March 2013 the globe's 10th warmest March; a billion-dollar U.S. weather disaster

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on April 24, 2013

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March 2013 was the globe's 10th warmest March since records began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 9th warmest March on record. The year-to-date period of January - March has been the 8th warmest such period on record. March 2013 global land temperatures were the 11th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 9th warmest on record. March 2013 was the 337th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. Global satellite-measured temperatures in March 2013 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 12th or 8th warmest in the 35-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during March 2013 was the 16th largest in the 47-year period of record. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of March 2013 in his March 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary. He notes that one nation set an all-time heat record: on March 6th, Navrongo, Ghana reached 43.0°C (109.4°F), the warmest temperature reliably ever measured in the country (for any month.)


Figure 1. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest winter in the U.K. since 1910, exceeded only by March 1962. In this photo taken by wunderphotographer tonylathes on March 24, 2013, we see one of March's heavy snowstorms that affected Wardlow Village in Derbyshire, United Kingdom.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average for March 2013, the 10th warmest March for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. The Arctic Oscillation (AO), a large-scale climate pattern that can influence temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, set a record low for March. This negative phase was associated with frigid Arctic air spilling southward into the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes, leading to unusually cold conditions in the Eastern U.S., most of Europe, and northern Siberia.This phase of the AO also contributed to much warmer than average and even record warm temperatures in northeastern Canada and southeastern Greenland. A large swath of China and several regions in central and northern Africa in the 0°–20°N latitude belt were also record warm. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

First U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster of 2013: March 18 - 20 severe weather outbreak
Two billion-dollar weather disasters occurred globally in March, bringing the 2013 total to five, according to the March 2013 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker AON Benfield. The five billion-dollar weather disasters for 2013 so far:

1) Flooding in Indonesia, 1/20 - 1/27, $3.31 billion
2) Flooding in Australia, 1/21 - 1/30, $2.5 billion
3) Winter weather in Europe, 3/12 - 3/31, $1.8 billion
4) Drought in Central and Eastern China, 1/1 - 3/31, $1.71 billion
5) Severe weather in the Midwest U.S., 3/18 - 3/20, $1 billion

The first billion-dollar weather disaster in the U.S. was a severe weather outbreak that began on March 18, featuring a long-lived squall line of severe thunderstorms called a "derecho" that dropped hail up to softball size from Louisiana to South Carolina. Mississippi was hardest hit, with up to 60,000 insurance claims. Ten tornadoes touched down and two fatalities were reported during the outbreak. The U.S. has averaged 4.4 billion-dollar weather disasters per year from 1980 - 2012, but experienced 25 in the two-year period 2011 - 2012.

The deadliest March weather disaster was an outbreak of severe weather that swept across parts of eastern Bangladesh on March 22. The outbreak included a tornado that struck the regions of Sadar, Akhaura and Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria district. At least 35 people were killed and 388 injured.


Figure 3. Hail up to the size of tennis balls fell on McComb, Mississippi, as documented by wunderphotographer sirencall On March 18, 2013. The hailstorm was part of a severe weather outbreak that gave the U.S. its first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2013.

Neutral El Niño conditions continue in the equatorial Pacific
For the 12th month in row, neutral El Niño conditions existed in the equatorial Pacific during March 2013. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) expects neutral El Niño conditions to last through summer. The large majority of the El Niño models predict neutral conditions will last through the fall of 2013. Temperatures in the equatorial Eastern Pacific need to be 0.5°C below average or cooler for three consecutive for a La Niña episode to be declared; sea surface temperatures were 0.1°C below average as of April 22, and have been +0.1 to -0.4°C from average since March 1, 2013.

Arctic sea ice falls to 5th lowest March extent on record
Arctic sea ice extent during March reached its fifth lowest extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This was the 10th consecutive March and 142nd consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. The last ten years (2004 to 2013) have seen nine of the ten lowest March extents in the satellite record.

