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2015 June

Tropical Atlantic Quiet; Pacific Getting Active

The tropics are quiet in the Atlantic Ocean, where no tropical storm activity is likely for at least the next week. A moderate-strength El Niño event is underway in the Eastern Pacific, and the atmospheric circulation associated with the strong warming of the waters off the coast of Peru is creating a very high 60 - 70 knots of wind shear over the Caribbean and Southern Gulf of Mexico.

Jeff Masters • 3:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2015

Unprecedented June Heat in Northwest U.S. Caused by Extreme Jet Stream Pattern

A searing heat wave unprecedented for June scorched the Northwest U.S. and Western Canada on Saturday and Sunday, sending to temperatures to their highest June levels in recorded history for portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. Both Idaho and Washington set all-time high temperature records for the month of June on Sunday.

Jeff Masters • 2:30 PM GMT on June 29, 2015

PECAN: Closest Look Yet at Nighttime Storms That Pummel Midwest

This year a major field study--primiarly supported by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA, NOAA, and DOE--is zeroing in on large, long-lived storm clusters known as mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) as they prowl the central Plains from late evening deep into the night. The experiment, dubbed Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN), started on June 1 and will continue through July 15 if the weather remains favorable.

Bob Henson • 8:17 PM GMT on June 26, 2015

Big Contrasts this Weekend: Roasting Out West, Soaking Back East

The atmosphere over North America will slide back into a familiar pattern this weekend, as a powerful upper ridge and record heat take hold of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada while an unusually strong upper low for late June brings wet, cool conditions from the Ohio Valley through the mid-Atlantic into New England. It’s yet another variation on the warm-west/cool-east pattern that predominated through much of 2014 and early 2015.

Bob Henson • 3:15 PM GMT on June 25, 2015

Pakistan's Deadliest Heat Wave on Record Kills at Least 800

The death toll from a brutal heat wave in Pakistan rose to 830 on Wednesday, making it Pakistan's deadliest heat wave in recorded history. Most of these deaths--at least 770--occurred in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. According to statistics from EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, Pakistan's previous deadliest heat wave was in 1991, when 523 people died.

Jeff Masters • 5:37 PM GMT on June 24, 2015

A New Take on the Human Factor in Recent Extreme Events

Top researchers differ on how much a changing climate might be involved with jet-stream “weirding.” However, there’s no question that sea levels have risen and global temperatures have warmed. Those unassailable facts may serve as the most direct link between climate change and extreme events, according to an article published on Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:17 PM GMT on June 23, 2015

Long-Lived Bill Meets its Demise in Mid-Atlantic

The books have finally been closed on Post-Tropical Cyclone Bill, which dumped heavy rain and clung to life as an identifiable system during a trek of more than 1,000 inland miles. The last advisory on Post-Tropical Cyclone Bill was issued by the NOAA Weather Prediction Center at 8:00 am EDT Sunday, almost five days after the cyclone made landfall on Matagorda Island, Texas.

Bob Henson • 4:37 AM GMT on June 22, 2015

Earth has its Warmest May and Warmest Year-to-Date Period on Record

May 2015 was Earth's warmest May since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA on Thursday. NASA rated May 2015 as the 2nd warmest May on record. May 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - May) the warmest such period on record, according to both NOAA and NASA.

JeffMasters, • 1:01 PM GMT on June 19, 2015

The Poor and the Earth Are Crying: The Pope's Encyclical on Climate Change

"Earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she groans in travail." The Pope weighed in with these words today on the need to address the threat climate change poses to our common home in his third papal encyclical, ”Be Praised."

