Quantcast
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



Channel Description:

SKYE on AOL

older | 1 | .... | 81 | 82 | (Page 83) | 84 | 85 | .... | 204 | newer

    0 0


    Mauna Loa, the Hawaiian Volcano from which researchers have been monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide for decades. (NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory)

    The proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is set to break 400 parts per million this month, levels not seen in 3 million years, according to one of the best climate records available.

    The Keeling Curve, a daily record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, has been running continuously since March 1958, when a carbon dioxide monitor was installed at Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. On its first day, the observatory measured a carbon dioxide concentration of 313 parts per million (ppm). That number means there were 313 molecules of carbon dioxide in the air for every 1 million air molecules.

    Keeling CurveThe number continued to climb through May 1958 and then slowly started to drop, reaching a minimum in October that year. This maximum-minimum pattern, repeated seasonally, reveals how trees withdraw carbon dioxide from the air in summer to grow and then release it through dead, decaying leaves and wood in the winter.

    Upward creep

    But humans release carbon dioxide into the air, too, by burning fossil fuels. This activity has caused the Keeling Curve to creep ever upward since 1958: The lows get a little higher each year, as do the highs. [The Reality of Climate Change: 10 Myths Busted]

    Because carbon dioxide typically peaks in May, researchers are expecting the Keeling Curve to break a milestone of 400 ppm this year. (If not, the number will almost certainly be reached in May 2014.) As of May 1 of this year, the last day data was available, the Mauna Loa observatory recorded 399.39 ppm of carbon dioxide in the air.

    There will be no huge atmospheric or climatic shift once carbon dioxide hits 400 ppm, but the milestone has symbolic significance, said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.

    "It is a reminder of just how uncontrolled this dangerous experiment we're playing with the planet really is," Mann told LiveScience.

    What 400 ppm means

    In the 1,000 years that occurred before the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, atmospheric carbon dioxide held steady at around 270 to 280 parts per million.

    Scientists believe that the most recent period to reach 400 ppm was the Pliocene Epoch, between 5 million and 3 million years ago, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which keeps track of the Keeling Curve.

    Back then, it was a different world. Global average temperatures during the period were between 5.4 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) higher than today, and sea level was as much as 131 feet (40 meters) higher in some places. Even the least-affected regions saw sea levels 16 feet (5 meters) higher than today's.

    A major difference between then and now, though, is the speed at which carbon dioxide is rising today. Typically, in the last 40 to 50 years, the Keeling Curve shows increases of 2 to 2.5 ppm a year, Mann said. In the 1950s and 1960s, carbon dioxide increased by less than 1 ppm each year, according to Scripps.

    "We're on course for more than 450 ppm in a matter of decades if we don't get our fossil fuel emissions under control quite soon," Mann said.

    Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    The winners of the 2013 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards were announced Friday, May 3, in Anaheim, Calif. Surfer Shane Dorian took home the $50,000 prize for Ride of the Year for a massive wave at Jaws, Maui, on Oct. 9, 2012. Check out the award-winning ride in the video above; below, see Dorian reflect on the ride.



    See other winners here.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    An open tanning booth at Amazing Tans in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Indoor tanning beds would carry new warnings about the risk of cancer and be subject to more stringent federal oversight, under a proposal unveiled Monday by the Food and Drug Administration.


    The FDA has regulated tanning beds and sun lamps for over 30 years, but for the first time ever the agency says those devices should not be used by people under age 18. The agency wants that warning on pamphlets, catalogues and websites that promote indoor tanning. And regulators are also proposing that manufacturers to meet certain safety and design features, including timers and limits on radiation emitted.

    The government action is aimed at curbing cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which have been on the rise for about 30 years. An estimated 2.3 million U.S. teenagers tan indoors each year, and melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among young adults, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

    Recent studies have shown that the risk of melanoma is 75 percent higher in people who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning. While most cases are diagnosed in people in their 40s and 50s, the disease is linked to sun exposure at a young age.

    Physician groups have been urging the U.S. government to take action on tanning beds for years, citing increases in the number of cases of skin cancer among people in their teens and 20s.

    "As a dermatologist I see the consequences of indoor tanning. I have to diagnose too many young people with melanoma and see the grief that it causes to these families," said Dr. Mary Maloney of the American Academy of Dermatology, on a call with FDA officials. Maloney said the FDA action is an important first step, but that her group would continue to push for a ban on the sale and use of tanning beds for people under age 18.

    Earlier this year, a study of Missouri tanning salons found that 65 percent of 250 businesses surveyed would accept children ages 10 to 12, often without parental permission. The study was conducted by dermatologists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

    Currently, the machines are classified as low-risk devices, in the same group as bandages and tongue depressors. The proposal would increase their classification to moderate-risk, or class II, devices. That would allow the FDA to review their safety and design before manufacturers begin selling them.

    "They don't have to provide any data in advance before they go on the market, so we have no way of providing assurance that the tanning beds are performing up to specifications," said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, FDA's director for medical devices.

    Safety standards are important because recent studies show that many devices can cause sunburn even when used as directed. A 2009 study found that 58 percent of adolescents who tan indoors had sunburn exposure.

    "If you get an indoor tan, you shouldn't be burning," Shuren said.

    Calls placed to the Indoor Tanning Association Monday afternoon were not immediately returned.

    The FDA proposal would not place warnings on the devices themselves, but on related promotional material and websites. Some consumer advocates said those warnings might never actually reach users.

    "The FDA is requiring that the labels and pamphlets include risk information about skin cancer, but consumers would not be required to see those labels or pamphlets - they are apparently only for the company buying the tanning bed," said Diana Zuckerman, of the National Research Center for Women and Families.

    The agency said it will take comments on its proposal for 90 days before formulating a final regulation. Agency officials didn't give a timeframe for completion, but said it would be a priority.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumps out of the Red Bull Stratos capsule 24 miles over New Mexico on Oct. 14, 2012. (Red Bull Stratos/Red Bull Content)

    The Red Bull Stratos pressurized capsule and spacesuit that Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner used to break the speed of sound while free-falling from the stratosphere last October are now on public display for the first time.

