August 1, 2016

This Summer’s Heating Up – And Fast 

Scorching hot temperatures gripped much of the continental U.S. this past weekend, reaching all the way from North Dakota to the mid-Atlantic states and into the deep South. 

Of course it is the middle of the summer, so warm weather is to be expected – but not to this high a degree.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), temperatures reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in several states such as Georgia, Texas, and Kansas this weekend; with the highest temperature in the United States recorded at 121 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California, this past Saturday.  These temperatures may not be record-breaking; however their length of st...

July 19, 2016

Fracking-Induced Earthquakes in Central U.S.

Two new studies by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have found that the recent increase in the amount and magnitude of earthquakes in the Central U.S. is associated with the injection wells used for wastewater from fracking.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking,’ has been used by petroleum engineers since the 1940s in order to increase well production at oil and gas extraction sites.  It is a technique designed to extract oil and gas from shale rock by injecting a mixture of sand, chemicals, and water into the rock at a high pressure; thus widening and opening existing fissures in the shale rock, and...

July 13, 2016

With the flash of colors long-faded from this past weekend’s sky, the 4th of July fireworks spectaculars across the country may have already escaped the minds of many.  But what they have yet to escape is the air, soil, waterways, and living environment surrounding these colorful explosions.  It is here that red, white, and blue translates into a deadly brew of lithium, aluminum, and copper compounds.  All of which can easily bioaccumulate, increase cancer risks, and cause a host of health problems such as contact dermitis, SIDS, and lung irritation.  The chemicals and heavy metals used in fireworks can remain airborne at very high concentrations for days following their combustion.  Dr. Richard Wilkin of the Env...

April 26, 2016

So far this year we had an extremely above normal late winter season in regards to tornados for feb and March. But April has had an extremely below normal so far. That will all likely change over the next two weeks. A very active weather pattern will occur over the Midwest through the south and south east US. Various waves of storms will strike through today and mid week then again fri through Sunday then again early next week. This will likely bring up statistical numbers back to average levels.

Besides the threat for violent tornados to outbreak across a very large area of the country, the other threat will be flooding. Extremely heavy rains will accompany these storm systems, producing a large flood risk acro...

February 8, 2016

What makes a lenticular cloud different from other cloud types?

In order to tell the uniqueness of lenticular clouds, we need to know what a lenticular cloud, or a “lens-shaped cloud,” is.

The cloud makes the appearance of an unusual shape, like a UFO or saucer. They are often described as “frozen in time” and if you live near a mountain or a mountain range, may mistake one for a UFO. Also, they are stationary clouds. How and where they are formed? Where stable, moist air flows into the mountain range. Lenticular clouds form where the air rises and disappear where the air sinks. These clouds appear when the air flow is continuous. They are most likely to appear in high-altitude areas, such as the Rocky Mountains; a...

December 29, 2015

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

 

Many of us might know that about the 195 countries around the world came together to the climate change conference in Paris and agree on a plan. The summit’s goal is to limits climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions. By 2020, these countries will release their long-term plans to cut their emissions.  Then, every five years, these countries will review their progress. If it's necessary that a certain country have to change their goals, then action will be taken. Depending on the country, every plan is different. Certain countries will get financial help to develop technological to limit on their emissions.

The graph below displays the four scenarios of the p...

December 14, 2015

El Niño; What Is It and How Does It Affect the Global Climate.

 

If you happen to live anywhere bordering the eastern coast of the Equatorial (Tropical) Pacific Ocean (for example: California, Ecuador, Peru, etc.), chances are you have heard of the phenomenon known as El Niño. If you are inclined to winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, as am I; you may know El Niño as the great bringer of rainfall to the west Americas, which to us mountain goers means plenty of snow on our beautiful mountain ranges; but what exactly is El Niño? And how in the world does this mysterious event of nature affect the Earth so drastically?

The term “El Niño” refers to a naturally occurring happening in the equatorial region of t...

November 22, 2015

Outlook for this Winter Season (2015 - 2016)

 

 

  

 

 

Source: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/us-winter-forecast-2015-2016-mild-northeast-california-rain/52732989

 

 

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...

November 18, 2015

The Science Behind Earthquakes

 

In recent news, there have been reports of earthquakes happening in Mexico and Japan. The 4.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico on November 13th thankfully did not cause much damage. The next day, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the southwest coast of Japan and triggered a tsunami. We hear about earthquakes happening all the time, but what exactly are they and what causes them?
Earthquakes are caused when the tectonic plates underneath the surface break and shift. The point at which they break is called a fault. When the plates move they release energy in the form of vibrations, which we feel as an earthquake. The magnitude of the earthquake is determined from recordings of the...

October 24, 2015

Hurricane Patricia 

 

We often hear in the news about the destruction of tornadoes. When we feel the wrath of an EF-5 tornado, the world is in awe of its power and devastation. Typically an EF-5 tornado, the strongest category on the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale, has wind speeds of over 200 mph, with the power to 100% level entire communities. These tornadoes can get to be 1 to 2 miles wide, with the widest ever recorded to be a 2013 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. This tornado, an EF-3 tornado, was about 2.6 miles in total width. With that in perspective, look at what is occurring in western Mexico. Hurricane Patricia, an F-5 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, currently has sustained winds of 200 mph,...

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March 7, 2018

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