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 1:01 PM GMT on June 18, 2015

Tropical Depression Bill Still Posing Major Flood Risk

Although it was downgraded to tropical-depression status by the National Hurricane Center at 1:00 am Wednesday, the system known as Bill remains a serious threat for flood-producing rain over a belt extending through central Texas across eastern Oklahoma and into the Midwest.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 4:10 PM GMT on June 17, 2015

Bill Makes Landfall in Texas; Greatest Impact Still to Come

Less than 18 hours after it was named, Tropical Storm Bill pushed ashore near Matagorda Bau, Texas, at 11:45 am CDT Tuesday. Hurricane Carlos is stronger than expected, with peak winds now near 85 mph.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 12:52 AM GMT on June 17, 2015

Tropical Storm Bill Moving Ashore Over Texas

Tropical Storm Bill is pushing ashore over the Central Texas coast, bringing torrential rains and sustained winds near 60 mph. At 7:45 am CDT, the Brazos 538 oil rig off the Central Texas coast recorded sustained winds of 41 mph gusting to 64 mph. While heavy flooding rains are the main threat from Bill, a few weak tornadoes will also be be possible today, particularly in the Houston metropolitan area.

Jeff Masters • 1:48 PM GMT on June 16, 2015

Dangerous Flood Potential in Texas, Oklahoma from Invest 91L

Residents of the Southern Plains need to keep a wary eye on tropical disturbance Invest 91L as it moves into the northwest Gulf of Mexico. The system could bring flooding rains to waterlogged parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Carlos has weakened off the southwest Mexico coast, but it could restrengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 3:46 PM GMT on June 15, 2015

91L a Heavy Rain Threat for Texas/Louisiana; Hurricane Carlos a Threat to Mexico

An area of low pressure over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (91L) has the potential to become a tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The disturbance was bringing a large area of intense thunderstorms to the Western Caribbean on Saturday afternoon, and this activity will move north to northwest towards Texas and Louisiana by Monday.

Jeff Masters • 4:48 PM GMT on June 13, 2015

A Close-Up Look at Last Week’s Perplexing Colorado Twisters

Early June is the most common time for tornadoes in Colorado, and last week served up a dramatic example. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center logged 13 preliminary tornado reports in Colorado on June 4 - 6. Two widely photographed twisters that seemed to bend the rules of tornado formation, both on June 4, caught the attention of national press and the blogosphere. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Carlos continues to churn in the Pacific Ocean, about 200 miles south of the Mexican coast.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 8:41 PM GMT on June 12, 2015

El Niño Continues to Ramp Up

The latest updates from NOAA and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirm that the El Niño event that began in earnest this spring continues to build. NOAA reports that sea-surface temperatures in the closely watched Niño3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific were 1.2°C above average last week, well into the range associated with moderate El Niño events (+1.0°C to +1.5°C).

Bob Henson • 8:31 PM GMT on June 11, 2015

Tropical Storm Carlos Forms South of Acapulco, Mexico

Tropical Storm Carlos spun into life Thursday morning in the Pacific Ocean, about 230 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico. With very warm waters of 86°F beneath it and wind shear a moderate 10 - 20 knots, Carlos appears destined to intensify into a hurricane by the weekend.

Jeff Masters • 3:29 PM GMT on June 11, 2015

The Climate 25: A Powerhouse Set of Interviews

What can you say about climate change in less than three minutes? Quite a bit, as it turns out. You can find out for yourself by sampling a group of thoughtful, provocative interviews being featured by The Weather Channel over the next month. Debuting today, “Climate 25” includes a stellar group of leaders from the military, academia, government, diplomacy, and other sectors of society.

Bob Henson • 3:00 PM GMT on June 10, 2015

May 2015: All-Time Wettest Month on Record for the U.S.

May 2015 for the contiguous U.S. was its wettest single month since records began in 1895, according to NOAA. With a 48-state average of 4.36”, last month beat out the 4.28” observed in June 1928 and the 4.24” from May 1957. Colorado had its wettest May on record, while Texas and Oklahoma had their wettest single month since records began.

Bob Henson • 11:16 AM GMT on June 09, 2015

India's 2nd Deadliest Heat Wave in History Ends as the Monsoon Arrives

The monsoon has arrived in India. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that the monsoon arrived on Friday, June 5 at the southern tip of the country. Although the monsoonal rains have not yet reached the province hardest hit by the heat wave--Andhra Prahesh in Southeast India--the atmospheric circulation associated with the monsoon has caused temperatures to drop significantly, ending the heat wave.

