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 PedleyCA:
Good Night All, Time to bail out of here. Stay Safe. Have a Good Night.

good night pedley
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Nice line of storms blowing in from the south, its gusting over 40 here from the bowing segment, a decent amount of CG lightning too.
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Good Night All, Time to bail out of here. Stay Safe. Have a Good Night.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
Looking at the CO2 concentration on the climate page...you can see that we are at level not see in over 600000 years and there are no noticable increase in volcanic activity...the more likely culprit would be man-made climate change
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Quoting bappit:
News on a wind turbine blimp.

That was cool. Thanks for that link and video.
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315. Skyepony (Mod)
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News on a wind turbine blimp.
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The new climate section of wunderground is very nice...well done to the developers
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Link

Link to Washington Post article...... on Volcano
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Why isn't the NHC talking about the blob over NW Florida?

Sarcasm Flag: On


Nothing tropical in nature.....it would be a subject from the SPC tho
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Most dangerous volcano

The Three Big Ones
The last three volcanic eruptions to cause major loss of life were Krakatoa, Indonesia, where 32,000 were killed in 1883; Mt. Pelee, Martinique, where 29,000 were killed in 1902; and Nevada del Ruiz, Colombia, where 23,000 were killed in 1985. Fiery lava was not the culprit in any of these disasters.
Krakatoa, a small island, exploded catastrophically. The resulting sea wave washed whole villages on nearby Java and Sumatra away. A cloud of super-heated rock particles and poisonous gases known as a pyroclastic eruption rushed down the volcano's slope destroying the town of Saint-Pierre on Martinique. Unlike lava, it travels so fast that it cannot be outrun.
Like Grimsvatn, Nevada del Ruiz in the Andes Mountains is also covered by a glacier. A small eruption melted part of this ice, and the melt water produced a mud flow that inundated the town of Armero, located in a valley below the volcano. Interestingly, none of these three volcanoes had been active in the century prior to their eruption, although all had some historic activity.
The eruptions of Ruiz and Pelee were moderate-to-large in size, not gigantic. Their effects were confined to a ten-to-twenty kilometer radius around the volcano. The large death toll was the result of a moderate hazard combined with a moderately sized town.

Recipe for Risk
The first criterion for identifying the Most Dangerous Volcano in the World is to decide whether an eruption would endanger a nearby population center. To threaten a population, the geography must be right for the potential hazard; the mudflow, pyroclastic cloud, or lava, must be able to travel from volcano to town.
The Most Dangerous Volcano need not have been recently active. With the mean time between major eruptions at a given volcano hundreds to thousands of years, even geological evidence of eruptions of the last few tens of thousands of years is not enough to classify it as hazardous. If we were to consider only volcanoes that endanger small towns of a few thousands or tens of thousands of people, there would be literally hundreds of candidates. The Most Dangerous Volcano in the World has to be chosen from amongst the ones that neighbor major cities.

City Clastics
Four such cities come to mind: Seattle, which is endangered by Mt. Rainier; Tokyo by Fuji; Mexico City by Popocatepetl and Naples by Vesuvius. All of these cities are fortunately far (50-100 km) from their respective volcanoes, so only a large eruption would cause major damage. But as these cities grow, their suburbs crowd ever closer to the volcano.
We know so little about the cause of volcanic eruptions that it is difficult to rank their relative danger. (That's right, volcanologists have been studying volcanoes for maybe two hundred years and still they don't understand the cause for eruptions.) Are Rainier and Fuji, which have erupted only minimally in historic times, less dangerous than Popocatepetl and Vesuvius, which “burp” more often? Has Vesuvius proven itself the Most Dangerous, because of a 79 A.D. eruption that totaled Pompei and Herculaneum? We simply don't know. The simplistic sort of volcanic monitoring performed by most “volcano observatories” isn't going to answer these questions. But, since most major eruptions are preceded by a “warm-up” period of weeks to months long, monitoring of this signal will probably save lives.
Any successful forewarning presumes a city of millions of people can be evacuated. No one had the guts to try with Saint-Pierre or Armero even though the possibility was discussed.
The rarity of gigantic explosions like Krakatoa presents us with an even greater problem. Although they occur perhaps once per century, they are most dangerous because they have the potential to cause massive destruction over a wide area. The great Santorini Island eruption of 1627 B.C generated a sea wave in the Mediterranean that has been implicated in the fall of the Minoan civilization. The 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia killed 50,000 Sumbawa Islanders and threw so much dust into the upper atmosphere that it caused the so-called Year Without a Summer.
The Most Dangerous Volcano in the World is the next to have a gigantic explosion. We just don't know which one it will be. But don't hold your breath, it may not be for a while.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Why isn't the NHC talking about the blob over NW Florida?

