Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Closed due to snow
Image credit: BBC


A shock to the system for many Europeans after years of being told that the world is supposed to be warming at an alarming rate, so they must pay billions for decades to try and buy a ‘better’ climate.

The heaviest snowfall in four years in Britain caused travel mayhem Sunday, while more than 300 flights were cancelled at Germany’s busiest airport and a ferry ran aground in the French port of Calais, reports Phys.org.

The heaviest snowfall in four years in Britain caused travel mayhem Sunday, while more than 300 flights were cancelled at Germany’s busiest airport and a ferry ran aground in the French port of Calais.

Hundreds of air passengers were stranded in Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital, as well as Britain, and many took to Twitter to complain.

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Arctic Northern Sea Route


The risks of underestimating seasonal Arctic sea ice catch up with a group of over-optimistic Russian sailors.

The 35 year old vessel «Chukotka+» carried several thousand tons of oil and independently tried to make it across the Northern Sea Route, says the Barents Observer.

Little is known about the incident which probably could have triggered a serious accident along Russia’s icy northern coast.

According to Rosatom, the state company operating the fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers, the «Chukotka+» on the 30th October entered the waters of the Northern Sea Route. The ship sailed alone and aimed for a voyage across the Arctic route without icebreaker assistance.

It was not successful.

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Channel 4’s Liam Dutton


TV weather presenter Liam Dutton runs through some of the pitfalls awaiting UK forecasters.

Predicting snow in the UK is difficult and weather computer models rarely get it right more than a few days ahead. But why is this the case?

The past week has seen Arctic air and snow affect the UK, and with another cold blast later this week, there is much excitement about the prospect of snow.

Twitter has been awash with graphics from various weather computer models showing large swathes of the UK covered in snow in a week’s time.

However, the bottom line is that you should never believe a detailed UK snow forecast more than three days ahead.

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Image credit: winesandvines.com


Whatever happens with local or regional weather – hot, cold, wet, dry – if it’s anything out of the ordinary, it must be ‘extreme’ and due to ‘climate change’. At least that’s the implication of reports like this one from Phys.org.

Europe’s wine production has dropped to levels unseen since World War II as extreme weather battered top producers Italy, France, Spain and Germany, the main farmers’ union said Tuesday.

The Copa-Cogeca union said quality was high and prices will rise but not enough to compensate producers for losses as drought and frosts linked to climate change damaged grapes.

“This is the lowest (European) harvest that we have seen since World War II,” Copa-Cogeca executive Thierry Coste told reporters.

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Windy enough today?


One possibility is that ‘it could be due to ageing wind speed instruments producing inaccurate results’, says the GWPF. If not – bad news for wind turbine operators.

Wind speeds around the world seem to be decreasing in a phenomenon known as ‘stilling’ and European scientists are hoping to find out why.

Few people have probably noticed, but the world’s winds are getting slower. It is something that cannot be picked up by watching the billowing of dust or listening to the rustle of leaves on nearby trees.

Instead, it is a phenomenon occurring on a different scale, as the average global wind speed close to the surface of the land decreases.

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A rational look at recent severe weather events, which have been seized on by disaster-starved climate alarmists to push their pre-conceived agendas.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

The recent spate of hurricanes has inevitably attracted attention and spawned wildly inaccurate headlines, such as “a 1000 year event”, “the most powerful Atlantic storm on record”, “storm of the century”, and even “most deadly storm in history”.

Many climate scientists have also jumped on the bandwagon, to claim that these storms have been exacerbated by climate change.

With Hurricane Maria now weakening and heading north into cooler waters, it is perhaps time to take a rational look at what has actually been happening.

First, let’s look at the two most notable storms:

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Hurricanes, AMO , And Sahel Droughts

Posted: September 10, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, research, Uncertainty, weather
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What really drives Atlantic hurricanes? Paul Homewood looks at some relevant research.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Reader Dermot Flaherty questioned the relationship of ENSO to the Atlantic hurricane season.

There are indeed many factors which affect hurricane activity. As leading hurricane expert Chris Landsea stated in his 1999 paper “Atlantic Basin Hurricanes: Indices of Climatic Changes”:

Various environmental factors including Caribbean sea level pressures and 200mb zonal winds, the stratospheric Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, African West Sahel rainfall and Atlantic sea surface temperatures, are analyzed for interannual links to the Atlantic hurricane activity. All show significant, concurrent relationships to the frequency, intensity and duration of Atlantic hurricanes.

Landsea goes on:

Finally, much of the multidecadal hurricane activity can be linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Mode – an empirical orthogonal function pattern derived from a global sea surface temperature record.

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The researchers say ship exhaust can alter thunderstorm intensity. They seem to have ignored the fact that ships on the open seas have always been a natural target for lightning.

Thunderstorms directly above two of the world’s busiest shipping lanes are significantly more powerful than storms in areas of the ocean where ships don’t travel, according to new research reported at Phys.org.

