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The Story Behind That Quadruple Rainbow

By: Bob Henson 8:40 PM GMT on April 21, 2015

Social media lit up on Tuesday as a stunning photo of what appears to be a quadruple rainbow made the rounds. Amanda Curtis took the shot while waiting on a train at Glen Cove, NY, this morning. After she posted it to Twitter, the image quickly went viral. Curtis was interviewed over the phone by Jim Cantore and Sam Champion on The Weather Channel’s “AMHQ” program. As Curtis explained: “I was waiting for my commuter train into New York City and I was outside on the Glen Cove station platform and saw two double rainbows and was just absolutely blown away by it and decided to take the opportunity to snap the picture to use for later inspiration... I was outside and my train was coming, so I think I’m good under pressure and just decided to snap it and then run after the train.”




Figure 1. Amanda Curtis interviewed this morning on “AMHQ”. Image credit: The Weather Channel.



Figure 2. The tweet that sent cyberspace into rainbow heaven today. Image credit: Amanda Curtis.


At first, I was skeptical: the photo seem to run counter to everything I knew about atmospheric optics. Multiple rainbows can form due to reflections within the same raindrops that produce a single rainbow, but each iteration produces a fainter bow. The optics that produce each type are well-known. The arc of a single rainbow extends 41° around a line that runs from the sun through the observer’s head to the opposite side of the sky (the antisolar point). The closer to sunset it is, the higher in the sky the rainbow will appear. A double, or secondary, rainbow, forms a ring around the first rainbow, with an angle of 51° from the antisolar point. Secondary rainbows are fairly unusual, though I’ve seen a few. (See a good WunderPhoto example below.)

Even more rarely seen, and often disputed, are true triple and quadruple rainbows, which would appear on the other side of the sky--surrounding the sun, instead of opposite from it, and thus much harder to see. The first-ever scientifically vetted and verified photo of a pair of tertiary and quarternary (third- and fourth-order) rainbows were captured in Germany just four years ago, with the subsequent analysis published in the journal Applied Optics in 2011. And even more recently, a photographer in New Mexico captured the exceedingly faint fifth-order rainbow, which occurs in the slightly dimmed area called Alexander’s dark band between the primary and secondary bows.


Figure 3. Example of a primary (bottom) and secondary (top) rainbow. Image credit: wunderphotographer DI85.


What happened this morning in New York was a quite different phenomenon. A good analog is this Astronomy Picture of the Day, posted by NASA in 2007. It includes a standard single rainbow (the brightest) and secondary bow (arcing around the first one, toward the left), but also visible is a third bow that seems to connect the two. NASA explains: “This [third] rainbow is likely caused by sunlight that has first reflected off the lake before striking the distant raindrops that is reflecting sunlight back toward the observer. Each of these rainbows appears to be reflected by the calm lake, although because the positions of rainbows depend on the location of the observer, a slightly displaced image of each rainbow is actually being imaged.”

When I expressed initial doubt about today’s viral image, NOAA scientist and avid photographer Paul Neiman begged to differ. Paul pointed me to the NASA photo mentioned above, and provided this compelling explanation for the Glen Cove image:

“A typical primary rainbow is caused by refraction and one internal reflection of sunlight within raindrops, resulting in a rainbow that is positioned 41 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the point directly opposite the sun – for example, if the sun is 10 degrees above the horizon at your back, the anti-solar point is 10 degrees below the horizon directly in front of you). The refraction causes the separation of white sunlight into its component colors, with red on the outside of the rainbow and violet on the inside. The secondary rainbow, which is centered 51 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the larger of the two bows during a typical display), involves two internal reflections of sunlight within the raindrops rather than one, resulting in a reversal of the color sequence (red on the inside and violet on the outside). We can usually only see the portion of these rainbows above the horizon, because there isn’t a sufficient density of raindrops between the observer and the ground to see the rainbow below the horizon (exceptions include full-circle rainbows viewed from locales such as airplanes and mountain tops).

“So far, so good. For the much rarer reflected-light rainbows shown in this spectacular photo, a large glassy-smooth water surface is required behind the observer. This smooth water surface reflects the sun, such that a second solar light source is generated. This reflected sun, which is located the same the number of arc degrees below the horizon as the real sun is above the horizon, creates a second primary and secondary rainbow on the opposite side of the sky from the sun, but with the center of these reflected-light rainbows above the horizon. The geometry dictates that the regular and reflected-light rainbows will join at the horizon, as this photo suggests.”

Supporting Paul’s explanation is the fact that Oyster Bay sits a few miles east of where Amanda Curtis took the photo, so the morning sun could have reflected off a nearly calm bay, as noted by The Weather Channel’s Mark Elliot, before producing the rainbows captured by Curtis in the western sky. Readings from a Wunderground personal weather station at Oyster Bay showed that winds were nearly calm early this morning.

Special thanks go to Paul Neiman and to the Weather Channel’s Matt Sitkowski and Stu Ostro for informative discussions on this fascinating image.

Bob Henson


Figure 4. Another good example of a primary (bottom) and secondary (top) rainbow, taken on the Washington coast. Image credit: wunderphotographer 50something.

