Arctic temperatures the warmest in 2,000 years; 2009 Arctic sea ice loss 3rd highest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:32 PM GMT on September 04, 2009

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It's time to take a bit of a break from coverage of the Atlantic hurricane season of 2009, and report on some important climate news. The past decade was the warmest decade in the Arctic for the past 2,000 years, according to a study called "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling" published today in the journal Science. Furthermore, four of the five warmest decades in the past 2,000 years occurred between 1950 - 2000, despite the fact that summertime solar radiation in the Arctic has been steadily declining for the past 2,000 years. Previous efforts to reconstruct past climate in the Arctic extended back only 400 years, so the new study--which used lake sediments, glacier ice cores, and tree rings to look at past climate back to the time of Christ, decade by decade-- is a major new milestone in our understanding of the Arctic climate. The researchers found that Arctic temperatures steadily declined between 1 A.D. and 1900 A.D., as would be expected due to a 26,000-year cycle in Earth's orbit that brought less summer sunshine to the North Pole. Earth is now about 620,000 miles (1 million km) farther from the Sun in the Arctic summer than it was 2000 years ago. However, temperatures in the Arctic began to rise around the year 1900, and are now 1.4°C (2.5°F) warmer than they should be, based on the amount of sunlight that is currently falling in the Arctic in summer. "If it hadn't been for the increase in human-produced greenhouse gases, summer temperatures in the Arctic should have cooled gradually over the last century," Bette Otto-Bliesner, a co-author from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in a statement.

The Arctic melt season of 2009
Arctic sea ice suffered another summer of significant melting in 2009, with August ice extent the third lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. August ice extent was 19% below the 1979 - 2000 average, and only 2007 and 2008 saw more melting of Arctic sea ice. We've now had two straight years in the Arctic without a new record minimum in sea ice. However, this does not mean that the Arctic sea ice is recovering. The reduced melting in 2009 compared to 2007 and 2008 primarily resulted from a different atmospheric circulation pattern this summer. This pattern generated winds that transported ice toward the Siberian coast and discouraged export of ice out of the Arctic Ocean. The previous two summers, the prevailing wind pattern acted to transport more ice out of the Arctic through Fram Strait, along the east side of Greenland. At last December's meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world's largest scientific conference on climate change, J.E. Kay of the National Center for Atmospheric Research showed that Arctic surface pressure in the summer of 2007 was the fourth highest since 1948, and cloud cover at Barrow, Alaska was the sixth lowest. This suggests that once every 10 - 20 years a "perfect storm" of weather conditions highly favorable for ice loss invades the Arctic. The last two times such conditions existed was 1977 and 1987, and it may be another ten or so years before weather conditions align properly to set a new record minimum.

The Northeast Passage opens
As a result of this summer's melting, the Northeast Passage, a notoriously ice-choked sea route along the northern Russia, is now clear of ice and open for navigation. Satellite analyses by the University of Illinois Polar Research Group and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the last remaining ice blockage along the north coast of Russia melted in late August, allowing navigation from Europe to Alaska in ice-free waters. Mariners have been attempting to sail the Northeast Passage since 1553, and it wasn't until the record-breaking Arctic sea-ice melt year of 2005 that the Northeast Passage opened for ice-free navigation for the first time in recorded history. The fabled Northwest Passage through the Arctic waters of Canada has remained closed this summer, however. An atmospheric pressure pattern set up in late July that created winds that pushed old, thick ice into several of the channels of the Northwest Passage. Recent research by Stephen Howell at the University of Waterloo in Canada shows that whether the Northwest Passage clears depends less on how much melt occurs, and more on whether multi-year sea ice is pushed into the channels. Counter-intuitively, as the ice cover thins, ice may flow more easily into the channels, preventing the Northwest Passage from regularly opening in coming decades, if the prevailing winds set up to blow ice into the channels of the Passage. The Northwest Passage opened for the first time in recorded history in 2007, and again in 2008. Mariners have been attempting to find a route through the Northwest Passage since 1497.