Jeff Masters

Storm in the gulf (myvalleylil)
Storm in the gulf
Do you like my hat! (sandiquiz)
For the third time in as many weeks, we have snow. Luckily not as much in this area as further north, where there are 15 foot snowdrifts in Cumbria, North West UK.
Do you like my hat!
Freezing Fog on Crocus (WurzelDave)
In the fog was small patches of freezing fog.
Freezing Fog on Crocus

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Did everybodys power go out?
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Wow, EXTREMELY slow blog tonight. I think I'll just hunker down and hibernate until June 1st..... (:
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Absolutely stunning low temperatures this morning in N. Texas/OK
Lubbock- 22R (Old 33)
Amarillo- 20R (Old 32, all time record low this late in season by 5 degrees)
OKC 29R (Old 35)
Dallhart 19R (Old 24)
Midland 33R (Old 27)
etc. etc.

At the same time, it has gotten to 90 a record amount of times in Fort Myers already in April. Weather has been constantly extreme regarding temps between
Nov: Well below
December: Fair above
January: Well above
February: Fair/Well above
March: Near record below
April: Way above

Our cool season averaged .1 degreees F below normal. You wouldn't believe it regarding the non-winter winter and the winter like autumn and spring.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


sounds great, nice thing to do (hoping they feel comfortable being watched like that) sadly for me here where I live I'll have to travel over 90 miles to get to my NWS...
:(



I live about a mile or so from the NWS here :)

Back home its about 20 or 30 miles distance to the local office.
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Quoting Levi32:
I would have thought that this showing up on the 0z NAVGEM would have easily diverted the blog's discussion away from the usual crap (pardon).



halleluiah!
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Jedkins I bet you'll find this site funny. I've written a few of the news articles there.



LOL, thanks for sharing, great articles, I'll be adding that page to bookmarks for sure :)
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Jedkins I bet you'll find this site funny. I've written a few of the news articles there.
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Quoting Naga5000:


Don't start this argument. Faith has no empirical evidence behind it. You cannot compare faith to science. Science requires evidence, faith has no such requirement.


Not so, what you speak of there is blind faith or stubborn ideals.

The actual meaning of faith refers to trusting in what is sound, in other words, trusting in something regarding things you currently do not know, or possibly cannot know based on the fact that what your trusting in has sound evidence behind it.

A true example of faith would be a child of a great physicist trusting him regarding things he cannot yet understand based on that the child knows his dad is a sound expert and there is plenty of evidence he is.

This idea of faith vs. science or that the two cannot exist in ones life is silly, and actually seems intellectually a bit limited.

However, obviously that doesn't mean a scientist should conclude and publish that Joplin was struck by a major tornado because Satan tampered with the atmosphere, or that God judged Japan with an earthquake which are of course assertions anyway and wouldn't be something to put faith in.


However, lets take those assertions hypothetically for a moment and say there is sound reasoning behind them upon which to have faith in them. Even if that were the case, it still shouldn't have any bearing on a scientific study or case because there isn't any why to to produce any physical experimentation. Therefore, it could say in this case be a logical conclusion to make metaphysically and psychologically, however, not something that can be concluded as say, a scientific conclusion.

Of course those statements are again, assertions, but hopefully you get my point.


A better example of having faith is say, in an engineers design. People have faith that the methods of transportation that they buy will work, despite that many don't understand how they work. This is because people know there is sound evidence to support that the engineering is successful and it will work.

Now this may sound silly or simple, and most of us do so without even thinking about it. However, it is still a valid example of faith. As a kid, I'll admit I just didn't have enough faith in the engineering of air crafts to believe those large heavy vehicles would actually fly, so I ended up learning how they worked instead ;)

lol


Faith is actually a very valuable ideal, however it's lost some of its value today as it generally means to many entirely based on just pure belief, like that in Santa Claus, or Big Foot. However, to remove faith completely can make as very proud and self focused, something we are very prone to as it is. What science does well is it helps eliminate superstition and beliefs that are merely assertions, however, it doesn't eliminate actual faith.