    The Stratos "space jump" capsule and pressure suit made their world premiere as a museum exhibit on Friday (May 3) at Space Center Houston, the privately-run, official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas. While not a NASA mission, the Red Bull Stratos team included a number of the space agency's veterans, including former space shuttle flight surgeon Jonathan Clark, who served as the project's medical director.

    On Oct. 14, 2012, Baumgartner lifted off inside the helium balloon-lofted capsule to an altitude of about 24 miles (39 kilometers) over New Mexico, where he then jumped to a parachute-assisted touchdown 10 minutes later. During his free fall, Baumgartner accelerated to a top speed of Mach 1.25 (844 mph or 1,358 km/h), making him the first person to break the speed of sound with only his body. [See Photos of Baumgartner's Historic Jump]

    Delayed several days by weather, the supersonic feat was achieved — by coincidence — on the 65th anniversary of test pilot Chuck Yeager first breaking the speed of sound aboard the Bell X-1 rocket-powered aircraft in 1947.

    Baumgartner's so-called "jump from the edge of space" -- he was nearly 40 miles (64 km) shy of the actual edge of space -- broke two additional records: the highest manned balloon flight and the highest altitude jump, the latter previously set in 1960 by Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger. Kittinger, 84, served as Baumgartner's mentor and his Capcom, or capsule communicator, at the Red Bull Stratros Mission Control.

    A replica of Kittinger's "Project Excelsior" unpressurized gondola is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

    "Joe Kittinger's gondola in 1960 was like a Model T -- practical and very durable," Red Bull Stratos capsule crew chief Jon Wells said after Baumgartner's record-breaking flight. "With very sophisticated, sensitive equipment and all the 'luxuries' of cutting-edge technology, our Red Bull Stratos capsule was more like a modern supercar. From every standpoint, including a technical one, it really did its job."

    Space Center Houston's exhibit includes the 2,900-pound (1,315 kg) Stratos capsule, which descended under its own parachute to a "soft" landing about 55 miles (88.5 km) due east from where it was launched. Visitors can look, but not go inside the 11-foot high (3.35 m) by 8-foot wide (2.4 m) capsule to see where Baumgartner rode during the ascent and where he exited to jump.

    The pressure suit is the same one Baumgartner wore during the jump, one of only three that were produced. It was built by the David Clark Company, the same manufacturer which also made Kittinger's historic pressure suit and the spacesuits worn by NASA's Gemini astronauts. David Clark also produced the pressure suits worn aboard the SR-71 "Blackbird" and U-2 high altitude jets, as well as the launch and entry suits used by the astronauts on the space shuttle.

    Guests touring the "Mission to the Edge of Space" exhibit can learn more about Baumgartner and his dive through a series of display panels, including audio listening stations equipped with iPads and video screens that surround the capsule.

    "Jump into an incredible behind-the-scenes exhibition revealing the passion, physics and scientific significance of this unprecedented event," Space Center Houston said on its website. "Red Bull Stratos is part of Space Center Houston's ongoing mission to inspire students to consider careers in the fields of math and science."

    Click through to collectSPACE.com to see more photos from Space Center Houston's "Mission to the Edge of Space" Red Bull Stratos exhibit.

    Follow collectSPACE.com on Facebook and on Twitter at @collectSPACE. Copyright 2013 collectSPACE.com. All rights reserved.

    Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 'Fearless Felix' Baumgartner's Epic Jumps
    Felix Baumgartner

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Horseback riders pass the burned area of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Newbury Park, Calif., on May 6, 2013, where some cactus survived the spring fire. (AP Photo/Tina Burch)

    CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) - Rains moved across Southern California on Monday, dousing remnants of a wildfire that blackened thousands of acres in coastal mountains and bringing much-needed moisture to a region left parched by a dry winter.

    The 44-square-mile burn area in the western Santa Monica Mountains was 85 percent surrounded, and firefighters worked in muddy and slippery conditions to complete containment.

    Ventura County Fire spokesman Tony McHale said the wet weather significantly reduced fire activity. There were no remaining open flames, but firefighters remained on the lookout for flare-ups, he said.

    The rains were expected to continue, and the fire was expected to be contained, on Tuesday.

    The showers, heavy at times, marked a complete reversal of conditions that rapidly spread the blaze after it erupted early Thursday along U.S. 101 near the communities of Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks.

    Dry and gusty Santa Ana winds blew in from the northeast toward the coast that morning, sending relative humidity levels plunging to single digits as temperatures soared into the 90s. With seasonal rainfall levels running only about a third of normal, vegetation was already dead or dry and ready to burn.

    Investigators ruled out arson as the cause of the fire. Instead, they believe it was started by an undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris on the edge of U.S. 101, said Tom Piranio, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

    "The topography plus the hot, windy weather created a perfect storm for the fire to spread fast," he said.

    The fire threatened 4,000 homes but damaged only 15 as it swept past neighborhoods and into Point Mugu State Park, which sprawls over peaks and canyons down to scenic Sycamore Cove on the Pacific shoreline.

    State parks District Superintendent Craig Sap said more than 85 percent of the 22-square-mile park burned, and the result was somewhat disorienting with the absence of familiar vegetation revealing previously hidden features.

    "It's a stark landscape," he said.

    A preliminary assessment of losses included a building, an electrical distribution system, campground vegetation and signage. Sap estimated the total damage at $290,000.

    Despite the likelihood of rock falls, runoff problems and damage to fire roads, Sap noted that a silver lining of the fire would likely be sprouting of some species whose seeds are triggered by fire.

    "There are plants you never see until you have a fire like this," he said.

    The National Weather Service said showers and temperatures as much as 10 degrees below normal would last into Tuesday.

    In Northern California, meanwhile, a fire that has blackened 11 square miles of wilderness in Tehama County was 80 percent contained and was no longer an imminent threat to structures.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Incredible Images of the California Wildfire

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0


    Prince Harry (AP Photo)

    POINT PLEASANT BEACH, New Jersey (AP) - The mayor of a storm-wrecked Jersey shore town said Monday that England's Prince Harry will visit next week before heading to a news conference nearby.

