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It’s Time to Give Air Quality the Attention It Deserves

By: Bob Henson 3:20 PM GMT on March 22, 2017

Each day of every year, a quiet disaster unfolds in households and hospitals across the world. More than 10,000 lives are lost worldwide every 24 hours as a direct or indirect consequence of poor air quality. Bad air takes its toll quietly, with no need for the oversized drama of a hurricane or tornado. Sometimes air quality becomes so dangerous that it can’t be ignored. Much of the time, though, dangerous air goes about its dirty work with little attention from policymakers and the public.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has dubbed air pollution “the world’s largest single environmental health risk.” It is high time we treated the life-threatening aspects of dirty air, and the life-sustaining properties of a clean atmosphere, with the full appreciation they ought to have.


Figure 1. Los Angeles, CA, shrouded in late-afternoon smog as viewed from the Hollywood Hills. Griffith Observatory is at far left. Image credit: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

Here at Weather Underground, we are taking steps in this direction by bringing air quality sensors into our 250,000-strong network of personal weather stations. We believe there is great power in being able to measure the quality of the air in one’s own neighborhood and to share that information with the world at large.  

We are also ramping up our coverage of air pollution issues here at Category 6. Along with occasional guest authors, Jeff Masters and I will be exploring the many facets of air quality, including its effects on people and ecosystems and how it intersects with both weather and climate. For example, Jeff will soon be posting an overview of the health hazards posed by poor air quality. This topic was highlighted on March 6 by a distressing report from the World Health Organization: Each year, respiratory infections linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution and second-hand smoke take the lives of some 570,000 children under the age of 5. That’s roughly 10% of all deaths in that age group each year.


Figure 2. Schoolchildren in Delhi, India, wore masks as schools re-opened on November 10, 2016, after three days of closure due to severe smog. Image credit: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images.

For both children and adults, the air indoors can be just as dangerous as the air outdoors. Each year more than 4 million people die prematurely as a consequence of household air pollution—largely the result of inefficient, smoke-belching cookstoves that are used routinely in developing nations. This toll is even higher than the WHO’s estimate of 3 million premature deaths a year from outdoor air pollution.

Even the most pristine places can be touched by the global spread of air pollution. In Antarctica, scientists have found traces of lead trapped within ice cores. Using isotopes (variations in the number of neutrons within an element), researchers were able to track the heavy-metal pollution to industrial activity in Australia as far back as the late 1800s.

Today, as much as 25% of the sulfate and mercury pollution along the U.S. West Coast comes from emissions from coal-fired power plants in China. These pollutants take just five to eight days to cross the Pacific on the prevailing upper-level westerly winds.


Figure 3. Motorcyclists ride through thick smog on January 9, 2017, in Zhengzhou, China. The nation’s Central Meteorological Observatory issued a yellow alert for smog in Zhengzhou on Sunday night, January 8. Visibility dropped below 50 meters (160 feet) in parts of the city on Monday morning. Image credit: VCG/VCG via Getty Images.

What do we mean by clean air and dirty air?
Some pollutants are invisible and odorless, but you don’t always need highly precise instruments to tell you when the air is at its most polluted. Often you’ll see it, smell it, and even feel it in your lungs.

Observations do tell us a great deal about how air quality varies over time and across regions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tracks six substances known as criteria air pollutants, meaning that the EPA has established criteria (National Ambient Air Quality Standards) for the safe and unsafe levels of these airborne substances. The six criteria air pollutants are:

•  Ground-level ozone
•  Carbon monoxide
•  Sulfur dioxide
•  Particulate matter
•  Lead
•  Nitrogen dioxide


All of these are proven health hazards. In many cases, the U.S. has made real progress in reducing their impact. For example, the amount of airborne lead in the United States and other nations has dropped drastically since the 1970s with the advent of unleaded gasoline. This may even be a key factor in reduced crime rates since the 1990s.

The two biggest airborne health concerns these days are ground-level ozone and particulate matter—especially the tiny particles known as PM2.5 (those that are less than 2.5 microns or 0.0001 inch in diameter).

Ozone is a boon to health when it’s in the stratosphere, because it shields us from harmful ultraviolet solar radiation. The problem is when certain fossil-fuel emissions react in the presence of sunlight to form ozone where we live. High levels of atmospheric ozone can cause our respiratory muscles to contract, irritating our body’s airways and aggravating conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.
       
Particulates are even more insidious. Along with compromising the respiratory system, the tiniest particles (PM2.5) can also work their way into the bloodstream. This can elevate one’s risk for heart attacks and lead to a higher mortality risk among people with preexisting heart or lung problems.


Figure 4. Diagram showing the relative sizes of particulates compared with beach sand and human hair. Particles less than 2.5 microns (0.0001 inch) in diameter are the most dangerous. Image credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


New ways to track air quality through WU
Tracking the ups and downs of weather in your own neighborhood—through your own personal weather station or your neighbor’s PWS—has been a core part of WU since our earliest years. We’ve now embarked on a concerted effort to examine the growing options for consumer-level AQ measurement. One of our first goals is to find out which platforms offer the best mix of affordability and quality. As this process evolves, we’ll be sharing what we find so that our community can help build a new network of personal air quality stations.

We are also adding key air quality indexes to many of our “dashboard” pages, which summarize the data gathered at each personal weather station in our network. For example, we’ve recently added AQ data for around 1500 stations across North America that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow network. For each of these sites, the weather history graph now includes hourly levels of various criteria pollutants, depending on location (see example below).

AirNow stations are located in both large cities and more rural areas, including Minneapolis, MN; Provo, UT; and Washington, DC. AirNow stations vary in the types of meteorological and AQ data monitored.


Figure 5. Hourly measurements of PM10 (top, in micrograms per cubic meter) and ozone (bottom, in parts per billion) at station KCASACRA81 in downtown Sacramento, CA, on Friday, March 17, 2017.


When it comes to AQ forecasts, you can find an array of local health-related data and forecasts at the “Health” tab when you specify a city or town on WU’s desktop or mobile platforms (see example at bottom).

Watch this space
Between major cuts proposed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and limited public access to air pollution data in other countries, it is more clear than ever that we cannot take air quality information for granted. WU intends to do its part by expanding our international network of personal weather stations into the realm of air quality.

We'd greatly appreciate knowing what features you'd like as we develop tools for accessing, mapping, and displaying AQ data for both desktop and mobile platforms. Please leave any suggestions as a comment on this post and our developers will collect your input. Watch for more news on this initiative later in the spring.

Bob Henson



Figure 6. A variety of health-related features can be accessed when you select “Health” beneath a city name on WU’s city pages. This health dashboard for Atlanta, GA, on Tuesday afternoon, March 21, 2017, showed that air quality was rated “moderate” for PM2.5 and was predicted to remain moderate on Wednesday. Pollen counts were running high for pine, oak, and birch trees.

Air and Water Pollution Wunderground News

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 96. Some1Has2BtheRookie:

I have a daughter that lives in Casper, Wyoming. She is strongly considering renting out rooms at her home for $500/night during this event. Casper will be in a prime viewing area for this event.



April 8th 2024 total eclipse going over Texas, I'll be driving to Corsicana for that one
Thanks Mr. Henson; re-posting the portion of the article and charts from Science Mag from this am on the related issue:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/here -are-some-world-s-worst-cities-air-quality




Trying to get away from airborne ammonia? Don’t linger in Lagos or Delhi. If you’re bent on avoiding ozone, you might want to add Beijing, Karachi, and Los Angeles to your list. These are some of the cities with the world’s worst air quality, according to a new analysis of four major gasses associated with air pollution: ammonia, formic acid, methanol, and ozone. The findings could help scientists better understand how geography and other local conditions play a role in determining air quality.

“It is critical to better understand what is contributing to air pollution … to protect growing populations from negative public health impacts,” says Miriam Marlier, an environmental scientist at Columbia University not involved in the study.

Poor air quality can lead to a host of health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular disease. But measuring air quality is hard: Many cities—especially those in developing countries—lack the ground- and aircraft-based sensors and the trained personnel to repeatedly monitor conditions over large areas.
The team also found that levels of ozone, ammonia, methanol, and formic acid—higher levels of which are associated with poorer air quality—all increased above Mexico City every year between March and June. That’s prime time for burning cropland to clear it for planting. Data from their study supports a link. One extreme pollution event in early May 2013 coincided with fires burning to the southwest of the city. Lagos, which has far higher levels of all four gases than Mexico City, is a booming metropolis grappling with an unreliable electrical grid and limited options for waste disposal. “Anybody who can afford it has a diesel generator, which is extremely polluting,” Cady-Pereira says. “And people burn a lot of trash just to get rid of it.”