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Quoting MississippiWx:


^^^Exhibit A^^^

Okay. You're right.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's a lie and you know it!


^^^Exhibit A^^^
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Loop

Fooled Around And Fell In Love

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Quoting hurricaneben:


Really, heh, which state do you live in? I'm in South Florida and the office is about a 50-60 mile drive from here.


Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14870
Quoting MississippiWx:


You can't argue with him. He is always correct, in his mind. :-P

That's a lie and you know it!
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Actually, I know what you said. The first job shadow will almost always be during a quiet time, then anymore after that may or may not be during a more active period.


You can't argue with him. He is always correct, in his mind. :-P
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


sounds great, nice thing to do (hoping they feel comfortable being watched like that) sadly for me here where I live I'll have to travel over 90 miles to get to my NWS...
:(


Really, heh, which state do you live in? I'm in South Florida and the office is about a 50-60 mile drive from here.
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Quoting barbamz:
A short and nightly hello from Germany. Unfortunately at present time my job with a load of work is distracting me from what is really important (weather of course, lol). At least, season is on the track after this long winter, blossoms and flowers everywhere, f.e. in a nearby garden in the old city where I took some photos today in order to add some colors to my wunderphotos. All the best to you, my fellow bloggers, Barb





Hey Barb..
Thanks for dropping in and brightening up the blog..
Beautiful pic.. :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Actually, I used the word "typically", as in not always, but most of the time.

Actually, I know what you said. The first job shadow will almost always be during a quiet time, then anymore after that may or may not be during a more active period.
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Quoting hurricaneben:


Yeah it would be distracting for them in the event of some sort of tornado outbreak or where I live, more likely a hurricane, and in situations like that, you really need to pay attention to the radars and nothing else so you can easily alert the public. But I did mean 'job shadow' so it could get exciting if I get one...I even developed a small friendship with the local Warning Coordination Meteorologist so I'll see what he can do.


sounds great, nice thing to do (hoping they feel comfortable being watched like that) sadly for me here where I live I'll have to travel over 90 miles to get to my NWS...
:(
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14870
A short and nightly hello from Germany. Unfortunately at present time my job with a load of work is distracting me from what is really important (weather of course, lol). At least, season is on the track after this long winter, blossoms and flowers everywhere, f.e. in a nearby garden in the old city where I took some photos today in order to add some colors to my wunderphotos. All the best to you, my fellow bloggers, Barb



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Quoting Astrometeor:


Ask your local NWS office. Mine told me that they are happy to do job-shadowing (Nashville) as long as there is no major weather event occurring.


I'll see what Miami (NWS) can do.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, no, no, no, no. To 'work' and have a job at the National Weather Service you must go to college and get a degree in the field of science. If you talk to your local office, however, they will offer you a job shadow where you get to observe them. Typically it's during a quiet period, as things get chaotic when it's busy.


Yeah it would be distracting for them in the event of some sort of tornado outbreak or where I live, more likely a hurricane, and in situations like that, you really need to pay attention to the radars and nothing else so you can easily alert the public. But I did mean 'job shadow' so it could get exciting if I get one...I even developed a small friendship with the local Warning Coordination Meteorologist so I'll see what he can do.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Actually the met who set it up said he may try to get a day where I could come in where the weather is more active than today. When the short-range met's biggest forecasting issue is whether it will be 30F or 35F, you know it is quiet.
Also, usually you need at least a bachelors degree in meteorology to get into the NWS. However, with jobs getting more competitive, a masters degree is better.

It isn't a job, it is just an opportunity to see what they are doing more in depth. Your local NWS should be willing to do one, but it is mostly for upper class-men(11th and 12th).