Sarcasm Flag: On
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
Link

Here is the wiki page for that Volcano. It says that lahars have happened before. But they do have a system in place to clear the area before it goes.
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The "Armero tragedy" article in Wikipedia makes for some morbid reading.
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April 19, 2011

April 19, 2012
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Quoting bappit:
"The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. The Decade Volcanoes project encourages studies and public-awareness activities at these volcanoes, with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they present, and thus being able to reduce the severity of natural disasters.

"They are named Decade Volcanoes because the project was initiated as part of the United Nations-sponsored International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction."


The list:

Avachinsky-Koryaksky, Kamchatka, Russia
Colima, Jalisco and Colima, Mexico
Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
Galeras, Nariño, Colombia
Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA
Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia
Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
Mount Rainier, Washington, USA
Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Santa Maria/Santiaguito, Guatemala
Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
Taal Volcano, Batangas, Luzon, Philippines
Teide, Canary Islands, Spain
Ulawun, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Vesuvius, Naples, Italy

There are a few on this list that are active.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
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Quoting bappit:
Wikipedia on Rainier: "Mount Rainier[7] is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m).[1][2] Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list.[8] Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.[9]"

I don't think Popocatepetl poses the lahar risk.


Actually it does pose that risk but it probably isn't to the extent of Rainier. But the chance of it happening there are much better. It is already active and there is snow and ice up there. I haven't heard of any reports of anything happening but it may start melting stuff if it keeps throwing lava everywhere.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
"The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. The Decade Volcanoes project encourages studies and public-awareness activities at these volcanoes, with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they present, and thus being able to reduce the severity of natural disasters.

"They are named Decade Volcanoes because the project was initiated as part of the United Nations-sponsored International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction."


The list:

Avachinsky-Koryaksky, Kamchatka, Russia
Colima, Jalisco and Colima, Mexico
Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
Galeras, Nariño, Colombia
Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA
Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia
Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
Mount Rainier, Washington, USA
Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Santa Maria/Santiaguito, Guatemala
Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
Taal Volcano, Batangas, Luzon, Philippines
Teide, Canary Islands, Spain
Ulawun, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Vesuvius, Naples, Italy
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Wikipedia on Rainier: "Mount Rainier[7] is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m).[1][2] Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list.[8] Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.[9]"

I don't think Popocatepetl poses the lahar risk.
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Quoting bappit:

Definitely not Saint Helens. Yellowstone is not currently erupting either. Rainier is dangerous, but not erupting. Not sure which is closer to major population centers, Rainier or Popocatepetl, and I'm just familiar with the North American ones.


Mt. Rainier is 54 miles from Seattle, so the one in Mexico is closer to Mexico City (43 miles)
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Surface Mean Level Pressure shows the beginnings of a low pressure area centered near Baton Rogue, Louisiana.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31917
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the world' most dangerous volcano may be a bit of an exaggeration. What about Yellowstone or Mount Saint Helens?

Definitely not Saint Helens. Yellowstone is not currently erupting either. Rainier is dangerous, but not erupting. Not sure which is closer to major population centers, Rainier or Popocatepetl, and I'm just familiar with the North American ones.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the world' most dangerous volcano may be a bit of an exaggeration. What about Yellowstone or Mount Saint Helens?