    Mantoloking Mayor George Nebel said Monday that Harry, an heir to the British throne, will take a short walk along Barnegat Lane, along the town's bay front, during a brief visit on May 14. The prince will accompany Gov. Chris Christie to Seaside Heights afterward.

    During a council meeting held in Point Pleasant Beach because Mantoloking's municipal building was wrecked by the storm and attended by The Associated Press, Nebel revealed part of the prince's itinerary for his visit to the U.S. East Coast.

    "Security for this visit is being handled by the U.S. State Department so most of you won't get anywhere near" the prince, Nebel told residents.

    The prince and Christie are scheduled to take "a brief walk" along the roadway, which is in the less-seriously damaged section of the borough.

    "He wanted to see the hardest-hit town in New Jersey," Nebel said. "He'll arrive by car, walk along the road to see 10 houses, back in the car with the governor and gone."

    Mantoloking was the Jersey shore town hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy, which was spawned in late October when Hurricane Sandy merged with two other weathersystems. Every one of its 521 homes was damaged or destroyed, and the storm surge split the narrow borough in half, cutting between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay a new channel that took a massive emergency construction project to fill in.

    Harry is visiting various areas of the country from May 9 to 15 and wanted to include areas of the Jersey Shore that were devastated by Sandy.

    Other planned stops include an exhibition in Washington, D.C., on land mine clearance, a favorite cause of his late mother, Princess Diana; a British Ambassador's reception and visits to Arlington National Cemetery and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    In Colorado, the prince is due to attend a diplomatic reception in Denver and the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

    In New York City, Harry's visit will include an event promoting a community baseball program involving a new partnership with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which bills itself as the culmination of the charity lives of Harry and his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate.

    Harry also will take in a polo cup match in Connecticut.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Indelible Images from Superstorm Sandy

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    This photo provided by the University of Connecticut, shows a cicada in Pipestem State Park in West Virginia on May 27, 2003. (AP Photo/University of Connecticut, Chirs Simon)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Any day now, billions of cicadas with bulging red eyes will crawl out of the earth after 17 years underground and overrun the East Coast. The insects will arrive in such numbers that people from North Carolina to Connecticut will be outnumbered roughly 600-to-1. Maybe more.

    Scientists even have a horror-movie name for the infestation: Brood II. But as ominous as that sounds, the insects are harmless. They won't hurt you or other animals. At worst, they might damage a few saplings or young shrubs. Mostly they will blanket certain pockets of the region, though lots of people won't ever see them.

    "It's not like these hordes of cicadas suck blood or zombify people," says May Berenbaum, a University of Illinois entomologist.

    They're looking for just one thing: sex. And they've been waiting quite a long time.

    Since 1996, this group of 1-inch bugs, in wingless nymph form, has been a few feet underground, sucking on tree roots and biding their time. They will emerge only when the ground temperature reaches precisely 64 degrees. After a few weeks up in the trees, they will die and their offspring will go underground, not to return until 2030.

    "It's just an amazing accomplishment," Berenbaum says. "How can anyone not be impressed?"

    And they will make a big racket, too. The noise all the male cicadas make when they sing for sex can drown out your own thoughts, and maybe even rival a rock concert. In 2004, Gene Kritsky, an entomologist at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, measured cicadas at 94 decibels, saying it was so loud "you don't hear planes flying overhead."

    There are ordinary cicadas that come out every year around the world, but these are different. They're called magicicadas - as in magic - and are red-eyed. And these magicicadas are seen only in the eastern half of the United States, nowhere else in the world.

    There are 15 U.S. broods that emerge every 13 or 17 years, so that nearly every year, some place is overrun. Last year it was a small area, mostly around the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. Next year, two places get hit: Iowa into Illinois and Missouri; and Louisiana and Mississippi. And it's possible to live in these locations and actually never see them.

    This year's invasion, Brood II, is one of the bigger ones. Several experts say that they really don't have a handle on how many cicadas are lurking underground but that 30 billion seems like a good estimate. At the Smithsonian Institution, researcher Gary Hevel thinks it may be more like 1 trillion.

    Even if it's merely 30 billion, if they were lined up head to tail, they'd reach the moon and back.

    "There will be some places where it's wall-to-wall cicadas," says University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp.

    Strength in numbers is the key to cicada survival: There are so many of them that the birds can't possibly eat them all, and those that are left over are free to multiply, Raupp says.

    But why only every 13 or 17 years? Some scientists think they come out in these odd cycles so that predators can't match the timing and be waiting for them in huge numbers. Another theory is that the unusual cycles ensure that different broods don't compete with each other much.

    And there's the mystery of just how these bugs know it's been 17 years and time to come out, not 15 or 16 years.

    "These guys have evolved several mathematically clever tricks," Raupp says. "These guys are geniuses with little tiny brains."

    Past cicada invasions have seen as many as 1.5 million bugs per acre. Of course, most places along the East Coast won't be so swamped, and some places, especially in cities, may see zero, says Chris Simon of the University of Connecticut. For example, Staten Island gets this brood of cicadas, but the rest of New York City and Long Island don't, she says. The cicadas also live beneath the metro areas of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

    Scientists and ordinary people with a bug fetish travel to see them. Thomas Jefferson once wrote about an invasion of this very brood at Monticello, his home in Virginia.

    While they stay underground, the bugs aren't asleep. As some of the world's longest-lived insects, they go through different growth stages and molt four times before ever getting to the surface. They feed on a tree fluid called xylem. Then they go aboveground, where they molt, leaving behind a crusty brown shell, and grow a half-inch bigger.

    The timing of when they first come out depends purely on ground temperature. That means early May for southern areas and late May or even June for northern areas.

    The males come out first - think of it as getting to the singles bar early, Raupp says. They come out first as nymphs, which are essentially wingless and silent juveniles, climb on to tree branches and molt one last time, becoming adult winged cicadas. They perch on tree branches and sing, individually or in a chorus. Then when a female comes close, the males change their song, they do a dance and mate, he explained.

