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Meteorology of Saturday

Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-04-06


At least 254 people were killed in the in the city of Mocoa (population 40,000) in southwest Colombia near the border of Ecuador early Saturday, when torrential rains triggered a debris flow on a nearby mountain that surged into the town as a huge wall of water carrying tons of mud and debris. The disaster is the fourth deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombia’s recorded history. Reports...(Read More)

Severe Weather to Ramp Down This Weekend, Temporarily

Severe Weather to Ramp Down This Weekend, Temporarily
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-04-01


A brief break in our multi-day spate of U.S. severe weather appears to be forthcoming, but not until one more day of widespread severe storms. In its Day 1 outlook issued at 11:30 am CDT Thursday, the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center placed a large swath from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast under a slight risk of severe weather through Thursday night, with a pocket of enhanced risk over the...(Read More)

Australia Braces for Debbie; Localized Tornado Outbreak Possible Sunday in TX/OK

Australia Braces for Debbie; Localized Tornado Outbreak Possible Sunday in TX/OK
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-27


Northeast Australia’s Queensland coast is bracing for the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which intensified into a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds on Sunday morning. Debbie is headed west-southwest at about 4 mph, and is expected to make landfall on Tuesday morning local time (Monday evening in the U.S.) The storm has quite favorable conditions for intensification, with light wind shear...(Read More)

The Extreme Temperature Index: Identifying Which Records are Most Significant

The Extreme Temperature Index: Identifying Which Records are Most Significant
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-21


Our guest author today on Category 6 is Guy Walton, an independent meteorologist in Atlanta who spent more than 30 years as a forecaster at The Weather Channel. For more than a decade, Guy has kept detailed records on U.S. daily, monthly, and all-time record high and low temperatures across the United States. His efforts helped lead to NOAA’s establishment of its U.S. Records site. In 2009,...(Read More)

March Madness: Trump Proposes 31% Cut to EPA and Big Cuts to Climate Change Programs

March Madness: Trump Proposes 31% Cut to EPA and Big Cuts to Climate Change Programs
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-16


President Trump’s first proposed budget was released on Thursday, and recommends maddening cuts to programs and agencies responsible for ensuring the health of Americans and for understanding and combating climate change. Among larger U.S. agencies, the biggest cuts come to the EPA, which would see its $8.1 billion budget slashed by over 31%, and layoffs hitting about 3,200 of the agency’s...(Read More)

EPA Chief Denies Basic Climate Science

EPA Chief Denies Basic Climate Science
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-11


Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said on Thursday that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Mr. Pruitt was asked, “Do you believe that it’s been proven that CO2 is the primary control knob for climate?” His response was: “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something...(Read More)

Severe Weather Threat, Extreme Fire Danger over Southern Plains

Severe Weather Threat, Extreme Fire Danger over Southern Plains
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-06


A windy, fast-moving storm system will bring the risk of severe weather, including tornadoes, as it barrels across the Great Plains on Monday afternoon and evening. The severe storms will be generated by a very large upper-level trough swinging east across a broad area of fairly warm, moist air feeding into a surface low in the Dakotas. The NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center highlighted an enhanced...(Read More)

Echoes of a 1920s Calamity in Deadly Midwest Tornado Outbreak

Echoes of a 1920s Calamity in Deadly Midwest Tornado Outbreak
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-03-01


Several long-lived supercell thunderstorms cranked out destructive tornado families across the Midwest from late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. At least 3 deaths had been reported, according to a weather.com summary. Power was knocked out for tens of thousands of people as the wind-packing storms barreled east toward the Appalachians. The NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center received 24 preliminary...(Read More)

All-Time Warmth for February Stretches to New England

All-Time Warmth for February Stretches to New England
Written by Jeff Masters on 2017-02-24


A February remarkable for its long stretches of mildness steamed onward Thursday, with more all-time records for the month continuing to tumble across wide stretches of the U.S. The apex of the record-setting warmth expanded on Thursday from the Midwest (which we covered in our last post) into New York and New England (see below). A staggering number of daily record highs have been set in recent...(Read More)





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