Capital Weather Gang: Freedman


Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 02/13/2012

What do new findings on ice melt and sea level rise mean?

A new study on melting glaciers and ice caps has received quite a bit of press attention, some of it rather confusing. While the paper (technically a letter) published in the journal Nature, concluded that glaciers and ice caps worldwide lost about 4.3 trillion tons of mass between 2003-2010 - enough to cover the entire United States with water 1.5 feet deep - there were some regions where glaciers and ice caps did not lose nearly as much ice as previously thought.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:00 PM ET, 02/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Freedman

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 02/06/2012

Rains ease Texas drought, long-range outlook still pessimistic

Above-average rainfall during December and January have helped ease the Texas drought in some areas. But other parts of the state are still facing water restrictions, and the Texas rice industry is bracing for the potential loss of an entire year’s worth of earnings.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:38 PM ET, 02/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Droughts, Freedman, Latest, U.S. Weather

Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Global warming study casts doubt on “missing heat” hypothesis

The so-called “missing heat” in the climate system may not have been missing in the first place, according to a new study.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:28 PM ET, 01/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Freedman

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 01/25/2012

What do billion-dollar weather losses tell us about global warming?

While the number of billion-dollar disasters offers insight into the increasing economic consequences of extreme weather in the United States, it does not allow us to make any firm conclusions about global warming, nor does it provide much clarity on the question of whether global warming is causing more losses from natural disasters.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:45 AM ET, 01/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 01/17/2012

Study: global warming related sea level rise poses big threat to Washington, D.C.

Global warming-related sea level rise constitutes a major threat to the nation’s capital, with the potential to inundate national monuments, museums, military bases, and parts of the Metro Rail system during the next several decades and beyond, according to a recent study published in the journal “Risk Analysis.” The study helps localize a problem that is more typically discussed at the global level, and makes clear that public officials must make decisions in the near-term in order to minimize future losses.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:42 AM ET, 01/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest, Freedman, Environment, Floods

Posted at 02:41 PM ET, 01/04/2012

Top climate change stories of 2011

2011 was an extraordinarily turbulent year for the climate system. The U.S. saw a series of record busting extremes, from a devastating tornado season to an epic drought. The fusillade of extreme events kept global warming in the public conversation even as it slipped to the bottom of the public’s list of concerns in the face of a grim economy. Studies and developments in the emerging area of extreme event attribution top the list of the top climate change stories of 2011.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:41 PM ET, 01/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest, Recaps

Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 12/20/2011

Satellite climate data at 33 years: questioning shaky claims that downplay global warming

Scientists make some questionable claims about what satellite data shows regarding the warming planet, prompting other climate scientists to note their long track of research errors.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:24 PM ET, 12/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Freedman

Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 12/12/2011

New climate study reveals “true global warming signal”; warming continues unabated

A new study clearly shows that contrary to a key argument put forward by climate change skeptics, global warming has continued unabated since 1998. The paper strips out the influence of natural climate factors from the most widely-used temperature datasets, revealing what the researchers call “the true global warming signal”, which they say is mostly due to human activities.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:17 PM ET, 12/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Freedman

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/05/2011

Unusual winter weather may be connected to rapid Arctic climate change, report warns

Rapid Arctic climate change, with its associated loss of sea ice and ecological impacts, may already be influencing weather and climate patterns in the Northern Hemisphere.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 09:56 AM ET, 11/28/2011

Most dire global warming forecasts unlikely, study finds

New research takes some of the most dire global warming projections off the table. A study published last week in the journal Science concludes that the more extreme climate change scenarios, which involve temperature increases of up to 10°F are implausible. Instead, the study finds, we are likely in the midst of a more manageable, but still potentially dangerous, shift in the planet’s climate.