    The males keep mating ("That's what puts the 'cad' in 'cicada,'" Raupp jokes) and eventually the female lays 600 or so eggs on the tip of a branch. The offspring then dive-bomb out of the trees, bounce off the ground and eventually burrow into the earth, he says.

    "It's a treacherous, precarious life," Raupp says. "But somehow they make it work."

    RELATED ON SKYE: World's Freakiest Bugs

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    A cloud of volcanic ash shoots up to the sky as Mayon volcano, one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes, erupts after daybreak, viewed from Legazpi city Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Allan Imperial)

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) - One of the Philippines' most active volcanoes rumbled to life Tuesday, spewing room-sized rocks toward nearly 30 surprised climbers, killing five and injuring others that had to be fetched with rescue helicopters and rope.

    The climbers and their Filipino guides had spent the night camping in two groups before setting out at daybreak for the crater of Mayon volcano when the sudden explosion of rocks, ash and plumes of smokes jolted the picturesque mountain, guide Kenneth Jesalva told ABS-CBN TV network by cellphone.

    He said rocks "as big as a living room" came raining down, killing and injuring members of his group, some of whom were in critical condition. Jesalva said he rushed back to the base camp at 3,000 feet to call for help.

    Among the dead were three Germans and their Filipino guide, said Albay provincial Gov. Joey Salceda. He said everyone on the mountain had been accounted for at midday, except for a foreigner who was presumed dead.

    Eight people were injured, and Salceda said the others were in the process of being brought down the mountain. Ash clouds have cleared over the volcano, which was quiet later in the morning.

    "The injured are all foreigners ... They cannot walk. If you can imagine, the boulders there are as big as cars. Some of them slid and rolled down. We will rappel the rescue team, and we will rappel them up again," he said from Legazpi, the provincial capital at the foothill of the mountain.

    An Austrian mountaineer and two Spaniards were rescued with small bruises, he said.

    Tuesday's eruption was normal for the restive Mayon, said Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

    The 8,070-foot mountain about 340 kilometers (212 miles) southeast of Manila has erupted about 40 times during the last 400 years.

    In 2010, thousands of residents moved to temporary shelters when the volcano ejected ash up to 5 miles from the crater.

    Solidum said no alert was raised after the latest eruption and no evacuation was being planned.

    Climbers are not allowed when an alert is up, and the recent calm may have encouraged this week's trek. However, Solidum said that even with no alert raised, the immediate zone around the volcano is supposed to be a no-go area because of the risk of a sudden eruption.

    Salceda said he would enforce a ban on climbers.

    Despite the risks, Mayon and its near-perfect cone is a favorite spot for volcano watchers. Most enjoy the occasional nighttime spectacle of the rim lit by flowing lava, viewing from the safety of hotels in Legazpi.

    The volcano has a trail to the crater that is walkable though it's steep and strewn with rocks and debris from past eruptions.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Breathtaking Volcanic Eruptions Seen from Space

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    Warmth will continue across the Northwest on Tuesday following a day where high temperatures challenged records that were decades old.

    Above-normal temperatures are here to stay for the Northwest as the upper-level ridge responsible for these record-challenging temperatures remains over the region.

    One city that broke its record-high temperature on Monday was Seattle, Wash., reaching a high of 87 degrees. This was 25 degrees above their normal high for early May and broke the previous record of 79 set in 1957.

    Although this ridge will hold strong over the region through the week, temperatures on Tuesday are not forecast to be quite as warm as they were on Monday, but will remain well above average.

    Winds will turn to have more of a westerly component on Tuesday, allowing cooler air to make its way inland from the Pacific Ocean.

    This air flowing from the Pacific will bring moisture with it as well, resulting in areas of morning clouds and fog along the coast before giving way to sunshine in the afternoon.

    RELATED:
    Unsettled Weather for California, Interior West This Week
    Warmer Weather Set to Expand Toward Snowy Alaska

    Drought in West; Frequent Storms in Midwest, East, South

    An onshore flow can have a major impact on the weather along the coast, especially when it comes to temperatures.

    On Sunday, the coastal town of Hoquiam, Wash., had an easterly wind bringing dry, warm air to the town. This let temperatures soar to 87, setting a new record high for the day.

    By Monday, winds had shifted to be out of the west, drawing in cooler Pacific air, limiting the high to only 60.

    Areas well inland will not have as much of a temperature difference between Monday and Tuesday however. While temperatures west of the Cascade Mountains will be in the upper 70s to low 80s over the next few days, temperatures east of the Cascades will be much warmer.

    Much of this area is forecast to stay in the upper 80s through Friday with some areas climbing into the 90s.

    Temperatures across the entire Northwest will slowly rise throughout the week as the ridge over the region strengthens.

    As the ridge flexes its muscles later in the week, it will also expand into the Southwest.

    PHOTOS ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    Despite a generally quiet start to severe weather so far this May, severe weather is set to return on Wednesday in the southern Plains.

    A cold, slow-moving storm set temperature and snowfall records across the South last week and contributed to the lack of severe weather. The storm ushered in unusually dry air for this time of the year in the South.

    However, the cold storm will depart into the Northeast this week, allowing more typical May heat and humidity to build across areas from Kansas to Texas.

    The clash of returning heat and humidity and dry air lingering farther west will create a volatile scenario. The primary threat from the severe thunderstorms on Wednesday will be damaging winds and large hail. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

    RELATED:
    Video: Breaking Weather
    Henry Margusity: Severe Weather Blog
    AccuWeather.com's 2013 Summer Forecast


    "The weather pattern this week does not favor tornado development," AccuWeather.com expert senior meteorologist Henry Margusity said.

    The above graphic plots tornado reports since 2005. Note that 2013 is well below the average (615 through May 5).

    "In fact, this year has recorded the fewest amount of tornadoes (preliminarily) to date, since the 2005 season," Margusity said.

    Cities at risk include Wichita, Kan., Oklahoma City and Abilene, Texas. The severe weather may even threaten Dallas later Wednesday night.

