We’ve all seen images with the sun’s rays shining through a forest, streaking through clouds in religious artwork, and gracing a child’s drawing of the Sun. These are known as crepuscular rays. They are most often seen at twilight (as the sun is rising or setting), but can be seen at anytime when clouds or other objects block some of the sun’s rays and there is a sufficient amount of particulate matter in the air to… To read the full story, click here - http://www.weatherworks.com/lifelong-learning-blog/?p=1456
© 2018 H. Michael Mogil
DISCUSSION: Over the course of time, it is well-understood that a combination of disease and natural disasters has the inherent ability to bring a variety of fruit and/or vegetable species to a very weakened state. This exact scenario recently played out across the state of Florida in the southeastern United States. When Hurricane Irma impacted much of the state of Florida back in mid-September of 2017, it goes without saying that there was tremendous amount of large-scale damage which was inflicted on a good portion of southern, central, and some parts of northern Florida. Having said that, one of the more sensitive types of plants which call Florida their home are the primary citrus plants. Such citrus plants include (but are certainly not limited to) orange, grapefruits, and tangerines. With the strong onshore flow associated with the eastern half of Hurricane Irma impacting the Floridian Peninsula, this consequently acted to knock a major percentage of the net citrus fruit harvest out of commission.
Furthermore, in addition to all of the citrus crop production potential lost due to the immediate impacts from Hurricane Irma, there are also major issues pertaining to a term referred to as citrus greening. It is during this process that citrus plants are infected with a certain type of parasitic insect and is particularly effectively spread during events such as hurricane landfalls.
Attached here for your reading convenience is a link which provides much more information on this story courtesy of NBC News.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz
DISCUSSION: One of the major issues in meteorology right now is figuring out an effective method of communicating vital weather information to the public. In severe weather situations, it is especially important for meteorologists to issue life saving warnings and information in a timely manner. But what if something was preventing meteorologists from recognizing a threat with enough time to warn the public? This is a reality for regions within areas of poor radar coverage, also known as radar holes. In a radar hole, the area may be on the edge of one or more radar, only allowing for the top of a storm to be seen by the radar’s beam, which means any low-level rotation which may indicate a tornado would be missed. One major radar hole falls over the Charlotte, North Carolina (NC) metropolitan area, which has a population of 2,474,314 people as of the 2016 census. That is over 2 million people who are in danger of not receiving sufficient warning notice when severe weather strikes. While Charlotte may not be as prone to the occurrence of tornadoes as other regions of the country, it is still a very real possibility.
Around 2:30 am on March 3, 2012, an un-warned tornado struck the Charlotte metro area, just miles northeast of the city center. Given that this tornado occurred at night, the likelihood of the storm being reported to the National Weather Service by a spotter before it touched down would be very low to begin with. Meteorologists would have been relying on Doppler radar to determine whether to warn a storm. The nearest radar to the Charlotte metro area is outside of Greenville, South Carolina, at least 80-90 miles away from where this tornado occurred. That would put the radar beam well into the mid-to-upper levels of the storm, completely missing any low-level rotation. By the time rotation would have been detected by radar, it was already too late. Thankfully, in this case, no fatalities were reported. But this may have been a lucky break.
It is only a matter of time before another devastating tornado hits the area, and this time the outcome may not be as favorable. This is why it is is incredibly important to address the gaps in radar coverage throughout the country, especially in large metro areas such as Charlotte, NC. Increased radar coverage could end up saving lives.
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©2018 Meteorologist Stephanie Edwards
How many of you have seen “Groundhog Day – The Movie?” How many of you have seen it over and over again? How many of you have picked up on the myriad of meteorological and other flaws that the movie contains? … To read the full story, click here - http://www.weatherworks.com/lifelong-learning-blog/?p=1450
© 2018 H. Michael Mogil
DISCUSSION: There is no debate that from a global perspective, there is a conscious understanding that the degree to which society continues to maintain, increase, or decrease current as well as future fossil fuel consumption will be critical. The reason for that is because of the fact that the magnitude of future global fossil fuel consumption will greatly influence the extent of future planetary warming. This is a result of the fact that fossil fuel emissions act to collectively enhance the global influence of the greenhouse effect. As a point of clarification, the greenhouse effect is best defined as the process by which the molecules which compose gases including (but certainly not limited to) carbon dioxide act to trap anthropogenic (i.e., man-made) heat energy within the Earth's atmosphere which has a net increased heating effect.
Therefore, the graphic which is attached above (courtesy of Climate Central) further reflects the above concepts based on the respective trajectories which are shown for the respective future net planetary temperature changes. As you can clearly see, if we do not change the manner in which most of society goes about day-to-day functions, we are destined to arrive at a dangerously amount of net planetary warming which would create a tremendous global atmospheric/oceanic "ripple effect." More specifically, by not changing (or possibly increasing) our net global consumption of fossil fuel resources left on Earth, this would propel net planetary temperature increases well-above current threshold concerns. So, many atmospheric scientists and climate scientists around the world are therefore trying there best to push global education initiatives so as to largely avoid such an extreme planetary temperature increase scenario.
On the flip side, by considering the other end of the planetary temperature change spectrum, we can clearly see that considerable cuts to our net reliance on global fossil fuel resources would likely facilitate a scenario wherein we could actually potentially observe a net decrease from current global average temperature changes. Despite the high likelihood of such a scenario never playing out due to current global political issues at play, a scenario somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum is certainly plausible and is where we need to aim for in the coming years and decades. That is, if Earth is going to maintain some semblance of future sustainability potential.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz