March 31, 2011
As Yogi would say, it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. That said, meteorologists think those folks living on the Atlantic Ocean can expect an active 2011 hurricane season with more impact on the U.S. coastline than last year.
AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists are predicting a total of 15 named tropical storms, eight of which they say will become hurricanes. Three of those purportedly will attain major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher).
Why? There are a number of reasons:
- The orientation and position of the Azores and Bermuda high-pressure areas in the Atlantic
- The future state of the ongoing La Niña
- The frequency and amount of dust that accompanies disturbances moving off the African coast
- A phenomenon known as Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)
The average year generally brings 10 tropical storms. Six of those storms become hurricanes and two of those will be major hurricanes with winds that exceed 110 mph. Get the scoop at AccuWeather.com.
March 30, 2011
Mercury looks a lot like the moon in these first images, with gray terrain pockmarked by impact craters. Get the scoop at NASA.
March 30, 2011
Gone are the afternoons lying in the grass imagining what shapes the clouds are making in the sky above us. Clouds are lovely to look at, continually in flux. They can tell us a lot about current and future weather conditions around us. We just discovered there is actually a The Cloud Appreciation Society, so we know we're not alone in our fascination.
The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney is the first official publication of The Cloud Appreciation Society. This is a "humorous and instructive tour of the sky", starting at sea-level and discussing the types of clouds that form at each progressive level in the atmosphere. The book contain numerous diagrams and illustrations, a color section in the middle, and over fifty cloud photographs, contributed by the cloud photographers from The Cloud Appreciation Society.
The New York Times features an amazing cloud slideshow accompanied by brief text descriptions from the author.
h/t Book of Joe
March 29, 2011
After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many of us are wondering what would happen if a major weather catastrophe struck the United States. This amazing collection History Classics: Mega Disasters in DVD format examines tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and even an asteroid impact, to see what disasters could be coming our way.
For instance, what are experts doing to avoid a landslide of death and destruction in the event of an eruption at Mt. Rainier? Would the people and skyscrapers of present-day Chicago survive a high-speed tornado like the one that hit in 1967? Computer animations, models, and re-creations provide a "jaw-dropping view" of what a Cat 3 hurricane would do to New York city. Just released today, Mega Disasters includes 10 documentaries on 5 DVDs:
DISC 1: Asteroid Apocalypse / Atlantis Apocalypse
DISC 2: American Volcano / The Next Pompeii
DISC 3: Windy City Tornado / New York City Hurricane
DISC 4: LA's Killer Quake / Yellowstone Eruption
DISC 5: Mega Drought / Mega Freeze
March 28, 2011
It's that time of year when the snow makes way for rain. If your pet plays in the rain or must go out during a shower, this easy-on, easy-off Boneheads Waterproof Raincoat for Dogs will come in handy. This is no ordinary yellow rain slicker with a hard shiny exterior, but a cute soft nylon "cotton look-alike".
The coat fastens to your dog's belly and neck with adjustable velcro and has a fully functional hood. For added comfort and warmth, the raincoat is fully lined in a soft brown cotton fabric.
March 25, 2011
Stay dry on the fairway--or anywhere. This classic plaid Barbour Golf Umbrella has a handsome carved-wood handle and a rugged metal mechanism. In green. 39" long.
Pack this Barbour Tartan Telescopic Umbrella in your bag, satchel or backpack. It collapses down to just over a foot in length. It too has a classic carved wooden handle and comes in green. 12 5/8" long when collapsed.
March 24, 2011
The Old Weather project was created with the goal of improving climate predictions by using old weather observations from the past. It's not a question of proving or dis-proving global warming as much as to improve upon our ability as a species to predict weather and climate in the future. And you can help them collect as much historical data as they can! From the site:
Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.
Get more info at the site The Old Weather and the blog.
[via Book of Joe]
March 23, 2011
The rainy season is upon us. This gorgeous Copper Tulip Rain Chain is based on the classic Japanese alternative to downspouts and will beautify the exterior of your home.
It has tulip-shape copper cups that capture rain runoff on the porch, deck, or garden and turn it into a soothing, trickle. Handmade by skilled artisans, its copper finish will sparkle in the sun.
Pair with the Copper Basin Bowl for Rain Chains designed to anchor rain chains and prevent them from swaying too much in the wind.
Browse other styles of Rain Chains plus save 15% off your purchase of $75 or more. Use code: LNKWW15.
March 22, 2011
One of Weather Snob's favorite web haunts AccuWeather.com, a leading provider of multimedia weather information, has just previewed its AccuWeather.com application for Windows Phone 7. AccuWeather for Windows Phone 7 will be available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace in Q2 2011.
