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 StormTracker2K:
Very unusual to have a round of strong to severe storms rolling in at 2am especially after the atmosphere has been worked over from earlier convection



Yeah CAPE is very very low but this upper low is very strong and its overcoming the lack of energy with strong forcing and dynamics, amazingly the line of storms is holding strong as it tracks across the state tonight toward you, amazing.

BTW if this upper low is still over us tomorrow with daytime heating there could still be some strong thunderstorms.
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Quoting spathy:
Oh I am awake now! that last one sure woke me up!


Yeah like the neighbors trash cans slamming into the side of my house.. LOL..
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Woke up a few minutes ago to light to moderate rain, windy conditions, and some thunder with lightning overhead. Seeing about 12-15 flashes a minute, mostly inter-cloud.

The rain's picked up now, so I guess we're having another round.
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Location? Sorry, see Ft Myers now.
Quoting spathy:
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Very unusual to have a round of strong to severe storms rolling in at 2am especially after the atmosphere has been worked over from earlier convection
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It is really beginning to lightning here on the west side of Orlando. It appears these storms are intensifying as they approach.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Odd how the southern branch seems like it's own entity? Separate from the line going through Central FL.


It's probably an individual vort max rotating around the upper low that's focusing a separate area of thunderstorms down there, that's common with upper lows.
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Odd how the southern branch seems like it's own entity? Separate from the line going through Central FL.
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Same here wife & kid are zonked.
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Little bizarre that virtually every little twister that hit in Minnesota managed to hit something. Little bouncers were rather accurate.
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Slow as I've ever seen it here with this kind of weather. System hoodwinked a lot of us, but several here nailed it. Glad someone else is up too, the wife and kid are sleeping. :)
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May get a squall line out of this.

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Quoting FLWaterFront:


Interesting that it was moving SOUTH at 5mph. Wonder what kind of weather caused that to happen?


Can't remember, I just know it was unusually hot that day.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Hard to imagine it not making it to 990 or lower now, that'd be something wouldn't it? Northeast gonna have a field day with this one, time to invest in some candles for those fine folks.
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wonder if this low will make it to the 990's? Organizing rather quickly tonight.
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Going to be very interesting how this transitions in the next few hours. Hopefully a squall line forms SW of Naples. If they build into individual SC's and train it may be a bumpy night and early morning.
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A significant Rain Shield has formed associated with a low due west of Ocala. Based on current movement I would expect Gainesville and surrounding areas to north to pick up some hefty rainfall totals in next 6-12 hours
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Quoting charlottefl:


May 12, 2011

I think I called in the first warning here:


WARNING FOR THE STORM:

000
WUUS52 KTBW 122227
SVRTBW
FLC071-122300-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0036.110512T2227Z-110512T2300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
627 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL LEE COUNTY IN FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 700 PM EDT

* AT 625 PM EDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL OR LARGER. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR FORT MYERS VILLAS...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
FORT MYERS...AND MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
FORT MYERS.
FORT MYERS VILLAS.
ESTERO.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING DESTRUCTIVE WINDS AND LARGE
DAMAGING HAIL. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2226Z 006DEG 5KT 2654 8179

$$


000
WWUS52 KTBW 122238
SVSTBW

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

FLC071-122300-
/O.CON.KTBW.SV.W.0036.000000T0000Z-110512T2300Z/
LEE FL-
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM EDT
FOR CENTRAL LEE COUNTY...

AT 634 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS STORM WAS
LOCATED NEAR SOUTHWEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...OR 8 MILES SOUTHEAST
OF FORT MYERS...MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

LARGE HAIL UP TO HALF DOLLAR SIZED HAS BEEN REPORTED WITH THIS
STORM. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM...TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2238Z 006DEG 5KT 2652 8179


Interesting that it was moving SOUTH at 5mph. Wonder what kind of weather caused that to happen?
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1001mb low moved south on the SSD site, due west of Ocala, SSW of Tallahassee.
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Squall Line forming southwest of Naples?
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Moderate warnings out now for everything except EF2+ tornadoes for southern Florida. Are we headed for a moderate outbreak of 10-15 twisters tonight? Hope not, God speed.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


You think a squall line will make it all the way over here?


