Costliest (and Deadliest?) Disaster of 2015: Indonesia's $14 Billion Fires

By: Jeff Masters, 4:05 PM GMT on October 13, 2015

Earth's most expensive weather-related disaster of 2015--and the most expensive disaster in Indonesia's history--is underway in that nation, where massive clouds of smoke from agricultural fires have choked the lungs of tens of millions of people for months. Indonesia's Center for International Forestry Research estimated the smoke will cost $14 billion in agriculture production, forest degradation, health, transportation and tourism, according to an October 9 artic...

Fire El Niño

Updated: 5:56 PM GMT on October 13, 2015

A Sizzling October Sunday for Northern Plains

By: Bob Henson and Jeff Masters, 5:22 PM GMT on October 12, 2015

Sweaters and jackets lay dormant, replaced by T-shirts and shorts, for many residents of the United States over the weekend. Temperatures soared into the 80s and 90s across many parts of the country west of the Mississippi River. It wasn’t exactly chilly across the eastern U.S., either, with sunshine and pleasant 60s and 70s the rule over most areas. The most impressive extremes occurred on Sunday over the Northern Plains, where an already-warm airmass from the Ro...

Extreme Weather Heat Hurricane

Updated: 8:40 PM GMT on October 12, 2015

Deadly Worldwide Coral Bleaching Episode Underway--Earth's 3rd on Record

By: Bob Henson, 12:47 PM GMT on October 09, 2015

Earth is entering its third worldwide coral bleaching event of the last 20 years--a disturbing example of how a warming planet can harm vital ecosystems--NOAA announced on Thursday. NOAA also released an eight-month outlook that projects even more bleaching to come in 2016. The only other global-scale bleachings in the modern era of observations happened in 1998 and 2010. Global bleaching is defined as an event that causes bleaching in each of the planet’s major c...

Heat Climate Change

Updated: 4:01 PM GMT on October 09, 2015

Ex-Hurricane Oho Going Where Few Hurricanes Have Gone Before: Alaska

By: Jeff Masters, 3:45 PM GMT on October 08, 2015

Alaska and British Columbia are on alert to receive a very unusual dose of tropical weather: the remains of Hurricane Oho, which are on track to hurtle into the Alaska Panhandle on Friday evening. Oho completed the transition from a hurricane to an extratropical storm with 70 mph winds on Thursday morning, and after short period of weakening, is expected to interact with a powerful jet stream over the Gulf of Alaska and intensify on Friday afternoon off the coast of...


Updated: 10:41 PM GMT on October 08, 2015

Last Known Position of the Missing Ship El Faro: the Eyewall of Category 3 Joaquin

By: Jeff Masters, 4:12 PM GMT on October 07, 2015

When the container ship El Faro left Jacksonville, Florida early on the morning of September 30, 2015, Tropical Storm Joaquin, with top winds of 70 mph, was located a few hundred miles northeast of the Central Bahama Islands. Joaquin was forecast to move west-southwest at 6 mph towards the islands and intensify into a Category 1 hurricane by the next morning. The Captain knew he was charting a course that would take him within 200 miles of what was expected to be a ...


Updated: 7:02 PM GMT on October 07, 2015

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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