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    As a meteorologist, Hurricane Ian is the nightmare storm I worry about most / ArsTechnica · 5 days ago - 13:34

A satellite image of Hurricane Ian as of 7:50 am ET on Wednesday.

Enlarge / A satellite image of Hurricane Ian as of 7:50 am ET on Wednesday. (credit: NOAA)

I have lived near the Texas coast for two decades and written about hurricanes professionally for nearly as long. When you do that, you think a lot about what would become of your home should the worst happen.

Well, the worst is happening in Southwest Florida today.

Hurricane Ian has undergone a remarkable period of intensification during the last 24 hours. After crossing the western end of Cuba and knocking that island nation's power grid offline, Ian started to weaken a bit Tuesday following this brief interaction with land. It also underwent an "eyewall replacement cycle," in which the centermost bands of the storm contract and are replaced by a new ring of storms farther out. Often this process temporarily weakens a storm, but Ian was hardly fazed.

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    This should be the absolute peak of hurricane season—but it’s dead quiet out there / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 11 September - 14:01

The Atlantic hurricane season peaks on September 10.

Enlarge / The Atlantic hurricane season peaks on September 10. (credit: NOAA)

To state the obvious: This has been an unorthodox Atlantic hurricane season.

Everyone from the US agency devoted to studying weather, oceans, and the atmosphere—the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration—to the most highly regarded hurricane professionals predicted a season with above-normal to well above-normal activity.

For example, NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, predicted a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season. The primary factor behind these predictions was an expectation that La Niña would persist in the Pacific Ocean, leading to atmospheric conditions in the tropical Atlantic more favorable to storm formation and intensification. La Niña has persisted, but the storms still have not come in bunches.

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    Major climate science project wants to crowdsource Android's GPS and sensor data to improve weather forecasting - Your Metadata has value!

    GadgeteerZA · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 26 March, 2022 - 18:17 · 1 minute

All of our phones contain a number of sensors quietly doing their jobs every day. You might know your phone has GPS, biometric sensors, and magnetometers, but many smartphones also sport barometers to measure air pressure and a small number can even measure ambient air temperature. Now, a worldwide climate science project wants to use sensor data from Android phones linked to satellites to improve weather forecasting for everyone.

It's not that you can get money for your metadata (does Facebook pay you?), and yes it does have value for scientific projects such as this one, but it does show it holds value anyway even for valuable research. In this case at least, you must download and install the Camaliot app and then give permission (you do read the terms and privacy policy, don't you?). So no-one is taking any data without your knowledge. Once you begin using it, you'll be able to see a leaderboard recording information submitted by others as well.

Camaliot researchers want to use this data and combine it with machine learning to make improvements in weather forecasting models. Another goal is to track ionospheric changes to help monitor space weather as well. The project has even larger ambitions for the future if it takes off, possibly one day collecting sensor information from devices connected to the Internet of Things.


#technology #android #Camaliot #research #weather

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    This little piggy doesn’t like heat and low barometric pressure / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 December, 2021 - 16:18 · 1 minute

This little piggy doesn’t like heat and low barometric pressure

Enlarge (credit: Frank Sommariva )

Pigs have a long and illustrious history in North America. According to the University of Mississippi , they were initially introduced to the continent from Europe in the 1500s. In the 1900s, the Eurasian wild boar was also introduced. Over the years, escapee pigs and the introduced boars interbred, creating a nuisance: wild hogs.

These hogs have captured the imagination of the US. In 2019 , a tweet asking a “[l]egit question for rural Americans” went viral. The question: “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play[?]” There was even a TV show, called American Hoggers , about hunting these pigs, and it ran for four seasons starting in 2011. One of its stars, Dean Campbell, passed away over the summer. A small industry offering the experience of a lifetime—i.e. shooting hogs from a helicopter—also sprang up. If this seems somewhat macabre, it’s worth noting that feral pigs can cause $1.5 billion in damages in the US each year—though it’s hard to say if this makes using assault weaponry against them any less gruesome.