By Andrew Freedman  |  09:56 AM ET, 11/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Latest, Climate Change

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 11/21/2011

Latest Texas drought outlook: grim with a few drops of hope

Among the long list of billion dollar weather-related disasters during 2011, there is one event that is still ongoing, with no end in sight, its economic ramifications growing with each passing day. The Texas drought - already the Lone Star State’s worst one-year drought on record - is now expected to last through at least next summer, and perhaps far longer than that, according to the latest climate projections released by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and recent testimony by the Texas state climatologist.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 11/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Droughts, Climate Change, Freedman, U.S. Weather

Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 11/17/2011

NASA scientist Hansen warns “climate dice” already loaded for more extreme weather

James Hansen, NASA’s chief climate scientist, writes in a new analysis that the burning of fossil fuels has already loaded the “climate dice” in favor of extreme weather and climate events, such as extremely hot summers. If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sharply and swiftly curtailed, he and his colleagues say, all of the sides of the dice will be painted “red”, for “hot.”

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:13 PM ET, 11/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Freedman

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 11/07/2011

NASA spots a New York City-sized iceberg as it breaks off Antarctic glacier

NASA researchers flying low over Antarctica’s vast, frozen landscape recently stumbled across a rare event in progress: the calving of a massive iceberg from one of Antarctica’s largest and fastest-moving glaciers. The scientists, who were taking part in NASA’s “Operation IceBridge,” were able to fly a follow-up mission above the rift in the Pine Island Glacier to gather unprecedented airborne measurements of the process of forming an iceberg larger than the city of New York.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 11/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 10/31/2011

Historic October Northeast storm: Epic. Incredible. Downright ridiculous.

Epic. Incredible. Downright ridiculous. These words best describe the historic snowstorm that delivered a crippling wallop to parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend. Widely referred to by its social media moniker, “Snowtober,” the storm smashed records that had stood since the beginning of the reliable instrument record in the late 1800s (and in some cases, even longer than that), and upended assumptions about what a fall nor’easter can do. The heavy, wet snow pasted onto trees still bearing foliage in many areas, weighed down power lines and caused more than three million power outages.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:02 AM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, U.S. Weather, Freedman

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/24/2011

Will new studies confirming global warming settle skeptics’ questions? Don’t hold your breath

During the past several years, skeptics of manmade global warming have focused their attention on the reliability of the modern surface temperature record, which according to numerous studies, shows a distinct warming trend starting in the middle of the 20th century, and continuing through the present day.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest, Science

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Would a Rick Perry administration censor climate science?

A climate scientist in Texas is accusing Governor Rick Perry’s administration of politically motivated editing of a scientific report. The report raises the question: would a President Perry be a repeat of George W. Bush when it comes to interfering with climate science research? The signals are mixed.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:50 PM ET, 10/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Government, Latest

Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 10/10/2011

Texas rain storm just a drop in deep bucket; drought continues

It finally happened – in the midst of Texas’ worst one-year drought on record, it actually rained in parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. As in, actual drops of liquid fell from the sky.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:38 AM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Freedman

Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 10/04/2011

The record-breaking Arctic ozone “hole” and global warming

According to research published in the journal Nature this week, the largest ozone “hole” on record above the Arctic opened up last winter, exposing residents of the Far North to high doses of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts. The area of severe ozone loss extended southward from the Arctic to cover populated areas in northern Russia, Greenland and Norway.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:55 AM ET, 10/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest, Environment, Freedman

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/26/2011

Newsflash: Climate scientists are different than the general public

A new study examines a fundamental barrier to effective climate science communication: differences in the leading personality types of climate scientists compared to the public. The paper identifies personality type differences between Ph.D. climate researchers and the general public. Researchers hope to use this insight to improve the effectiveness of climate change communication.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 09/19/2011

Seeking better answers to climate change, extreme weather questions

The United States has suffered from a record number of billion dollar natural disasters this year, from the Mississippi and Missouri River flooding to Hurricane Irene and the Texas drought. With each of these events, many have wondered - did climate change have anything to do with this? Now, climate scientists are considering the launch of an ambitious project to push “extreme event attribution” studies forward.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:06 PM ET, 09/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 09/12/2011

Historic flooding recedes in Pennsylvania, New York; at least 15 dead

Residents of hard-hit communities in northeastern Pennsylvania and areas of neighboring New York State began the long recovery process following devastating flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. The Susquehanna River continued receding after setting new all-time records in Binghamton, New York and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The storm is being blamed for seven deaths in Pennsylvania, where rainfall amounts reached more than 15 inches in Lancaster County.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:15 PM ET, 09/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Floods, Freedman, U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 09/06/2011

