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2015 April

California Rainy Season Ending; January-April rain in San Francisco Lowest on Record

The fourth consecutive severely dry California rainy season is drawing to a close, and California has likely seen over 95% of the precipitation that it’s going to get this anemic rainy season. The January-April precipitation total in San Francisco was 2.89”--easily the lowest on record.

Jeff Masters • 2:44 PM GMT on April 30, 2015

Air Pollution and Dust Credited With Weakening Hurricanes Irene and Katrina

Hurricane Irene of August 2011 was predicted to hit North Carolina as a Cat 3, but hit as a Cat 1. New research gives partial credit for Irene’s unexpected weakening to dust and air pollution sucked in by the storm. These particles (collectively called aerosols) invigorated the outer spiral bands and outer eyewall, and kept the outer portions of the storm strong at the expense of the inner core.

Jeff Masters • 1:30 PM GMT on April 28, 2015

Massive Tornadic Storm Just Misses Dallas; Extreme Heat in South Florida, Cuba

Near-record atmospheric moisture for late April teamed up with an extremely strong jet stream to produce a fearsome night of severe weather over north Texas, mainly south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Fort Lauderdale International Airport broke its all-time April heat record with 96°F, while Miami tied its April record with the same reading.

Bob Henson • 12:09 PM GMT on April 27, 2015

Updated Flagship WU App for All iOS Platforms, including Apple Watch

The flagship WU app, recently upgraded, is available for Apple Watch, which debuts today. More severe weather is threatening the southern Plains, and a unique climate odyssey is setting sail in June.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 2:47 PM GMT on April 24, 2015

Earth Day Updrafts: Supercell in Texas, Volcano in Chile

A spectacular supercell thunderstorm over the Texas Panhandle on Wednesday afternoon morphed into a sprawling complex that moved across North Texas overnight with strong winds, heavy rain, and hail. Meanwhile, Chile's Calbuco volcano sprang to life with a dramatic eruption on Wednesday that spewed ash more than 10 kilometers high.

Bob Henson • 4:43 PM GMT on April 23, 2015

A positive spin on Earth Day from WU

We’re highlighting a wide range of these good-news stories in a special WU microsite created in honor of Earth Day. The theme is progress: through a collection of articles by researchers, field experts, and scientists, the microsite outlines the current state of our climate, how humans can adapt in coming years, and the various ways that we can minimize the damage to our planet's precious ecosystem.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 1:57 PM GMT on April 22, 2015

The Story Behind That Quadruple Rainbow

Social media lit up on Tuesday as a stunning photo of what appears to be a quadruple rainbow made the rounds. The image may actually involved reflections of rainbows, a different phenomenon from a true quadruple rainbow.

Bob Henson • 8:40 PM GMT on April 21, 2015

Carbon Dioxide Hits a New Peak this Spring: 404 ppm

Weekly carbon dioxide measurements from the pristine air atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa have just topped another predictable yet worrisome milestone: 404 parts per million. By all evidence, we now have the largest amount of CO2 present in Earth’s atmosphere for at least the last 800,000 years, and probably several million.

Bob Henson • 2:08 PM GMT on April 21, 2015

Isis, Odile Removed from Northeast Pacific Tropical Cyclone List

The Northeast Pacific list of hurricane names got a shake-up on Friday, when the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) voted to remove the name "Isis" because of its potential confusion with the Islamic militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS). In addition, the name "Odile" was retired for the death and destruction Hurricane Odile caused in Baja, Mexico in September 2014.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 1:18 PM GMT on April 20, 2015

March 2015: Another Warmest Month on Record for the Planet

March 2015 was the warmest March since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA. March 2015's warmth makes the year to date period (January - March) the warmest such period on record, and the past twelve months the warmest twelve-month period in recorded history. Seven of the past eleven months (May, June, August, September, October, and December 2014, along with March 2015) have tied or set new record high monthly temperatures.

