As a step toward meeting the goal of providing earlier warnings, NCAR scientists and their colleagues are examining what enables poorly organized clusters of thunderstorms to develop into tropical storms and hurricanes.
Satellite images have revealed at least three dramatic eye-like features not far off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts over the last several weeks. While these can look startlingly like the eyes of hurricanes, they’re not quite the same thing.
New research points to gravity waves, which ripple unseen through the atmosphere, as the culprit in many cases of clear-air turbulence. If those waves can be forecast, the research suggests that planes in many cases could be rerouted around them.
More than two days ahead of landfall, it was clear that Hurricane Sandy could bring higher water than New York and New Jersey had seen in decades. But for thousands of people in the area, the threat simply didn’t register. (Part 1 of 2)
Sandy's storm surge was more than twice that of other recent tropical cyclones in the New York City area—but several other factors teamed up to bring waters to their catastrophically high level. (Part 2 of 2)
Though we’re still more than two weeks from the end of 2012, it’s not too soon to get a sense of how the year will go down in meteorological annals. Some of the signals from January to November are so strong that December won’t change the outcome.
The United States faces more varied weather risks than most nations on Earth, but we also have uniquely strong capabilities to confront these risks, thanks to decades of research conducted by government agencies, universities, and the private weather industry.
Studies show 63% of hurricane-related deaths occur inland. To help emergency managers prepare, NCAR scientists are pinpointing vulnerable populations using tropical storm winds, census data, and flood maps.
Heat and drought are punishing much of the United States right now, but there’s actually some good weather news to report. July 2012 is on track to produce fewer tornadoes than any July on record, and by a long shot.
A small, sophisticated instrument package developed at NCAR and dropped from aircraft has led to notable improvements in hurricane prediction. Now these devices are poised to deliver more data than ever, thanks to a new design and a remotely piloted NASA aircraft.
A multisatellite observing system that was only a gleam in researchers’ eyes in the 1990s is now a key tool for monitoring Earth’s atmosphere. An ambitious follow-up project could yield up to ten times the data gathered by the current satellites.
University students and faculty soon will have the chance to peer at day-to-day weather through the same lens used by National Weather Service meteorologists. A new version of the NWS’s workhorse graphics software will reach campuses through UCAR’s Unidata program.