"We'd greatly appreciate knowing what features you'd like as we develop tools for accessing, mapping, and displaying AQ data for both desktop and mobile platforms. Please leave any suggestions as a comment on this post and our developers will collect your input. Watch for more news on this initiative later in the spring."

WU should partner up with Google Maps and have a check option to click on/off for PWS's across the globe along with AQ data attached to the stations. This would make the viewer aware of all this data and be more up to speed of our world. Most people are not aware of Wundermap
Good thing we're cutting the EPA by a third. We can't let these countries beat us! We will have the best air pollution! The biggest! Bigly! 'uge! We'll have more than India! More than Gina! We'll build a wall to keep it all in!

Make America Have Bronchogenic Carcinoma Again!
Here in downtown Houston I've noticed a new PWS literally right next to our building on Wundermap.
Thanks so much for the WU initiative on to link PWS air quality measures.

I really notice it on my commute -- when I'm riding in my neighborhood or along the river bike trails, the air is fine. But when I cross the beltway or a major highway, I feel like I can't take a deep breath.

And as I get older, long rides on roads with cars or diesel fumes gives me headaches. I really noticed that in Costa Rica on vacation this winter -- they have a lot of diesel engines and when the wind was stagnant, I would get headaches that would go away as soon as the air was fresher.
From the Guardian:

World Water Day: one in four children will live with water scarcity by 2040

Unicef report says climate change and conflict are intensifying risks to children of living without enough water, and that the poorest will suffer most


A Sudanese woman fills water bottles held by a young boy in North Darfur state. Within two decades 600 million children will be in regions enduring extreme water stress. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

One in four of the world’s children will be living in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040 as a result of climate change, the UN has warned.

Within two decades, 600 million children will be in regions enduring extreme water stress, with a great deal of competition for the available supply. The poorest and most disadvantaged will suffer most, according to research published by the children’s agency, Unicef, to mark World Water Day on Wednesday.

[...]

The report, Thirsting for a Future: Water and Children in a Changing Climate, looked at the threats to children’s lives and wellbeing caused by depleted sources of safe water and the ways in which climate change will intensify these risks.

[...]

Another report published on Wednesday warned that Iran is grappling with an unprecedented water crisis, and faces a greater threat from its environmental challenges than those arising from regional political issues or terrorism. The study, from London-based NGO Small Media, said that shortages could transform vast swaths of the country into near-uninhabitable areas in the coming decades.

“Iran is facing a water crisis that is unparallelled in its modern history. Lakes and rivers are dying, droughts are increasing in frequency, and even Iran’s deepest groundwater reserves are being sucked dry by Iran’s growing population and its thirsty agricultural sector,” the report said.

[...]

Across the world, the UN’s report says that 36 countries are facing extremely high levels of water stress, which occurs when demand far exceeds the renewable supply available. Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increased floods, droughts and melting ice affect the quality and availability of water, as do sanitation systems.

[...]

The NGO WaterAid published findings on Tuesday of how vulnerable rural communities’ struggles to access clean water were being compounded by extreme weather events and climate change.

[...]

WaterAid is calling on international and national leaders to deliver on promises to meet the sustainable development goals, including a goal to ensure access to safe water and sanitation.

Click here to read full article.
Thanks for the new entry which tackles a real problem.

WU as the emerging support for poor gutted EPA = "WUPA"? ;-)
Or "EPU"?
And re-posting the story on new research on China, pollution, and the potential Arctic relation.

And your comment with regard to Asian air pollution reaching the US downstream is spot on. The ocean currents carried some Fukushima tsunami debris all the way to the US West coast over time and prevailing winds do the same in terms of the West to East movement of the polar jet. I would hazard a guess that a lot of the glacial "darkening" soot in the Arctic regions, that helps with melt issues, probably has some origins from Asia as well.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/why- china-s-smog-so-bad-researchers-point-far-away-mel ting-arctic

In China, the winter of 2013 was an “airpocolypse.” A thick soup of harmful smog cloaked its biggest cities, contributing to at least 90,000 deaths and sickening hundreds of thousands more. Things haven’t gotten much better since then, even though the country has enacted tough new emissions controls. A new study may explain why. Melting sea ice and increasing snow across Siberia have altered large-scale weather patterns, replacing currents that used to ventilate China with stagnant air that lets pollution accumulate.

“The ventilation is getting worse,” says study author Yuhang Wang, an atmospheric scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. “We think climate change, as it is driving rapid warming of the Arctic, is having a large effect on pollution in China.”



If it is at all possible I suggest WU could try to encourage home weather station manufacturers to develop air quality monitor systems that can be added to existing stations or at least to existing Internet-based reporting systems. If I could plug an AQ monitor into the input to the unit that sends the weather station's data out over the Internet to WU, I would gladly add air quality monitoring to my existing station. Should not be hard to engineer.






National Hurricane Center director leaving for Weather Channel
Max Mayfield praises Dr. Rick Knabb, who is stepping down in May

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Posted: 11:04 AM, March 21, 2017


MIAMI - The director of the National Hurricane Center is leaving his post to take a job with The Weather Channel.

Dr. Rick Knabb and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made the announcement Tuesday. His last day with the National Hurricane Center is May 12. He will begin his new position in Atlanta on May 15.

"I will forever be grateful to the entire staff of talented public servants at the National Hurricane Center for their dedication, professionalism and teamwork," Knabb said in a statement. "They will continue to accomplish great things together with our many colleagues throughout the National Weather Service and NOAA, and with our diverse partners in emergency management, disaster safety, media, academia and the international community. I am moving on to a new and exciting opportunity that will not only allow me to spend less time traveling and more time at home with family, but extensive time in the studio at The Weather Channel focusing on hurricane and disaster safety communication that has become my greatest passion."

Knabb took over for Bill Read in 2012.

Before leading the National Hurricane Center, Knabb worked for The Weather Channel as a hurricane expert and tropical science program manager.

Knabb is the fourth director of the National Hurricane Center since Max Mayfield retired in January 2007. Mayfield now serves as hurricane specialist for Local 10 News.

"I remember very well when I hired Rick Knabb when I was the director of the National Hurricane Center," Mayfield told Local10.com. "It was one of the smartest things I ever did."

Mayfield said he often joked to others in the office about Knabb's innate knowledge of hurricanes.

"I would tell people, 'Be careful of that guy. He's going to be a boss someday,'" Mayfield recalled.

Mayfield said Knabb has "done a superb job" in his five years at the helm of the National Hurricane Center.

Knabb stayed busy during the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, the most active since 2012. There were 15 named storms, including seven hurricanes, four of which were Category 3 or higher.

Max Mayfield (left), hurricane specialist Richard Pasch and deputy director Ed Rappaport (right) chart the course for Tropical Storm Alberto at the National Hurricane Center on June 12, 2006. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Hurricane Hermine became the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

"The country has just been very well-served by Rick in that position," Mayfield said.

Knabb earned a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science from Purdue University and a master's degree in meteorology from Florida State University. He also earned a doctorate in meteorology from FSU.

Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, will serve as acting director until a permanent replacement is named. Rappaport has been with the National Hurricane Center since 1987.

Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.
Congratulations Mr. Knabb.................Go Noles..........
Nice to see WU getting proactive with this!

Once about thirty years ago, I was watching a group of kids playing in a park. One had a significant asthma problem that would strike only occasionally, but she had to carry a breathylizer (sp?). On this occasion someone was burning garbage behind their house, about 200 yards on. I could barely smell it, but she had an attack the instant the odor hit. The point of this is that some people are much more vulnerable to pollution than others, typically the very young, the old, and people dealing with other physical insults, especially regarding lungs and heart.
Quoting 6. bwi:

Thanks so much for the WU initiative on to link PWS air quality measures.

I really notice it on my commute -- when I'm riding in my neighborhood or along the river bike trails, the air is fine. But when I cross the beltway or a major highway, I feel like I can't take a deep breath.

And as I get older, long rides on roads with cars or diesel fumes gives me headaches. I really noticed that in Costa Rica on vacation this winter -- they have a lot of diesel engines and when the wind was stagnant, I would get headaches that would go away as soon as the air was fresher.


