August 9, 2017 - No Comments!

2017 Perseids Guide

It’s that time of the year! The Perseids Meteor Shower is just around the corner and is expected to peak on August 12th.

perseids in 2009
Perseids in August 2009. Credit: NASA/JPL

What are the Perseids?

Every July and August, the debris field left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet lights up our sky annually. Pieces of debris heat up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere and result in bright bursts of light. Most of the meteors are only the size of a grain of sand and burn up quickly. The Perseids event is considered the most popular meteor shower of the year and with good reason: it is the most active meteor shower of the year for Earth, peaking around mid August.

Typically, 60-80 Perseids per hour occur during the meteor shower. This year, the Perseids may be a little more difficult to see due to the expected moon phase, which will be three-quaterts Continue Reading

August 3, 2017 - No Comments!

D.J.’s PraeDigits: Mixed Bag Of Weather In July 2017

Follow Meteorologist D.J. Kayser on Twitter (@dkayserwx) or on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

July 2017 was a hot month once again across parts of the U.S., with over 50 locations seeing a top ten warmest July in history. However, we saw plenty of areas that either had too much rain - or not enough rain - as well. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look back at July 2017 across the nation.

July 2017: Numerous Areas Of Heat

Places With A Top Ten Warmest July 2017

The heat during July 2017 was scattered across parts of the U.S., mainly concentrated in the western portion of the nation and across Florida. Four locations saw their warmest July on record, including in Miami, FL.

Miami sticks out greatly numerous heat records have been approached or broken in the city so far this year, including the second longest stretch of 90s on record (41 … Continue Reading

July 31, 2017 - No Comments!

HealthCast: Effect of Weather on Health and Performance

The effect of weather on health and performance has always fascinated me. As a human species on planet Earth we cannot deny weather affects our daily activities and conversation, what we eat and what we wear. But weather and climate impacts go much deeper, ranging from fertility to facial features.

Biometeorology is a fascinating field of study linking the direct and indirect relationships between the Earth's atmosphere and living creatures such as plants, animals and humans. Bioclimatology is just an extension of biometeorology taking into account the link between weather and life over much larger time scales.

Other branches of biometeorology include:

  1. Ethnological biometeorology- the study of weather and climate on race and body structure
  2. Psychological biometeorology- mental process
  3. Aesthetobiometeorology- aesthetic expression pertaining to arts, music, etc.
  4. Climatological Pathology- origin and frequency of human disease
Effect of Weather on Health and Performance

Let's breakdown the … Continue Reading

July 21, 2017 - No Comments!

Antarctica Recently Dropped An Iceberg The Size Of Delaware Into The Ocean

An iceberg about the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica sometime between July 10th - 12th. Earth's newest iceberg name 'A-68' is a name only a mother can love. It broke off from Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf about a week ago, becoming the 3rd largest iceberg seen during the satellite era (by area). Now what? What will the ultimate fate of this trillion metric tonne chunk of ice be?

And no, this newly formed notable iceberg didn't break off at the 'breakneck speed' of the Rhode Island-sized one in the film The Day After Tomorrow. In real life, this process took over a decade.

Animation of the growth of the crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, from 2006 to 2017, as recorded by NASA/USGS Landsat satellites. Credits: NASA/USGS Landsat


Where In The World Are We?

Larsen C is Antarctica's 4th largest ice shelf located … Continue Reading

July 5, 2017 - No Comments!

D.J.’s PraeDigits: Tropical Storm Cindy & Record Heat In June 2017

Follow Meteorologist D.J. Kayser on Twitter (@dkayserwx) or on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

When we look back at June 2017, we will remember two big stories from the month - record setting heat in the Southwest as well as record setting rain in the Southeast, some of which came from Tropical Storm Cindy. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look at some of the records that were set last month due to these big stories, along with some areas that didn't quite see as much rainfall.

The Southwest Was Scorching In June 2017

The heat dominated parts of the middle and end of June 2017 in the Southwest, with numerous locations setting daily records... with some seeing consecutive days in a row with record temperatures! The peak of the heat appeared to occur around June 20th, when Phoenix saw a record high of 119 … Continue Reading

July 2, 2017 - No Comments!