Optics

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

Thanks for the explanation, Mr. Henson. I saw that picture on another site, and enjoyed the detailed info here.
Quoting 1. DFWdad:

Thanks for the explanation, Mr. Henson. I saw that picture on another site, and enjoyed the detailed info here.
must have be a beautiful sight to see there.
Really a fascinating article. Thank you.
Wow, and I thought I was lucky for witnessing a double rainbow! Thanks for the great blog Mr. Henson!
Cool quad rainbow

FROM LAST BLOG

Quoting StormTrackerScott:


No we aren't officially but it is becoming clear we are quickly on our way. I doubt we see values below 1.0C across Nino 3.4 for sometime to come.

Actually I think we should see it back below 1.0C soon much sooner than you think
Nice one BOB....
Thanks dok Henson!
Well, this new blog was unexpected, lol. I was suspicious myself of this rainbow photo. So thanks for the evaluation and all those valuable links!

"Somewhere" --- video with nice rainbows.

-----------------------

From the old blog:

In doc's round-up of March our German/European windstorms Mike and Niklas made it onto the top of the list of the costliest disasters of this month. Following twitter news from Australia (some are quite hilarious, lol) I'm quite sure that we'll see the current three-days-long Sydney/New South Wales storm in April's round-up ...

NSW wild weather: Second storm cell expected to hit parts of Sydney and Central Coast
ABC, April 22, 2015, 5:48 am


Current (saved) radar.


Source with updates (loop).


Yesterday's wind speed. .Source

Live blog: Sydney weather: storms, heavy rain and winds pound NSW for third day
From the last blog...

Quoting 111. JtothaK:


Agreed. And those that either don't understand or are in denial about statistical relevance or those that choose to answer with the typical straw man.

Don't be that guy or gal.


Ah yes statistical relevance- the only way to judge anything - all other factors are irrelevant!

This couldn't be any more right on as this is what I have been saying he last few months. Early Wet Season with early finish due to El-Nino. Looks like Eric Blake is on my wave length.


Eric Blake @EricBlake12 · 42m 42 minutes ago

As for temperatures, #ElNino tilts the odds to a hot start to the S FL wet season, but a cooler finish- early fronts?
Thanks for the explanation!~
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
This couldn't be any more right on as this is what I have been saying he last few months. Early Wet Season with early finish due to El-Nino. Looks like Eric Blake is on my wave length.


Eric Blake @EricBlake12 · 42m 42 minutes ago

As for temperatures, #ElNino tilts the odds to a hot start to the S FL wet season, but a cooler finish- early fronts?


What does "tilts the odds to a hot start to the S FL wet season" mean?
Temperatures have been well above normal for two months. Did he just notice that?

Is he trying to say the wet season has started for S. Fl?

S. Florida is forecast to have rain Wednesday and Thursday and then back to dry weather.

I just thought it was funny if someone (especially a Met) would announce the start of the wet season for S. Florida just because we finally got one day of rain from a stalled out front.


Here in So Cal, I would appreciate the chance to see a single rainbow! Thanks for the interesting lecture.
Snipped from Miami NWS Disco...

THE FRONT WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE
REGION ON WEDNESDAY...AS THE SHORT WAVE CONTINUES TO MOVE EAST AND
OVER SOUTH FLORIDA. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR THE ATMOSPHERE TO BECOME
UNSTABLE LEADING TO SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. SOME OF THE THUNDERSTORMS ON WEDNESDAY COULD BECOME
STRONG WITH GUSTY WINDS, HAIL, AND HEAVY RAINFALL. SPC CURRENTLY
HAS SOUTH FLORIDA IN A MARGINAL SEVERE RISK ON WEDNESDAY.

WEAK LOW PRESSURE SHOULD DEVELOP OVER THE GULF COAST STATES
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND MOVE EASTWARD THROUGH THE SOUTHEAST UNITED
STATES ON THURSDAY. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR THE STATIONARY FRONT TO
MOVE NORTHWARD AS A WARM FRONT WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY INTO
NORTHERN FLORIDA KEEPING THE TROPICAL AIR MASS IN PLACE OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA. THEREFORE...THE SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS POPS WILL REMAIN IN
PLACE OVER THE AREA ON THURSDAY.

.LONG TERM...
THE WEAK LOW WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE EAST INTO THE ATLANTIC WATERS
ON FRIDAY PUSHING THE FRONT BACK SOUTHWARD AS A COLD FRONT
THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA. HIGH PRESSURE WILL THEN BUILD INTO SOUTH
FLORIDA THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR DRIER AIR TO WORK INTO
THE REGION THIS WEEKEND FROM THE NORTH LEADING TO MOSTLY DRY
CONDITIONS.

THE LONG RANGE MODELS ARE SHOWING ANOTHER FRONT MOVING THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA BY MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK...AS ANOTHER AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE DEVELOPS OVER THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES AND MOVES EAST
INTO THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR SCATTERED
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS EARLY NEXT WEEK...BEFORE DRIER AIR
CONDITIONS RETURN TO SOUTH FLORIDA FOR THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.

Link
If the ECMWF and GFS verify, this is what late next week will look like across the eastern U.S.