"AccuWeather for Windows Phone 7 will offer accurate, localized, and detailed weather news and information in a modern and clean format," said Pascal Racheneur, AccuWeather Vice President of Interactive Media. "Complete with interactive panoramic views, easy swiping between your favorite locations, and Bing maps, the app uses the rich Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools to create a dynamic application that provides users with easy access to everything they need to plan their day."
The application will be previewed in the Microsoft booth at International CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center March 22 through March 24.
March 21, 2011
Stay up to date on the latest news and weather as you prepare for your day, or night as the case may be. Hang this easy-grip Sony AM/FM/Weather Band Digital Tuner Shower Radio from your shower head to get the weather at the press of a button.
The radio also provides easy tuning of all available AM and FM radio stations and has 20 station presets. A high-quality speaker produces robust sound easily heard over the din of running water. Naturally it's splash-resistant and includes a built-in digital clock, an automatic off-timer, and a countdown timer.
March 18, 2011
The moon will look bigger and brighter this weekend by 10% - 15%. Saturday's full moon will be a super "perigee moon" -- the biggest in 18 years. The last full moon as large and as close to the Earth happened back in March, 1993 and won't happen again for another 20 years or so.
The moon's orbit has an elliptical shape. When a moon is at perigee, it is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than when it's at the farthest point of its orbit, known as apogee. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the moons that occur on the apogee side of the moon's orbit according to NASA.
Look for this full moon rising in the east at sunset this weekend starting around 7pm EDT. Low-hanging moons look especially large due to a phenomenon known as the "moon illusion", not particularly understood by scientists. Read more at CNN.
[Photo: Curt Renz, Arlington Heights IL]
Ease the worry about raw, rainy weather. You stay dry and toasty in this Barbour Storm Waterproof Sweater. Constructed of fine Italian merino wool, this pullover is waterproof and warm, yet lightweight and breathable, too. The waterproof polyester tartan lining fends off rain, with a zip neck to stave off wind and cold. Distinctive Alcantara shoulder and arm patches round off this handsome sweater. Perfect for year-round wear in Navy and Loden.
March 17, 2011
Truly scary how little control we have over the natural world. Coincidental with the nightmare the Japanese are living through, Catastrophes! Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters by Donald R. Prothero is scheduled for release today March 17, 2011. The author is Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The book offers easy to understand explanations of the forces that caused noteworthy disasters along with "gut-wrenching accounts of terrifying human experiences and a staggering loss of human life." Whew!
Some are now wondering if there a connection between the Japanese earthquake and climate change, or solar storms perhaps. USA Today reassures us that there is no such thing as *earthquake weather*, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Statistically, there is approximately an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather and so on.
The earthquake off the coast of Japan -- and all earthquakes -- are independent of both global warming and solar activity, according to Roger Pielke, Sr., a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado.
He says these geophysical events are a result of movements in the Earth's crust, as are any tsunamis that follow an earthquake. Long-term changes in the Earth's atmosphere don't affect geology.
And, speaking of March 17, Happy St Paddy's Day!
March 16, 2011
Spruce up your yard this season with this functional Pine Cone Thermometer Clock. Earthy pine boughs and cones lend a woodsy appeal. It's hand-cast from rust-proof recycled aluminum and hand painted with an all-weather finish for years of use and enjoyment.
This would make a thoughtful Mother's or Father's Day gift for the backyard gardener or birdwatcher. Available in Antique Copper and French Bronze.
March 15, 2011
If a major disaster befalls your area, it likely will be several days at minimum before vital services are restored. Factor #1, the disaster happened to your local emergency crews as well.
Many of the complications begin prior to the disaster, during evacuation. In the recent Japanese earthquake a substantial number of tsunami victims were trapped in traffic jams trying to evacuate. Roads transform into parking lots as people evacuate prior to the event, and they often are impassable afterward -- damaged, blocked by live wires and fallen trees, or dangerously chaotic with no working traffic signals. When the supply trucks can't make it in, food and gas shortages arise and the ports can even be closed.
Electricity is either disabled by the event itself or intentionally shut down by the provider. Stores and homes lose their ability to cool and preserve perishable food. Central water can become polluted, phone lines downed and cell phone towers damaged or their service overwhelmed. Curfews are imposed. Flooding creates life-threatening sanitation issues with both septic and sewer systems.
In a lifetime spent living near the Atlantic Ocean, we have experienced this nightmare several times after hurricanes--mild compared to a Haiti or Japan--and the first time here in sunny Florida were not as well-prepared as we might have been. www.72hours.org is a San-Francisco based web-site that will help you to prepare yourself--as well as any elderly, infirm, children and pets in your household--for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster, like a tsunami, earthquake, terror attack, evacuation, contagious disease and more. Forewarned is forearmed.
Those warm, steamy days are in our forecast and will be here before we know it. We can keep things in the comfort zone for ourselves and our homes with the aid of this Conant Custom Brass ComfortMeter Temperature and Humidity Control. It monitors temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius on the left scale and the hygrometer shows percent of relative humidity on the right side.
