The 2011-12 rainy season — which ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 — has come to an end with less than impressive numbers, according to figures compiled by the National Weather Service. None of the six key sights where the weather service records long term precipitation reported above average rainfall.
San Diego – 8.03″ (avg. – 10.34″)
Orange County – 6.32″ (avg. – 13.33″)
Riverside – 5.53″ (avg. – 12.04″)
Los Angeles – 8.69″ (avg. – 14.93″)
The season that starts today could be different. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says that an El Nino appears to be developing in the eastern equatorial Pacific. If the periodic climate change system continues to strengthen, it could lead to above average rainfall this winter in Southern California.
On Friday, a historic, record-setting heat wave covered a sprawling region from the Midwest to the Southeast. All-time high temperatures records of 109 were established in Nashville and Columbia, South, Carolina and tied in Raleigh and Charlotte which hit 105 and 104. Here in Washington, D.C., the mercury climbed to an astonishing 104 degrees (breaking the previous record set in 1874 and 2011 by two degrees), our hottest June day in 142 years of records.
…the coverage and availability of this heat energy was vast, sustaining the storms on their 600 mile northwest to southeast traverse. The storms continually ingested the hot, humid air and expelled it in violent downdrafts – crashing into the ground at high speeds and spreading out, sometimes accelerating further.
Peak wind gusts in the D.C. region include the following:
71 mph near Dulles Airport
70 mph in Damascus, Md.
79 mph in Reston, Va.
65 mph in Rockville, Md.
70 mph at Reagan National Airport
76 mph in Seat Pleasant, Md. (Prince George’s co.)
77 mph in Swan Point, Md. (Charles co.)
70 mph in Ashburn, Va.
69 mph in Leesburg, Va.
In addition, an 80 mph gust was clocked in Fredericksburg. To the north and west, 91 mph and 72 mph gusts were measured in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio
This month, on a barren Wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research’s supercomputer has been dubbed Yellowstone, after the nearby national park, but it could have been named Nerdvana. The machine will have 100 racks of servers and 72,000 core processors, so many parts that they must be delivered in the back of a 747. Yellowstone will be capable of performing 1.5 quadrillion calculations — a quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeros — every second.
The sheer speed of Yellowstone is designed to burst through the limits of chaos theory — the difference, allegorically, between predicting the odds of blackjack after playing five hands versus playing a million. The machine is expected to give scientists a clearer image of the state of the planet, and its future, revolutionizing the study of climate change, extreme weather events, wildfires, air pollution and more.
Mesmerizing timelapse of the Earth is the highest resolution single-shot imagery ever taken of our planet from space.
The video and images were snapped by the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L during its orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator. The images are in 121 megapixels; That’s 1 km per pixel. In the video shown above here, the images are in true color, but if you really want to see the vegetation pop out, watch it in the infrared– the vegetation will instead appear orange (video below).
Also unlike most NASA photos of the Earth from space, these images were snapped in a single shot. By contrast, NASA’s photos are usually composites of several photographs.
Not since The Blue Marble— the famous photograph snapped by Apollo 17 astronauts on their way to the Moon in 1972– has there been such a spectacular and moving single-shot view of the Earth.
Changes are brewing in the equatorial Pacific, and they could profoundly affect weather across the U.S. and much of the globe next winter and spring.
La Nina, which has held sway since last fall, will be officially declared a goner Thursday, an official at the Climate Prediction Center in Maryland told InsideClimate News. And while nobody is quite certain what will happen next, some long-range forecast models are pointing to the possible emergence of the opposite phenomenon: El Nino.
Climate scientists are still trying to determine what role climate change plays in the La Nina/El Nino cycle. One study by scientists with NASA and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle suggests global warming may already be affecting the intensity and impacts of El Nino.
Regardless of climate change’s role, a shift away from this year’s La Nina could dramatically alter temperature, precipitation and extreme-weather patterns.
What could be better than beautiful weather, beaches, and your favorite scrappy start-up?
Two cities in Los Angeles are slowly becoming hubs of technology, Santa Monica and Venice.
In the spread out landscape of Los Angeles these two cities are adjacent close-knit urban areas, with ample office space, coffee shops, restaurants, and apartments. But, not the typical high-rise or pre-fab buildings, these are old school one-story remodeled spaces.
Think fun, diverse, and in some places gritty (i.e. hipster).
Recently, both held town hall meetings with local companies and government officials to strategize growth:
Santa Monica devoted much of its annual State of the City address to promoting the tech community, with Mayor Richard Bloom declaring: “Today we are not just Santa Monica, but Silicon Beach and the Tech Coast.” (In an unofficial vote later, hundreds in attendance overwhelmingly threw their support to the Silicon Beach name.)
“Our technology-qualified workforce, creative workplaces and leading broadband infrastructure will keep our economy well-positioned for future growth,” Bloom said.
After the mayor’s address and a short video touting the rise of tech companies in Santa Monica, Jason Nazar, who is chief executive and co-founder of local start-up Docstoc.com, moderated a panel of people connected to the tech scene.
The quirky beach-side community drew hundreds of attendees to a packed town hall meeting dubbed The Emergence of Silicon Beach.
Executives from Google, local start-ups Viddy and Mogreet, and accelerator Amplify were on hand for a panel moderated by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who repeatedly told audience members that they were witnessing a “Venicessance.” Nearly two dozen tech companies set up booths to tout their products and ideas to about 400 attendees.
“Ten years ago, it was very hard,” James Citron said. “You had to fly up to San Francisco and do the Sand Hill Road dance, for those of you who know the venture capital world. Now they’re coming down here looking for great companies, so that’s a big fundamental change.”
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) brought online its latest weather satellite GOES-15, and pushed aside its predecessor GOES-11.
It will be tracking the weather for California, the west coast, Hawaii, and the Pacific Ocean. The image above is the first infrared image it sent to NOAA, which it will continue to do every “15-30 minutes, with full hemisphere scans every 3 hours until its retirement.”
The term GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. Which means that they sit, like a star, at the same place in the sky and a radio antenna can be permanently pointed at it to receive data.
There are currently four of them covering our globe:
GOES-12 – South America located at 60°W.
GOES-13 – East located at 75°W. It provides most of the U.S. weather information.
GOES 14 – in on-orbit storage at 105° W.
GOES 15 – West and Pacific Ocean located at 135° W.
They are up there to track half the world’s weather patterns and to “track space weather, oceanographic changes, forest fires and other hazards and provide scientific data collection and information for search and rescue operations.”
As the name implies, there are 15 or more of these satellites up in space. Some are online, one is in storage ready-for-action, others are floating space junk, and a few are floating nonchalantly but providing data (like one at the North Pole).
Next time you look up at the stars keep an eye out for one of these satellites and you can bet they will be keeping an eye on us.
Last week at dinner, our friend (@doyendon) challenged 1X57 to find, or at least contemplate, a solution to consumer-based economies, aka contemporary capitalism, which is causing a global crisis of unconscionable proportions – with food and energy prices soaring, world populations surging, and weather-related disasters like tornadoes, tsunamis, droughts, fires and floods increasing in frequency and scale.