A new study mapping lightning around the globe finds lightning strokes occur nearly twice as often directly above heavily-trafficked shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea than they do in areas of the ocean adjacent to shipping lanes that have similar climates.

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There are robust and reliable electricity supplies, or the other kind.

STOP THESE THINGS

Texans have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, over the last week or so.

Hurricane Harvey belted the Texan coast with 130 mph (209 kph) winds and delivered a deluge of biblical proportions.

For some time now, Texas has been the pinup girl for American wind worshippers. With some 21,000 MW of nominal capacity spread over 40 projects, like everything in Texas, wind power is ‘big’.

Except, of course, when the weather turns nasty.

Modern industrial wind turbines do not operate when wind speeds hit around 25 m/s (90kph or 55mph) – Hurricane Harvey dished up a gale double that speed, and more.

In order to prevent their catastrophic disintegration (as seen in the video below) Texas’s turbines downed tools, en masse, (as they are deliberately designed to do) leaving the critical work of providing power to storm battered Texans to its fleet of nuclear power plants.

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Why Phi? – the rainbow angle

Posted: September 3, 2017 by oldbrew in Maths, Measurement, Phi, weather
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The rainbow angle [credit: Hong Kong Observatory]


The minimum deviation angle for the primary bow [of a rainbow] is 137.5° according to Wikipedia. This is known as the rainbow angle. A circle is 360 degrees, so the ratio of the rainbow angle to the circle is therefore the square of the golden ratio i.e. 137.5:360 = 1:2.61818~.
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Hong Kong Observatory has some useful explanatory text and graphics (rounding 137.5 to 138 degrees) titled:
Why is the region outside the primary rainbow much darker than that inside the primary rainbow?
Written by : SIU Kai-chee (summer intern) and HUNG Fan-yiu

Let’s first look at Figure 1, which shows sun rays entering a water drop and going through refraction and reflection.

The ray (ray no. 1) passing through the centre goes directly backward on reflection, i.e. a change in direction of 180 degrees.

For ray no. 2, this angle becomes smaller, following the rules of refraction and reflection.

For the next (ray no. 3) the angle continues to decrease, so on and so forth. This trend does not continue for long, however.

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Texan wetland [image credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.]


This study reported on the U.S. East Coast, but all ideas for protection of increasingly populated coastal areas from severe weather should be under the microscope after the recent floods in Texas. Phys.org reporting.

With the Atlantic hurricane season well under way and Tropical Storm Harvey causing devastation in Texas, a new scientific study reports that coastal wetlands significantly reduce annual flood losses and catastrophic damages from storms.

Led by a team of scientists from the engineering, insurance, and conservation sectors, including researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the study found that coastal wetlands in the northeast United States prevented $625 million in direct flood damages during Hurricane Sandy, reducing damages by more than 22 percent in half of the affected areas and by as much as 30 percent in some states.

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Houston – August 2017 [image credit: BBC]


The author writes: ‘ask yourself whether you would rather buy a house in a flood prone area with effective stormwater management or with CO2 emission controls and subsidies’.

Hurricane Harvey has undoubtedly caused great damage to Houston and surrounding areas on the Texas Coast. The climate alarmists have immediately tried to blame carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by humans, of course.

My comment is that if the US had devoted the resources wasted on CO2-oriented climate research and building “renewable” sources of energy on decreasing the vulnerability of the Texas Gulf Coast to floods the US would have been far far better off.

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Why tropical storm Harvey is showing Texas no mercy

Posted: August 28, 2017 by oldbrew in News, weather

Image credit: Houston Chronicle


“The problem with Harvey is that it is trapped,” an atmospheric scientist and tropical storm expert tells Gizmodo. One fear is that Harvey could drift back out to sea and then return again with renewed force.

Right now, Houston is in the midst of a catastrophic flood disaster as tropical storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the central Texas coastline Friday night, continues to unleash torrents over the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.

Harvey is expected to drop an additional 15 to 25 inches of rainfall over the next few days, which, combined with 1-2 feet of rain that fell over the weekend, has created a “worse than worst case scenario for Houston,” and could lead to some of the highest rainfall totals the nation has ever seen.

After making landfall, they tend to dissipate quickly, losing energy and organization as they blow across cooler, drier, inland air masses. What makes Harvey both incredibly dangerous and highly unusual is that it has barely budged over the last few days, channelling nonstop belts of rainfall from sea to land.

“There is virtually no precedent for such a slow-moving system maintaining at least tropical storm strength along the Texas coast for five days,” meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson wrote yesterday on their weather and climate science blog, Category 6.

So, why won’t Harvey leave Texas alone?

“The problem with Harvey is that it is trapped,” Phil Klotzbach, atmospheric scientist and tropical storm expert at Colorado State University, told Gizmodo in an email.

Continued here.

