SAMPLE WEEKLY WEATHER AND CLIMATE NEWS
1-5 September 2014
Items of Interest:
- A change in seasons -- This Monday, 1 September
2014, marks the start of the Northern Hemisphere's meteorological autumn season, the
three-month span of September, October and November that meteorologists
frequently use for record keeping processes.
Additional information will be presented in the next several weeks
concerning meteorological seasons and the astronomical seasons, such as
the familiar autumn that begins on the autumnal equinox in three weeks
(Monday, 22 September 2014).
- High-quality maps of September temperature and precipitation normals across US available -- The PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University's website has prepared high-resolution maps depicting the normal maximum, minimum and precipitation totals for September and other months across the 48 coterminous United States for the current 1981-2010 climate normals interval. These maps, with a 800-meter resolution, were produced using the PRISM (Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model) climate mapping system.
- September weather calendar for a city near you -- The Midwestern Regional Climate Center maintains an interactive website that permits the public to produce a ready to print weather calendar for any given month of the year, such as September, at any of approximately 270 weather stations around the nation. (These stations are NOAA's ThreadEx stations.) The entries for each day of the month includes: Normal maximum temperature, normal minimum temperature, normal daily heating and cooling degree days, normal daily precipitation, record maximum temperature, record minimum temperature, and record daily precipitation; the current normals for 1981-2010.
- September is National Preparedness Month -- The month of September has been declared National Preparedness Month (NPM), which is aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which has provided a toolkit of marketing materials to help promote the month, is the lead on this campaign that was originally launched in 2004. NOAA's National Weather Service is working with FEMA to communicate the importance of emergency preparedness as a key component of its Weather-Ready Nation campaign. [NOAA Weather Ready Nation]
Weather and Climate News Items:
- Eye on the tropics -- Most of the active tropical weather during the last week was confined to the North Atlantic and North Pacific
Ocean basins where a few named tropical cyclones (low pressure systems that form over
tropical ocean waters, with near surface maximum sustained winds that
intensify to tropical storm or hurricane force status) were detected:
- In the North Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Cristobal formed at the start of last week from a tropical depression that was moving toward the north across the waters to the east of the Bahamas. During the early part of last week, Cristobal intensified to become the third hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. This category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) continued to travel to the north and then to the northeast during the remainder of last week, passing between the Middle Atlantic Coast of the US and Bermuda, producing ocean swell that resulted in high surf and rip current conditions along the East Coast and the coast of Bermuda. Eventually, Hurricane Cristobal lost its tropical characteristics and became a strong midlatitude storm as it raced to the northeast toward Iceland at the start of this past weekend. The NASA Hurricane Page has additional information and satellite imagery on Hurricane Cristobal.
- In the eastern North Pacific, former Hurricane Karina weakened to a tropical depression and then a remnant low before dissipating early last week as it made a return trip toward the east. When it dissipated, the remnant low was approximately 1200 miles to the west of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. Satellite images and additional information on former Hurricane Karina can be found on the NASA Hurricane Page.
Hurricane Marie became a powerful category 5 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) at the start of last week as it traveled toward the west-northwest. At that time, Marie was approximately 500 miles to the south-southwest of Baja California. With maximum sustained surface winds reaching 160 mph, this hurricane was the sixth eastern Pacific hurricane of 2014 to reach major status (category 3 or higher). During the past week, Marie weakened slowly to become a tropical storm during the second half of last week. Marie finally became a remnant low at the end of last week well off the coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. Although this once powerful hurricane remained well offshore, large ocean swell generated by the strong winds surrounding Marie's center generated high surf along the coasts of Baja California and Southern California coast. Consult the NASA Hurricane Page for more information and satellite images on Hurricane Marie.
- NASA's Global Hawk hurricane missions begin with Cristobal -- During the last week, the two NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flew reconnaissance flights to Hurricane Cristobal from Wallops Island, VA to start the agency's month-long airborne Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel ( HS3) designed to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin. HS3 is a collaborative effort involving several NASA centers along with other federal and university partners. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
- New Earth-Observing instrument makes successful balloon ascent -- Two weeks ago the HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science (HySICS), an instrument that will be used to make measurements of solar radiation in the Earth's atmosphere underwent a successful high-altitude ascent to an altitude of 123,000 feet attached to a balloon over New Mexico. The instrument is designed to measure solar radiation over all wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared. [NASA]
- Ozone-depleting compound found to persist in Earth's atmosphere -- Atmospheric scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and their colleagues have discovered an unexpectedly large quantity of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), an ozone-depleting compound, emitted into the atmosphere by some unknown source decades after manufacture of the compound was banned. The scientists obtained observed CCl4 data from NOAA and ran global atmospheric chemistry simulations using NASA's 3-D GEOS Chemistry Climate Model to arrive at their findings. [NASA]
- Examining the directions of the temperature extremes in 2014 ....-- Scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center who analyzed the U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for the first six months of 2014 have concluded that the year so far has been atypical, with some sections of the nation experiencing below average temperatures while other sections recorded above average temperatures. A map generated that displays the ranking of minimum temperatures for January-July 2012 against the 1895-2014 time span shows sections of the nation's midsection having much below average readings this year, while sections of the Southwest had much above average daily minimum temperatures. [NOAA Climate.Gov News]
- New system used for flood forecasting -- Recently a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) completed the STEP Hydromet Experiment (Short-term Explicit Prediction) that involved testing a new system for detecting and predicting torrential rainfall events along with the risk of local flooding. This new system combines advanced weather forecasting tools with hydrologic models to produce an uniquely integrated hydrometeorological prediction system. [NCAR/UCAR AtmosNews]
- Air pollution worsens significantly by worldwide trash burning -- Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have determined that more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in trash fires, which emit gases and particulate matter that can substantially affect human health and climate change. In addition, unregulated trash burning around the globe is emitting more pollution into the atmosphere than is shown by official records, resulting in an underestimation of emissions of these gases and particles. [NCAR/UCAR AtmosNews]
- Bigger snowstorms may be possible in a warmer world -- A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has concluded from his analysis of daily snowfall totals from simulations run on 20 different climate models that extreme snow events are still possible across many subpolar areas in the Northern Hemisphere even as air temperatures could increase in the future as projected. However, the total seasonal snowfall accumulations may decrease in many location. Interestingly, extreme snow events tend to occur in a relatively narrow temperature range just below the freezing point of water. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology News]
- Polar orbiting environmental satellite helps provide sea ice exceptional weather products -- Data collected by sensors onboard the nation's new NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP (National Polar-orbiting Partnership) satellite are providing sea ice forecasters at NOAA's National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices in Alaska with valuable information that can be used to produce graphic analyses of sea surface temperatures, sea ice and five-day sea ice forecasts throughout the year. Ice forecasts are vital for the safety of vessels traversing the waters around Alaska. [NOAA NESDIS News Archive]
- Monitoring sea ice around Greenland from space -- A sea ice specialist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center monitoring the extent of sea ice in the Greenland Sea using satellite imagery recently noted that sea ice was approaching extent dimensions more typical of the September minimum. A natural color image made nearly two weeks ago from data collected by the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite shows ice in the Greenland Sea off of the coast of Greenland. [NOAA News]
- An All-Hazards Monitor-- This Web portal
provides the user information from NOAA on current environmental events
that may pose as hazards such as tropical weather, fire weather, marine
weather, severe weather, drought and floods. [NOAAWatch]
- 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, 2014, The American Meteorological Society.