Much cooler and drier air dives down behind a strong low that moves across the southern U.S.

Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Snipped from Miami NWS Disco...

THE FRONT WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE
REGION ON WEDNESDAY...AS THE SHORT WAVE CONTINUES TO MOVE EAST AND
OVER SOUTH FLORIDA. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR THE ATMOSPHERE TO BECOME
UNSTABLE LEADING TO SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. SOME OF THE THUNDERSTORMS ON WEDNESDAY COULD BECOME
STRONG WITH GUSTY WINDS, HAIL, AND HEAVY RAINFALL. SPC CURRENTLY
HAS SOUTH FLORIDA IN A MARGINAL SEVERE RISK ON WEDNESDAY.

WEAK LOW PRESSURE SHOULD DEVELOP OVER THE GULF COAST STATES
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND MOVE EASTWARD THROUGH THE SOUTHEAST UNITED
STATES ON THURSDAY. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR THE STATIONARY FRONT TO
MOVE NORTHWARD AS A WARM FRONT WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY INTO
NORTHERN FLORIDA KEEPING THE TROPICAL AIR MASS IN PLACE OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA. THEREFORE...THE SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS POPS WILL REMAIN IN
PLACE OVER THE AREA ON THURSDAY.

.LONG TERM...
THE WEAK LOW WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE EAST INTO THE ATLANTIC WATERS
ON FRIDAY PUSHING THE FRONT BACK SOUTHWARD AS A COLD FRONT
THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA. HIGH PRESSURE WILL THEN BUILD INTO SOUTH
FLORIDA THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR DRIER AIR TO WORK INTO
THE REGION THIS WEEKEND FROM THE NORTH LEADING TO MOSTLY DRY
CONDITIONS.


THE LONG RANGE MODELS ARE SHOWING ANOTHER FRONT MOVING THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA BY MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK
...AS ANOTHER AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE DEVELOPS OVER THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES AND MOVES EAST
INTO THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR SCATTERED
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS EARLY NEXT WEEK...BEFORE DRIER AIR
CONDITIONS RETURN TO SOUTH FLORIDA FOR THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.


Link


That sure doesn't read like the wet season has started for S. Florida.
Effective July 7, the NWS will be switching to new, high definition weather icons for all Point Forecast pages. Here is an example:



And another example with active watches/warnings in place:



And the list depicting the changes:

Link
From the prior blog, but he makes a good point (albeit unwittingly)...

Quoting 122. JtothaK:


Regardless, assume we have a million years of quantifiable data from tens of thousands of random ice cores. Said ice cores provide 100% accuracy in regards to CO2 levels.

1,000,000 years is exactly a .02% of 4.5 billion years. Is .02% even statistically relevant? Perhaps, but we're not even close to that assuming the best case scenario.

Let's put it this way using our hypothetical 100% accurate 1,000,000 year span of data (.02% of 4.5 billion). If Joe the maintenance guy lives to be 100 years old and is writing his memoirs about the last .02% of his life, the book would be limited to the last 2 years of his very fruitful and exciting life.

Would we fully understand the 100 year old Joe by describing his 98-100 years? Clearly not. Would we even partially understand Joe by eliminating the other 99.98% of Joe's life? Common sense and logic would again, clearly scream a resounding "no"!!. That doesn't even scratch the surface and therein lies my point.

I'm an engineer with a science background, this is how I think, work and operate. Show me the QUANTIFIABLE data.



Notwithstanding the math problem (0.02% is ~2.3 months, not 2 years), my favorite part of this analogy is how much it is actually like the dataset that led to the AGW theory. Say Joe starts slurring his words suddenly, can't repeat simple sentences, and only smiles from one side of his face, should we extrapolate his entire 100 year medical history and say nothing is different? Or should we treat him for a potential stroke based on the last 0.00000095% (30 seconds) of it?

I'm glad this "engineer" doesn't operate in the medical sense of the word. Yikes.
Quoting 5. wunderkidcayman:

Cool quad rainbow

FROM LAST BLOG


Actually I think we should see it back below 1.0C soon much sooner than you think

I'm with Scott on this, the el nino regions should start to warm up as this

starts to surface in the next couple of weeks or even days. but i don't agree with the strength than he is predicting.
Quoting 18. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Effective July 7, the NWS will be switching to new, high definition weather icons for all Point Forecast pages. Here is an example:


Was just looking at them...they really need to stop changing things every six months...Sheesh. Still getting used to the current page.
Quoting 21. Astrometeor:



Was just looking at them...they really need to stop changing things every six months...Sheesh. Still getting used to the current page.
wait till 2020 then we get the 3d glasses with full projected animated weather globes that move with the swipe of a finger
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


What does "tilts the odds to a hot start to the S FL wet season" mean?
Temperatures have been well above normal for two months. Did he just notice that?

Is he trying to say the wet season has started for S. Fl?

S. Florida is forecast to have rain Wednesday and Thursday and then back to dry weather.

I just thought it was funny if someone (especially a Met) would announce the start of the wet season for S. Florida just because we finally got one day of rain from a stalled out front.