California’s Big Sur coast – ‘considered one of the finest images’ by Wikipedia


The end of the California drought hasn’t been all good news for everyone, due partly to what may be ‘the largest mudslide in the state’s history’.

A massive landslide that went into the Pacific Ocean is the latest natural disaster to hit a California community that relies heavily on an iconic coastal highway and tourism to survive, and it adds to a record $1 billion in highway damage from one of the state’s wettest winters in decades, reports SFGate.

The weekend slide in Big Sur buried a portion of Highway 1 under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt and changed the coastline below to include what now looks like a rounded skirt hem, Susana Cruz, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Transportation, said Tuesday.

More than 1 million tons of rock and dirt tumbled down a saturated slope in an area called Mud Creek. The slide is covering up about a one-quarter-of-a-mile (0.40-kilometer) stretch of Highway 1, and authorities have no estimate on when it might re-open. The area remains unstable.

“We haven’t been able to go up there and assess. It’s still moving,” Cruz said. “We have geologists and engineers who are going to check it out this week to see how do we pick up the pieces.”

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One high-altitude nuclear test even managed to create its own artificial aurora. Others knocked out orbiting satellites.

Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us, says Phys.org.

Space weather — which can include changes in Earth’s magnetic environment— is usually triggered by the sun’s activity, but recently declassified data on high-altitude nuclear explosion tests have provided a new look at the mechanisms that set off perturbations in that magnetic system.

Such information can help support NASA’s efforts to protect satellites and astronauts from the natural radiation inherent in space. From 1958 to 1962, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. ran high-altitude tests with exotic code names like Starfish, Argus and Teak.

The tests have long since ended, and the goals at the time were military. Today, however, they can provide crucial information on how humans can affect space.

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Credit: BBC / Met Office


Contrasting weather situations for the UK and the US, post El Niño. Even the wettest place in England is ‘bone dry’.

There are fears the UK could be braced for widespread drought this summer after “excessively dry conditions”, says ITV News.

The Environment Agency said the UK saw just 35% of its normal rainfall in April and farmers have been warned crops could fail.The unusual weather spell follows the driest winter since 1995-1996.

Minette Batters, Deputy President of the National Farmers’ Union, told ITV News: “I think many of my farming colleagues in East Anglia, in the south east are seeing excessively dry conditions.”

Farmer James Winslade told ITV News: “Arable farmers, grass farmers, dairy farmers – it doesn’t make any difference. They’re all worried. They’ve all cut grass earlier than they normally would have done and we haven’t had the rain to get the grass and crops growing back”.

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Emergency measures in a vineyard [image credit: BBC News]


Unexpected weather systems can arrive from the ‘wrong’ direction at the wrong time, as this BBC report shows.

English winemakers have warned that at least half of this year’s grape harvest has been wiped out by heavy frost. The air frost that hit last week caused “catastrophic” damage to buds that had bloomed earlier than usual thanks to a warm start to the year.

About 75% of buds at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey – which produces 500,000 bottles of wine a year – were affected, its chief executive said. England has 133 wineries, which produced five million bottles in 2015.
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Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

One official said “Tahoe is the defining factor. If we’re full at Tahoe, the drought is over.” Lake Tahoe trails only the five Great Lakes as the largest by volume in the United States.

Winter’s unrelenting storms built up a substantial Sierra snowpack and are expected to fill the lake for the first time in 11 years, reports Sott.net.

Many low-lying areas that were exposed when the lake level was declining during the drought will be inundated with water. The docks will be bobbing in crystal blue waters once again.

Straddling the California – Nevada border, Tahoe is the sixth largest lake in the United States, an outdoor playground for people around the world, and the main water source for the Reno-Sparks, Nevada, area.
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Image credit: KNKX

Image credit: KNKX

Some of the blazes were accidental, and as people travel more the areas at risk are increasing.

A new study blames people for triggering five out of every six wildfires in the United States and tripling the length of the wildfire season, reports the Daily Mail Online.

Even as climate change worsens the nation’s fire season – making it longer and easier to burn more acres – researchers say human activities play an even bigger role.

Scientists looking at fire data from 1992 to 2012 found that 84 percent of all U.S. wildfires were started by people, either by accident or on purpose.
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Vertical axis wind turbine [credit: Challenergy]

Vertical axis wind turbine [credit: Challenergy]


‘Wind power on steroids’ or another madcap ‘sustainability’ scheme that never gets off the ground? No mention of storage, and typhoons are far from everyday events.

In what could be the ultimate clean energy, Japan is set to start harnessing the energy of typhoons, with wind turbines that are able to withstand intense storms – and turn them into power, reports the IB Times.

Typhoon turbines, also known as the Magnus Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT), were first thought up by Atsushi Shimizu, chief executive of Challenergy Inc. After seeing the widespread destruction caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he wanted to find a way to provide a safe and sustainable source of energy.
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