Figure 1. Sea ice extent on September 2, 2009, with the Northwest Passage (red line) and Northeast Passage (green line) shown. The Northeast Passage was open, but the Northwest Passage was blocked in three places. The orange line shows the median edge of sea ice extent for September 2 during the period 1979 - 2000, and this year's ice extent is about 19% below average. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Commercial shipping begins in the Northeast Passage
This year's opening marks the fourth time in five years that the Northeast Passage has opened, and commercial shipping companies are taking note. Two German ships set off on August 21 on the first commercial voyage ever made through the Northeast Passage without the help of icebreakers. The Northeast Passage trims 4,500 miles off the 12,500 mile trip through the Suez Canal, yielding considerable savings in fuel. The voyage was not possible last year, because Russia had not yet worked out a permitting process. With Arctic sea ice expected to continue to decline in the coming decades, shipping traffic through the Northeast Passage will likely become commonplace most summers.

When was the Northeast Passage ice-free in the past?
People have been attempting to penetrate the ice-bound Northeast Passage since 1553, when British explorer Sir Hugh Willoughby attempted the passage with three ships and 62 men. The frozen bodies of Sir Hugh and his men were found a year later, after they failed to make it past the northern coast of Finland. British explorer Henry Hudson, who died in 1611 trying to find a route through Canada's fabled Northwest Passage, (and whom Canada's Hudson Bay and New York's Hudson River are named after), attempted to sail the Northeast Passage in 1607 and 1608, and failed. The Northeast Passage has remained closed to navigation, except via assist by icebreakers, from 1553 to 2005. The results published in Science today suggest that prior to 2005, the last previous opening was the period 5,000 - 7,000 years ago, when the Earth's orbital variations brought more sunlight to the Arctic in summer than at present. It is possible we'll know better soon. A new technique that examines organic compounds left behind in Arctic sediments by diatoms that live in sea ice give hope that a detailed record of sea ice extent extending back to the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago may be possible (Belt et al., 2007). The researchers are studying sediments along the Northwest Passage in hopes of being able to determine when the Passage was last open.

References
Belt, S.T., G. Masse, S.J. Rowland, M. Poulin, C. Michel, and B. LeBlanc, "A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25", Organic Geochemistry, Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 16-27.

Darrell S. Kaufman, David P. Schneider, Nicholas P. McKay, Caspar M. Ammann, Raymond S. Bradley, Keith R. Briffa, Gifford H. Miller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bo M. Vinther, and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members, 2009, "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling", Science 4 September 2009: 1236-1239.

Howell, S. E. L., C. R. Duguay, and T. Markus. 2009. Sea ice conditions and melt season duration variability within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: 1979.2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L10502, doi:10.1029/2009GL037681.

Tropical Weather Outlook
The remains of Tropical Storm Erika are bringing heavy rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today, and this activity will spread to the Dominican Republic on Saturday. Radar-estimated rainfall shows up to three inches of rain has fallen in eastern Puerto Rico from the storm. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows no surface circulation or organization of the echoes, and redevelopment of Erika over the next three days is unlikely to occur due to high wind shear of 25 - 30 knots. By Monday or Tuesday, shear may drop enough to allow redevelopment, depending upon the location of Erika's remains. Redevelopment is more likely if Erika works its way northwestward into the Bahamas.

A large tropical wave with plenty of spin is located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands, off the coast of Africa. Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased slightly in this wave over the past day, and it has the potential to gradually develop into a tropical depression by early next week. NHC is giving this wave a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. The GFS model continues to predict development of this wave into a tropical depression early next week.

I'll have an update Saturday or Sunday, depending upon developments in the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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if there was no date here i'd say this was from late june.