Drought-fueled wildfires burn out of control in Texas

Swift-moving wildfires killed two in Texas this weekend and burned thousands of acres, as the impacts of the worst one-year drought in state history continue to escalate. The drought is expected to cost several billion dollars, mainly from agricultural impacts. Texas Governor Rick Perry, a leading contendor for the Republican presidential nomination, left the campaign trail this weekend to help coordinate response efforts in his home state.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:30 PM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Freedman, Climate Change, Latest

Posted at 02:25 PM ET, 08/28/2011

Irene lashes areas from New York to New England, but could have been worse

Although Irene did not prove to be devastating to New York City, the storm packed a solid punch, with wind gusts of hurricane force recorded along the southern coast of Long Island. The storm tested New York’s emergency preparedness, and demonstrated its vulnerability to coastal flooding. However, Irene’s biggest legacy may prove to be damaging inland flooding, with record crests for many waterways predicted during the next 48 hours.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:25 PM ET, 08/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Tropical Weather, Latest, Freedman

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 08/16/2011

Climate scientist cautions against reading too much into this summer’s extreme heat

The heat this summer has been relentless in many parts of the country, particularly in the South Central states, where Oklahoma and Texas had their warmest months on record in July. In fact, as previously noted on this blog, Oklahoma’s statewide average temperature was the warmest monthly statewide average temperature ever recorded in the United States during any month. To learn more about how the extreme heat this summer may shed light on what we can expect as the world warms due to climate change, I turned to Noah Diffenbaugh, a researcher at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:30 AM ET, 08/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Freedman, Climate Change, U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 08/02/2011

Severe U.S. drought sets another record; costs to U.S. economy upward of $1.5 billion

Instead of receding during this sizzling, humid summer, the intense drought that has ensnared much of the southern tier of the nation during the past several months has only intensified, reaching record levels during July. According to new data, the area of the country covered by “exceptional drought” conditions was the largest since such records began more than a decade ago.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 08/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Droughts, Extreme Heat, Freedman, U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/25/2011

Heat wave 2011: humidity the stunning hallmark

The intense heat wave of 2011 will long be remembered for its brutal combination of high heat and humidity. The geographic extent of the heat wave was highly unusual, with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater stretching — and heat indices much higher than that — stretching from Texas to North Dakota, and eastward all the way to Maine.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  U.S. Weather, Latest, Freedman, Climate Change, Extreme Heat

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 07/18/2011

Massive heat wave scorches central U.S. and expands east, as drought continues in South

A life-threatening heat wave is scorching a vast stretch of the country, from Texas to North Dakota, with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and heat indices soaring as high as 126 F. The heat event will last all week, with the hottest weather slowly moving eastward into the mid-Atlantic by Wednesday, and sticking around into the weekend.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:50 AM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, U.S. Weather, Droughts, Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 07/11/2011

Intense drought in southern tier in no hurry to loosen grip

There continues to be a dramatic schism dividing Americans. No, I’m not talking about contrasting ideas on what to do about the federal deficit, chronic unemployment, or which candidate to favor in the upcoming 2012 elections, divisive as these matters may be in Washington these days. Instead, I’m referring to the stark contrast between the precipitation “haves” and “have-nots” in this country, which is another divide that is getting wider with time. Several weeks ago, I called attention to the fact that, throughout this spring and early summer, many Americans have concurrently witnessed some of the worst flooding in recent memory and one of the worst droughts in their lifetimes. The stark juxtaposition of floods and drought is remarkable, and it’s showing no signs of abating. In fact, according to federal forecasters, flood risks are likely to remain high during the rest of the summer in parts of the Upper Midwest and West, while the drought hangs tough – or even intensifies its grip on a portion of the South.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:45 AM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Latest, Climate Change

Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 07/05/2011

New study blames 10-year lull in global warming on China coal use, air pollution

A new study published this week offering a fresh take on what may have driven a temporary, 10-year slowdown in global warming reinforces the scientific hypothesis that human activities are contributing to long-term global warming.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:50 AM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Science, Latest

Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 06/27/2011

Arctic sea ice headed for another major melt

It’s that time of year again, when the air in the Mid-Atlantic feels more like soup, afternoon thunderstorms arrive with regularity, and when news of sweeping changes in a faraway region – the Arctic – tends to pick up. We’re now well into the seasonal Arctic sea ice melt season, and so far, sea ice has been tracking near or below the record low extent reached in 2007, when both the famed Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open for a time.