It will probably never get studied and exposed, but I personally believe that 'second hand auto exhaust' is every bit as pernicious as second hand tobacco smoke. Take a look at this study, linking 'road noise' to high blood pressure. Study links blood pressure risk to road noise Noise is pesky to be sure.... but sheesh! It seems so obvious to me. When I walk the dogs I avoid the busier streets not only for the relative danger and the noise, but the exhaust fumes really bother me, and can't be good for any of us. Where the wind isn't moving the air much those streets get pretty nasty.
Sympathies to London :'(
I don't have ( and refused!) a smart phone, and don't know their ins and outs, but I understand that there are apps available that can track air pollution (which amazes me... what the heck is IN those things?

Here's a link to one, for example Air pollution

Published by
GARVIS Solutions
Here we go! Mind you Nino 1&2 is already boiling hot. This will only add fuel to the fire for a significant El-Nino this year. I personally see 2015/2016, 1997/1998, and 1982/1983 as analogs to this event upcoming. Indian Ocean has seen a dramatic downward shift in sea surface temps in recent weeks. Should see a pretty stout sub surface warm pool materialize over the coming weeks.

Philip Klotzbach%u200FVerified account @philklotzbach

CFS hinting at a moderate westerly wind burst developing over the Central Pacific in early April. #elnino @carl_schreck




Quoting 1. RitaEvac:

Quoting 96. Some1Has2BtheRookie:

I have a daughter that lives in Casper, Wyoming. She is strongly considering renting out rooms at her home for $500/night during this event. Casper will be in a prime viewing area for this event.



April 8th 2024 total eclipse going over Texas, I'll be driving to Corsicana for that one


I have a brother that lives near Centerville. I will likely be making that trip to Corsicana as well. :) Let us hope for clear skies!
In New Ozone Alert, a Warning of Harm to Plants and People
Yale Environment 360 - October 2016.

Scientists are still trying to unravel the damaging effects of ground-level ozone on life on earth. But as the world warms, their concerns about the impact of this highly toxic, pollution-caused gas are growing.

Click for more.
Quoting 17. StormTrackerScott:

Here we go! Mind you Nino 1&2 is already boiling hot. This will only add fuel to the fire for a significant El-Nino this year. I personally see 2015/2016, 1997/1998, and 1982/1983 as analogs to this event upcoming. Indian Ocean has seen a dramatic downward shift in sea surface temps in recent weeks. Should see a pretty stout sub surface warm pool materialize over the coming weeks.

Philip Klotzbach%u200FVerified account @philklotzbach

CFS hinting at a moderate westerly wind burst developing over the Central Pacific in early April. #elnino @carl_schreck








Aaaaannnndddd....

There goes the 2017 hurricane season.

:-/
Great article. I found out you can build your own particulate monitor for about $30. A PMS-7003 particulate sensor costs about $25 and a ESP8266 dev board about $2. With the two you can monitor particulates in the air. One interesting thing I noticed from using it in my house is that cooking can greatly increase the pollution within your house. When cooking pancakes I saw levels as high as 260 ug/m3. For the EPA a concentration that high for 24 hours would be labeled hazardous. The question is do levels like that for shorter periods still cause issues for those with asthma or compromised lung/heart issues? I hope Weather Underground is able to figure out an inexpensive way for people to add pollution monitors to their PWS's.
Defang the EPA and start burning coal. Sounds like a Bejing style smog blanket for every major US city to me. Asthma, COPD, and Lung Cancer without the cigarettes.
Here is todays animated data of particulate matter for Florida.
Link

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has State, County and even single site data available. For more information for Florida Link

There are also animated maps for CO, CO2, O3, SO2 and other particulate matter.

For nationwide radiation monitoring: Link



Quoting 21. nash36:




Aaaaannnndddd....

There goes the 2017 hurricane season.

:-/


Yeah look at what happens in about 7 to 8 days from now. We begin to see the pressures across the Central Pacific really begin to lower. The actual SOI numbers will stay near neutral during this timeframe as there is forecast to be a small cycle ESE of Darwin skewing what is actual values. However the CPC and the BOM agency now also use the EQSOI which measure pressures near the Equator from 5N to 5S as opposed to 10N to 10S. We are going to see the EQSOI values plummet in several days. Those not expecting a big El-Nino really need to wake up as this event has already proven deadly in Peru with a all out catastrophe occurring across Western South America.

Euro Day 9


Quoting 23. janie534:

Defang the EPA and start burning coal. Sounds like a Bejing style smog blanket for every major US city to me. Asthma, COPD, and Lung Cancer without the cigarettes.


Those that wish to eliminate or to cripple the EPA must be absolutely clueless as to what the results of such a desire would lead to. Almost everyone here understands that environmental regulations save lives, reduces medical costs and helps to ensure jobs over the long run. I find it illogical to believe that doing away with environmental regulations would increase employment in this country. Companies do not hire new employees simply because they have the money on hand to do so. Companies hire when the market conditions press them to do so. Were companies to hire simply because they have the money to do so then profits would always be redirected to hiring new employees. We have not seen this happen in the past and we will not see this happening going forward. You can add to this that automation, robots and a budding AI industry are already replacing workers. This will become an even more pervasive practice going forward.

Allowing companies, or individuals, to pollute costs jobs and only the investors of companies that pollute will realize any profits from doing so. Even then these profits will be short lived because pollution comes back to haunt us all, eventually, with no exceptions.

How does air pollution remain just being air pollution? It doesn't. Particulates will settle back out of the air and into the water and onto the land. Water that we drink. Water that feeds industries. Water that creates tourism. Land that we farm. Land that we build on. Land that we play on. All of this is negatively impacted by air pollution. Air pollution does not drift off into outer space. Air pollution falls back down to the surface of the planet. ... Gravity sucks. Get use to this because it is not going away.

When we allow heavy industry to pollute it kills off other industries. The fishing industry, the tourist industry, and any other industry that requires clean air, clean water and clean land in order to prosper. Even the industries that are the worst offenders at polluting still need clean air, clean land and clean water in order to prosper. These offenders are slowly cutting their own throats, but not before they bleed dry everyone else. Those that do not understand would have to be the ones that are incapable of using any critical thinking skills.

An example
Quoting 20. 999Ai2016:

In New Ozone Alert, a Warning of Harm to Plants and People
Yale Environment 360 - October 2016.

Scientists are still trying to unravel the damaging effects of ground-level ozone on life on earth. But as the world warms, their concerns about the impact of this highly toxic, pollution-caused gas are growing.

Click for more.


Ground level ozone has been a known serious crop (and human) hazard in the midwest, northeast, and southeast, since I was in high school over four decades ago.

** update** upon reading the article it says as much. The title implying it's a newly discovered hazard is what set me off.. it's not new.
Not really goodbye, but I wanted to post something. One more will be posted later. In my whole life I never thought I could become attached to people whom I had never met. Why even my imaginary friend when I was young didn't talk to me. :)





Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code
Quoting 21. nash36:




Aaaaannnndddd....

There goes the 2017 hurricane season.

:-/


Just because the season wont be as active doesn't necessarily mean that it wont be bad.

My predictions are: 15-6-4 for the 2017 season. And one of those storms will go down in history.
Quoting 31. Famoguy1234:



Just because the season wont be as active doesn't necessarily mean that it wont be bad.

My predictions are: 15-6-4 for the 2017 season. And one of those storms will go down in history.



It's way too early to say it won't be active either. Course I have to get through what is likely to be an enhanced severe weather season in the Mid Atlantic this Spring.
Quoting 31. Famoguy1234:



Just because the season wont be as active doesn't necessarily mean that it wont be bad.

My predictions are: 15-6-4 for the 2017 season. And one of those storms will go down in history.



10 6 2 are my predictions
Quoting 30. Grothar:

Not really goodbye, but I wanted to post something. One more will be posted later. In my whole life I never thought I could become attached to people whom I had never met. Why even my imaginary friend when I was young didn't talk to me. :)





Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code


Surely you can get your employer to let you join only for WU on discus. You made blobs a real thing, you can do this too!
Thanks for the post on air quality. I hope there can be a post in the future that discusses synoptic scale and mesoscale meteorological conditions that are conducive to poor air quality. In particular, there might be interest in the met causes of extreme events. I like the health dashboard, but in some respects I think it is lacking in detail. Could you include data as well as indices--e.g., ozone in ppbv, PM2.5 in micrograms/m3, pollen in...whatever units you use for pollen?
honey! the water's boiling!

