February 23, 2018 - No Comments!

Bat Migrations Changing… And Not For The Better

Climate change is causing many bats to migrate sooner. Some are not even migrating at all in some cases.

Millions of bats can swarm the sky when they travel in a typical migration. These swarms can get so big, even weather radar can pick them up! That's often the case with the Mexican free-tailed bats bats when they migrate from Mexico to the Bracken Cave near San Antonio.

Example of bats on radar

Example of bats on radar

But many typical migrations are changing now. Are this is leading to potentially many negative impacts to our ecosystem.

Phillip Stepanian and Charlotte Wainwright, two meteorologists from Rathamsted Research in the United Kingdom, recently studied this bat migration by analyzing years of weather radar data. Their research, now published in the journal Global Change Biology, shows these bats have been migrating to Texas much earlier than they did in recent decades.

“We found that the bats … Continue Reading

February 16, 2018 - No Comments!

Stingy Sierra Snow Pack – Drought Looming?

We are less than a half of a month away from the start of Meteorological Spring and the amount of snow on the ground in the Sierra Nevada Range is a bit concerning. According to researchers, the snowpack in Sierra (as of February 15th) is running nearly ~20% of average. The image below shows the stark contrast between the snow cover in the Sierra Nevada Range from January 28, 2017 vs February 8, 2018. Interestingly, the snow was nearly 190% of average last year all thanks to a very active "Atmospheric River" that brought several water logged storms into the Western US. This year has been quite dull with few, lack luster storms.

(Image courtesy: NOAA - January 28, 2017 vs. February 8, 2018)

Dramatic Difference January 2017 vs February 2018

What a difference a year makes. Thanks to the Department of Water Resources at CA.gov for the images below, … Continue Reading

February 6, 2018 - No Comments!

D.J.’s PraeDigits: Western Heat & Southern Drought In January 2018

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

Warmth dominated out west during January 2018, with scattered areas of excessive rainfall across the country. We also saw quite dry areas of the nation, especially in parts of the South. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look back at January 2018 across the nation.

Western Heat In January 2018

A ridge built out west during January 2018, leading to a very warm month for many locations. Overall out west, 33 long-term climate sites saw their top ten warmest January on record. Two locations ended up seeing their warmest January on record - Long Beach, CA and Tucson, AZ.

In Tucson, they saw 19 days with a high of 75+, marking the most on record for the month of January. Meanwhile, in Phoenix (which saw their third warmest January on record), … Continue Reading

February 1, 2018 - No Comments!

HealthCast: Higher Risk of Heart Failure in Cold Weather

Cold can be quite tough on the heart. Changes in air temperature and pressure have been found to increase hospitalization and death rates in those with a predisposed heart condition, according to a recent study in Environment International.

"We know that doctors rarely take the weather forecast into account when treating or making recommendations to heart failure patients," said Prof. Pierre Gosselin, lead author of the study from Universitié Laval in Canada. "So with the extreme differences in temperature due to climate change, we wanted to show how the weather is becoming a more relevant factor. Our study shows that exposure to cold or high-pressure weather could trigger events leading to hospitalization or death in heart failure patients."

Researchers measured the temperature, humidity, air pressure and pollutants in the surrounding environment and studied the data to see if there was a correlation.

The primary results of the study "observed … Continue Reading

January 18, 2018 - No Comments!

Arctic Second Warmest Year, Smallest Winter Sea Ice Coverage on Record in 2017

Observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic has reached a 'new normal', despite a relatively cool summer. This 'norm' is characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover, the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost.

The average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2017 is the 2nd warmest since 1900. It is worth noting cooler spring and summer temperatures this year contributed to more snow cover in the Eurasian Arctic, slower summer sea ice loss, and below-average melting in the Greenland ice sheet. However it appears to be a 'chilly' road bump within this warmer trend for the Arctic.


The Arctic Report Card, released at the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting  is a peer-reviewed report that brings together

Continue Reading

December 28, 2017 - No Comments!