Actually, I used the word "typically", as in not always, but most of the time.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Actually the met who set it up said he may try to get a day where I could come in where the weather is more active than today. When the short-range met's biggest forecasting issue is whether it will be 30F or 35F, you know it is quiet.
Also, usually you need at least a bachelors degree in meteorology to get into the NWS. However, with jobs getting more competitive, a masters degree is better.

It isn't a job, it is just an opportunity to see what they are doing more in depth. Your local NWS should be willing to do one, but it is mostly for upper class-men(11th and 12th).


Ya sorry that's what I meant--a job shadow. I could use some sort of job shadow, I'll definitely get in contact...I could wait a couple of years. But it would be nice to observe.
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Quoting TomTaylor: Post# 321
Here's something I stumbled upon the other day ago... These kind of plots have many applications, but some of the most direct applications I can think are for severe wx forecasting and determining the rain/snow line.


Very interesting plots Tom..

Take a few and check out Lee Grenci's current blog post..I believe you will find it interesting..
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Quoting allahgore:


I never said humans play NO role in it; I know one side over-hypes AGW. It's like Paul Revere is stuck in the groundhog day movie!


What do you mean by that?

In what way is global warming "over-hyped"?

Is bringing new information about climate change to the community over-hyping?

Is presenting data that disproves a bogus claim by someone over-hyping?

What constitutes over-hyping in your opinion?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

waves are looking good.....
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Should remain rather wet across the Eastern half of the country, particularly the Southeast, according to the HPC. It certainly would be nice if this forecast verifies for the Southern Plains.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, no, no, no, no. To 'work' and have a job at the National Weather Service you must go to college and get a degree in the field of science. If you talk to your local office, however, they will offer you a job shadow where you get to observe them. Typically it's during a quiet period, as things get chaotic when it's busy.

Actually the met who set it up said he may try to get a day where I could come in where the weather is more active than today. When the short-range met's biggest forecasting issue is whether it will be 30F or 35F, you know it is quiet.
Also, usually you need at least a bachelors degree in meteorology to get into the NWS. However, with jobs getting more competitive, a masters degree is better.
Quoting hurricaneben:


Can a freshman apply? I'm in the 8th grade and I'll do anything to get some sort of position at the NWS. I even took a tour of my local office (Miami) back in May. Which one do you work at?

It isn't a job, it is just an opportunity to see what they are doing more in depth. Your local NWS should be willing to do one, but it is mostly for upper class-men(11th and 12th).
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Yazoo City, Mississippi EF4:



Was over 1 1/2 miles wide and was on the ground for well over 100 miles.
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Quoting hurricaneben:


Can a freshman apply? I'm in the 8th grade and I'll do anything to get some sort of position at the NWS. I even took a tour of my local office (Miami) back in May. Which one do you work at?

No, no, no, no, no. To 'work' and have a job at the National Weather Service you must go to college and get a degree in the field of science. If you talk to your local office, however, they will offer you a job shadow where you get to observe them. Typically it's during a quiet period, as things get chaotic when it's busy.
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Quoting hurricaneben:


Can a freshman apply? I'm in the 8th grade and I'll do anything to get some sort of position at the NWS. I even took a tour of my local office (Miami) back in May. Which one do you work at?


Ask your local NWS office. Mine told me that they are happy to do job-shadowing (Nashville) as long as there is no major weather event occurring.
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Quoting Grothar:


Yeah, there hasn't been a good fight on the blog in a long time. :)
Lol there was one this morning GW though
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Quoting allahgore:


Most agree with Climate Change, now AGW, That's another topic.


I assume that you put yourself in the climate change denial camp insofar as the observed rises in temperature being due to increases in greenhouse gases produced by human behavior.

I think you're saying that you agree the planet is warming, the climate is changing, but you think humans play no role in that change.

Might you tell us why?

Why do you believe what you believe when "tens of thousands of climate scientists, hundreds of scientific agencies, about all of the world's governments, the US military, all the world's major oil companies" believe the opposite?