I think he means more like mid-May. 2009 was like that.
Quoting Gearsts:
I'm with Scott on this, the el nino regions should start to warm up as this

starts to surface in the next couple of weeks or even days. but i don't agree with the strength than he is predicting.


That lolx10000

That subsurface warm pool is doing exactly the same thing as same time last year not a thing diffrent
It's a identical twin to last year
Quoting Gearsts:
I'm with Scott on this, the el nino regions should start to warm up as this

starts to surface in the next couple of weeks or even days. but i don't agree with the strength than he is predicting.


You know what let's wait and see lets wait till about mid May/late May
Quoting 22. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

wait till 2020 then we get the 3d glasses with full projected animated weather globes that move with the swipe of a finger

Almost.
Quoting 24. wunderkidcayman:



That lolx10000

That subsurface warm pool is doing exactly the same thing as same time last year not a thing diffrent
It's a identical twin to last year


You are very mature.
28. SuzK
I have to make a post simply to show off my rainbow profile image ;D We were in the Black Rock desert in Nevada in 2010 when the storm passed that left that rainbow. I've never seen one since that was so distinct. It is new to me that there are 3rd and 4th order rainbows! Good stuff.

Sue
Drums Pennsylvania
Quoting 18. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Effective July 7, the NWS will be switching to new, high definition weather icons for all Point Forecast pages. Here is an example:



And another example with active watches/warnings in place:



And the list depicting the changes:

Link


Pretty awesome, I like the new changes. This is one of my favorite icon, looks realistic. :)

Quoting Gearsts:


You are very mature.


Your completely immature

That's surface, I said subsurface pool NOT surface.
I do have to agree at surface the anomalys are a different story
Quoting 22. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

wait till 2020 then we get the 3d glasses with full projected animated weather globes that move with the swipe of a finger


Ugh. I don't like those. Do you know how cumbersome it is to have two sets of glasses on at the same time? My nose and ears can only hold so much. Already bad enough when I'm at a firing range and the safety glasses push my regular glasses around...sometimes it's a bit blurry down the stretch.
Quoting 30. wunderkidcayman:



Your completely immature

That's surface, I said subsurface pool NOT surface.
Quoting 30. wunderkidcayman:

Your completely immature

That's surface, I said subsurface pool NOT surface.


His completely immature what? ;-)

I absolutely love all this ranting and raving (complete with attacks) over opinions on what the data show. I need to make some popcorn. Truly, though, it's this kind of debate that moves the needle on when we can reliably predict ENSO behaviors. Keep at it and throw some wild ideas at correlations at the wall to see if they stick! Keep it civil, though.
Quoting 26. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Almost.


How long does it take to load this link on a college campus with poor WiFi?

Right now it's a smudge...starting to doubt Cody's intelligence when he sends me a link to a smudge...

Edit: OMG. It's like the globe at my Mom's work. Except it looks better.
Quoting 26. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Almost.
I use global earth model already
stop bang your head or your gonna get stupid lol

Anyway what I'm saying is fact

Truth is no one is really 100% sure on what's gonna happen we will just simply have to wait and see

I will still stand by what I said we max out at moderate El nino
No strong or super no apocalyptic nino
but that looks good be better with access to all data sets
in time we shall see what we see and compare to what we thought we saw we were seeing and see that against the other things we saw
I don't subscribe to weather bell that's where its from right
The position of each primary rainbow corresponds to the position of the reflection about the horizon of the extension of the other. The position of each secondary rainbow corresponds to the position of the reflection about the horizon of the extension of the other.
Quoting 40. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

I don't subscribe to weather bell that's where its from right

Yes.
Nice!!
Quoting 20. Gearsts:

I'm with Scott on this, the el nino regions should start to warm up as this

starts to surface in the next couple of weeks or even days. but i don't agree with the strength than he is predicting.



dont wast your time withhim or any of the EL nino down caster this hit ignore and move on
Quoting 19. JazzChi:

From the prior blog, but he makes a good point (albeit unwittingly)...




Notwithstanding the math problem (0.02% is ~2.3 months, not 2 years), my favorite part of this analogy is how much it is actually like the dataset that led to the AGW theory. Say Joe starts slurring his words suddenly, can't repeat simple sentences, and only smiles from one side of his face, should we extrapolate his entire 100 year medical history and say nothing is different? Or should we treat him for a potential stroke based on the last 0.00000095% (30 seconds) of it?

I'm glad this "engineer" doesn't operate in the medical sense of the word. Yikes.


I seriously doubt he works in science circles. His argument boils down to the same one that's used by deniers of all kinds of science (as well as history). Basically "WE WARN'T DER SO HOW WE KNOW AMIRITE?"

And as anyone involved with science will tell you, this argument is bovine excrement and probably one of the more idiotic arguments there is.

Also, as you point out, the conditions of X million years ago is irrelevant to the conditions to maintain a thriving human civilization. We survived and thrived because of our current climate, not one 10 million years ago.

As for the effects of things like CO2 on the climate system, that's just physics an chemistry. It isn't even hard physics and chemistry. Dudes in the 1800's figured it out, well before modern technology.
Quoting 46. Xyrus2000:



I seriously doubt he works in science circles. His argument boils down to the same one that's used by deniers of all kinds of science (as well as history). Basically "WE WARN'T DER SO HOW WE KNOW AMIRITE?"