The Comfortmeter provides valuable information for homes with wood cabinets, wood furniture, trim or flooring. Not enough humidity can actually dry out and shrink wood fixtures, and homes with too much humidity are more susceptible to damaging mold spores, mildew and dust mites. When conditions are monitored and kept within the green zone, these issues can more easily be prevented. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
March 14, 2011
Our little ones' eyes, skin and body are so delicate and so vulnerable when we take them outdoors. This Infant Carrier / Car Seat Rain and Weather Shield protects your baby from the weather-- rain, wind, sleet, snow, cold -- as well as dust, debris and flying insects. The shield is waterproof with holes for ventilation and attaches easily. It's made of clear vinyl material which allows baby to see out and parents to see in.
It's designed to fit most infant carriers with canopies and is compatible with Graco, Baby Trend, Peg Perego, Evenflo, Century, Eddie Bauer, Britax, Inglesina/Compass, Combi and many more.
March 11, 2011
This is fascinating. Engadget reports Google reacts to Japanese tsunami with a Person Finder tool. Always heartening to witness the good in people:
Now this is the sort of activity you'd expect from a true search giant. Instead of sitting on its hands during the tsunami that has stricken Japan today, Google has put together a Person Finder tool where people worried about the plight of their loved ones can look them up by name.
Visit the Japanese Person Finder here. Apparently there is also another Person Finder for the Christchurch earthquake victims.
Here are more videos over at BuzzFeed.
As you have probably heard by now, a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan today, Friday 3/11/11, wreaking havoc and causing widespread fires which are burning out of control. A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history also devastated the eastern coast today, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people. Tsunami warnings have been issued for the entire Pacific and more than 50 countries, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.
The Japan earthquake was 8,000 times bigger than the one that struck Christchurch last month, according to the UK Telegraph. They report this quake is the biggest since records began 140 years ago. Japan is an area of the world accustomed to earthquakes due to its position on the boundary of the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Television networks across the world are carring much dramatic footage, some of it live, of the tsunami spawned by the earthquake.
To watch more videos at NYTimes.com, click here.
We all know solar power is a good thing, and like most things, best in moderation. Just a few weeks ago on this past Valentine's Day, the sun erupted with the largest solar flare seen in four years--powerful enough to interfere with Earth radio communications and GPS signals for airplanes on long-distance flights.
As solar storms go, this flare was relatively modest. But, according to Nat Geo -- What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today? the burst of activity is only the start of the upcoming solar maximum (the period of greatest solar activity in the solar cycle of the sun) due to start in 2012.
The biggest solar storm on record, called the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859 during a solar maximum about the same size as the one we're entering.
During the Carrington Event, northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile. The flares were so powerful that "people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora," Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said at a geophysics meeting last December.
How would we be affected today in 2011? Powerful solar flares could knock out our GPS services (cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles), satellite communications (TV, credit cards) and electrical grid (power surges blowing out our giant transformers.)
For more information, read Nat Geo -- What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?
and check out Solar Storms: The darker side of the sun
by Lydia D. Thomson - Smith, just published February 23, 2011.
Photo: Solar Storms Light Up Arctic Night--NatGeo
March 10, 2011
For those of us weary of winter weather, here's a chuckle from the Onion, Nation Savoring Every Moment Of Glorious Late-February, Early-March Days:
WASHINGTON--Saying there are only a few days left to relish the steel-gray skies, dirt-caked melting snow, and still-freezing temperatures, citizens across the country are reportedly taking the time to savor every last moment of 2011's late-February, early-March days. "It's my favorite time of year," said 42-year-old Cleveland resident Meredith Polonsky, adding that she loves stepping outside and smelling the thawing dog shit nobody bothered to pick up during the winter, as well as going to the park, avoiding all the places where the ground is too wet, and going home early because the high winds make her eyes hurt. "Also, I love that the days are getting longer, but still aren't long enough to actually do anything. It's really magical." According to a CNN/New York Times†poll, a majority of Americans are hoping for just one more night where a slushy, rain-snow mix forces them to stay inside and watch another Milwaukee Bucks-Indiana Pacers regular season basketball game.
This Pet Umbrella
will keep your pet dry and comfy in the rain, sleet or snow. It has a built-in leash you can attach to your pet's collar or harness and then just push the umbrella into position over your pet. The clear umbrella body gives you a full view of your pet while walking. No more sopping wet dog shaking him/herself in the house!
March 9, 2011
Recently we posted an amazing fire tornado photo. Along the same lines, reporting on weather futurism, io9 reminisces back to the summer of 1973 when artist Dennis Oppenheim tried to create an artificial tornado on the bed of a dry desert lake in Southern California as part of his "Whirlpool" project. The above image explains that it was intended as a "3/4 mile by 4 mile schemata of tornado, traced in [the] sky using standard white smoke discharge from aircraft."