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Appears they were relating it to the CONUS models (SREF, HRRR, etc) and not global.
Alright.

Cool to see ensembles taking over, regardless. So many possibilities with ensembles, imo. It's true the deterministic forecast will generally be more accurate in the first couple days for the CONUS models (or ~week for global models) because the deterministic run is based off the model's most accurate assimilation of the atmosphere and it is run at the highest resolution. Beyond this time, however, the mean of the ensembles is more accurate. And, even prior to the point where the ensemble mean skill exceeds the deterministic, ensemble guidance is incredibly useful throughout the entire forecast period.
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Quoting belizeit:
I Love to see the train rumbling over africa soon we will have our first passenger wawing at us giving us something to fight about.


Yeah, there hasn't been a good fight on the blog in a long time. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25335
Quoting TomTaylor:
Funny you mention this. I saw that the other day ago and I was actually pretty excited. But I also wasn't sure how to interpret it lol

Should this be interpreted on all time-scales? Right now ensemble forecasting really only out-performs a deterministic forecast beyond a week due to lower resolution.

In general I like their statement, though. Ensembles really are where it's at.


Appears they were relating it to the CONUS models (SREF, HRRR, etc) and not global.
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Quoting Grothar:



LOL. Oh yeah. Well take this.


I Love to see the train rumbling over africa soon we will have our first passenger wawing at us giving us something to fight about.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36855
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


If you like ensembles you must love the statement in the recent NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights


"By 2018, all weather guidance will be based on ensembles."
Funny you mention this. I saw that the other day ago and I was actually pretty excited. But I also wasn't sure how to interpret it lol

Should this be interpreted on all time-scales? Right now ensembles are primarily used beyond 5 days.

In general I like their statement, though. Ensembles really are where it's at.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Here's something I stumbled upon the other day ago...




Ensemble model soundings from the ECMWF. For a weather model graphic/plot enthusiasts like me, this is one of the coolest plots I've ever seen. Here the 51 ECMWF ensemble members (50 perturbed members 1 control) different soundings have been plotted on one graphic. Shading represents degrees of confidence (25-75% in blue/pink, 10-25% and 75-90% in green/yellow). On the right the spread of the ensemble members is also plotted, like a box and whiskers chart only oriented vertically. These kind of plots have many applications, but some of the most direct applications I can think are for severe wx forecasting and determining the rain/snow line. In addition, they've also plotted ensemble wind solutions vertically, as shown below. The spread in wind speed is shown on the left while wind roses are shown on the right. The wind roses use different coloring to represent the varying degree of confidence.




Many probably won't appreciate the use of these kinds of graphics, but to me this is really cool lol. I love ensemble forecasting and am always looking for new visualizations.


If you like ensembles you must love the statement in the recent NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights


"By 2018, all weather guidance will be based on ensembles."
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323. txjac
@ Chicklet

I'm especially elated this evening because I have finished an especially difficult project for my masters in public admin just today...so can hardly contain myself!
Will graduate in December (blush).

Congratulations!!!! I plan on going back to school as well once I get my kids out of my pocketbook ...lol

Be proud!
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2454
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

What are the psychological forces at play in conspiracy thinking?

Basically what’s happening in any conspiracy theory is that people have a need or a motivation to believe in this theory, and it’s psychologically different from evidence-based thinking. A conspiracy theory is immune to evidence, and that can pretty well serve as the definition of one. If you reject evidence, or reinterpret the evidence to be confirmation of your theory, or you ignore mountains of evidence to focus on just one thing, you’re probably a conspiracy theorist. We call that a self-sealing nature of reasoning.

Another common trait is the need to constantly expand the conspiracy as new evidence comes to light. For instance, with the so-called Climategate scandal, there were something like nine different investigations, all of which have exonerated the scientists involved. But the response from the people who held this notion was to say that all of those investigations were a whitewash. So it started with the scientists being corrupt and now not only is it them, but it’s also all the major scientific organizations of the world that investigated them and the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., etc., etc. And that’s typical — instead of accepting the evidence, you actually turn it around and say that it’s actually evidence to support the conspiracy because it just means it’s even broader than it was originally thought to be.


