Currents Archive

Cars buried in snow during March 2003 storm in Boulder County, CO Thomas Bogdan • October 4, 2012 | You never know what the weather is about to deliver. Who would have expected the unusual events of the last few months: the warmest spring on record, early-season tornado outbreaks across much of the nation’s midsection, the intense thunderstorms that knocked out power to millions in the Washington, D.C., area, the summer drought that sucked moisture from our croplands, and the disruption brought by a hurricane to a major political convention?
View from research site, Kanton Island, American Samoa Bob Henson • September 28, 2012 | In recent months there’ve been hints of an El Niño on the horizon that might help quench the ongoing U.S. drought. But those hints might turn out to be as meaningless as a mirage on a parched highway. Though the waters of the eastern tropical Pacific did warm slightly this summer, the region is now sending mixed signals, and what will happen this winter remains uncertain.
Handshake in front of supercomputer September 17, 2012 | A great deal of work had already taken place before workers turned over the first mound of soil on the prairie that now houses the NWSC. The public-private partnership that led to the NWSC’s creation emerged through a fortuitous mix of geographical, technological, institutional, and human variables, plus the ability to recognize opportunity and act on it.
UCAR Magazine Bob Henson • September 4, 2012 | As hurricanes go, Isaac wasn’t the easiest to predict. Fortunately, the residents of the central Gulf Coast got ample notice of the storm’s arrival this week, and the death toll was remarkably low given the major storm surge (the push of ocean water up rivers and into coastlines that causes most hurricane deaths).
UCAR Magazine Bob Henson • August 16, 2012 | As Shakespeare noted about true love, the course of Arctic sea ice never does run smooth. Even though weather conditions in June and July weren’t especially favorable for melting, the ice vanished at a striking pace. Then came a midsummer tempest—and now 2012 threatens to break 2007’s records for the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice ever observed.
UCAR Magazine August 13, 2012 | A longtime environmental leader and water policy expert, David Behar is one of the nation’s leading voices on how to weave weather and climate knowledge into water management. He currently serves as climate program director for the water enterprise at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is the nation’s sixth largest municipal water provider. In 2007, he organized a summit that evolved into the Water Utility Climate Alliance.
Global map showing regions drying by 2090s Bob Henson • August 6, 2012 | Whether you’re looking at the next few weeks or the next few decades, many parts of the United States are likely to face the silent but devastating impacts of drought. New research, and corrections to an earlier study, help bring this point home.
St. Louis skyline at dusk Bob Henson | July 26, 2012 • We still have a few days to go before this torrid month ends, but July is already promising to go down as the hottest month ever recorded in a number of U.S. locations.  (See the "Update" box at lower right for more details on how July turned out.)
Tornado near Cherokee, OK, on April 14, 2012 Bob Henson | July 24, 2012 • Heat and drought are punishing much of the United States right now, but there’s actually some good weather news to report. This month is on track to produce fewer tornadoes than any July on record, and by a long shot.
Derecho of June 29, 2012 Bob Henson | July 2, 2012 • With a ferocity to match the record heat it displaced, a thunderstorm complex raced from Illinois to the Delaware coast in a mere 12 hours on Friday evening, June 29. It knocked down countless trees and power lines, with wind gusts topping 80 miles per hour in many spots. It threw millions of people into turmoil, with air conditioners, computers, and phones out for days. And it brought to light a weather word du jour with an obscure but intriguing history.