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test
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2824. IKE
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2823. IKE
Quoting leftovers:
steve lyons is watching the low in the very western gulf. windshear is high although he says


For what it's worth, the 6Z NAM picks up on that area....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
AL95 12Z update


...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 19.3N LONCUR = 33.7W DIRCUR = 300DEG SPDCUR = 10KT
LATM12 = 18.6N LONM12 = 31.7W DIRM12 = 311DEG SPDM12 = 10KT
LATM24 = 16.2N LONM24 = 30.0W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 45NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1011MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 120NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM


12Z SHIPS dissipates after 48 hours.
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Quoting yonzabam:


Thanks for the warning. At least the weather's been predictable this summer. Rain and more rain. The jet stream has funnelled everything in the Atlantic straight over us. We've had the remnants of Bill and Danny causing flooding.

Usually, the jet stream is much further north at this time of year, taking the remnants up between Scotland and Iceland. It's the same jet stream which has been causing the trough off the US east coast.


Yep, it's not been a good summer, though not as bad as 07/08. (I'm probably around 400 miles south of you. 'Course, depending whereabout in Scotland you are.)

Still, looks like we'll have the B/A High anchor over us for a while according to the models, been like that for the last few runs. Hopefully it stays and we can have our "Indian Summer"...

And thanks guys, for explaining in reference to Karen.
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Quoting Cotillion:


You're from Scotland, right? Seems you'll get a few 70-80mph winds midweek... 976mb low tracking over you. :(


Thanks for the warning. At least the weather's been predictable this summer. Rain and more rain. The jet stream has funnelled everything in the Atlantic straight over us. We've had the remnants of Bill and Danny causing flooding.

Usually, the jet stream is much further north at this time of year, taking the remnants up between Scotland and Iceland. It's the same jet stream which has been causing the trough off the US east coast.
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Quoting severstorm:
AUSSIE, Karen got to be a joke because she ended up being a naked swirl in the atlantic for a very long time. She would not go away. thats the joke, some people still think shes still out there.
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Karen and "remnants went on forever...


The system began as a tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on September 21.

...

Early on September 29, the high wind shear continued and Karen weakened to a tropical depression with a very poorly-defined center.[2][14] That afternoon, the circulation dissipated while east of the Lesser Antilles. Remnant squalls continued across the area east of the Lesser Antilles for a few days after dissipation...

Some of the vorticity from Karen's remnants may have been responsible for the development of the short-lived Tropical Depression Fifteen on October 11.

Thanks for filling me in
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2817. K8eCane
PRESS...Where r u?
Somethin happening off CAROLINAS
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Quoting AussieStorm:

so why is a hurricane a joke?


Karen and "remnants" went on forever... (three weeks)


The system began as a tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on September 21.

...

Early on September 29, the high wind shear continued and Karen weakened to a tropical depression with a very poorly-defined center. That afternoon, the circulation dissipated while east of the Lesser Antilles. Remnant squalls continued across the area east of the Lesser Antilles for a few days after dissipation...

Some of the vorticity from Karen's remnants may have been responsible for the development of the short-lived Tropical Depression Fifteen on October 11.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
oh forgive me Good Morning to all
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2814. WxLogic
Good Morning...
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I think that was in 2007, so everytime you see a naked swril you think of hurr Karen. hop
e that helps John
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Good Morning, everybody!

Looks like we may have our 7th TD this week...(courtesy: Weather456's blog)
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2811. K8eCane
NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
AS OF 3 AM SUNDAY...LOW PRESSURE IS DEVELOPING ALONG THE OLD STALLED
FRONT OFFSHORE. AS THIS LOW MOVES SLOWLY NORTH TODAY...EXPECT RAIN
TO SPREAD INTO THE COASTAL WATERS BY THIS AFTERNOON. POSSIBLY HEAVY
RAIN COULD DEVELOP THIS EVENING OVER THE NORTH CAROLINA COASTAL
WATERS AS THE LOW MAKES ITS CLOSEST APPROACH TO THE AREA AND
TROPICAL AIR IS PULLED BACK INTO THE SYSTEM FROM THE EAST.