And as anyone involved with science will tell you, this argument is bovine excrement and probably one of the more idiotic arguments there is.

Also, as you point out, the conditions of X million years ago is irrelevant to the conditions to maintain a thriving human civilization. We survived and thrived because of our current climate, not one 10 million years ago.

As for the effects of things like CO2 on the climate system, that's just physics an chemistry. It isn't even hard physics and chemistry. Dudes in the 1800's figured it out, well before modern technology.


There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Thanks Doc. :-)
In the US drought monitor PR has and SL. short term or long term? I don't get it!
Three die as cyclonic storms smash NSW
BY GEMMA NAJEM, EOIN BLACKWELL & CARIS BIZZACA AAP APRIL 21, 2015 9:36PM


THREE people have died in the worst storms to hit NSW in a decade with the battered Hunter region bracing for further cyclonic conditions.

A WOMAN and two men, all believed to be elderly, reportedly died in their homes in Dungog as water surged through the town, after more than 300mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

The deaths on Tuesday came after dramatic footage emerged of a house floating down a Dungog street with wild weather wreaking havoc across the state, including Sydney.
Rescuers have saved more than 100 people from floodwaters, 10 of them from rooftops in Stroud, just north of Newcastle, with the SES fielding 6,200 calls since Monday morning.

During Tuesday wind speeds topped 130km/h, taking down power lines and forcing three Hunter region hospitals to use back-up generators.
A man who escaped Dungog through a back route says the town is a mess as families have been left with nothing.
Animals have been floating in the streets and people have been swimming onto their roofs, David told ABC Radio after he checked on his wife's family in town.

"People don't understand, Dungog has been smashed," said David, who didn't give his surname.
"The town is a mess.
"People have got nothing ... it's just been horrendous."

More than 200,000 homes and businesses have been left without power as Premier Mike Baird urged people to be patient with power companies.
"Obviously getting power back to places such as our hospitals, I mean that's an absolute priority ... and people on life support," Mr Baird told ABC Radio.
The premier also urged people to check on elderly neighbours throughout the night and on Wednesday following the Dungog tragedy.
Wild weather is set to continue in Sydney, which is in for another belting as the storm cell moves south.
Transport chaos ensued across the city on Tuesday night after trees fell onto North Shore train lines and roads became clogged with workers rushing home.

A cruise ship was left stranded outside Sydney Heads because of a massive swell, while winds in Bondi whipped up sand and covered the skate park at the iconic beach.
The SES has warned Manly residents to be prepared for flooding from the Manly Dam, while Newcastle locals have received similar warnings, especially for those in low-lying streets.
"These events are going to test our emergency services," Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said.
Close to 80 public schools will remain closed across NSW on Wednesday as the east coast low is expected to start easing.
The premier called on bosses to be flexible and for people to avoid roads unless necessary.

Rain Chance for Wednesday is up to 50%....
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.



* Climate Relevant Land Use and Land Cover Change Policies

*** A Reanalysis of Hurricane Camille

*** Establishing best practices to improve usefulness and usability of web interfaces providing atmospheric data

Ceres' bright spots back in view



Key role urged on central banks in climate fight

Strontium atomic clock accurate to the second over 15 billion years

*** Global warming more moderate than worst-case models, empirical data suggest

Horizontal gene transfer: Sweet potato naturally 'genetically modified'

* Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger




*** Amazon rainforest losses impact on climate change, study shows

* Phytoplankton, reducing greenhouse gases or amplifying Arctic warming?


Extending climate predictability beyond El Nino



Traffic emissions may pollute one in three Canadian homes




* Super storm lashes Australian east coast for third day

In North Korea, solar panel boom gives power to the people Uh-huh.

Smog hit China aims for environmental stimulus as growth wanes

Small north Texas quakes likely linked to oil, gas operations: study

Oklahoma scientists say earthquakes linked to oil and gas work

NY judge recognizes chimps as persons: A step toward legal rights for animals?
Hmmmmmmmm.

!!! The Quadrennial Energy Review (QER)

This is why you shouldn't only get your climate change news from the mainstream media


* Lyrid Meteor Shower Gets a Boost From Moon and Venus

China gets serious about car exhaust emissions (video)

Gas and oil pipelines regulated by absentee agency
Quoting 20. Gearsts:

I'm with Scott on this, the el nino regions should start to warm up as this

starts to surface in the next couple of weeks or even days. but i don't agree with the strength than he is predicting.


I'm also with Scott.
It looks like a major event.
We will know by late May.
Quoting 18. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Effective July 7, the NWS will be switching to new, high definition weather icons for all Point Forecast pages. Here is an example:



And another example with active watches/warnings in place:



And the list depicting the changes:

Link


I like the 'Cat in the Hat' windsocks.
Quoting 57. yoboi:



I always thought the solid state of CO2 was used to cool things....


Unfortunately, it is not in the solid state.
New blog on the potential severe threat in the southern plains on friday (as of the 18Z GFS run).

