Summer Weather Watch: Keep an Eye on These Five Possibilities

By: Bob Henson, 4:57 PM GMT on May 22, 2015

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the U.S. summer season, and millions are wondering what kind of weather the next three months will bring. Seasonal predictions have their limits any time of year, and that’s especially true in summer, when upper-level winds are weaker and local influences play a larger role. Moreover, the largest single influence on year-to-year climate variability--the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)--is often at low ebb ...

Long-Range Summer Outlook

Updated: 5:00 PM GMT on May 22, 2015

What Can Lightning Tell Us about Storm Severity


By: Bob Henson, 5:42 PM GMT on May 21, 2015

As soon as an incipient thunderstorm spits out its first cloud-to-ground lightning bolt, it’s a potentially deadly threat. A complex of severe storms can generate many thousands of lightning flashes per hour. Along with being a hazard in its own right, lightning can serve as an useful clue to how quickly a thunderstorm is strengthening. New tools along these lines have been developed to help forecasters, and they’re being tested this spring at NOAA's Hazardous...

Severe Weather Lightning

Updated: 8:02 PM GMT on May 21, 2015

Earth has its 4th Warmest April and Warmest January - April Period on Record

By: Jeff Masters, 3:35 PM GMT on May 19, 2015

April 2015 was Earth's fourth warmest April since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Tuesday. NASA rated April 2015 as the 3rd warmest April on record. April 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - April) the warmest such period on record, and the past twelve months the warmest 12-month period in recorded history. Nine of the ten warmest 12-month periods have occurred within the past two years (the...

Climate Summaries

Updated: 5:13 PM GMT on May 19, 2015

Drenchings Trump Twisters in Tornado Alley

By: Bob Henson, 8:42 PM GMT on May 18, 2015

Despite a few high-profile tornadoes on Saturday, damage and injuries were minimal, and millions of people across the nation’s heartland experienced a more garden-variety weekend of spring showers and thunderstorms, some bearing extremely heavy rain. The unusually wet pattern will continue over the Plains this week, with severe weather mostly restricted to Texas until at least Friday. The most impressive supercell storms on Saturday were across northwest Texas and...


Updated: 3:21 PM GMT on May 19, 2015

Super Typhoon Dolphin Becomes Earth's 5th Category 5 Storm of 2015

By: Jeff Masters, 11:58 AM GMT on May 17, 2015

Super Typhoon Dolphin intensified into a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds and a central pressure of 925 mb at 2 pm EDT Saturday May 16, becoming Earth's fifth Category 5 storm of the year. Dolphin hung on to Category 5 strength for twelve hours before increasing wind shear helped knock the storm down to a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds by Sunday morning. The eye of Dolphin passed through the channel between the islands of Guam and Rota Friday morning when th...


Updated: 1:55 PM GMT on May 18, 2015

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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