Wunderground launches new Local Climate Change section

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2012

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In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, wunderground has launched a new Climate Change Center, which gives people resources to understand how the climate is changing both globally and in their local neighborhoods. I am particularly pleased with our Local Climate Change feature, which allows one to see how temperature and precipitation have changed over the past 100+ years at the nearest station with a long period of measurements. Predictions from climate models on what the next 100 years may bring are overlaid for each station. Data for most U.S. stations goes back to 1895; we have data for a few stations in Europe that extend back to the 1700s. Berlin has the longest period of record in this database, with data back to 1702.


Figure 1. Screenshot of the Local Climate Change page for Washington, DC. Measured temperatures since 1820 are shown in grey. By clicking on the "Show post-1900 trend:" box, we see that the trend since 1900 has been for an increase in temperature of 1.5°C (2.7°F) per century. Moving the thin vertical red line over the image using the mouse shows that the warmest year on record in Washington D.C. was 1991. Predictions for a future with low emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are shown in yellow; the high emissions prediction is shown in red. Separate tabs are available to examine precipitation and snow.

Skeptical?
Also included in the new Climate Change Center is a section addressing the common skeptical arguments made against climate change. We offer three levels of explanation. The "Basic" level is the default, but one can also see more technical in-depth discussions by clicking on the "See All Explanation Levels" link. The material was developed by physicist John Cook for his excellent skepticalscience.com web site, which is widely referenced in the climate science communication community.


Video 1. I'm featured in this video on extreme weather and climate change done by veteran videographer Peter Sinclair for the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media this month. I'm also featured in Part 1 of this series. Our new Climate Change Center has a section for climate change videos, which includes a twice-monthly feature from GreenTV detailing the world's notable wild weather events of the past two weeks.

Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I'd like to thank Wunderground meteorologist, Angela Fritz for spearheading the creating the new Climate Change Center; it's a product I'll be referring to frequently in the future, and one we'll be updating in the coming months with data on local sea level rise, fire risk, and drought.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
From Tampa radar?


Not sure, some wunderground radar someone posted on the last page, updated frames.. Saw a TVS signature
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Quoting reedzone:


Wunderground has some rotation in that new cluster of storms.. We'll see what happens, it's not over yet like most are proclaiming.
From Tampa radar?
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3616
Quoting reedzone:


Wunderground has some rotation in that new cluster of storms.. We'll see what happens, it's not over yet like most are proclaiming.
It's never over until the event moves out of the picture, we all know mother nature throws a few curve balls from time to time.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Funny thing is, Charlie was 6 mph short of Category 5 at landfall.

Yeah, Charlie was similar to Andrew in size and it strengthened rapidly after passing over Cuba..it was also moving very fast, I think 20 to 25 mph
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Quoting ncstorm:


You can go back last year when Irene looked it would hit Florida/Gulf Of Mexico according to the models..Chaos!
That's what happens when you worship models like a GOD. The storm had not even formed yet and some including myself would literally sit here and post each run as it was coming out. Sometimes it was a battle to see he could post it first. I think we eventual settled on one person posting the model runs.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting masonsnana:
My bad :)


It's all good. I was just saying no one on the West Coast has experienced a MAJOR surge event, so when one happens there are more than likely going to be a lot of people unprepared for it.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125613
Quoting FLWaterFront:


Looks to me that the new cluster of storms in the Gulf is forming quite rapidly.

There are also possible hints of rotation, unless I am reading things wrong. Please forgive me if I am reading it wrong, not trying to hype here but it would not be surprising what with all that spin in the atmosphere.


Wunderground has some rotation in that new cluster of storms.. We'll see what happens, it's not over yet like most are proclaiming.
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, you're right after a while I just stop commenting as I could not keep up


The server crashed a good amount of times.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Funny thing is, Charlie was 6 mph short of Category 5 at landfall.


If you want my personal opinion it was a Cat 5 at landfall, but there's really honestly no difference. If you look at the NHC report on Charley, it says although small in size Charley caused Catastrophic wind damage in Charlotte County FL. That word "Catastrophic" sits next to the description of a Cat 5 on the Saffir Simpson scale.
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What a dud of a big rain even for S.W. Florida. Local Met was saying 3" - 5" of rain today for our area and I've only seen .33" (and that was last night). I've had no measureable precipitation today.

We really need the rain, so this was a major disappointment. And Sunday afternoon through Tuesday will be breezy and very dry just adding to the fire danger.
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Quoting charlottefl:


I know if you look back I said LARGE cat 4's. I was implying the storm surge factor. I can testify Charley was a Cat 4, was in the NE eyewall at landfall.
My bad :)
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Yeah I was lurking during that and I don't think it could be much worse! There were 30 comments a minute!

Yeah, you're right after a while I just stop commenting as I could not keep up
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Quoting charlottefl:


I know if you look back I said LARGE cat 4's. I was implying the storm surge factor. I can testify Charley was a Cat 4, was in the NE eyewall at landfall.


Charlie was 6 mph short of Category 5 at landfall, so that's pretty much a Category 5 in my book.
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Quoting reedzone:
I disagree, I think we may see a few clusters of storms later.. Believe you want top believe, things can still turn ugly in a few hours.


Looks to me that the new cluster of storms in the Gulf is forming quite rapidly.

There are also possible hints of rotation, unless I am reading things wrong. Please forgive me if I am reading it wrong, not trying to hype here but it would not be surprising what with all that spin in the atmosphere.
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 713
954. txjac
Hi all, guess I was too worried about the start of my trip to Oklahoma this past week ...had no problems in getting there on Sunday but it was challange to get back. My flight from Dallas to Houston was canceled on Friday ...and I was on three standby flights and didnt get on any of them ...wound up making it back to Houston about 10:00 this morning ...bad night but happy to be home.