Link
Best I ever saw was a triple rainbow - twice in Hawaii (Oahu) late 1960's
well at least they not sailing the Sydney - Hobart race or it be a replay of 1998.
Quoting 16. Sfloridacat5:

If the ECMWF and GFS verify, this is what late next week will look like across the eastern U.S.

Much cooler and drier air dives down behind a strong low that moves across the southern U.S.




Not buying it, I can count at least 4 times long term guidance had this happening over the last month, and it didn't even result in even a weak frontal passage. Even if it did happens it's impacts in Florida this late will be so weak, they'll barely be noticeable other than it feeling a bit more comfortable and more clear skies/dry air for a time.
Quoting 62. Jedkins01:



Not buying it, I can count at least 4 times long term guidance had this happening over the last month, and it didn't even result in even a weak frontal passage. Even if it did happens it's impacts in Florida this late will be so weak, they'll barely be noticeable other than it feeling a bit more comfortable and more clear skies/dry air for a time.

Oh come on...what's hard to believe about 40 mph NW frontal wind in the gulf... In May?? :)
Well, I had a bit of actual weather excitement today. It leads me to ask, how is a dust devil different from a tornado? Here's what happened:

High temp in the low 80's this afternoon. Around 4pm-ish, the wind shifted direction to the east. I noticed we'd had some cumulus going on to the east, around the Stillwater range. It felt like the low center there was drawing in warmer air from our part of the valley. I checked radar, just a little fuzzy green out by there. Nevertheless, I told the kids "Better look around, if there's anything you don't want rained on, better get it under cover.

About 45 minutes to an hour later, the wind picked up. Then the wind picked up some more. Then the wind picked up again. I was outside doing some small carpentry, set my tools down and watched. The wind got real whippy, then I saw... the biggest damned dust devil I've ever seen. It chased the pigs a bit, tossed a bucket back over the fence into the driveway, then I swear I saw this happen.

I have a beehive in the orchard - single deep hive body, spacer over that, cover on top, 12" square concrete paver block on top.

The hive went UP, the barrel it was sitting on blew against the fence, and then the hive did this Wile E. Coyote delayed fall to the ground, on its side. It was full of bees (but being new still not loaded with honey. I figure the whole assembly weighs about 20, 30 lbs.

The vortex or whatever it was then chased across the neighbor's pasture, carrying tumbleweeds and lots of dust and little debris. It got to the irrigation feeder ditch across the pasture, and started ripping dried weeds and long stemmed dead grass out of the ground, throwing it about. I've never seen a dust devil be strong enough to rip plants out of the ground.

(We only got a sprinkle of rain in the last 15 minutes, this particular location gets dry-slotted more often than not.)
Wonderful! Thanks a bunch for the explanations!
Here a stormy little morning read from Sydney ;-)

Why the Sydney storm caught us off guard
News.com.au, 2 hours ago April 22, 2015 2:43PM
... Meanwhile, east coast lows form in cooler waters in the Tasman Sea off New South Wales, and the thing that gets them going is the difference in temperature between the warmish ocean below relative to the colder air above during the Autumn and Winter months. They develop close to the coast, often rapidly intensify overnight and dissipating quickly within a couple of days. They're like a whirlwind, literally, giving us little time to prepare for their arrival and comprehend what happened.
It's worth noting that unless an east coast low hugs the coast like this most recent one, it may not manifest to more than just a windy or rainy day. So while we'll see about five or six east coast lows a year on average, most of them don't cause widespread destruction because they're either too far offshore or move away and dissipate fairly quickly. The biggest problem with this current east coast low is that is was virtually stationary, hugging that Newcastle coast for two days, which allowed it to unleash its full power. ...

Whole article see link above.

Sydney storm: Pilots step up as weather batters Sydney Airport
The Age, April 22, 2015
With southerly winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour, passengers have endured hair-raising landings at Sydney Airport over the last three days. ...

Sydney Storm: Carnival Spirit in Sydney Heads was like 'a giant washing machine on a spin cycle'
SMH, April 22, 2015
We had just finished dinner on what was to be our final evening aboard the Carnival Spirit when it became clear we were in for a wild night - which would turn out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. ...

Two days of hell for owners of Sydney's beachfront homes
Domain, April 22, 2015 - 5:17PM

Sydney storm: How much will the Sydney storm cost?

SMH, April 22, 2015

Sydney storm: Natural disaster to be declared after worst weather in decades
SMH, April 22, 2015



Looping funny upper cold pool (I've posted about it some days earlier) finally entered Germany as scheduled, providing some much needed rain (more to come with a stronger trough at the weekend).







The looping journey of the cold pool:


Watch the orange spot, lol (unfortunately I've missed the start of the loop-the-loop):
Quoting 57. yoboi:



I always thought the solid state of CO2 was used to cool things....


When two substances are in contact, and one is warmer than the other, heat tends to move from the warmer of the two to the cooler of the two.

Water ice can be used to cool something or to keep it cool. Boiling water can be used to heat something. CO2 ice can be used for cooling. Hot CO2 gas could be used for heating. Liquid nitrogen can be used for cooling (don't try this at home). Hot nitrogen gas could be used for heating.

Dry ice being used to cool things is not relevant to CO2 being a greenhouse gas. CO2 is a greenhouse gas regardless of whether it's temperature is -40 C / -40 F or 40 C / 104 F.
Good morning on this big day when we celebrate Earth day..