By Andrew Freedman  |  01:15 PM ET, 06/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 06/20/2011

After severe spring, a thin line separates wet from dry in the U.S.

When it comes to weather, there’s a general notion that an extreme event in one location will be “balanced out” by an opposite, extreme event in another location. So if there’s a flood in the Mid-Atlantic, then at the same time you might expect a drought to be occurring on the West Coast of the US, or halfway around the world. And this drought might be connected to the flood in some way.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:20 AM ET, 06/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest, U.S. Weather, Freedman

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 06/14/2011

Public remains confused about global warming, but less so

A new poll shows a slight increase in the percentage of Americans who say that global warming is occurring, but confusion lingers surrounding many of the details.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 06/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 06/06/2011

Tracking twisters via Twitter

As with all of the other tornado outbreaks during this epic season, I was glued to my Twitter stream last Wednesday watching severe thunderstorms developing from western Massachusetts to northern Maine. The tweets from the weather sources I follow – TV meteorologists, online weather outlets, and news organizations – rapidly grew more urgent after about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. As during the previous outbreaks, it was through Twitter that I found out every tornado warning from almost the moment it was issued, not a television station, radio network, NOAA Weather Radio, or any other news source. I was able to follow the storms’ path through bite-sized morsels of information streamed out in 140 characters or fewer, as three tornadoes touched down in Massachusetts, including one EF3 twister that tracked for nearly 40 miles across the state. For me, the Springfield tornado erased any lingering doubts that Twitter is a top tier source for breaking weather information – and that it is profoundly changing the role of the television weathercaster.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:20 AM ET, 06/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather, Latest, Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 05/31/2011

Our Tornado Voyeurism Problem

During this tragic tornado season, we have been inundated with awe-inspiring videos of tornadoes ripping apart communities, from Joplin, Mo., to Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Raleigh, N.C. – and places in between. While lives are being lost, many of the videos show amateur chasers cheering the unprecedented weather, too caught up in the thrill of witnessing Mother Nature at her rarest (and deadliest) to comprehend the decidedly grim reality of what is taking place.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:45 AM ET, 05/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather, Latest, Freedman

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/25/2011

Mind-boggling tornado count, deaths raise hard questions about causes, warnings & response

This year’s barrage of violent twisters has people asking questions about everything from the impact of climate change on tornadoes, to the accuracy and effectiveness of short-term severe weather warnings.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:00 AM ET, 05/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Thunderstorms, Freedman, Climate Change, U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 05/16/2011

In St. Louis, pilot was unaware of approaching tornado

This story is the second in a two-part series on the strong tornado that struck Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on April 22, 2011, causing extensive damage to airport facilities and numerous injuries. Part I detailed how people inside the airport terminal buildings never received the warning. This post details how at least one airline pilot, and passengers, were also unaware of the danger until it was swirling around them. It illustrates what some say is a fundamental problem with the way weather information is shared among the Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and airline personnel, and then disseminated

By Andrew Freedman  |  01:00 PM ET, 05/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Government, U.S. Weather, Latest

Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 05/16/2011

Despite warning, St. Louis tornado caught airport, passengers off guard

On the night of April 22nd, over at Concourse A at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Carla Hall, a former contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef”, was waiting for her return flight to DC after a week of shooting webisodes for Fancy Feast and Purina. Unbeknownst to Hall, most others in the airport, and even airline pilots, a violent tornado was heading straight for the airport.The St. Louis tornado revealed important gaps about aviation safety, including how airport authorities, airline pilots, and passengers receive severe weather information.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:55 PM ET, 05/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Latest, Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 04/25/2011

Are La Nina and global warming behind the extreme tornado activity?

Tornadoes have been descending from angry skies with a frequency that may become unmatched in official records of April twisters. Cities, small towns, rural hamlets - even international airports - have suffered severe damage. The atmosphere has been behaving like an unruly teenager, with 275 tornadoes recorded so far this month. What, if anything, might La Nina and global warming have to do with this?