Sadly I leave again tomorrow to go back to Tulsa this time ..please, no more storms
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Dew point is back to 68 after being at 65 earlier. So we've had some return of moisture. We'll see if there's enough for the ULL to work with.
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Strong ULL

Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Says there were no comments..


Dang, now I remember. The Doc deleted most of the comments for the important systems in the 2007 and 2008 hurricane season. Really wish he hadn't.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Yes and no. This next line will be comprable to the one that came in earlier this afternoon... not much more than that.


Naa, I think if these storms get going, they will be severe. Just took a while for the disturbance to meet up with the low/front. Finally sparking thunderstorms, we'll see what happens. I'm not calling it a bust yet.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Says there were no comments..


Just a sample
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
you can see the broad low here swirling..

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Quoting masonsnana:
Charlie? was a cat 4 at landfall...


I know if you look back I said LARGE cat 4's. I was implying the storm surge factor. I can testify Charley was a Cat 4, was in the NE eyewall at landfall.
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Quoting reedzone:
I disagree, I think we may see a few clusters of storms later.. Believe you want top believe, things can still turn ugly in a few hours.
Yes and no. This next line will be comprable to the one that came in earlier this afternoon... not much more than that.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3616
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Says there were no comments..


Look up Tropical Storm Fay as well.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Too true. The only "shield" protecting Tampa is chance. The luck of the draw as determined by the chaotic nature of the atmosphere could allow the city to go another 50 or 100 years before a hurricane makes landfall there--or it could happen twice in the next six months.

There are no shields; no prayers of ancient shamans have cast a lingering spell; there's no divine blessing in place. Mother Nature has always played a long game, and she always will...


Oh my goodness, Nea and I agree on something!!!

hi everyone, still lurking..
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Quoting ncstorm:


You can go back last year when Irene looked it would hit Florida/Gulf Of Mexico according to the models..Chaos!

Yeah I was lurking during that and I don't think it could be much worse! There were 30 comments a minute!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Scroll back to the blogs in September 2008 when Ike reached Category 4 for the first time. You'll know what it would be like then.


The memories.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Scroll back to the blogs in September 2008 when Ike reached Category 4 for the first time. You'll know what it would be like then.

Says there were no comments..
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Scroll back to the blogs in September 2008 when Ike reached Category 4 for the first time. You'll know what it would be like then.


You can go back last year when Irene looked it would hit Florida/Gulf Of Mexico according to the models..Chaos!
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Quoting nigel20:
April 20 Anomaly


Nino region 3.4 hasn't warmed at all.
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Quoting jrweatherman:
...we all know that Tampa will get hit one day.
Too true. The only "shield" protecting Tampa is chance. The luck of the draw as determined by the chaotic nature of the atmosphere could allow the city to go another 50 or 100 years before a hurricane makes landfall there--or it could happen twice in the next six months.

There are no shields; no prayers of ancient shamans have cast a lingering spell; there's no divine blessing in place. Mother Nature has always played a long game, and she always will...
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I disagree, I think we may see a few clusters of storms later.. Believe you want top believe, things can still turn ugly in a few hours.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Starting to look like a bust for round 2, no 'real' thunderstorms have flared up of any kind.

Yep.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...


Scroll back to the blogs in September 2008 when Ike reached Category 4 for the first time. You'll know what it would be like then.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Starting to look like a bust for round 2, no 'real' thunderstorms have flared up of any kind.

Yeah, I agree... Today definitely did not live up to the hype at all... well done by the SPC
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April 20, SST Anomaly
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Starting to look like a bust for round 2, no 'real' thunderstorms have flared up of any kind.


Hoping for some cool weather to start the week.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...


Apparently you have not been hanging around here for long, correct?

If so then you would know that when there is even the slightest hint that a major is possibly going to threaten Florida, this blog flies by so fast that one can barely get a word in edgewise and a new page appears about every 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 713
Quoting charlottefl:


I think something that is interesting to note is that we haven't had a large Category 4 or 5 hurricane come ashore anywhere along the West Coast in the last 100 years, so I think that people would be surprised how much potential destruction from storm surge damage would occur on the West Coast from a storm like that. That's part of the problem with any type of violent storm. If the vast majority of people in an area haven't experienced something like that it leaves a lot of room for complacency.
Charlie? was a cat 4 at landfall...
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Starting to look like a bust for round 2, no 'real' thunderstorms have flared up of any kind.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...
Oh trust me, as soon as you post, your comments are already at the bottom of the page a few seconds later. And of course you get your average trolls, doomcasters, wishcasters, downcasters, and all types of casters. But they're some really good people in here, they know who they are. But for me it's all good, I like learning and I will listen to every and all kinds of people beginners and experts. I try to post questions and answer to the best of my knowledge.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...


I think something that is interesting to note is that we haven't had a large Category 4 or 5 hurricane come ashore anywhere along the West Coast in the last 100 years, so I think that people would be surprised how much potential destruction from storm surge damage would occur on the West Coast from a storm like that. That's part of the problem with any type of violent storm. If the vast majority of people in an area haven't experienced something like that it leaves a lot of room for complacency.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...


Been there. When the models had Hurricane Ike heading towards the SE coast of Florida, It was chaos on here.
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

Either a direct and indirect hit will still be very significant. Obviously a category 4 or 5 coming ashore near Indian Rocks Beach will cause the most destruction. But a strong storm (high-end cat 2 or cat 3) with the radial size of Katrina or Ike coming ashore as far as 100 miles north of Tampa Bay will also be destructive, at least in terms of storm surge.

Imagine what this blog would be like if a major hurricane was heading for Florida...
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Sun is out here...
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About JeffMasters

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