Quoting 68. DCSwithunderscores:



When two substances are in contact, and one is warmer than the other, heat tends to move from the warmer of the two to the cooler of the two.

Water ice can be used to cool something or to keep it cool. Boiling water can be used to heat something. CO2 ice can be used for cooling. Hot CO2 gas could be used for heating. Liquid nitrogen can be used for cooling (don't try this at home). Hot nitrogen gas could be used for heating.

Dry ice being used to cool things is not relevant to CO2 being a greenhouse gas. CO2 is a greenhouse gas regardless of whether it's temperature is -40 C / -40 F or 40 C / 104 F.


From what I recall CO2 is not the most potent greenhouse gas...
Quoting 70. yoboi:



From what I recall CO2 is not the most potent greenhouse gas...

Well? And? What? Is your recollection topic now?
Quoting 30. StormTrackerScott:



You have to be kidding you clearly stated water around Australia are warmer than average which infact they are near to below average especially across the NE Coast.


Yep, & I have the data to prove it. Here's the monthly NCEP Renanalysis SSTs (most likely ERSSTv3b or Kaplan) plot for 6.7-41S & 105-165E. Not surprisingly (if you actually took the time to look @ the data instead of staring blankly @ model guidance & copy/pasting what is being said by the professionals) the SSTs approximately surrounding the entirety of Australia are well above normal, and for this geographic area, this was their 4th warmest March on record, only 1998, 1999, & 2013 observed higher SSTs, and of course, all of those aforementioned years were entrenched into a predominately -ENSO state or moving towards one...



FYI, the Coral Sea is off the NE coast of Australia, & I've already mentioned, but just to re-iterate, (in case you don't decide to look @ any actual, real-time data) the SSTs in the Coral Sea off the northeast coast of Australia were at all-time record highs this past March & actually since the beginning of the year are also at all-time record highs...




president is in s florida today. wonder if he will mention anything about over population in the evac zones.
@Webber, fact is you mention the Coral Sea being warmer than average is just not true and this is confirmed by NOAA.

Quoting 34. JazzChi:



His completely immature what? ;-)

I absolutely love all this ranting and raving (complete with attacks) over opinions on what the data show. I need to make some popcorn. Truly, though, it's this kind of debate that moves the needle on when we can reliably predict ENSO behaviors. Keep at it and throw some wild ideas at correlations at the wall to see if they stick! Keep it civil, though.
Kind of reminds me of the climate change crowd, except everyone is a little more hostile towards each other. Same results nothing ever changes. I just hope we get the rain they are forecasting for the next few days, we sure could use it down here.
Could be a severe weather outbreak early next week across the Gulf Coast region extending over to FL. Euro looks very robust early next week.

Quoting 71. cRRKampen:


Well? And? What? Is your recollection topic now?


Going by Dalton's law CO2 would not be at the top of the list to worry about....And yes there are other scientific papers that say otherwise...The scientific consensus is not united...Maybe one day...
Quoting 77. hydrus:




If the Euro and CMC verify the we could see a severe weather outbreak from Louisiana to FL next Monday into Tuesday. GFS isn't as amplified compared to the rest of the models so well see how it goes.
Quoting 78. yoboi:



Going by Dalton's law CO2 would not be at the top of the list to worry about....And yes there are other scientific papers that say otherwise...The scientific consensus is not united...Maybe one day...


Uhh, what are you even talking about? Complete make believe statement from you yet again. I really wish the moderators would solve this issue of the same person disrupting the same blog by posting absolute make believe fantasy over and over and over.
Despite what webberweather says ENSO is not faltering this year.

Philip Klotzbach @philklotzbach · 14h 14 hours ago
Continued anomalous westerlies forecast near the International Date Line. Background state looking more like El Nino





Also in a little over 2 months from now models bring ENSO 3.4 to near 2C
Already 3" to 5" of rain for April across E C FL and a lot more rain on the way. Average for April is 2.42" so we are already above what is considered average.

Tomorrow looks active across FL. Likely will be some severe weather tomorrow main threats will be hail and strong gusty winds as lapse rates should be fairly steep at 6.5 to 7.0 and 500mb temps at -12C

Quoting 78. yoboi:



Going by Dalton's law CO2 would not be at the top of the list to worry about....And yes there are other scientific papers that say otherwise...The scientific consensus is not united...Maybe one day...

400 ppm is about 24 grams of cyanide for a 70 kg person, enjoy 'not to worry about' mate, bye.
Quoting 81. Naga5000:



Uhh, what are you even talking about? Complete make believe statement from you yet again. I really wish the moderators would solve this issue of the same person disrupting the same blog by posting absolute make believe fantasy over and over and over.
Ignore button, Naga... Use the force.
Happy Earth Day -

Pumps at Fukushima plant halted, toxic water leaking into ocean - TEPCO

Earlier this year, TEPCO stated that last May’s water samples from the drainage channel contained radioactive materials. The concentration exceeded the legal limit, which is estimated at just 30 becquerels of radioactive strontium-90 per liter.