How to Survive: Dust Storms

What is a Dust Storm?

It’s Monsoon Season in the Southwest... a time when thunderstorms spring to life in the deserts. Strong wind from a storm blasts dry dirt and a wall of dust begins to form. It gets bigger and bigger, lifting the dust over 10,000 feet in the air. The wall of dust is racing away from the thunderstorm that birthed it, travelling at speeds up to 60 mph. This is a pretty classic description of how dust storms can form.

Dust Storm

Dust Storm. Credit: NOAA.

Dust forms are created when strong winds blow loose sand or dirt from a dry surface. In the United States, dust storms are most common in the desert Southwest between June and September, which is also Monsoon Season.

Dust storms can happen rapidly and without warning and visibility can drop to 0 in a matter of seconds. They are often responsible for chain Continue Reading

June 21, 2017 - No Comments!

HealthCast: Heat Waves More Numerous, Costly and Deadly

Summer heat. Love it or hate it? I admit, I love high heat and humidity. Call me weird, but I'd take a sauna-like afternoon over stinging cold any day. But in all seriousness searing heat can be dangerous, even deadly. Climate scientists have been long telling us that summer heat waves will become more intense and frequent in the coming years.

Heat Waves More Numerous, Costly and Deadly

Now the weather community is buzzing about a new study stating 30% the world's population is currently exposed to 20 days of dangerously high (potentially lethal) levels of heat and humidity a year. What's worse is that if greenhouse gas emission are left unchecked then three out of four people face death by heat by 2100.

Weather Related Fatalities

Any weather related fatality is a tragedy. But deaths induced by lightning or tornadoes often make headlines. Heat is the surprising silent killer, … Continue Reading

June 15, 2017 - No Comments!

Mobile Home Parks, Storm Shelters (Not Always) Included

I'll just come right out and say it... I don't want to waste your valuable time or 'sugar coat' things. Not all mobile home communities have a storm shelter. The reasons for this vary. But this does carry with it potential consequences. The cost is as high as people's lives.

Here's a stat for you: According to the National Weather Service, 44% of the 1,091 Americans killed by tornadoes from 1985 to 2005 died in mobile homes, compared to 25 percent in stick-built homes. Source: newsok.com. And about 8% of Americans live in mobile homes.

Tornado damage near Chetek, WI. Courtesy: Barron County Sheriff's Department

 

Photo of Eric Gavin. Courtesy: http://www.burnhamours.com/notices/Eric-Gavin

One such tragedy happened Tuesday, May 16th earlier this year. A tornado spun right through a mobile home park near Chetek, WI. This tornado killed one person and injured more than 2 dozen others.

The … Continue Reading

June 8, 2017 - No Comments!

D.J.’s PraeDigits: Rainy Eastern U.S. In May 2017

Follow Meteorologist D.J. Kayser on Twitter (@dkayserwx) or on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

For once, heat was not the main story when we look back at May 2017 across the lower 48. It was the heavy rain across the eastern U.S., which led to numerous cities seeing a top ten wettest May on record. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look back at the heavy rain as well as those few locations that did see the heat.

Few Hot Spots In May 2017

After months upon months of record heat... we actually got a little bit of a break from it in the lower 48 during May 2017. Only 10 long-term NWS climate locations saw a top ten warmest May on record, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center. Most of those locations were mainly confined to southern Florida and parts of the west … Continue Reading

June 1, 2017 - No Comments!

Official Start To The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Early Start to 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Happy June 1st! Today not only marks the beginning of Meteorological Summer in the northern hemisphere, but it also marks the beginning of the Atlantic Tropical Season. Interestingly, we've already had our first named storm; Arlene, which developed on April 20th and became only the 2nd tropical storm to develop in the month of April.

With that said, we're off to an early start to what could be an busy 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. NOAA recently released their tropical outlook, which calls for a 45% chance of an above average season with 11-17 named storms and 5-9 total hurricanes, 2-4 of which will be major hurricanes with wind speeds in excess of 110mph. Experts their believe that "weak or non-existent El Nino, near or above-average sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic, and average or weaker-than-average vertical winds shear" could help to produce more … Continue Reading