WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

2016 December

Looking Ahead to 2017: What to Watch For, Weather- and Climate-Wise

What weather can we expect as we roll into 2017? Better odds of El Niño than La Niña, but a neutral Pacific still favored; a wide range of possibilities for Atlantic hurricane action; more tornadoes and tornado deaths in 2017 than 2016; a very warm year globally, but likely short of a record; and another new peak in global carbon dioxide.

Bob Henson • 1:51 PM GMT on December 30, 2016

Top Ten Tropical Cyclone Events of 2016 Potentially Influenced by Climate Change

Tropical cyclones—which include all hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms and tropical depressions—are expected to change in intensity, frequency, location, and seasonality as a result of climate change. Many of the tropical cyclones of 2016 exhibited the type of behavior we expect to see more of due to global warming. I present a “top ten” list of 2016 tropical cyclone events of the type we should expect to see more of due to global warming.

Jeff Masters • 4:19 PM GMT on December 27, 2016

Nightmare on Christmas: Super Typhoon Nock-Ten Pounds the Philippines

Super Typhoon Nock-Ten struck the Philippines on Christmas Day as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, making it the strongest landfalling typhoon on record anywhere in the Northwest Pacific so late in the year. Only two non-landfalling typhoons have been as strong as Nock-Ten so late in the year.

Jeff Masters • 5:09 PM GMT on December 26, 2016

Super Typhoon Nock-Ten Heads for a Christmas Day Landfall in the Philippines

Typhoon warnings are flying in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Nock-Ten steams westwards at 8 mph towards the Philippine island of Catanduanes. Nock-Ten is expected to make landfall there on Christmas Day as a major Category 3 or 4 storm, then continue westwards, gradually weakening due to land interaction, passing very close to the capital of Manila on Luzon Island the day after Christmas as a Category 1 storm.

Jeff Masters • 6:24 PM GMT on December 24, 2016

A Christmas Day Typhoon Headed for the Philippines

Celebrations of Christmas Day in the Philippines this year will have to occur amid emergency declarations as Typhoon Nock-ten puts a huge lump of coal into the stockings of residents of the main Philippine Island of Luzon. Satellite loops on Friday afternoon showed that Nock-ten was undergoing rapid intensification, and intensification into a Category 4 storm by Sunday appears likely.

Jeff Masters • 6:31 PM GMT on December 23, 2016

Betting on a White Christmas, U.K.-Style

In the United Kingdom, where people can bet on weather events, betting on a white Christmas is a longtime tradition. It looks as if December 25 will be mild and non-white in London, while the U.S. will see snow cover mainly in climatologically favored areas, such as the mountainous West, Upper Midwest, and interior Northeast.

Bob Henson • 5:30 PM GMT on December 21, 2016

Earth on Pace For Its Warmest Year on Record After a 5th Warmest November

November 2016 was Earth's fifth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA. NASA reported that November 2016 was the second warmest November in its database, behind November 2015. It is almost certain that 2016 will end up as the warmest year on record for the planet, giving Earth three consecutive warmest years on record.

Jeff Masters • 8:18 PM GMT on December 19, 2016

Cold Wave Crescendos with a Frigid Weekend

One of the sharpest cold fronts in recent years tore across the central and eastern U.S. this past weekend, leaving millions of Americans shivering in its wake. Packing wind chills below -50°F at times, the cold punch was a fitting climax to more than a week of off-and-on chill over large parts of the northern U.S.

Bob Henson • 2:36 PM GMT on December 19, 2016

A Close-Up Look at Southwestern Haiti, Post-Hurricane Matthew

Today's guest post is by Dr. Andrew Kennedy and Dr. Tracy Kijewski-Correa, associate professors in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. From November 17 to 25, a reconnaissance team led by Kijewski-Correa visited the most-affected regions and evaluated Matthew’s effects on buildings, infrastructure, and the people of Haiti. Below, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Kijewski-Correa give us a preliminary account of their trip, which took them to areas seen by relatively few outside observers since the hurricane.

Andrew Kennedy and Tracy Kijewski-Correa • 3:53 PM GMT on December 16, 2016

Non-Historic, High-Awareness Winter Weather Grips U.S.

Several lobes of low pressure in the middle atmosphere, beneath the stratospheric polar vortex, have been swinging across the Midwest and Northeast U.S. These lobes are pushing large masses of Arctic surface air southward across the bulk of the nation in a series of pulses, with only limited relief in between. Even the worst of the cold doesn’t look like it will be truly historic at ground level. Still, some places will see their most frigid December conditions in several years.

Bob Henson • 8:32 PM GMT on December 14, 2016

Hundreds of Scientists Rally in San Francisco to Stand Up For Science

Over 26,000 earth scientists are gathered this week in San Francisco for the annual meeting of The American Geophysical Union—the world’s largest conference on climate change. During the noon lunch break on Tuesday, hundreds of scientists from the meeting were joined by hundreds more concerned citizens from the Bay Area in a “Stand Up For Science” rally.

Jeff Masters • 3:46 PM GMT on December 14, 2016

2016 Holiday Shopping Guide for the Weather Enthusiast

Hunting for that special something for a budding meteorologist or a lifelong weather enthusiast? You can’t go wrong with an atmosphere-related gift. Here is the 2016 installment of our traditional holiday shopping guide.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 5:26 PM GMT on December 12, 2016

Autumn 2016: Warmest in U.S. Weather History

The autumn of 2016 was the warmest ever observed in records going back to 1895 for the 48 contiguous U.S. states, according to data released Wednesday by NOAA. The nation’s average September-to-November temperature of 57.63°F was a full 1.05°F above the previous autumn record, set way back in 1963. November was especially noteworthy, as daily record highs outpaced daily record lows by an unprecedented ratio of more than 48 to 1.

Bob Henson • 6:10 PM GMT on December 07, 2016

Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Reports

With just three years left to go, it’s virtually certain that the 2010s will be warmer than any decade on record, barring a massive volcanic eruption. As greenhouse gases produced by human activity continue to build up in the atmosphere, it’s also a very good bet--again barring a volcanic or geopolitical cataclysm--that the 2020s will be warmer than the 2010s. A recent high-profile article gave a far different impression of the outlook for Earth's climate.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 2:52 PM GMT on December 06, 2016

U.S. Weather Returns to Its Climatological Senses, and Then Some

After a markedly mild November marked by thousands of daily record highs and less than 100 record daily lows (more on that in our upcoming monthly roundup), it will feel much more like December across the bulk of the contiguous U.S. over the next couple of weeks. Some locations may see their coldest weather in years as a series of Arctic high pressure cells swings through western Canada and southward across all but the Desert Southwest.

Bob Henson • 3:44 PM GMT on December 05, 2016

More Tornadoes in the Biggest U.S. Outbreaks--for an Unexpected Reason

The largest U.S. tornado outbreaks have been spitting out an ever-increasing number of twisters, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The new paper, led by Michael Tippett (Columbia University), reinforces prior work showing that U.S. twisters are increasingly concentrated in big outbreaks, with the quiet periods becoming even quieter. Tippett and colleagues also threw in a noteworthy curve ball: the tornadoes in big outbreaks are becoming more numerous for an unexpected reason.

Bob Henson • 5:40 PM GMT on December 02, 2016