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2015 February

Crunch Time Ahead for California Drought Relief

Californians are watching anxiously to see if a “Miracle March” or “Awesome April” salvages the worst snowpack season on record thus far in parts of the Sierra Nevada. In many ways this winter resembles 2013-14, when the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” just offshore steered wet systems well north of California.

Bob Henson • 6:25 PM GMT on February 27, 2015

Memorable Snowfall Hits Deep South, Skirts Big Cities

A quick-moving snowstorm zipped from northeast Texas to southern Virginia in little more than 24 hours, leaving some parts of the Deep South with more snow than they’ve seen in decades. The transition snow between snow and little-to-no snow happened to fall across or near some of the largest cities of the South, which led to tough forecast challenges,

Bob Henson • 6:48 PM GMT on February 26, 2015

Are We Entering a New Period of Rapid Global Warming?

Residents of New England may understandably look back at 2015 as the year of their never-ending winter. For the planet as a whole, though, this year could stand out most for putting to rest the “hiatus”— the 15-year slowdown in atmospheric warming that gained intense scrutiny by pundits, scientists, and the public. The slowdown was preceded by almost 20 years of dramatic global temperature rise, and there are signs that another decade-plus period of intensified warming may be at our doorstep.

Bob Henson • 5:04 PM GMT on February 24, 2015

Reviewing Last Week's Remarkable Cold Wave

Snow and ice continue to plague parts of the South and Atlantic: significant sleet and freezing rain are possible today from northeast Texas into Mississippi. Another round of wintry precipitation is likely midweek across parts of the mid-South, with the focus beginning to shift westward in a long-awaited pattern change by next weekend. Apart from these events--and the record snow burying most of New England--it’s the cold that’s made its mark on the eastern United States this winter.

Bob Henson • 4:53 PM GMT on February 23, 2015

A Nation Divided: Heat and Cold Records Split the U.S.

This winter’s persistent U.S. gap between western warmth and eastern cold grew into a chasm this week. While unseasonable, unsettling mildness continues to bathe much of the West, one of the strongest February cold outbreaks in U.S. weather history--perhaps the worst and most widespread for so late in the winter--has taken hold from the Mississippi Valley eastward.

Bob Henson • 5:50 PM GMT on February 20, 2015

Second Warmest January on Record Globally

January 2015 was the second warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Thursday. NASA also rated January 2015 as the 2nd warmest January on record, behind January 2007, which had the warmest departure from average of any month in recorded history. January 2015's near-record warmth continues a trend of very warm months for the planet

JeffMasters, • 5:53 PM GMT on February 19, 2015

Weather Underground Debuts Its Newest App: Storm

Fans of the widely-used Weather Underground app have cause to celebrate with today's release of the full-featured Storm app. The initial iOS release is downloadable free for iPhone and iPad through the App Store. Produced in a collaboration between WU and Intellicast, Storm builds on the usefulness and clean design of the main WU app, and the data and forecasting strengths of the two partners, to provide an array of new features designed with storm trackers and weather enthusiasts in mind.

Bob Henson • 8:50 PM GMT on February 18, 2015

Intense New England Hurricanes Much More Numerous 340 to 1800 Years Ago

Numerous Category 3 and 4 hurricanes frequently pounded New England during the first millennium, from the peak of the Roman Empire into the height of the Middle Ages, according to a new study. Lead author Jeff Donnelly said, “We hope this study broadens our sense of what is possible and what we should expect in a warmer climate. We may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so rather than every 100 or 200 years.”

Jeff Masters • 6:43 PM GMT on February 17, 2015

Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic Brace for Heavy Snow, Sleet, and Ice

A record-setting intrusion of Arctic air blasted through the eastern U.S. over the weekend, setting the stage for a bitter week that will remind many of the infamous cold stretch of January 2014. The biggest concern today and Tuesday is snow from southern Missouri to the Washington, D.C., area, with sleet and freezing rain extending from Arkansas to Virginia.

Bob Henson • 4:34 PM GMT on February 16, 2015

Coldest Day in Years On Tap for Ohio, New York

The extreme contrast in pressure between an Arctic high and the next powerful nor’easter off the New England coast will fuel an expansive area of howling northwest winds and dangerous cold, with blizzard conditions expected from Massachusetts to Maine.

Bob Henson • 4:28 PM GMT on February 13, 2015

Atmospheric Struggles to Avoid Snowing in Massachusetts

Even the quiet days in between big storms are producing snowflakes during the amazing siege of winter weather that’s brought parts of eastern New England to a near-standstill. Upper levels across North America remain locked in a pattern that supports more nor’easters, with the polar jet stream diving southward from Canada across the Midwest, then arcing across New England.

Bob Henson • 4:39 PM GMT on February 12, 2015

Typhoon Higos Makes History in NW Pacific; Heavy Snow, Floods Pummel Southern Europe

With an unexpected burst of intensification on February 9, Typhoon Higos became the strongest tropical cyclone on record for so early in the year in the Northern Hemisphere. And while New England has been dealing with a spectacular onslaught of snow over the past week, southern Europe has gotten its own high-impact weather.

Bob Henson • 3:50 PM GMT on February 11, 2015

Snow-Gripped in New England, Wet in the West, and Toasty in Between

The pincers of a warm-west/cold-east pattern took hold of the nation once again this weekend, and the contrast should only intensify over the next few days. The most dangerous weather unfolded across the far West to Northwest--with high wind and heavy rain--and over New York and New England, where the latest in a procession of winter storms is adding to snowfall accumulations measured in feet, not inches.

Bob Henson • 3:44 PM GMT on February 09, 2015

Carbon Dioxide, Congress, and the President -- 50 Years Ago

The human-induced rise in greenhouse gases typically heats up the room when it’s discussed on Capitol Hill. Yet the issue scarcely gained notice when it was brought to the attention of Congress by President Lyndon Johnson a half-century ago this weekend.

Bob Henson • 4:32 PM GMT on February 07, 2015

Powerful Atmospheric River Set to Blast the U.S. West Coast

From San Francisco to Seattle, millions are watching and waiting for the arrival of 2015’s first major atmospheric river event. Multiple periods of heavy rain are on tap into the weekend for much of northern California, western Oregon, and western Washington.

Bob Henson • 12:01 AM GMT on February 06, 2015

Put Your Weather Enthusiasm on Display with a WunderPoster

Today marks the debut of Weather Underground's WunderPoster series, produced as part of our 20th anniversary. Each Thursday from now through the end of April, you’ll find a new poster on the WunderPosters home page, each on a different weather event. All posters are downloadable for printing at sizes up to 8" x 10".

Bob Henson • 5:13 PM GMT on February 05, 2015

Atmospheric River Heads for California as a Massive Field Study Gears Up

Relief is on the way for drought-stricken parts of the U.S. West later this week, as an intense atmospheric river (AR) takes aim. This ribbon of deep moisture and strong wind will move onshore by Thursday night, kicking off a multiday series of downpours. The impending AR will likely be the most intensely observed in weather history, thanks to an armada of instruments deployed for a two-month interagency study.

Bob Henson • 6:30 PM GMT on February 03, 2015

Groundhog Says: 6 More Weeks of Winter; Top-Five Snowstorm Belts Chicago, Detroit

The skies cleared briefly at sunrise on Monday morning in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia, allowing Punxsutawny Phil to see his shadow and predict 6 more weeks of winter. Meanwhile, a classic mid-winter snowstorm on Sunday and Monday brought Chicago its fifth heaviest snow on record--19.3", and Detroit, its third heaviest snowfall--16.7".

Jeff Masters • 1:45 PM GMT on February 02, 2015