Not sure there will be an actual squall line in the deep south, more like discrete cells. At the pace these storms will be moving, absolutely they will make it.
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Quoting charlottefl:


May 12, 2011

I think I called in the first warning (maybe it was the 2nd)here:


WARNING FOR THE STORM:

000
WUUS52 KTBW 122227
SVRTBW
FLC071-122300-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0036.110512T2227Z-110512T2300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
627 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL LEE COUNTY IN FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 700 PM EDT

* AT 625 PM EDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL OR LARGER. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR FORT MYERS VILLAS...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
FORT MYERS...AND MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
FORT MYERS.
FORT MYERS VILLAS.
ESTERO.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING DESTRUCTIVE WINDS AND LARGE
DAMAGING HAIL. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2226Z 006DEG 5KT 2654 8179

$$


000
WWUS52 KTBW 122238
SVSTBW

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

FLC071-122300-
/O.CON.KTBW.SV.W.0036.000000T0000Z-110512T2300Z/
LEE FL-
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM EDT
FOR CENTRAL LEE COUNTY...

AT 634 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS STORM WAS
LOCATED NEAR SOUTHWEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...OR 8 MILES SOUTHEAST
OF FORT MYERS...MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

LARGE HAIL UP TO HALF DOLLAR SIZED HAS BEEN REPORTED WITH THIS
STORM. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM...TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2238Z 006DEG 5KT 2652 8179
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Quoting FLWaterFront:


Do you remember what time of year that was, or what month?

Just curious.


May 12, 2011

I think I called in the first warning here:


WARNING FOR THE STORM:

000
WUUS52 KTBW 122227
SVRTBW
FLC071-122300-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0036.110512T2227Z-110512T2300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
627 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL LEE COUNTY IN FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 700 PM EDT

* AT 625 PM EDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL OR LARGER. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR FORT MYERS VILLAS...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
FORT MYERS...AND MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
FORT MYERS.
FORT MYERS VILLAS.
ESTERO.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING DESTRUCTIVE WINDS AND LARGE
DAMAGING HAIL. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2226Z 006DEG 5KT 2654 8179

$$


000
WWUS52 KTBW 122238
SVSTBW

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

FLC071-122300-
/O.CON.KTBW.SV.W.0036.000000T0000Z-110512T2300Z/
LEE FL-
638 PM EDT THU MAY 12 2011

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM EDT
FOR CENTRAL LEE COUNTY...

AT 634 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS STORM WAS
LOCATED NEAR SOUTHWEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...OR 8 MILES SOUTHEAST
OF FORT MYERS...MOVING SOUTH AT 5 MPH.

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 75 BETWEEN EXITS 123 AND 138.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

LARGE HAIL UP TO HALF DOLLAR SIZED HAS BEEN REPORTED WITH THIS
STORM. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM...TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

&&

LAT...LON 2643 8189 2665 8186 2665 8169 2643 8169
TIME...MOT...LOC 2238Z 006DEG 5KT 2652 8179
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Quoting charlottefl:


Just want to clarify I live in Ft. Myers. My handle is deceiving. I grew up in Charlotte so I picked that name several years ago.


Be safe. Be sure to take pictures, but safely.
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Quoting charlottefl:


This was the largest I've ever seen in FL. Half dollar size in Ft. Myers almost a year ago. Did damage to my car.



Do you remember what time of year that was, or what month?

Just curious.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Cape values are rising markedly on the east coast.



It shows you just how strong dynamics are with system when you consider how low CAPE is tonight. This is probably the strongest thunderstorm I've had in a long time in such a cool and stable environment, it was only 64 with a dew point of 63 as the line came in and like 300 J/kg Cape. My gosh we would have had a terrible outbreak if we had say 4000 CAPE ahead this line that's coming through my area.


We sometimes get these big lows in winter but its weird to see this big cold core low in late April, especially because it was such a warm winter in Spring. Strange event.


I still haven't seen hail though, I have an atmospheric hail defense I think :)
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Too bad, it looks like some potential for real trouble brewing in southern Florida, in the wee morning hours no less.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Cape values are rising markedly on the east coast.



You think a squall line will make it all the way over here?
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Right as the line came through my area
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Cape values are rising markedly on the east coast.

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Morning All. Heads up any SW Coastal Residents, these will be the tornado producing cells.

000
FXUS62 KMFL 220411
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1210 AM EDT SUN APR 22 2012

...TORNADO WATCH 186 IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EDT SUNDAY FOR SOUTH
FLORIDA...

