the sensor onboard SDO shows a M7.6 solar flare on Saturday 23 July 2016. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
Earlier in the month, the instruments on SDO captured images of several bursts of plasma or solar material emitted from the solar surface. A 28-second video was produced showing a close-up of these bursts on 9-10 July 2016 that were captured by SDO. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
- Major airborne campaign about to begin -- NASA has scheduled to begin its Atmospheric Tomography (Atom) mission during this week as the first mission to survey the atmosphere over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory will travel from the North Pole south over the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand and then eastward across to Cape Horn at the tip of South America before returning northward over the Atlantic Ocean to Greenland. Scientists onboard the aircraft will make measurements of atmospheric gases and aerosols with the goal of discovering how much pollution survives to the most remote regions of the planet and assess how the environment has changed as a result. [NASA Earth Observatory]
- Cooperative institute for the Gulf of Mexico region selected -- NOAA recently selected Mississippi State University to host the Northern Gulf Institute, NOAA's cooperative institute for the Gulf of Mexico region that represents a consortium including the University of Southern Mississippi, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. This institute will focus research on: climate change and climate variability; coastal hazards; ecosystems management and effective data management systems. [NOAA Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research News]
- Data from NASA's Viking mission still requested after 40 years -- Because of continued interest for data from NASA's Viking I and Viking 2 spacecraft in 1976, the planetary curation scientist for the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive at Goddard Space Flight Center has been digitizing the data sent back to Earth from these spacecraft that landed on the surface of Mars. These data had been stored on rolls of microfilm. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Feature]
- An All-Hazards Monitor -- This Web portal provides the user information from NOAA's National Weather Service, FAA and FEMA on
current environmental events that may pose as hazards such as tropical
weather, fire weather, marine weather, severe weather, drought and
floods. [NOAA/NWS Daily Briefing]
- Earthweek -- Diary of the Planet [earthweek.com]
Return to DataStreme Atmosphere RealTime Weather Portal
Prepared by Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright, 2016, The American Meteorological Society.