    A combination of factors, including a storm emerging onto the southern Plains and an unrelated cold front, will keep the risk for severe weather in the region Thursday into Friday. Similar to Wednesday's threats, the primary risks will be focused on damaging winds and large hail.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0


    Hurricane Flossie approaching the Hawaiian Islands in 2007. (Credit: NASA)

    Scientists have suggested climate change may mean fewer tropical cyclones in coming years, but a closer look at how global warming affects regional weather patterns reveals Hawaiians should expect more hurricane-force gales.

    Tropical cyclones include hurricanes and typhoons, storms that form in the world's tropical latitudes and spin ferociously around a center called an eye. Only eight named tropical cyclones hit Hawaii between 1979 and 2010, said scientists at the University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center. But the researchers' new model predicts a two-to-three-fold increase in such storms between 2075 and 2099. The study is detailed in the May 5 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

    The results illustrate how global warming can lead to strong regional climate differences, the researchers said. "Computer models run with global warming scenarios generally project a decrease in tropical cyclones worldwide. This, though, may not be what will happen with local communities," lead study author Hiroyuki Murakami said in a statement.

    In the Pacific Ocean, tropical cyclones that could threaten Hawaii typically arise off the west coast of Mexico from June through November. But lack of moisture over the Pacific and strong westerly winds usually stop the storms from reaching the islands.

    But the new model predicts that these westerly winds - called a subtropical jet and similar to the polar jet stream - will shift northward in the next 60 years, removing the roadblock. The projections also suggest the eastern Pacific Ocean will warm, giving storms more fuel in the form of rising moisture.

    "The yearly number we project, however, still remains very low," study co-author Bin Wang said in a statement. Between 1979 and 2003, on average, one tropical cyclone pummeled the islands every four years. The researchers expect that number will double or triple.

    The storm projections are based on a global climate model that includes the history of North Pacific tropical cyclones and a temperature rise of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanet, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Stunning Hurricane Photos from Space

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    The annular eclipse of the sun by the moon, as it will appear from Cooktown, Queensland, Australia, on the morning of May 10, 2013, at 8:49 a.m. local time. (Starry Night software)

    On Thursday and Friday (May 9 and 10), skywatchers in parts of Australia and the Pacific region will be treated to a spectacular "ring of fire" solar eclipse, in which the moon blots out all of the sun except for its outer edge.

    Here's what you need to know about this stunning skywatching event, which is also known as an annular solar eclipse.

    Annular Solar Eclipse May 2013What is an annular eclipse?

    The orbit of the Earth around the sun is an ellipse, not a circle. This means that sometimes Earth is closer to the sun than at others. The same goes for the moon's orbit around Earth, which is also elliptical rather than circular. [See Spectacular Photos of a 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse]

    We are fortunate to live in a time when the sun and the moon are very close to the same apparent size in our sky. This is an illusion of perspective: The moon is small (2,159 miles wide, or 3,475 kilometers) and close by (238,855 miles away, or 384,400 km) while the sun is large (865,278 miles wide, or 1,392,530 km) and far away (92,955,808 miles, or 149,597,872 km)

    Notice that the sun is about 400 times larger than the moon in diameter. It is also about 389 times farther away. This explains why the two appear to be almost the same size in the sky. But "almost" is not exact, which explains why there are different kinds of solar eclipses: partial and total.

    Distances in the sky are measured in angles, 360 degrees making up a full circle. Both the sun and the moon appear to be just slightly more than half a degree in diameter.

    Degrees are divided into 60 arcminutes. The exact size of the sun varies from 33 arcminutes when it is closest to the Earth on Jan. 2 to 31 arcminutes when it is farthest from the Earth on July 5. On May 10, it will be 32 arc minutes in diameter.

    Over the course of a month, the moon' size also varies. On April 27, it was at its closest to Earth and appeared to be 33 arcminutes in diameter. If an eclipse had occurred on that day, the moon would have covered the sun completely, and we would have had a total eclipse.

    On May 10, the moon will appear to be 30 arcminutes in diameter, since it is only a few days away from its farthest retreat from Earth, which occurs on May 13. A 30-arcminute moon doesn't quite cover a 32-arcminute sun, so the sun peeks out as a ring all around the moon. "Annular" is Latin for "ring," so the resulting event is called an annular eclipse. [How to Safely Observe the Sun (Infographic)]

    Astronomers tend not to get as excited about an annular eclipse as they do about a total eclipse. Because the moon doesn't cover the sun completely, you don’t see the prominences and outer solar atmosphere, which are the most exciting parts of a total eclipse.

    Thus I was quite surprised by the annular eclipse I observed from Toronto exactly 19 years ago, on May 10, 1994. Having observed a total eclipse in the past, I wasn't expecting much from this annular eclipse, yet I found it to be a very powerful emotional experience.

    Even though 5 percent of the sun was still peeking around the moon, it had the same ominous feel as a total eclipse, much more so than the several partial eclipses I've witnessed. Seeing the "ring of fire" around the moon is far more impressive than seeing only part of the sun covered.

    Where to see it

    Unfortunately, very few people will get to see this annular eclipse, as its path travels over some of the most remote and unpopulated parts of the Earth.

    The eclipse begins at sunrise over the wilderness of Western Australia. It then sweeps over the similarly empty Northern Territory and continues across northern Queensland, far to the north of the city of Cairns, where many people witnessed last year's total eclipse.

    Only a few roads intersect the eclipse path. This path crosses the Coral Sea and touches the eastern end of Papua New Guinea, then crosses through the middle of the Solomon Islands. From there, the path neatly avoids just about every island in the south Pacific except for Tarawa and Fanning Islands, both part of the Republic of Kiribati, formerly known as the Gilbert Islands.

    Although few people will see the complete annular eclipse, a much larger number will see it as a partial eclipse. This includes all of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Hawaiian Islands, much of Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.

    Unfortunately the partial eclipse just misses being visible in North America, except just at sunset at the southern tip of Baja California. In Honolulu, maximum eclipse will be at 3:48 p.m. on May 9, when 32 percent of the sun will be hidden by the moon.

    But anyone with a computer and an Internet connection will be able to catch a glimpse of the annular eclipse thanks to the online Slooh Space Camera. Slooh will air a webcast featuring expert commentary and views of the eclipse on Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT). You can watch the broadcast live on SPACE.com.