(big hail producers, yesterday courtesy goes 16)

Quoting 30. Grothar:

Not really goodbye, but I wanted to post something. One more will be posted later. In my whole life I never thought I could become attached to people whom I had never met. Why even my imaginary friend when I was young didn't talk to me. :)


Great friends never say goodbye. Great friends always find new opportunities to say, "Hello". You have always been a great friend to all of us here.

You had an imaginary friend that would not talk to you? Now I am jealous. My imaginary friend always disavowed me. :(
Quoting 4. Xyrus2000:

Good thing we're cutting the EPA by a third. We can't let these countries beat us! We will have the best air pollution! The biggest! Bigly! 'uge! We'll have more than India! More than Gina! We'll build a wall to keep it all in!

Make America Have Bronchogenic Carcinoma Again!


Time will tell.
Currently there are 87 countries with more air pollution than the U.S.
Link
There are a lot of countries just starting their industrial revolution. These countries will use the least expensive source of energy. To get these countries off fossil fuels, they need cheaper alternatives (without government subsidies).

Many of these developing countries burn animal manure for heat and energy. That produces terrible air pollution.
Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:



Time will tell.
Currently there are 87 countries with more air pollution than the U.S.
a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-rank ed-by-air-pollution/"
target="_blank">Link
There are a lot of countries just starting their industrial revolution. These countries will use the least expensive source of energy. To get these countries off fossil fuels, they need cheaper alternatives (without government subsidies).

Many of these developing countries burn animal manure for heat and energy. That produces terrible air pollution.


"To get these countries off fossil fuels, they need cheaper alternatives (without government subsidies)."
Why? Governments have to subsidize the impacts of health issues created by pollution and the cleanup that it takes to remove the pollution. Why not just subsidize the solution to these problems and come out ahead of the game? Does this require too much forward thinking?

Since you mentioned that 87 countries now have a greater problem with air pollution than does the U.S. are you saying that we should rush ahead to become #1? We quite likely were #1 before The Clean Air Act and The Clean Water Act and the founding of the EPA to enforce these Acts. Let me know when you have considered that you have had too much clean air, clean water and clean land and I will try to obtain a visa for you to one of those other countries.
My dear Grothar,

What will we do for blob alerts without you. We are not used to waiting for the NHC to tell us whether it is 'fake news" or a real threat.



Capital Weather Gang
Gulf of Mexico waters are freakishly warm, which could mean explosive springtime storms



Water temperatures at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and near South Florida are on fire. They spurred a historically warm winter from Houston to Miami and could fuel intense thunderstorms in the spring from the South to the Plains.

In the Gulf, the average sea surface temperature never fell below 73 degrees over the winter for the first time on record, reported Eric Berger of Ars Technica.

Galveston, Tex., has tied or broken an astonishing 33 record highs since Nov. 1, while neighboring Houston had its warmest winter on record. Both cities have witnessed precious few days with below-normal temperatures since late fall.


Average temperature rankings along the coast of the western Gulf of Mexico this winter. (Southeast Regional Climate Center)
More often than not, temperatures have averaged at least 10 degrees warmer than normal. “The consistency and persistence of the warmth was the defining element of this winter,” said Matt Lanza, a Houston-based meteorologist, who has closely tracked the region’s temperatures.

Warmer-than-normal weather is predicted to continue in Galveston and Houston, with afternoon temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees through the weekend (normal highs are in the mid-70s).

“A steamy Gulf has meant that any time winds blow out of the south, we’re not going to cool down that much overnight, and daytime temperatures can warm pretty quickly,” wrote Berger, who also pens the Houston weather blog Space City Weather.

To the south of Galveston and Houston, Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen all posted their warmest winters on record, by large margins. “Call it the ‘Usain Bolt’ of records: Leaving the others in the dust!” tweeted the National Weather Service forecast office in Brownsville.

The abnormally warm temperatures curled around the Gulf, helping Baton Rouge and New Orleans reach their warmest Februaries on record.

Meanwhile, a ribbon of toasty sea surface temperatures streamed north through the Straits of Florida supporting record-setting warmth over parts of the Florida peninsula.

Miami and Fort Lauderdale both posted their warmest winters on record. Climate Central, a nonprofit science communications firm in Princeton, N.J., found 80 percent of the winter days in Miami, Orlando and Tampa were above normal.


(Brian McNoldy)
“Out of 90 days this winter, Miami saw a record setting 69 of them reach 80°F or warmer!” wrote Miami broadcast meteorologist John Morales for the website WxShift, a project of Climate Central. “In addition, 11 daily record high temperatures were set as were 8 daily record warm low temperatures and 2 monthly record warm low temperatures.”

[Forty years ago Miami saw its only snow. These days, it’s simmering in record heat.]

Brian McNoldy, a tropical weather researcher at the University of Miami, said that in addition to the warm water temperatures, a lack of cold fronts penetrating into Florida played a big role in the warmth. “We’ve not had strong, long-lasting cold fronts make it this far south,” he said.

Effects of warm Gulf waters on thunderstorms and hurricanes

The warm water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, in particular, could mean that thunderstorms that erupt over the southern and central United States are more severe this spring. Berger explained in his Ars Technica piece: “While the relationship is far from absolute, scientists have found that when the Gulf of Mexico tends to be warmer than normal, there is more energy for severe storms and tornadoes to form than when the Gulf is cooler.”


(NOAA)
A study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in December found: “The warmer (cooler) the Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures, the more (less) hail and tornadoes occur during March–May over the southern U.S.”

Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at the College of DuPage, agreed that the warm Gulf could intensify storms this spring but cautioned that additional ingredients will need to come together. “The water is only one piece,” he said.

An additional key component for severe thunderstorms is a phenomenon known as the elevated mixed layer, a zone of hot and dry air at high altitudes that develops over Mexico’s high plateau and can flow into the southern and central United States. When it interacts with the warm, moist air from the Gulf, the resulting instability can give rise to explosive thunderstorms.

“This year we have both ingredients,” Gensini said. “With them coming together, we’re already seeing tornado levels as high as they’ve been since 2008.”

Another favorable ingredient for severe weather this spring is the configuration of water temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean. When there is a warm pool of water off the coast of Peru (which has contributed in extreme flooding there) and a cold pool off the U.S. West coast, such a pattern strongly correlates with high tornado activity, according to research conducted at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Gensini, who leads a team that produces severe weather outlooks up to three weeks into the future, is calling for above-average thunderstorm activity for the week beginning March 26, with high confidence.

A vigorous jet stream disturbance, originating from the Pacific Ocean, will crash into the southwestern United States around March 28. Once it enters the Plains around March 29 and March 30, it is likely to tap into the warm Gulf water and encounter the elevated mixed layer. Then severe storms may erupt.

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Such conducive environments for severe weather may increase due to climate change, Gensini said, although he expects high year-to-year to variability — something already being observed.

[Studies: Tornado seasons peaking earlier, becoming more volatile]

The implications of the warm water for hurricane season, June 1 to Nov. 30, are less clear. Warmer-than-normal water temperatures can make tropical storms and hurricanes more intense, but wind shear and atmospheric moisture levels often play more important roles in hurricane formation, Berger reported.
Quoting 21. nash36:




Aaaaannnndddd....

There goes the 2017 hurricane season.

:-/
Boring Winter and now a boring hurricane season coming up.Before anyone starts to get in their feelings the 2010 season was a active season that saw plenty of cape verde spinners ots and without that much destruction.
Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:



Time will tell.


Now there's a good strategy when it comes pollution.

Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:

Currently there are 87 countries with more air pollution than the U.S.
Link


And that has relevance because...?

Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:
There are a lot of countries just starting their industrial revolution.


And that has relevance because...?

Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:
These countries will use the least expensive source of energy.


And that has relevance because...?

Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:
To get these countries off fossil fuels, they need cheaper alternatives (without government subsidies).


Right, because fossil fuels don't receive any subsidies whatsoever. And let's just ignore the external costs of fossil fuels while we're at it. And again, this has relevance because...?

Quoting 38. Sfloridacat5:
Many of these developing countries burn animal manure for heat and energy. That produces terrible air pollution.


And that's a problem. But this and all your previous statements have nothing to do with the fact that gutting the EPA and regulations will lead to increased pollution HERE. You don't need time to figure this out. The clown administration is already trying to find ways to ramrod through changes that, by definition, will lead to more pollution.

When it comes to clean air, water, etc. the goal shouldn't be "Hey, at least we aren't Gina!" or "Hey, our pollution is 100% better than India, maybe we should back that down so we're only 50% better." The goal should be to have a clean and sustainable environment. There's no point supporting an industry that will eventually sickens/kills off your population due to pollution.
Quoting 40. SunnyDaysFla:

My dear Grothar,

What will we do for blob alerts without you. We are not used to waiting for the NHC to tell us whether it is 'fake news" or a real threat.