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:15 PM ET, 04/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Thunderstorms, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 04/18/2011

Massive three-day tornado outbreak kills dozens; storm video and imagery

One of the largest three-day tornado outbreaks in history swept across the country Thursday through Saturday, with 241 tornado reports in 14 states, and killing at least 45 people. Although the official tally of confirmed tornadoes is still being counted as meteorologists complete storm damage surveys, it’s already obvious that this was no ordinary early-spring severe weather event.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:45 AM ET, 04/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather, Freedman, Latest, Latest

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011

Congress turns a blind eye to climate science

Last week was a bewildering one for those who recognize the abundance of compelling scientific evidence showing that the climate system is changing, and that this is very likely due in part to human activities. While the news cycle was dominated by the down-to-the-wire budget negotiations in Washington, ongoing unrest in the Middle East, the nuclear crisis in Japan, a major congressional debate on climate change regulations took place in both the House and Senate that vividly demonstrated how far off the rails we’ve gone in public discourse of climate science and policy.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Latest

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 04/04/2011

Another record low for Arctic sea ice

Each month seems to bring new evidence of the transformation underway in the rapidly warming Arctic. Late last month, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced that the maximum Arctic sea ice extent for 2011, which occurred on March 7, tied for the lowest such value since satellites began making observations in 1979.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:45 AM ET, 04/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Science

Posted at 05:39 PM ET, 04/01/2011

Senators call for supporting NOAA satellites

On Thursday we reported on NOAA’s warning to congressional appropriators that budget cuts to a major satellite program, known as the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS, would severely erode the accuracy of weather forecasts. Today, six Democratic Senators took up NOAA’s cause, sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as well as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The senators are seeking full funding for JPSS during the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.

By Andrew Freedman  |  05:39 PM ET, 04/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Government, Latest, Freedman

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 03/31/2011

NOAA warns weather forecasts will suffer from budget cuts

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is sounding the alarm on budget cuts, telling Congress that a failure to restore funding for development of the next generation of polar orbiting satellites, known as the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), would significantly reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts, particularly medium-range forecasts, and may have an outsized impact on forecasts for extreme events, such as blizzards or hurricanes.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:15 AM ET, 03/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Science, Snowmageddon, Latest

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 03/23/2011

Computer models aid Japanese nuclear response

As the Japanese nuclear crisis continues to unfold, the airborne spread of radioactive materials from the stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power station continues to be a key concern of Japanese and American officials. To help determine the path that any hazardous emissions are likely to take, scientists are employing specialized computer models, known as “trajectory models,” which can take into account factors such as winds and temperatures aloft to determine how high a parcel of air is likely to climb, how far it may go, and where it may be within certain timeframes.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:15 AM ET, 03/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Health, Latest, International Weather, Technology, Science

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/15/2011

Climategate shaped TV weathercasters’ views

The unauthorized release of thousands of emails between several prominent climate researchers in late 2009 - a scandal often referred to as climategate - caused a significant minority of television weathercasters to become increasingly doubtful that manmade climate change is occurring, and that climate scientists and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are reliable sources of information, according to a recent study.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Climate Change, Latest, Media

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 03/07/2011

Should global warming send us to the bunker?

Last Sunday, the Washington Post ran a provocative essay on the front page of the “Outlook” section by climate activist Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. In it, Tidwell reveals the lengths to which he is going to prepare himself and his family for what he sees as the now inevitable consequences of climate change. For example, he is stockpiling food, testing guns, and invested in an emergency generator - all in an effort to stave off social unrest that he sees coming down the pike due to climate change-related extreme weather events. The essay is surprising - and completely wrong - in two main respects.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:30 PM ET, 03/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Climate Change, Latest, Science

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 03/07/2011

Should global warming send us to the bunker?

