2008: Ninth warmest year on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:05 AM GMT on January 21, 2009

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The temperature statistics are in, and the year 2008 ranks as the ninth warmest year for the globe on record, making it the coolest year since 2000, according to an analysis compiled by NASA. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center rated 2008 the eighth warmest on record, and the British Climate Research Unit rated it tenth warmest. NASA noted that given the uncertainty in the measurements, a range of 7th to 10th warmest was reasonable. Global temperature records extend back to 1880. December 2008 was also the eighth warmest December for the globe on record.

The average global temperature the past five years (and the last ten years) is the highest on record. The top ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the past twelve years. So, despite the impressive cold blast in the Eastern U.S. this winter, the global climate is warming. The relatively cool temperatures of 2008 probably represent a normal year-to-year fluctuation in the weather. Cool weather is to be expected globally during a strong La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, which was present during the first part of 2008 (see the cool blue colors over the Equatorial Pacific in Figure 1). It is no surprise that the last year it was cooler, 2000, was also the last time we had a La Niña event. With La Niña conditions beginning to develop again this year, I'd be surprised if 2009 turns out to be a record warm year. Dr. James Hansen of NASA is predicting a new global record temperature either this year or in 2010, though.


Figure 1. Global temperature anomalies in 2008 compared to the 1950-1980 baseline period. Below-average temperatures are shown in blue, average temperatures are white, and above-average temperatures are red. (Gray indicates no data.) Most of the world was either near normal or warmer than normal. Eastern Europe, Russia, the Arctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula were exceptionally warm (1.5 to 3.5 degrees Celsius above average). The temperature in the United States in 2008 was not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 cooler than all of the previous years this decade. Large areas of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean were cooler than the long-term average, linked to a La Niña episode that began in 2007. The graph shows the long-term trend in surface temperatures since 1880. The annual average temperatures are shown in light orange, and the jaggedness of the line indicates how much the average global surface temperature varies from year to year. Because climate is so variable from year to year, it can be easier to spot long-term trends through multi-year averages. The dark red line shows the five-year running average, which is an average of five years of annual temperatures centered on a given year. Even this five-year average shows that climate has ups and downs, but the long-term increase in global average surface temperatures is obvious. The gray barbells indicate the range of uncertainty. Not surprisingly, the uncertainty is larger for older measurements than for more recent ones. Image credit: NASA.

A cool and snowy December in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., December was the 35th coolest December, ranking it in the coldest 30% of all Decembers observed since records began in 1895. December 2008 had near-average precipitation, ranking 43rd wettest. It was the 8th wettest December on record in the East North Central U.S., and 9th wettest for the Central U.S. Only the South experienced below average precipitation during the month. For the year 2008, temperatures in the U.S. were not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 the coolest year since 1997. U.S. records set in December 2008 (courtesy of http://extremeweatherguide.com/updates.asp):

Spokane, WA: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 19.4", 12/17-12/18
Spokane, WA: All-time single storm snowfall: 23.3", 12/17-12/18
Sandpoint, ID: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Jackson, WY: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Fargo, ND: Snowiest month on record: 33.5"
Spokane, WA: Snowiest month on record: 61.5"
Green Bay, WI: Snowiest month on record: 45.6"
Madison, WI: Snowiest month on record: 40.4"
Wausau, WI: Snowiest month on record: 37.6"
Idaho: All-time 24-hour state snowfall record set at Dollar Hide, 46.5", 12/26-12/27 (not confirmed)

At the end of 2008, 20% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is a decline from the 28% of the U.S. that was under similar drought conditions at the end of 2007. The average precipitation for the U.S. in 2008 was 30.48 inches, which is 1.34 inches above average. 2008 was the wettest year on record for New Hampshire and Missouri, second wettest for Massachusetts, and third wettest for Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa. Also, 2008 was the fourth wettest year for Indiana, fifth wettest for Maine, Michigan, and Vermont, seventh wettest for New York, and eighth wettest for Kansas and Rhode Island.