I've been deblobbed. Sorry, but you'll all be on your own.
Quoting 45. Grothar:



I've been deblobbed. Sorry, but you'll all be on your own.


It is a sad day for WU if all your centuries of wisdom will be lost to us. Hopefully the new format will not be too awful and you will be tempted to throw us an occasional crumb. Please never say never.

edit: I plussed your comment but sure did not like it!
Everyone have a safe weather evening and see yall tomorrow; this is probably a "fake blob" North of the Lesser Antilles that is depicted by the CMC out at 138 hours............................................. .............


[JavaScript Image Player]
Washington Post%u200FVerified account
@washingtonpost

Gulf of Mexico waters are freakishly warm, which could mean explosive springtime storms
Link

Water temperatures at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and near South Florida are on fire. They spurred a historically warm winter from Houston to Miami and could fuel intense thunderstorms in the spring from the South to the Plains.
In the Gulf, the average sea surface temperature never fell below 73 degrees over the winter for the first time on record, reported Eric Berger of Ars Technica.
washingtonian115, I was just going to link that using the title The Pureet Parable? ;)
Quoting 47. weathermanwannabe:

Everyone have a safe weather evening and see yall tomorrow; this is probably a "fake blob" North of the Lesser Antilles that is depicted by the CMC out at 138 hours............................................. .............




Navgem, GFS, Euro all have the same low racing off to the northeast.
Quoting 49. BaltimoreBrian:

washingtonian115, I was just going to link that using the title The Pureet Parable? ;)
lol.Don't get them started!
Hey Joe, how much rain did you get. CoCoRaHS said .30 over here....
Thank you for featuring the issue of air pollution, as it is directly linked to the weather. It is a perfect connection to make between our environment (including weather) and our health.

I would love to have a personal weather station that includes air quality monitoring.

I also suggest that you include some (technical) discussion of how the air is monitored: how ozone monitors or PM2.5 monitors function. What differentiates a 'good' monitor form a 'poor' monitor.
For World Water Day, a wonderful study called The Splash of a Drop from 1895, full of superb diagrams. More images inside link.





Calm, benign weather expected for the next 10 days in St. Petersburg, FL. Typical of spring. A little bit of rain- a couple showers- would be fun though.
Quote: 55. BaltimoreBrian
12:18 AM GMT on March 23, 2017
0 +
For World Water Day, a wonderful study called The Splash of a Drop from 1895, full of superb diagrams. More images inside link. (without the images)

I've been very interested in the characteristics of water and its behavior. The splash pictured is a function of the surface tension of a water drop, which can vary depending on dissolved or suspended substances in the water. A drop with normal surface tension, for instance, will bead up on fine dry dust or some repellant substances, but with some kinds of chemicals absorbed or dissolved it will soak in quickly. The reflected drop that rises in the photos would not happen that way without the surface tension of the water. Raindrops similarly take their shape from the effect of surface tension -- what would rain be like if the surface tension of water was reduced by some chemical that doesn't belong in the air? It's an interesting subject!
Quoting 45. Grothar:



I've been deblobbed. Sorry, but you'll all be on your own.


Before you sail off into that sunset you have as your avatar, know that it's been a pleasure virtually knowing you. You have become synonymous with blobs, and this is about the only context where I think someone could say that's a good thing. :)

May your weather be interesting, and your dangerous storms be fish. O7
Quoting 59. Xyrus2000:



Before you sail off into that sunset you have as your avatar, know that it's been a pleasure virtually knowing you. You have become synonymous with blobs, and this is about the only context where I think someone could say that's a good thing. :)

May your weather be interesting, and your dangerous storms be fish. O7


I can only echo Xyrus2000 sentiment's here..

'It has been a privilege blogging with everyone.

Joe Bastardi‏Verified account @BigJoeBastardi 6h6 hours ago
While I'm forecasting lower than normal ACE this year due to poor MDR conditions,Think major hit more than likely due to in close conditions
Quoting 58. CaneFreeCR:

Quote: 55. BaltimoreBrian
12:18 AM GMT on March 23, 2017
0 +
For World Water Day, a wonderful study called The Splash of a Drop from 1895, full of superb diagrams. More images inside link. (without the images)

I've been very interested in the characteristics of water and its behavior. The splash pictured is a function of the surface tension of a water drop, which can vary depending on dissolved or suspended substances in the water. A drop with normal surface tension, for instance, will bead up on fine dry dust or some repellant substances, but with some kinds of chemicals absorbed or dissolved it will soak in quickly. The reflected drop that rises in the photos would not happen that way without the surface tension of the water. Raindrops similarly take their shape from the effect of surface tension -- what would rain be like if the surface tension of water was reduced by some chemical that doesn't belong in the air? It's an interesting subject!
Agreed, an interesting subject! Note that the images are drawings, not photographs, however.
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin
TROPICAL LOW XX
8:48 AM WST March 23 2017
============================

At 8:00 AM WST, Tropical Low (1001 hPa) located at 11.7S 99.7E or 315 km east of Cocos Island and 670 km west southwest of Christmas Island has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The tropical low is reported as moving south southeast at 5 knots.

A Tropical Low is developing in open waters between Cocos and Christmas Islands. The low may develop into a tropical cyclone Thursday night or Friday morning as it drifts to the south southeast, away from the islands.

The system is expected to remain over open waters, and is not expected to produce gales over Cocos or Christmas Islands or the Western Australia mainland.

Gale Force Winds
==============
180 NM in the northeastern quadrants
180 NM in the northwestern quadrants

Forecast and Intensity
===============
12 HRS 12.7S 100.4E - 35 knots (Tropical Low)
24 HRS 13.5S 100.9E - 35 knots (CAT 1)
Additional Information for Tropical Low 23U
------------------------------------------------- --
The low has developed well overnight, with deep convection persisting to the west of the low level cyclonic circulation. Dvorak analysis yields a DT of 2.5, based on a CB with curvature averaging 0.5-0.6 degrees over the past 6 hours. MET is 2.0 based on a developing trend, but FT is set to 2.5 due to the fact that the cloud features are clear-cut. The system intensity is 30 knots, but winds on the northern side are reaching 35 knots due to the affects of a monsoon surge.

An ASCAT pass from 1509 UTC showed winds generally 25-30 knots on the southern side, reaching closer to 35 knots on the northern side with the monsoon surge.

The system has been aided by good upper divergence, with outflow evident to the north and south. Shear at this stage is quite high, with 30-40 knots near and to the north of the system centre. Shear is much lower to the south of the system center.

The system is forecast to move in a south to southeasterly direction over the coming 48 hours, due to a strong monsoonal surge to the north and a mid level trough and low to the southeast. Motion should become slow on Sunday as a mid level ridge starts to develop to the south of the system, and then from Monday onward this should begin to steer the system in a westerly direction.

The system should gradually intensify over the next 24 to 48 hours as it moves into an area of lower vertical wind shear. However, ocean heat content becomes more marginal near 15.0S, and after Saturday the system becomes disconnected from the monsoon flow [and associated moisture]. So the expectation is for peak intensity to be reached on Saturday as a 40-45 knot system, before a gradual weakening trend commences.
Quoting 35. atxskygas:

Thanks for the post on air quality. I hope there can be a post in the future that discusses synoptic scale and mesoscale meteorological conditions that are conducive to poor air quality. In particular, there might be interest in the met causes of extreme events. I like the health dashboard, but in some respects I think it is lacking in detail. Could you include data as well as indices--e.g., ozone in ppbv, PM2.5 in micrograms/m3, pollen in...whatever units you use for pollen?


There are at least a couple of ways I know of that meteorological phenomena can seriously affect air quality.

One is when high winds and dry conditions kick up dust into the air. The PMxx levels can soar during such an event.