Over 20 million people share that opinion (that it is).
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
April 20 SST Anomaly
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294. j2008
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Strong High Pressure, please don't send that Heat to Texas we want an Off Year here from the stinking heat.
Its eventually heading your way....... reached 95 here in Tucson. Tomorrow were heading for 99 and sunday 101, local stations said we should expect to have one of the worst fire seasons due to extreme drought and heat.... think any of you can spare a little rain and send it out here?
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Quoting PedleyCA:

Nice looking building. Looks like a Planetarium.


There was another built in CONUS but I can't find the info....
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Here's a MIMIC TPW gif to go with the Pacific satellite images posted by sunlinepr.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Good evening to you. A very important thing that you missed is the Mid-April update from the ENSO Models that came out on Friday. You can go to my ENSO blog to see the details.

Link

Thanks much Twpr
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I think the world' most dangerous volcano may be a bit of an exaggeration. What about Yellowstone or Mount Saint Helens?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31917
Quoting PedleyCA:


I think it is starting to get mad.



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Quoting sunlinepr:
That surf spot is more the the NW, in Pools. The first surf spot you saw yesterday is another spot called Domes. It is called Domes because that beach is located just in front of the Dome of the Nuclear Boiling Superheater (BONUS), one of the experimental Nuclear facilities the US installed in PR...


Nice looking building. Looks like a Planetarium.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771


I think it is starting to get mad.

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Quoting PedleyCA:


Looks like someone took that rock away.

It was in the shot yesterday.
That surf spot is more the the NW, in Pools. The first surf spot you saw yesterday is another spot called Domes. It is called Domes because that beach is located just in front of the Dome of the Nuclear Boiling Superheater (BONUS), one of the experimental Nuclear facilities the US installed in PR...

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi fellow Boricua. It looks like moisture will increase in the afternoons and evenings starting on Saturday. And yes,it will be hot,hot,hot with SE to South winds.




Going with my family around the island this weekend, before the hot summer comes along.... Maybe will stop in a local new restaurant up in the mountains....
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the 2012 DELUGE!

NYC area forecast rainfall map
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The ECMWF/GFS show a multi-day Severe Weather outbreak beginning on April 26 and continuing through the end of the month for the Central Plains.

Just something to watch..

Quoting jrweatherman:


Isn't is it too early to start watching the Caribbean? It is only April 20.

My point was that by early/mid May, conditions will not be as bad as they are right now. You'd be surprised how fast unfavorable conditions can become favorable. Sea Surface Temperatures are rising, the upward pulse of the MJO will promote thunderstorm activity in the Caribbean, which in turn will limit dry air. Wind shear will gradually decrease as we head into next month as well.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31917
Quoting sunlinepr:


The break continued but it got cloudy in the afternoon.... But temps. are very enjoyable.... Seems from now on the real hot days will be here...





Hi fellow Boricua. It looks like moisture will increase in the afternoons and evenings starting on Saturday. And yes,it will be hot,hot,hot with SE to South winds.

Friday afternoon discussion.