Back to the present, the article also reports that artist Anthony McCall plans to create "a spinning column of cloud a mile high" on Merseyside next year as part of the Cultural Olympiad for 2012. According to Creative Review, it will be "visible across the North West region throughout the Olympic year."
We'll have to see how it actually works out, of course, but the idea that cities might soon deploy large-scale specialty weather-effects-that is, permanent climatological megastructures-instead of, say, Taj Mahals or Guggenheim Bilbaos as a way of differentiating themselves from their urban competition is a compelling one.
We all need to keep an eye on the weather and temperature, outdoors and indoors. This affordable Wireless Sun/Moon Forecast Station with Oscar Outlook has 15 forecast icons and plenty of versatile features making it easy to plan for outdoor activities, helping you decide what to wear and when to schedule. Its precision clock automatically sets itself to exact time accurate to the second from the U.S. Atomic Clock and auto-updates for Daylight Savings Time.
Outdoors. A remote sensor helps you monitor outdoor temperatures and works from up to 330 feet away for monitoring temperatures and humidity levels in the greenhouse, shop, and garage. The station displays sunrise/sunset and moon phases for 99 U.S. and Canadian cities.
Indoors. The main console displays temperatures and humidity levels inside, so you can monitor temperatures in the baby's room, kitchen or near plumbing you don't want to freeze up. A flip out table stand sets up quickly on counter, windowsill, or desk, or the unit hangs easily from any wall in the home or office.
Children.To help children dress for the weather, the weather station's Oscar Outlook icon is always dressed appropriately for weather ahead, with outfits ranging from swimming trunks to a coat, hat and scarf, and other weather-themed accessories in tote, such as a beach chair, an umbrella, or a snow man.
March 8, 2011
Even though as a society we cannot seem to agree on the legitimacy of "global warming", most of us accept the notion of "climate change". Google, in partnership with Khosla Ventures, has announced an investment of $42 million into WeatherBill. Using an algorithm to calculate risk, WeatherBill sells insurance online covering business loss due to unpredictable weather.
Increased frequency of inclement or unexpected weather conditions are responsible for over 90% of crop loss, placing more and more agricultural businesses at risk. WeatherBill's flagship product, Total Weather Insurance (TWI), is a the first full-season private pay weather protection program for U.S. farmers to protect their income. It functions as a supplement to their government-subsidized crop insurance.
Not a farmer? WeatherBill also offers policies for other industries such as Travel, Outdoor Events, Snow Removal, Ski Resorts, Energy and more. Unlike the government subsidy program, with a WeatherBill insurance policy there are no claims to file, no adjustment needed--if certain specified bad weather conditions occur, WeatherBill automatically generates and sends a check to the policy holder within 10 days of the end of their policy period.
via CNNMoney--Fortune Tech
You just never know what awaits around the corner in this world. Upon relocation to sunny Florida, we experienced 3 hurricanes within a year, after a *dry spell* of decades -- two within 3 weeks, both direct hits. A relative recently took a dream trip to New Zealand and experienced the 6.3 earthquake within 5 hours of arriving in Christchurch.
If you suddenly found yourself in a natural disaster or survival situation, would you know what steps to take to save yourself and your loved ones? The National Geographic Complete Survival Manual by Michael Sweeney offers essential instructions for weathering eight different natural disasters, from hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes and forest fires, including an entire chapter on home-based survival.
It focuses on how to survive in six of the world's most hazardous environments--from building a snow fort if you're lost in a blizzard, to surviving a rattlesnake bite in the desert, to navigating safely through the dense rainforest. Ten National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists, candidly share their own near-death stories and how they lived to tell them.
The manual includes 200 color photographs and maps, how-to's, bulleted lists, a glossary, cross-referencing, an appendix, and an index.
March 7, 2011
We all have heard of tornadoes formed of wind and water, but fire? This tornado of fire whirled above a burning plastic-processing plant during a huge conflagration outside Budapest, Hungary this past Tuesday night March 1st.
Fire tornadoes occur when high heat and turbulent winds together form a vertically-oriented rotating column of air. These relatively unusual weather events are also known as fire whirls and fire devils.
As we move into spring and summer, this Weather Station Key Chain is a handy little gadget to have along when hiking and camping or just out and about. It includes a compass, alarm function, temperature reading, forecast, clock, date, day, year and LED flashlight in one pocket-size unit.
Yes, you can get this information from your cell phone, but when you are on the go, cell phones charge down and have unreliable reception. Hang it on your backpack or attach to your belt, jacket, dog leash or purse. Helps keep kids safe, too.
March 4, 2011
That's right we'll be back next week with new articles, weather gadgets and fun. Stay tuned!