JeffMasters, • 4:15 PM GMT on April 17, 2015

CEOs Urging Action in 2015 on Global Climate

In an open letter released on Thursday evening, 43 chief executive officers from leading global companies called on governments around the world to take bold action at the pivotal UN climate meeting set for later this year.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 11:24 PM GMT on April 16, 2015

Dust and Deluge: Heavy Rain in Southeast, High Winds and Grit in Rockies, Plains

A series of drenching rains across much of the South this week is being fed by some of the richest atmospheric moisture on record for April, while heavy snow is headed for the Colorado high country. High wind, fire, and dust have been socking large parts of the western U.S. and Eurasia.

Bob Henson • 3:36 PM GMT on April 15, 2015

CSU Predicts a Quiet 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Due to Rising El Niño Odds

Another quiet Atlantic hurricane season is likely in 2015, said the hurricane forecasting team of Colorado State University (CSU) in their latest seasonal forecast issued April 9. They called for an Atlantic hurricane season with 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 intense hurricane, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 40.

Jeff Masters • 2:05 PM GMT on April 13, 2015

Tornadoes Rip Through Northern Illinois, Killing 2 and Injuring 20

America's worst severe weather outbreak so far in 2015 was Thursday, when a preliminary total of sixteen tornadoes touched down in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Many of the tornado reports came from a single long-lived supercell in northern Illinois, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago, that killed one and injured seven in Fairdale.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 1:28 PM GMT on April 10, 2015

Severe Weather Rumbles Eastward; Hail, Wind Widespread on Wednesday

Fast-moving thunderstorms were zipping across the Mississippi Valley on Thursday afternoon, as an upper-level storm accelerated through the region. The nation was spared major damage on Wednesday despite an extensive arc of severe weather from Texas to North Carolina

Bob Henson • 7:36 PM GMT on April 09, 2015

Significant Tornadoes Possible on Wed; Widespread Severe Weather Expected on Thursday

A batch of scattered but potent supercell thunderstorms, with a risk of significant tornadoes, should erupt late Wednesday afternoon and evening across parts of the central and southern Great Plains into the lower Missouri Valley. More severe weather is expected on Thursday as the upper low and associated frontal system accelerate northeast toward the Great Lakes.

Bob Henson • 5:45 PM GMT on April 08, 2015

200 Years Ago This Week: Tambora's Eruption Causes a Planet-Wide Climate Emergency

JeffMasters, • 5:33 PM GMT on April 07, 2015

Major Severe Weather Outbreak Possible This Week

The atmospheric ingredients are aligning for what could be intense severe weather this week, especially on Wednesday and Thursday. The major threats will include possibly tornadic supercells in Oklahoma and Kansas on Wednesday and severe storms spreading into the Mississippi Valley on Thursday.

Bob Henson • 4:13 PM GMT on April 06, 2015

A Rare Easter Typhoon for the Philippines; Chile Flood Toll: 107 Dead or Missing

Typhoon Maysak will be a rare and unwelcome Easter visitor this weekend in the Philippines' Luzon Island. The people of the Philippines are used to seeing tropical cyclones, but not during Easter! Only seven tropical storms or typhoons have hit Luzon between January and April since 1945, an average of one such storm every ten years.

JeffMasters, • 9:27 PM GMT on April 03, 2015

California’s Deepening Drought: Ten Things to Know

The April 1 survey of California's crucial Sierra snowpack found only about 5% of the usual water content for the date, compared to a previous record low of 25% in both 1977 and 2014. The report prompted the first-ever statewide mandatory water restrictions. What stands out most about the current drought situation and any prospect for relief?

Bob Henson • 4:54 PM GMT on April 02, 2015

Space Station Captures Spectacular Images of Typhoon Maysak

Category 4 Typhoon Maysak is headed west-northwest towards the Philippines, after pounding the islands of Yap State in Micronesia's Caroline Islands on Tuesday. At 2 pm EDT Wednesday Maysak's top sustained winds were 140 mph, and the central pressure was 935 mb. Maysak underwent an eyewall replacement cycle early on Wednesday, when the inner eyewall collapsed and was replaced by a larger-diameter eyewall that formed from a spiral band. This process weakened the storm's winds by 20 mph.

Jeff Masters • 9:22 PM GMT on April 01, 2015

Invest 92L Retired From List of Tropical Disturbances

JeffMasters, • 12:46 PM GMT on April 01, 2015