STEADILY INCREASING NORTHEAST WINDS HAS BUILT SEAS TO 4-5 FT (AT 3
A.M.) IN THE NORTH CAROLINA COASTAL WATERS. CONDITIONS IN THE SOUTH
CAROLINA COASTAL WATERS WILL NOT TAKE LONG TO CATCH UP WITH 20 KT
GUSTS NOW OVERSPREADING THE AREA. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES WILL BE
ISSUED WITH THIS MORNING`S FORECAST FOR THE POTENTIAL OF 6-7 FT
SEAS...MAINLY OUT BEYOND 10 MILES FROM SHORE. SEAS SHOULD BEGIN TO
SUBSIDE AFTER MIDNIGHT AS THE LOW PUSHES NORTH OF THE AREA AND WIND
SPEEDS


somthin tryin to happen off the CAROLINAS
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AUSSIE, Karen got to be a joke because she ended up being a naked swirl in the atlantic for a very long time. She would not go away. thats the joke, some people still think shes still out there.
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Good Morning

Tropical depression may form this week

Elsewhere in the tropics

Thanks
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Quoting Magicchaos:


I think this is the Karen they are talking about.

so why is a hurricane a joke?
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FINALLY some development. Epac though. Nice TD forming. It's like the entire world is dead.
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Quoting Weather456:
you forgot Ingrid


Ah yes, 2nd cousin once removed.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

so who is Karen then?


I think this is the Karen they are talking about.
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Quoting Magicchaos:
That wave exiting Africa now seems to have a chance since it has an anticyclone on it,right?


Yup.



Quoting AussieStorm:

so who is Karen then?


Long-running joke.

Link
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you forgot Ingrid
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Quoting Cotillion:


Karen never died, nor will she ever....

so who is Karen then?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

when did Karen appear???


Karen never died, nor will she ever....
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Quoting Cotillion:


Erika, Karen and Ana. (All seemingly related with their inability to just die.)

The contemporary names for the three witches at the start of MacBeth...

when did Karen appear???
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That wave exiting Africa now seems to have a chance since it has an anticyclone on it,right?
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Erika Part II?


Erika, Karen and Ana. (All seemingly related with their inability to just die.)

The contemporary names for the three witches at the start of MacBeth...
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Quoting yonzabam:


Part 16, more like.


You're from Scotland, right? Seems you'll get a few 70-80mph winds midweek... 976mb low tracking over you. :(
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2796. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN SEP 6 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 550 MILES WEST-NORTHWEST OF
THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS MOVING WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 15 MPH.
THIS SYSTEM HAS BECOME LESS ORGANIZED OVERNIGHT AND UPPER-LEVEL
WINDS ARE ARE UNFAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT.
THERE IS A
LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2795. IKE
Atlantic season is right on average for the number of named systems...5, and the number of major canes...1, but is behind schedule for the number of hurricanes. It's usually at 2 by now, with the 3rd one by September 9th....Link
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The circulation of soon to be 96L

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Erika Part II?


Part 16, more like.
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Quoting IKE:
6Z NOGAPS......hanging on to a nice vorticity coming into the Florida panhandle next Saturday.


Erika Part II?
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bit off topic, but did anyone watch a show on science channel, called 2057? interesting..predicting what it would be like in 50 years..
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2790. IKE
6Z NOGAPS......hanging on to a nice vorticity coming into the Florida panhandle next Saturday.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting AussieStorm:
This blog is dead like atm ... just like the tropics also.


hey aussie,

thats good, it gives me time to learn, and not have useless posts.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Quoting IKE:


It sure is. Looks like the system emerging off Africa may be on it's way to being Fred, but it's not coming beyond 40W.

Based on the discussions I've read from various SE USA weather offices, the tropical season may be shutting down for awhile, if not longer, along the northern GOM in about a week.


good morning ike,

hope you are right, sounds good to me.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2787. IKE
Quoting AussieStorm:
This blog is dead like atm ... just like the tropics also.


It sure is. Looks like the system emerging off Africa may be on it's way to being Fred, but it's not coming beyond 40W.

