Confirmed: 2016 the Warmest Year in History of Global Recordkeeping

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, 4:28 PM GMT on January 18, 2017

For the third year in a row, Earth has experienced the warmest surface temperatures in global data extending back to 1880. In its annual climate summary released on Wednesday, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) calculated that the average global temperature across both land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th-century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This made 2016 the warmest calendar year on record, coming in 0....

Climate Summaries

Updated: 3:08 AM GMT on January 19, 2017

A Swarm of 30 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Socked the Planet in 2016

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, 5:41 PM GMT on January 17, 2017

Earth had a tough year for billion-dollar weather-related natural disasters in 2016, with 30. This is the fourth-largest number on record going back to 1990, said insurance broker Aon Benfield in their Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report issued January 17. The average from 1990 - 2016 was 22 billion-dollar weather disasters; the highest number since 1990 was 41, in 2013. The combined economic losses from all 315 weather and earthquake disasters catalogued ...

Climate Summaries

Updated: 8:10 PM GMT on January 17, 2017

From Freezing Rain to Giant Hail, Great Plains Endure An Icy Weekend

By: Bob Henson, 4:47 PM GMT on January 16, 2017

Freezing rain materialized as expected during the weekend over a large swath of the central U.S., from Texas to Illinois. The ice has been widespread and prolonged, yet the ingredients haven’t come together as they could have for an truly catastrophic ice storm. Temperatures have been borderline--near or just below freezing over large parts of the affected area--and in many cases the ground was still warm enough to help keep surface ice to a minimum. Rainfall wasn...

Winter Weather Severe Weather

Updated: 5:14 PM GMT on January 16, 2017

Icy Weekend for Central Plains; La Niña’s Days Are Numbered

By: Bob Henson, 5:33 PM GMT on January 13, 2017

Near-record levels of moisture for January will be flowing toward the Central Plains this weekend atop a paper-thin cold air mass at the surface--a classic set-up for widespread freezing rain. Ice storm warnings were in place Friday morning along a strip from northwest Oklahoma to southwest Illinois. These warnings indicate that enough freezing rain is expected in the next 12 to 36 hours (typically 1/4” to 1/2”, depending on location) to cause significant proble...

Winter Weather El Niño La Niña

Updated: 10:22 PM GMT on January 13, 2017

As Earth Warms Up, The Sun Is Remarkably Quiet

By: Bob Henson, 8:09 PM GMT on January 11, 2017

If you’re looking toward the sun to help explain this decade’s record global heat on Earth, look again. Solar activity has been below average for more than a decade, and the pattern appears set to continue, according to several top solar researchers. Solar Cycle 24, the one that will wrap up in the late 2010s, was the least active in more than a century. We now have outlooks for Cycle 25, the one that will prevail during the 2020s, and they’re calling for a cy...

Space Weather Climate Change

Updated: 6:58 PM GMT on January 12, 2017

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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Storm on the Amalfi Coast
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Snow on the trail to Vesuvius
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