Top 6 GOES-16 Satellite Images of 2017

The weather world is all a buzz about the new and exciting GOES-R Series satellite imagery. The GOES-R Series satellites take higher-resolution imagery along with various atmospheric measurements throughout the Western Hemisphere. Measurements taken by the GOES-R Series satellites range from lightning detection to space weather monitoring and give important (and much improved) hydrologic, oceanic, space and solar, atmospheric data and, ultimately, more accurate forecasts.

GOES-16: The New Frontier

GOES-16, launched in November 2016, is the first of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) next generation of geostationary weather satellites.

With the new age of weather satellites upon us let's take a look back at the top six GOES -16 satellite images of 2017.

Severe Storms

NOAA's GOES-16 provides imagery with detail and clarity like never seen before. GOES-16’s delivers resolution four times higher than previous NOAA satellites and rapidly scans Earth every 30 seconds … Continue Reading

December 13, 2017 - No Comments!

Geminid Meteor Shower Coming To A Sky Near You

“The Geminids will be the best shower this year,” Bill Cooke, a NASA meteor scientist, said in a press release.

Well, is it that time of the year already? The Geminids peak tonight (Dec. 13th-14th)! This reliable meteor shower that swings in every December is among the brightest and most visually appealing all year long!

Diving Into The Details Of The Shower

A meteor shower is a astronomical gift given to us either by a comet or asteroid. The Geminids are born from the latter in this case. More specifically, from the asteroid so beautifully named 3200 Phaethon... the mother of the Geminid Meteor Shower. It's orbit actually brings it closer to the sun than any other named asteroid that people have discovered so far!

The asteroid is relatively small... about 3 miles wide... and rocky. It also behaves as much as a comet as an asteroid.

The … Continue Reading

November 30, 2017 - No Comments!

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends As the Costliest in U.S. History

2017 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity

It's official. This year's U.S. Atlantic hurricane season is the most expensive on record, which caused nearly $202.6 BILLION in damages! Unreal... The season totaled 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes and 6 MAJOR hurricanes. Keep in mind that the 30-year average for an Atlantic season is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. The image below shows all the storms and their paths.

6 Major Hurricanes in 2017

Thanks to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria and Ophelia the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was an active one. All 6 of the storms listed above were considered Major Hurricane (winds sustained at 111mph or higher). The strongest of those was Irma, which had sustained winds of nearly 185mph - unreal! Thanks to @philklotzbach who is a Meteorologist at Colorado State University specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts for the information … Continue Reading

November 23, 2017 - No Comments!

HealthCast: Pollution Can (and Does) Kill

"The world doesn't care enough about pollution. We think of pollution as an environmental issue. We do not think of pollution as a health issue." -Karti Sandilya, Senior Advisor, Pure Earth

A staggering 9 million premature deaths in 2015 can be attributed directly to pollution, according to new comprehensive study on pollution and health from The Lancet Commision. This report is the first of its kind to collect data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution worldwide.

9 million premature deaths - one out of every six - are attributed to disease from unhealthy toxins in the water, air and soil. This is more than a high-sodium diet, obesity, alcohol, traffic accidents, or malnutrition. The number of pollution-related deaths each year is even more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria...combined! Even crazier, pollution kills 15 times more than all the world's current war and violence.

India takes … Continue Reading

November 19, 2017 - No Comments!

La Niña coming to a winter near you

(YouTube - casanever85)

NO, Chris Farley! It's not El Niño time. The ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) is pointing to the other one this season... La Niña... and that means much of the northern United States is in for a cooler winter this go-around.

What's Brewing Now?

La Niña is underway, with a 65-75% chance it will continue at least thru the 2017-18 winter. Similar to last winter, the event is predicted to be relatively weak. During a weak event, the typical U.S. impacts associated with La Niña are still possible, but they become less likely.


What To Expect

The reliable cycle that is ENSO swings El Niños and La Niñas in the Pacific all the time. That has a major impact on what type of weather many locations across the planet will have during a typical winter season and beyond. This winter... it's time for our newest La … Continue Reading