    How to observe it

    For most people who may see this eclipse, it will be a partial eclipse. This is the most dangerous kind of eclipse, because people will be tempted to take quick glimpses of it without proper protection. DON'T DO IT! Looking directly at the sun is always dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

    There are two safe ways to view a solar eclipse. The first is with an approved solar filter. These can be purchased from telescope stores. The only safe equivalent is a #14 welder's glass. This is denser than the widely available #12, and it usually can only be found in dealers specializing in welding supplies.

    The other safe viewing method is to use a large cardboard box to make a pinhole camera. Make a pinhole in one end of the box to act as the lens, and a large hole in the bottom of the box to stick your head through to view the image of the sun.

    Natural pinhole cameras often are formed by gaps in window blinds or the spaces between leaves of trees. So don't look at the sun - put your back to it and look instead at the ground in front of you.

    Editor's note: If you live in the observing area of Thursday's solar eclipse and safely snap an amazing picture of the sun that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

    This article was provided to SPACE.com by Starry Night Education, the leader in space science curriculum solutions. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu. Original article at SPACE.com.

    Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Five Killed in Philippines Volcano Eruption
    Mayon Volcano in the Central Philippines exploded Tuesday, spewing rocks, ash and smoke and killing four Germans climbers and their Filipino guide. Twelve others were injured. Albay Province Governor Joey Salceda has since banned climbing in the area until the volcano is deemed safe.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 10 Amazing Everest Survival Stories
    Everest Survival

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    A gorgeous new video is the best way to experience Antarctica without even feeling chilly.

    The time lapse clip, produced and narrated by Cassandra Brooks, a doctoral student at Stanford University, condenses two months on an Antarctic ice-breaker into less than five minutes. Frame by frame, the video reveals how stunning sea ice can be - from polka-dot pancake ice to thick white flows.

    "It was so beautiful," Brooks told LiveScience. "And it was such a neat experience to be on this crazy boat that was just screaming through the ice." [See the Video of the Antarctic Ice]

    Brooks spent two months aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer on a National Science Foundation expedition through the Ross Sea of Antarctica. Her team was investigating the release of carbon from phytoplankton blooms, which are so huge in this area that they're visible from space. During the expedition, Brooks also blogged for National Geographic.

    The time lapse video was inspired, in part, by that blogging opportunity, and also by Brooks' husband, photographer John Weller.

    "I happen to be married to an amazing photographer who insisted on sending me out on the boat with the right equipment," Brooks said. In this case, that equipment was a GoPro camera and a Joby GorillaPod flexible tripod, which withstood 60-knot (60 miles per hour) winds and negative 40-degree-Fahrenheit (negative 40 degrees Celsius) temperatures, she said.

    Almost every day, except when the weather was simply too harsh, Brooks went to the bridge of the ship to capture images as the Palmer steered through the Ross Sea ice. The final scenes, though, were filmed from the back of the boat.

    The Palmer had broken into an area called Cape Colbeck, home to a colony of emperor penguins. Another research group aboard the vessel was tagging the penguins, so the ship remain parked for several days as they did their work.

    "The longer we were there the more and more penguins came. By the third day we just had it seemed like hundreds, if not thousands, of penguins just playing in our prop wash behind the boat," Brooks said.

    She got the penguins on film, of course - and captured their raucous, squawking cries as well.

    "The most amazing thing for me is that every time I go to the Antarctic, I make some sort of blog or some kind of media, and I felt like this is the first time I've been able to capture it well and also really share it well," Brooks said. "It's incredibly rewarding to know that people are really feeling it and probably falling in love with the place."

    Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

    Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0


    In this April 22, 2013, photo, fisherman Desmond Augustin stands on a breakwater of old tires and driftwood that local residents fashioned to try and protect their fishing village in Telegraph, Grenada. (AP Photo/David McFadden)

    TELESCOPE, Grenada (AP) - The old coastal road in this fishing village at the eastern edge of Grenada sits under a couple of feet of murky saltwater, which regularly surges past a hastily erected breakwater of truck tires and bundles of driftwood intended to hold back the Atlantic Ocean.

    For Desmond Augustin and other fishermen living along the shorelines of the southern Caribbean island, there's nothing theoretical about the threat of rising sea levels.

    "The sea will take this whole place down," Augustin said as he stood on the stump of one of the uprooted palm trees that line the shallows off his village of tin-roofed shacks built on stilts. "There's not a lot we can do about it except move higher up."

    The people along this vulnerable stretch of eastern Grenada have been watching the sea eat away at their shoreline in recent decades, a result of destructive practices such as the extraction of sand for construction and ferocious storm surges made worse by climate change, according to researchers with the U.S.-based Nature Conservancy, who have helped locals map the extent of coastal erosion.

    Dozens of families are now thinking about relocating to new apartments built on a hillside about a 10-minute walk from their source of livelihood, a tough sell for hardy Caribbean fishing families who see beachfront living as a virtual birthright.

    If climate change impact predictions come true, scientists and a growing number of government officials worry that this stressed swath of Grenada could preview what's to come for many other areas in the Caribbean, where 70 percent of the population live in coastal settlements.

    In fact, a 2007 report by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the devastation wreaked on Grenada by 2004's Hurricane Ivan "is a powerful illustration of the reality of small-island vulnerability." The hurricane killed 28 people, caused damage twice the nation's gross domestic product, damaged 90 percent of the housing stock and hotel rooms and shrank an economy that had been growing nearly 6 percent a year, according to the climate scientists' report.

    Storms and beach erosion have long shaped the geography of coastal environments, but rising sea levels and surge from more intense storms are expected to dramatically transform shorelines in coming decades, bringing enormous economic and social costs, experts say. The tourism-dependent Caribbean is thought to be one of the globe's most vulnerable regions.

    "It's a massive threat to the economies of these islands," said Owen Day, a marine biologist with the Caribsave Partnership, a nonprofit group based in Barbados that is spearheading adaptation efforts. "I would say the region's coastal areas will be very severely impacted in the next 50 to 100 years."