Another that we suffer from at times here in the Willamette Valley are temperature inversions. When that happens the air stagnates and the emitted pollutants will just build up until the inversion goes away. During inversions I have noticed that it becomes more difficult to breath and the air can just start smelling bad.
Thank you for acknowledging that air quality IS a legitimate component of the weather and for taking a leadership role in promoting air quality monitoring as a legitimate component of weather station networks. I personally find the defunding of both air quality and climate monitoring akin to a doctor coming into a patient's room, stopping all labs from being drawn and removing all vitals monitors, saying that we'll just wing it. It serves nobody to reduce data collection, which can be used either to debunk bogus ideas on what it would take to stabilize the climate, maintain air quality etc. as well as to better understand the dynamics of our atmospheric cycles so we know what is going on and why. It's either deliberate greed-driven malevolence or ideologically driven ignorance behind such cuts and both are dangerous to the health of our planet.
Thanks so much for your efforts to inform the public. This is an amazing service and enhancement of your website! As an asthmatic, I appreciate early warnings for impaired air quality so I can plan appropriately. As it happens, we are just wrapping up a Region X EPA meeting about smoke management, since in the West in particular, we have a lot of wildfires that are getting bigger for longer durations as the climate changes. We have been discussing how to help the public get better information, and this is a great idea toward that goal. Be sure to check out and possibly link to the Western Regional Air Partnership or WRAP at https://www.wrapair2.org as well as an emissions prediction site called BlueSky at https://www.airfire.org/bluesky/. We work hard to help communities stay safe during wildfire and prescribed fire events.
Thanks to the Mod that removed the post with the bad information.
I briefly watched one video, and realized, that dude in the video needs counseling.
Exxon Mobil can't find up to a year of Tillerson 'Wayne Tracker' emails

Exxon Mobil Corp. may have lost as much as a year's worth of emails that former CEO Rex Tillerson used to discuss climate change risks and other issues under the alias "Wayne Tracker," a lawyer for New York state told a judge.

Link
China blames climate change for record sea levels

SHANGHAI: Chinese coastal sea levels hit record highs in 2016, driven by climate change as well as El Nino and La Nina events, the country's sea administration said.

According to an annual report published on Wednesday by China's State Oceanic Administration, average coastal sea levels in 2016 were up 38 millimetres compared to the previous year, and saw record-breaking highs in the months of April, September, November and December."Against the background of global climate change, China's coastal air and sea temperatures have soared, coastal air pressure has fallen and sea levels have also soared," it said.

It warned that high sea levels would lead to problems like coastal erosion as well as more frequent and severe typhoons.

It added that vulnerable coastal regions needed to step up their flood prevention efforts by improving drainage systems and building dykes and dams. Underground water extraction also needed to be cut in order to ease the risk of subsidence.



Link

Thanks for the great post.

I would love to hear more about how different air quality sensors work. I can look at a rain gage or anemometer and understand how it works (more or less). But there are so many different air pollutants! I'd like to know more about which pollutants are cheapest, easiest & most important to detect.

Related anecdote - we're buying a house in an area where radon is relatively common, and I started reading up on different methods of radon monitoring. Long story short, high levels of variation mean that short-term monitoring can be *very* misleading. Monitoring radon concentration based on radioactive decay over many months is possible, and paints a much clearer picture than a "standard" 2-7 day sample. One thing about radon that surprised me: it ultimately decays into lead, which can then accumulate as dust. For families with small children, long-term accumulation of lead is a big deal!
EXTREME WEATHER, VARIABILITY PRECEDED SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS WILDFIRES

The conditions that led to devastating wildfires in the Southern Great Plains are consistent with weather patterns highlighted in a 2015 USDA report that looked at how growing seasons and the predictability of weather are changing around the United States.
In Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, an unusual weather pattern led to fires that have ravaged land and destroyed thousands of cattle.
“There’s a cycle of wetter conditions followed by immediately drier conditions on the plains,” said Dr. Jean Steiner, who manages the USDA’s Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, Oklahoma. ............ The USDA weather-trends report, part of USDA’s Climate Hub Program, documented the recent history of extreme weather, which has been on the increase, and extreme variability in weather, which has also been on the rise.
The fires in Kansas were called “the single largest fire in the state’s recorded history” by the Wichita Eagle, which has reported on the crisis extensively.
The New York Times called the Kansas fires the region’s “Hurricane Katrina,” reporting Monday that more than 1 million acres of grasslands have burned. The fires have caused wide-spread cattle deaths and millions of dollars of damage to farms.


Link
amazing display of lightning in the sky just offshore this morning e cen florida
Quoting 4. Xyrus2000:

Good thing we're cutting the EPA by a third. We can't let these countries beat us! We will have the best air pollution! The biggest! Bigly! 'uge! We'll have more than India! More than Gina! We'll build a wall to keep it all in!

Make America Have Bronchogenic Carcinoma Again!


I see StormTrackerScott is still going on about his El Nino stuff that prob won't happen

still not seeing anything that sticks out saying El Nino


Quoting 47. weathermanwannabe:

Everyone have a safe weather evening and see yall tomorrow; this is probably a "fake blob" North of the Lesser Antilles that is depicted by the CMC out at 138 hours............................................. .............


[JavaScript Image Player]


funny enough its not only CMC that predicts some sort of low system in the W Atlantic/Bahamas area the GFS, Navgem, UKMet, and Euro all show the same thing


anyway I would be amused if something decent or anything of interest was to actually come out of it

anyway Good Morning all
Climate breaks multiple records in 2016, with global impacts (Press Release)
WMO, March 21.

The year 2016 made history, with a record global temperature, exceptionally low sea ice, and unabated sea level rise and ocean heat, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Extreme weather and climate conditions have continued into 2017.

(...) WMO has issued annual climate reports for more than 20 years and submits them to the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The annual statements complement the assessments reports that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces every six to seven years.

It will be presented to UN member states and climate experts at a high-level action event on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda in New York on 23 March (World Meteorological Day) hosted by the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson. (...)



WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016 (.pdf document, 28 pages)

- Foreword
- Preface
- Executive Summary

Key findings

- Temperature
- The oceans
- Greenhouse gases
- The cryosphere in 2016
- Major climate drivers
- Precipitation
- Extreme events
- Tropical cyclones
- Destructive wildfires in several parts of the world
- Extreme heat and cold
- Severe storms, snowfalls and tornadoes
- Stratospheric ozone

Towards globally consistent National Climate Monitoring Products
Good Morning Folks; here is the Conus forecast for today and current look:



The configuration of the jet over Conus this morning looks like a painting by Monet..............Here is the convective outlook from SPC:


And a picture from the Mars rover of Sunset on Mars; amazing pic..................Looks like the Arizona Desert.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/mars-rover -spots-clouds-shaped-gravity-waves


The period from 2015 through 2017 will probably be remembered decades from now as the time when Arctic, and accelerated global warming, went over the cliff and past the tipping point......................

Image result for kansas point of know return album cover


Forecast Image

And the current US Drought Monitor issued this morning; as least Good News for California; exceptional and extreme drought over for the time being after 5-6 years of pervasive drought conditions:

Current U.S. Drought Monitor

Quoting 45. Grothar:



I've been deblobbed. Sorry, but you'll all be on your own.
I'll miss you Gro.
And an article just posted on Science Mag on problems with research funding as well in Canada; however, they openly acknowledge the threat of climate change in that country and have allocated specific governmental funds to tackle that issue: refreshing.............................

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/research-s tays-frozen-canadian-budget


OTTAWA—Wind chills here approached -30°C as Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the Liberal government’s second budget on Wednesday. Spring may eventually arrive in Canada’s capital, but the deep freeze for Canada’s research community will continue into fiscal 2017–18 as the granting councils received no significant boosts in funding.

Overall, Morneau’s budget proposes an $11.3 billion spending increase, to $247.7 billion. But at best, academic researchers can hope to tap modest monies either allocated or reprofiled for a bevy of national programs generally aimed at promoting “innovation,” particularly through partnerships between industry and universities, or from several smaller, boutique initiatives, such as one to develop a national action plan to respond to health risks posed by climate change.

HIGH SEAS WEATHER WARNING FOR METAREA 10 ISSUED BY THE
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE PERTH
AT 0623UTC 23 MARCH 2017


Excerpt:

SITUATION
At 0600 UTC Tropical Cyclone Caleb was centred within 30 nautical miles of
latitude twelve decimal six south (12.6S)
longitude one hundred decimal five east (100.5E)
Recent movement : south southeast at 7 knots
Maximum winds : 35 knots
Central pressure: 997 hPa

Isn't there a WU user Caleb?


