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2014 March

IPCC: Climate Change Increasing Risk of Hunger, Thirst, Disease, Refugees, and War

Climate change is already having "widespread impacts", and has the potential to worsen global hunger, water availability, disease, drought, flooding, refugees, and war in the coming decades if we do nothing to reduce it, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today, in the latest installment of their once-every-seven-year report on the climate.

JeffMasters, • 11:42 AM GMT on March 31, 2014

Dangerous Category 4 Hellen Nears Madagascar

Extremely dangerous Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Hellen is bearing down on Madagascar after an extraordinary burst of rapid intensification brought the cyclone from a 60 mph tropical storm to a high-end Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds in just 24 hours. That is not far below the record intensification rate of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which was 110 mph in 24 hours.

JeffMasters, • 9:14 PM GMT on March 30, 2014

Can Cloud Seeding Help Ease California's Drought?

The California rainy season is bringing one final blast of moisture to the drought-parched state over the coming week. Strong low pressure systems will bring mountain snows and valley rains to most of the northern half of the state on Saturday and again on Monday, and widespread precipitation amounts of 4+ inches are likely. A Winter Storm Watch is posted for the Sierras, where snowfall amounts of 1 - 2 feet are expected over the weekend.

JeffMasters, • 3:37 PM GMT on March 28, 2014

Mighty 955 mb Nor'easter Pounds Canadian Maritime Provinces

The strongest Nor'easter of 2014 blasted Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Wednesday with wind gusts over 100 mph and up to a half meter (19.5") of snow, bringing travel to a standstill and causing power outages that affected about 17,000 customers in Nova Scotia. The mighty storm intensified rapidly on Wednesday afternoon, "bombing" to a central pressure by 2pm EDT of 955 mb--similar to the central pressure of a Category 3 hurricane.

JeffMasters, • 12:50 PM GMT on March 27, 2014

Washington Landslide Death Toll Grows to 14

The death toll has grown to fourteen from Saturday's massive landslide near Oro, Washington, located about 50 miles north-northeast of Seattle. At least seven were injured, and 176 are listed as missing, though this total is likely to decrease dramatically as missing people check in. The landslide was triggered by unusually heavy rains over the past 30 days in the region. A personal weather station located about ten miles west of the slide recorded 13.81" of precipitation in the 30 days prior to the slide.

JeffMasters, • 2:03 PM GMT on March 25, 2014

Meteorological Bomb Brewing for Canada on Wednesday

The most powerful Nor'easter of the year will gather strength over the waters offshore of Virginia on Tuesday, then head northeast and bring damaging winds, heavy rain and snow, and a substantial storm surge to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Canada on Wednesday. The storm will brush Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vinyard, Massachusetts on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, bringing at least six inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

JeffMasters, • 2:25 PM GMT on March 24, 2014

U.S. Spring Flood Forecast: No Widespread Major Flooding Expected

Though the calendar says it's spring, the latest 10-day forecast calls for winter-like weather over the snow-covered northern tier of states in the U.S. through March 26, followed by a slow warm-up. No heavy rainfall events capable of triggering widespread major flooding are predicted through the end of March. A shift to a less winter-like pattern is in the offing for the first week of April, when the flood risk will rise.

JeffMasters, • 3:11 PM GMT on March 21, 2014

February 2014: Earth's 21st Warmest February on Record

February 2014 was the globe's 21st warmest February since records began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), and 17th warmest, according to NASA. Relative to average, February 2014 was Earth's coolest month in two years. February 2014 global land temperatures were the 44th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 7th warmest on record.

JeffMasters, • 3:36 PM GMT on March 20, 2014

California's Rainy Season Almost Over

The California rainy season is close to its end. Rain-bearing low pressure systems typically stop bringing heavy rains to the state by mid-April, as the jet stream shifts to the north in its usual springtime migration. With no rain in the forecast for the next seven days, and the 16-day GFS forecast showing mostly light rains affecting the northern portion of the state 8 - 16 days from now, California has likely seen at least 90% of the precipitation that it’s going to get this anemic rainy season.

JeffMasters, • 3:12 PM GMT on March 18, 2014

WeatherSTEM: Innovative Software for Personal Weather Stations in Schools

WeatherSTEM is software to integrate data collected by Weather Underground-connected Davis Personal Weather Stations (PWSs) with curriculum in schools. It’s cool how the software lets you easily put the data from your PWS into social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Twilio.

JeffMasters, • 2:32 PM GMT on March 17, 2014

Winter of 2013 - 2014: Top-10 Coldest in Midwest; Warmest on Record in California

The winter of 2013 - 2014 will go down in the history books in the Midwest U.S. as a top-ten coldest winter on record, but ranked as the warmest winter on record in California. Temperatures averaged over December 2013 - February 2014 in the contiguous U.S. made it our 37th coolest winter since records began in 1895. The last winter that was colder was 2009 - 2010, which ranked 15th coolest.

JeffMasters, • 12:19 PM GMT on March 14, 2014

Snowiest Winter on Record in Portions of Michigan and Ohio

The relentless winter of 2013 - 2014 continues to add to its extraordinary resume over the Eastern U.S., where yet another near-record cold blast is underway. Temperatures on Thursday will be 10 - 25° below normal over the eastern 1/3 of the country. In Toledo, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wednesday's dumping of 6.7 - 7" of snow made the winter of 2013 - 2014 the snowiest on record at both cities.

JeffMasters, • 1:40 PM GMT on March 13, 2014

Save the Keeling Curve!

Climate change's most iconic research project is in danger--a victim of budget cuts in an era of increased government belt-tightening. The Keeling Curve is a measurement of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, begun in 1958 by Dr. Charles Keeling. It is the longest-running such measurement in the world. The curve was instrumental in showing how human emissions of carbon dioxide were steadily accumulating in Earth's atmosphere.

JeffMasters, • 2:13 PM GMT on March 11, 2014

Great Lakes Ice Cover Peaks at 2nd Highest Level on Record

This winter's severe cold over the Great Lakes--Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario--froze a near-record amount of ice this year. Ice coverage peaked at 92.2% on March 6, the 2nd highest ice cover on record, according to NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). Dating back to 1977, only February 1979 (94.7% peak) had a greater ice coverage.

JeffMasters, • 2:35 PM GMT on March 10, 2014

NOAA Issues El Niño Watch

NOAA has issued an El Niño Watch for the summer and fall of 2014, giving a 50% chance that an El Niño event will occur. The March 6 El Niño discussion from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center noted that "While all models predict warming in the tropical Pacific, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether El Niño will develop during the summer or fall. If westerly winds continue to emerge in the western equatorial Pacific, the development of El Niño would become more likely.

JeffMasters, • 2:58 PM GMT on March 06, 2014

Record Cold in a Warming World

An impressive blast of Arctic air has toppled more records for all-time March cold over the Eastern U.S., in the wake of the major snowstorm that brought 4 - 8" of snow from Missouri to Maryland. This week's impressive cold blast brings up the question: How can a planet undergoing "global warming" experience record cold?

JeffMasters, • 2:58 PM GMT on March 04, 2014

March Like a Lion: Record Cold in Midwest, Heavy Snow in Mid-Atlantic

March is roaring in like a lion over most of the U.S., where a sprawling winter storm has brought significant snows and freezing rain to over 100 million people over past two days, from Texas to New Jersey. Snows of 4 - 8" are expected Monday along a swath from Washington DC through Baltimore and into Southern New Jersey. Behind the storm is a renewed blast of Arctic air, which on Monday morning brought the coldest temperatures ever measured so late in the year to portions of at least 4 states.

JeffMasters, • 4:01 PM GMT on March 03, 2014