    Scientists and computer models estimate that global sea levels could rise by at least 3.3 feet by 2100, as warmer water expands and ice sheets melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Global sea levels have risen an average of 1.18 inches a decade since 1993, according to many climate scientists, although the effect can be amplified in different areas by topography and other factors.

    In the 15 nations that make up the Caribbean Community bloc, that could mean the displacement of 110,000 people and the loss of some 150 multimillion-dollar tourist resorts, according to a modeling analysis prepared by Caribsave for the United Nations Development Program and other organizations. Twenty-one of 64 regional airports could be inundated. About 5 percent of land area in the Bahamas and 2 percent of Antigua & Barbuda could be lost. Factoring in surge from more intense storms means a greater percentage of the regional population and infrastructure will be at risk.

    In eastern Grenada, people living in degraded coastal areas once protected by mangrove thickets say greater tidal fluctuations have produced unusually high tides that send seawater rushing up rivers. Farmers complain that crops are getting damaged by the intrusion of the salty water.

    Adrian George is one of the coastal residents preparing to move into an inland apartment complex built by the Chinese government following the devastation left by Hurricane Ivan.

    "I'm now ready to move up to the hills," George said in the trash-strewn eastern Grenadian village of Soubise, which is regularly swamped with seawater and debris at high tide. "Here, the waves will just keep getting closer and closer until we get swept away."

    One response in the wealthier island of Barbados has been building a kilometer-long breakwater and waterfront promenade to help protect fragile coastlines. In most cases, international money is pouring in to kick-start "soft engineering" efforts restoring natural buffers such as mangroves, grasses and deep-rooted trees such as sea grape. Some call that the most effective and cheapest way to minimize the impact of rising seas.

    But in the long run, "we need to move our centers of population, infrastructure, et cetera, out of the areas likely to become vulnerable to rising seas," said Anthony Clayton, a climate change expert and the director of a sustainability institute at Jamaica's campus of the University of the West Indies.

    Where to rebuild will be yet another challenge, with the region's islands mostly rugged and mountainous with small areas of flat land in coastal areas.

    Even with the Caribbean so threatened, many islands have been slow to adapt, and awareness of the problem has only recently grown. Last year, the European Investment Bank announced it would give $65 million in concessionary loans to help 18 Caribbean nations adapt, while conservation groups try, among other projects, to restore buffering mangroves and set up fishing sanctuaries to help fringing reefs recover. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center in Belize is managing the regional response.

    Yet not everyone is convinced that climate change is as dire as forecast.

    Peter De Savary, a British entrepreneur and major property developer on Grenada's famed Grande Anse Beach, said the availability of capital, energy costs and the health of the global economy are far more imminent concerns than rising sea levels. He notes that most existing beach resorts will have to be rebuilt anyway in coming decades due to normal wear and tear so projected climate change impacts won't require much attention.

    "If the sea level rises a foot or two it really doesn't make any difference here in Grenada because we have beaches that have a reasonably aggressive falloff," De Savary said. "If the water gets a few degrees warmer, well, that's what people come to the Caribbean for, warm water, so that's not an issue."

    Shyn Nokta, who heads Guyana's office of climate change, said there's ample evidence the impacts will be less benign. Warming ocean waters have helped to significantly degrade the region's protective reefs, and threats to Caribbean coral are only expected to intensify as a result of ocean acidification due to greenhouse gases. Rainfall also has become increasingly erratic.

    Many are also girding for climate change's impacts on an already fragile agriculture sector and drinking water quality and availability.

    "The weather and climate system in the region is changing," Nokta said from Guyana's capital of Georgetown, which sits below sea level behind a complicated system of dikes and is extremely vulnerable to flooding.

    Inequalities in income will play a big role in determining how the suffering is meted out island to island, said Ramon Bueno, a Massachusetts-based analyst who has researched and modeled climate change economic impacts for years.

    "A low-income family living by the shoreline, with limited access to clean fresh water and earning a living from tourism, fishing or agriculture is vulnerable in a way that a middle- or high-income professional living in good air-conditioned housing at higher elevation inland is not," Bueno said.

    That portends a dire future for people such as Allison Charles, a subsistence farmer in Grenada's coastal village of Telescope, a fact she said she's well aware of.

    "It's hard now. Already our plants are getting burned by the salt water coming up the river," Charles said in her village, framed by Grenada's rugged hills. "I can't really imagine what the future will hold."

    RELATED ON SKYE: 10 Travel Hot Spots for 2013

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0


    Many homes remain damaged and mostly untouched since Superstorm Sandy hit the coastline. This photos was taken May 5, 2013, in Ortley Beach, New Jersey. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Interior Department on Tuesday said it is releasing more than $475 million to help repair the damage from Superstorm Sandy, which roared up the East Coast last fall.

    The money will go for 234 projects that will repair and rebuild parks, refuges and other agency facilities damaged by the storm and help get them ready for the summer season. Some of the money will go to repairs to help the Statue of Liberty in New York reopen in time for Independence Day. Sandy spared the statue itself, but badly damaged the island and facilities surrounding the statue.

    "The funding we are making available today will help repair and rebuild facilities, reopen roads, and restore services in order to get our parks, refuges, beaches, and public lands fully operational and open to the public this summer," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

    The department is also releasing money for historic preservation efforts and investments in scientific data and studies to support storm recovery efforts.

    Sandy pounded several states in late October, especially New York and New Jersey. It was the deadliest hurricane in the northeastern U.S. in 40 years and the second-costliest in the nation's history.

    The National Hurricane Center estimated Sandy's damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states in 2005. Congress earlier this year approved more than $60 billion in storm aid for Sandy victims and their communities.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 25 Indelible Images from Superstorm Sandy

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    Repeating downpours will raise the risk of flash and urban flooding around New York City and in parts of New Jersey, New York state, Connecticut and Pennsylvania Wednesday.

    Bands of heavy rain and thunderstorms will spiral around a slow-moving, land-based storm over the mid-Atlantic.

    It is the same storm which brought record May snowfall to parts of the Plains last week and flooding over the past weekend to portions of the Midwest and South.

    The rain bands will shift around with time and breaks of sunshine are possible in between. New bands will form and could drench areas for a second or third time into Thursday.