Overall, in the period between May 2011 and August 2013, according to a series of statements from the company, groundwater leaks ended up in as many as 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137, 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 and 40 trillion becquerels of tritium reaching the sea.


Link
Four dead as super storm lashes Australian east coast

The Bureau of Meteorology warned that a second storm cell was gathering at sea north of Sydney, with gale force winds of up to 100 km per hour (62 miles per hour) and heavy winds hitting the coast

Link
En-so the Blog rolls on.

LoL
Quoting 81. Naga5000:



Uhh, what are you even talking about? Complete make believe statement from you yet again. I really wish the moderators would solve this issue of the same person disrupting the same blog by posting absolute make believe fantasy over and over and over.
Naga you can just scroll past it.If you give little attention to something it'll go away.
It looks like an El Nino now..Been a long time since I have seen the sub tropical jet this strong..

Quoting 91. hydrus:

It looks like an El Nino now..Been a long time since I have seen the sub tropical jet this strong..




If that's the 'pineapple express', it's on the wrong railway line. Just adding insult to injury for California's woes.
Quoting 57. yoboi:



I always thought the solid state of CO2 was used to cool things....


So is liquid hydrogen, and yet it can also be used as rocket fuel.

This is a complete non-sequitor. If you heat or cool anything, then you can use it to heat or cool anything. The solid state of CO2 (or any gas) is achieved by creating an environment where it can form, which usually involves increasing pressures and dropping temperature. CO2 itself doesn't not just magically turn into a solid and start making things cold.
Dozens of dinosaur eggs discovered by construction workers in Chinese city


Construction workers came across fossilized dinosaur eggs during road repair work Sunday in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Hong Kong (CNN)The Chinese city that boasts the largest number of dinosaur eggs in the world has added a new batch to its impressive collection.

Construction workers unearthed 43 fossilized dinosaur eggs during road repair work in Heyuan city in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Sunday, officials said.

The city, which calls itself the "Home of Dinosaurs," won a Guinness World Record for the world's largest collection of dinosaur eggs at its museum in 2004.


A crowd gathered around the site along a main road where the fossils were discovered in Heyuan city.

Huang Zhiqing, deputy director of the Heyuan Museum, told CNN that it was the first time the fossils have been discovered in the bustling city center.

Major road repair work was halted as a team of researchers and construction workers jumped down into a ditch to dig out the fossils.

Eggs as wide as 5 inches
Nineteen of the eggs are completely intact, with the largest measuring as much as 13 centimeters (5 inches) in diameter, Huang said.

Researchers said they will continue to examine the fossils to determine which dinosaur species they belong to.

Most of the eggs in the museum's existing collection belong to oviraptorid and duck-billed dinosaurs, which roamed the earth 89 million years ago.

Nearly 17,000 dinosaur eggs have been uncovered in the city since the first group of fossils was found in 1996 by children playing at a construction site, the China's official news agency Xinhua reported.

Would be so cool if these actually hatched.
Quoting 90. washingtonian115:

Naga you can just scroll past it.If you give little attention to something it'll go away.


Yeah, this one sticks around.
Link

Link to my Hurricane Week Blog.
Good Morning.  Here is the skinny on the one tornado that touched town in Tallahassee on Sunday; I have lived here for 14 years and never saw one like this; no wonder; a 20 year return period...................................


A tornado packing 95-mile-an-hour winds touched down for 8 minutes and traveled on the ground for nearly five miles north through Tallahassee Sunday.

While the damage was limited mostly to downed trees, the twister was the first of its caliber to touch down in the capital city in two decades and came on the first of two days of inclement weather that broke tree limbs and trunks, left fallen power lines and thousands without electricity.

The tornado started north of the North Monroe Street exit on I-10 and moved northeast to about a mile north of Maclay Gardens near Ox Bottom Road.

The tornado touched down just before 1 p.m. and remained on the ground for 8 minutes. It traveled 4.66 miles with a maximum width of 350 yards and reached wind speeds of 95 mph.

JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 70. yoboi:



From what I recall CO2 is not the most potent greenhouse gas...


Again, this is well known. The problem with CO2 isn't it's potency, as has been explained many many times here and in pretty much any scientific literature on the subject. The problem is how long it stays in the system. Water cycles through the atmosphere in a period of days. High potency, short duration. CO2 cycles through the atmosphere in about 150 years. Lower potency, long duration.

Comparing greenhouse gases just based on their potency alone doesn't make any sense. You need to understand their properties, how long they hang around, how much is produced, etc. in order to get an idea of what their climatological impacts are.

Quoting 92. yonzabam:



If that's the 'pineapple express', it's on the wrong railway line. Just adding insult to injury for California's woes.
Even if the Nino brings rain to California, It will likely take years to fill the aquafers. The rain will be welcome if it arrives. Too much to fast and problems with flooding will occur.
Who knew there was so much to know about the rainbow!
Again from the previous blog! (Don't worry I'm all caught up now. :^)
Quoting 100. hydrus:


Even if the Nino brings rain to California, It will likely take years to fill the aquafers. The rain will be welcome if it arrives. Too much to fast and problems with flooding will occur.




Parts of California Are Missing More Than 2 Years of Rain | Weather Underground (with video)