November 22, 2015

Outlook for this Winter Season (2015 - 2016)









Each autumn, many of us have been curious about the upcoming winter. In the past, farmers were desperate to know what they needed to be prepared for; a cold winter or an easy winter, a short summer or a long summer? This created a prime market for those Farmer’s Almanacs to cater to, which claim an 80% accuracy even while forecasting weather an entire year out. Nowadays, we know that we can only truly forecast with credibility to the next 7-10 days. But, we do have the advantage of many years of data and trends to examine we might expect th...

October 23, 2015


Who doesn’t love looking up at the night sky and noticing a shooting star? This week is the peak time for the Orionid meteor shower - so keep looking up.


Shooting stars are caused by debris that is soaring through space and brought near Earth by gravity. We see these meteors burning up in the atmosphere, causing a bright star-like appearance. During a meteor shower, the space debris is usually part of a comet. Some comets have orbits that bring them near Earth at regular intervals - so we know when to expect them.


Currently, the Orionid meteor shower has been visible from October 2nd, and will continue to be visible until November 7th. Orionids have regularly peaked in activity around October 20th, because it is...

October 16, 2015

Fall Migraines

Are you at risk for suffering fall-weather induced migraines?



Autumn, the best time of the year. Summer’s heat is finally cooling down, the trees are changing colors, kids are back in school, and migraines.


Multiple studies have now shown that weather is a migraine trigger. With fall bringing such dramatic seasonal changes, it is difficult to single out a single variable to blame. Temperature, pressure, humidity, winds, clouds, and precipitation are constantly fluctuating this time of the year. It is also important to consider the “neurological effect” caused by the shorter days (Dr. Martin) and the fall allergens in the air. “Weather is a trigger capable of activating pain, [but] the mechanisms fo...

October 3, 2015






Source: Scott Kelly, Astronaut


This week, Joaquin has been the storm to watch. Starting on Sept 27, a new tropical depression was declared in the mid-Atlantic. Then the next morning Joaquin was considered to be “poorly organized,” but hours later NWS forecasters expected Joaquin to become a tropical storm just later that same day - which occurred.

On Sept 29, Joaquin kept moving westward with no change during the morning time. By early afternoon forecasters noticed that Joaquin was gradually strengthening. Later that day, Joaquin was expected to become hurricane by that night or the d...

October 1, 2015


Tropical Storm Niala: Close Call


Tropical Storm (TS) Niala has been an exception. Over the weekend, the system was expected to go over the Hawaiian islands, but has since changed direction. There are still many concerns because the additional threats associated with tropical systems are still able to affect the islands due to proximity.


Hurricane season in the Central Pacific runs from June 1st through November 30th. Activity is usually rare and when present, very weak. In fact, the Weather Forecast Office only activates the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) when there is a tropical system in the central Pacific.


For visualization purposes, the warning/con...

September 18, 2015

Image Source NASA


Supermoon Eclipse


There is an exciting astronomical event this week - a supermoon eclipse. Let’s look at what we can expect on September 27th.


“Supermoon” is the title recently coined that refers to the moon when it is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, also know as perigee. It is fractionally larger (14%) and noticeably brighter (30%) at its perigee. Supermoon occurs only once a year and will also be a full moon.


Lunar eclipses are a more frequent treat for us, happening twice a year, but can be often missed because of your location on Earth. This occurs when the Earth comes between the sun and moon, leaving the moon in Earth’s shadow.


It is a rarity for these two events to coincide, i...

September 18, 2015



El Niño - How it Developed



El Niño, and his counterpart La Niña, are part of “an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for weather around the globe” (NOAA). This oscillation system is also referred to as ENSO - El Niño Southern Oscillation. For the conditions to be considered El Niño, the sea surface temperatures (SSTs) must be above average temperatures (and inversely for La Niña - must be lower than average). Additionally, there needs to be evidence of atmospheric involvement, usually characterized in surface wind direction changes over the Central Pacific.


NOAA issued an El Niño advisory in early March, at which point there warmer SST (evidenced in...

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