    The storm can produce a couple of inches of rain locally over a several-hour period, which is more than enough to cause flooding problems and travel delays.

    Motorists are reminded not to drive through flooded roadways.

    RELATED:
    Forecast Temperature Maps
    Elliot Abrams: Northeast Weather Blog
    AccuWeather.com's 2013 Summer Forecast


    It is possible that a few of the thunderstorms might cause lightning strikes to cluster in a small area. The storms also bring the risk of highly localized gusty winds and small hail.

    Additional downpours can occur over the region Wednesday night and Thursday.


    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0

    Updated Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 5:22 p.m. PT


    Despite a generally quiet start to severe weather so far this May, severe weather is expected Wednesday night in the southern Plains.

    A cold, slow-moving storm set temperature and snowfall records across the South last week and contributed to the lack of severe weather. The storm ushered in unusually dry air for this time of the year in the South.

    However, the cold storm will depart into the Northeast this week, allowing more typical May heat and humidity to build across areas from Kansas to Texas.

    The clash of returning heat and humidity and dry air lingering farther west will create a volatile scenario. The primary threat from the severe thunderstorms on Wednesday night will be damaging winds and large hail. However, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

    At 7:39 p.m EDT, a rope tornado was reported eight miles north of Gorham, Kan. A rope tornado is formed by the merger of two funnel clouds.

    Near the town of Rotan, Texas, hail the size of baseballs and golf balls was reported over the span of 15 minutes.

    RELATED:
    Video: Breaking Weather
    Henry Margusity: Severe Weather Blog
    AccuWeather.com's 2013 Summer Forecast


    "The weather pattern this week does not favor tornado development," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said.

    The above graphic plots tornado reports since 2005. Note that 2013 is well below the average (615 through May 5).

    "In fact, this year has recorded the fewest amount of tornadoes (preliminarily) to date, since the 2005 season," Margusity said.

    Cities at risk include Wichita, Kan., Oklahoma City and Abilene, Texas. The severe weather may even threaten Dallas, Texas after midnight Wednesday night.

    A combination of factors, including a storm emerging onto the southern Plains and an unrelated cold front, will keep the risk for severe weather in the region Thursday into Friday.

    Similar to Wednesday night's threats, the primary risks Thursday will be focused on damaging winds and large hail. These strong storms will stretch from Kansas and Missouri to Texas.

    For Friday, the strongest thunderstorms will move eastward. While there is a chance for some severe weather with these storms, from Missouri to Louisiana, the main threat will be torrential downpours in northern Louisiana and Arkansas.

    RELATED ON SKYE: Epic Storm Photos from the Twittersphere

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    0 0



    A cool weather pattern from the Rockies to the East Coast has been helping to keep a lid on the number of tornadoes for 2013.

    Winter continues to be slow to let go. The storm that brought record snow to the Plains and part of the South at the start of May is a recent example.

    While a lack of moisture over the Plains and Midwest during a large part of 2012 worked to suppress the number of tornadoes in 2012, this spring it is unusually low temperatures over a broad area that are holding back the numbers.

    Generally, the lower the temperature and/or the drier the air the lower the number of thunderstorms.

    According to Harold Brooks, research meteorologist with NOAA's Severe Storms Laboratory, "The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity in the United States."

    The preliminary data suggests that the period ending on April 30, 2013, brought an estimated 197 tornadoes of EF1 strength or greater.

    This graphic shows the amount of tornado reports for 2013 versus verified individual tornadoes for other years. The number of actual tornadoes for 2013 so far will be lower as incidents are investigated and any remaining duplicate reports are weeded out.

    "Since 1954, the previous low 12-month period was from June 1991 to May 1992, when 247 tornadoes with EF1 strength or greater occurred," Brooks stated in his blog.

    The low count of tornadoes for 2013 so far may have something to do with the way large storms have been behaving coming out of the Rockies and moving onto the Plains.

    According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "We have seen a swath of chilly air sweeping through low levels of the atmosphere, disturbing the way thunderstorms form over the Plains."

    The wedge of cool air forces the base of the clouds from the thunderstorms to be higher off the ground.

    This setup limits not only the number of tornadoes but also damaging wind gusts, since most of the action is occurring several thousand feet above the ground. The pattern can still produce a number of storms with hail.

    According to southern weather expert Dan Kottlowski, "We have seen a very persistent southward dip in the jet stream, shutting off the warm, humid flow from the Gulf of Mexico over much of the South during much of this spring."

    The jet stream is a river of air high in the atmosphere that not only guides weather systems along but also often marks the boundary between warm air to its south and cold air to its north.

    Kottlowski added that severe weather takes time to develop with several pieces having to fall into place before an outbreak can occur.

    "There has been very little time for this to take place during much of the season with the exception of a major event during late January," Kottlowski said.

    Will the Trend Continue?

    As temperatures trend upward moving into the summer, there will be an inevitable general uptick in the number of thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. However, with such a slow start and a continuation of the overall weather pattern into the first part of the summer, 2013 is likely to remain well behind the curve for violent thunderstorms and tornadoes.

    A large southward dip in the jet stream is forecast to continue into the first part of the summer by AccuWeather.com long range forecasters.

    As heat builds over the West, clusters of thunderstorms are projected to form over the northern Plains and drive southeastward across the Midwest into parts of the South and mid-Atlantic during June into July. While this expected pattern can bring severe weather, it generally favors thunderstorms with strong straight-line wind gusts over tornadoes.

    RELATED:
    More Statistics from Jesse Ferrell
    Henry Margusity's Meteorological Madness

    AccuWeather.com's 2013 Summer Forecast

    According to Paul Pastelok, head of the AccuWeather.com long range team of meteorologists, "The intensity of these storms will be partially dependent on how much warm, low-level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is able to feed into the advancing storms."

    Ideally, warm, moist air at the surface, combined with a wedge of cool, dry air aloft, is ideal for severe thunderstorms, which can produce tornadoes.

    RELATED ON SKYE: 18 Incredible Photos of Tornadoes

     

    Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!

older | 1 | .... | 81 | 82 | (Page 83) | 84 | 85 | .... | 204 | newer