Next post
Check out Ricky Rood's latest blog, called Cold in the East: A rant. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the media right now about climate change, and Ricky and I will be doing our best to try to explain what is fact and what is crap in the coming weeks. I posted one such discussion last week, when I showed that the recent claims that sea ice is back to 1979 levels were a clever bit of cherry picking of the data that hides the critical summertime loss of Arctic sea ice. I'll have a new blog post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Hurristat: If Fanele can prevent from going extratropical it probably can, since Eric is reporting near 35-40 knot sustained winds but is losing all its tropical characteristics to be called a tropical storm.


thanks... i was wondering if it had any chance... to me it seemed unlikely.
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Quoting hurristat:


you guys have obviously never seen a forest at night after a snow, have you...


I appreciate the beauty -- truly-- but my physical self just can't deal w/the cold... I suffer. It hurts my skin... and I've tried... I'm bred for the tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting theshepherd:
That's kinda presuming alot young man.
Yes, I've got jackets and boots a lot older than you that still fit that have walked through many snow covered forests.
You might be a redneck.


I'm sorry..... I didn't mean to presume anything... like I said yesterday, everyone is encouraged to call me out on something that they feel needs to be mentioned... i hate having people feel angst or similar emotions toward me... that being said I am in no way, shape, or form, a redneck... i want to find some way to justify that I'm not a redneck without offending anyone... I guess the fact that I took Physics as a freshman in high school last year may.. i dont know... or this (by the way it's a satirical site) Uncyclopedia: IB

Modification: just saw the previous comment... and LOL the whole IB thing is annoying but it makes me in no way shape or form smarter or better than anyone else in the world... you guys are all smarter than me anyway...
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Quoting hurristat:


I think that relationship doesn't work b/c for the last two years we have had Pres. Bush. Now we have dem. as a president and they may get more of their agenda done.
Time will tell. Of course the Dems in Congress will respond more readily. That's called politics. And I'm sure one of the first things to pop up will be line item veto that was denied to predecessors. Heaven forbid Dem pork get squashed.
I see a Civics lesson coming. LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
RE: 316 and 370 We have needed a comprehensive policy on energy for a long, long time.
Hopefully, Obama will get it done. I feel optimistic. (As long as he does not leave it in the hands of 'it is a scientific fact that all global warming is man made' Biden

I just tried Michael STL's blog and I am banned as well.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
Quoting KEHCharleston:

No, I have not. I am sure it is incredibly beautiful.

That's ok... When summer comes it will be your turn to whine about unseasonably hot temperatures!


No I don't whine... because I don't have huge oceans to cool me down, I about half the time get warmer (not including humidity at all) temps than Florida... that being said, I can stand about up to 95 and then I go inside...
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
372. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Hurristat: If Fanele can prevent from going extratropical it probably can, since Eric is reporting near 35-40 knot sustained winds but is losing all its tropical characteristics to be called a tropical storm.
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Quoting hurristat:


speaking of number junkies, whatever happened to STL?
We don't know, amigo.
70 of us can't get on his blog. Go scout that out for us. Surely you haven't dissed him yet. LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
Quoting theshepherd:
316 Gulf
Obama can't do squat without Congress.
Dems have had Congress for the last two years. Where did that get us? Or maybe that was the design???


I think that relationship doesn't work b/c for the last two years we have had Pres. Bush. Now we have dem. as a president and they may get more of their agenda done.
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Under a freeze warning here temps should get down into the lower 30s.
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I saw that on the prediction for Fanele, it says it will become a TS on the other side of the island. What do people think are the chances of that?
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Quoting GulfPoet:


yes that means NO TUNNELS


LOL!!!!
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Update on Madagascar:

Cyclone Fanele hits west coast of Madagascar
By BILLY HEAD
Associated Press Writer

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar -- A powerful cyclone hit the west coast of Madagascar Wednesday, destroying buildings, flooding large areas and cutting off thousands of people, officials said.

