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Perception and Reality

by coldwarrior ( 107 Comments › )
Filed under Climate, meteorology, Open thread at October 19th, 2015 - 7:59 am

No, the weather is no worse now than it was….EVER.

Extreme weather: Is it all in your mind?


Weather is not as objective an occurrence as it might seem. People’s perceptions of what makes weather extreme are influenced by where they live, their income, as well as their political views, a new study finds.

There is a difference in both seeing and believing in extreme weather events, according to the study in the journal Environmental Sociology.

“Odds were higher among younger, female, more educated, and Democratic respondents to perceive effects from extreme weather than older, male, less educated, and Republican respondents,” said the study’s author, Matthew Cutler of the University of New Hampshire.

There were other correlations, too. For example, people with lower incomes had higher perceptions of extreme weather than people who earned more. Those who live in more vulnerable areas, as might be expected, interpret the effects of weather differently when the costs to their homes and communities are highest.

Causes of extreme weather and the frequency of extreme weather events is an under-explored area from a sociological perspective. Better understanding is important to building more resilient and adaptive communities. After all, why prepare or take safety precautions if you believe the weather isn’t going to be all that bad or occur all that often?

The U.S. Climate Extremes Index, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows a significant rise in extreme weather events since the 1970s, the most back-to-back years of extremes over the past decade since 1910, and all-time record-high levels clocked in 1998 and 2012.

“Some recent research has demonstrated linkages between objectively measured weather, or climate anomalies, and public concern or beliefs about climate change,” Cutler notes. “But the factors influencing perceptions of extreme or unusual weather events have received less attention.”

Indeed, there is a faction of the public that debates how much the climate is changing and which factors are responsible for such consequences as global warming.

Weather, on the other hand, is a different order of things: it is typically defined in the here and now or in the immediate future. It also is largely confined, because of its variability, to local or regional areas. Moreover, weather is something we usually experience directly.

Climate is a more abstract concept, typically defined as atmospheric conditions over a 30-year period.

When weather isn’t experiential, reports are relied upon to gauge extremes. This is when beliefs become more muddied.

“The patterns found in this research provide evidence that individuals experience extreme weather in the context of their social circumstances and thus perceive the impacts of extreme weather through the lens of cultural and social influences. In other words, it is not simply a matter of seeing to believe, but rather an emergent process of both seeing and believing — individuals experiencing extreme weather and interpreting the impacts against the backdrop of social and economic circumstances central to and surrounding their lives,” Cutler concludes.

Sophocles said, “what people believe prevails over the truth.” The consequences of disbelief come at a price in the context of extreme weather, however, as damage, injury, and death are often results.

Too many times do we hear about people being unprepared for storms, ignoring officials’ warnings, failing to evacuate, or engaging in reckless behavior during weather extremes.

There is a need to draw a more complete picture of “weather prejudice,” as I’ll call it, in order to render more practical advice about preparing, surviving, and recovering from what is indisputable: extreme weather disasters to come.

Saturday Lecture Series: Some Weather

by coldwarrior ( 23 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, meteorology, saturday lecture series at May 30th, 2015 - 9:08 am

Good morning all! Welcome to the Blogmocracy Weather Station!


I have been messing around with this site for about a week and it’s my new favorite:




Give it a try!

It’s the Sun, Stupid!

by coldwarrior ( 62 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Astronomy, Global Warming Hoax, meteorology, Open thread, saturday lecture series at February 18th, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Please read and familiarize yinz-selfs with this post from 2011. And this from 2010.

And this from 2012

It’s OK, read the whole thing and look up the terms that you aren’t familiar with…

So, We have this thermonuclear reactor 8 light minutes away from Earth. This reactor is the largest driver of our weather, cooling and warming cycles…not man, now cow farts, not CO2 from politicians…THE SUN.

Compare the above post with this fresh one:

11:00 AM | *The sun has gone quiet again during the weakest solar cycle in more than a century*

[Latest solar image with little sunspot activity; courtesy “spaceweather.com”]


The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky – has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity – its X-ray output – has basically flatlined in recent days (plot below courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center). Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.

x-ray output flatlined
[The flatlining of solar X-ray output in recent days; courtesy NOAA/SWPC]

Solar maximum
There was an uptick in the number of sunspots in April 2014 which produced a second peak during solar cycle 24 and it is looking increasingly likely that this will be considered the solar maximum point for this particular cycle (figure below courtesy NASA). Many solar cycles are double peaked; however, this is the first one in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first peak which occurred in February 2012. Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.

[Sunspot numbers for solar cycles 23 and 24 (current) with second peak; courtesy NASA]

Consequences of a weak solar cycle
First, the weak solar cycle has resulted in rather benign “space weather” in recent times with generally weaker-than-normal geomagnetic storms. By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (#10) [http://thesiweather.com/2014/09/02/300-pm-the-carrington-event-of-1859-a-solar-superstorm-that-took-places-155-years-ago/]. In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead.

Second, it is pretty well understood that solar activity has a direct impact on temperatures at very high altitudes in a part of the Earth’s atmosphere called the thermosphere. This is the biggest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which lies directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation and are highly dependent on solar activity.

Finally, if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.

The increasingly likely outcome for another historically weak solar cycle continues the recent downward trend in sunspot cycle strength that began over twenty years ago during solar cycle 22. If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles, then there would likely be more talk of another “grand minimum” for the sun. Some solar scientists are already predicting that the next solar cycle, #25, will be even weaker than this current one. However, it is just too early for high confidence in those predictions since some solar scientists believe that the best predictor of future solar cycle strength involves activity at the sun’s poles during a solar minimum and the next solar minimum is still likely several years away.

Paul Dorian
Vencore, Inc.

Pretty cool  (cooling 😆 ) yinz was ahead of the curve by 4-5 years.


OH NOES!!!!! Vortexes!!!!

by coldwarrior ( 130 Comments › )
Filed under meteorology, Open thread at November 10th, 2014 - 6:02 am

This needs more drama and more DOOM!!!!  😉

As the polar vortex gets displaced to the south, the door will open for arctic air to plunge over the most of the United States as the new week progresses.

Only the Southwest, Hawaii, Alaska and South Florida will escape the grip of the upcoming arctic blast that the polar vortex can be blamed for.

“The polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region,” stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

“Occasionally, this pocket of very cold air can get dislodged farther south than normal, leading to cold outbreaks in Canada and the U.S.”

For this current outbreak, the harshest cold in relation to normal will encompass the northern Rockies and Plains. However, temperatures will also plummet throughout the Northwest and to the Gulf Coast and I-95 corridor.

The arctic blast will drop into the northern Rockies on Monday, accompanied by a snowstorm on its leading edge, then will spread across the Northwest and Plains through Wednesday.

Later in the week is when the cold will reach the I-95 corridor, but it will not be of the same magnitude as earlier in the week.

Many communities across the northern Rockies and Plains will experience a 20- to 40-degree drop in high temperatures from one day to the next.

Tuesday and Wednesday will prove to be the coldest days of the week across the northern Rockies and northern High Plains, where highs will be held to the teens with subzero lows.

BAR THE DOOR!!! The VORTEX IS COMING!!!!It will spare no one, you will all die! Eaten by Vortex driven Zombies, hungry for cold flesh…

Or maybe yinz’ll just put on  a sweater and let the car warm up before going to work. When was winter replaced with these adjective driven over-dramatic ‘news’ pieces about cold air? C’mon lads! It’s winter, this is supposed to happen.