Last Sunday, the Washington Post ran a provocative essay on the front page of the “Outlook” section by climate activist Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. In it, Tidwell reveals the lengths to which he is going to prepare himself and his family for what he sees as the now inevitable consequences of climate change. For example, he is stockpiling food, testing guns, and invested in an emergency generator - all in an effort to stave off social unrest that he sees coming down the pike due to climate change-related extreme weather events. The essay is surprising - and completely wrong - in two main respects.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:30 PM ET, 03/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Climate Change, Science, Latest

Posted at 07:25 PM ET, 01/25/2011

At weather expo, top snow expert shares views

At the American Meteorological Society annual meeting in Seattle, the crowd of top weather and climate scientists has been buzzing about the potential East Coast storm event. Today I caught up with one of the foremost experts on winter weather forecasting, Dr. Louis Uccellini, to get his take on the situation. In addition to getting his thoughts on the forecast, I also asked him why the computer models have struggled to agree on projections for several winter storms so far this season, especially compared to last winter.

By Andrew Freedman  |  07:25 PM ET, 01/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 01:45 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Snowstorm blasts New York, buries Boston

The storm that brought a quick shot of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Washington area last night has, as expected, transformed itself into a full-fledged blizzard that is hammering southern New England today. Unlike the so-called "Boxing Day Blizzard" in late December, this storm sped past Philadelphia and New York City like an Amtrak Acela train, dropping 5.2 inches of snow in Philly, and 9.1 in. in the Big Apple.

By Andrew Freedman  |  01:45 PM ET, 01/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 10/28/2010

TWC says live weather coverage still comes first

The Weather Channel (TWC) has stepped back from comments made by an NBC productions executive, which we reported on earlier this week, that indicated that the venerable weather network is moving away from its traditional live weather coverage in order to mix in more long-form programming, including a reality show about a landscape photographer.

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:45 PM ET, 10/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Weather Channel to reduce weather coverage

The Weather Channel (TWC), which has been dedicated to live weather programming since its inception in 1982, is now moving further away from that formula in a bid to appeal to viewers of long form programming, such as reality shows. TWC, which is now co-owned by NBC Universal and private equity firms, is reducing its live weather coverage in favor of new shows, including one about Peter Lik, described by NBC Peacock Productions executive Sharon Scott as a "crazy" landscape photographer.

By Andrew Freedman  |  02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 07/27/2010

An inside view of Sunday's severe weather

The severe thunderstorms that tore through the Washington metro area on Sunday afternoon were fueled by a combination of historically hot and oppressively humid weather, and ignited by a cold front barreling east-southeastward. They were not the strongest thunderstorms ever to affect the region - after all, there were no confirmed tornadoes - but they happened to barrel right through the heart of some of the most populated areas of Loudoun and Montgomery counties, as well as the District itself.

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:00 AM ET, 07/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/02/2010

Scientist sues media for libelous climate coverage

As regular readers of this column know well, the past several months have been unusually good to climate skeptics, and extremely bad for the majority of climate scientists who think the scientific evidence pointing to manmade climate change is extremely robust. The key opening salvo came last December, when several well-known scientists had their emails stolen and used for an effective assault on climate science via out-of-context quotes and baseless allegations. This dustup, referred to by many as 'climategate,' helped foster the notion that climate science is controlled by a tight-knit cabal of experts determined to rig the science to suit their best interests. Although several investigations have since cleared these scientists of most allegations, individual researchers have come under heavy fire as a result of this episode, as well as the discovery of several relatively insignificant errors in the landmark 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. In the process, the public has grown more confused about what scientists know about the climate system and how human activities are transforming it, and public concern about climate change has declined significantly in several key countries, including the U.S. How should scientists counterattack? One researcher, prominent Canadian climatologist Andrew Weaver, thinks he has an answer: Sue the media for libel.

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Freedman, Freedman, Freedman | Tags:  Andrew Weaver, IPCC, climate change, climate skeptics, climategate

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/19/2010

'Snowmageddon' name traced back to CWG reader

We've been challenged to a snow pun-off! When I joined the precursor to CWG in 2005, CapitalWeather.com, I didn't expect that one day we'd be helping to name winter storms. Forecasting the storms, sure, but naming them seemed like a stretch. Besides, the ultimate storm name, "The Perfect Storm," had...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:45 AM ET, 02/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/14/2010

Expert: Blizzards "consistent with" climate change

* Latest on Monday snow: Full Forecast | Must-see photos/videos * * Late afternoon today: Snow update & accumulation map * * Politician sounds off on snow | Snow stats | Best of storm comments * * News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There * As...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 08:45 PM ET, 02/03/2010

Help CWG name the potential storm

Suggestions are in, now it's time to vote. Click to go to the polls. As we gear up for the impending storm on Friday: we face an urgent decision. What are we going to call it? We've already had a "snowpocalypse." Can there be two snowpocalypses without undermining the meaning...