Cyclone Fanele made landfall on the African island nation at dawn, said Dia Styvanley Soa of the National Office for Disasters Preparedness. She said there was heavy rain and winds of up to 130 miles per hour (210 kph).

The western town of Morondava, a regional hub and home to about 30,000 people, was left without water or electricity, Styvanley Soa's office said. Damaged buildings included some schools and churches that had been identified as emergency refuge centers.

Flooding in the area was reported to be severe. About 9,400 people were isolated in one district where half the land was under water. Casualty figures have not yet been released.

"We are very worried," Styvanley Soa told The Associated Press.

She said relief efforts have begun. Five tons of rice as well as supplies of soap, clothes and mosquito nets have been dispatched to the region.

On Monday, a less powerful cyclone skirted Madagascar's eastern coast, killing one person and leaving 27 injured and 992 homeless.

Forecasters have warned that a warmer-than-average summer in the southern hemisphere could mean stronger storms for cyclone-prone Madagascar this year.

Madagascar lies in the main storm path of the Indian Ocean basin. It normally has three or four major cyclones each year. Cyclones Fame, Ivan and Jokwe killed more than 100 people in Madagascar in 2008 and affected a further 300,000.

A new disaster management plan put in place this year is expected to yield a quicker response by local authorities and relief packages of tents, water pumps and food have been distributed in advance.

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
365. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Disturbance Summary (1800z 21JAN)
==============================================
An area of convection (97S) located at 2.3S 94.1E or 610 NM north-northwest of Cocos Island. Recent animated METSAT imagery and QUIKSCAT Data indicates a weak low level circulation center, associated with flaring, disorganized convection. The disturbance is located in a region of upper level diffluence, and high vertical wind shear making the overall environment unfavorable for further development at this time.

Maximum sustained winds near the surface is estimated as 15-20 knots with a minimum sea level pressure of 1004 MB. The potential for this disturbance to form into a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is POOR.

---
Indonesia region invest very close to the equator

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364. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
ya Fanele should not affect anyone after it leaves Madagascar
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Quoting conchygirl:
Than that'd make me a Cracker too!
Yep. Don't listen to the Canadian dude...
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
Quoting theshepherd:
I'm a cracker not a redneck. Crackers don't live in a fantasy.
Than that'd make me a Cracker too!
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
Quoting GulfPoet:
Ritz? Saltine? or Trisket?
Depends on the main dish. LOL
So...I'll bite. What or who be a domo?
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
Quoting conchygirl:
Here come the good ole redneck jokes....who 'resembles' that comment! LOL
I'm a cracker not a redneck. Crackers don't live in a fantasy.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
Hades Thanks
Good to see from the forecast path that even if Fanele does re-intensify that it will not do an about face.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
Quoting theshepherd:
Another Tao thingy...
If you think your accent, your birthplace or current domicile, your school, your climitazation, the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, the art on your walls or the color of your hero's skin somehow makes you better than everybody else, then you just might be a redneck.
Here come the good ole redneck jokes....who 'resembles' that comment! LOL
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
355. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
GALE WARNING FOR TD 06F

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression Six-F (1007 hPa) located at 14.5S 161.5W is reported as moving west-southwest at 10 knots.

Position POOR

Expect clockwise winds of 25 to 35 knots within 60 to 180 miles away from the center in the eastern semi-circle
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
354. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number SEVENTEEN
DEPRESSION TROPICALE EX-ERIC (06-20082009)
22:00 PM Réunion January 21 2009
======================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression, Ex-Eric (997 hPa) located at 30.7S 54.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving southwest at 25 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Near Gale-Force Winds
====================
40 NM from the center and up to 200 NM in the eastern sector, reaching Gale-Force Winds up to 150 NM from the center in the eastern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 33.7S 59.6E - 35 knots (Devenant Extratropical)
24 HRS: 35.3S 64.9E - (Extratropical)

Additional Information
========================
The system is undergoing the northwesterly constraint due to the upper level jet stream flowing ahead of the frontal trough located just to the south of Eric which is beginning its extratropical transition phase within an increasingly sheared environment. Winds remain strong in the northeastern sector due to the gradient effect with the subtropical ridge settled to the east-northeast and due to the correlated east motion of the system. In this environment, Eric has accelerated during the last 6 hours and tracks southeastward.