Based on the discussions I've read from various SE USA weather offices, the tropical season may be shutting down for awhile, if not longer, along the northern GOM in about a week.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Wind Processing Centre
Recent QuikScat pass on the area ~17N ~46W


Click on image to view original size in a new window



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Thanks Ike . I like it!!!
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This blog is dead like atm ... just like the tropics also.
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2783. IKE
Quoting tropicofcancer:

Good morning Ike.
Do you see any chance of So. Fl. cooling any in the near future?





Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:
Memphis,TN extended discussion....

"FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY...LATEST MODELS DEPICTED THAT A STRONG
COLD FRONT MAY MOVE THROUGH THE AREA DURING THIS TIME FRAME WITH A
STRONG MID LEVEL TROUGH DROPPING TOWARDS THE AREAS FROM CANADA.

WITH STRONG DYNAMICS AND SOME INSTABILITY...MAY HAVE TO MONITOR
FOR STRONG/SEVERE STORMS. THIS FRONT MAY BRING MUCH BELOW
NORMAL/FALL LIKE TEMPERATURES BY THE END OF THE WEEKEND.
FOR
NOW...INCREASED RAIN CHANCES SLIGHTLY AND STAYED CLOSE TO THE
00Z MEX MOS FOR TEMPERATURES."


Good morning Ike.
Do you see any chance of So. Fl. cooling any in the near future?
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2781. IKE
Long-term from Tallahassee,FL...

"LOOKING AHEAD INTO NEXT
WEEKEND...THE ECMWF AND GFS ARE BOTH SUGGESTING A QUITE STRONG
SHORTWAVE TROUGH ANCHORED BY A VERY LARGE UPPER LOW OVER THE GREAT
LAKES REGION DIGGING SOUTHEAST OVER THE REGION. THEY INDICATE ITS
ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT APPROACHING THE LOCAL AREA FROM THE NW
TOWARD THE END OF THE WEEKEND. WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE
EVOLUTION OF THIS FEATURE OVER THE NEXT FEW NIGHTS."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:
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2779. IKE
Memphis,TN extended discussion....

"FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY...LATEST MODELS DEPICTED THAT A STRONG
COLD FRONT MAY MOVE THROUGH THE AREA DURING THIS TIME FRAME WITH A
STRONG MID LEVEL TROUGH DROPPING TOWARDS THE AREAS FROM CANADA.

WITH STRONG DYNAMICS AND SOME INSTABILITY...MAY HAVE TO MONITOR
FOR STRONG/SEVERE STORMS. THIS FRONT MAY BRING MUCH BELOW
NORMAL/FALL LIKE TEMPERATURES BY THE END OF THE WEEKEND.
FOR
NOW...INCREASED RAIN CHANCES SLIGHTLY AND STAYED CLOSE TO THE
00Z MEX MOS FOR TEMPERATURES."

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2778. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion

FOR THE LOW OFF THE EAST COAST ALONG THE LONG-LIVED STATIONARY FRONT...HAVE USED 12Z MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE CLUSTERING TO BRING/KEEP THE LOW OFFSHORE THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST STATES SLOWER THAN MOST OF THE OBJECTIVE GUIDANCE...AND KEPT ITS CENTRAL PRESSURE BETWEEN 1008-1012 HPA...JUST IN CASE IT BECOMES MORE THAN A MERE FRONTAL WAVE AS THE 00Z GFS/00Z CANADIAN IMPLY A POSSIBILITY OF THE LOW BECOMING WARM CORE...SIMILAR TO ALEX IN LATE JULY-EARLY AUGUST 2004. STAY TUNED.



HPC Preliminary Day 6 Graphic




2004 Alex

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2776. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number EIGHT
DEEP DEPRESSION BOB04-2009
8:30 AM IST September 6 2009
======================================

Subject: Deep depression over Jharkhand and adjoining West Bengal

At 3:00 AM UTC, Deep Depression BOB 04-2009 over Gangetic West Bengal moved slowly northwestwards and lay centered about 100 kms north of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. The system is likely to move in a northwesterly direction
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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