By Andrew Freedman  |  08:45 PM ET, 02/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/14/2009

A climate of mixed expectations in Copenhagen

* Briefly mild: D.C. Area Forecast | Climate change photos on exhibit * COPENHAGEN -- As the U.N. climate summit enters its second and much more high-profile week, and as talks stall this morning, the atmosphere in this city contains a curious mix of enthusiasm and skepticism. I'd call it...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/04/2009

Expert: E-mails show perils of 'activist' science

Interview series: Controversial climate e-mails * How much Saturday snow? Full Forecast | Photo contest winners * The controversy over the unauthorized release of years worth of private e-mail correspondence between a handful of top climate researchers, stolen or leaked from computers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 04/27/2009

Heat Wave Leads to "Weather Whiplash"

* Heat Wave Continues: Full Forecast * In light of last week's topsy turvy temperatures in the D.C. area and other parts of the country, I would like to propose that a new term be added to the meteorological lexicon: "weather whiplash." Considering the rather odd weather descriptors that are...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 04/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 04/07/2009

Will Misleads Readers on Climate Science - Again

* Early March-like Chill: Full Forecast | Solar Storms * Global climate change has long been a difficult subject for journalists to cover, given its fusion of complex earth science concepts with heated partisan politics. There are numerous pitfalls one can fall into when reporting on climate change, two of...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:00 AM ET, 04/07/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 03/11/2009

Dueling Climate Meetings Aim to Steer Policy

* Last Taste of Spring for a While: Our Full Forecast * Contrasting messages emerged this week from two diametrically opposed conferences on climate science. At the Heartland Institute's "International Conference on Climate Change," scientists and policy advocates asserted that the vast majority of climate scientists are woefully mistaken, and...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 03/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 11/24/2008

Weather Channel Cuts Earn Mixed Reviews

Word that NBC had fired a handful of on camera meteorologists at The Weather Channel and canceled the network's only climate change news program struck a nerve with many Capital Weather Gang readers, who commented in droves during the weekend in response to our breaking news story that was posted...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:00 AM ET, 11/24/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 10/27/2008

Freedman: Planning Your Global Warming Vacation

Will the icy Arctic landscape be a tourist destination in future decades? Image courtesy NOAA. Whether it is by writing about melting Arctic sea ice or covering the scientific evidence pointing to increasingly intense hurricanes, reporting most climate change science news makes me feel like such a 'Debbie Downer.' I...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 10/27/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/21/2008

Freedman: First Half of 2008 Was Warm Worldwide

The weather so far in 2008 in the Mid-Atlantic region, and across much of the globe, has been warmer than average, government climate data shows. This should come as no surprise, since above average temperatures are expected with global warming. What is especially interesting, though, is the persistence of the...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/21/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/07/2008

Freedman: Ocean Acidification - The Sleeper Issue

If I were to rank climate change impacts in terms of sexiness or pizazz, ocean acidification would rank near the bottom of the list. The relatively slow, unseen process would be well behind the drama of highly visible shifts such as more intense hurricanes, severe droughts, and melting sea and...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/07/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 06/17/2008

Freedman: Explaining an Extreme Spring

This spring's weather sounds like it was crafted from a pitch meeting between a hapless Hollywood screenwriter and a studio executive. The pitch? "It's a movie in which flooding inundates downtown middle America, tornadoes strike boy scouts, strong winds lash the nation's capital, and record heat wave has New Yorkers...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:15 AM ET, 06/17/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/26/2008

Freedman: Becoming Reaquainted with the Sky

Last week I was reminded of something lofty that I had neglected during a year of graduate school study in global climate change policy: clouds. By clouds I'm not speaking of the question of how global climate models represent future changes in cloud cover due to warming, which is a...