THIS IS THE FINAL WARNING ON THIS SYSTEM. PLEASE REFER TO THE GMDSS BULLETINS FQIO20 FOR FURTHER DETAILS

Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number FIFTEEN
DEPRESSION SUR TERRE, EX-FANELE (07-20082009)
22:00 PM Réunion January 21 2009
===========================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Overland Depression Fanele ( hPa) located at 23.3S 46.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southeast at 12 knots

Dvorak Intensity:

Gale-Force Winds
================
20 NM from the center

Near-Gale Force Winds
======================
60 NM from the center extending up to 120 NM in the northeastern quadrant, and 180 NM in the southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 24.5S 48.7E - 25 knots (PERTURBATION Tropicale)
24 HRS: 25.3S 50.3E - 30 knots (DEPRESSION Tropicale)
48 HRS: 28.3S 52.8E - 25 knots (PERTURBATION Tropicale)
72 HRS: 30.2S 53.9E - 25 knots (PERTURBATION Tropicale)

Additional Information
========================
System continues to weaken overland and the location of the low level circulation center is not easy to identify.

The system is expected to be back at sea tomorrow morning. It seems that Fanele has a small window for some intensification with a better tradewind inflow as some ridge is temporarily rebuilt southward and on the south side of the upper level ridge. Moreover a northwestern subtropical jet located ahead of short mid-latitude trough that should pass south of the system Friday could produce some good poleward outflow.

It is not unlikely that this system could regain moderate tropical storm status.. limitant factor are cooler sea surface temperatures (no heat content south of 27S), some westerly moderate vertical wind shear that could be generated by the previously mentioned mid latitude trough, and the arrival of some mid-level dry air forecasted by the global models at the end of the forecast period.

Most of the available NWP models are in good agreement with the forecastt track. Forecast track is generally towards the souteast, but the system should slow down Thursday night as some weak subtropical ridge rebuilt southward. so, Fanele should not take the same trough that "Eric" and the current forecast is even slower than the previous one. Extratropical transition should not occur yet.
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HURRICANE
IKE
WIND DATA Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Quoting hurristat:


you guys have obviously never seen a forest at night after a snow, have you...
That's kinda presuming alot young man.
Yes, I've got jackets and boots a lot older than you that still fit that have walked through many snow covered forests.
You might be a redneck.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
351. Patrap
10:00 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Those Low angle big Pic's are always impressive.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
350. theshepherd
10:00 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Another Tao thingy...
If you think your accent, your birthplace or current domicile, your school, your climitazation, the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, the art on your walls or the color of your hero's skin somehow makes you better than everybody else, then you just might be a redneck.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
349. KEHCharleston
9:59 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting Patrap:

Expedition 11 NASA Science Officer John Phillips captured this photo of Hurricane Emily on July 17, 2005, as the storm churned in the Caribbean Sea east of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Image Credit: NASA

+ View High-Resolution Image (.5 Mb)Link

Amazing
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
348. Patrap
9:57 PM GMT on January 21, 2009

Expedition 11 NASA Science Officer John Phillips captured this photo of Hurricane Emily on July 17, 2005, as the storm churned in the Caribbean Sea east of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Image Credit: NASA

+ View High-Resolution Image (.5 Mb)Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
347. KEHCharleston
9:56 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting hurristat:


you guys have obviously never seen a forest at night after a snow, have you...

No, I have not. I am sure it is incredibly beautiful.