And it expands further. Tens of thousands of climate scientists, hundreds of scientific agencies, about all of the world's governments, the US military, all the world's major oil companies.

If you want to cling to the belief that climate change is a conspiracy then you need to ask yourself why all of these people, agencies, corporations and governments would be involved.

What could possibly be their motivation?

Why would even oil companies acknowledge that climate change is happening and burning fossil fuels is causing it?

Are deniers simply people who are unable to step back and objectively analyse their beliefs?

(A lot of us were skeptical about climate change at one time, but we looked long and hard at the data and changed our opinion. That's certainly the case with me.)
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Here's something I stumbled upon the other day ago...




Ensemble model soundings from the ECMWF. For a weather model graphic/plot enthusiasts like me, this is one of the coolest plots I've ever seen. Here the 51 ECMWF ensemble members (50 perturbed members 1 control) different soundings have been plotted on one graphic. Shading represents degrees of confidence (25-75% in avocado/pink, 10-25% and 75-90% in green/yellow). The spread of the ensemble members is plotted on the right. This can be thought of like a box and whiskers chart only oriented vertically. These kind of plots have many applications, but some of the most direct applications I can think are for severe wx forecasting and determining the rain/snow line. In addition, they've also plotted ensemble wind solutions vertically, as shown below. The spread in wind speed is shown on the left while wind roses are shown on the right. The wind roses use different coloring to represent the varying degree of confidence.




Many probably won't appreciate the use of these kinds of graphics, but to me this is really cool sutff lol.

I love ensemble forecasting and am always looking for new visualizations.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

I wish. It was just a job shadow. It's for high schoolers(something I am) I still learned a lot and got another one over the summer/fall.


Can a freshman apply? I'm in the 8th grade and I'll do anything to get some sort of position at the NWS. I even took a tour of my local office (Miami) back in May. Which one do you work at?
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Link for #317

http://www.salon.com/2013/04/24/why_people_believ e_in_conspiracy_theories/
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5996
Quoting wxchaser97:
Looks like there was another tornado down in Louisiana today.
NWSNewOrleans ‏@NWSNewOrleans 1m

PRELIMINARY INFO: Survey team found 2nd tornado in Kenner, EF0 Wind 75 mph @ Veterans & Transcontental. 2 miles long & 75 yards wide

Not surprising. That storm was rather prolific at producing weak, brief spin ups of rotation. It did this for most of the path from Baton Rouge through New Orleans. This was especially evident on the KMSY TDWR data but didn't show up as clearly on the KLIX NEXRAD data, which makes sense for brief, intermittent circulations.
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What are the psychological forces at play in conspiracy thinking?

Basically what’s happening in any conspiracy theory is that people have a need or a motivation to believe in this theory, and it’s psychologically different from evidence-based thinking. A conspiracy theory is immune to evidence, and that can pretty well serve as the definition of one. If you reject evidence, or reinterpret the evidence to be confirmation of your theory, or you ignore mountains of evidence to focus on just one thing, you’re probably a conspiracy theorist. We call that a self-sealing nature of reasoning.

Another common trait is the need to constantly expand the conspiracy as new evidence comes to light. For instance, with the so-called Climategate scandal, there were something like nine different investigations, all of which have exonerated the scientists involved. But the response from the people who held this notion was to say that all of those investigations were a whitewash. So it started with the scientists being corrupt and now not only is it them, but it’s also all the major scientific organizations of the world that investigated them and the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., etc., etc. And that’s typical — instead of accepting the evidence, you actually turn it around and say that it’s actually evidence to support the conspiracy because it just means it’s even broader than it was originally thought to be.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5996

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About

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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