By Andrew Freedman  |  12:00 PM ET, 05/26/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 05/19/2008

Freedman: Arctic Sea Ice May Set Record Low

The Interior Department's decision last week to list the polar bear as a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may soon be seen as either a prescient move, or possibly even as too little too late, if scientists' ominous predictions for this summer's Arctic sea ice melt and...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 05/19/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/22/2008

Freedman: A Harsh Climate for Optimism

While there are many reasons to be enthusiastic about environmental progress on this Earth Day week, it's difficult for people in the climate science community to be in a celebratory mood at the moment. Despite the abundant attention devoted to climate change since the last Earth Day, many climate scientists...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/22/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/14/2008

Freedman: Sale May Improve The Weather Channel

In this era of media company layoffs and mergers, perhaps it was only a matter of time before The Weather Channel (TWC) was put up on the auction block. But while its loyal viewers should view the potential sale of the venerable network with some skepticism, there is plenty of...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/14/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/07/2008

Freedman: The Price of Al Gore's Climate Battle

To a climate change contrarian, Al Gore is a one-man axis of evil. By publicizing the dangers of global climate change, and now launching one of the most expensive and far-reaching issue advocacy campaigns of at least the past several years, Gore has helped to vault climate change to the...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/07/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/31/2008

Freedman: Climate Change Low on Public Agenda

The American public does not view global climate change as a top tier problem facing the country today, according to a recent Gallup poll. The poll found that "the economy in general" topped the list, followed by the Iraq War and about two dozen other issues, including "lack of money,"...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/31/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/24/2008

Freedman: A 'Push' Beyond Weather Radio in Cities

The tornado that struck downtown Atlanta, Georgia on March 14 came perilously close to being a "worst case scenario" - packed stadium, downtown traffic, expensive real estate, little warning. City residents were incredibly lucky to escape without a single casualty and with only about $250 million in damages. The Atlanta...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/24/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/17/2008

Freedman: The Winter That Was (Everywhere Else)

The winter of 2007-8 served as a reminder for much of the country, and indeed much of the world, that despite the starring role now being played by global warming, Old Man Winter has not completely exited the stage. In fact, wintry weather enjoyed a dramatic comeback this year compared...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/17/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/03/2008

Freedman: To Be Renovated

In a small corner of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, past the dinosaur exhibit with its throngs of stroller-pushing tourists and beyond the Dinosaur Cafe that sells overpriced salads, lies an exhibit on ice ages that proclaims that the earth is not in fact warming due to human...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/03/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 02/10/2008

Freedman: The Meaning of an Asterisk

What do last year's abnormally warm year worldwide and Barry Bonds' home run record have in common? They both may need an asterisk to signify that someone has been cooking the books. When baseball slugger Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record last year, many in the baseball world sought...

By Andrew Freedman  |  10:30 AM ET, 02/10/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/07/2008

Freedman: Super Tuesday Spin

Tornado outbreak competes for Super Tuesday attention It was a tough decision on Tuesday evening of what story to follow more closely: the presidential primaries or the unfolding tornado tragedy in the South. As of early this morning, the death toll stood at more than 50 from the abnormally violent...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/07/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/03/2008

Freedman: How Should we "Focus the Nation?"

This past week, more than 1,000 institutions of learning, mainly colleges and universities, participated in "Focus the Nation," a national "teach-in" on global climate change science and solutions. The event was aimed at raising awareness of climate change and ways to address the challenge that it poses to the global...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/03/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/20/2008

Freedman: Ground Truth

"Seeing is believing" is a saying that can mean a great deal in life. It is typically used in conversation to refer to something strange that happened that no one would have believed could happen until it actually happened, like a window-washer falling 47 stories and surviving or a penguin...

By Andrew Freedman  |  11:00 AM ET, 01/20/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 01/13/2008

Freedman: Another Strange Year

Is the weather getting stranger or is it just me? More people asked themselves this question in 2007, as temperatures edged ever upward. This was, after all, the year when battling global warming turned into a worldwide social and political movement, thereby making odd weather suspicious. The weather of 2007...

By Andrew Freedman  |  09:00 AM ET, 01/13/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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