That's ok... When summer comes it will be your turn to whine about unseasonably hot temperatures!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
346. Patrap
9:55 PM GMT on January 21, 2009

Figure CS.34 Snow covered coniferous forest, typical natural vegetation of the subarctic climate. (Photo credit: T. Smylie, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.) Conical shape of coniferous trees helps capture insulation from low sun angles typical of the subarctic.


Subarctic Climate Link

Deep in the interior of high latitude continents lies the subarctic climate. Like the humid continental climate, continentality plays a major role in determining the characteristics of the subarctic climate. Bitterly cold winters and mild summers result in the largest annual temperature range of any climate on Earth.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
345. hurristat
9:48 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting Beachfoxx:
SurfSister!!!
I prefer the bikinis and flip flops. The sand is whiter and much prettier than snow, especially with the gorgeous blue background provided by the GOM!
***Someone please turn up the heat!


you guys have obviously never seen a forest at night after a snow, have you...
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
344. Patrap
9:44 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
A good Blog to review, The biggest storms of the 2007 global hurricane season..



serbian.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/com.Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
343. theshepherd
9:43 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
335
Lets wait until the brush leaves the canvas before we proclaim a Masterpiece.

Was that a Tao thingy gulfpoet ???
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
342. hurristat
9:43 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting surfmom:
You stinker...LOL...why would you wish your misery on those that chose to live in a place that welcomes poor frozen Canucks??? I think you need to send me some WhaleBlubber for insulation --


because it's fun to see you guys whine about it... LOL
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
341. KEHCharleston
9:41 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Patrap - Yikes

NRAmy - ma'am it is
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
340. KEHCharleston
9:39 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
I'm not knocking his passion...how he treats people is another matter....

Good point
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
339. Patrap
9:39 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
graphs,.understood,..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
338. NRAamy
9:38 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting KEHCharleston:

Question:
Do we all agree we need to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels for a variety of reasons?


yes sir/ma'am....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
337. NRAamy
9:38 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
334. KEHCharleston 1:35 PM PST on January 21, 2009

I am not going to knock Michael STL's passion


I'm not knocking his passion...how he treats people is another matter....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
335. Patrap
9:36 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
334. KEHCharleston
9:35 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
I am not going to knock Michael STL's passion. Think about it. If you really, really believed that the present course of action would in the relatively near future cause a cataclysm, would you not be a bit passionate about it?
Unfortunately, in order to debate effectively, one must understand where his opponent is coming from - Michael seems unable to open his mind to what others are saying. What really hurts him and his cause though, are his social skills

Question:
Do we all agree we need to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels for a variety of reasons?

MODIFIED FOR CLARITY
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
333. theshepherd
9:33 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
My bad Conchy
Mom will probably repo my mensch halo for that one.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084
332. conchygirl
9:29 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Aw, Shep - don't be so hard on Michael....but I am sure you are correct - too much KoolAid. LOL
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
331. pearlandaggie
9:28 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
LOL @ 330 :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
330. tornadofan
9:27 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
i'm sure this will fall on mostly deaf ears and be of little use, but what the heck...

Oceans are cooling according to NASA


Makes sense that all that melting ice from Greenland, etc, would be cooling the ocean temps. Since it makes sense, it must be wrong though...
Member Since: April 5, 2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
329. pearlandaggie
9:26 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
not to mention surfacestations.org has done a wonderful job documenting the poor siting, maintenance, and overall condition of the data stations that feed information to the government. i'm sure all of the inherent bias caused by the problems has been mathematically, magically "adjusted" out of the data.

i can't think of a single reason why placing a temperature sensor near a burn barrel, street, or air conditioner condenser would introduce error in the data? /sarc
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
328. theshepherd
9:25 PM GMT on January 21, 2009
Quoting conchygirl:
Where is Michael STL? Haven't seen him here in quite sometime. No loss since most of us are on his Ignore list.
Overdosed on KoolAid I think.
Only could talk to Gulfy(just kidding)and the other sheep.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10084

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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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