DISCUSSION...UPPER LEVEL PATTERN TO UNDERGO SIGNIFICANT
AMPLIFICATION EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH STRONG MID-UPPER RIDGE
DEVELOPING ALONG 65W DOWNSTREAM OF A DEEP CUTOFF LOW FORMING
ACROSS THE OHIO VALLEY. AS THIS OCCURS...SFC HIGH NORTH OF THE
REGION WILL RETREAT TO THE NORTHEAST WITH LOW LEVEL WINDS BECOMING
MORE FROM THE SOUTHEAST. MODELS SHOW A 1000-850 MB THICKNESS RIDGE
DEVELOPING OVER OUR AREA MEANING THAT WE`LL EXPERIENCE HOT
TEMPERATURES AND WHEN COMBINED WITH THE INCREASING HUMIDITY WE ARE
IN FOR A HEAT WAVE WITH SUMMERLIKE TEMPERATURES. WITH THE
INCREASING HEAT AND HUMIDITY WE`LL ALSO HAVE DAILY CHANCES OF
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ESPECIALLY NORTH OF THE CORDILLERA UNDER
A SSW STEERING FLOW. HOWEVER...WARMING MID LEVEL TEMPERATURES
ASSOCIATED WITH BUILDING RIDGE AND MAIN FORCING ASSOCIATED WITH
SHEARLINE/DEEP UPPER TROF EXPECTED TO HOLD BACK OVER HISPANIOLA AM
NOT EXPECTING WIDESPREAD RAINFALL. EXPECT THE RISK OF HEAVY
RAINFALL TO REMAIN FARTHER WEST OVER HISPANIOLA WITH THE MAIN
IMPACT OVER PR AND THE USVI BEING THE HIGH HEAT AND HUMIDITY WITH
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO BE AROUND 10 DEGS WARMER THAN
WHAT WE EXPERIENCED THIS WEEK. CHANGES IN HUMIDITY LEVELS WILL
ALSO BE QUITE DRASTIC FROM TWO STANDARD DEVIATIONS BELOW NORMAL
THIS WEEK TO TWO STANDARD DEVIATIONS ABOVE NORMAL NEXT WEEK. THIS
COULD BE DIFFICULT TO ACCLIMATE TO IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME
AND THIS EARLY IN THE YEAR EVEN FOR PUERTO RICO STANDARDS.


Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14224
Quoting sunlinepr:


The break continued but it got cloudy in the afternoon.... But temps. are very enjoyable.... Seems from now on the real hot days will be here...






Looks like someone took that rock away.

It was in the shot yesterday.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
Quoting PedleyCA:
Sunlinepr

What is that island to the west off Rincon.
That's Desecheo island.... A bird reserve and SCUBA diving spot..



Area 1.524613 km2 (0.5886564 sq mi)
Length 1.8 km (1.12 mi)
Width 1.1 km (0.68 mi)
Highest elevation 218 m (715 ft)
Highest point Sego Can Ridge
Country
United States
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Municipio Mayaguez-flag.svg Mayaguez
Barrio Sabanetas
Demographics
Population 0
Density 0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)
map of Desecheo Island

Desecheo (Spanish pronunciation: [dese%u02C8t%u0283eo]) is a small uninhabited island of the archipelago of Puerto Rico located in the northeast of the Mona Passage; 21 km from the west coast (Punta Higuero) of the main island of Puerto Rico and 50 km northeast of Mona Island. It has a land area of 1.5 km (exactly 1,524,613 m, or 0.589 sq mi, or 376.74 acres). Politically, the island is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit the island during his second voyage to the New World; however, it was not named until 1517 by Spanish explorer Nunez Alvarez de Aragon.[1]
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Sunlinepr

Get more rain or did you get a break?


The break continued but it got cloudy in the afternoon.... But temps. are very enjoyable.... Seems from now on the real hot days will be here...



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Good Evening. Tampa Bay area has nice line of t-storms just off shore ready to rotate onshore in a little bit and still waiting to "see" the low emerge into the Gulf in several hours. Very hard to pinpoint the exact location using the various loops but based on the charts, I would guess that the center of the low is currently located over Southern LA headed towards Lake Pontchartrain and then offshore into the Gulf south of MS in the early am.
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Quoting nigel20:
Good evening all
I see we had one more Indonisian quake...that area is pretty active
What did I miss today?


Good evening to you. A very important thing that you missed is the Mid-April update from the ENSO Models that came out on Friday. You can go to my ENSO blog to see the details.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14224
Does anyone else get this error when they refresh?

Error 330 (net::ERR_CONTENT_DECODING_FAILED): Unknown error.
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Sunlinepr

What is that island to the west off Rincon.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
Sunlinepr

Get more rain or did you get a break?
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5771
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Good evening all
I see we had one more Indonisian quake...that area is pretty active
What did I miss today?
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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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