.UPDATE...
EVENING PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN UPDATED FOR THE INCLUSION OF THE TORNADO
WATCH HEADLINE THROUGH 7 AM SUNDAY MORNING. STORMS HAVE BEGUN TO
DEVELOP OVER THE EASTERN GULF AND ALONG THE TAMPA COAST AS THE
POTENT UPPER LOW APPROACHES THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. ALTHOUGH THE
BEST THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE...BASED ON THE LATEST RADAR LOOP...WAS
STILL NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF OUR LOCAL AREA OFF OF TAMPA`S
COAST...SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN
DEVELOPING OFF OF THE NAPLES COAST OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. THESE
STORMS WILL BE FAST MOVING STORMS TRACKING NORTHEAST AND WILL BE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS UP TO AROUND 60-70 MPH...LARGE
HAIL AND TORNADOES.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:



Looks like a little squall line is headed to you


Just want to clarify I live in Ft. Myers. My handle is deceiving. I grew up in Charlotte so I picked that name several years ago.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Quoting charlottefl:
It's lightning every few seconds here. Storm is passing just to the north of here. What a light show.



Looks like a little squall line is headed to you
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Quoting FLWaterFront:


You've only seen hail twice in 16 years in Pinellas County.

Maybe the hail cores know that and avoid your location ;-)~

There might now be a big pile of "pea-sized" hail somewhere along East Bay Drive, a mile or two west of US 19.


This was the largest I've ever seen in FL. Half dollar size in Ft. Myers almost a year ago. Did damage to my car.

Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Water vapor Loop:

water vapor
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Yeah I was watching Bay News 9 and I think the cell might have dropped its hail core just a couple miles to my west if it had one, before hitting me, its just raining really hard with lots of lightning, again mostly cloud to cloud but its pretty cool so that expect, cold fronts never produce quite as much intense CG as our wet season sea breeze storms, but still a nice experience, I think I got a cloud burst right over me cause my rain gauge signal stopped and my street flooded a little, lol.


You've only seen hail twice in 16 years in Pinellas County.

Maybe the hail cores know that and avoid your location ;-)~

There might now be a big pile of "pea-sized" hail somewhere along East Bay Drive, a mile or two west of US 19.
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Decided to run out and take a few seconds of video. Missed the peak, oh well:

Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Poor blokes in the NE going to get the worst of this monster. Largest snow fall in October and April for many spots in the NE. Melting poles and dwindling water supplies around the world, unheard of blocking patterns, and irrefutable science, leads me to conclude GW is a complete farce signed GWB. Unfortunately, with China and India on the forever increase in their carbon footprint we are only at the tip of the iceberg, which is good, because that's all we may have left very soon. On the bright side the jelly fish population is thriving. Stay safe out there tonight Floridians.
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Quoting charlottefl:


Jed, watch out may be some hail headed your way. Can't be sure but the cell headed you way has a 30% chance of severe hail. Def poss based on the VIL.


Yeah I was watching Bay News 9 and I think the cell might have dropped its hail core just a couple miles to my west if it had one, before hitting me, its just raining really hard with lots of lightning, again mostly cloud to cloud but its pretty cool so that expect, cold fronts never produce quite as much intense CG as our wet season sea breeze storms, but still a nice experience, I think I got a cloud burst right over me cause my rain gauge signal stopped and my street flooded a little, lol.
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1274. Skyepony (Mod)
This is lightning data for Central FL, just the last half hour. Doesn't pick up very far off land in the gulf.


Lightning/2000 v5.4.2 Summary (Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 12:26:29 AM EDT)

Since midnight (26.5 mins.):
Total strokes: 694 (avg. 26.2/min.)
Intracloud/Intercloud strokes: 326 - 47.0% (avg. 12.3/min.)
IC: 237 - 72.7% (avg. 8.9/min.)
-IC: 89 - 27.3% (avg. 3.4/min.)
Cloud to ground strokes: 367 - 52.9% (avg. 13.8/min.)
CG: 60 - 16.3% (avg. 2.3/min.)
-CG: 307 - 83.7% (avg. 11.6/min.)
Compact Intercloud Discharge: 0

Total flashes: 492 (avg. 18.6/min.)
Cloud to ground flashes: 242 (avg. 9.1/min.)
CG flashes: 52 (avg. 2.0/min.)
-CG flashes: 190 (avg. 7.2/min.)
Intercloud/Intracloud flashes: 250 (avg. 9.4/min.)
IC flashes: 178 (avg. 6.7/min.)
-IC flashes: 72 (avg. 2.7/min.)

Total nearby flashes: 0
Total noises: 68 (avg. 2.6/min., 8.9%)
Total energy: 825 (avg. 31.1/min., 119%, squelch = 3)


PedleyCA~ You're welcome.. Nexsat puts out some pretty images.
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So far just torrential rain, gusty winds and substantial lightning, this is what we want, nothing to severe just powerful exciting storms that dump lots of water for the lawns :)
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Thank You Skyepony
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It's lightning every few seconds here. Storm is passing just to the north of here. What a light show.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
1270. skook
Storm heading into polk shows some weak rotation according to bay news 9. Not worrisome yet.
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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.