UKMET up to its "I think it is tropical" tricks


NEW TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 90 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 90 : 23.0N 68.0W

LEAD CENTRAL MAXIMUM WIND
VERIFYING TIME TIME POSITION PRESSURE (MB) SPEED (KNOTS)
-------------- ---- -------- ------------- -------------
0000UTC 27.03.2017 96 24.0N 68.0W 1008 33
1200UTC 27.03.2017 108 25.9N 66.9W 1007 34
0000UTC 28.03.2017 120 26.6N 65.6W 1004 38
1200UTC 28.03.2017 132 29.5N 61.6W 1001 40
0000UTC 29.03.2017 144 29.2N 59.3W 998 44


I would be glad to add a air quality monitor to my WU weather station. Hopefully they will be available for not too much $$. I like the idea that a previous poster had to get a link into google maps to allow a more widespread exposure to the numbers.
>>Exxon Mobil can't find up to a year of Tillerson 'Wayne Tracker' emails

I'm SHOCKED. Stunned and amazed.

No, really. Nothing like this has ever happened before.

Quoting 77. helmingstay:

Thanks for the great post.

I would love to hear more about how different air quality sensors work. I can look at a rain gage or anemometer and understand how it works (more or less). But there are so many different air pollutants! I'd like to know more about which pollutants are cheapest, easiest & most important to detect.

Related anecdote - we're buying a house in an area where radon is relatively common, and I started reading up on different methods of radon monitoring. Long story short, high levels of variation mean that short-term monitoring can be *very* misleading. Monitoring radon concentration based on radioactive decay over many months is possible, and paints a much clearer picture than a "standard" 2-7 day sample. One thing about radon that surprised me: it ultimately decays into lead, which can then accumulate as dust. For families with small children, long-term accumulation of lead is a big deal!


Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, so the only way your going to see significant variation over time is if you live in area that is geologically unstable. Radon doesn't accumulate.

Furthermore, if you're in an area where radon decay is producing enough lead to actually accumulate as detectable dust, you don't have to worry about living there as you'd be dead in pretty short order. Radon is measured in picoCuries/Litre. You're practically counting atoms. You'll find more lead in the concrete of your basement.

The big threat from radon is alpha emission into unshielded tissue (like your lungs, alpha can't penetrate skin) over a long period of time.
Good morning. Hope all here are well; I've poked my head in a couple times over the past few months but haven't posted. It's very sad how this blog has basically been ruined, not by the community of whom there are some really great people, or by Dr. M and Mr. H whom I have the utmost respect for, but by the corporate brass at TWC, IBM, and whatever other interests have their hand in this site's operations now. I learned a great deal from this place over the last several years, in many ways more than I've learned in the classroom. I joined some 5 years ago as a high school weather geek, and now I'm nearing the end of my junior year of college and I feel like a true meteorologist, with plenty left to learn, but that's true for all of us. Wanted to post at least one more time to let the remaining crew here know that I'm fine, but just moving on to the professional phase of my career, which for now doesn't intersect with what's become of this place. Not saying goodbye; I'll still be reading here when I can, and if the time is right, perhaps I'll stop by in the comments again during 'cane season, although I'll be very busy during June and July working full time on a research project at the Boston area NWS office as part of a scholarship I'm on. So in short, I'm just dropping a big thank you to all here who've helped me grow these past 5 years, a sentiment of regret over what this site has become, and best wishes and clear skies for all of you going forward!
In terms of Grothar, and his long life on earth, as well as his contributions to this Blog and innovation such as establishing the Grocon scale for Blobs, he has earned the title of "Blogger Emeritus"................
Quoting 4. Xyrus2000:

"Good thing we're cutting the EPA by a third"

Draconian across the board funding cuts are so wrong!

That being said there is such a thing as EPA environmental extremism:


Link
From the Miami NWS Disco...

Upper level vort maxes crossing the peninsula this morning have
brought in much colder temperatures aloft, with RUC analysis showing
500mb temps around -14 to -16C. With another vort max expected to
cool temps a degree or two, and daytime temperatures still expected
to climb into the upper 70s and low 80s, mid level lapse rates will
be quite steep today. This instability means that a few storms can`t
be ruled out, especially along the east coast and Lake Okeechobee
region. It also sets up a favorable environment for a few strong
storms with hail, and SPC has placed most of South Florida under a
marginal risk for today. Overall rainfall amounts are expected to
generally be light, but a few areas could see a nice soaking
rainfall of around a half an inch, helping the ongoing drought
situation.

98. JRRP
The Trump administration wants to kill the popular Energy Star program because it combats climate change
WaPo, By Aseem Prakash and Nives Dolšak March 23 at 8:00 AM
Under President Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the chopping block. Both the president’s proposed budget and his executive orders on cutting regulations would shrink the EPA. But of the 38 EPA programs that the Trump administration has proposed cutting, at least one is quite surprising: the popular — and voluntary — Energy Star program. It’s not a mandatory regulation, nor a “job killer.” We can only assume that it’s on the list because its strong connection with climate change mitigation. Let us explain. ...
More see link above.

Significant weather advisory for 45 mph winds and small hail for
northeastern Palm Beach County until 1030 am EDT...

* at 943 am EDT... Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm
near Jonathan Dickinson State Park, or near Tequesta, moving
southwest at 20 mph.

* The primary impacts will be small hail and gusty winds of 45 mph.
These winds can down small tree limbs and branches, and blow
around unsecured small objects. Seek shelter in a safe building
until the storm passes.

* Locations impacted include...
West Palm Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera
Beach, Palm Beach, Tequesta, Juno Beach, Royal Palm Beach, North
Palm Beach, Lake Park, Haverhill, Port of Palm Beach, Golden Lakes,
North County Airport, Loxahatchee Groves, lion country safari park,
schall Circle, Lake Belvedere Estates and Juno ridge.


Arlene? Is that you?
Update on the situation in Peru, as far as I could read local Spanish news:

Yesterday several hours of relentless rains in the utter northwest of the country inundated many parts of the town and region of Piura.
Youtube video from that region: LINK

The city of Trujillo saw its seventh flashflood, inundating the center.
Youtube video of the new flooding in Trujillo: LINK

The central road from Lima towards the east got disrupted once again by flooding river Rimac which also destroyed some houses:



There was new flooding in other places as well and the death toll increased (I'm not sure about the overall exact number right now).

Peru's deadly floods ring alarm bell for Latin America cities
by Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Thursday, 23 March 2017 09:00 GMT
Peru's deadly floods are a wake-up call for cities across Latin America to prepare better for extreme weather as climate change and poor urban planning, alongside rapid population growth, worsen the problem of flooding, experts say.
In Peru, the worst downpours in decades have triggered floods and landslides, killing at least 78 people and making around 70,000 homeless. The government has declared a state of emergency. ...


Heavy rains wash away Zimbabwe's roads, leaving crops stranded
by Andrew Mambondiyani | Thomson Reuters Foundation, Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:05 GMT
After two consecutive seasons of drought, heavy rains finally promise a good harvest in most parts of Zimbabwe's Manicaland province. But farmers now face a new challenge: washed-out roads that will make it difficult to get their crops to market. ...
re: 93 Xyrus2000

Thank you for bringing a little science into our discussions in WU. Without your level-headed comments (and arguments) the blog would be less informative and more subject to wild "theories". Thanks for giving the blog some stability. And thanks for the time you have invested here.
'New' wave-like cloud finally wins official recognition
BBC, By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, 23 March 2017
Twelve "new" types of cloud - including the rare, wave-like asperitas cloud - have been recognised for the first time by the International Cloud Atlas.
The atlas, which dates back to the 19th Century, is the global reference book for observing and identifying clouds.
Last revised in 1987, its new fully-digital edition includes the asperitas after campaigns by citizen scientists.
Other new entries include the roll-like volutus, and contrails, clouds formed from the vapour trail of aeroplanes. ...



Photo: Gary McArthur. The wavy ridges of the rare asperitas cloud
105. bwi
Looks like arctic ice extent peaked at another record low high this winter.
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2017/03/arctic- sea-ice-maximum-at-record-low/
Arctic sea ice maximum at record low for third straight year
March 22, 2017

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7. This is the lowest maximum in the 38-year satellite record.

Here's a graphic that shows the likely peak in context of other years.