At any rate, new research suggests that by using temperature and terrain, we can anticipate where these hogs are more likely to trot as they continue expanding across the continent. According to Lindsay Clontz, one of the paper’s authors and a University of Georgia masters’ graduate in forestry and natural resources, this could help the US manage the damage more effectively.

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    Europe’s July floods: So rare and extreme, they’re hard to study / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 25 August, 2021 - 10:30 · 1 minute

Image of a destroyed road and parking area.

Enlarge / Damaged left behind by flooding in the Ahr valley. (credit: Picture Alliance / Getty Images )

The backdrop of a steadily warming climate has frequently raised questions about whether any given extreme weather event could have been influenced by climate change. It's a natural question to ask, but answering it in peer-reviewed detail usually takes months or years. In response, researchers started the World Weather Attribution program , which has developed a streamlined analysis pipeline that lets them address questions of climate influence before the public has forgotten the event happened. This technique allowed the group to rapidly determine that climate change played a key role in this summer's Pacific Northwest heat wave.

Now, the group has attempted to tackle this summer's European floods , which destroyed communities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. And here, the answer was a lot more complicated. The floods hit a small area and were extreme enough that they destroyed some of the monitoring equipment that would otherwise have told us just how bad they were. Nevertheless, the team found the climate change likely boosted the chances of an event like that in northwestern Europe.

When the rains came

The weather pattern that produced the rain wasn't particularly exceptional, and it consisted of a low-pressure system that parked over Europe for a couple of days. The warm, moisture-rich air this drew from the Mediterranean ended up rotating around the low pressure. The Mediterranean air crossed a number of ranges of low hills in northwestern Europe, which caused the sort of atmospheric disruptions that trigger rainfall for a couple of days.

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    Dark Sky’s API, iOS app, and web app will all stop working next year / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 10 June, 2021 - 19:28

A new blog post from the developers of Apple-owned, hyperlocal weather app Dark Sky has announced that the iOS and web versions of the app, as well as the Dark Sky API, will sunset at the end of 2022.

Here's the exact wording from the blog post:

Support for the Dark Sky API service for existing customers will continue until the end of 2022. The iOS app and Dark Sky website will also be available until the end of 2022.

Dark Sky's developers initially said the API would shut down at the end of 2021, but this new end-of-2022 target obviously moves things back a bit. This is the first time we've heard about an end date for the iOS app, though.

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    The new abnormal is warming up the US government’s new climate norms / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 4 May, 2021 - 20:40 · 1 minute

Map of the US, largely shaded in red.

Enlarge / What a difference a decade makes. Even though 2/3 of the data in the new normals is present in the previous ones, the last decade's still been hot enough to drag the temperatures upwards. (credit: NOAA )

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a set of data it terms the "US Climate Normals." Updated once a decade, the figures contained in the report are based on the past 30 years of weather records, and they provide a sense of what the typical weather is on a given day of the year in each of the US's states and territories.

As you might imagine given the recent global temperature records, these figures show widespread warming compared to the normals of even a decade ago. They also reveal that while much of the US is getting wetter with the changing climate, California and the Southwest are in the midst of a dramatic drying trend.

What’s normal, anyway?

As NOAA puts it, you're most likely to come across its climate normals on a weather forecast when the projected conditions are compared to the ones typical for that location and time of year. The normals provide information on what's typical.

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    Zoom Earth - LIVE animated weather satellite, radar, wind maps

    GadgeteerZA · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 2 May, 2021 - 11:30

Zoom Earth shows live weather satellite images of the Earth in a fast, zoomable map. Explore near real-time weather images, rainfall radar maps, and animated wind maps. Track tropical cyclones, severe storms, wildfires, natural hazards and more.

Live weather images are updated every 10 minutes from NOAA GOES and JMA Himawari-8 geostationary satellites. EUMETSAT Meteosat images are updated every 15 minutes. Blue clouds at night represent low-lying clouds and fog.

Fire/heat spots show approximate locations of fires and high temperature, updated daily using data from FIRMS.

This is really ideal for folks who like to see visually what is going on, and is probably great for use in a classroom as well.


#technology #weather #earthmap #liveweather