Friday’s tornado emergency sent a chill through Oklahoma City and its environs, in large part because it came less than two weeks after a powerful twister drove through the same area. The attention given to the weather pummeling America’s midsection plays off the devastation left behind on May 20 in Moore, Okla. — and that contributes to the perception that this year’s storm season has been far worse than usual. It hasn’t been, says Cliff Mass, a weather researcher at the University of Washington. Read more on MSNBC.com.
Luke Madaus knew at a young age that he wanted to study storms. So it only made sense that he went to college at the University of Oklahoma, in the heart of tornado alley. “Storm chasing was just something that you did down there as a meteorology student,” said Madaus, who now studies atmospheric science as a graduate student at the University of Washington. Read more at King 5.
For the first time in decades, the top U.S. weather model should finally have “greater capacity” than the gold-standard European model. Read more in USA Today, where Professor Cliff Mass is quoted.
A string of record-breaking summers and a massive storm in New York City have brought new attention to the effects of climate change and prompted discussions about how to safeguard cities and crops. A University of Washington group that has focused on this question for almost two decades is part of a new report and first-ever national meeting on adapting to the effects of a changing climate. Amy Snover, director of the UW’s Climate Impacts Group, is one of four co-authors of a national report released this week that outlines the state of adaptation to climate change in the United States. Read more at UW Today.
This mosaic of images taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite shows an unusually strong storm over the Arctic Ocean on Aug. 6, 2012.
Image Source: NASA / Goddard / MODIS Rapid Response Team
Last summer the Arctic sea ice melted to a record low. At the same time, a freak cyclone over the Arctic hung out for a record 13 days in August. Was the cyclone the key driver of the record ice melt? Researchers from UW’s Polar Science Center say that no. Read more here!
Seattle’s City Council has announced a process to develop a Climate Action Plan, to be finalized on April 22 (Earth Day). Their decision is based partly on work by the Climate Impacts Group, a report from which provides estimates of climate-induced sea level rise. Read more about what the City is planning and how you can get involved.
Right now California is experiencing what some call a “pineapple express” — a jet stream of moisture that has already resulted in over 10 inches of rain in some locations. How common are these rivers of atmospheric moisture, and how might they change with climate change? Check out this in-depth story from Scientific American, published early in light of the current storms.