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

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

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


Updated: 11:19 PM GMT on December 02, 2016

Early, Late, and Far-Flung: The Eclectic 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season

By: Bob Henson and Jeff Masters, 8:11 PM GMT on November 30, 2016

After three relatively quiet seasons, the hurricane-generating waters of the North Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean returned in 2016 to the busy production schedule they’ve maintained in most years since the mid-1990s. Assisted by the switch from a record-strong El Niño to a borderline La Niña, which reduced vertical wind shear, the 2016 season ended up above the long-term average for all of the most commonly tracked indices, with the largest number of hu...


Updated: 9:50 PM GMT on November 30, 2016

On Giving Tuesday, Support Increasingly Embattled Climate Scientists

By: Jeff Masters, 10:33 PM GMT on November 29, 2016

Climate science and climate scientists in the United States are likely to be under unprecedented assault by powerful politicians in the coming four years. Climate-change-denying politicians are already in high positions in Congress, and soon we will have a president who has publicly denied climate change science. On Giving Tuesday, November 29, I urge you to make a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) to help protect th...

Climate Change Politics

Catastrophic Fire Hits Southeast Tennessee Homes and Resorts

By: Bob Henson, 4:28 PM GMT on November 29, 2016

What appears to be the most damaging wildland fire to strike a Southeast U.S. community in many decades tore into the tourist mecca of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on Monday night. The Chimney Top Fire has burned hundreds of structures in and near this much-loved city and has injured at least four people. Nearby Pigeon Forge, home of the Dollywood theme park, has also been affected by the fire, which began in the adjacent Great Smoky Mountains. At least 14,000 people were...

The Upcoming Benefits of GOES-R for Hurricane Monitoring and Forecasting

By: Bob Henson, 4:56 PM GMT on November 28, 2016

A new era in satellite monitoring of the Western Hemisphere began on November 19 with the successful launch of the GOES-R satellite. GOES-R is the latest in a sequence of GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) satellites that began in 1975. Both polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites gather crucial data for incorporation in computer forecast models, but it’s the geostationary birds--stationed at fixed spots tens of thousands of miles above t...

Satellites Mesoscale Forecasting Hurricane

Updated: 5:32 PM GMT on November 28, 2016

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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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