Since that graphic was made, the measure has been flat to down, so it seems unlikely to re-peak, so to speak
I am wondering if the model posted below depicting a possible storm off of the Bahamas was a reflection of the current activity around Florida and what was showing as lessening shear around the Bahamas, and North of the Lesser Antilles, as late as yesterday; however, as of today, shear has really ramped up again in that region:



re: 77. helmingstay

I have tested our radon several times (over many years) in this house. It is always about the same, "borderline safe", but in homes that have too much radon, they have interesting mitigation; they put a negative pressure on the drain tile which surrounds the perimeter, and pump the gasses out the stack at the roof line. This draws-in fresh air.
The term "borderline safe" leaves room for dispute: is any amount really "safe"?
By the way, we lived in these houses for fifty years before we knew about the existence of radon in our homes. Lung cancer in non-smokers is just one health issue.


nice detail on visible this am
see the snow cover around finger lakes and frozen ground ne of it
and again frozen ground from central ont n and east of
In addition to the steep lapse rates across South Florida noted below, due in part to the current shear profile, the warm waters around Florida, and the Gulf Stream, are giving the coastal t-storms a nice baroclinic bump to the convection just offshore.  It would probably be a lot more convection if not for the very dry, stable, and cooler air aloft. 





Quoting 107. ChiThom:

re: 77. helmingstay

I have tested our radon several times (over many years) in this house. It is always about the same, "borderline safe", but in homes that have too much radon, they have interesting mitigation; they put a negative pressure on the drain tile which surrounds the perimeter, and pump the gasses out the stack at the roof line. This draws-in fresh air.
The term "borderline safe" leaves room for dispute: is any amount really "safe"?
By the way, we lived in these houses for fifty years before we knew about the existence of radon in our homes. Lung cancer in non-smokers is just one health issue.


and yet:

got pain? try radon therapy.
Free Enterprise Radon Mine Radon therapy is a proven modality for those seeking a complement or alternative to current methods of disease symptom managment. Ease or eliminate chronic pain and break reliance on pharmaceuticals.
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Not promoting it, not at all... but, well, it is what it is~
re: 111. MontanaZephyr

I'm feeling no pain. :-J
Quoting 105. bwi:

Looks like arctic ice extent peaked at another record low high this winter.
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2017/03/arctic- sea-ice-maximum-at-record-low/
Arctic sea ice maximum at record low for third straight year
March 22, 2017

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7. This is the lowest maximum in the 38-year satellite record.

Here's a graphic that shows the likely peak in context of other years.


Since that graphic was made, the measure has been flat to down, so it seems unlikely to re-peak, so to speak


Yay. Here goes.

This is why Michigan will go see just rain in future winters. Arctic implosion and the rest is a question of latitude.
Big Duke NOLA 7 back on line on the wu big loop.


Feeling almost Human again.


It always leads me here, lead me to your door'

Quoting 113. cRRKampen:


Yay. Here goes.

This is why Michigan will go see just rain in future winters. Arctic implosion and the rest is a question of latitude.


I think the southern half of the lower peninsula will see more rain but the upper peninsula will still be getting snow. I think it'll be a bit longer before the lakes warm enough, especially Lake Superior, to keep it mostly rainy in the winter.
Quoting 93. Xyrus2000:



Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, so the only way your going to see significant variation over time is if you live in area that is geologically unstable. Radon doesn't accumulate.

Furthermore, if you're in an area where radon decay is producing enough lead to actually accumulate as detectable dust, you don't have to worry about living there as you'd be dead in pretty short order. Radon is measured in picoCuries/Litre. You're practically counting atoms. You'll find more lead in the concrete of your basement.

The big threat from radon is alpha emission into unshielded tissue (like your lungs, alpha can't penetrate skin) over a long period of time.


Radon levels in houses can have significant health impacts though - it is the second largest cause of lung cancer, but I agree that the amount of lead produced is minimal. I used to live in an area in Europe with high radon levels due to the granite bedrock, and houses with basements were required to have regular (every 2 years, I think) radon tests. The tests were really to see if the basements had sufficient ventilation though, not because of any build-up, though that was how it was described.
Ignorance is still free.




so are bans right up till the last day
124. EvPv
With proposed budget cuts it may fall to bloggers to record and report data....even more.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
I do believe we'll see a pre-season storm.Not right now though.
No more snow during the Winter for Michigan?
Sometimes I can't believe the stuff I read in here. Seriously.

Michigan snowfall averages anywhere from 208" (upper peninsula) to 31" (southeast coastal region).
Lansing Michigan is actually 11" above normal so far for 2017.
Link
Quoting 86. weathermanwannabe:

The period from 2015 through 2017 will probably be remembered decades from now as the time when Arctic, and accelerated global warming, went over the cliff and past the tipping point......................

Image result for kansas point of know return album cover





With everything changing faster and faster, pretty soon there will be no other way for even the most ardent denier to avoid reality and we will indeed reach the "Point of Know Return".

The question is whether or not the "Point of Know Return" is earlier or later than the "Point of NO Return". I fear the latter may have already passed us by in large measure...
Quoting 93. Xyrus2000:



Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, so the only way your going to see significant variation over time is if you live in area that is geologically unstable. Radon doesn't accumulate.

Furthermore, if you're in an area where radon decay is producing enough lead to actually accumulate as detectable dust, you don't have to worry about living there as you'd be dead in pretty short order. Radon is measured in picoCuries/Litre. You're practically counting atoms. You'll find more lead in the concrete of your basement.

The big threat from radon is alpha emission into unshielded tissue (like your lungs, alpha can't penetrate skin) over a long period of time.


From the EPA doc cited in my original post, the unreliability of short-term tests is not caused by *accumulation*, but by temporal variation in radon concentrations (which, in turn, is influenced by barometric pressure, etc.).

See, for example, this WHO document:
* Long-term integrated radon measurements are preferred for assessing the annual average radon concentration within a house or other dwelling.
* High temporal variation of indoor radon makes short-term measurements unreliable for most applications.

R.e. lead accumulation - thanks for that.

I count 5 decays between Rn222 and Pb210. Given that a picoCurie ~= 2 decays/sec.
At equilibrium, the action level of 4 picoCurie / L ~= 8 decays / L ~= (8 decays / 5 decays to Pb210 ) ~= 1.6 atoms Pb210 / L / min.

Let's say we have a house that's 1,000 square feet by 8 ft high.
8,000 cubic ft ~= 225,000 L. And there are (60 min * 24 hr * 365 days) ~= 525,000 minutes/yr.
11.8e10 atoms Pb10 / year. At 210 grams / mole, that gives approx 2x10^-9 grams/year.
Just a ball-park, but I agree that's *very* low :)
Quoting 107. ChiThom:

re: 77. helmingstay

I have tested our radon several times (over many years) in this house. It is always about the same, "borderline safe", but in homes that have too much radon, they have interesting mitigation; they put a negative pressure on the drain tile which surrounds the perimeter, and pump the gasses out the stack at the roof line. This draws-in fresh air.
The term "borderline safe" leaves room for dispute: is any amount really "safe"?
By the way, we lived in these houses for fifty years before we knew about the existence of radon in our homes. Lung cancer in non-smokers is just one health issue.


Yeah, reading through mitigation when looking into purchasing an old house was interesting, since external negative pressure ventilation is sooooo much cheaper when the house is being built! We looked at one that had a sub-slab depressurization system installed. I had mixed feelings about this, since it depends on an active pump that can fail without being notices, can yield leaks in the exhaust line, etc.

On one hand, I realize it's easy to worry excessively about "uncertain future risks". Taken to the extreme, this leads to conspiracy theories like chemtrails ("you can't *prove* that they're safe!"). On the other hand, some pollutants are pretty scary. The life span of organic chemists in the 1950s, for example, was 50 years or less due to constant exposure to benzene et al. And the proposed link between leaded gas and national crime rates still amazes me. In the case of radon, my understanding is that the risk of lung cancer increases dramatically in smoking households.

So, from my point of view, three cheers for the EPA (while it lasts) :)
Quoting 127. Sfloridacat5:

No more snow during the Winter for Michigan?
Sometimes I can't believe the stuff I read in here. Seriously.

Michigan snowfall averages anywhere from 208" (upper peninsula) to 31" (southeast coastal region).
Lansing Michigan is actually 11" above normal so far for 2017.
Link

Always surprised. At the die-off of coral, at the Arctic Implosion.
I'm not saying things for your or anybody's education - that I have given up on.
I'm doing this to earn my right to kick of my property those will whine 'we didn't know! You didn't warn us!'.
Winters in lower latitude areas will disappear and you've seen it happen already last winter. And there was still some Arctic ice around, even.
Related to air quality - how easy would it be to measure these to add a reliable air quality station? That's my thought - how can we help? - Of interest to me is what affects Asthma, as i'm a severe asthmatic as well as affected by quite a few allergens. I would be really interested to learn how to measure these locally and add that to the network. I live in Baton Rouge, LA - so this is an area where we do get affected - and if there are backwards changes to EPA, it'll be more important than ever because instead of getting better here, it'll get worse again.