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Earth headed for its hottest year on record

October 21st, 2014 at 10:03 am by under Weather

(Courtesy: Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)

Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for September 2014, the warmest September for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Record warmth was notable in much of northwestern Africa, coastal regions of southeastern South America, southwestern Australia, parts of the Middle East, and regions of southeastern Asia. In total, 31 countries and territories from all seven continents around the world had at least one station that reported record warmth. Cooler than average temperatures were uncommon world-wide. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

September 2014 was Earth’s warmest September on record, the period January – September was tied with 1998 and 2010 as the warmest first three-quarters of any year on record, and the past 12 months–October 2013 through September 2014–was the warmest consecutive 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) today. NASAalso rated September 2014 as the warmest September on record. If 2014 maintains the same temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year as was observed during January – September, it will be the warmest calendar year on record. September is the fourth time NOAA has ranked a 2014 month as the warmest on record; May, June, and August 2014 were also the warmest such months on record. (April 2014 was originally ranked as tied for warmest April on record, but has since been revised downwards to the second warmest April on record.) Global ocean temperatures during September 2014 were the warmest on record, and the 0.66°C (1.19°F) ocean temperature anomaly was the highest ever measured, beating the record set just the month previously in August 2014. Global land temperatures in September 2014 were the 6th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in September 2014 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 14th or 7th warmest in the 36-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively.


If the climate is warming, why is Antarctic ice expanding?

October 19th, 2014 at 9:27 am by under Weather

The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected …’

hlj

Sea ice is expanding around Antarctica, and scientists say wind, snow and melting land ice are key factors in the growth bberwyn photo.

The map at right shows Antarctic ice concentration on September 22, 2014, the date of the record high. Areas where the surface was less than 15% ice covered are deep blue; areas that were up to 100% ice covered are shades of light blue to white. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 median extent for September 22. (Median means in the middle: half of the years in the record had smaller ice extents than this, and half had larger extents.) The graph below the map shows daily Antarctic sea ice extent over the course of the year. The black line traces the 1981-2010 average, and the gray shading shows the range of variability (2 standard deviations from the mean). The previous record high extent (2013) is a dashed green line; the 2014 year to date is a light green line. NSIDC reported that the 2014 extent rose nearly 4 standard deviations above the 1981-2010 mean.

The map above shows Antarctic ice concentration on September 22, 2014, the date of the record high. Areas where the surface was less than 15% ice covered are deep blue; areas that were up to 100% ice covered are shades of light blue to white. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 median extent for September 22. (Median means in the middle: half of the years in the record had smaller ice extents than this, and half had larger extents.)

The graph below the map shows daily Antarctic sea ice extent over the course of the year. The black line traces the 1981-2010 average, and the gray shading shows the range of variability (2 standard deviations from the mean). The previous record high extent (2013) is a dashed green line; the 2014 year to date is a light green line. NSIDC reported that the 2014 extent rose nearly 4 standard deviations above the 1981-2010 mean. Courtesy NOAA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Along with shifting wind patterns in the southern hemisphere, melting land ice may be contributing to recent record extents of floating sea ice around Antarctica. The melting ice and snow adds fresh water — which freezes morel easily — to the salty Southern Ocean, scientists said in a release this week, explaining the multi-year trend of expanding Antarctic sea ice.

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Surging population, recent hurricane drought put Florida at extreme risk

October 18th, 2014 at 8:07 pm by under Weather

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. (NASA)

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. (NASA)

(Washington Post): Florida has gone 3,270 days without a hurricane – nearly nine years and, by far, the longest stretch on record (the next longest streak is 5 seasons from 1980-1984, in records dating back to 1851). Meanwhile, the Sunshine state’s population and development have boomed.

Florida is long overdue for a destructive hurricane and has never had so many people and so much property in the way. This dangerous state of affairs is compounded by the potential for complacency and lack of recent experience. When hurricanes don’t strike over such a long period of time, some people may be lulled into a false sense of security and/or forget how horrible hurricanes can be.

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Where is El Nino?

October 18th, 2014 at 9:34 am by under Weather

Climate Central: That El Niño we’ve been tracking for months on end — the one that is taking its sweet time to form — still hasn’t emerged, forecasters announced Thursday.