JeffMasters, • 6:38 PM GMT on June 08, 2015

Tropical Storm Blanca Hits Baja a Month Earlier Than Their Previous Earliest Landfall

Tropical Storm Blanca made landfall on the west side of Mexico's Baja Peninsula near 8 am EDT Monday June 8, 2015, with top winds near 45 mph. Blanca's landfall comes a month earlier than the previous earliest landfall on record for Baja, a strike by Tropical Storm Calvin on July 8, 1993.

Jeff Masters • 1:43 PM GMT on June 08, 2015

Category 1 Hurricane Blanca Losing Strength as it Heads Towards Baja Mexico

Hurricane Blanca, a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds at 11 am EDT Sunday, is steadily losing strength as it heads north-northwest at 12 mph towards Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Cooler waters and a drier surrounding air mass should continue to cause steady weakening, and Blanca should be a weak tropical storm when it makes landfall in Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Monday.

JeffMasters, • 3:18 PM GMT on June 07, 2015

Hurricane Blanca Regains Category 4 Status

Hurricane Blanca has accomplished the rare feat of reaching Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale for a second time after weakening to Category 1 level in between. Blanca continued plowing northwestward parallel to the Mexican coastline on Saturday morning after a dramatic burst of intensification overnight pushed its sustained winds to 130 mph.

Bob Henson • 4:23 PM GMT on June 06, 2015

Category 2 Hurricane Blanca Headed Towards Baja Mexico

Hurricane Blanca off the Pacific coast of Mexico has changed little since Thursday morning, when the storm weakened significantly from Category 4 strength to a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. Blanca will be over warm waters until Saturday afternoon, when it will hit cooler waters and a drier surrounding air mass. These conditions should lead to gradual weakening, and Blanca should be below hurricane strength when it makes landfall in Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Sunday night or Monday.

JeffMasters, • 3:17 PM GMT on June 05, 2015

Hurricanes Blanca and Andres Set Records For Early-Season Northeast Pacific Activity

Hurricane Blanca put on a furious display of rapid intensification this week, going from a tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Tuesday morning to a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds on Wednesday morning--a remarkable 65 mph increase in winds in 24 hours, an intensification rate that is rarely seen.

Jeff Masters • 3:38 PM GMT on June 04, 2015

Yangtze Cruise-Ship Disaster: Among the Worst Thunderstorm Tolls on Record?

A picturesque vacation for hundreds of Chinese tourists turned into a nightmare on June 1, when high winds associated with an intense thunderstorm capsized the Oriental Star cruise ship in 50-foot-deep water on the Yangtze River in Hubei Province, southwest of Wuhan, at around 9:30 pm local time. As of Tuesday afternoon, only 14 people had been rescued from about 450 reportedly on board, most of them retirees on a multiday scenic cruise from Nanjing to Chongqing.

Bob Henson • 3:42 PM GMT on June 03, 2015

The Amazing Rains of May: Photos and Stats

Now that May has mercifully drawn to a close, and the south-central states are drying out and cleaning up, we can take full measure of what an incredibly, destructively soggy month it was, especially for Texas and Oklahoma. Both states obliterated their rainfall records for any calendar month going back to 1895. The flooding killed at least 31 people, with 6 others missing as of Monday night, and inflicted tens of millions of dollars in damage.

Bob Henson • 2:35 PM GMT on June 02, 2015

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Begins; New CSU, TSR Forecasts Call For a Quiet Season

The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway, and there are indications that the second tropical depression of the year has a chance to form late this week in the waters near South Florida or the Bahama Islands on Friday or Saturday.

Jeff Masters • 2:34 PM GMT on June 01, 2015

Andres Becomes the Farthest West Major Hurricane on Record for May in the NE Pacific

Hurricane Andres became only the fifth major May hurricane on record in the Northeast Pacific on Sunday, when it intensified into a 125 mph Category 3 storm in the waters about 800 miles southwest of the tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Andres' emergence as a major hurricane at longitude 118.8°W marks the farthest west a major hurricane has been in the Northeast Pacific in May in the 45 years since accurate satellite records began in 1970

Jeff Masters • 2:57 AM GMT on June 01, 2015