The climate impacts typically associated with an El Niño during the months of December, January, and February.
Credit: NOAA

But the reason we still care so much about it, following all of its tiny fluctuations toward becoming a full-blown El Niño, is that it can have important effects on the world’s weather, including in the U.S. It can even boost global temperatures, helping set the planet on the course to be the warmest year on record.

In their monthly update, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and theInternational Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University said there is still a two-thirds chance that a weak El Niño event emerges and that it will likely do so in the October-to-December timeframe, lasting until spring 2015.

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NASA: September was the warmest on record worldwide

October 14th, 2014 at 9:38 am by under Weather

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This September was the warmest on record since 1880–the year scientists first began to track global data on temperatures.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s announcement clips on the heels of what was also the warmest August on record, which NASA said suggests an unfortunate trend in global heating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates that an El Niño will start by the end of the year, due to warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and continue into spring 2015. An El Niño can have devastating impact across the globe, with repercussions that include abnormal temperatures and extreme weather. The last strong El Niño occurred in 1997-98.

More details will become available on global temperatures during the month of September when NOAA issues their monthly “State of the Climate” report in the coming days.


Another round of welcome rain Monday morning

October 13th, 2014 at 11:37 am by under Weather

KXAN always has an up-to-date list of area rainfall totals here. But for a quick glance, check out the maps below for select rainfall totals from Monday morning’s cold front.

10-13 hill co

10-13 metro

10-13 east

Detailed list of community rainfall totals below (expand “more” tab, then CTRL+F to search for your neighborhood):

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Statewide drought shows signs of improvement

October 7th, 2014 at 11:45 am by under Weather

txdrought


Morning complex of severe storms brings damage to East Texas

October 6th, 2014 at 11:17 am by under Weather

10-6 SVR

Early Monday morning, individual severe thunderstorms moved from Oklahoma into NE Texas, merging into a complex of severe thunderstorms exhibiting a large “bow echo”.

A bow echo is when a line of thunderstorms is pushed outward into a bow shape, and indicates the presence of strong, damaging wind gusts in the storms.

Strong thunderstorms winds toppled numerous trees in rural East Texas.

Wind Reports (CSV) (Raw Wind CSV)(?)
Time Speed Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1233 UNK CARTHAGE PANOLA TX 3215 9434 NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY(SHV)

 

Hail Reports (CSV) (Raw Hail CSV)(?)
Time Size Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1249  1.00″ NACOGDOCHES NACOGDOCHES TX 3161 9465 DIME TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED ACROSS THE COUNTY (SHV)
1340  1.00″ 2 W PALESTINE ANDERSON TX 3175 9566 DELAYED REPORT OF NICKEL TO QUARTER SIZED HAIL NEAR BASSETT RD. AND LOOP 256. (FWD)

 


West Antarctica’s meltdown weakens Earth’s gravity

October 4th, 2014 at 9:41 pm by under Weather

West Antarctica’s incredible weight loss can be felt from space, a new study reports.

So much ice has disappeared from West Antarctica in recent years that Earth’s gravity is now weaker there, researchers reported in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth’s gravity fluctuates in small ways that are caused by changes in mass. When hefty ice sheets melt, there is less ice and thus less gravitational force pulling in that area.

Image: Ice lossDGFI / PLANETARY VISIONS
This graphic shows the changes in Earth’s gravity field caused by West Antarctic ice loss, based on data from the GOCE satellites. The satellites ended their mission in 2013 when the spacecraft ran out of fuel, as planned, and broke apart during atmospheric re-entry.
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Fall-like morning Saturday

October 4th, 2014 at 9:23 am by under Weather

low temps

Low temperatures Saturday morning were downright chilly–especially in the Hill Country and on low-lying creek bottoms.

The temperatures dipped to 59 degrees in Austin, but 48 degrees in Fredericksburg and 49 degrees in Mason.

Browse the map above to check out some of the even colder readings from LCRA thermometers on creek bottoms. The coldest reading on the map Saturday morning was 44 degrees in southeast San Saba County.